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Updated info for Bluetooth OBDII Readers / Monitoring?

This is a discussion on Updated info for Bluetooth OBDII Readers / Monitoring? within the Computer & Tuning forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I've been toying the idea of purchasing a bluetooth OBDII adapter to allow for code reading and addition gauging/monitoring via ...

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Updated info for Bluetooth OBDII Readers / Monitoring?

    I've been toying the idea of purchasing a bluetooth OBDII adapter to allow for code reading and addition gauging/monitoring via an Android based tablet. I actually plan on mounting a dedicated tablet semi permanently after removing the radio and possibly the stock HVAC controls. I've read all the previous threads touching on this subject, but it's seems we have limited and dated input on this topic. Has anyone had any new experience with this? Recommended brands or apps? Is there a better hardwired system that makes more sense? Thanks in advance.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    I've been toying the idea of purchasing a bluetooth OBDII adapter to allow for code reading and addition gauging/monitoring via an Android based tablet. I actually plan on mounting a dedicated tablet semi permanently after removing the radio and possibly the stock HVAC controls. I've read all the previous threads touching on this subject, but it's seems we have limited and dated input on this topic. Has anyone had any new experience with this? Recommended brands or apps? Is there a better hardwired system that makes more sense? Thanks in advance.
    I might be a tin-foil head, but the first thought that comes to mind with a Bluetooth OBDII adapter is how secure it would be? Basically, you are setting up an RF transmitting interface that give access to your PCM, BCM, etc. to anyone that can pick up the signal, and/or understand it.

    We have all seen the videos of the Jeeps and Corvettes that have been hacked into remotely, and while our cars are not as computer dependent, I figure the risk is still there.

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whamhammer View Post
    I might be a tin-foil head, but the first thought that comes to mind with a Bluetooth OBDII adapter is how secure it would be? Basically, you are setting up an RF transmitting interface that give access to your PCM, BCM, etc. to anyone that can pick up the signal, and/or understand it.

    We have all seen the videos of the Jeeps and Corvettes that have been hacked into remotely, and while our cars are not as computer dependent, I figure the risk is still there.
    While I think you bring up a legitimate concern; from my understanding, the products I have been researching are only capable of reading error codes or monitoring your vehicle's measuring sensors (with on screen customizable gauges). Does this mean they are safe from someone with enough knowledge to access your PCM? Probably not. What specifically would you be concerned someone could use the bluetooth access for? Modifying some sort of tuning data or setting that could damage the car? The Jeeps and Corvettes that you speak of, I'm assuming, are over a decade newer and equipped with more options that would create much more risk in this situation (unlocking, remote starting capapilities, etc.).

    I think if someone that knew exactly what they were doing and also knew you had bluetooth access on your PCM; they might be able to hack and modify some sort of tune setting, but I would think the chances would be very slim of this happening. I am open to hear more input on this, however. I do appreciate your point, Whamhammer, because I will be considering the security side of this now.

    Here is an example of a product I have been researching:
    KIWI
    Last edited by GULLETT17; 03-09-2016 at 11:20 AM.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    my nieces BF has done something like this to his Hyundai Genesis. So far no issues.

    I would like to know does it allow you to clear codes?
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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    That Kiwi that I linked above says it can reset/clear codes.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    While I think you bring up a legitimate concern; from my understanding, the products I have been researching are only capable of reading error codes or monitoring your vehicle's measuring sensors (with on screen customizable gauges). Does this mean they are safe from someone with enough knowledge to access your PCM? Probably not. What specifically would you be concerned someone could use the bluetooth access for? Modifying some sort of tuning data or setting that could damage the car? The Jeeps and Corvettes that you speak of, I'm assuming, are over a decade newer and equipped with more options that would create much more risk in this situation (unlocking, remote starting capapilities, etc.).

    I think if someone that knew exactly what they were doing and also knew you had bluetooth access on your PCM; they might be able to hack and modify some sort of tune setting, but I would think the chances would be very slim of this happening. I am open to hear more input on this, however. I do appreciate your point, Whamhammer, because I will be considering the security side of this now.

    Here is an example of a product I have been researching:
    KIWI
    Like I said, I am being a bit tin-foil hatty on the subject.

    I was figuring people could hack it and flat out turn off stuff, like ABS, traction control, put the ignition in a way that it wont ackowledge the resistor, etc. I don't know what a hacker is capable of but I presume if they can do that stuff to newer cars (also OBD II), they can still make it miserable for us.

    Honestly, I have a $45 scanner in my center console stowage area, it can clear codes and most of the good stuff anyways.
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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    I could easily get a standard scanner, but I think my leading purpose for considering this setup is more for monitoring or gauges. Can I spell out exactly what systems I want to monitor at this point? No. But I really like the concept of the customizable auxiliary gauge cluster or even checking the accuracy of the factory gauges.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    I could easily get a standard scanner, but I think my leading purpose for considering this setup is more for monitoring or gauges. Can I spell out exactly what systems I want to monitor at this point? No. But I really like the concept of the customizable auxiliary gauge cluster or even checking the accuracy of the factory gauges.
    I agree with you that the concept of "real time" monitoring the systems is a great thing. As you already know, the difficulty is going to be in the implementation.

