Whether you’re a mechanic or not, it’s nice to know what’s going on with your vehicle. Many places will charge you a diagnostic fee just to determine what that problem is. Many times, all they do is hook up a diagnostics machine to your vehicle’s OBDII port and tell you what the machine spits out. BlueDriver is designed to give you that same capability.
An OBDII port is an industry standard diagnostic port for all vehicles sold in the US after 1996. BlueDriver was designed to fit that port and communicate with your phone via Bluetooth 4.0. All in all, it’s a consumer grade version of the same diagnostic tools that the repair shop technicians use. Here is a list of features.
- Read and Clear Codes
- Confirmed CEL Codes – all makes
- Pending CEL Codes – all makes
- Permanent CEL Codes – all makes
- Enhanced Codes (e.g. ABS, Airbag, Transmission, etc) – GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota (more to come)
- Repair Reports – Vehicle-specific for each DTC:
- Code Definition
- Possible Causes
- Reported Fixes
- Freeze Frame – Vehicle snapshot when a code is stored
- Smog Check – See if the vehicle is ready for a smog test
- Mode 6 – Advanced test results (like misfire counts)
- Live Data – Graph multiple PIDs or export log to a file
- Supports all OBD2 protocols (including CAN)
- Free vehicle-specific Repair Reports drawn from a database of over 4.3 million fixes verified by certified auto mechanics
Setting up the BlueDriver is a fairly simple affair. All you need to do is download the app from Google Play, plug in the BlueDriver to your OBDII port and launch the app. The BlueDriver app will search for your BlueDriver tool and will connect automatically without the need to pair the device to your phone.
The first thing I realized about BlueDriver is that the average person will not use it very often unless they have a vehicle that acts up a lot. However the price point is only $99 and many dealerships will charge $99 just to diagnose the problem. That is what makes the Bluedriver so appealing.
The next thing I realized was that just because I was getting a certain error code, did not mean that I knew how to fix the problem. A mechanic friend of mine explained to me this way. “Just because you know what’s failing, does not mean you know what is making it fail.” To that end, BlueDriver will allow you monitor live the readings from your vehicle’s sensors but, if you’re not a mechanic, then you probably won’t know what to look for.
BlueDriver also has the ability to take a Freeze Frame snapshot off your vehicle’s system. So if you’re on good terms with your shop, then maybe you could show them the information and they could tell you what’s going on.
I found the smog test especially helpful as well as this is the first year that I needed to get my Honda Odyssey smog checked. In Arizona vehicles with an OBDII port are emissioned solely by connecting to your vehicle’s OBDII port. The vehicle’s sensors will then determine if the emissions pass or not. The BlueDriver is also able to determine this as well.
Lastly, my favorite feature was that you can clear your vehicle’s error codes. There are many other modes and functions, which I did not use because I’m not a mechanic. The best part is that because everything works through your smartphone, your BlueDriver and app will always be up to date.
3.9 out of 5 stars
Overall if you like to get your hands a little dirty or you just want to keep your mechanic honest, the BlueDriver is a great option. For $99 you really can’t go wrong.