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Documentation

Introduction

The purposes of this application are to enable vehicle owners to keep up with maintenance on their vehicles, monitor gas usage, and monitor miles ridden/driven.

Viewing a user's vehicles

Each of the selected user's vehicles is listed, along with the number of miles/kilometers ridden/driven, and the total miles/km for all bikes and all cars. If the owner is logged in and viewing his list, there will be Add a New Vehicle and Edit Your Profile links under the header. There is then a link to email the user, a link to a graph showing the number of miles ridden/driven (more details on this graph below), and a link to change between km and miles. All vehicles are displayed in the same units; if a user has one vehicle that records in km and one that records in miles, on this page any necessary converting will be performed, and they will both be displayed in either km or miles, depending upon which option you select when viewing. Click a vehicle's description to view its details.

Viewing A Vehicle

  1. The vehicle's owner, year, make, and model are listed on the first line, and any notes are listed right below it.
  2. The next line shows the total miles/kilometers and days and years the vehicle has been in service since acquisition. They are calculated by subtracting the mileage/date of the first recorded service from the last. The total mileage is then divided by the number of days to arrive at an average number of miles per day, and that number is then multiplied by 30.4 to arrive at an average number miles per month, and then by 365 to arrive at an average number of miles per year. This information is not shown if the listing is limited to a particular service type, gas only, or all but gas, since the first and last date and mileage may not accurately reflect the vehicle's timeline.
  3. If any services are overdue, they will be listed in red on the next line. They are not listed when the user views gas only or only one service type. More details on overdue services further down.
  4. The next line offers filters for showing all services, only gas, or everything besides gas, and then a link to jump to the bottom of the page, where the totals and last services are.
  5. The next line lists links to graphs of mileage, the history of miles/kilometers per gallon per tank, and the history of the cost per gallon.
  6. The next line offers a link back to the list of vehicles belonging to the owner of the currently displayed vehicle; if that person has more than one vehicle in the system, a dropdown will offer links to each individual vehicle as well. Next is a link that will give a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of all of the service records for the current vehicle; it's not a bad idea to run this occasionally and keep a recent copy of your data, even though the data is backed up daily. If the owner is logged in and viewing his own vehicle, there will be a third link on this line to edit the vehicle's details (year, make, model, notes, odometer units, car/bike, privacy flag.)
  7. The services are then listed chronologically, oldest first. If an odometer reading ever goes down, it will appear in red as a warning; this is likely caused by an invalid date entry. Each service description (e.g. Change Oil) is a hyperlink, that, when clicked, will show only occurences of that particular type of service. (Note to power users: though there is not an interface for this, it is possible to limit the list to a subset of service types by using a comma-separated list of service IDs for the showOnlyTheseServices GET var - e.g. showOnlyTheseServices=10,11). If the owner is logged in and viewing his own vehicle, there will be an edit link for each service in the far right column to modify services, and there will be an "Add New" link in the Service column header for adding a new service. If you are viewing only gas purchases, the $ Parts column is renamed Cost, a Gallons and a MPG column will appear, and the $ Labor and $ Total columns are omitted, plus there will be a $/gal column (calculated by dividing the price by the number of gallons.) When viewing all occurences of a specific service type, each occurence after the first will list in the notes section the number of miles and months since the last occurence of that service, and the averages of those are shown at the bottom; by default, the first occurence of a service does not include miles and months since in the notes column, nor are those numbers factored into the average time and mileage between services; this is because it may or may not be the first time the service has ever been performed. If you acquire a used vehicle, your first oil change record is likely not the first oil change the vehicle has ever had, so you don't want it included. If, however, you acquired the vehicle new and have maintained records from the start, or if you acquired it used but the service has a lengthy interval (e.g. new tires), it makes sense to include it; there is a link in the summary at the bottom to toggle whether or not to include it.
  8. Below the table of services is a table of Last Services which lists the last occurence of each type of service that has been entered for that particular vehicle (some are omitted, such as Other and Gas.) Each service description (e.g. Change Oil) is a hyperlink, that, when clicked, will show only occurences of that particular type of service. The date and mileage of that last service are displayed, as well as the number of miles since it (calculated by subtracting the mileage from the last recorded mileage for this vehicle) and the number of months since it (calculated by subtracting the date from the current date.) For services for which there is a mileage and/or time threshold, the months and miles until the next service are listed. For services with thresholds that have never been performed, the mileage of the last service is defined as 0, and the date of the last service is defined as either the date of the first recorded service (if the mileage at that service was < 10, indicating the vehicle was bought new), or January 1 of the model year. For any services for which the service threshold has been exceeded, they are listed first in the table, the Miles Since and Months Since numbers are displayed in red, and the notes section tells how many miles and/or months the service is overdue. If the owner is logged in and viewing his own vehicle, there will be a "Edit Service Thresholds" link above this table; otherwise, there will be a "View Service Thresholds" link above the table. This table is omitted if the user if viewing only gas purchases or only services of one type.

