Don’t you hate when you get a check engine warning light? Sometimes, it’s something serious that warrants major repairs, but often it’s something simple. Figuring out what’s going on (and whether you can fix it on your own or not) generally means a trip to a mechanic; more often than not, they’re going to charge you to hook your vehicle up to their diagnostic machine, even if no repairs are done! The Nonda ZUS Smart Vehicle Monitor Mini can help, and you can get one for free — you’ll pay the shipping cost.
Four years ago, I reviewed the Nonda ZUS Smart Car Finder and USB Car Charger; it came with way more functionality than usual — including an automatic car finder, a parking time alarm, a mileage log, the ability to share your parking location, and a battery health monitor. They’ve since introduced the $59.99 ZUS Smart Vehicle Monitor Mini, which can do even more.
The ZUS Smart Vehicle Monitor Mini is a plug-and-play device that, once installed, can automatically log your trips (and easily export them for IRS compliant reports at tax time), keep tabs on your engine’s health with real-time alerts, scan your car and read error codes whenever the check engine light pops up (each vehicle error code comes with a full diagnosis and easy self-repair video tutorial), clear the error codes after you’ve fixed the issue, analyze your driving habits, help you monitor and log your car data, and yes — it will also help you locate your parked car. The only thing it can’t do is charge your smartphone. 😉
The ZUS Smart Vehicle Health Monitor Mini package comes with simple instructions, a small black OBD-II port connector device, and its upper cover.
All you have to do is snap the cover over the part with all of the little circuit boards showing, leaving the OBD-II pins exposed.
Next, you should download the ZUS app from Android Play or the Apple App Store.
Now, if you don’t already know where it is, it’s time to locate your vehicle’s OBD-II port. I have a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and my port is right out in the open on the lower left of the driver’s side. Yeah, I know it’s gross, and my Jeep is filthy; in my defense, I live on a ranch, and this is a Jeep, after all. 😉
The ZUS Smart Vehicle Monitor Mini plugs right into that port.
Next, you open the app, create an account, and follow the directions …
Once you’ve done that, the ZUS Smart Vehicle Monitor Mini will start receiving info from your vehicle’s system.
You’ll note that at the bottom of the Dashboard screen, there are three dots. The first screen shows what’s going on in your system right now. Since I was sitting in my driveway (and had just connected the module), there’s not much information yet.
The next screen will propagate with more information as I drive my vehicle over time. It will show, for instance, how much time my engine spends idling, how much time I spend speeding, although to be fair — when you click on the tile, it shows that driving between 55 and 60 mph is typically the most fuel-efficient. Our highway speed limits are 70 to 80, and due to the pandemic, I’m only on them once a week or so when I make my Angelo run for groceries, but I’ll likely show more “Speeding” because of that. Rapid Acceleration and Hard Braking are the next tiles, and they’ll basically let you know about whether you’re driving efficiently or if you’re trying to take away my “Lead-Foot Lipsett” title (ha — good luck with that!). High Rev lets you know if you are regularly driving in the most economical rpm range.
The last Dashboard page has tiles, where you can add multiple system checks that you’d like to keep an eye on. A warning will pop up, though, saying that due to OBD-II data limitations, the more tiles you add, the less frequently each item will be updated.
Perhaps the coolest feature, though, is under the bottom menu, under Safety. When you click it, you’ll be instructed to do your first full system scan.
Pressing the button will start the scan.
Good news for me!
My vehicle is very well maintained, but there have been minor issues pop up in the almost five years I’ve owned it. If something should be revealed during a scan, the app will explain what’s going on and walk me through a tutorial on what I need to do to fix it — possibly by myself, if possible. Right now, there are over 150 video tutorials that show how to fix each P-code on your own, and there are over 250 come videos coming soon. If one of my scans should return an error code in the future, the corresponding DIY video will show up in my app and be sent to my email.
There are no hidden fees to use the Smart Vehicle Monitor Mini, and the only data being collected by the ZUS app is the data needed to supply the features you are using. If, for example, I were to use the Mileage Log feature for a tax deduction, the ZUS app would record all of my trip locations and times to meet the IRS requirement. If I am using the Auto Car Finder feature, it will use location data from my connected device to record my parking location to find my car in even the most obscure location.
Long story short, Nonda is giving away two million of their $59.99 ZUS Smart Vehicle Monitor Mini as part of their “Tech Up, Drive Safer” campaign, and they will even ship internationally. Coupled with their free ZUS iOS or Android app, the ZUS Smart Vehicle Monitor will work in all US and international vehicles with an ODB-II port — this includes most cars manufactured after 1996, including electric vehicles. If you’re still unsure if it will work on your vehicle, you can scroll down to the bottom of the sale page, enter your vehicle’s year, make, and model for confirmation.
Get your FREE Nonda ZUS Smart Vehicle Health Monitor Mini here; all you have to do is pay for shipping, which is typically $14.82 and includes tracking.