OBD Bluetooth scanner | Everything You Need To Know
The rise of technology has spread its roots and even automobiles have been enriched with the latest tech. And with that, it’s becoming easier to look after our machines. While ancient times had most of the parts mechanicals, and only a trained professional could diagnose and repair it. Well, we have reached halfway through, and with the OBD Bluetooth scanner, one can easily diagnose the errors/faults in the vehicles. That’s almost halfway through, right.
An OBD or On-Board Diagnostics is a running diagnostic for your car. Just a few years back, these were limited to mechanics and auto workshops. But now, one can easily have a DIY diagnostic and save the cost of a mechanic, until professional repairs are required. An OBD Bluetooth scanner monitors and regulates your vehicle’s functions. It also assists in maintaining, the overall health of your car, by sending commands to various systems. They can also self-correct abnormalities in the vehicle’s ignition or air-fuel mix. Besides reading the trouble codes, one can have these scanner tools and perform a thorough check of their vehicles before heading out for long tours. These tools not only save money but also the time and effort of visiting a mechanic.
The check engine lights that pop on the vehicle’s driver information cluster, are part of the vehicle’s on-board diagnostics system. When the computer detects an error/fault that it can’t fix itself, it turns on the dashboard indicator. These usually translate to “check engine” “service engine soon” or “check powertrain” or just “check.”
These dashboard indicators, the lights that turn on, are also called the International Check Engine symbol. The computers of your car have stored millions of trouble code, that identifies the problem’s source and warns through the Engine check light.
An OBD Bluetooth scanner can read these codes. In current times, every individual can own a code reader or an OBD Bluetooth scanner, and save few bucks by avoiding a visit to your mechanics for small issues. With that let’s jump on the two types of OBD scanners currently available on the market.
An OBD2 code reader is an inexpensive device that reads and clears code on your car. But there are certain limitations, it can’t access certain types of data. It also a deficit of all information of specific manufacturers’ codes.
The second category, OBD Bluetooth scanners, or just the OBD2 scan tool for this instance. They aid in accessing live and recorded data, smooth advanced troubleshooting options, and even read manufacturer-specific codes. While some OBD Bluetooth scanners have limited access, others are designated to higher functions, providing access to more information, checking pending codes, customize a list of parameters, and set up PIDs. Now, that we have shared the important facts about OBD Bluetooth scanners, let’s review how to install one, and read data through your android smartphones. Yeah, you heard it right. But before you jump on to the list, check the best OBD Bluetooth scanners and android apps to read and record data.
How to install ELM327 Bluetooth OBD scanner on android
An ELM327 is a programmed microcontroller designed and manufactured by ELM electronics, to translating the OBD diagnostics interface found in most modern cars. The OBD Bluetooth scanners rule out the conventional ones, because of their convenience in use. Here are the steps to install an ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2 scanner on an Android smartphone/tablet:
Plug ELM327 OBD Bluetooth scanner into your car’s OBD port. They are usually located on the driver’s side dashboard, under the steering wheel. If you can’t locate it, head here-
Pair the ELM327 OB2 Bluetooth scanner with your android smartphone/tablet. On your device, head to ‘Settings’ > ’Bluetooth’. Try to connect with Bluetooth signals denoted with names such as OBDII, OBD-II, ELM327, VLink, Can OBDII, etc.
Note: It can take more than 15-seconds to connect to the OBD Bluetooth scanner, if the signal doesn’t show up, then turn OFF Bluetooth in settings, wait 5 sec, and turn Bluetooth ON again. Repeat the same process until the signal eventually shows. As long as the red power light is lit on the ELM327 OBD Bluetooth scanner, it means it’s physically working.
Configure OBD app to detect Bluetooth
Connect to the car.
Be sure to read the manual, use the scanner with care and use it when the car is running, or it will make no sense.
Bluetooth OBD2 scanner with ABS
We just read and educated about OBD Bluetooth scanners and the ELM327 installation process, so what’s left out?
