Everything you need to know about Car Genie
What’s Car Genie?
It’s the name of our new connected car device. We’ve developed a small device that plugs into your car’s on-board diagnostics system to check its health, and spot faults or battery problems that could cause a breakdown.
Would it work for me?
If you’re one of our Members, then yes. You’ll also need to have a car that’s compatible (most manufactured from 2005 onwards will be). You can check your car’s compatibility at http://shop.theaa.com/
Do I need a smartphone to use it?
Yes, as we send messages about your car through the app on your phone. It’s free to download through the App Store or Google Play™.
Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.
What does it do?
Car Genie helps keep you safe and on the road by:
Checking your car’s health and letting you know about any faults
Keeping a watch on the battery
Knowing your car’s location so you can find it or see if it’s been moved
Detecting a crash and triggering a call from us to help
Offering fuel efficiency tips, interactive maps and recording your trips
Letting you know of any issues through push notifications via the app
Where do I fit it?
There's an On-Board Diagnostic (OBD/OBDII) port, usually in your car’s footwell. On-Board Diagnostics are used to check and report on any issues with your car, and are often used by mechanics to check the engine and diagnose problems. This technology is now available to you with Car Genie, which plugs into the port.
What does it mean when the check engine light is on, but no faults are found on the app?
A car has a number of complex on-board computer systems; each comes with a set of fault codes for when things aren’t working as they should.
When Car Genie is installed, it’ll automatically scan for any faults. If it picks anything up, it’ll let you know. However, sometimes cars have codes which are specific to a particular make and model that the manufacturer hasn’t shared with us, so Car Genie won’t be able to read these properly.
Call us on 0800 316 4691 so we can let you know what to do next.
What do I do if the app reports a fault, but there isn’t a light on my dash?
Faults won’t always cause a light on your dash. If you don’t see one, get in touch with us on 0800 316 4691 (or use the ‘Call us’ button on the fault code screen in the app) so that we can let you know what to do next.
Will the device always know I’m going to breakdown before I do?
No, it’ll warn you about one third of breakdowns. There are lots of breakdowns that it can’t predict, like a blown tyre. If that happens, get in touch and we’ll come out to you to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
What’s an eco score?
It shows you how efficiently you drive by measuring acceleration, braking, speed and idling. For each trip you complete, you’ll get an eco score (and you can find your average score for 7, 30 and 90 day periods).
How can I improve my score?
Driving sensibly and according to the road conditions, having good anticipation and sticking to the speed limit will all give you a better score. You can go to the eco score section of the app to get more tips on how to improve your efficiency in each area - and hopefully save money on maintenance and fuel.
Looking after your battery
What’s the battery health screen?
A flat battery is the cause of many of our call-outs. Car Genie is constantly checking your car’s battery voltage. If your battery voltage is at a good level, you’ll see a green circle.
Why does the battery health screen show an orange circle with a ‘Needs charge’ message?
An orange circle shows that the voltage in the battery is low and may need charging. This could also be caused by the car being used for lots of short journeys.
The battery will normally be re-charged by the car during a drive of 20 minutes or longer. If the battery status doesn’t change after this or you need any help, call us on 0800 316 4691.
Why does the battery health screen show a red circle with a ‘Voltage critically low’ message?
A red circle indicates that the voltage in the battery is very low. You may soon have a problem starting the car. If this happens, call us on 0800 316 4691 for advice.
Why does the battery health screen still show ‘Needs charge’ after I’ve replaced or charged the battery?
Don’t worry, the engine will need to be started a couple of times before the app updates. If the battery status hasn’t changed after this, call us on 0800 316 4691 so we can check your Car Genie is reporting correctly.
Where can I buy Car Genie?
At our online shop http://shop.theaa.com/
What if I don’t have a membership number?
This means you don’t have an eligible policy with us. Car Genie is available exclusively to Members, so if you don't have breakdown cover you'll need to join us
to get Car Genie.
How much does it cost?
Car Genie has a subscription fee of £29 a year. We’ll remind you when it’s time to renew.
Why do you charge for Car Genie?
Like a mobile phone, Car Genie uses sophisticated hardware and requires a data connection to transmit data from the car.
How do I set up Car Genie?
When you get the device, simply download the app and follow the step-by-step instructions to get it up and running. Once Car Genie is installed in your car, it works in the background and you can log in to the app to see your profile or check on your car.
Do I need to turn it on?
