A new app that could reveal the hidden secrets of your car’s past has been launched in the UK.
The Carly Connected Car app allows drivers of certain BMW, Mini, Mercedes-Benz and VW Group models to tap into their car’s ECU (electronic control unit) to find out more about its history. It’ll reveal whether the mileage has been altered, when the car was last serviced and what error messages it’s displayed in the past.
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You can even find out the average speed and journey times of the car, as well as the maximum revs the engine has hit.
“Unscrupulous members of the motor trade or even private owners with access to the right equipment can easily adjust the electronic mileage clocks commonly found in modern cars,” said Avid Avini, one of Carly’s founders. “Our app goes beyond the visual and paperwork check that most car buyers rely on, interrogating up to 50 control units in the car to compare data such as mileage stored in them, with what is visible on the dashboard.”
The app has been available in mainland Europe for three years, where data collected from 300,000 cars highlighted some surprising results. Around 23 percent of Minis had experienced some form of manipulation, while one BMW 5 Series was found to have covered 120,564 miles – despite displaying just 18,703 on the clock.
The app can also be used for preventative maintenance, such as initiating regeneration for Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) and NOx filters, preventing engine issues if you only do short journeys. Advanced users can access hidden features enabling you to customise more features of your car, such as being able to change when the lights come on or open the exhaust valve for a throatier engine note.
For the app to work, you’ll need to pay £44.90 for an adapter that plugs into your car’s on-board diagnostics port. The app is available in Lite guise, offering a simple check function, for free. The Pro version, for £43.99, allows access to more advanced features.