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.