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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just got mine today in the mail after a few week's wait. The KIWI-MPG is the KIWI's little cousin and (I suppose) was supposed to be a contender for the Scangauge market. My initial conclusion after a day of testing?

For half the price of a Scangauge, you get half as much.

Total price was around $87 and for this, you get a neat little chromed package with a short OBD pigtail -permanently- attached (the case is too small to fit a plug and socket, about 1"x2.5" and about 3/8" thick - about half the size of a Scangauge. Unlike the Scangauge's two line LCD, the KIWI display is one line yellow LED, about 3/8" high and two buttons, "mode" and "set". It's so dim that I found it hard to read in the daylight.

The box is impressive but the "instruction book" is a page and a half of small type from some one's laser printer. If you're not familiar with how to use a Scangauge, it probably won't make a whole lot of sense.

KIWI seems to think that you don't need to calibrate the KIWI MPG to get it to read the correct mph. You can do it, but they recommend that you leave it alone. It works exactly the same as the Scangauge so all I can say is: Strange...

Functions? You get the trip computer basics - instantaneous mpg, trip mpg, fuel used, fuel remaining, cost of yada yada, as well as a few basics which probably fit the limited Honda OBD port usage better than some other brands. It shows the current speed, throttle position, coolant temperature, and a couple other things which I can't remember at the moment. If you're interested, there's more info at the manufacturer's web site.

http://www.plxkiwi.com/kiwimpg/


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When first plugged in, my KIWI MPG kept complaining that my OBD port had failed. Removing it and then plugging back in fixed that problem, but curious enough, it repeats the same pattern every time I plug it in the Element. First time fail, second time works. Strange...

The cord comes straight out the end and that's what you have to work with. There's no "cord hiding" with the KIWI. Also, the pigtail is fairly short so don't expect to put it up above the dash.

Like I mentioned, I found the display so dim that I had trouble reading it during the day. It's just right at night although the LED flickers.

The first time I tried to reset the trip function, the unit locked up. Not remembering that it had a power switch hidden on the end, I had to unplug the wire from the OBD port to reset it. Then I had to unplug and re-plug it again as mentioned above. The next time it locked up, I remembered the power switch and that reset everything just fine.

Other than the problems mentioned, the KIWI MPG seems to be worth the cost. It seems (after one day of testing) to do exactly what the manufacturer claims it'll do. Next tank full of gas, I'll be able to check/set the calibration that they seem to think is already OK as is. Hopefully, by then I'll figure out a decent place to mount it. KIWI includes a piece of Velcro which probably will be perfect for the job.
 

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Thanks for the detailed report, Desinia. I'll have to look into that.

I followed the link you posted to their site. The wifi device that can tie in to the iPhone looks interesting too.
http://www.plxkiwi.com/kiwiwifi/

Thanks again!
 

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Interesting alternative, though I have no regrets about paying more for the ScanGaugeII.

You can get RG45 extension cords and double-female unions, so mounting it on the dash is still possible.

It does bug me that they're using a Greek font on the device, whose letters actually correspond to "kioi." Lowercase omega looks like a "w" but it's not! It's like the poster for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," where they use uppercase sigma ("s") to stand in for uppercase "e": GRSSK. Sheesh.
 

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Interesting alternative, though I have no regrets about paying more for the ScanGaugeII.

You can get RG45 extension cords and double-female unions, so mounting it on the dash is still possible.

It does bug me that they're using a Greek font on the device, whose letters actually correspond to "kioi." Lowercase omega looks like a "w" but it's not! It's like the poster for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," where they use uppercase sigma ("s") to stand in for uppercase "e": GRSSK. Sheesh.
ScanGauge II doesn't use a normal font? lol I am torn between which one to get. Though I think the ScanGauge II makes the most sense right now.



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All the "kiwi" logo letters are lower-case Greek. It's an electronics engineer geek thing. :-|

Very cool system, however, esp. the iPhone version. I "might just have to".

I have a Palm OS OBD II reader package for my old Garmin iQue, but it was such a PITA to manage and so clunky in general I haven't touched it in at least a couple of years.
 

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I had seen that old Palm version years ago before I bought my E and had forgotten about it until just recently. As I was reading this thread I was thinking about it because I have an old Ique sitting on my desk. If you say it isn't worth the effort of using that system I will forget about it.

I guess my Ique will just have to be my boating gps for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Guys? Thought I'd add a followup on day 2.

