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OBD2 diagnostics on a budget.

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I’ve used OBD2 code readers for approaching two decades, my current ‘generic’ kit is an Innovate OT-2 usually used with Logworks, unfortunately since the company behind it changed ownership a while back the new owners have made it clear they have zero interest in supporting existing users and removed forum/iOS support altogether. This basically makes it a laptop interface or you have to put up with the not quite so smooth support in Dash Commander (which has also changed ownership recently). Also the OT-2 is a physically big interface with a long extension cable and large control box with inputs for external sensors, it’s not small or discrete and can’t easily be left in place for driving. For this reason I decided to look for something more suitable for the RAV and my criteria was simple:

iOS and android support - I use iOS mobile devices generally, but I have a longer term project in mind that will be android based.

Low power/supports sleep mode - I normally use my car daily, but on the odd occasion it doesn’t get used for a week, i’d prefer not to have to jump start it.

Small - Needs to be plugged in 24/7 and not obtrusive/obvious while driving.

With such basic requirements I wasn’t looking to pay major brand interface money, I have specific interfaces for other jobs (VCDS, VCI etc.), but basic OBD functions should easily be possible with a generic Elm327 set-up. So for £9.99 delivered (£14.99 if you prefer Amazon), l had this shipped from Jersey, negotiations are still ongoing about my free cow, seller is having non of it 😞.


The big selling point here was it was smaller than my OT-2’s OBD plug, had a on/off switch and claimed to support android/iOS/Windows.


Installation is simple, the connector will only fit in one way round and it’s small enough that it can’t interfere with operating peddles etc. as nothing hangs down. It’s picked up easily by Dash Commander and Car Scanner on iOS and can pull fault codes and clear DTC’s as well as access live sensor data (some features are premium/paid on certain apps).


You can of course pay a lot more, Scantool for example offer some really good hardware at about 8x the price, Bluetool offer similar hardware but with SRS/AB functions and (paid) coding for things like BMW/VAG functions as an alternative to VCDS for similar money, something like Carista also has some nice features for under £30, but lacks 3rd party support. If you aren’t a fan of smartphone + app based solutions then the Launch V+ is a hand held OBD2 reader for under £30 that has an impressive feature set. Either way something like this will pay for itself in a single use vs. paying a garage to do it.

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  • Club Hybrid Poll

  • 229 Hybrid Reliability

    1. 1. If you were to consider buying a Hybrid model over 5 years old, would you be worried about the reliability of the Hybrid system?

      • Not really as Hybrid systems are always reliable
      • Not if it had a Manufacturers Warranty on the Hybrid system
      • I would not buy a Hybrid model over 5 years old