VHR Sync App allows vehicle Self-Diagnosis

Vehicle Health Report

Car not running right? Ford’s VHR gets up-to-minute info e-mailed to you.

Since 2010, new Ford owners have had a really cool app, built right in their dashboard, which allows them to perform self-diagnostics on their vehicle it’s like having a doctor in the dashboard.

This no-charge program is called Vehicle Health Report and its true, the doctor really does make “house calls.”Since 2009 Ford has been adding into its Sync hands-free telematics system a couple of programs that don’t get much recognition. The 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report programs require a 2010 or newer Ford with the correct “hardware” and the Sync system.

The one app will automatically dial 911 on a paired phone through the Sync system if your car is in an accident and the airbags deploy.With your phone on and paired to the system, the Sync system calls the nearest 911 operator and relays latitude, longitude and elevation coordinates (thus giving the EMTs a GPS clue as to where you are) and allows you to speak to the 911 operator. With the introduction of the 2015 models, some Fords will also relay to the 911 operator the type of vehicle you are in and how fast you were going at impact.

The Vehicle Health Report app requires a little groundwork before you get the most benefit. When a customer opens a complimentary Sync My Ride account at www.syncmyride.com. A smiliar (and linked) website for internet support is support.ford.com they can specify their preferred dealer, what type of driving conditions they typically experience and more. After users register at syncmyride.com and activate VHR, they can conveniently generate reports using simple voice commands in the vehicle for display on syncmyride.com.

When the user initiates VHR, SYNC collects the vehicle’s mileage and diagnostic data from the major electronic systems and transfers the data to Ford using the customer’s Bluetooth-paired and connected mobile phone or you can have it sent to your preferred e-mail account.

A comprehensive report is generated from vehicle data and includes system information and recommended actions for any displayed vehicle warning indicators, open recalls, Ford scheduled maintenance, and unserviced maintenance and wear items from previous dealer visits.

Users can select to receive a text message or e-mail when their report is ready on syncmyride.com. They can print the report, e-mail it to others or, in one click, be at their preferred dealer’s Web site with their health report information waiting to schedule service online. Depending on the user’s preference settings, SYNC can also deliver a text message alert to the user’s cell phone if a severe issue exists with one of the SYNC-monitored systems.

The VHR system translates complicated codes and descriptions into easy-to-understand language for users and provides recommended actions specific to vehicle’s operating condition and service history.

It also gives users background information on what specific warning indicators mean and details beyond a light. This helps them learn more about their car and provides additional security and peace of mind with their ownership experience.

Even if the SYNC-monitored vehicle systems are “all green,” VHR provides valuable information about systems operation, maintenance and more.

Users also have the option to set up SYNC to automatically remind them to run a VHR when it’s time to perform scheduled maintenance. You can also set the oil change reminder depending on the mileage range you choose, right in the vehicle!

Through a single button click and a voice command, users can also reproduce their VHR in about a minute. Whatever the vehicle was experiencing at the time will be reported in the file. So now, if you pull into the service department and tell the advisor that you were having trouble, you will have a written report that states those things they need to follow up on. Usually, the advisor will ask “what kind of trouble?” and then it’s your turn to do an improvised description. Ford seems to be the only manufacturer out there with a program such as  Vehicle Health Report. More than a phone app, this program works where and when you need it. The profile information is easily transferred to Ford’s online appointment system to schedule service directly with the preferred dealership.

When I did a report I also got 14 coupons on brakes, tires, oil changes and more. And, I also found out that I had a credit from my Owners Advantage Rewards program. How cool is that?

This is a customer rewards program that most Ford dealers participate in. It gives a credit back for parts and service bought at the dealer. Seems that taking good care of your vehicle is a whole lot easier, thanks to Ford. Once again, with the introduction of some 2015 Ford and Lincoln models, the availability and usage of these two apps may change. However, you would still need the Sync system to use, have a internet account linked to an e-mail, a paired phone, and the App active for these two apps to work.

For those with Sync in their vehicles, see your account at www.syncmyride.com or at support.ford.com or owner.ford.com

Technology in your car …is it going too far?

There is a quiet revolution going on in the dashboard of your car. You may not realize it, but in the past five years there have been many technological advances made in new vehicles. Many of us are not aware of all of the advances in gadgetry, and the question is, has technology gone too far?
Recently Consumer Reports, a widely read consumer magazine, actually gave a negative review of the new Ford 2011 Edge with the new MyFord Touch technology because, in their opinion, the vehicle’s technology was not “user friendly.” Their complaint is based on their belief that auto makers are forcing technology down the throats of consumers. But are they? Could it be that consumers are already demanding more and more sophisticated technology to ensure more driving excitement?
Nowadays almost everyone is using a cellphone — and it’s not just for talking to someone. They use a phone for texting, sending e-mail, checking FaceBook status, surfing the internet and more. Consumers are bombarded with dozens of ads for cellphones every night on TV. Consumers are embracing the technologies. They use it in everyday life. There are “apps” for everything. Cell phone technology is taking a computer from your desktop and putting in your pocket. Now we’re starting to demand it in our dashboards as well.
Ford is on the forefront with it’s SYNC hands-free communications systems. Introduced in early 2007, this system uses voice commands and steering wheel mounted controls to make it easy for a driver to keep their concentration on the road and still make and receive phone calls. Some drivers can even hear their text messages read to them while driving.
In just four short years, these systems have evolved into the MyFord Touch systems found on the 2011 Edge and the 2011 Explorer. A similar scaled-down version is found on the 2011 Fiesta. The new 2012 Focus will bring even more connectivity when it arrives in showrooms in just another month. Drivers now have the option of voice-activated control, touch screen access, use five-way steering wheel mounted controls, even a few touch-activated buttons and knobs for the “old schoolers.” The SYNC hands-free communications system is found on the Ford Mustang, Ford Taurus, Ford Escape, Ford Expedition, the Ford F-150 and the F-Series Super Duty trucks. Even now, some of Ford’s vehicles can create a Wi-Fi zone so passengers can surf the internet on devices linked to a host.
Consumers don’t really need to “kick the tires” on a new vehicle any more. They want to know what technology they can access in their vehicle. The internet has become a required tool for car shopping. Once they find a vehicle, then the customers have to learn how to use those features.
One Tulsa, Oklahoma automotive dealer, Bob Hurley Ford, now offers a Personal Technology Consultant to its customers. The consultant, Vincent Hennigan, takes the time to discover each customer’s technology “comfort level.” He determines the best way to help them discover and get to know all of the technology in their vehicle. And, the support is on-going. Who knows, customers may change cell phones, change their cell phone carrier or find the need for new gadgets during their vehicle ownership. They may need to come back for more demonstrations and explanations. New Apps are being made for vehicles every day. It used to be that car dealers sold cars and had a service department to handle care and maintenance. Technology support now fills a new niche to help consumers.
Hennigan said rather than fearing evolving technologies, maybe the consumer just needs to know how to embrace those technologies. So it’s time for consumer to jump into this high tech world and have fun with it. Auto magazine critics already miss the day when you could just talk about horsepower and handling. Maybe it’s time for them to take on more technological issues and learn something new. It sure seems that the automobile buyers are already moving in that direction…
For more information, please contact Vincent Hennigan at 918-445-6081, or send e-mail to: fordtechlane@gmail.com