The KIWI is supposed to draw 1 watt of power and go on standby when the key pulls out. So far, it does this -most of the time- but has already locked up and stayed on full display twice, which left me driving merrily along with no idea I was looking at false data until I pulled the key out of the ignition and notice that the Element was still getting 22mpg.

BTW, for drawing one little watt of power, it gets noticeably warm both when running and on standby. It seems to be losing a lot more than a watt of power just as waste heat (from the LED I suppose)

All in all, I also wish I'd just spent the extra money for the Scangauge. I have this now but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone else. I think that the KIWI has some reliability issues yet.
 

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Thanks for the update. That is too bad about the reliability issues.

Out of curiosity, are you going to try and call the company on it? Perhaps see if this particular item is defective somehow?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Twice more, the KIWI MPG has crashed during use and lost all the accumulated trip information. This makes it useless as a trip computer and I've sent an email back to the dealer asking about an RMA.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Continuing...

I got a reply back from the dealer saying that they're aware that some of the earliest units had this problem. The newer KIWI's have been corrected and they sent me a prepaid UPS mailing label to send the old unit back for exchange.

I have to add to this that no matter what else, I'm astounded at the way the dealer has been working to make their customers happy. They sent several updates when my KIWI was backordered asking me if it was still alright, (a matter of two weeks total) and then offered me a deep discount on a future order as an apology after I told them I was prepared to wait. I got additional messages when the unit was shipped, tracking info along the way, and now this. Quite happy with the seller who also runs a store on Ebay:
needfultoyz.com
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Continuing...

My only rant about the seller is...

A prepaid UPS return label is about next to worthless to someone who works nights. It took me almost an entire WEEK of trying to find a UPS drop box that would take my package before finally giving up. UPS wants extra money to pick it up. I finally had a friend take it to a UPS store during the day and now at the very least, one week to get back to the dealer plus another week before the replacement gets here. Priority Mail from the USPS would've been cheaper, a heck of a lot faster, free boxes, (sender used a USPS box and then sent it UPS anyway) free delivery confirmation so the sender has proof it was delivered, and I could've mailed it just about anywhere at any time.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the update. That is too bad about the reliability issues.

Out of curiosity, are you going to try and call the company on it? Perhaps see if this particular item is defective somehow?
According to the dealer, a small number of the first shipped units had the same problem and they're still tracking them down. Lucky me! I just had to have one of the very first ones on the market. :D I even waited in line for it.
 

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Well, I for one am glad you're here to test and do the review before *I* got caught in making any purchase and being stuck where you are. LOL :D

I do hope they have fixed it though. I really am curious about it and the iPhone version. That iPhone version is pricier like the Scangauge but if it does what it says it does with connectivity to my iPhone, they I'll fork out the money for it.

Thanks again for the review and keep us posted. :)
 

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Im waiting until the end of the month for this one here, I am a bullydog dealer and have handled a lot of the GTs which are like the watch dog but, doesnt add any power, the driving coach is really cool and workls well in customers trucks that i have installed them in. check it out, its really cool, when i get mine, i was gonna do a write up on it too!

http://bullydog.com/product/index/product_detail/290
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Have another update! :) The dealer sent two more emails to let me know the replacement is on the way and to hope I find this one more to my liking. Whatever merits or problems the KIWI has, the people selling them have to be some of the best "we try harder" examples I've ever seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well? It's finally back and back in the E and it's working the way it's supposed to now. Aside from the way the display can't be seen in direct sunlight, the KIWI MPG is doing all that I hoped it would do.

In a Honda, the unit provides most of the same available basic functions of a Scangauge but the single line LED display does make it less user friendly than having four items on screen at the same time. The cable is permanent and not very long so mounting is a bit limited, but size is much smaller too so extra options are available. Plus, like the title of the thread, it costs about half the price of a Scangauge.

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Bottom line assessment time: The KIWI-MPG makes a good showing as a basic trip computer at a decent price. It also provides extremely minimal value as a diagnostic tool - providing coolant temp, rpm's, throttle position, and it can read and clear OBD codes. My wishes would be for a better display and separate OBD cable. BIG appreciation for the dealer Needfultoyz.com for service WAY beyond the expected norm.
 

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Im waiting until the end of the month for this one here, I am a bullydog dealer and have handled a lot of the GTs which are like the watch dog but, doesnt add any power, the driving coach is really cool and workls well in customers trucks that i have installed them in. check it out, its really cool, when i get mine, i was gonna do a write up on it too!

http://bullydog.com/product/index/product_detail/290
Too bad bullydog does not support Honda.:-(
 
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