What Is FIXD?

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Published on: Sep 8, 2017

Using a smartphone app and an OBD-II sensor, the FIXD system promises to provide real-time updates about the health of your car in less than 60 seconds, which could help prevent thousands of dollars in costly repairs.

Specifically, the website tells us this system can detect 6,800 possible check engine light causes, translate them into simple terms, provide you with a summary, indicate their severity, and then give you instructions on what to do. You’ll even be warned about possible consequences if you continue driving.

FIXD can also provide users with automatic oil change and maintenance reminders, the ability to access data across multiple cars in your family, along with an active timeline. As maintenance tasks are completed and recorded, they can even be exported into a comprehensive vehicle health record.

Based on what we learned from their website and commercial, it certainly seems that the FIXD system could help take the guesswork out of a check engine light, as well as provide other key benefits like maintenance reminders.

But is it the only option in town? And if not, is it necessarily the best? These are just two of the core questions we’ll help you answer in this article, starting with a closer look at FIXD’s operation.

How Does the FIXD System Work?

There are two parts to the FIXD system: the iOS and Android app (per the company, there are no Windows Phone versions in the works) and the sensor.

At about 2" long, 1.65" wide, and .78" in thick, this sensor plugs into the OBD-II port (the same one used by mechanics to diagnose problems you might be experiencing), which is available on all gas-powered cars built after 1996.

Note: Per the company’s FAQ, FIXD also works with gas-powered trucks purchased in the U.S. that have a GVWR (gross vehicle weight) less than 14,500 lbs. However, it does not currently work with diesel-powered vehicles or electric-powered vehicles.

FIXD SensorA picture of FIXD’s OBD-II sensor, which gathers information about check engine lights and sends it to the app. Image credit: FIXD Automotive

The sensor’s small, compact design allows it to stay out of sight while it remains plugged in at all times. There, it will gather data related to any check engine light and send it wirelessly via Bluetooth to your smartphone, where the app will translate the information into:

  • The severity of the problem
  • The consequences of continuing to drive with that problem
  • A 2-3 sentence definition of how that problem affects the rest of the car

In addition, FIXD’s algorithm will determine your mileage and alert you when you’re approaching important maintenance intervals, as well as provide factory recommended maintenance schedule for your specific make, model, year, and engine.

You can install sensors in multiple vehicles to remotely monitor the health and status of other family members, as well as receive mobile push notifications when a new problem is detected. All data collected is secured through the company’s industry leading safety protocol.

FIXD App ScreenshotsIn these FIXD app screenshots, we can see the vehicle’s error codes, a brief description of each, along with its current mileage and maintenance schedule. Image credit: Google

Keep in mind, however, that the FIXD system is currently limited to check engine lights only. According to the product’s FAQ, they “are working on expanding the capabilities to include service reminders, ABS, TPMS, [airbag, and other non-check engine lights] by licensing manufacturer-specific codes.”

What Is FIXD’s Maintenance Club?

Although it wasn’t yet released at the time of our research, FIXD’s upcoming Maintenance Club will allow members to receive the items they need once they reach their next maintenance interval, tailored to their specific vehicle year, make, and model.

The program can be customized as you see fit, and whether you’re a beginner or a pro, they’ll also show you how to complete the maintenance, without having to leave your home and head to the parts store.

Your membership can be canceled or pauses at any time, and no deliveries are sent without your approval.

How Much Does the FIXD App & Sensor Cost?

The FIXD app is free, although you’ll pay the following for sensors:

  • 1 Device: $59
  • 2 Devices: $88 ($44 each)
  • 3 Devices: $118 ($39.33 each)

Once released, the Maintenance Club membership will be free, and you’ll only pay when products are shipped.

For one device, you’ll also pay $5 S&H, while all other options come with free shipping.

Regardless of the number you order, FIXD comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, less S&H, along with a one-year limited warranty. To request one, the sensor must be in good condition (not physically damaged, broken, or altered) and you’ll need to send an email to support@fixdapp.com.

What Can We Learn from FIXD Customer Reviews

Between Amazon and Walmart, there were more than 160 customer reviews for FIXD at the time of our research, which gave the system an average rating of about four stars.

In general, most compliments appeared to indicate that it’s easy to install and use, provides clear insight into check engine lights, and delivers meaningful value for the money.

