Monthly Archives :

May 2015

Move over credit score… Here comes the driving score!

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Working at Zubie, people often ask me about the future of driving (Hint: it is not only about self-driving cars). There is a silent change in the making that will radically transform the way we buy, drive and resell cars and it is taking off right now.

 

Introducing your Driving Score.

The same way your credit score reflects the way you spend your money, your driving score will show the type of car owner you are.

There’s one big difference though and it is to the advantage of the driving score. You are in control at all time and can choose to share this information or not.

The first step in getting your driving score is to subscribe to an analytics platform that collects, store and analyze driving data. Included in the service is a free device that you just plug in the diagnostic port of your car.  Zubie is one of these services.

Once the device is activated, it starts sending driving data to your account in the cloud. For obvious privacy reason, this data should only be available to you. It is important to choose a service that performs regular security audits and comes with a comprehensive privacy policy.  By connecting your car to this platform every piece of your driving data will be continuously collected trip after trip. Layers and layers of how, when, where and why you drive will be stored in the cloud day after day. This information can be visualized on a phone, tablet or a web site. For people who’d like to become safer drivers or improve gas mileage this type of service very valuable but it is only the tip of the iceberg.

Your service should also have commercial relations with third party automotive suppliers and you may sign up to receive offers based on your car make and model as well as driving behavior. This is very similar to the Groupon app, only focusing on vehicle maintenance, extended warranty, road assistance and insurance. Getting highly relevant offers that will save you money on car ownership is another great benefit and can make your subscription pays for itself.

Happy ending? Sure…But the story does not end here.

First, knowing that you are using a driving analytic platform the dealer will now extend an offer on service and maintenance in exchange for getting real time information such as check engine lights and low battery alerts as soon as they are detected. Armed with this information the dealer will know in advance when to schedule your car for service and what type of parts he needs to order to keep the vehicle running.

Driving analytics platforms like Zubie will pave with data the roads of the future. A future where you and your data will always be in charge.

Top 5 Common Toyota Camry Repair Problems

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Our guest blogger this month is Joe Campanella of CARCHEX. Get a Warranty Quote

The Toyota Camry holds a place as one of the most valued cars on the auto market. Not only is it a great drive, but the Toyota’s reliability stands out as exemplary. However, like any other vehicle, the Camry can, and does, breakdown on occasion.

So what should a Toyota Camry owner look out for?

1. Check Engine Light

Nobody likes to see this little light come on. Even the legendary Camry can’t prevent this from happening 100% of the time. One of the most commons causes of this is due to a faulty oxygen sensor.

These sensors detect engine exhaust oxygen levels. Engine performance can be affected by temperature, humidity, altitude, and engine load. Your car’s computer automatically adjusts the engine function in response to the amount of oxygen detected in the exhaust. Replacement of the sensor can cost $300 or more.

2. Power Steering Pump and Hoses Leak

It pays to frequently check the power steering fluid levels in your Camry. Leaking is one of the more common problems, and sometime the repairs can be tricky. The difficulty lies in the fact that the leak can be coming from different places. Unfortunately, some mechanics will just replace part after part without really looking for the leak.

Power steering leak repair can sometimes end up costing you thousands of dollars. This problem appears more often in the V6 model Camry.

3. Motor Mount Wear

The motor mount helps secure the engine to the car’s frame. The mount also helps absorb the vibrations of the road and of the engine motion itself. Motor mount wear is more common in higher mileage vehicles, and it often shows up as a shaking or vibration when the car is idling.

If left unattended for too long, this problem can lead to a cracked engine block that can cost $3,000 or more to repair. Changing the mount alone typically costs $350 or more.

4. Oil Leak from Valve Cover Gasket

The valves in your Camry’s engine are covered by valve covers and gaskets. These covers prevent the leakage of oil. If they get damaged, you guessed it, you get an oil leak. You might smell burning oil or see oil on the ground after your car is parked for a while.

Sometimes the covers simply need to be tightened. If the valve cover or gasket is cracked, you’ll need a replacement. Repairs of this kind can cost anywhere between $240 to $350.

5. Transmission Hesitation

You might feel the automatic transmission lag upon acceleration. This could be a computer problem, and updating the vehicle’s software might fix it. On car’s with higher mileage, it could be a worn transmission part. Once parts are replaced, it’s important to update the software again.

Transmission repairs typically start at around $1,000 and go up from there depending on the severity of the problem.

Consider An Extended Warranty

Today’s vehicles are more complex than ever. This can mean expensive repairs. With an extended vehicle protection plan, your repair costs are covered. Through Zubie Perks, you can get $100 off an extended warranty package from our trusted partner CARCHEX.  Go to Zubie > Perks to redeem.

As the leading auto warranty insurer, CARCHEX has collected years of repair warranty claim data on thousands of vehicle makes and models. Specific types of Camry repairs highlighted in this article are derived from data provided by RepairPal, a CARCHEX partner. Repair costs derived from both RepairPal, as well as CARCHEX based on actual warranty related data for 2002-2014 vehicles. 

 

Fuel Finder, Emergency alerts, Trip merging

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The latest update to the Zubie app is now available, and has a couple of great new features and numerous improvements. Your feedback has been instrumental in driving our product roadmap, so please keep it coming via email, twitter (@GoZubie) or on our community forum.

Merging of Trips
Multiple trips can now be merged into a single entity. Browsing and organizing trips has always been a core feature in Zubie and indispensable for many users. Previously, this had relied only on ignition on or off to determine when a trip began and ended. This meant that a stop for gas or a brief stop at a convenience store would essentially break up a long trip into unnecessary multiple segments. The new merge feature allows you to select and merge trip segments individually or by day, and makes it easier for tagging and reporting. The merge is fully reversible so no details are lost about the trip segments. This feature also helps to overcome issues with some hybrids and vehicles with start/stop capability. There are more exciting things to come in this area as we expand on the notion of a trip and the information associated with it.

Fuel Finder
Gas stations and prices are now incorporated into the experience as we expand on the fuel-level monitoring features introduced in the last version. Fuel level displays and alerts are now linked to a Fuel-Finder screen that displays nearby gas stations and fuel prices. We hope you find this a convenient feature that also saves you a few bucks on fill-ups.

Emergency Alert
A new alert notifies you of extreme braking situations that are indicative of emergency maneuvers or a potential crash.

Other improvements
We’ve also made numerous improvements to location accuracy especially in situations involving weak GPS signals such as underground garages. The Live Map animations and refreshes are now slightly faster. And perk notifications sent via email or push messages can now easily be redeemed in a single step on your mobile app.

More to come

We’re already hard at work on the next update which brings some great new insights into your car and cool new features for driving. In the meantime, please check out the new features in this update and let us know what you think!