    As far as the accuracy of the gauges go, its a garauntee most of them are not very accurate. I forgot what years it is that the coolant temp, oil pressure gauges are mostly just registering "good/bad".

    The speedos and tach's are off by "x" percent as well but if you have a GPS app', you can find out how fast you are going and calculate the percentage that its off by.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whamhammer View Post
    I agree with you that the concept of "real time" monitoring the systems is a great thing. As you already know, the difficulty is going to be in the implementation.

    As far as the accuracy of the gauges go, its a garauntee most of them are not very accurate. I forgot what years it is that the coolant temp, oil pressure gauges are mostly just registering "good/bad".

    The speedos and tach's are off by "x" percent as well but if you have a GPS app', you can find out how fast you are going and calculate the percentage that its off by.

    99 and up.

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know a lot of the factory sensors aren't much use for detailed monitoring. However, an additional feature of some of these setups is the flexibility of adding aftermarket sensors. But by the time you do this, it may be just as well to install additional hard line gauges. Most of the items I really want to monitor are things that really require an aftermarket sensor (or other component) anyway. I like the idea of removing the three supply vents above the radio and installing gauges here, but then you are limited to three monitoring areas. The obvious benefit of this type of product is the flexibly to switch which items or even how many items you are monitoring.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    Yeah, I know a lot of the factory sensors aren't much use for detailed monitoring. However, an additional feature of some of these setups is the flexibility of adding aftermarket sensors. But by the time you do this, it may be just as well to install additional hard line gauges. Most of the items I really want to monitor are things that really require an aftermarket sensor (or other component) anyway. I like the idea of removing the three supply vents above the radio and installing gauges here, but then you are limited to three monitoring areas. The obvious benefit of this type of product is the flexibly to switch which items or even how many items you are monitoring.
    The nice thing is that our cars used to be used by the police as pursuit cars. There are actually kits out there that can mount laptops, pads, etc.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    99 and up.
    This I find odd, my temp' guage measure the full temperature spectrum but word has it that it is a "dummy" good/bad set up. I can see the oil pressure being a 3-4 position jobby though.

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    One more oddity......All the other yrs except the 98 has a low fuel light.

    I found out the hard way, was out and didn't look at the fuel gauge. About 10 miles down the road.....blah.....out of gas.

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    I ran my 98 Firebird out of gas a time or two.

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    OBDLink MX Bluetooth Scan Tool Review | Auto Code Scanners

    This is the one I keep in the trans am plus i use it on my other cars if i have in any codes. It will show you real time several different things such as rpm, all your temps the car monitors and oil pressure and so on. I use the torque app for a lot of things but it does come with a free app that will show you the basics and let you trouble shoot codes. The only thing that usually gives it away to other people in the car is the status lights on it. Otherwise nice and small. It also comes with built in security software.
    Last edited by raynor139; 03-10-2016 at 06:30 PM.

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Great info raynor139! I've looked at this one a bit. It's more expensive ($80) than some others I've seen, like the BAFX model ($22 on Amazon) or even that Kiwi ($40 for the Kiwi 2) I posted above. I wonder if it has any major advantages over these two.
    The website does say "Hacker-proof", "elimates risk of unauthorized access".

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    Member 1998 T/A's Avatar
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    I just got one through Verizon, it's called HUM. It connects to their network and sends you push notifications on your car's overall health, it also acts as a roadside assist with free towing up to 10 miles and 3 gallons of gas if you run out. I have it on my 04 Acura TL and I love it. It shows me the mileage I drive on a daily basis as well as the amount of gallons of fuel burned that day and per gallon mileage. Also, for those of you that have kids that drive or whatever it pinpoints your location and you can set boundaries and speed limits so if those limits are exceeded you will be notified. before I purchased the HUM my car would throw an engine light for maybe 4 hours then go away once I plugged it in and the code threw my phone sent me a notification with what it was, how to fix it and it also includes a mechanic hotline to answer questions or help you diagnose (never had to use that yet). It also makes your car "onstar" with push button assistance etc.... so far I'm happy with it and I believe its free equipment right now and like 5 bucks a month.
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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Excellent input, thanks!! I will look into this HUM. Mileage and kid driving monitoring aren't what I'm looking for, but I'm interested what other capabilities it could provide.

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    I went with the BAFX 34t5 because it was only $22 on Amazon with really good reviews. I've been playing with the Torque Lite app in my truck and the monitoring capabilities seem to be fairly wide. Not sure how accurate they are yet.

    The setup was very easy, and it looks as if the viewing and clearing of error codes is very simple. I will keep you all updated once I get to play with it in the TA.
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    Is that on your phone? Looks good

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