Plug the $20 Fixd sensor into your car’s OBD2 port to turn your phone into a car whisperer.

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Fixd

Your car’s dashboard is probably more useless than the sea of unlabeled technicolor lights on the bridge of Captain Kirk’s Enterprise. Check engine light? For what? What’s wrong? That’s the problem that OBD2 sensors try to address; plug one into your car’s onboard diagnostic port (OBD2, for short) and the sensor can send detailed information to an app on your phone to let you know about the health and well-being of your car. Fixd makes a popular OBD2 sensor that usually costs $60. Right now, you can get a Fixd sensor for just $20 when you buy it directly from Fix-d.

Fixd’s isn’t the only OBD2 sensor in town, but it has a great reputation, with a score of 4.1 out of 5 stars based on 4,700 ratings on Amazon (where it’s currently selling for the full price of $60). The scanner itself plugs into the OBD2 port — every car made since 1996 should have one, and Fixd says it works with hybrid cars, too — and syncs with your phone via Bluetooth. It’s able to diagnose about 7,000 error codes and tries to translate them into plain English so you don’t just know what component is failing, but how severe the problem is and what the implications of the issue are.

The mobile app can sync with multiple Fixd sensors, so you can monitor the health of every car in your household from a single phone. And speaking of monitoring, Fixd also knows your maintenance schedule and can remind you to schedule service as needed.

Unlike some OBD2 sensors, the Fixd sensor is focused just on car maintenance — it’s not also a security device or GPS tracker. But I’d say that’s an advantage, because it reduces the cost and complexity, and lets Fixd focus on just letting you stay a step ahead of your car and your auto mechanic.

Update: Get a second FixD for $14. I haven’t confirmed this, but a CNET reports that when you buy a FixD, you immediately get an email offering you 30% off your next purchase. You could apply that discount to a second FixD, which would cost just $14. That’s two for $34.