Carly Review

Carly Review – New Updates And Advanced OBD Features

On the surface, Carly is a straightforward concept. What you get is a Bluetooth OBD device that you plug into your car’s OBD port, and it subsequently pairs back to your phone wirelessly through the Carly app. Now, I know what you’re thinking… This isn’t the only such product that exists on the market, given the abundance of cheap wireless OBD devices you can buy on Amazon (we have tested a few). But, what really sets Carly apart, and what makes it such a compelling solution for motorists and car owners, is the software that it packs under the hood.

It’s truly like nothing else that I’ve seen on the market, given the many features and capabilities it offers once you’ve had it hooked up to your car, and once you had a chance to fiddle around with the app. In essence, Carly has gone through the massive trouble of decoding the onboard diagnostic systems and electronic components for a myriad of vehicles across many makes and models on the market today. Now, they’re re-packaging all that data into an easy-to-use, accessible, and affordable means of keeping track of your car’s diagnostics, regular maintenance checks, planning out your servicing schedule, troubleshooting mysterious issues, and so much more.

Carly Review

What Is Carly And What Can It Do For You?

This is actually something you probably want to do when you buy a Carly; inputting the make and model of your car to fully understand what features Carly could unlock for it. Nevertheless, Carly makes the process of diagnosing issues with your car and keeping track of its condition way easier than the old-school way of taking your car to a dealership or service centre every single time you notice a check engine light. Carly makes it so that you can do this easily at home, without needing to cough up a large fee for accessing expensive diagnostics scanners. Instead, Carly offers you a device, powered by a platform that you can control and utilise in your own time, at your leisure.

And, really, it’s not just the convenience and cost-savings that it offers, but the level of data that Carly collects and analyses on your car (and all users). For instance, it could check whether or not you have an error code, or if you’ve missed a recent service. This helps to give car owners and motorists back some control over their vehicles, in addition to giving them the insight to better care for them. Carly is built for car owners, not dealerships, and they’ve invested a lot of time and resources into building this repository of car diagnostics data. Moreover, Carly is constantly looking to improve the software it has and the data they handle.

While the black, unassuming, piece of plastic brick that plugs into your car’s OBD port is going to stay the same, the app that it pairs to, that’s where the money’s at. Carly has done so, and they’ll continue to push out minor improvements and quality of service updates, as they keep expanding its database. Additionally, Carly will push out more features over time for its users. This was something that I got to check out and test in person when I was invited by the Carly team to visit the Nürburgring.

Carly Review

Making A Pilgrimage To The Green Hell

We met with Carly to learn more about some of the cool new features and updates that they released since I last used Carly a long time ago. In particular, we had a chance to speak with their UK team, and we had a good chat with them, as they gave us a rundown of all the interesting stuff they’ve brought to the Carly platform since its inception back in 2014. We therefore had a good understanding of what was new to Carly, and to really put Carly through the wringer, I joined up with them, as well as some other motoring journos, at the Nürburgring. The testing wasn’t done on the actual Green Hell itself, but right next door as close as you can get. Plus, they lent us some track-spec cars to demo the Carly on.

Later in the day, I had the opportunity to ride along with a famed Nürburgring Ring Taxi, where professional drivers, instructors, and racing drivers go like a bat out of hell, with passengers onboard. I got my due here, with a pro driver taking me and a few others out in a BMW M5 CS, going flat out on the Nordschleife, in the wet, too. It’s certainly a good bit of fun, and it was a pleasant distraction while we were out learning about Carly. I just guessed why not, since we were already there. Anyway, back to the Carly…

Carly Review

What Cool Features Does The Carly Have?

Carly has many features that you may have seen in competing products already on offer today. There are umpteen different OBD scanners on the market, and I’m sure you may have used at least one in the past. But, when you take them all as a whole, given that Carly has bundled in a lot of features into the OBD device itself and its companion app, it makes the Carly a far more powerful and capable device to help motorists. It ensures that you, as a fellow car owner, can be kept informed regularly of your car’s condition, and provide valuable insights on how it’s doing.

With that in mind, here are just some of the many perks and cool features that you get when you use Carly in your car…

1. Diagnostics And Troubleshooting

Of course, the Carly, aside from its many new-to-market and incredible features, will do basic ODB testing. This includes pulling diagnostic error codes from your car and then translating these generic codes into usable and easily understandable information. So, if you noticed that a check engine light has appeared, open up Carly to see what error codes your vehicle just spat out. Then, click on it, and the Carly app will inform you as to what specifically has gone wrong.

The Carly app could even advise you on what to do next if that particular OBD code has been documented by Carly before. As such, it could prepare a guide for you on how to troubleshoot that issue and fix it for good (a bit more on that later). Speaking of, further down the line, and this is something we’re going to see more of soon, the Carly team wants to build an online discussion mechanism of sorts into the app.

