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ToyotaRIMD
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Discussion Starter #1
How do I use OBD Adopter + OBD reader Apps helps to detect issues in used cars?
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Thanks for your replies to my thread.

I did find many pieces talked about OBD Adopter + OBD reader Apps to detect hidden issues in the car.

How far this can go?

What are the limitations between these apps and traditional OBD reader?

Will it help for Hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles (Camry, Prius) ?

What are the issues these OBD reader cannot detect ?

What are the potential OBD reader/apps to consider ?


Thanks for sharing.
 

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Super Moderator
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Using an OBD2 reader to check a used car won't help much. If the CEL is on, yeah, you'll be able to read the codes and have a guess at what's wrong. If the CEL is off, you'll see any "pending" codes.

Anything unrelated to a code, it won't help at all. Leaking coolant system, blown head gasket, worn out steering gear, etc, etc. Basically, anything mechanically related, it won't help at all.
 

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Sorry, this post is CD forum clone, got me confused.

OP, here's link for you:

 

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He he... sometimes, CEL is simply not there. And regular Joe misses that point. But, scanner WILL show codes even if CEL bulb is taken out.
Good point. Some people ignore it so long the bulb burns out. So you think it's got no codes, but in reality it does. The bulb should light up for a moment with the key's first turned. Checking with a reader will tell the tale for sure.
 

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BMR, you are such an honest person.
Some people spend 20 min to pull cluster out and remove the bulb. That easy. Or, air bag bulb. Or, else. And who really knows, that both have to come up shortly after key is turned to II position.
 

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  • Carista is a decent app but you may need to pay to read certain codes.
  • Torque Pro I liked but I really only used it to monitor unimportant stuff
  • Certain codes you need to have either a diagnostic tool, a very expensive code scanner (assuming they work...), or a Tech Stream to read (air bags, ABS)
 

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'00 4 Cyl. Auto Camry LE
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How do I use OBD Adopter + OBD reader Apps helps to detect issues in used cars?
Short answer is, you can't. Not what you are looking for, anyway. Best to take the vehicle you are interested in to your trusted mechanic, and pay the $75 or so for a comprehensive inspection by someone who has the tools, and knowledge to inspect the vehicle. Good luck w/ your purchase.
 

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ToyotaRIMD
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for weighing in. I did search for threads for ELM327 OBD scans in TN threads. There were some dated postings point to



The above links were broken.

I do find the following in ebay


What are the ELM327s from above list fit for current Toyota Hybrid/non-hybrid models with decent functionality for low price ?

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Don't buy anything on ebay.
Also, you will have access to hybrid data only with paid for Torque. But that's about $4. Well worth it.
Functionality for adapter is not really in adapter, it's in your laptop or phone. Don't complicate this.
Unless it's i phone, then it has to be adapter that works with i phone and it's several hundred bucks.
Torque has list of adapters posted on its site.
 

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Any CANBUS/ABS scanner will read brake codes. Harbor Freight has some inexpensive - relatively - CANBUS scanners.
To read transmissions, you need pro scanner. For Toyota, it's Techstream. Get 2 day subscription, enough to scan a car. You need a Mongus cable for laptop though. That's around $40 plus for quality cable that will work.
 

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IIRC, Toyota didn't start using CANBUS until about 2006? Good point though, since the OP's question was not specific re model years.
 

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Thanks for weighing in.

I did find a new bread

https://www.target.com/p/as-seen-on-...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/fixd-ca...ews-25213.html

FIXD

The above look expensive compare to the others items posted by others to my thread.

How these items differ? What are the additional values, we get for added $ for these items?

Thanks for sharing.
They are both "generic Chinese" readers. Go to eBay and you will find plenty. Just remember for a lot of products, the name is just the name but it will still do the same thing as anything else.

When I still worked at Target, people would ask me where the As Seen On TV Antenna is because it would get them free public television. I would tell them where it is and mention that in the end an antenna is still an antenna and you would get the same channels as a normal antenna but they were convinced they would get more with the As Seen On TV Antenna. Even if I did mention that TVs and antenna's today still work nearly the same as they did in the late 90s early 00s.
 

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ToyotaRIMD
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for weighing in. I did find many such

Auto ELM327 V2.1 OBD2 II Bluetooth Scanner Diagnostic 5V 3A Step Down Converter

With various price band. As I go with your TV Antenna example, will the low price one do the same job?

Thanks for sharing.
 

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I'm sure it will do the job of what you need it to do. I have heard that there are some high-end scanners that MIGHT be better but honestly I don't know. I used the Torque Pro app and it works. I used the Carista app and it let me change some settings that were present in TechStream. Pretty sure my old one was similar to the one you searched. At most, high-end scanners might have better speeds. There's a lot to it and probably more than I can think of. Or it is really simple and that is why there is so many out there.
  • Can it connect to the vehicle
  • How fast can it read the data from the vehicle
  • How fast can it transfer data to the phone
  • Can the phone take in the data
  • Can the app read the data
  • Can the app access data from the vehicle
  • Can the app change available options from the vehicle
 

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ToyotaRIMD
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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for your guidance.

I have the ELM 327 & android Torque Lite on my phone.

Are there any published tutorial/video learn about use ?

Thanks for sharing.
 

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ToyotaRIMD
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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for weighing in.



I got the ELM327 adapter & Torque app on android phone. I am able to get ECU data into torque app.



Are there any user guide/videos for interpreting the findings/test results on Torque app?



If the scan returns no trouble codes. what are the dial/test results spot trouble spots?



Thanks for sharing.
 

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Interpreting -- all over the place in text (Google search) or in video, on youTube. Olathe Toyota has a good Toyota-centric discussion of the common engine codes, causes, and possible solutions: https://parts.olathetoyota.com/toyota-engine-trouble-codes

Reading data from the various charts/dials that are available on Torque... that's a huge book. Use Google to find out how to read various data -- for example, for reading fuel trims, there is HUGE body of information both in text and video.
 
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