The AA has launched a new piece of kit for your car that is able to report what is going on under the bonnet, detect faults and help predict up to a third of breakdowns before they happen.

The new device, Car Genie, is a self-install product that plugs into your car's on-board diagnostics (OBDII) port to read the vehicle's European On-Board Diagnostics system in real-time.

That data, which is viewable in a companion app on Android and iPhone, will notify users if there is a problem, which the driver can view before or after their journey.

In the message, an error code is given along with a simple explanation, supplying the driver with the knowledge to seek help.

The beauty of having an error code is that users can take the message to their local garage to explain with confidence what the fault is. It’s hoped that by understanding what the issue is, the problem can be fixed quicker.

It's not just about preventing accidents, but helping you when they happen. The Car Genie is able detect certain accidents and send the driver a push notification prompt to call the AA for help.

Thanks to on-board sensors in the device, it can uniquely detect some significant crashes by registering changes in speed vs g-force, which triggers this response and enables the breakdown service to offer advice and to help the driver continue their journey safely.

This clever little piece of tech also keeps an eye on your battery which can help you to avoid that sinking flat battery feeling over winter. If the battery is low, you will receive a push notification from the Car Genie app.

Car Genie can also analyse your driving style by giving you an ‘eco score’; assessing speed, braking, idling and acceleration.

The app can provide fuel efficiency tips to help you save money. It can also log trips, which is beneficial for mileage claims, and by using GPS, it can detect where the car is in case you’ve forgotten where it’s parked or if it has been stolen.   

The AA has already trialled Car Genie with 10,000 AA Members and found at the end of the trial, half of users better understood the issues with their car, two thirds of users gained a better understanding of how to drive their car economically and almost half of users agreed Car Genie helped them be a safer driver.

Find out more about what AA users thought of Car Genie here.

Car Genie costs £29 for a yearly subscription exclusively for Members and is available to order online from the AA shop now. It works in most cars made from 2005 onwards and drivers can check the compatibility of their car at: www.theaa.com/breakdown-cover/connected-car.

Win a Car Genie from the AA and one year’s breakdown cover