Every petrolhead has his or her own unique style of driving and most of us want something different when it comes to car ownership. Some of us want to be the quickest in a straight line, while others prefer to sit back and chill while listening to Phil Collins. To help every type of petrolhead get the most from driving, there are apps tailored to a variety of styles. Here are the best of them:
When you’re not eating, sleeping or working, you spend your time out on the track. Your GoPro is your best friend, and you should have a few track worthy apps on your mobile phone to compliment your style. The CMS Lap Timer and RaceChrono apps track lap times and section times through GPS, which is a great tool for documenting your bragging rights. If you have an Android, check out aLapRecorder HD to record video and lap times with Google Maps overlay included in the footage.
If you dream of endless acceleration and treat every traffic light as a starting line, then you’ll want an app to compare your performance as you make changes to your car’s set-up. The Dynolicious app uses an accelerometer and times each run to calculate horsepower. It also lets users track multiple vehicles, record changes to each and share their greatest performances through social media. The Car Performance Free app and others give the same information using GPS rather than the phone’s internal accelerometer. Use these apps to gain speed and power but don’t come crying to us if you get stuck with a ticket.
If you favour mpg over mph, then you probably track every bit of car spending including fuel and maintenance costs. You know how to get the most for your money and plan out all the details before taking a road trip. Apps such as aCar and Fuel Log 3 let you record the cost of petrol fill ups, car parts, services and other expenses while sending friendly reminders for scheduled maintenance. Shell’s miGarage app can also help remind you of important maintenance dates, make lubricant recommendations and suggest maintenance you may have overlooked. Don’t forget when looking for parts to check eBay and craigslist for prices before making a blind purchase. Of course a real budget-minded driver would already know that!
When you strive for perfection in your ride, getting the most out of your ECU is a must. If you’re a tuner try apps like DashCommand, Torque and Rev. These are some of the easiest performance measuring apps to use, and they provide a thorough display of what’s going on inside your vehicle. They will need an adapter to connect to your vehicle’s OBD II system, which can cost £30 - £100 in addition to the cost of the app. Just make sure your device can handle the app before making a big purchase.
Anyone in the market for a new car has their focus online to compare prices and do their research before making a final decision. If you are a die-hard shopper, you probably have one or more of these apps on your phone even when you’re not looking to buy. The Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, Parker’s Car Price Checker and The Car Connection apps make up some of the most trusted resources for car buying. Let your mind wander as you research thousands of vehicles before buying, selling or just giving advice to a mate.
As a Do-It-Yourselfer, you feel no greater satisfaction than the completion of a car project. There’s no need to pay someone else for a job you can complete on your own, but at times you may need to turn to your phone for advice. Perhaps the best self help app is YouTube. If there is a vehicle repair to be done, there is at least a 90 per cent chance that someone else has already done it, recorded it and uploaded it to YouTube. Don’t underestimate the value of watching someone else do a repair, but beware of idiots making a shady fix or false diagnosis. A new app for novice mechanics on the Android market is Car Mechanic. It provides step by step instructions including a list of required tools, and helps you in diagnosing the problem at hand.