Review: Engine Tester – Keep Your Car Running Smooth

Review: Engine Tester – Keep Your Car Running Smooth

When you consider the wealth of apps and functions of the iPhone, most people only have a handful of typical uses.  The iPhone is commonly seen as a music player, an internet device, and a way to stay connected.  Some iPhone owners have even found a way to turn their device into a productivity tool.  A new app on the scene, The Engine Tester, is looking to bring the iPhone to the garage to help drivers keep their car(s) running smooth.


The Engine Tester ($0.99 in the App Store) is designed as a digital maintenance log and engine performance monitor for your automobile.  Requiring no special adapters or readers, the app seeks to provide an analysis of your engines performance and service to keep you running smoothly.

engine test start screen

There 2 features of The Engine Tester provided very diverse experiences in testing.  Using the maintenance checklist, you’re able to quickly verify that the proper fluids are filled, lights are shining, and other components are in good, working order.

The checklist is also something that could come in handy for those who are car shopping.  When looking at used cars, many buyers overlook the “little things” which can cost them significantly more down the road. Using the engine checklist, you are verifying that you are aware of the condition of the vehicle.

engine test checklist

The other function of the Engine Tester is the performance reader.  Using your iPhone’s microphone, The Engine Tester records a 10-second clip of your running engine and analyzes it for consistency.  If an engine is timed poorly, misfiring, or otherwise performing poorly, the app is designed to tell you so.

In testing, the performance reader did not seem to be as accurate as I’d have expected.  In my test, I used an older car with several engine issues.  While I could her the engine running inconsistently, The Engine Tester reported back that my engine was running well, with a positive result.

engine test result

Verdict: [rating: 3]

The Engine Tester is a unique concept for an app, as many industries look to simplify their workload.  Using the Engine Tester as a digital checklist for maintenance or when looking at purchasing a car, the app seems fairly useful, although there are MANY checklist apps available that could serve the same purpose and more.  The concept of using an audio sample of a running engine to monitor performance sounds great, but I’m not confident in the apps performance and results to trust it.  If I can hear a poorly running engine and the app doesn’t, just how bad does an engine have to be performing to return a negative result?


  • Virtual checklist provides thorough elements to monitor
  • Use of internal iPhone functionality (not 3rd party accessories)


  • Potentially inaccurate results from engine performance monitor
  • Half-baked app design (at least on iPhone 5)

If you’re shopping for a used car, and want your iPhone to give a little input in the process, check out The Engine Tester for iPhone, $0.99 in the App Store.

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