A Comprehensive Guide To The Obdator ELM327 OBDii Scanner Tool
ELM327 Bluetooth OBDii devices are the perfect example of technological advancements, the devices have made vehicle diagnostics unardoned, and despite the fact that it doesn’t support all phone applications, the device has been equipped with the option of using a USB cable for connectivity.
Digitization has made life easy to navigate and cheaper, for example, look at the smart homes and the smart tools that you can now use to determine the exact problem that your car has developed.
Instead of spending your precious time at the mechanics trying to figure out what is wrong with your car, why not just do it at the comfort of your home garage with an On-Board Diagnostic device.
What Is OBDii Scanner and How Is It Used?
On-Board Diagnostics (OBD-II), is a type of software that is used by car owners to regulate and monitor a car’s main functions. It is thus a standardized system programmed to collect information from cars and trucks, it will, therefore, diagnose the car’s problems.
For example, it is able to diagnose a vehicle's ignition or the fuel mixtures. And to be able to understand the data from OBD-II, car owners would have to use scanners or their phones and tablets.
OBD II adapters are your general, standalone tools, but will work best when paired with a phone or laptop, through an application to help in the analysis of results, as well as store data which your mechanic can easily refer to.
What is ELM327?
The OBDii ELM327 bluetooth is a microcontroller that has been programmed to translate the onboard diagnostics interface that is found in most of the modern cars. ELM327 comes with codes to enable Bluetooth pairing, which can be any of the following; 0000, 9999, 1234, or 6789.
In the event that all four pin codes fail, ELM327 users are advised to try any other consecutive sequence of four numbers.
If you are still unable to pair your device to the obd 2 ELM 327 adapter try switching devices since some micro-controllers are unable to connect to certain devices. Remember to let only one minute pass after powering up the device before inputting either of the codes mentioned above.
This is because Bluetooth usually has a limited time frame to recognize a device before it times out, causing your Android or iPhone device to go unrecognized with the first attempt.
And since you will be using a Bluetooth connection, don’t be surprised when your diagnostics drops the connection, the problem also extends to WI-FI users.
That does not, however, mean that you cannot enjoy a stable connection, therefore, if you want a solid connection when carrying out your car's diagnostics then it would be best if you considered getting a wired USB connection.
How to pair your device to the ELM327 OBDII Adapter
The ELM327 Bluetooth Onboard Diagnostic equipment pairs comfortably with most Android devices. You may, however, experience some hiccups getting it to pair with your IPhone or any other iOS device due to the unique way Apple products interact with Bluetooth.
IPhone users should, therefore, opt for the Wi-Fi ELM327 adapter or buy a device that acts as both a reader and an adaptor. The use of USB cables also comes in handy.
First, locate your OBD II portal, which is conveniently placed underneath the steering wheel on the ‘driver's side. Its position may differ depending on the car make, model, and year of manufacture.
Take your ELM327 Wi-Fi scanner and plug it in then proceed to turn on your ignition. Once your device is powered up, go to Settings-Wi-Fi, wait for the Wi-Fi signal to show (can take a few seconds) and then connect. The password is usually standard, which is 12345678.
Launch your OBD app of choice-Torque Pro- which can be found on Google Play Store. Go to the Torque Pro app settings and configure it to connect to Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth.
Your device should now be able to recognize the Wi-Fi connection and pair. If unsuccessful, force quit by double-pressing the home button and start the process again.
Note, Wi-Fi adapters can end up interfering with your Smartphone’s internet connection.
Go to Settings – Bluetooth settings and turn on your Bluetooth. Wait for your Smartphone or tablet to scan for the OBD II device, choose ELM327, and pair your phone. Use any of the above pin code options if prompted for a password.
The process is just as simple if you plan on using the OBD II app Torque Pro. Go to the app settings page and configure it to connect with the Bluetooth scanner.
Using apps has its advantages, and you will not only be able to get real-time engine data as the car is running but also store logged fault codes for later review.
Note, Android users may have a difficult time using Wi-Fi ELM327 adapters and are likely to suffer instances where their ELM327 pairs ‘won't connect or will be unable to hold a connection.
ELM327 Adapter Review
The ELM327 adapter can be categorized into three groups; Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB to cater to different operating systems. It can run and read both generic and manufacturer-specific diagnostic trouble codes.
It has an inbuilt DTC and abbreviation library that allows you to define up to 3000 generic codes for an accurate diagnosis.
The wireless technology offered by this diagnostic tool allows for fast and hassle-free connections. It has excellent response time, making it a must-have for busy auto repair shops.
The ELM327 adapter supports all OBD II protocols displaying critical sensor data like O2 sensor test, engine speed, and fuel pressure.
Being an OBD II scanner, the ELM327 device will run basic diagnostics on any vehicle manufactured on and after 1996 giving it a wide range of vehicle compatibility.
It is also compatible with Windows, third-party apps, iOS, and Android devices and can be updated on either system.
- ELM327 Bluetooth wireless technology has extensive coverage providing a cable-hassle free connection.
- It is compatible with third-party apps such as Torque Pro, DashCommand, OBD Auto Doctor, and OBD Car doctor, which allows the user to constantly monitor the vehicle's systems even when the engine is running.
- Can display freeze frame data for ECU reference
- Compatible with most US, European, and Asian car make and models.
- It is not compatible with heavy trucks
- It does not match ABS and airbag systems
Bluetooth Features of the ELM327
- ELM327 can be used with different machines to relay diagnostic information, such as the android phones, windows laptops, and tablets among others.
- The device is compatible with a wider range of vehicles which has been an obvious problem with some of the scan tools in the market.
- The scanner comes in a small size that can barely obstruct a driver’s legroom.
- The type of sensor data relayed is such as the vehicle speed, the coolant temperature, the intake air pressure, and the fuel system status.
- The ELM327 is hack-proof, as it works with a 128-bit military-grade data encryption protection system
- Users also benefit from its ability to work seamlessly with any Android OBD application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to leave my OBD plugged in?
Though it is possible to leave your OBD device connected, you should know that they draw their power from the car’s battery, so you might want to check on that to avoid future problems.
Are there other good apps to use with elm327?
HobDrive is a good obd2 application for android users but will have you digging deeper into your pocket because of the attached high price. There is also the Scan Master and the InCarDoc Pro.
Are there any differences between OBD 1 and OBD2?
OBD2 is remotely connected to the car, while OBD1 is connected to the console of the car, also, OBD2 is the latest version that came into light in 1992, while OBD 1 has been around since the beginning of car manufacture.
The ELM327 Bluetooth OBD II adapter will alert you of any underlying issues that your car engine control unit might have. This Bluetooth adapter offers its users a more comfortable, cable-free way of monitoring and reading PIDs from their laptops, tablet, and or smartphone.
Connecting ELM327 to your Smartphone makes monitoring the car systems way easier. This is because of its ability to use microcontrollers, Bluetooth chips, and cards that allow connectivity to a range of devices, including PCs.
This plug and play device is capable of performing the latest OBD II protocols such as displaying battery status, making it a must-have for experts and car enthusiasts alike.
In some cases, the ELM327 ‘won't pair with your iPhone, but that has more to do with how Apple products interact with Bluetooth rather than the effectiveness of the adaptor. Apple users are, therefore, advised to buy the Wi-Fi or USB connector interface to avoid connectivity issues.
Potential buyers should also avoid opting for cheap versions of the ELM327 Bluetooth interface as this may affect connectivity with any device-whether Android or iOs. Despite this, the ELM327 remains a reliable device for diagnosing OBD II and EOBD cars.