New Find - OBD2 Ports

Did you know that the US introduced legislation many years ago that mandated that car owners should be able to diagnose faults on their own cars?

The result is that pretty much any car manufactured in 2001 or later has an “OBD2” port fitted (within 600mm of the steering wheel in theory). The result is, you can now get a cheap (< £10 in the uk on Amazon) device, which plugs into the port, and sends fault codes and a range of performance data by bluetooth back to your phone.

What this means is if you like to do your own servicing and repairs, you should be able to. More to the point for most people, you can see the fault code for yourself and figure out if your garage is telling you the truth about the reported faults. You might even be able to cut some of the diagnostic time off your garage bills.

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Very cool! Anyone tried this?

I bet @sil would be interested in this. :slight_smile:

There are a ton of Free Android apps that can make use of OBD2 readers. You can use them for all sorts of things, including real-time fuel efficiency read outs.

I’ve got a bluetooth dongle for my car’s ODB2 port and within about a week saved myself a trip to the garage to diagnose an engine fault light. I used an android app called “Torque” which does all sorts of cool stuff with the data, and you could also use for making a custom dashboard - I really wanted to have a fuel gauge that used data from the diagnostic port as my car’s standard gauge is rubbish, but not all cars report fuel levels that way, and mine’s one that doesn’t!

I currently do the same as @marxjohnson, Bluetooth OBDC2 dongle and Torque Pro (on Android). I’ve looked at using a RPi and a small touchscreen to make a little Grand Turismo style computer in the car, with GPS etc.

I have noticed that most dashboard “computers” that have an MPG/Fuel consumption readout, tend to present an optimistic version of how economically you’re driving. If you drive with the OBD2 plugged in and something like Torque on your phone, you get the actual data and get a paradigm change in your view of how quickly you’re burning fuel.

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