What few complaints there were frequently related to not working properly; usually related to problems connecting. The company responded directly to each complaint on Amazon.

Between iTunes and Google Play, FIXD’s app had nearly 750 pieces of feedback from users, with an average rating of 4+ stars. Most compliments and complaints mirrored those found elsewhere.

From a company perspective, FIXD Automotive, based out of Atlanta, GA had an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and 25 closed complaints, as of 9/7/17. Of those with details available, most appeared to revolve around customer service issues and long shipping times. Again, a company representative responded each time.

Are There Other OBD-II Sensors Like FIXD?

Different Sensors & Their Capabilities

Since the OBD-II port has been standard on all new vehicles manufactured since 1996, there’s been plenty of time for various technologies to develop around it. The most basic of these include:

  • Code Readers – Features basic code reading and clearing functionality.
  • Scan Tools – According to LifeWire, in addition to what’s provided by a code reader, these “may include advanced data reading and playback features, extensive knowledge bases and diagnostic procedures, and even built-in testing equipment.”

In addition to standalone code readers and scanning tools, there are also Bluetooth-equipped models—formally known as ELM327 scan tools—that can display much of the same information on your smartphone.

However, while scanners typically come with more robust features, LifeWire emphasizes that none of these devices can, among other things, “read manufacturer or pending codes or provide troubleshooting information or tips.” This is where ‘smart’ dongles like FIXD enter the picture.

Smart Dongles That Go Beyond Code Reading & Sensing

A handful of OBD-II dongles can go far beyond demystifying check engine lights, tracking maintenance, and sending alerts. And while they all attach to the same port, they seemed to have carved out niches for themselves by providing unique feature sets.

Although we won’t cover it here, it’s important to point out that some, like Metromile, can even help set your auto insurance rates. How do these other models compare to FIXD?

Hum by Verizon

Although Hum’s equipment will only cost you as little as $30, you’ll also need to pay an activation fee and a monthly subscription fee of between $10 and $15, depending on the model you purchase.

For these prices, subscribers will receive access to emergency and roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location services, vehicle diagnostics, maintenance reminders, and the ability to talk with an independent, certified professional for advice if a problem occurs.

Additional features include boundary and speed alerts (for younger drivers), a monthly summary of driving history and habits, navigation, and even a Wi-Fi hotspot (depending on model).

Automatic

Depending on the model, Automatic's service provides unlimited 3G access and unlimited car monitoring, all with no fees.

Lite’s features include Bluetooth syncing, trip logging, business expense apps, engine light diagnostics, fuel logging, while Pro’s features include crash alerts, parking and live vehicle tracking, IFTTT apps for home automation, and the ability to utilize streaming apps.

The Lite dongle is priced at $79.95, while the Pro version will cost you $129.95.

Vinli

Originally started as a crowdfunding campaign in 2015, Vinli also provides drivers with access to a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. However, they claim to provide access to the “largest app ecosystem for your car.”

Here, much like with smartphones, users will be able to choose from more than 40 different apps that can assist with everything from tracking routes and speeds and locating your car, to connecting your car to your home and even interacting with Amazon Alexa.

According to Vinli’s FAQ, though, it only appears to be available to businesses and dealerships, and the “price of the device and service is determined by our channel partners.”

Regardless of the smart ODB-II sensor model you choose, though, keep in mind that according to Tom’s Guide, you need to be aware of potential data security concerns:

“The OBD port was never designed to power Wi-Fi hotspots, or to transmit and receive wireless data. The port is simply meant to convey diagnostic trouble codes to a car owner or mechanic. Likewise, most cars' internal networks were never supposed to be connected to the Internet, and as a result, have loose or nonexistent security safeguards.”

Our Final Thoughts About FIXD

As with most consumer products, whether or not FIXD is the right option for you largely depends on your needs and the factors you consider most important.

For example, if the initial price is your top concern, you could purchase a Hum device for as little as $50 (the retail price plus activation fee). However, you’d also need to pay between $10 and $20 per month to continue utilizing their services, which will also involve signing a contract.

On the other hand, FIXD’s initial price came in $10 higher, although it was a one-time purchase; no future fees were required. However, it also included the fewest number of features (e.g., no Wi-Fi access, different app choices, IFTTT connectivity, and so forth) of the competition.

