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Reviewed: Garmin ecoRoute HD
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reviewed: Garmin ecoRoute HD Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.com

You'll be forgiven if OBD-II isn't a term familiar to you but most of the cars we all drive are equipped with it. OBD-II is a diagnostic socket that allows technicians to hook up diagnostic equipment to read the data and interrogate the computer systems in modern vehicles.

In Europe, all petrol engined cars manufactured since 2001 have had to comply with the OBD-II standard along with all diesel cars since 2003. It's also not unusual to find the socket fitted in cars made prior to these dates.

Garmin's ecoRoute HD is an accessory which plugs into the OBD-II socket and employs Bluetooth technology to transmit data from the car to a compatible Garmin Sat Nav. OBD-II provides a wealth of data on engine performance, fault codes etc and PocketGPSWorld Moderator Mike Alder has put an ecoRoute HD through its paces.

Click here to read the review.



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Wazza_G
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

£75 for that. Rip off.

Besides what do you need to know all that gibber for, most 2007+ cars will tell you what's wrong with it anyway as they come (spec. dependent) via the on-board computer.

So whilst this maybe OK for lower specced cars, for higher specced ones it's just an unnecessary waste of £75.
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ESL
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the whole point of this gizmo was to provide more accurate Eco routing info, so why no review of this aspect of it?
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Wazza_G
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another point is, should this information be appearing on a sat nav device anyway.

You should be keeping your eyes on the road & listening to the instructions given, not watching performance charts/figures.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ESL wrote:
I thought the whole point of this gizmo was to provide more accurate Eco routing info, so why no review of this aspect of it?


With no fuel related information available over the OBD-II port from my car I didn't see how it could alter any eco route information in terms of accuracy, neither did I see any change to any routes as a direct result of using it over a three month period - Mike
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AlwynMike
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wazza_G wrote:
Another point is, should this information be appearing on a sat nav device anyway.

You should be keeping your eyes on the road & listening to the instructions given, not watching performance charts/figures.


However, to those of us (Anorak wearers) who have cars that the manufacturer has seen fit not to supply even an engine temperature gauge, never mind an oil pressure gauge, this unit is a boon, albeit an expensive one.

Mike
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wazza_G wrote:
You should be keeping your eyes on the road & listening to the instructions given, not watching performance charts/figures.

That depends upon your use of the device, indeed on busy roads watching a nav screen isn't the "done thing" on a test drive on quiet roads or even a test track its a different thing all together.
Even the passenger can be watching (and logging information if needs be) - Mike
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Wazza_G
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If its that good then it should copy the journey data to the SD card for future analysis.

I'm sorry but as I see it, it's another unwanted distraction to the driver.
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Andy_P
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wazza_G wrote:
£75 for that. Rip off.

Besides what do you need to know all that gibber for, most 2007+ cars will tell you what's wrong with it anyway as they come (spec. dependent) via the on-board computer.

So whilst this maybe OK for lower specced cars, for higher specced ones it's just an unnecessary waste of £75.


Not all of us are in the position to be able to afford "post 2007" cars I'm afraid. My car has an OBD port but the only thing the car could do with a computer is run over it.

So I dispute your assertion that it is a rip-off (what cheaper unit have you seen that does the same job?) and I don't understand why you felt the need to say (dismissively) that it maybe OK for low specced cars.
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Chuffer4
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CAUTION
It is not true to say that all cars HAVE to be ODB2 compatible, if the manufacture decides they don't want to comply they can not be forced to do so.
Yes I know that seems totally at odds with the principal of compatibility but that's the way it is.
If you own a Renault any device of this type will not work correctly, yes you will get some data but the fuel figures will be very wrong.
Usually there is a label in the engine compartment that says if it is ODB2 compliant, and yes, I own a Renault !.[/b]
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PhilHornby
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ESL wrote:
I thought the whole point of this gizmo was to provide more accurate Eco routing info, so why no review of this aspect of it?

It seems to me that the only enhancement over the existing 'Ecoroute' stuff, is that MPG is measured, rather than er, guessed at...

Wazza_G wrote:
£75 for that. Rip off.

Besides what do you need to know all that gibber for, most 2007+ cars will tell you what's wrong with it anyway as they come (spec. dependent) via the on-board computer.


