Tag Archives: engine

How to read engine codes with your smart phone – welcome to the new age

Guys, I remember tuning a car by ear with a timing light, vacuum gauge, feeling things out literally with my hands and so forth.  Boy has the world changed.  As the vehicles got smarter and smarter, someone decided to add On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) in the early 1980s first with the idiot “check engine” light and then it got more and more involved.  Modern cars and trucks in the US have an OBD II jack where you can plug in, read and clear fault codes, access real-time information and so forth.

Back in 2013 I saved my pennies and finally bought my own Autel Autolink Scanner for $102.  Wow – I thought was so cool.  I used it whenever fault codes popped up to figure out what it was but I had to lug the thing around and it wasn’t something you could readily update, etc.

A friend of mine came over about a year back to check on one of our cars.  He pulled a little black rectangle out of his jacket, plugged it into the car and then started looking at his phone.  I asked him what he was doing and he showed me that he was accessing the codes.  I was floored.

In June 2016, I decided to go the phone route to have a current scanner and a better interface.  After digging, I bought a BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII adapter for Android phones (about $22)  and I got the Torque software for my Samsung Note Android phone off the Google Play store for free.  What a difference.  The BAFX adapter was easy to carry around, I could customize the gauges I was looking at, and so forth.  For me this combo rocks.  It does all I need.  I really like it being cordless – you can walk around and so forth and still see the data.

By the way, installation is simple.  You follow the instructions to pair the scanner to your phone just like you would any other Bluetooth Device.  I downloaded Torque from the Google Play store on my phone in a matter of minutes and it is pretty much good to go.  You can create profiles for different vehicles in the software, change gauges you want to watch, their style, how they are grouped and so forth.

The following are screenshots from my phone plus you can see the little adapter that is a bit smaller than a cigarette box.

   

For example, my 2002 Camry’s check engine light is on and I could use the BAFX adapter and Torque to find out what the code was and then search using Google to decide what to do:

   

I really like the combination and recommend them.  In general, I am amazed by all the functionality that is showing up where the smart phone provides the brain and display thus dropping costs dramatically.  My recent GiraffeCam endoscope is another example.

By the way, I am so happy with this combination of BAFX scanner and Torque software that I sold my Autel scanner on eBay.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.



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BAFX Products Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader/Scanner for Android Devices (Automotive)

BEWARE OF IMITATORS! The BAFX Products® Scan Tool works on ALL vehicles located in the USA that are model year 1996 or newer! We GUARANTEE IT! Many tools CLAIM to work on all vehicles but have problems with the J1850 & CAN protocols. Ours doesn’t. Ours works on ALL protocols AND we actually mean it! People try the cheaper ones but then buy ours, because ours works. The BAFX Products® adapter will: Last longer, have more stable connections, give faster data rates & work smoother on ALL vehicles compared to our competitors. We also provide TOP NOTCH support. Have a question? Problem? Let us know, we WILL answer or fix the problem. NOT COMPATIBLE WITH iOS DEVICES! To use the OBD reader you will need to install a 3rd party app from the Android Store or online. Apps range in price from $0 – $5 with specialty apps costing up to $60. PC programs range from $0 – $50. Contact BAFX Products® for a list of apps When used with proper software, you can: •Read OBDII Check Engine Light Codes •Reset the CEL •Pull MANY other sensor readings •Graph sensor readings •PREPARE FOR EMISSIONS TESTING •And SO much more! •2 (Yes, TWO!) Year Warranty!* Problems beyond 2 years? Still, contact us! Examples of sensor readings: O2 Readings, EOT, EGT, Throttle, Boost, Speed, Fuel Trim, DPF Temp, Balance Rates & MUCH more! *NOTE! Not all vehicles support reading of ALL sensors. Readings supported depend on what’s installed on the OBDII system by the manufacturer. Generally, newer vehicles will give more readings. IF NOT LOCATED IN THE USA: CONTACT US before ordering to ensure it will work in your country! We ONLY guarantee it will work on vehicles located in certain countries! *Warranty ONLY valid if purchased from BAFX Products or authorized dealer

Features: 

  • OUR GUARANTEE – We promise our OBDII reader to work on ALL vehicles purchased in the USA model year 1996 or newer! Unlike so many other cheaper OBD II readers that say they will work on vehicles using J1850 or CAN protocols, but don’t, ours WILL work on these & we PROMISE that! Whether your vehicle is gas, diesel or hybrid, new or old, our OBD reader will work with it. Many people buy cheap first but always end up buying ours, because ours works!
  • WARRANTY – 2 YEAR WARRANTY (YES, 2!) – Covers manufacturing defects from date of purchase. A simple & hassle-free warranty process with USA based support will leave your mind at ease so you can focus on your cars maintenance and health!
  • MONITOR & ANALYZER – The BAFX Products OBD Scanner is a must have tool for your car. With it you can read & clear your Check Engine Light (CEL) & check your vehicle monitors such as O2 Sensors, Fuel Trim, Air Fuel Ratio, DPF Temp, Coolant Temp, Oil Temp, Fuel Pressure & so much more! Professional level diagnostics at a truly reasonable price.
  • APPS & CAR BRANDS – You will need to use a 3rd party app with our scan tool. There are many apps available ranging in price from $0-$40 such as: Torque, Dash Command, Carista, Scan Master, Piston & more! Contact BAFX for a complete list. Regardless of your brand of vehicle our OBD reader will work! Chevy, Ford, BMW, Lexus, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Honda, Mercedes, GM, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep & more, all covered!
  • IMPORTANT – You must have an Android or Windows based device to use our Bluetooth OBD2 reader. Our OBD reader CANNOT be used with iOS devices such as iPhones and the like. For iPhones & iPads, please look at our WiFi version! Also, this device will NOT read AirBag, ABS, TPMS or Oil Change lights. Our diagnostics tool will only read codes for the Check Engine Light.

List Price: $29.99 USD
New From: $22.41 USD In Stock
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