A couple weeks back, Weldon posted a great round up of iPhone Apps for your car. In it, he covered Car Care and AccuFuel, which handle car maintenance and fuel efficiency tracking, respectively. Well this week brings us Gas Cubby from the folks at App Cubby (who I’ve talked about previously), which handles both of these tasks.
The main functions of Gas Cubby are to track your fuel efficiency and maintenance work on your automobile. Due to the nature of this sort of program, it can take a while to actually get a feel for its use, but luckily a quick export from my AccuFuel application (R.I.P.) and I was busy putting the past couple of months’ worth of fuel history into Gas Cubby. Then the recent tire purchase, oil change, and some other random service records later and I had a good baseline with which to analyze this new application.
Because I was effectively trading out my fuel efficiency application, I’ll start with that part of Gas Cubby. The biggest difference is that when entering your data, you take the reading from the Odometer, not the Trip Meter. Tracking the Odometer makes it possible to keep up with the overall ‘age’ of your car, and allows Gas Cubby to also issue reminders about upcoming service you may need. But more on that in a minute.
I happen to prefer the Odometer reading to the Trip anyhow, because from time to time I forget to reset my Trip, and I’m anal retentive enough to be annoyed that my MPG tracking will be off (by maybe .05 gallons…). The somewhat jarring result in this shift is the fact that when entering the data for your current fill-up, you won’t be getting the MPG for the new tank, until you fill up again. Thinking about this, it actually makes sense – you’re not calculating the MPG on the fuel you’re just now putting in the car! But we’ve sort of been conditioned for instant gratification, and as such, this change may seem peculiar at first blush.
Gas Cubby captures all automotive expenditures (as long as you put them in of course), not just your fuel consumption. So each time you buy new tires (as I just did), or change the oil, brakes, or any other work, Gas Cubby will keep track of it. Truth be told, it’s a little depressing seeing how much I’ve spent on my car over the past 2-3 months. Ah well.
What takes this iPhone application to the next level, is its ability to give you maintenance reminders. My automobile isn’t the newer kind that yell at you and blink a million lights in your face when it’s time to change the oil, so it’s easy for me to forget — especially if that little static sticker in the corner of the windshield falls over prematurely. So now I’ve got Gas Cubby which allows me to configure the duration (in miles or months) before I need to have my next service performed. It defaults to the average timeframes (3,000 miles for oil changes or 12 months for tire rotation, for instance), though these values can be customized to your liking.
My biggest gripe about AccuFuel was the lack of historical information about my data entries. It gave nice graphs of my MPG over time, but nothing more. With Gas Cubby just turn your iPhone to the landscape view and you get a series of graphs representing your mpg over time, price per gallon, total gas costs (tank fill-ups), and total service expenses. Perhaps not all important information, but it’s nice to be able to take a look (especially these days after fuel prices have been declining!). And of course you can track multiple vehicles with Gas Cubby too.
It’s another solid offering from App Cubby. It’ll cost you about two gallons of gas (these days!), that is to say, $4.99 in the App Store.