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OBD on Your Smartphone?

24 September 2015, 10:37

OBD on Your Smartphone?

There is no doubt that technology has come a long way in recent years and this is especially true when we are talking about vehicles and smartphones.

Now it seems as if everything is handled by computers and the use of OBD diagnostic tools is now essential if you want to get to grips with so many potential issues.

However, it appears that technology has continued to move on even within this particular industry because where in the past you had to rely on the scanner and a computer, the industry has been brought up to speed by introducing the smartphone to the equation.

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How it Works

In order to get this technology to work, you need to buy a special interface that plugs into the OBDII connection port on your dashboard. You can purchase such adapters here

This special interface is actually linked to an app that you have to download to your smartphone in order to get it to work, and the rest is actually pretty easy to understand.

This interface sends the information from the on-board computer, to your phone via Bluetooth and your smartphone app then shows you the various trouble codes and information that you will generally get from pretty much every single scanner and diagnostic tool on the market.

It really is that easy and, perhaps more importantly, it is impressive how it works and if it is something that you would want to try, then these are the best apps for you to get your hands on right now.

Blue Driver

The most prominent tool of its kind is called Blue Driver and it is a good example as it works with both Android phones as well as the iPhone. This is important as a number of the other versions will only work with one or the other, so you need to double check before you buy.

However, with this version you will find that it really is ‘plug-n-play’ so to speak and it is also worth pointing out that it is also capable of working with your tablet computer as well as your smartphone. All you need to do is download the app, plug in the interface, and then let it scan.


This particular app and tool is only compatible with Android phones as well as Windows, so if you own an Apple of any kind, then you need to look elsewhere. It is seen as being the fastest version out there and you are also able to leave the Bluetooth interface plugged in as it has a special sleep mode meaning it will wake up the app on your phone as soon as something is wrong.

This is pretty clever stuff and it is also extremely easy to understand and use, which is always a bonus. It might be slightly more expensive, but it is worth the extra cost.

Torque Pro

Torque Pro is a wonderfully simple app for Android phones that will show you basic information about how your car is performing as you drive along.

The only thing you need to do is to connect your Android device via the connector and it will then be able to provide you with a wealth of information regarding your engine and the various sensors throughout your vehicle.

OBD Car Tracker

The OBD Car Tracker app is a brilliant solution for those individuals with either an iPhone or an iPad although there is also an Android version now on the market.

It allows you to both track your vehicle via your smartphone as well as providing you with diagnostic information that allows you to potentially identify a number of different issues.

It sets off an alarm when something goes wrong and as long as you understand the information that it is providing you with, then you will be surprised at how detailed this app can be.

More apps

There are various others out there on the market, but perhaps the best part about these smartphone apps is that they do not tend to complicate matters by giving you too much information that you are left feeling swamped.

They are simple, easy to use, provide you with easy to follow information, and at the end of the day you will have a better understanding of what is going on with your vehicle.

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