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Reading OBD diagnostics on Yaris Mk4 Hybrid


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Hello

Taking delivery soon of our Yaris MK4 Hybrid shortly and we are very interested in reading data from the OBD2 port. Am learning all about traditional internal combustion car engines, modern (increased computer control) engines (2by wire", etc) and how they differ and the electric side of hybrid engines.  Our aim is to be able to read the diagnostic information available via the OBD ports and understand them and their implications as much as we can.  We hope this will allow us to be better informed when dealing with mechanics/dealerships. 

I have the following questions.

  • Which option will provide us with the most comprehensive and useful diagnostics. We prioritise things to do with the central functionality (driving as opposed to being able to stop inconvenient alerts). We do not have any interest in changing anything but we want to be able to see as much as possible.
  • Which are the most cost effective (we prefer to own rather than rent)?
  • Are there any that allow one to save the diagnostics that are read so I can consult them offline? Also interested in the possibility of getting raw data (as read by the app before it presents them to the user).
  • Are there engine diagnostics that are simply not available to non-dealerships?
  • Have heard of Techstream which is supposed to be what is used by Toyota? Is there a reason not to aim for this?

All the above in the context of the Yaris Mk4 Hybrid 2021. Any tips or advice gratefully received.

Thanks very much in advance

HY

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Useful diagnostics ? As it's a new car the only thing that will fully interface with the car is Techstream what is a paid subscription service what works with proper J2354 VCI (Mini VCI will not work with the genuine software)

Toyota TS2+ (OTC in the US) £890 (VCI only)

Bosch Mastertech 2 £1200

Autel Maxi £500-2500

 

If you want OBD2 PID's and Packet content, Toyota will licence them to you

There are 100's of companies that do this sort of work already, and even more companies in China that will rip off any research and information and build a product for 1/10th of the cost

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Simples - cars are for driving, not for spending hours looking through data that may not be of any practical use. It’s a new car - just drive it. 
That’s my opinion, agree or not.

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I would not get something very expensive as my 1st scanner.  I recommend getting the bluedriver that works with your phone or tablet and has lots of features often found only on very expensive OBDII scanners.

https://www.bluedriver.com/products/bluedriver-scan-tool

I think its a good move to get a scanner when the car is new because then you learn what the normal operating parameters are for your individual car when new and if after time goes something looks odd in the data you will be able to pick it up easily.

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34 minutes ago, AlfK said:

I am trying out this adapter which is arriving tomorrow: says it supports the Mk4 Yaris for all functions apart from Live Data...

https://caristaapp.com/adapter

 

 

This one is very good indeed, on my old Auris reads almost everything and also gives you an option to disable alarm beeps for seat belts and reverse, some other preferences too if I remember correctly. It’s a good device although to get all the benefits from the app you have to purchase a subscription plan. 👍

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Yes it has a subscription element to it but has an initial period of 'free' use, so hopefully I will be able to tweak any settings I need to during that period 🤔😊👍

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Thanks all for your responses.

Carista is one of the options I am considering so I am hoping you have good things to report. The others are Bluedriver and OBDLink MX+. On the face of it OBDLink MX+ is to be preferred (for speed and functionality) but I called a distributor in Netherlands and he told me that the Mk 4 is not supported (though I think he was referring to the additional functionality - I imagine that they will all do ecu pids  unless the Mk 4 is using different bus speeds or CAN protocols).

The other route I am investigating is to sniff CAN bus messages directly - cheaper and more powerful but potentially dangerous (polling too frequently and/or !Removed! up messages). My research indicates that there is possibly nothing to be gained going that route unless I think reverse engineering non standard CAN messages is feasible (I don't).

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Carista and the like are generic obd2 readers you are paying for the app most of the features are behind a paywall even with a full "free" trial

 

The way the OP's question is worded, it's for a project or a research paper, that requires data level access and multi protocol not something sub £500 devices will do

I have a few obd2 tools from the basic ELM interfaces right up to an Autel Maxidas, The mini Vci (most are china clones) a fine for the basics but I wouldn't trust it to flash a module, the risk is too high of bricking a module/car

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Hello, OP here.

My initial motivation was to archive the most useful metrics available from the engine/emission pids. The idea was to (as someone suggested above) have a baseline reference that could be used to identify anomalies and for establishing when things went south. For this purpose, my main interest would be to pick a tool that allows me to save the widest range of engine/emissions data at a fast enough rate (threshold for this is quite low) and safely (something that won't brick our new car). I don't even necessarily want to look at it whilst in the car. Ease of use is key here so, ideally I would connect to an iPad with plenty of disk space.

A secondary motive was to learn as much as possible about this car's ecu, hybrid architecture and mechanics.  I want to understand as much as I can about how the car works. Much of that is taking place by watching youtube and reading but, ultimately, these cars are  distributed computer systems and the only window on their behaviour are the CAN messages. Having looked into what is involved in reverse engineering these messages, I think this is an impossible task for a hobbyist and a daunting one  for an expert. It's not so challenging figuring out how accessible components like buttons and radios work via the CAN but the engine stuff is another matter (and that is my area of interest). Although I'm still looking into it, I have, for now,  given up on CAN bus sniffing as a way to achieve this objective.

 

 

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12 hours ago, hairyarris said:

Thanks all for your responses.

Carista is one of the options I am considering so I am hoping you have good things to report. The others are Bluedriver and OBDLink MX+. On the face of it OBDLink MX+ is to be preferred (for speed and functionality) but I called a distributor in Netherlands and he told me that the Mk 4 is not supported (though I think he was referring to the additional functionality - I imagine that they will all do ecu pids  unless the Mk 4 is using different bus speeds or CAN protocols).

