Posts Tagged ‘diagnose’

Products That Work – OBDLink LX Bluetooth

December 10, 2014

Sometimes you just need an effective tool to complete a task and save some money. And have a little fun.

The OBDLink products from will do just that. Although I haven’t personally tested all of their products, I recently purchased a ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner for Android & Windows diagnostic tool via A few weeks after our first vehicle threw a code and lit up the trouble indicator on the dash, our 2nd vehicle also threw a code. After getting hit with a high fee by a local auto service shop to check and reset the 1st vehicle, I purchased the 427201 for less $$, including shipping.

It was a breeze to use; although it does take quite a few steps to configure, it is straightforward. I located the OBD port, which is usually near the driver’s knees, and plugged in the ScanTool. Next, I loaded the ScanTool app on my phone, paired my phone via Bluetooth, launched the app and set up a profile. I read out the codes, recognized the issue, and reset the codes. And saved money over using a shop. Of course, don’t take any code lightly, be sure to understand and promptly address the cause of the code, or you may be paying more later. But, for this example, sometimes a vehicle will throw codes that are caused by an issue such as low voltage from the 12V accessory battery, and is a nuisance. The shop fee would cover a new battery! Or perhaps you want to see if an issue was a transient, or will subsequently reproduce. After all, even cars glitch now and then despite the manufacturers best efforts; they’re a complex network of mini processors, sensors, and wiring. Any item in the network can cause the dash to light up.

And sometimes a tool can become a toy – I have since put the 427201 to use monitoring the health of a 2002 Toyota Prius, which has a high voltage traction battery pack. The dashboard exposes very little useful information so a CAN scan tool such as this combined with apps like TouchScan (OBD Diagnostics) or Torque Pro provides a window into the inner workings of today’s advanced vehicles. ScanTool’s free application is also useful, and Torque Lite is available for basic testing purposes prior to purchasing the Pro. I was happy to see the pack was still ‘balanced’ after 12 years.