Even though the conventional OBD Bluetooth scanners are better than code readers, they still lack out on various trouble codes. For diagnosing systems like the anti-lock brakes (ABS) and airbags (SRS), an ABS/SRS OBD2 scanner is what you’ll want to get the job done. The basic OBD Bluetooth scanners help read and access the engine trouble codes, while special OBD Bluetooth scanners with ABS/SRS are designed to work with the anti-lock brake system(ABS) and airbag system(SRS-supplemental restraint system).
The most obvious advantage of OBD Bluetooth scanners with ABS/SRS over basic ones is that they can turn off the associate warning lights for those systems without going to the garage.
The basic key features of OBD Bluetooth scanners with ABS/SRS includes:
Read and erase ABS/SRS trouble codes
As we mentioned before, the ABS/SRS trouble codes can be read and erased, hence the warning lights can be made disappear without visiting a mechanic.
Read and erase engine DTCs(diagnostic trouble codes)
Besides the ABS/SRS trouble codes, these OBD Bluetooth scanners have 10 OBD2 modes, that assist to read and access the trouble codes that trigger your check engine light.
Read Live Data
Live data reading enables you to see sensor readings, engine temperature, and other valuable information in real-time. Most OBD Bluetooth scanners with ABS/SRS also enable you to read sensor readings, engine temperature, and more.
EVAP System Tests
The OBD Bluetooth scanners also focus on vehicle emissions. Thus these can access and read data, allowing you to test the oxygen sensors and other emission system areas.
Besides reading the data from emission systems from your car, there is another helpful feature that allows for preparing for smog and emission checks.
Read VIN Data
Every vehicle is identified with a VIN code, that gives important information like the vehicle’s manufacturer and model.
Bluetooth OBD2 scanner with live data
The OBD Bluetooth scanners can access and read the trouble codes and health of your vehicle. But you’ll require a special type of OBD2 scanner for reading live data in real-time. This is when OBD Bluetooth scanners with live data come into play.
These OBD2 Scanners are superior to basic or even ones with ABS/SRS functionality as these show stats in live results. These live data includes 40 live data graphing options like:
- Calculated load value
- Fuel system status
- Engine Coolant Temperature
- Short and Long term fuel trim
- Engine RPM
- Vehicle Speed
- Sensor Ignition timing
- Intake air temperature
- Mass Air Flow
- Absolute Throttle Position
- Location of Oxygen Sensors
- Oxygen sensor output voltage
- Distance traveled while MIL activated
And beyond these, basic features like CEL, freeze frame, MIL, smog test, and check engine oil temperature is also offered in many of these OBD Bluetooth scanner tools with live data.
OBD scanner Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
After an informative reading session, we are clear with OBD2 scanner tools and ones with additional functionality rooting to ABS/SRS systems and live data. But before we end this, we’ll like to confront the different connectivity technologies. Until now, our concern was “OBD Bluetooth scanner” tools. But these scanners also feature wi-fi connectivity. These overcome the limitations of the Bluetooth scanner tools.
OBD scanners with Wi-Fi, though cost more than the Bluetooth ones, transfer data quicker, have a better range than the latter. And these don’t limit you to standing distances to your car. Wi-Fi OBD scanners advantageously allow you to send information to distances, using Wi-Fi and the internet. Plus Wi-Fi has gained more reliability over long-gone Bluetooth technology.
But there are some downsides to Wi-Fi OBD scanners, besides extra cost. Setting up Wi-Fi readers requires passwords, but beyond that, they have a complete edge over Bluetooth OBD2 scanner tools.
With this, we end the informative journey about OBD2 scanner tools. These tools come in handy in DIY diagnostic and save substantial costs of visiting the mechanics, even when the issue is small and can be resolved by you. Head out to our OBD scanner tools, visit our website to read more about OBD2 scanners, and let us know if we’d help you save some bucks from your mechanic friend.