The other route I am investigating is to sniff CAN bus messages directly - cheaper and more powerful but potentially dangerous (polling too frequently and/or !Removed! up messages). My research indicates that there is possibly nothing to be gained going that route unless I think reverse engineering non standard CAN messages is feasible (I don't).

I would not get something that is subscription based. They offer the hardware cheaply to hook you up and then try to milk you for PAY ONLY features.  Its better to pay a little bit more upfront so you have peace of mind that you won't lose any features after the trial period is over.

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30 minutes ago, Biomecanoid said:

I would not get something that is subscription based. They offer the hardware cheaply to hook you up and then try to milk you for PAY ONLY features.  Its better to pay a little bit more upfront so you have peace of mind that you won't lose any features after the trial period is over.

Thanks for the response - what you say is true. My latest thinking:

Security is a big deal for me. Most dongles are permanently advertising themselves on Bluetooth/WiFi. Car hacking is or will be a big thing one day. Obdlink MX+ is one of the few that don't have bluetooth discovery permanently on - you need to press a button to put it in that mode. This makes it number one in spite of its higher price. 

It's important to separate the dongle from the app where possible. Carista, for example, sell a relatively cheap dongle and try to sting you for the app (as you indicate). Apparently, the Carista dongle works quite well with other apps so you aren't forced to use theirs. I think (it's hard for me to tell with my current knowledge and the opaqueness of both the dongle and the apps) that most dongles transmit any CAN commands that they receive (which is what makes them a security risk) and so should work with most well-written apps (though not all dongles properly support all protocols which can be a limitation even for a well-written app). What one can't be sure of is what the apps are doing - how frequently are they polling? Which CAN messages are they sending?

I also think that most dongles allow more than one app to connect to them (another security hole) so it may be possible to connect another app and dump all the CAN messages from the bus to work out what the first app is doing. What all this means (if true) is that the dongle is important for security and the app is important for functionality and the choices should be made separately, where possible. Other factors one may want to take into consideration when choosing the app is OS compatibility and the ability to archive the data and transfer it elsewhere.

 

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2 hours ago, hairyarris said:

Thanks for the response - what you say is true. My latest thinking:

Security is a big deal for me. Most dongles are permanently advertising themselves on Bluetooth/WiFi. Car hacking is or will be a big thing one day. Obdlink MX+ is one of the few that don't have bluetooth discovery permanently on - you need to press a button to put it in that mode. This makes it number one in spite of its higher price. 

It's important to separate the dongle from the app where possible. Carista, for example, sell a relatively cheap dongle and try to sting you for the app (as you indicate). Apparently, the Carista dongle works quite well with other apps so you aren't forced to use theirs. I think (it's hard for me to tell with my current knowledge and the opaqueness of both the dongle and the apps) that most dongles transmit any CAN commands that they receive (which is what makes them a security risk) and so should work with most well-written apps (though not all dongles properly support all protocols which can be a limitation even for a well-written app). What one can't be sure of is what the apps are doing - how frequently are they polling? Which CAN messages are they sending?

I also think that most dongles allow more than one app to connect to them (another security hole) so it may be possible to connect another app and dump all the CAN messages from the bus to work out what the first app is doing. What all this means (if true) is that the dongle is important for security and the app is important for functionality and the choices should be made separately, where possible. Other factors one may want to take into consideration when choosing the app is OS compatibility and the ability to archive the data and transfer it elsewhere.

 

If you don't plan on driving 24/7 with the OBDII plugged in constantly then security is not a concern plus the range of bluetooth is 10m at best and its transmitting inside a the metal Shell of the car which should limit its range even more.

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You are already aware of this app, no?

http://hybridassistant.blogspot.com/

It is written by enthusiasts, is free, has no adverts, is actively supported, and may provide some hybrid-related information that is useful to you.

You need a bluetooth ELM 327 dongle with Android - Apple is not supported.

Nobody is trying to flog you stuff with this one - I use a cheap generic (£10 ish) dongle, a better one might give better bandwidth for the live data output, but if you're downloading data after the event, then this won't be critical, obviously.

Worth a look, it's brilliant.....

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1 hour ago, Gerg said:

You are already aware of this app, no?

http://hybridassistant.blogspot.com/

It is written by enthusiasts, is free, has no adverts, is actively supported, and may provide some hybrid-related information that is useful to you.

You need a Bluetooth ELM 327 dongle with Android - Apple is not supported.

Nobody is trying to flog you stuff with this one - I use a cheap generic (£10 ish) dongle, a better one might give better bandwidth for the live data output, but if you're downloading data after the event, then this won't be critical, obviously.

Worth a look, it's brilliant.....

Is there some other similar program for normal  non hybrid cars ?

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As app's go torque pro works well, for anything pre 2019 the Mini VCI works no problem

 

I have the GM version of VXDiag VCX nano what works well they also do a techstream version as well but i have not tried that (and they are firmware locked)

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7 minutes ago, flash22 said:

As app's go torque pro works well, for anything pre 2019 the Mini VCI works no problem

 

I have the GM version of VXDiag VCX nano what works well they also do a techstream version as well but i have not tried that (and they are firmware locked)

I was talking about free - no advert programs like the hybridassistant

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2 hours ago, Gerg said:

You are already aware of this app, no?

http://hybridassistant.blogspot.com/

It is written by enthusiasts, is free, has no adverts, is actively supported, and may provide some hybrid-related information that is useful to you.

You need a bluetooth ELM 327 dongle with Android - Apple is not supported.

Worth a look, it's brilliant.....

more than worth a look. Didn't address my issue - focused more on the hybrid aspect (as the name suggests) but it's a great app and it solves what would have quickly become a pressing issue. Thanks a lot.

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