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Reviewing OBD2 Bluetooth Auto Diagnostic Scanner Possibilities

Reviewing OBD2 Bluetooth Auto Diagnostic Scanner Possibilities

With technology advancing rapidly in vehicles we are seeing more and more D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) Bluetooth “diagnostic” tools. As most people know starting in 1996 car manufactures implemented the OBD2 system to new cars. OBD2 stands for ON BOARD DIAGNOSTIC and is connected to the cars computers. Similar to errors given on a household computer, the car computer gives errors when there is a malfunction of parts for the emissions system, ABS brake assist, SRS airbag system, and other major components of the car. The OBD2 port allows external computers to connect to the car computer and read the error codes given when your car’s check engine light is activated. The majority of these codes are emissions related issues and need to be diagnosed by a trained technician to find the correct broken piece in the car. Other codes are for other parts of the car. The codes themselves do not always tell you the exact part that needs to be replaced. They simply tell a technician where to start looking to find the issue.  

In the past five years there has been an increase in tools that read auto codes and an increase in sales of these items to the general public. The question is; do you really need to purchase one if you are not a technician who works on cars regularly? We are going to help you understand how these items work in general and provide you with a link to an in depth review of specific OBD2 devices.

The general way these readers work:

1.      The check engine light is activated.

2.      You plug in the code reader.

3.      Set up the code reader and phone app if needed. (Most bluetooth dongles need an app)

4.      Learn how to use the reader and/or app.

5.      Don’t use it again until the check engine light is activated again.
Please note: Some of the bluetooth devices stay plugged in so it can send you alerts and be monitored with the smartphone app.

So that is the basic guideline of how to use any of the wireless/bluetooth OBD2 devices out there. Some scanners offer things like fuel consumption data but most of the time you need a different app to monitor those things. Also, a dash light will alert you to any of the same issues that arise in your cars system without having the bluetooth app monitoring system or dongle device. OBD2 readers are not usually compatible with some electric or hybrid cars due to them not having the same emissions requirements as regular or diesel motors. Some OBD2 readers are not compatible with all android or apple devices. Be sure to check this before you purchase the device.

For more information about D.I.Y. automotive diagnostic scan tools including specific reviews of the tools please visit:



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Cherril Babbs

I am Cherril and I have been around cars and trucks my entire life. From watching my dad hang motors by a tree limb in our back yard at 4, to working on my own cars and eventually writing content and creating advertising material in my current position at a European auto repair shop, I understand both the customer (you) and the shop side of auto repair and service. Do I always agree with everything on both sides, no, but do I understand them, yes. I have decided to help bridge the gap between what many people think and feel about cars and auto shops and what we actually do at this shop. It is my goal to help you understand your options and the facts of the situations we see every day. I always encourage you to ask questions no matter where you choose to have your car worked on.

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