Complicated Car Meets Uncomplicated Scan Tool
Cars are incredibly complicated but you wouldn’t know that from the way they’re advertised or from how easy they have become to drive. Most of that comes from the electronics and other technologies that have been embedded inside. In the old days you’d kick the tires and look under the hood to see if anything was wrong — but that was hardly proactive. Today you can go to our car dealer and have him plug into your car’s “brain” to get a good idea of how well your car is doing. And then find out you’re going to need an expensive repair or “adjustment.” So why not do that testing yourself so you can catch a problem in the making? Sure and it's because of the OBD2 port, which has been installed into cars since 1996. This port has a direct line into the car's inner working and shoots a set of basic info out every time the car is started. And when we say “basic” we mean that there are devices that plug in here that gloss over a lot of important things worth knowing about (airbags for one comes to mind). So at its most basic the BlueDriver Scan Tool joins in. But as will be seen, it doesn’t just do the minimum of what is expected of it.
BlueDriver And Bluetooth Work Together For You
BlueDriver is a bit squat, dull colored and has a female port at one end for plugging into the OBD2. What gets collected from the car is transmitted via Bluetooth and goes to (what else?) a smartphone iOS/Android app ( without any subscription involved). The app has a number of functions, which we’ll get to momentarily. But first a quick note about use: obviously the car is parked and the motor turned off. The OBD2 port is generally found in the underside on the driver’s side, and in the case of our Mazda MX-5 2016 model, it’s under the dash below the steering wheel. But yes it took a flashlight and an embarrassing position to locate it for the first time. BlueDriver holds in by friction and takes its power from the car’s electrical system, so there’s no internal battery. We start the car, turn to the app and leave the car in park
A Short Look Around Of The App
Now keep in mind that while BlueDriver matches your vehicle’s make and model and syncs the trouble code to a database of millions of repairs to find a specific fix — some things will definitely be beyond your taking on the repair itself. For most BlueDriver will be an indespensible tool for assessing the health of the vehicle. You might want to leave the (possible) repair to others, even though the repair report fixes have been verified by Pro Automotive Technicians. It’s up to you.
Now the basics info noted that are outputed are just the begunning. BlueDriver looks at smog and emissions testing and so many other things. Perhaps the best way to proceed is to look at the icons on the app and note what they do:
Read Codes — Showing the Engine codes (explaning them), and reading enhanced codes like ABS or the Transmission.
Repair Reports: A report is generated here as to possible causes and info as to possible fixes, etc. For example:
P0406 CODE DEFINITION: • Exhaust Gas Recirculation Sensor A Circuit High5 POSSIBLE CAUSES:
EGR sensor connector is damaged (check pins for damage, and for moisture)
EGR sensor has failed • EGR sensor return circuit is open
EGR sensor signal is shorted to voltage
PCM has failed TOP REPORTED FIX:
Replaced Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve
Mode 6: Here advanced test results for the on-board diagnostic system monitors is found.
Freeze Frame: A “snapshot” of the vehicle’s data is stored. For example (a piece of the whole):
Trouble Code U110C triggered Freeze Frame.PID : Description : Value04 : Calculated Engine Load Value : 0.0 %05 : Engine Coolant Temperature : -40 °C, -40 °F06 : Short Term Fuel Trim Bank 1 : 0.0 %07 : Long Term Fuel Trim Bank 1 : 0.0 %08 : Short Term Fuel Trim Bank 2 : 0.0 %09 : Long Term Fuel Trim Bank 2 : 0.0 %0B : Intake Manifold Absolute Pressure : 111.0 kPa, 32.8 inHg
Smog Check (yeah you can forget that not being looked at): To see if the vehicle is ready for a smog or emissions test. For example:
⛔ Smog Readiness Check Failed
⛔Address issues below before Smog Check
❌ Check Engine Light ON
❌ 10 Confirmed Trouble Codes
BlueDriver is small enough to fit in a glove compartment (because you could leave it in all the time but don’t have to), although the trunk is probably a better place for it. It retails for under $100 and further details can be found at https://www.bluedriver.com/products/bluedriver-scan-tool