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-   -   OBDII reader with Bluetooth for Android? (https://www.toyota-4runner.org/3rd-gen-t4rs/284337-obdii-reader-bluetooth-android.html)

Outrider 03-24-2020 07:19 PM

OBDII reader with Bluetooth for Android?
 
I did a search, but nothing really jumped out at me, so I thought I would start a new thread.

Does anyone use an OBDII reader with Bluetooth for an Android phone or tablet? If so, what type do you have, and what are the pros and cons of it? I recall reading something about a particular type here, a long time ago, but I don't recall, and wasn't successful in a search, finding it. I have a code reader, so I'm not looking for something that just displays codes. I need real time diagnostics.

I am primarily looking to get one of these for another vehicle that doesn't have a temperature gauge, but rather just an idiot light. That vehicle is prone to the coolant recovery tank splitting, and by the time the idiot light comes on, the damage to the engine from overheating is likely already done.

I might also use this device on my T4R on occasion, so I thought I would ask here. Lots of DIY folks on here, and I haven't yet found a good forum for my other car (Mazda 3) for DIY stuff.

The primary things I am looking for are something that has a pretty low profile, so it doesn't get sheared off by my knee, and it also needs to display engine coolant temperature. I'm hoping to learn what the latest and greatest is.

Drew76 03-24-2020 07:49 PM

I use the HH OBD Bluetooth adapter for android with torque pro app. Have used it on multiple vehicles no problem for years. Remember every vehicle is different and you can only view info that is reported through the OBD connection. If that specific parameter you are interested in is not supported on your vehicle then the adapter and torque app will not display it. You are limited by the vehicle not the adapter or app, they are just an interface.

That being said you can buy the adapter and app for around $20 All in so it's not a big deal if it doesn't work for your application.

mtbtim 03-24-2020 07:59 PM

I also use the Torque Pro App with my Android Phone.

Here's what I bought for both my 3rd Gens:

*Bluetooth OBD II Reader
Amazon.com: Bafx Products - Wireless Bluetooth OBD2 / OBDII Diagnostic Car Scanner & Reader Tool for Android Devices - Read/Clear Your Check Engine Light & Much More: Automotive

*This On/Off Switch is a nice addition to the OBDII reader because the reader draws a small amount of power from your battery even when the vehicle is off. If you let the vehicle sit for long periods of time, it could drain your battery. This switch allows you to turn it off:
Amazon.com: Tonsiki OBD 2 Cord 16 pin M/F Male to Female Right Angle Diagnostic Extension Cable with Power Switch to avoid battery drain: Automotive

I don't have any complaints about the app, reader or switch. They all work really well. There is one thing I noticed and the volts reading is off by around 1 volt. When it reads 13.2 volts, it's really 14.2 volts. I confirmed this with a multimeter.

Without the switch, the OBD II reader hanging down out of the port isn't ideal. Before getting the switch, I bumped it with my foot and my leg a couple times. Once on a bumpy fire road, the reader fell out because gravity is working against you. With the switch, I was able to velcro the reader to the side of the center stereo console near my right leg on my 1998 and velcro it in the area below the ash tray on my 2000. I like this set-up but it might not look that clean to some people.

Outrider 03-24-2020 08:57 PM

Aha - now I recall the name Torque. I will look into that. Thanks.

I will use it primarily on a 2012 Mazda 3, so hopefully the car is advanced enough to give me information like coolant temperature.

R3Z3N 03-24-2020 09:08 PM

Curious, are there better diagnostics tools for the 4runner than ODB2?

In the BMW world we have INPA and others to read many more codes that may or may not trigger ODB faults. I find ODB2 to be much too limiting...

Brian. 03-25-2020 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by R3Z3N (Post 3462458)
Curious, are there better diagnostics tools for the 4runner than ODB2?

In the BMW world we have INPA and others to read many more codes that may or may not trigger ODB faults. I find ODB2 to be much too limiting...

Not for the 3rd gen 4runner.

