U.K. auto-industry service company MotorEasy launches what it calls a world-first warranty product that includes a plug-in diagnostics tool to offer drivers an ongoing health monitor for their cars.

The fitC device connects directly to the engine’s electronic control unit via the On-Board Diagnostics port to provide instant diagnostic data – previously inaccessible to drivers without paying for a diagnostic service at a garage – directly to the user’s smartphone.

An early warning system means potential faults can be identified before the vehicle breaks down.

After a fault is detected, it is flagged in the connected app and fitC connects drivers to repair centers using the MotorEasy service desk. The company is linked to a nationwide network of 10,000 garages.

Company founder Duncan McClure Fisher says the fitC heralds a new era of vehicle repair and maintenance in which owners have vastly more information at their fingertips. A vehicle’s health can be monitored continually and problems can be identified before they cause costly damage.

The company can arrange for work to be carried out at a local garage, or customers can arrange for their car to be picked up from their home or workplace and returned after repairs.

Drivers buying the fitC are covered by MotorEasy’s warranty scheme that includes a free health check and wear and tear protection.

“Lots of people have warranties, which are great for offering protection against unwanted repair bills,” Fisher says in a statement. “But now we’re able to help motorists avoid even getting to the stage where they need repairs because we can help them predict faults before they happen, using our onboard telematics technology.”

Alongside fault notifications, the fitC can measure the battery status of a car, offers a “find my car” feature and delivers “Driver Behavior Scoring” to improve safety and reduce fuel consumption. The device also reminds drivers when their car needs servicing.

The fitC component is included under a new MotorEasy warranty scheme, available as a 24-month or 36-month contract.