It's very easy to build a PC with off-the-shelf parts that will not drain a good quality car battery within 48 hours if left in a sleep state, so long as you keep power consumption in mind for every component.
Bluetooth dongles are inexpensive, and most will do what you want.
I prefer the BlueSoleil stack, but that's just one geek's opinion. I use the MS stack on my laptop and don't have any problems.
That's impossible to answer, as it all depends on what functionality you want and how you want the system to operate.To get a basic setup, how much should it cost in total to get this project up-and-running? Assume that I have none of the parts to start out with.
Case and point: If you want to go with ultra-low power draw hi-performance hardware like a mobile CPUand compatible motherboard, you are getting into a several hundred dollar price point for just motherboard & CPU.
You can also get an Intel Atom based motherboard (lower power draw, but less computing horsepower) for under a hundred bucks.
Yes.Would I be able to use this computer to interface with my car and check things such as engine diagnostics?
Check the FAQs and the OBD forums.
Optical drives are old tech! You want a PC, why not use it!When mounting in a car, how would I ensure that my computer parts can safely take the shock that can be attained on the road? Optical drives and hard drives don't like to be beat around, to say the least :P
USB hard drives and flash drives are the way to go!
Honestly, I think an optical drive is the weak link in the chain as far as durability & shock resistance. You can take some measures to protect an optical drive, but that's all a matter of how much time and money you want to spend on it.
Most don't worry about it.
As far as a HDD (mechanical, not SSD), the suspension of your vehicle should be more than enough to protect it, as long as it is securely mounted to the vehicle.
Check the link in my sig.