No, Car Genie automatically works once it’s installed.
Does Car Genie impact my car’s performance?
No, it only reads information from your car, so has no impact on performance.
What should I do if I can’t locate my car’s OBDII port?
As part of the activation process you’ll get a guide that tells you where to find your car’s OBDII port. If you need any help, call us on 0800 316 4691. Make sure you have your membership number and postcode to hand.
Can I install Car Genie while the car is running?
No, you should have the ignition off when you connect the device to your car’s OBDII port.
Why can’t I see any data when I log into the app?
Once you’ve activated Car Genie on the app, then it’s live. At first, it might take a little time to initialise before you’re able to see your journey information. If you’ve driven your car a few times and you’re still not seeing anything, the device may not be fully installed. Call us on 0800 316 4691 with your membership number and postcode to hand.
What happens if I breakdown?
There’s a button on the homepage in the Car Genie app that’ll redirect you to the breakdown app. Or call us on 0800 316 4691.
Why won’t the Car Genie pick up my current location?
It relies on GPS to find you car’s location, so depends on GPS accuracy. It could take a few minutes for you to see your position for the first time. Also, it may not work inside garages and multi-storey car parks or under bridges and tunnels.
What do I need to do after plugging Car Genie in?
We’ll call you or send a notification through the app if we spot any issues with your car. We recommend you log in to the app to monitor your eco score, get real time checks on your car and even see your car’s location (handy if you’ve forgotten where you parked) from time to time.
What if I forget my username?
Call us on 0800 316 4691. Make sure you have your membership number and postcode to hand.
What if I forget my password?
Go to the sign in screen in the app and click on ‘Forgot password?’. You’ll then be able to reset your password through a link sent in an email.
How do I take Car Genie out of my car?
If possible, support the housing around the OBDII port and gently wiggle the device as you pull it out.
It’s designed for a snug fit (so that it doesn’t come loose or fall out of the port while driving on bumpy roads or over speed bumps) and might need a little tug to take it out.
Should I disconnect the device before putting my car in for a service?
We recommend you do. Garages may need to plug in their own diagnostics tools into the OBDII port to reset things like service lights.
What happens if I get a new car?
You can install Car Genie in your new car, but you’ll need to call us on 0800 316 4691 so we can check your car's compatible, update your details and check it’s configured properly. We can also tell you where the OBDII port is in your new car. Make sure you have your membership number and postcode to hand.
What happens if there’s a fault with Car Genie?
If there’s a problem with the device or the app, call us on 0800 316 4691. Make sure you have your membership number and postcode to hand.
We’ll organise a replacement if it’s something we can’t fix remotely.
Who do I send comments or suggestions to?
Email us at email@example.com
Who should I send a complaint to?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 316 4691.
If you want to talk about any personal information, make sure you have your membership number and postcode to hand.
What should I do if I want to return Car Genie?
Email us at email@example.com or call us on 0800 316 4691. We’ll need your name and order details. We can then tell you how to send it back to us.
Refunds are only available within the first 14 days of buying the device.
Is Car Genie secure?
Yes, it complies with global standards and we’ve put it through extensive testing.
How secure is my driving data?
All driving data, transferred between all relevant parties, meets the highest level of security. And we make sure our partners have the same high standards for handling data. Read our Ts&Cs for more details.
What data are you going to collect?
Data will be sent to us from your car about your driving style and habits. This includes harsh braking, acceleration and cornering, keeping the engine running while stationary, location, speed, distance and route. We’ll use this to share with you the profile of how, where and when your car is driven. We’ll also collect information about any fault codes reported by your car and its battery health, and use this to help, support and advise you.
What will you do with the data you collect?
We’ll analyse it to build a picture of your car’s health, as well as your driving style so we can help prevent breakdowns. All personal data is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. See our Ts&Cs for more details.
Will I be able to see any of the information collected by Car Genie?
Yes, you’ll have access to the journey and driving style reports in the app.
What will happen to my data once I’m no longer a customer?
The data collected will be kept anonymously once you’ve unsubscribed. All of your personal details, such as your name and number plate, will be deleted from the system. See our Ts&Cs for more details.
How do I get a copy of the Ts&Cs?
You’ll need to read and accept the Ts&Cs when activating. You can also ask for a copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0800 316 4691.
How do I get a copy of the installation guide?
You can find it in the app. If you need any more help or a hard copy, get in touch by emailing email@example.com or by calling 0800 316 4691.