Any car built this century has an OBDII interface. This allows mechanics to plug in their laptop and get real time engine data. Lots of information about the running of the car. Nowadays there are quite a few USB / Bluetooth OBD-II connectors, which allow streaming of this data to your laptop, Garmin navigation system or iPod / iPhone.

PLX Devices Inc. sells the PLX Logger Software, as well as devices to show the data on.

ODBCOM has software going for only $85,-

Scantool sells software as well as displays. The software goes for $120,-

Its dashcommand software ($40) allows you to create custom skins and settings for your own digital dashboard

Auterra has the DynoScan Windows software going – including a google earth interace

It also sells a display unit

Then there’s PCMScan by Palmer

All these tools have different featuresets and support different cars…