£75 is the same sort of price you'd pay for a cheap Chinese stand-alone code reader (which would probably give less information - and take every opportunity to make you painfully aware of its cheapness Sad ).

In my experience, I don't think it necessarily follows that the trip computer will give you plain English versions of Fault Codes either (especially pending and non-fatal ones). In the words of Wikipedia - "citation required" Exclamation

As for the rest of the 'Gibber', some of us like that sort of thing Wink

mikealder wrote:
With no fuel related information available over the OBD-II port from my car ...


See this website: http://www.windmill.co.uk/obd.html

This describes a method of calculating MPG, using the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) and Mass Air Flow (MAF), both of which should be present. (It assumes the air:fuel ratio is 14.7:1, so full throttle usage would presumably distort the result. (No idea how or if this can be applied to diesels... )

Garmin say "Accurate fuel consumption data can actually help you improve MPG", so presumably, they're measuring it somehow...

Chuffer4 wrote:
CAUTION
It is not true to say that all cars HAVE to be ODB2 compatible, if the manufacture decides they don't want to comply they can not be forced to do so.


According to this website:

talktomycar.co.uk wrote:
"Within Europe OBD (also known as EOBD) became mandatory for all new European car designs in 2000, existing cars in 2001 and diesels 2004 (however most manufacturers implemented it significantly earlier – as many cars were also sold in the US). "

¬


Last edited by PhilHornby on Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MaFt
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chuffer4 wrote:
CAUTION
It is not true to say that all cars HAVE to be ODB2 compatible, if the manufacture decides they don't want to comply they can not be forced to do so.


Actually, European law demands it for petrol cars since 2001 and diesel cars since 2003. American federal law has demanded it since 1996.

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ESL
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
ESL wrote:
I thought the whole point of this gizmo was to provide more accurate Eco routing info, so why no review of this aspect of it?


With no fuel related information available over the OBD-II port from my car I didn't see how it could alter any eco route information in terms of accuracy, neither did I see any change to any routes as a direct result of using it over a three month period - Mike


Hi Mike. I do appreciate the time taken to write an interesting review and I'm not having a go just for its own sake. But the device is called "Eco Route HD" clearly pointing at its eco driving credentials and in the spec. on the product webpage, it clearly indicates the "eco" functionality.

If I understand your reply, it may indicate that this functionality did not work on your vehicle, which I would have thought worthy of more comment in a review, as the eco driving information is meant to work on any OBD port.

If its just a new set of gauges and a fault code display, it clearly has no reason to be a Sat nav accessory and therefore unworthy of a review here.

If it does provide some information relevant to sat nav users (albeit Garmin) then to my mind that functionality needs to be discussed, does it not?
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Chuffer4
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:58 pm    Post subject: ODB2 Reply with quote

Sorry MaFt you are not correct !
I spent a long time trying to diagnose gear change problems with my Renault and bought an interface and software to read the ODB data both of which were complaint.
The information I gathered was vastly different from that read by my local dealer.
After much debate with the Author, who at that time was of the same opinion as you, I complained to Renault who told me they did not have to comply with the standard.
Like you I did not believe them and I eventually tracked down the working group responsible for the standards and he wrote........

My name is Keith Armitage and I am the SAE J2012 workgroup chairman. The ISO equivalent standard is 15031-6. Both standards document industry agreements for diagnostic trouble codes. Each vehicle manufacturer makes their own decisions for which standards or portions of standards to apply to their vehicles.

So, as they say, straight from the horse mouth.

There are of course other vehicles that are not and here is some info.

http://www.glmsoftware.com/ProblemVehicles.aspx

http://www.pocketlogger.com/index.php?pid=faq_gs_whichcar
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ESL wrote:
If I understand your reply, it may indicate that this functionality did not work on your vehicle, which I would have thought worthy of more comment in a review, as the eco driving information is meant to work on any OBD port.

I didn't observe any difference with the eco score or accuracy of the fuel costs which remained about as good as without the the accessory connected which is why I didn't mention it, it simply didn't make any difference as far as I could tell.
Over the three months I covered just over 4000 miles, mostly commute to/ from work but also a number of long distance motorway runs, so it got quite a mixed set of driving thrown at it - Mike
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