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aCar: Awesome app helps you save money on car repairs!


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  1. njperry

    njperry Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Feb 23, 2010
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    Have you ever been at the mechanic shop and wondered if all the checks, flushes, and filters they're recommending are actually needed? Have you ever suspected your car's gas mileage may not be as good as it used to be? Well aCar is the app for you.

    aCar is one of the most useful programs I keep on my Android phone. It’s free and very easy to use. aCar allows users to keep track of data such as gas fills, mileage, and maintenance, and you can track data for several vehicles. I even added my dirt bike.

    Usage
    For something like a gas fill-up, it takes about 10 seconds to enter gallons, price, and odometer reading, and then it tells you the mileage for that fill and saves it. More detail-oriented users can enter notes about the gas station, type of travel, or method of payment. It has a flag you can set for partial fill-ups so it won't throw off your average mpg.

    This program goes beyond a simple list of your fill-up and maintenance history with the dedicated Charts and Statistics buttons on the front screen. Quickly view stats like average mpg or average or total service costs for periods ranging from this month, recent 3 months, 6 months, this year, last year, recent year, to everything in its recorded history. It gives you easy to read charts of the same data, for each vehicle or for all vehicles. It even has a search feature so you can find specific service records or fill-ups without scrolling through the list.

    Additional options in the settings menu let you add fields for location, payment type, fuel brand or octane level, and notes. You can also change the currency and units, in case you're in one of those weird countries that use the metric system (everywhere but USA:). Also, you can edit the list of maintenance items, in case one is missing or in case you prefer to call your oil change a lubricant rejuvenation, etc.

    Import/Export & Backup
    If you are worried about having all of this wonderful data only on your phone, Armando (the developer) has you covered there too! You can export everything into Excel. I had 4 years worth of data from a program I used on my Palm OS phone and was able to import it to aCar with no problems. Even more useful is aCar's automatic backup feature, with several frequency options from hourly all the way up to monthly or never. It stores the data on your sd card so you won't lose it if your phone crashes.

    Donation version
    Although the app is free, I recommend you donate, even if just a buck, because that unlocks the extra features like auto and manual backup and restore, export to Excel csv format, and full-screen stats charts.

    Criticisms/Negatives
    The only bad thing I can say about this app is that it is missing a few functions I have used in old Palm apps. Specifically, MyCar for Palm OS had the option to store data on each driver and each car, such as license, registration renewal dates, insurance policy numbers, vin numbers, and parts details like tire sizes. But as responsive as this developer is, I am sure these things will be added soon.

    Knowledge is Power
    The greatest value this program has for me is the protection it offers against seemingly ever-gluttonous mechanics. Countless times I have been at the counter with the mechanic reviewing the recommended repairs and maintenance items for my vehicle. Things such as last air filter replacement and system flushes are not high on my priority list of dates to remember, and my wife does not get upset if I forget them, unlike her birthday, so I simply enter these maintenance items in aCar and forget them. Until, that is, that fateful day when the list of recommended repairs at the mechanic shop seems longer than a hypochondriac’s list of ailments. One simple glance in my phone allows me to verify that I just had the transmission flushed 900 miles ago. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a mechanic you can trust, or maybe I just have issues, but I think you get the drift. Besides, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable buying a car if the seller presented a printed report of all maintenance and mileage history? Getting more money for your car will more than make up for the cost of aCar for Android. Oh wait, it’s FREE!
     

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