The shop tool is Techstream, but there is nearly zero added functionality for the '99 (maybe there's more for the 01~02?) and it requires a laptop/computer and it runs on the OBD2 interface. BMW's have another diag port besides OBD2?

rkntoy 03-25-2020 10:13 PM

I like DashCommand

R3Z3N 03-26-2020 01:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian. (Post 3462585)
Not for the 3rd gen 4runner.

The shop tool is Techstream, but there is nearly zero added functionality for the '99 (maybe there's more for the 01~02?) and it requires a laptop/computer and it runs on the OBD2 interface. BMW's have another diag port besides OBD2?

Yes and no depending on year. You can plug in a laptop via the ODB2 port and read ALL the diagnostic codes, again, many more than the low number of ODB2 codes which is very primitive and rarely point the way forward to a fix. Depending on if the ECU was hacked, we can change which codes get flagged as ODB2 codes, good for engine swaps in Commiefornia.

Thanks TechStream looks like what I would be looking for if I ever get back to fixing my own stuff. I just came off a 3 year sports car build with engine swap and fully adjustable suspension with camber, caster, roll center, height etc, so I bought a 4 runner as a drive and forget about problems car.

DashCommand looks to be ODB2, which besides being terribly slow (not that I care with my SlowRunner, but for my peformance car ODB2 is MUCH too slow for track duty and tuning) also gives no added help for troubleshooting.

Mark_BC 03-26-2020 01:40 AM

Will this app make an alarm if your temperature goes too high? My Scangauge 2 is nice but you have to constantly monitor it.

mtbtim 03-26-2020 07:53 PM

To add to this conversation, I found out due to my own stupidity that these OBD II Readers will kill your battery faster than you think. I have the on/off switch for mine to prevent this from happening, but I forgot to switch it off when my drove my 98 last week. Today I tried to start it and the battery was dead. At first I thought I accidentally left the one of the dome lights on but I didn't. But, I did notice that I forgot to turn off the OBD II reader. This rig is not my primary rig so the the last time I drove it was around 4-5 days ago.

Just wanted you guys to know this so if you're using an OBD II reader in a rig you don't drive all that often, it's best to remove the reader or install an on/off switch so you can turn it off.

I knew the reader could drain a battery but I was a little shocked it only took 4-5 days to do it. My battery is not that old, maybe 2 years, and it's a good battery from Toyota.

Brian. 03-26-2020 08:48 PM

That's weird because I don't have a switch on mine (BAFX) and routinely leave it in a vehicle for a month or more without issues. With 4 vehicles between 2 people, the One unit sometimes winds up in a vehicle that simply didn't move, and it's been the 4runner a time or two. I thought the instructions/info said that it shut itself down after a period of inactivity... but I don't remember for sure.

mtbtim 03-26-2020 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian. (Post 3463251)
That's weird because I don't have a switch on mine (BAFX) and routinely leave it in a vehicle for a month or more without issues. With 4 vehicles between 2 people, the One unit sometimes winds up in a vehicle that simply didn't move, and it's been the 4runner a time or two. I thought the instructions/info said that it shut itself down after a period of inactivity... but I don't remember for sure.

Weird. Maybe the switch I have has something to do with it then but there was nothing else on in my rig other than that reader and my battery was dead after only 5 days tops.

mtbtim 03-26-2020 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian. (Post 3463251)
That's weird because I don't have a switch on mine (BAFX) and routinely leave it in a vehicle for a month or more without issues. With 4 vehicles between 2 people, the One unit sometimes winds up in a vehicle that simply didn't move, and it's been the 4runner a time or two. I thought the instructions/info said that it shut itself down after a period of inactivity... but I don't remember for sure.

Weird. Maybe the switch itself draws a decent amount of power because after only 5 days tops, my battery was dead and I double-checked nothing else was on. The only other explanation is I have some sort of new parasitic draw on the system but I highly doubt it. This is the first time I've left the reader on for this many days. I've done it in my other rig that I drive more often, but it was only running a day or two.

I went on Amazon and read this from the question section. Somebody asked, "Can I leave it plugged in".

