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What is Carly?
Why should I buy Carly?
DIY OBD readers aren’t exactly hard to find, and there is a good choice, so why should you buy Carly? Well, it’s not a device that can just do code scanning; it can also carry out coding, used car checks, live data checks, and you can reset your service light. In fact, Carly has a handy little graphic on their website to show the differences.
Put your money where you OBD port is
Ok, so Carly’s device sounds pretty bulletproof in theory, but how much is it? Prices are subject to change, and they can vary per country. Currently in the UK the device is £64.90 and there is also a subscription cost, although it’s not mandatory. It is beneficial, though, as it does of course unlock more features. If you want a subscription that covers just one brand, it’s £2.42 per month and £6.17 per month to cover all brands.
Given the fact I felt I didn’t need the subscription for all brands, I selected the one just for SEAT. There was a pleasant surprise, though, because SEAT is part of the VAG, I also get access to VW, Skoda and Audi. You’ll need the app to work alongside the device, but that is free of charge and available to download from the App Store, or Google Play.
With the app installed and the device in the palm of my hand, it was time to get to work. Connecting Carly to the car was a simple three step process, which took no time at all. First you will need to plug the device in your car’s OBD port, which is usually located under the dash near the steering wheel.
Step two is simply turn you car’s engine on, and the third is to make sure your phone’s bluetooth is on. So far, so simple. In a matter of a few moments, the device was connected to my car and ready to rock and roll. Once at the landing page, you’ll have a few options to choose from, depending on what task you want to carry out.
For the purpose of this review, I carried out the device’s bread and butter function – a code scan. The scan was easy and pain-free to carry out, with results just seconds away. I was presented with five fault codes in total, one of which was of course for the airbag warning light. The app gives you option to clear the codes should you wish to do so, but the app records the history of them in case you need to refer back to them. This only applies if you have a subscription, though.
It’s early days, and I’m yet to explore the full features of Carly, but so far, so good. The simplicity of the app is very positive and the lack of faff makes DIY diagnostics easy. At this stage there’s very little I can honestly grumble about. Having said that, I would like the option to be able to pay monthly instead of having to pay the year’s subscription upfront.
More reports to follow…