Monday, July 2, 2018

Has anyone ever heard of these?

You plug it into your car's computer port and use an app on your phone to download the Check Engine error codes.

They have some slick marketing, but that doesn't mean that the thing is very good.  If it is, then this seems like a pretty handy thing to have.

Here's there web site.


Rick C said...

Places like AutoZone have a box they can plug into your OBD-II port and pull error codes. They'll do it for free. You get a printout with the codes and typically a very short common list of "this error could be caused by...".

Fixd's value, it would seem, is in telling you in more detail what's likely the problem with your car ("you probably need a new O2 sensor, and if it's not that, you'll probably have to replace the bank 2 catalytic converter")

Weetabix said...

I have a $12 or $15 OBDII dongle that works on blue tooth to connect to my tablet or phone. On the phone is an app called Torque. The app reads all the OBDII data and puts it on meters on the screen.

It also reads all the codes and tells you what they are.

It looks pretty much the same as the one you're looking at. It's been helpful several times for check engine code issues.

I'd look at the Torque app as well and see if it supports this sending unit. When you're bored on a road trip, it's fun to try to hold your manifold vacuum as high as possible or compare your GPS speed to your transmission measured speed, or try to maximize your instantaneous fuel mileage. Tranny out of gear, clutch in, down a hill gets pretty good results.

Unknown said...

I don't have any direct personal experience with FIXD.

But over the weekend, I ordered a LELink Bluetooth Low Energy BLE OBD-II OBD2 Car Diagnostic Tool off Amazon. I expect it to arrive today: if I have anything interesting to report, I'll post on my blog.

The LELink seems to be a little more expensive than other ones I've seen, but I picked it for two reasons:

1) It is one of the adapters supported by OBD Fusion ( which is the app I plan to run on my iPhone. (Also available for Android.) The key selling point for me on this app was the claimed ability to create and display custom real-time dashboards, so I can (for example) monitor coolant temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature, and MPG in real time, which I like. As I understand the marketing materials, OBD Fusion will also do the code display, and it looks like it has some robust data export capability.

2) The adapter maker claims it has a "User configurable auto on/off ZERO power standby mode". One thing I've heard from some of my friends who are using other OBD adapters: if you leave them plugged in to car and let the car sit for about a week without driving it, you'll find the adapter drains your battery. I do generally drive more frequently than once a week, but there are few things in life worse than coming back to the long-term airport lot late at night (after your flight was delayed several hours) and finding out your car won't start.


Weetabix said...

I did some digging. Here's the scan tool I ordered:

I use the Torque app from the Google Play Store. It will do the stuff Dwight mentioned above in his item 1.

I don't know which one works better, if either, because I only have the one. But it's been quite adequate.

B said...

I agree with Weetabix. I have used similar dongles (they all work about the same) and the Torque app....the combination will read codes and more, and Torque Lite is free.

I cannot see a reason to spend the extra for nothing, really.

Unknown said...

"...I can (for example) monitor coolant temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature, and MPG in real time"

Following up to myself on this: I got the LELink but haven't plugged it in yet. I'll probably do that on Wednesday.

I did download and start working with OBD Fusion, and found that it will apparently do everything on my list above, plus...

...except oil pressure. It'll do oil temperature, but not pressure.

Poking around the net and doing some reading, it looks like oil pressure is a non-standard PID code, and depends (obviously) on whether your vehicle is equipped with an actual oil pressure sensor, or just a switch and a warning light.

Which, you know, is fine. I can live with that. Worst case, I'll see if I can find someone to plumb in a real gauge.


James said...

Been using one on my Ford F250 with a tablet for awhile. I believe it is the LELink but definitely the Torque app. Paid the $5 for the full version. Has the Ford specific PID codes.

Great to keep an eye on the engine when I am hauling a heavy load. Able to potentially catch problems before they get to be big problems.

James said...

But find one that encrypts the Bluetooth and make sure yours is read only. Some of them can also reprogram portions of the chip. Even on accident.