Can OBDII Blutooth Adapter cause problems?

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TechBoyJK

Lifer
Oct 17, 2002
16,701
60
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So.. I had to take my car into the dealer because it was shifting funny. They applied some firmware updates to the computer, etc. I have a OBDII adapter that plugs into my car under the dash that sends OBDII stuff to my phone.

The Service Rep said I shouldn't use one of those when I'm driving because it can affect the car's computer. I thought it was simply a receiver? I know you can clear codes and such with them but I thought that was it?

Thoughts?
 

T2urtle

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2004
3,432
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while in motion, nothing. No issues/damage because when you do have a problem techs plug in the OEM scan tool and go for a drive while reading the sensor readouts.

Now i did have a problem with mines, i left it in all the time and well over night it could cause battery drain problems as well as not being able to lock your doors via remote. With the OBD plugged in it prevented my car from going into sleep mode. Same theory like leaving the light on or door slightly open. So now i just use it on LONGER trips and not care too much.
 

shabby

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,779
40
91
If you have a gm car with onstar and have something plugged into the obd2 port it basically disables onboard diagnostics on your car for gm, other than that it shouldn't cause any other issues.
 
Dec 30, 2004
12,554
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you'd have to find out if the reader is polling the vehicle or simply monitoring communications already occurring. If it's polling, and doing so at a very high frequency, it's possible it could cause congestion on the bus.
 

coxmaster

Diamond Member
Dec 14, 2007
3,017
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My car generally doesn't respond to remote lock/unlock when I've got my bluetooth OBDII reader installed.. Not sure why
 

vshah

Lifer
Sep 20, 2003
19,003
24
81
only issue i've noticed on mine is that it drains the batteries if i forget to switch it off and leave the car for a couple weeks.
 

manimal

Lifer
Mar 30, 2007
13,560
8
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How soon till we overclock our cars bus speeds?


If my manifold pressure gets too high I may try that....
 

Atwas911

Junior Member
Oct 23, 2015
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So.. I had to take my car into the dealer because it was shifting funny. They applied some firmware updates to the computer, etc. I have a OBDII adapter that plugs into my car under the dash that sends OBDII stuff to my phone.

The Service Rep said I shouldn't use one of those when I'm driving because it can affect the car's computer. I thought it was simply a receiver? I know you can clear codes and such with them but I thought that was it?

Thoughts?

Dealer Reps will often times parrot this lie.. A Bluetooth OBD2 dongle thats well made will in no way cause YOU or YOUR property any damage...

But it will cause the dealer damages.. Because often times if you're using one of these devices and you're bringing in a car for repairs.. you already know the trouble code, so you already know exactly whats wrong with it and you wont be had by the criminals behind the service counter wanting to rob you blind with a list of repair they are going to demand the computer says you need.
 

razel

Platinum Member
May 14, 2002
2,337
90
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Yes, the key word is WELL MADE. Unforuntately, the ones the majority of people buy are cheap ones off Amazon. Nothing wrong with the cheap ones if used occasionally to clear codes or log info. The issue becomes whether they were designed at all to be left on 24/7 and that's a BIG FAAAAT NO.

Which leaves you at your own risk and with a car well I guess if you are daring... have fun, but for most of is our car is part of how we keep a roof over our head and food in our stomach.

Even with my decent and no longer sold Garmin ODBII from many years ago, I am iffy about leaving it on, but 4 years of 24/7 use later, so far so good. I would love to get a new one but which one? None of the manufacturers I trust make one that is decent.
 

jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,511
219
106
Yes, the key word is WELL MADE. Unforuntately, the ones the majority of people buy are cheap ones off Amazon. Nothing wrong with the cheap ones if used occasionally to clear codes or log info. The issue becomes whether they were designed at all to be left on 24/7 and that's a BIG FAAAAT NO.

Which leaves you at your own risk and with a car well I guess if you are daring... have fun, but for most of is our car is part of how we keep a roof over our head and food in our stomach.

Even with my decent and no longer sold Garmin ODBII from many years ago, I am iffy about leaving it on, but 4 years of 24/7 use later, so far so good. I would love to get a new one but which one? None of the manufacturers I trust make one that is decent.

ScanGauge?
 

Ferzerp

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
6,438
107
106
Will they cause problems? Likely not.

Can they in theory cause problems? Yes. In theory they could affect nearly anything computer controlled.
 

vshah

Lifer
Sep 20, 2003
19,003
24
81
ScanGauge?

plx kiwi bluetooth is a good one. has a long cable and an on off switch so you can place it somewhere accessible like a center console and turn it on when you need it.

i think there's a new version out, i have the older one which works just fine.
 

Brian Stirling

Diamond Member
Feb 7, 2010
4,000
2
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I don't have any problems with my OBDII dongle while the cars running, but if I leave it connected when I shut the car off then when I start the car up with the dongle in place I often get error codes displayed on the car display. So, what I do is remove it after I shut down and plug it back in only after the car has been started. If I do it this way I never get error codes.

I think there may be a firmware update for my dongle that may fix this but I don't use the dongle all that much so not leaving it plugged in isn't much of an issue.

There are other devices that plug into the OBDII port such as the device Progressive Insurance calls the "Snapshot".


Brian
 

Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
10,376
762
126
Even though this topic was necro'ed, I always did wonder about those OBD2 bluetooth dongles.

I know that the company that made the original chip, ELM Electronics, had it pirated by the Chinese makers, and looking around now, they all claim to have the official ELM 327 version 2.1 chip, but it is highly doubtful that it isn't a knockoff.

So, how can you tell you are getting the official ELM 327 chip made from http://www.elmelectronics.com/obdic.html and not some chip that was pirated?
 
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