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ScanGauge review

Installed ScanGaugeThe ScanGauge can be installed many places with a Velcro kit. I chose the center of the dash, for easy access to the real time mpg data.

I’ve always been jealous of the miles per gallon readings in friend’s Prius, but my wife and I don’t really drive enough to warrant a new car purchase. So I took a chance on installing the ScanGauge into our ’99 Outback as soon as it was in stock. We’ve had it installed for two weeks now, and it’s totally changed the way we drive. We now compete to see who can get the best mileage stats.

Installed ScanGaugeThe ScanGauge installation is simple. Start by locating the OBD-II port. In this Subaru, it’s on the left-hand side under the steering wheel.

Installation was a breeze, actually so simple that I had to check the manual to make sure I hadn’t missed something. Subaru owners take note: you have to adjust a setting in the menu to prevent the device from falling asleep. My only other quibble is that the real-time gauges don’t give you trip average mpg, which would be a useful stat. If you are a gearhead, you’ll find lots of other data available, as well at error codes useful for diagnosing that pesky check engine light.

The ScanGauge does everything I’ve seen in the Prius, plus shows you fuel cost and trip cost. Many others have reported that a real time mpg gauge dramatically changed their driving style, and I have to say it’s true. A Saturday trip had me at a mellow 60 on the interstate, trying to goose the mpg higher. Perhaps the novelty will wear off, but in the era of $4 gas, the real-time feedback makes you think twice before flooring it.

Installed ScanGaugeThen simply plug in the ScanGauge cable. It is really that simple. I had to check the manual to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, and spent longer arranging the cable than anything else.

We still haven’t gassed up since installing the ScanGauge, so I haven’t yet tested the fuel calibration features, but I’ll report back on the fuel cost features when we do.

Overall I was impressed. A great buy and really effective reminder of your footprint when you have to drive. A note to my father: please stop reading now. Really.

. . .

Ok, so the other thing, between you and me, is the ScanGauge is just about the coolest Father’s Day gift around. It’s nifty, smart and economical, and involves a project that is on the one hand really easy, and on other hand will win points with Mom (for being smart and economical).

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