A modern car is literally stuffed with electronics, so it’s not always easy to identify a breakdown. Computer diagnostics, which is offered by many car services, helps to solve this problem. Today, almost every car is equipped with an onboard computer that has diagnostic connectors.
You can diagnose the condition of the car without visiting a car repairing service center. To do this, the motorist will need a special adapter, a smartphone with Bluetooth, and one of the mobile diagnostic applications on the smartphone. Of course, worth remembering that such apps may be used only for your own use, just to be aware of the car’s condition and to understand, for instance, why the engine control indicator light up. In case you need car body repair or more detailed car scanning and diagnostics you need to go to the service center.
What is needed to diagnose a car via a smartphone?
You can connect a mobile device and read information from the electronic systems of the car through a special adapter. One of the most popular is the diagnostic car code scanner OBD-II based on the ELM327 microcontroller.
Next, you need to find and use the diagnostic connector. It is located inside the cabin and is most often located under the steering column. You need to insert an adapter into such a connector. It is better to do this with the engine turned off. Then you need to synchronize the adapter and the smartphone via Bluetooth.
To read information about the condition of the car, you need a special application. Next, we list some of the best programs that will help to diagnose.
Applications for car diagnostics via smartphone
The diagnostic application can be downloaded via Google Play. To use them, you need to start the engine – only then the application will be able to get information about the status of the car and display it. It is also important that in the application settings you need to find and select the desired adapter among other Bluetooth devices.
The application has paid and free versions, you can use any. With the help of the program, you can monitor the activity of the car in real-time, carry out a complete diagnosis of the engine, save dynamic parameters and display information in the form of graphs, arrow pointers, or digital values. A big plus of the program is the ability to customize it for yourself, and install widgets and their sizes. You can manually add the necessary widgets to the dashboard. The application also shows and resets error codes, and determines power, temperature, and CO2 emissions. All available information can be sent by e-mail for further analysis. The application will work on almost all cars released after 2000.
With this application, you can read and reset engine and CVT errors (here the emphasis is on this gearbox), and track temperature data, pressure, mileage, fuel consumption, etc. Two program options are available – free DEMO mode and paid version.
HobDrive combines an intelligent onboard computer and diagnostic software. The application uses the ELM327 adapter and GPS sensors to get the necessary information. In addition to tracking the basic indicators of the car, the hobDrive application allows you to estimate the time and distance on the remaining tank, make records of refueling and expenses, and track overheating and suspicious values of fuel corrections. A version with limited functionality is available for free. With the license, the number of possibilities increases, and the application developers help with setting up and diagnosing cars.
The application allows you to configure the display of all sensors and parameters both more visually (in the form of arrow pointers or graphs) and compactly: all parameters are displayed succinctly on one screen. It has a wide database of error transcripts, as well as already configured connection profiles for specific car brands.
It is a car diagnostic application developed for Android and iOS. It connects to the vehicle’s onboard computer via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It can be installed for free, but you have to pay extra for the advanced functionality. The minimalistic and user-friendly interface quickly helps to understand what is what.
InCarDoc illustrates info using graphs and diagrams. Also, when using the platform for the first time, you can access the demo version without setting up an account. The test mode saves the characteristics of the real profile, such as maps and routes, the display of vehicle parameters and OBD records.
Hope this material was useful and remember, that such apps are a great benefit but can not replace the precise diagnostics at the service center.