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#2497082 - 01/17/12 07:51 PM Worth getting a OBDII scanner?
rjacket Offline


Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 1107
Loc: CA
I like seeing data and I like to optimize things.

Do you think that getting one of these:

OBDII Bluetooth scanner

would give me enough data so that I could figure out when to perform (non oil) maintenance items eg spark plugs, pcv valves, fuel system cleaning?

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#2497086 - 01/17/12 07:54 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: rjacket]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 11409
Loc: NE,Ohio
depends on the car.
My gf's accent tells you pretty much nothing except throttle load and water temp.(maybe a couple more things i forget)

my subaru has about 2 pages of sensors.
such as cataylst temp etc.

It pretty much depends on the specific model of car(not brand) what you can see via OBD-II and what you need the manufacturer tools $$$$ for


Edited by Rand (01/17/12 07:55 PM)
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#2497100 - 01/17/12 07:59 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: Rand]
abycat Offline


Registered: 12/06/10
Posts: 2007
Loc: grande prairie AB
I want one too. Maybe we can find one with an app for the phone. That would be cool. I have gps and all that stuff on my phone so i kinda wanted a windshield mount holder and use it for a obd scanner as well. ill post the good ones I find.
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#2497118 - 01/17/12 08:05 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: rjacket]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 18210
Loc: Upstate NY
I have read that the apps for the smartphones are good, but you really need the $100 OBDII-bluetooth adapter rather than the $25 one. Look at the write up of the software and see what they recommend.

You can also get one for a PC. AZ will read codes for free. May even reset the CEL, unsure. There are some inexpensive ones at Walmart that are decent.
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2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


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#2497128 - 01/17/12 08:12 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: rjacket]
rjacket Offline


Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 1107
Loc: CA
So it would be for a 2004 Ford and a 2009 Mercedes.

Qu1: Is it possible that there are error codes / warnings / information of interest that come up without being displayed on the instrument cluster?

Qu2: Is there data such as air flow temp, fuel trim information, cylinder information, that can help to diagnose where maintenance items might be worthwhile performing eg change air filter, clean fuel system, change spark plugs?

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#2497134 - 01/17/12 08:14 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: rjacket]
Clevy Offline


Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 9783
Loc: Saskatoon canada
I have one. It has saved me the 200 it cost me about 5 times over now
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#2497140 - 01/17/12 08:20 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: Donald]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 11409
Loc: NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: Donald
I have read that the apps for the smartphones are good, but you really need the $100 OBDII-bluetooth adapter rather than the $25 one. Look at the write up of the software and see what they recommend.

You can also get one for a PC. AZ will read codes for free. May even reset the CEL, unsure. There are some inexpensive ones at Walmart that are decent.


I have a 30$ one and its reads everything from.. all sensors on a hyundai elantra touring, subaru forrester, to nearly nothing -2005 ford ranger, 2010 hyundai accent.

all sensors meaning.. all the supported ones in the app.


I use it with torque on my droid bionic.


Edited by Rand (01/17/12 08:21 PM)
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#2497164 - 01/17/12 08:36 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: rjacket]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 5079
Loc: Iowa
I have a really nice one (OBD KEY) that was over 100.00 and the Android based app Torque. They work very well together and showed all applicable data for that vehicles I have. They do not give you airbag, abs or any body (BCM) and chassis codes/data.

Torque is a pretty nice app that is always being updated. Too bad my Android phone died and I'm back to my flip for a while...

After hearing of other users noticing some short comings with their newer vehicles, I suggest you go to the Torque forums and lurk for a bit to see what it's capable of.
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2000 Honda Accord 2.3
2001 Hyundai Elantra 2.0
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#2497210 - 01/17/12 09:08 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: The_Eric]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 11409
Loc: NE,Ohio
Nice I didnt even think about their forums.

it seems if I want to see ford data I have to load the extended ford PID list..nothing to see more data on a 2010 accent though.

also I was drooling over
http://www.scantool.net/obdlink-mx.html
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#2497321 - 01/17/12 10:40 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: Rand]
rjacket Offline


Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 1107
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Rand
Nice I didnt even think about their forums.

it seems if I want to see ford data I have to load the extended ford PID list..nothing to see more data on a 2010 accent though.

also I was drooling over
http://www.scantool.net/obdlink-mx.html


The USB version is $50 and seems to have similar screenshots

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#2497324 - 01/17/12 10:42 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: rjacket]
rjacket Offline


Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 1107
Loc: CA


Edited by rjacket (01/17/12 10:49 PM)

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#2498117 - 01/18/12 03:59 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: rjacket]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 11409
Loc: NE,Ohio
has to be bluetooth for good use with cellphone.

WIFI and usb can be a cluster

bluetooth just works

the amazon one is a cheap import knockoff may or may not work well.


Edited by Rand (01/18/12 04:00 PM)
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#2498787 - 01/19/12 12:27 AM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: rjacket]
Towncivilian Offline


Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 918
Loc: Florida, USA
I have this USB ELM327 scanner. I keep it in my trunk along with a laptop from 2001 (and a power inverter since the battery is obviously dead) to read codes anywhere if necessary. It reads other interesting/useful info like coolant temperature, O2 sensor voltages, throttle position in percentage, engine RPMs, other basic stuff like that on my Pathfinder. It doesn't seem to like Fords - in my experience it didn't work with a 1999 Mountaineer or 2005 Ranger. It just wouldn't connect; I tried two different softwares, no difference.
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2007 Altima S - PU 5W-30/M1-110
2009 G5 - PU 5W-30/XG9018
2012 G37 S - ST 5W-30/PL14612

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#2527270 - 02/06/12 02:01 PM Re: Worth getting a OBDII scanner? [Re: rjacket]
2Fast4U Offline


Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 444
Loc: Tampa
Wow that is a low price. Not exactly sure of the difference but I got a proscan few years back which works great. They also offer Bluetooth but it is much more expensive.

http://www.myscantool.com/

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