How's this for a smart phone app? Using a cable that connects your phone to your car's ECU, the AutoBot program displayed on your phone allows you to keep track of your car's functions, including ECU mapping and air/fuel mixtures. It'll even go as far as providing error codes if your car isn't running right.
The only restriction this kit has is that it is specifically for cars featuring an ECU with an OBD-II port (on-board diagnostics). But don't worry, just about every manufacturer uses it - most cars made from 1996 onwards. The program and connection won't be available until 2012, by which stage more functions are likely to be revealed.
The program will also track the engine's performance over a given time too, and provide a 'track record' or history to how the car has been driven - a handy tool to take along to a secondhand car inspection. If the car uses a GPS system, the application will be able to plot where the car has been - also handy if you can bring the AutoBot along to a secondhand car inspection; 'so, has the car ever been on a track?...'
There are plenty of OBD-II tools available (on eBay etc.) that connect to your ECU through the OBD-II, but this AutoBot program is said to be much more user-friendly and, hopefully, a lot less expensive.
We'll keep you updated with more information on the AutoBot app prior to its release.