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Start of an App

thebenforce profile image Ben Force Originally published at justwriteapps.com on ・2 min read

I'm sitting in my driveway changing out the rear brake pads of my Forester. All my tools are laid out, along with my repair manual and phone. The repair manual to lookup specifications and the phone to search for something if I get stuck.

I get the pads changed and I start to tighten the bolt holding the caliper to it's support. I looked at the torque specification a dozen times before I started this project. Now I have to open the manual up and flip through it because I just can't remember, and I don't want to get it wrong.

That was the moment when I realized, I should be able to get this from my phone. I keep all of the part numbers and fluid capacities in an app called aCar, but I can't store torque specifications, and I can't ask a digital assistant what those values are. Just that week I had listened to a talk about Voice experience design and the speaker mentioned called the "raw chicken" moment where a user was in their kitchen cooking, and they're holding raw chicken and they need to look up something.

This was my "raw chicken" moment, except it was grease. I decided to build an app designed for DIY mechanics. It can store part numbers, fluid types and volumes, and torque specifications that you can access via Google Assistant or Alexa. Also it will track fill ups and send reminders when services are about due.

I decided to call this new app Wrenchly--because naming things is hard and the domain wrenchly.app was available and cheap. So far I've finished fuel tracking, vehicle parts and specifications, all synchronized through the cloud.

I'll be posting updates here as progress is made, but I hope to have it publicly available by the end of April. If you have any feature suggestions, let me know in the comments section.

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