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car details keychain

a special flash drive that comes with the car
  (+21)(+21)(+21)
(+21)
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Suppose that when you bought a car, along with it would come a special flash drive.

I'm imagining the flash drive housed in a hot-wheels sized replica of the car, but that would just be a nice addition.

In the flash drive would be a detailed owner's manual (like the Haynes guide, but specific to the exact car), details about all the replacement parts and the maintenance, repair and accident history.

When you go to the auto store to buy a part, they can scan your flash drive and get exactly the right part and update the drive that you purchased the part.

When you plug the drive in the computer, it can report the information to a central database.

Along with everyone else's maintenance history, a database can be compile that will give you an idea of what parts will need servicing next.

talldave, Jul 07 2008

USB ignition key story at realtechnews http://www.realtechnews.com/posts/1757
A somewhat similar idea [talldave, Jul 07 2008]

[link]






       + I think it's a good idea and it could re-boot the computer from problems that occur with cars that are totally controlled by computer chips! ( I hate the *Check Engine* light)
xandram, Jul 07 2008
  

       Toy car flash drives are baked, I realize that's not the primary idea here though.   

       Pretty awesome idea, keeping all your maintenance records and everything else in that one handy place.   

       Let's say I did have a "Check Engine" light on in my car, could I take this flash drive to the dealer or parts store, have them read it and tell me whether I have a real problem or not?
Noexit, Jul 07 2008
  

       // take this flash drive to the dealer //   

       Of course they will tell you "something is wrong". They are ghouls, and traders in human misery; they prey upon the week, the helpless, and the automotively uneducated. If only *they* have the software to make sense of the fault codes, then they are in an even more ideal position to screw the poor long suffering and penurious motorist.   

       Better to have a mandatory unified engine interface protocol, like IP or GSM, with lots of freeware tools. Dealers would HATE that .......   

       The idea of having the exact make and model recorded earns a bun, as does the manual in electronic form; as to the "report to central database" thing, no, definitely not. If the car has built in GPS you could be uploading a lot of information about your whereabouts to an insecure system, and besides, you may not want people to know that you've been tweaking the map in the ECU.
8th of 7, Jul 07 2008
  

       great stuff. do I put the oil in where the dipstick goes?
po, Jul 07 2008
  

       // do I put the oil in where the dipstick goes? //   

       No, put the oil in the top of the engine through the filler cap, and let the dipstick sit in the passenger seat as usual. Make sure he wears his seatbelt.
8th of 7, Jul 07 2008
  

       I agree with [8th of 7] in that that the ghouls will prey on the clueless and in the modern world, without outrageously expensive test equipment, we are all somewhat clueless. Still, I purchase these items (Haynes guide, etc) from local markets and use them but they never match perfectly.   

       Current maintenance records and part numbers would be excellent but you can’t store them where the ghouls might have their way with them or allow thieves will steal it.   

       Something that could be backed up elsewhere and stored on your key ring would do nicely. Perhaps a smart key with a memory. [+]
CwP, Jul 07 2008
  

       Why a fob? Perhaps we can simply attach the key to the USB stick. When you push the key in, the stick is also pushed into the USB port to talk to the car's computer.
Bukkakinator, Jul 08 2008
  

       I recently discovered this is semi (but not half) baked. I had a warning light come on in my car (a BMW 330), and the service adviser simply scanned my key (the one that starts the car) and knew what the light was about (never even looked at the car). Who knows what other information they store on the key...
wuj3888, Oct 29 2008
  
      
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