Wireless OBD2 Bluetooth adapters have become very popular since they are low cost and have a lot of functionality.
These small adapters can convert OBDII signals and transmit them to a smartphone or laptop via Bluetooth.
They are also low cost usually less than 25$ dollars and with some less than 10$ dollars.
Just because they are cheap doesn’t make them less useful than more expensive hand-held scanners.
The software installed on a phone or computer is what makes a Bluetooth OBDII adapter so capable and able to do any of the things a hand-held scanner can do and in some cases more.
The list of apps for smartphones and laptops is very long. Some are paid while others are free.
OBD2 Apps for phones often offer a free basic version and a paid version with more features.
For example the Torque app which is popular for smartphones offers a free version which can read codes and clear them.
The paid version gives more features such as built in tracking and gas mileage usage which is helpful to companies with deliveries.
So lets have a look at a few of these and our picks for 2017. As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
Our Picks for Best OBD2 Bluetooth Adapters 2017
Latest Version V2.1 Super MINI ELM327 Bluetooth OBD/OBD2 ELM 327 Multi-Language 12Kinds Works ON Android Torque/PC
Anyone looking for an OBD2 Bluetooth adapter will some across the ELM 327.
The ELM 327 does not belong to one Bluetooth device it is actuality a computer chip that was designed to decode OBDII signals.
It originally used the PIC18F2480 micro-controller and has been revised with versions 1.0, 1.3a, 1.4b and 2.1.
There are many devices with the ELM 327 as the main component of the adapter, even if it doesn’t say it is.
How a manufacture packages it and creates other components on the board varies.
One thing that’s certain is they are low cost with some less than 10$ dollars. Making them ideal for those on a budget.
We tested this unit with both and android phone and laptop and had good results.
There are comments about it over heating and getting too hot which we did not run into.
The overheating some see may be due to a combination of a hot day and leaving it plugged in for long periods. Or possibly simply some faulty units.
We had good result from it and are still using it.
Read Full Review Here
OBD2 Bluetooth Amtake OBD II Scanner Adapter Mini Auto Diagnostic Tool Code Reader Car Engine Check for Android Device – Torque
Vgate is another small unit with circuitry built around the ELM 327 chip.
This model is built for android devices and is compatible with the popular Torque app.
We tested this unit with the free version of Torque and where able to read and clear codes.
The Torque app is able to do much more than simply read and clear codes. Like many other OBD2 apps it has many more options.
In our test it did at times disconnect and reconnect occasionally which would effect someone watching the engine RPM, Oil pressure or other real-time functions.
It did do what it was built for which was reading and clearing codes and was low cost.
Read Full Review Here
ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth: Professional OBD-II Scan Tool for Android & Windows
The OBDLink LX is a top end unit for those looking for a unit that is well built.
It only works with android devices and Window computers.
The OBDLink app for android smartphones is included and OBDwiz PC Software for a laptop.
The OBDLink LX cost more than other Bluetooth dongles but is better built and comes with everything needed to decode a vehicle engine light or any code it may have.
iKKEGOL iCar 2 Mini OBD2 OBD II WiFi Car Diagnostic Scan Tool for IOS iPhone iPad PC with Switch Auto Sleep(Black+Blue)
The iKKEGOL iCar is made for iOS users that want to use their iPhone, iPad, or iPod to troubleshoot vehicle codes.
It come in two versions WiFi and Bluetooth.
There are free apps for the iOS and paid apps. Popular OBD2 apps for the iPhone are:
ODB Fusion Paid
This small dongle is capable of much more than reading and clearing car computer codes.
Depending on the app it can show fuel mileage, RPMs, Vacuum, Oil pressure and much more.
Setting up and using a Bluetooth OBD2 adapter is easy to do with a smartphone or laptop.
There is some technicalities involved which will not be hard for most.
If you have ever installed an app and paired a Bluetooth device before than you will be reading and clearing codes quickly and easily.
The Bluetooth dongles shown here are mainly for the average home user or back-yard mechanic.
A busy mechanic shop will no doubt need more robust tools that can take a daily beating and rough environment.
The above scan tools will benefit mainly any home user who has an engine light on and want to know what the error is.
Since most cars and trucks only give a vague engine light for any problem a vehicle has these tools can be invaluable for saving money.
For example some codes are a simple fix such as a bad gas cap which can make a engine light come on.
Even if the problem is beyond the ability of the user to fix it will give them more information needed as to the problem and average repair cost.
For example if an error code is given for a bad oxygen sensor then reading through forums about the vehicle and what others paid will help keep a mechanic honest when they work on the car.