An AA trial of a remote diagnostics system has found almost one in five vehicles developed problems that could be identified before they broke down.
The AA has been trialling its AA Connect system on 10,000 cars and has so far found that 17% of vehicles developed problems. However, early diagnosis meant that the issues could be repaired before they led to a roadside call out.
The system works by using a small device plugged into the car’s diagnostic socket, which monitors data including battery condition, electrics and engine management. Data is sent to the AA in real time and can be monitored by the driver using a smartphone app. Drivers can be alerted by text if an issue is detected, although during the trial 85% percent of users checked the app daily.
The three main faults detected so far have been with the ignition coil, the exhaust gas recirculation valve and the mass air flow sensor.
The AA is halfway through the trial and hopes to roll out a connected service to its members in 2017. Alan Ferguson, head of AA Connected Car, said he was greatly encouraged by the results so far.
“Although there is work still to do, we have been able to pinpoint potentially serious faults on some cars,” he said. “It is clear that breakdowns can be averted, providing an excellent customer experience as well as reducing pressure on the AA’s roadside resources.
“The trial has brought some interesting cases, including highlighting a major fault on a member’s vehicle prior to the family setting off on a European driving holiday which could have led to a potentially costly and disruptive breakdown in France.