Splitting the difference, Automatic’s system also didn’t require monthly fees, came with a wide range of available features, and didn’t require a recurring subscription or contract. But, it’s Lite and Pro versions were the most expensive at $79.95 and $129.95, respectively.

The bottom line is that if you’re looking to step up from a standard OBD-II scanner, but don’t necessarily need all the functionality (and associated costs) offered by some of the ‘smart’ competitors, FIXD seems like it might meet your needs.

And if it doesn’t, the manufacturer stands behind it with a 30-day refund policy. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to pay to ship it back to the company.

See Also: Avoid Mechanic Rip-Offs With These 7 Expert Tips

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Read 76 FIXD Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 3.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 50 4 star: 4 3 star: 1 2 star: 1 1 star:  20
Bottom Line: 72% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 76
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • Awesome

    • Ogden, UT,
    • Apr 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This little beast was just sitting in my glove box for the longest time until one day when my check engine light came on and instead of going to AutoZone to have them scan my truck with their ancient scanner, I took a minute to download the FIXD app and scanned it myself. Now I promote this product whenever a buddy of mine has check engine light issues. I’ve used it on both my cars and it’s scan results are super detailed and legit.

    I just used it again for a friend in need who had their car scanned by AutoZone and of course their scan results were so vague that my friend had no idea what the hell was wrong with his car. Now my friend knows his car has had a major accident and he has 4 issues having to do with the sensors and a leak.

    What a badass tool. I never write reviews on products but when this app prompted, I was entirely willing to spread the word that this super useful tiny tool is valuable. Everyone should have one in their glove box.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Great product!

    • Boonton, NJ,
    • Apr 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The FIXD dongle allows me to see issues in real time and make choices about repairs on my own terms. I would argue that everyone should have one. It is an amazing addition to my automobile. I also like the simplicity of the mobile app along with the "learning" aspect that explains car errors codes in simple terms. The product is great.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Personal satisfaction

    • New York,
    • Apr 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    FIXD has helped me a lot since purchasing. I am always armed with enough information when I visit the mechanic so they cannot get me anymore. Thanks for a wonderful product. Keep on improving this product as time goes by.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • I like FIXD

    • Lehigh Acres, FL,
    • Apr 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I like FIXD. I was wondering what was wrong with my 96 Jaguar Vanderplas, but FIXD helped me by telling me what was wrong with my car. Great product FIXD. I like it! Thank you, FIXD, for helping me resolve my car issues. I highly recommend it!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    New sensor arrived

    • Montreal, Quebec, Canada,
    • Apr 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Just received my FIXD sensor, and tested it for the first time. It worked like a charm! My issues were minor ones, and now that I know the problem, I can look into fixing it myself.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    FIXD install

    • Taylorsville, UT,
    • Apr 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Fast and simple install. Love it so far. Registered "no problems." Now I can run it before I get service. No more mechanic surprises. Yahoo!

    Will recommend to friends and family. And all my senior friends too.

    Need to schedule my 60K mile service. I can do it now with confidence.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    My review went well

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Apr 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    No problems thus far, great device, everyone needs one. This small device will save you a lot of time and a whole lot of money. Thank you to the creator of this small but informative device.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Great product

    I have used FIXD a few times now and it has found the codes every time on every vehicle I have used it on. I actually just helped a friend today. His F-150 wouldn’t start leaving work. We plugged it in, the code came up P1000, and that code is a bad PCM. I did have to google the code to find it, I am not very familiar with the FIXD app yet, so I am not sure if it can actually look the code up. I found it was not super user-friendly for me but my experience with it is limited, but it will definitely spit out the codes you need. And that's my two cents about this product.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    So far it is perfect!

    • Springfield, IL,
    • Apr 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Finding the port for the module took a little time and is hard to get to. Next, I was not sure which way it plugs in, but I guess it only plugs in one way, and that is the right way. I followed the instructions and voila. Everything was in order and no problems.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Nice device

    • Toledo, OH,
    • Apr 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just purchased the FIXD device and installed it with ease. No problems detected with my vehicle. I’ll be installing it in other vehicles shortly. I would recommend this device to family and friends. Simply to install, simple to use. I was referred to the FIXD from a coworker who has been using it for several years. Very happy he did.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Better than any other

    • Bronx, NY,
    • Apr 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The mechanic was trying to charge me too much for checking and remove the light, with this item I fix myself.

    The problem was the oil was too low on the power steering and the pump making noise.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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