Mileage Graph

The number of miles per month/year is approximated using the service records. For example, say that three consecutive entries are 1/15/06, 2/14/06, and 3/16/06, and the mileages for those dates are 5000, 5900, and 7100 miles. That represents 900 miles ridden/driven in 30 days (from 1/15-2/14), for an average of 30 miles per day, and 1200 miles ridden/driven in 30 days (from 2/14-3/16), for an average of 40 miles per day. So, for February, we'd have a total of 30*14 miles for the first 14 days, plus 40*14 for the last 14 days, for a total of 980 miles. The more often you record services, gas purchases, or mileage readings, the more accurate this graph will be.

Modifying Service Thresholds

Thresholds are defined per vehicle, so to get to this page, log in and view one of your vehicle's service records; the link is right above the Last Services table at the bottom. All service types are listed (with the exception of the ones for which this makes no sense, such as gas and other.) You may add mile and/or time thresholds for as many or as few as you wish. For example, for coolant you may wish not to exceed 24 months or 20,000 miles. For oil changes you may wish not to exceed 5,000 miles. For brake fluid changing you may wish not to exceed 12 months.

Adding/Modifying Services

  1. If you are creating a new service, the date defaults to the current date, unless you previously checked "Return to Edit Screen," in which case the date defaults to the last date you entered. Date entry is fairly flexible but adheres to the following rules: enter a one or two-digit month first, then any optional seperator (- / . etc.), then a one or two-digit day, then an optional seperator, then a two or four digit year; if you do not use seperators, use two digits for both the month and the day. All of the following are valid: 010506, 01052006, 1/5/06, 1/5/2006, 1-5-06, 1-5-2006, 01/05/06, 01/05/2006, 01-05-06, 01-05-2006, 01.05.06, 01.05.2006. You can increase and decrease the date by pressing the + and - keys while in the date field.
  2. Enter your odometer reading with or without commas; it defaults to the mileage of the last service that you entered. You can enter all the odometer digits or just the last three; when you leave the field, all the digits prior to the last three will be reinserted and increased by one if you rolled over to the next thousand.
  3. Enter up to five services for the same date and mileage. If you have more than five, enter the first five, then repeat the procedure for the same date and mileage.
  4. If a service is not in the dropdown list, click the Create New link in the column header. Type the description and submit, and you will then be returned to the service entry screen. Note than any previously-keyed data on the service entry screen will not be preserved, so create any necessary services before entering your services. There is a core set of service types that everyones sees, and any that you create will appear only in your dropdown lists; this allows a level of personalization without overcrowding the dropdown lists.
  5. If this is a gas purchase, enter the number of gallons in the Gallons column; otherwise, leave it empty.
  6. Enter the amount spent on parts and labor in the respective columns. If this is a gas purchase, enter the amount in the parts column.
  7. Though you can enter up to five services at once for a given date and mileage, if you edit a service, you edit only one at a time. If you need to edit all services for a given date/mileage, edit them one at a time.
  8. If you wish to delete a service, edit it, type delete in the delete box, and submit.
  9. There is an accesskey of 'S' on the save button, meaning you can type alt-s(Firefox)/alt-s,enter(IE)/shift-esc-s(Opera) instead of pressing the Save Data button; note that this does not work in Firefox 2.x unless you have tweaked the settings.
  10. If you return from a trip and have several gas purchases to enter, functionality is in place to facilitate this. Enter your first gas purchase, and then check "Return to Edit Screen" before saving. The edit screen will reappear with the date set to the last date you entered (so you don't have to change it for several purchases on the same date), and the focus is on the mileage field. Enter your mileage (remember, you can type just the last three digits of your odometer), press TAB, press G to select the Gas service, TAB, TAB, enter gallons, TAB, enter cost, ENTER, repeat as necessary, changing the date as necessary (remember that you can use the + and - keys to change the date a day at a time.)
  11. A couple of folks have asked for an import routine for existing data, but developing such a thing is pretty difficult unless you know exactly the format of the provided data. Considering that, as well as the fact that there is very little interest in it, I offer the following: if you have existing records that you wish to import, please contact me, and I will give you an email address to which you may email your file of records, and I'll see if I can import them for you.

Other General Notes

  1. If you wish for your service records not to be viewed by anyone but yourself, check the Private checkbox on the vehicle profile page for all applicable vehicles.
  2. If you wish to monitor your mileage and have a meaningful graph, consider documenting your fuel purchases, or at least record your mileage (there's a Mileage service type) at least once per month.
  3. Hover your mouse pointer over any icon for helpful tips.

High Mileage Motorcyle/Car Reports

This report lists the bikes/cars with the highest odometer readings (simply the highest odometer reading posted in a service record), listed in descending order. Clicking on a make/model takes you to the service records for that vehicle.





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