Five Cool Things You Can Do With the myChevrolet Phone App
From keeping tabs on your bank account to coordinating calendars with your spouse, you can manage many different aspects of your life with your smartphone. With the new myChevrolet app, you can also use your smartphone to stay connected with another key aspect of your life: your car.
Available for iPhone and Android smartphones, the new myChevrolet app consolidates features from two previous GM apps. We spent a few days testing it with a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan; here are five features that really stood out.
Some of the features included with the myChevrolet app, like the ability to lock and unlock your car and remotely start it (if equipped with remote start), are also available from the key fob. However, while you typically need to be relatively close and in sight of your car to use the key fob to, say, remotely start it, the app doesn't have those limitations; if you want, you could start your car when you're on vacation hundreds of miles away. That's probably not the best use of the feature, but its practicality becomes clear in other situations. I used the app to start the Cruze from Cars.com's downtown Chicago office and then walked across the street where it was parked to find it quietly idling.
Send a Destination to Your Car
Instead of writing down an address to enter in the navigation system later, you can send it to your car with the app. It lets you send addresses and points of interest to the built-in navigation system (if equipped) or the OnStar turn-by-turn navigation feature. Entering an address or search term like "gas stations" is as easy as typing it into Google Maps, with suggested results appearing as you type.
Never Forget Where You Parked
If you've ever wandered around a parking garage pressing the panic button and then listening for the honk of your car's horn, we've been there, too, and we know it isn't fun. The myChevrolet app gives you a few tools to lessen the odds of this happening again; you can pin the location of your car on a map, enter a note about your parking location — like what floor of the parking deck it's on — and attach a photo of your parked location. This feature would be even better if it showed your position in relation to your car's, but there should be enough tools to prevent you from needing to do the dreaded panic-button routine again.
Check Your Car's Systems
If you're wondering whether your car will need an oil change soon, you can find out with the myChevrolet app. Besides checking engine-oil life, the app lets you see how much gas is in the tank and the air pressure of each tire.
Make a Service Appointment
If your car is due for an oil change or needs some other service, you can use the app to find a nearby dealer and make a service appointment. The app lets you choose a dealer, select the type of service you need, and schedule a date and time for the service.
The 2016 Cruze and other newer OnStar-equipped GM cars come with five years of the OnStar Basic Plan, which lets you remotely start and lock or unlock the car from the app, but the trial period for other services available through the app, like turn-by-turn navigation, is just six months.
The myChevrolet app is easy to use and includes useful features, and just as other apps have changed certain aspects of day-to-day life, the myChevrolet app will change how you interact with your car.
This article originally appeared on cars.com