The Carly team is actively developing innovative features designed to enhance connectivity within the motoring community. These new tools will facilitate discussions and exchanges of valuable insights between car owners. Users will be able to engage with experts and enthusiasts alike, gaining practical advice and solutions for their vehicle-related issues, guiding them on what steps to take next.

Aside from that, the Carly app (and the OBD device, don’t forget that!) offers additional functionality on top of the more basic, Spartan OBD readers that you could get for the money. Sure, you could clear codes or read up on the definition of each problem it’s found, but you could do other stuff with it. For example, Carly showcases just how severe a particular fault with your car might be. This ought to allow you to better prioritise what needs to be fixed and serviced ASAP, or if there’s anything you could consider putting off.

Carly Review

In my testing, I’ve plugged the Carly into my 2016 Bentley Continental GT Speed, which also happens to be our new project car here at Motor Verso. Right away, the first time it scanned the Bentley, the Carly app told me that it found seven issues. Thankfully, for me, all these errors are just codes that hadn’t been cleared properly before, so I used the Carly app to clear them, and it’s all good thereafter. In between, I’ve had the chance to try out the Carly on some other cars, including our VW Transporter T6 campervan project, as well as a Jaguar I-PACE.

Carly Review

2. Live Data Readouts

Code reading is simple enough, but Carly could further provide live data readings and show readouts for various car functions. This could massively help with diagnosing whatever faults you might have with your car. For example, if you notice that your car has a misfire, you could use Carly to measure the various systems around your car, which might help you narrow down the cause of that misfire. Therefore, you may notice that something has gone awry… Such as abnormally low fuel pressure, or if your air intake airflow isn’t optimal, and it’ll show that as live data on the Carly app.

Pair that with its error code scanning abilities, you may use Carly to see if your ignition timing is off, if some of your oxygen sensors might have failed, or if one of your injectors is worn out. Maybe, your fuel pump isn’t sending any fuel to the engine, or if your battery voltages are too low to crank the engine, and so on. Again, it’s a huge help in narrowing down the underlying cause of that pesky misfire. From these live data recordings, the Carly app might even make recommendations as to what diagnosis is needed afterwards to find out what could be wrong with your car. With all this knowledge in hand, it puts you in a better position if you need to repair and troubleshoot it.

3. Coding

Here’s another cool feature with Carly, though most might not use it. You could use it to code some of your car’s sub-systems, and basically command it to do certain things that otherwise, you might’ve had to visit your local dealer or a workshop to programme it in. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle and what access Carly has to it, there are so many things you could do with it…

You could program and force the brake lights to flash under hard braking, tweak the gear shift indicator on the gauge cluster, or set it so that your interior ambient lighting could turn on or flash when you press a button on your key fob. Again, it’s not something most folks are likely to use or take advantage of, but if you’re looking to maximise customising and personalising your car to really make it your own, you now have the option.

4. Used Car Checks

This is by far and away one of my favourite features of Carly, though it does require you to sign up for an account to use it (but only free account is needed). It basically works similarly to an HPI car check, or if you’re familiar with how car ownership works in the USA, it’s similar to a VIN check. For those unfamiliar with the idea, when you’re buying a used car, you can use these car check services, by typing in the registration plate for any car, and you are now served with detailed information about your car. This includes details like its current MOT status, when the MOT is due, the age of the vehicle, how much mileage it has, and so on.

However, while these basic checks are pretty much available to everyone for free, the more in-depth checks and information for any vehicle are typically paywalled. If you don’t pay up, you’re missing out on knowing whether or not a car has any outstanding finance on it, if it’s been classified as stolen, or if it’s been marked as a write-off. Any irregularities with the car’s mileage readout (more on that later) are another thing these HPI/VIN checks look out for. Moreover, it could inform you whether there were any previous damage reports for that car, telling you how many owners it’s had in the past, and the tax status of the vehicle.

Additionally, and just in case the car you’re looking at wasn’t officially marked as ‘written off’, Carly could even do detailed checks with salvage auctions to see if a particular car has passed through.

Again, all this information, when you’re using other online car check services, you’d typically need to pay a few quid, or upwards of £30 on the higher end of the spectrum for an individual car check. It might not be too costly if and when you’re just checking the past of a single car. But, if you’re comparing between multiple cars as you’re window shopping for the right one, or if you’re a business that handles buying large fleets of vehicles at a time, these fees add up over time. But now, you can access all this information for free when you use the Carly app.

Better yet, since all these online car check services rely on the same databases for all that information for any particular vehicle, the data that Carly provides you is identical. But, you won’t have to pay separately to access that information. So, if you’ve got the app, you can run these checks, free of charge. This has been a huge lifesaver for me, and I’ve already used it countless times before when I’m thinking about buying a used car. I’m sure it ought to help you a lot too, offering you effortless transparency in understanding what a car’s gone through in the past.


