The PLX Kiwi dashboard computer plugs into your car and provides real-time info on how your driving habits affect gas usage — and how to correct them for maximum fuel efficiency.
There are lots of gas saver devices out there that claim to help you increase your car’s fuel economy. Most of them are of questionable effectiveness — to put it mildly — relying on such things as magnets, mini-tornadoes, and fuel tank pills. I’ve covered some of them in a previous post about potential fuel saving scams.
The sheer number of such questionable gas saving devices makes it difficult for the average person to distinguish the effectiveness of any single one of them. It also instills a general feeling of distrust that any of them could actually work.
So when something like the PLX Kiwi comes along, my first instinct is to count it guilty as a scam before its been proven innocent. But, as it turns out, that instinct has a high potential of being wrong in this case.
The Kiwi is a small dashboard computer that plugs into your car’s on board computer through the diagnostic port (called an OBDII/CAN port) which is typically located under the steering wheel. The OBDII port can be found on almost all cars manufactured after 1996.
The Kiwi displays all the real-time information available from your car’s computer, such as miles per gallon, speed and trip information. It can also tell you why that pesky check engine light has come on and turn it off for you if it turns out not to be a problem.
Using your car computer’s information, the Kiwi calculates four basic parameters associated with your driving style:
- Smoothness — How steady a speed are you driving?
- Drag — How much wind resistance your car is facing?
- Acceleration — Are you trying to get to warp 9, or are you Driving Miss Daisy?
- Deceleration — Do you have one foot on the brake and the other on the accelerator?
The Kiwi then combines your scores in these four categories and gives you a “Kiwi Score,” which tells you how well you are doing on maximizing your fuel economy.
The company claims that after training with the Kiwi, drivers can expect an average fuel savings of 20% — with increasing benefit if you do most of your driving on the highway.
Savings also depend on the size of your car (larger vehicles experience a greater benefit) and range from $500-$1000 per year given current gas prices in the US.
According to the company, the PLX Kiwi will be available later this month for US $299.
Posts Related to Fuel Economy:
- How Many Hours Do You Have to Work to Fill Your Gas Tank?
- Low Cost Gas Engine Innovation Doubles Fuel Economy
- Are Automakers To Blame For Consumer Car-Buying Trends? Auto Alliance Weighs In
- Low Impact Living: Hypermiling — My Mileage is Better than Your Mileage
- Save Gas Without Losing Your Shirt: 3 Gas Saving Devices with High Scam Potential
- 100+ EcoDriving Tips to get Better Mileage in Your Car
- Can Improved Spark Plugs Boost Both Fuel Economy and Performance?
Image credits: PLX Kiwi