Gone are the days when you needed a stand-alone OBD-II reader tied with a cable to the OBD port of your car. Now you can turn your Android or iPhone smartphone into a car diagnostic tool. All you will need is an ELM327 Bluetooth adapter. (What is ELM327?) The OBD II Bluetooth adapters not only read and erase the check engine light (CEL) but can also stream live data from the different sensors of the car. The best part is that most of these adapters cost under $100. With so many options out there, we decided to review several, and here are our top picks. First, watch this quick video to see how easy and powerful these OBD-II scanners are.
These scanners work with any vehicle with an OBD 2 port. All cars made after 1996 sold in the USA should have an OBD-II port.
Average Cost $99
The BlueDriver Bluetooth scanner is one of the most popular devices, and that’s for a good reason. This scanner works with both iPhone and Android phones. It even works with the iPad. Besides reading and erasing the check engine light, it lets you do other things, such as display vehicle info, VIN, assembly location, engine data, and fuel economy. All these outputs can be saved or printed if you like. Another great feature of BlueDriver is that it will tell you if the car is ready to pass the emission test/smog readiness test. You will also be able to repair reports. If you get a check engine code, the software will give you some ideas about the issue and suggest possible solutions for your particular make and model.
- Compatible with iPhone, Android, iPad
- Free software, BlueDriver App
- Save or print all your saved data and reports.
- Vehicle-specific repair reports. (FREE)
- Check emission inspection and smog test status.
Average Cost: $25
The least expensive alternative is one of the most popular OBD2 Bluetooth adapters. It will allow you to read both generic and manufacturer-specific trouble codes. The adapter does come with the software, but many users prefer to use this with the Torque App. Why? This adapter becomes a powerful tool combined with the Torque Pro app, which you can get from the Play Store.
There are a lot of fake adapters out there that try to copy the BAFX Bluetooth adapter, so be careful. The fake adapters have comparability and Bluetooth problems, so stay away from them. You can get the authentic adapter on Amazon; see here.
- Easily read, check engine light, and reset.
- Monitor live sensor data such as O2, Engine RPM, Throttle position, speed fuel trim, and a lot more.
- Check emission readiness.
- Keep track of your 0-60 mph times.
- The original adapter by BAFX Products is more stable, has a faster data transfer rate, and should not have any issues.
- The cheapest OBD II Bluetooth adapter (excluding fake products)
Average Cost $99
ScanTool Bluetooth adapter will turn your Android smartphone or Windows PC into a scanner. Sorry Apple iPhone users, this is not for you. If you would like a compatible adapter made by ScanTool, check out the OBDLink MX Wi-Fi. Comes with its own software but can also be used with the app of your choice. It supports all OBD-2 protocols, plus it supports SW-CAN and MS-CAN protocols.
- Fast communication with your car’s ECU is helpful if you want to look at live data.
- Comes with ScanTool.net OBDwiz software free.
- Compatible with 3rd party apps such as Torque and Dashcommand
Average Cost: $80-$120
Here is another adapter that works both on Android and Apple smartphones. Besides reading and erasing the check engine light, this Bluetooth OBD II adapter will allow you to save maintenance records, trip data, and fuel economy MPG consumption. Most of this data can be streamed in real-time. It will read most European, Asian, and Domestic vehicles. The fuel consumption test is designed to help driver understand their driving habits and help them drive more efficiently. While this is a good app, it has only one disadvantage. It only works with the proprietary app. Thus, you can’t use any other apps, such as Torque. Compatible with OBDII Protocols: CAN J1850PWM, J1850VPW, IS09141 and KWP2000
Using an OBD II Bluetooth adapter in your car is easy. Watch the video below or follow these steps: Install the software with the device or download the Torque app from the store. Go to your phone settings and enable Bluetooth devices. Plug in the adapter of your choice, see list below, into the OBD II port under the dash on the driver’s side, usually right above the gas or the brake pedal. Open the software installed earlier, and you are good to go.
If you want a more professional OBD-II Scanner that does not use Bluetooth, Use the YOUCANIC Full System Scanner.
YOUCANIC full system diagnostic scanner is a powerful tool that can help you troubleshoot Mercedes-Benz problems quickly and efficiently. This scanner can communicate with all the control units in your Mercedes-Benz, including the engine, transmission, ABS, SRS, and more. By accessing real-time data from these control units, you can pinpoint the root cause of the problem and take appropriate action to resolve it.
Whether you’re experiencing issues with your engine, transmission, or other systems in your Mercedes-Benz, the YOUCANIC diagnostic scanner can provide valuable insight into what’s going on under the hood. This scanner can help you identify error codes, read live data, and perform special functions like reset adaptations or component tests. With this information, you can make informed decisions about repairs, maintenance, and upgrades to keep your Mercedes-Benz running smoothly.
Overall, the YOUCANIC full system diagnostic scanner is invaluable for any Mercedes-Benz owner or technician looking to troubleshoot problems quickly and accurately. With its user-friendly interface and powerful diagnostic capabilities, you can save time, money, and frustration by diagnosing and resolving issues with your Mercedes-Benz quickly and efficiently.