Got a 'Check Engine' light on your dash, staring at you? Wonder what it means? Wonder how much it will cost you to fix? Wondering if you can fix it yourself, if only you knew what it meant?
Enter BlueDriver, a professional quality vehicle scan tool that's simple to use.
- Download the free software (Android/iOS)
- Plug the BlueDriver into your vehicle's OBD II (On Board Diagnostic) port - find out where it is here
- Pair the BlueDriver with your Android or iOS device
- Fire up the app and start using it
Does it work? To find out how good it is, I pitted it up against a Volvo displaying a 'Check Engine' light. On the face of it the car seemed to be running fine, so I was interested in what the issue might be.
On plugging in the BlueDriver, I was presented with the DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) causing the 'Check Engine' light.
Two DTCs, one which I found after a bit of Googling related to the immobilizer and could be down to the battered key, and the other indicating a heater circuit issue with the O2 sensor. 'Sensor 1' meant it was the pre-catalytic converter sensor - closest to the engine - meaning it should be accessible from the engine bay (sort of).
Using the BlueDriver I could also take a look at how the O2 sensor was functioning, and the flatlined 0.5 volts coming from it didn't bode well.
Since I don't fancy throwing expensive parts at a vehicle unless I know they're the root cause of the problem, so I tested both the old O2 sensor and the wiring before replacing it. I'm using a Snap-on Vantage Pro tester here (because I have one), but a $10 multimeter will do exactly the same.
Yeah, it's dead (infinity Ohms on the heater circuit, in case you're wondering). This is good news and bad news. The good news is that I've isolated the fault. The bad news is that it's not something cheap to fix like a dodgy connector or damaged wiring harness.
I replaced the sensor - which was in one of those places that would have been easier to access if I'd had tentacles instead of hands - and then cleared the trouble codes and fired up the vehicle.
Problem solved. The 'Check Engine' light was gone, and the new O2 sensor was performing just as it was suppose to, with the output voltage varying based on engine speed and load.
The BlueDriver paid for itself on this one job by allowing me to read and clear the trouble codes on this vehicle without having to have the problem diagnosed professionally. In addition to engine trouble codes, it can also read and clear transmission and ABS codes, making it one of the most versatile Bluetooth OBD II tools I've used.
If you have any car questions then rather than ask me (my experience is primarily with European vehicles), I suggest you check out the wealth of information out there. Particularly, take a look at the YouTube channels of Eric "EricTheCarGuy" Cook and Paul "ScannerDanner" Danner . There you'll find an amazing amount of information, but links to forums full of knowledgeable folks who are willing to share their expertise.