5. Mileage Checker

With more and more of us buying cars on finance, or if you might be leasing one or if you’re getting a car on PCP, keeping track of your mileage is important. Bear in mind that a lot of these contracts stipulate that for a certain amount of money down and monthly payments, you’re only allowed to do a certain amount of mileage per year on it. And, if you want to drive more miles, you’ll have to pay more per month on your PCP or leasing contract. Fun fact, the average UK motorist drives around 15,000 miles per year in their cars.

Carly Review

Given how pricey some monthly PCP payments are, more and more motorists these days are using something called mileage blockers or mileage freezers. And, for a few hundred pounds to buy one, these mileage blockers could be saving you thousands each year on monthly loan payments, by allowing you to put more miles on your car than your financing or PCP contracts would normally allow. So, instead of something like £500, you’d instead be paying just £250 per month (just an example). However, the lenders and banks aren’t otherwise aware of it.

These mileage blockers or mileage freezers basically prevent mileage from being tracked properly, and you can even set it to only show a fraction of the miles you’re really doing, thus reflecting that on the odometer. For instance, imagine if your PCP contract only allows you to do 6,000 miles per year, and you’re actually doing in the region of 12,000 miles… Rather than paying double in monthly loan payments, these mileage blockers could be programmed to only log a small percentage of your car’s actual mileage. Hence, it allows you to keep in line as far as the contract requires.

Carly Review

However, the use of mileage blockers and mileage freezers here in the UK is dubious, legally speaking. Now, to be specific, while it might not be strictly illegal to install and use them, it is illegal to not at least mention and disclose your vehicle’s mileage discrepancy when you’re getting your car checked for an MOT. And especially, if you’re trying to sell it off. The latter, in particular, might even constitute fraud, which is not something that you, as a buyer, could easily check. In other words, if you’re buying a used car, you might inadvertently run into the chance of buying a car that actually has more miles under it than what it might show on the dash.

Luckily, this is something that can be solved using Carly’s mileage checker, which checks what your odometer might be showing compared to the cars other systems. These could include reading the Transmission Control Unit or Telematics Systems. These systems among others use various sensors that are able to monitor and record a car’s mileage, and Carly would then compare these readings with what the odometer is showing.

If there’s an anomaly there, the Carly app will subsequently let you know. All this data gets saved on Carly’s massive database too, and Carly claims that already, around 6% of all cars scanned using the Carly have such mileage discrepancies. This is rather significant. So, consider using the Carly mileage checker when you’re buying a car, and check to make sure that the “60,000-mile” Honda you’re buying hasn’t actually done 200,000 miles.

Carly Review

6. Repair Guides

If there are any problems detected with your car, chances are, there’s likely a written guide somewhere on how you can fix it. Here’s another interesting fact, Carly has more than 300,000 users alone in the UK, with 3 million people using Carly around the world. So Carly knows what the common issues are and has commissioned technicians to make useful guides helping people diagnose their issues and help people get their car working faster and often in a more affordable way.

This means you can look at steps and procedures at how you might go about troubleshooting this issue yourself. Or, you can decide if you’d rather let someone else, i.e. a professional mechanic, solve this for you, instead. Carly’s Smart Mechanic feature offers tailored expert advice, such as informing you as to what other symptoms you may notice for any specific faults. Or, what might’ve caused this problem to appear in the first place, as well as providing detailed wikis, manuals, and tips for how you can fix these DIY. Even if you’re not a handy, technically-minded car owner, at the very least, you now know what’s going on.

Carly Review

7. Intelligent Predictions

Here’s another pretty handy feature to help you foresee if problems might appear on your car down the line. If the Carly app has detected that you’ve had a fault code for some issue in the past, it could intelligently predict that you might encounter follow-up problems and fault codes in the future, caused by the earlier problem.

For example, if your car’s logged one electrical systems error code prior, Carly might predict that other electrical or electronic systems on your car may experience failure or issues, as a result. It’s a nice feature for preventative maintenance, allowing you to better understand and plan out beforehand that your car might have issues that need remedy.

8. Service And Maintenance

You may have noticed this in other similar products, and some cars even have this built into the infotainment system, but it’s nevertheless nice to see it bundled with everything else that Carly offers. Here, you can read up and keep track of, or reset the service and maintenance reminders for your car. These could include setting the intervals between oil changes, or when you might have to replace the spark plugs. It’s certainly a way better way of scheduling and planning out your car’s regular servicing and maintenance.

9. Battery Monitoring

Last but not least, if you leave the Carly plugged in, it will continually monitor the health and condition of your car’s battery (if you enable the feature). In so doing, it could inform you if it’s detecting low voltage, and you could see if there are issues such as parasitic drain or low battery levels, and so on. These are just some of the many things the Carly OBD device and mobile app could do. So, if you’re looking to streamline and simplify your car’s servicing and your ownership experience, as well as guaranteeing that you won’t get ambushed by sudden problems, Carly is one of the best investments you could make for your car.

Carly Review

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