Hi Christopher -
I am with BAFX Products Support.
In MOST vehicles you will be ok leaving the adapter plugged in as long as the vehicle is driven every few days. However we make the following recommendations:
1) Do not leave the adapter plugged in if it will not be driven for 24-48 hours
2) If your area is to be experiencing extreme cold unplug the adapter as the combination of cold and the adapter will drain it faster
3) If your battery is more than a 1-2 years old you will want to be very careful about leaving it plugged in, older batteries do not hold the same juice as the newer ones
4) If you have an electronics heavy vehicle such as BMWs tend to be we do not recommend leaving it plugged in as the vehicles electronics do not always fully power down either
5) If you have any other device plugged into the vehicle while it is off via cigarette ports or whatever we then also recommend removing the adapter
I hope that these tips and information are found helpful. If you have any further questions you may always reach out to us through the Amazon messaging system at any time!
Best regards,
BAFX Products Support see less
By BAFX Products SELLER on March 31, 2014

#5 was interesting to me because why would it matter if you kept something connected to the cigarette lighter plug? There's no power going to it with the ignition off. I do keep an inverter and a CB radio plugged into the cigarette lighter socket. Who knows, maybe this has something to do with why my battery drained so quickly. My battery is around 2 years old.

TheDurk 03-27-2020 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mtbtim (Post 3463271)
Weird. Maybe the switch itself draws a decent amount of power because after only 5 days tops, my battery was dead and I double-checked nothing else was on. The only other explanation is I have some sort of new parasitic draw on the system but I highly doubt it. This is the first time I've left the reader on for this many days. I've done it in my other rig that I drive more often, but it was only running a day or two.

I went on Amazon and read this from the question section. Somebody asked, "Can I leave it plugged in".

Hi Christopher -
I am with BAFX Products Support.
In MOST vehicles you will be ok leaving the adapter plugged in as long as the vehicle is driven every few days. However we make the following recommendations:
1) Do not leave the adapter plugged in if it will not be driven for 24-48 hours
2) If your area is to be experiencing extreme cold unplug the adapter as the combination of cold and the adapter will drain it faster
3) If your battery is more than a 1-2 years old you will want to be very careful about leaving it plugged in, older batteries do not hold the same juice as the newer ones
4) If you have an electronics heavy vehicle such as BMWs tend to be we do not recommend leaving it plugged in as the vehicles electronics do not always fully power down either
5) If you have any other device plugged into the vehicle while it is off via cigarette ports or whatever we then also recommend removing the adapter
I hope that these tips and information are found helpful. If you have any further questions you may always reach out to us through the Amazon messaging system at any time!
Best regards,
BAFX Products Support see less
By BAFX Products SELLER on March 31, 2014

#5 was interesting to me because why would it matter if you kept something connected to the cigarette lighter plug? There's no power going to it with the ignition off. I do keep an inverter and a CB radio plugged into the cigarette lighter socket. Who knows, maybe this has something to do with why my battery drained so quickly. My battery is around 2 years old.

Again, BMWs are where that problem is. The cig plugs are always hot. I had an inverter that would kill a BMW battery fast if left connected.

The BAFX definitely does constitute a parasitic drain. The OBDII plug power pin is always hot. I have left mine in for extended period of time, but never without driving every few days. It would be easy enough to measure if anyone really needed to know.

mtbtim 03-27-2020 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDurk (Post 3463420)
Again, BMWs are where that problem is. The cig plugs are always hot. I had an inverter that would kill a BMW battery fast if left connected.

The BAFX definitely does constitute a parasitic drain. The OBDII plug power pin is always hot. I have left mine in for extended period of time, but never without driving every few days. It would be easy enough to measure if anyone really needed to know.

I have noticed that my girlfriend's BMW Z3 Roadster battery will drain down after sitting for around 3 weeks and it happened on a very new battery because I replaced it not too long before leaving for a trip. It could have a parasitic draw somewhere but I need to see if she keeps anything plugged into the cigarette plug. My 4runners can sit for that long no problem without totally draining the battery.


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