Wednesday, November 23, 2005

ScanGauge MPG Gauge

ScanGauge - A Plug In Digital Gauge That Displays Car. Tested on Hybrid Cars and Non Hybrid Cars

Guide Rating -
ScanGauge is Linear Logicas 3-in-One automotive computer than reads information from your car's computers and displays it on a backlit digital screen. It integrates a Scan Tool, Digital Gauges, and a Trip Computer into one self-contained unit. No tools are needed to install it because it plugs into the diagnostic connector found under the dash on 1996 and newer cars and light trucks.

I tested the ScanGauge on several hybrid cars and non hybrid cars over the past few months and have been pleased with its usefulness. It was especially helpful to provide feedback to improve fuel economy in non hybrid cars as well as provide more detailed information that is not available in some hybrid cars.

As a scan tool it reads and displays engine trouble codes which can then be cleared/reset via the ScanGauge. It can also reset the dreaded Check engine light. I was able to use this feature with ease on both my hybrid car and my non hybrid car. Heck, this feature alone saved me two $70 trips to the car dealer to get that darn light reset.

As A Set Of Digital Gauges
The ScanGauge is very intuitive making it easy to quickly move it between hybrid cars and non hybrid cars alike. It has the ability to display up to 4 of the 12 predefined gauges on its realtime display screen while still allowing you to easily toggle to the remaining 8. In non hybrid cars I generally set the gauge to display the RPM, MPG, Water Temperature and Gallons per hour. In hybrid cars I often had RPM, throttle position, intake air temp, and Water Temperature displayed. Again, you can change any of these selections with a press of a button. While I found it did not read all info on all cars, it did a pretty good job getting the info I needed. (Go to page two of this review for the full list of 12 gauges available.)

As A Trip Computer
In addition to the instantaneous readout, it also tracks three additional sets of trip data including current trip, cumulative for today, and cumulative for the previous day. For these trips it can track maximum RPM, speed, and coolant temperature, as well as driving time, driving distance, amount of fuel used, and trip mpg. The ScanGauge does not have the ability to export data to an external source, but that seems common for units in the under $150 price range.

Why Would You Want One?
For Cars That Do Not Have An Instantaneous MPG Gauge. Often people ask me how they can improve their fuel economy. While hybrid cars have gauges that give fuel economy feedback, usually non hybrid cars do not. With ScanGauge, non hybrid cars can now have fuel economy information at their fingertips, too. Drivers can immediately see the fuel economy difference between driving 75 mph and 65mph. What they do with this knowledge is up to them.
For Hybrid Cars That Do Not Provide Data You WantEven though hybrid cars come with lots of neat gauges, sometimes there is still a desire to see even more detailed information. What exactly do the segments on the temperature gauge equate to in real numbers? What RPM is the engine spinning? What is the intake air temperature? The ScanGauge can answer these questions and more.

Two Caveats For Hybrid Car Owners. First, I found the ScanGauge mpg calculations cannot accommodate the lean burn engine found in specific hybrid cars, such as the 5-speed Honda Insight. If tracking mpg in your lean-burning vehicle via the ScanGauge is of utmost importance, you may want to skip the ScanGauge for now. I do not expect a current update to this unless there is enough demand.

Second, the ScanGauge does not compute mileage when a hybrid cars Internal Combustion Engine is not running. (Stealth mode as some hybrid car owners call it.) There may be a future correction for this, but if tracking mpg in your hybrid car via the ScanGauge is important toy you, you may want to wait until this is feature is updated. In the meantime you can ask Linear Logic to put you on a waiting list and they will contact you when this particular update is made. As a side note: If you are a hybrid car owner in the Phoenix area, you can help get the update to market more quickly by contacting Ron Delong at ScanGauge and allowing him to try out the beta version of the hybrid-car-tweaked unit on your car before they produce them for the rest of the hybrid car owners. Contact Ron via email at

Overall the ScanGauge is fun, easy to use, and works as promised. First, as a scan tool it efficiently allowed me to view and reset engine trouble codes, and reset the Check Engine light in both hybrid and non hybrid cars. Secondly, as digital gauges it provided the feedback needed to improve fuel economy in non hybrid cars. It also displayed detailed engine information that was missing on hybrid cars. And although it was not always effective at calculating fuel economy in hybrid cars, the fuel economy calculation for non hybrid cars was right on.
I find the ScanGauge to be a good value, and with a 30 day money back guarantee, it is clear the company stands behind its product.

Technical Details Price $129.95 Goto ScanGage Website


  • Scan Tool Feature
  • Reads Trouble Codes
  • Reads conditions that set the Trouble Code
  • Clears Trouble Codes
  • Turns off "Check Engine" light
  • Make and store up to 10 rewritable special codes to send to the vehicle computer
    12 Digital Gauges Available (Four Can display at one time, with the rest available to toggle through.)
  • Fuel Economy (MPG - gasoline engines only)
  • Fuel Rate (GPH - gasoline engines only)
  • Battery Voltage
  • Coolant Temperature
  • Intake Air Temperature
  • Engine Speed (RPM)
  • Vehicle speed (MPH)
  • Manifold Pressure (not available on some vehicles)
  • Engine Load
  • Throttle Position
  • Ignition Timing
  • Open/Closed Loop
  • Trip Computer info Automatically tracks three sets of trip data - Current (short) Trip Days (total) Trips Previous Days Trips
  • Maximum Speed
  • Average Speed
  • Maximum Coolant Temperature
  • Maximum RPM
  • Driving Time
  • Driving Distance
  • Fuel Used (Gasoline engines only)
  • Trip Fuel Economy(Gasoline engines only)Dimensions5.2" wide by 2.7" high by 2.1" deep.
  • The cord from the diagnostic connector to the control/display is 8' long and about 0.2" in diameter.


1 comment:

Mark Henshaw said...

Anybody know if the Scangage is Made in USA? I am looking for some good stories about Made In USA Products and this seems like a good candidate but is it really USA-made?
I know deliveries ship from an AZ address but would like some confirmation on the actual sourcing of the product before I link them to a "Made in USA" website!