Track kids for the cheap with CarChip

The Locate 1 GPS tracker enabled you to track anything that moved, but it required a monthly fee and a pricey unit. If you want to make yourself even sneakier, while still being your cheap old self, check out the CarChip.

CarChip uses the OBDII protocol, which started coming with cars in the US starting in 1996. That protocol allows the CarChip to track all sorts of things about you cars actions, be it the speed, mileage, or even how hard you brake.

In addition to all that, you can track the speed, which is rerecorded every 5 seconds, the time and date of each trip, distance, and even sudden accelerations.

The CarChip will even test your vehicle’s emission status, which can be helpful to do before buying a used car.

If your engine ever runs into trouble, the CarChip can show you the diagnostic trouble code, and the sensor readings of the various engine parts at the time of the “error”.

All this information can be transferred to your computer with the included USB cable. Once the data is on your computer, the software (included on a CD) will graphically show you the data.

The base CarChip model will record 75 hours of trip details, while the E/X model will record 300! There’s also the CarChip E/X with Alarm, which is the E/X model along with an alarm that will ring whenever the driver exceeds user-set speed, acceleration, and braking limits.

Most cars work with the CarChip, but be sure to check the website for a full list of cars that do not work with the CarChip before buying!

The prices are all pretty reasonable, the base model costs $140, the E/X goes for $180, and the E/X with Alarm goes for $200. All of those prices are much better than the Locate 1’s $500 price tag.

Car Chip via Gizwizbiz

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  1. Your review is spot-on, but I disagree with your subject line. I don’t have any kids and this device really goes beyond than just “keeping tabs on your teenager”. I bought one of these 2 years ago when we kept getting a Check Engine light and it cost us $80 a pop at the dealer to have it “diagnosed” and turned off. Now we can diagnose any problems ourselves and turn it off the light. If the problem is beyond my expertise, I’ll be armed with the ODBCII code and problem when I do take it to the shop for repairs saving us that extra $80 for diagnosis.

  2. The subject line was done jokingly, and there are definitely some very useful ways to use this thing that end up saving you money. 🙂

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