My car’s on-board computer system sometimes gives unexplained, rather random, error messages. Up until now, I went to the dealer garage to have my car’s on-board computer system be analyzed and reset. Recently I heard that I could buy an OBD2-dongle myself and read and erase error messages myself. That would be a real time (and money) saver.
Is there any budget-friendly OBD2-dongle that I can use with my iPhone ?
Yes there are several OBD2-dongles available that can do the job for you. Just make sure that you keep these things in mind when choosing one :
- make sure the OBD2-dongle is compatible with iOS (as some are only compatible with PCs or Android-devices)
- make sure the OBD2-dongle’s connection is over Bluetooth LowEnergy a.k.a. BLE (since that’s the only way to be able to connect your iPhone to your regular WiFi-network (internet) and to the OBD2-dongle at the same time)
- make sure the OBD2-dongle is based on the original ELM327 chip (most cheap Chinese knock-offs are based on problematic, unreliable clone chips)
- make sure the OBD2-dongle is compatible with the software you are planning to use with it (not every OBD2-app connects equally good to every OBD2-dongle & if you need to erase the error messages, most FREE versions won’t do so you will usually need the Pro version)
One of the cheapest reliable OBD2-dongles I’ve found is the TONWON OBDII Pro Bluetooth BLE4.0 for about €26,- ;
buy it on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de
And do not forget to get an accompanying iOS-app :
most interesting for the budget-wary is Car Scanner ELM OBD2 Pro for about €5,50
(or the more expensive OBD Fusion at about €11,- or even the €20,- OBD AutoDoctor that even has an additional Mac-version)
…so buying into this DIY-solution is cheaper than having your car’s on-board computer system reset only once !