You may remember my indestructible Audi A4. She’s an old girl now and has been on the road for a decade. I bought a Bluetooth OBD gadget to plug into it just so that I could find out what all those error lights on the dashboard are.
Yes, error lights. There’s a lot of them. They seem to be telling me something but I’ve started ignoring them a bit because they tend to alter on a daily basis. It’s fun and still, somehow, it flew through the MOT.
Anyhow. That OBD Bluetooth gadget (this Cacagoo one) is a great little gadget. You plonk it into the secret-ish port under your dashboard (it’s the one that the AA people and probably your insurance provider might use) and you can get diagnostic data from your engine. You can get other bits of info too and there’s a myriad of apps that’ll show your engine information – revs, battery amperage, fuel consumption, temperatures, oil flow and all sorts of other bits that can be displayed on a dashboard within your phone. You can even combine this with the GPS and the G-force sensor on your phone to find out if you’re driving like a spanner.
The thing is.. I drive an Audi diesel. She can pootle up the motorway and hit 50+ mpg but, if you’re trying to accelerate hard on a country road, it’ll sound like a big bag of bolts blowing through a turbo tube.
Then I found a range of apps I’d not seen before in the Google Play store whilst looking around for OBD apps. There’s a load of them here, but I chose RevHeadz Engine Sounds. Put simply, this is an app that’ll play you interactive engine sounds. You can have the engine noises of a range of cars and motorcycles. A GUI will let you change gear, brake and accelerate. You get a little dashboard with a speedometer and rev counter.
All good so far then. It’s a little bit of fun. A throw-away app that your kids might use when playing with their little Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars. However, this app (and others like it) can connect to the Bluetooth OBD gadget and will read the amount of revs and the throttle control. So, if you’re a super-geek like me and hook it into your car stereo (and whack it up full blast), you can suddenly turn your slightly broken Audi A4 TDI into a petrol-guzzling V8 monster!
Well, it’ll sound like one anyway. Here’s my random video showing you how :)