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Old 11-15-2009, 07:57 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
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Thumbs up My review of MaxiTrip

I bought mine yesterday Sat 20091114 from Princess Auto in Saskatoon. They are having a sale for around the $80 mark.

Before I bought it, I wanted to research the thing, and my search brought me right here. So thanks to all of you for the good information.

I thought maybe someone would benefit from my observations, and there are just a few that have not been made by others.

Here goes:

1. The units can be set to either litres or US Gallons, but not imperial gallons. That's sort of too bad, because I grew up in MPG and have never really mastered Litres per Hundred Kilometres without calculating the conversion, but apparently I'm about to.
2. Voltage displayed reads a bit high: my car reads 15.0/14.9VDC running, and about 13.7 stopped. I haven't compared it to a good DVM, but I know that's a bit too high to be accurate. Still not too big a deal as long as I know its reading about 5 - 10% high.
3. It does display instant and avg litres/100km and (haven't tried it) it SAYS MPG as opposed to 1/MPG
- BUT manual also seems to be saying that it will display 1/MPG, not MPG?
4. The usb port is only for updating the firmware; not for uploading trip data to a computer. You only get to see your saved data on the MaxiTrip screen
5. The backlight is always on and is a slightly blue-ish white. Plenty bright enough yet not so bright as to be distracting. The unit stays on for several seconds after shutdown, presumably while a filter cap discharges. It comes on right away at startup.
6. I set the clock, then 6 hours later it was several hours out.
7. It seems to always fire up in the main menu mode so I always have to tell it what I want to display. Maybe the manual will tell me how to specify a default screen, but I haven't yet found any such.
8. Missing from the box: mounting sticker. I used 1" of velcro with double-sided sticky tape on it. No problem.

Bottom line:
I expected that, for this price, it would be buggy and/or have weird features and/or missing features. I was pleasantly surprised that, when I plugged it in, it started to work about as well as I could have expected (the abovementioned snags aside).

What it does for me:
1. Nag function: If I leave it set to display instantaneous L/100km, then it really encourages me to be gentle with the throttle. That's not a bad thing.
2. Diagnostic Trouble Code reader: I've been wanting to get one, and never quite parted with the money. Never needed one yet either, but now I have one for when a car develops a problem.
3. Gauges: I have now displayed, for the first time on this car (2000 Saturn L-series 2.2l 4 cyl) things like:
- ignition advance
- coolant temp
- throttle position sensor
- Manifold absolute pressure
- Intake air temp (how cold is it outside this morning?)
This gives me more insight into how the sensors should be working when I ever have to start troubleshooting them.

I would buy this again at this price.

If any of you want to communicate with me about this, please respond via e-mail, as I'm not even a lurker here.


Remove the nospams, change dots to periods, change at to @ and you have a valid e-mail address. Please do not repay me by giving my email address to any more spammers.

Regards to all, and thanks again for the info I got here.
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