OBD Auto Doctor is a must-have Windows Phone app for the home mechanics and auto enthusiasts. Have a vehicle that's outside the manufacturer warranty? Maybe you like to do repairs yourself and avoid costly trips to the dealer. OBD Auto Doctor is an app aimed at people who fit those descriptions.
Modern cars have computer systems built-in that allow for repair technicians and vehicle owners to get pertinent information about the health of their car. On-board diagnostics (OBD) systems in modern cars that monitor emission related controls, engine performance and detects for malfunctions. Over the years OBD systems have become more sophisticated and.
OBD-II is a standard for digital communications port in cars to provide real-time data and standardized diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). This allows us to quickly identity and fix malfunctions inside a car.
Most cars in the United States are OBD-II compliant if they were manufactured or registered after 1996. In Europe, gasoline cars made or registered after 2001 are OBD-II compliant and those with diesel after 2004. Our friends in Canada will want a car that's 1998 or newer, India will want cars made after 2010, and Brazil will want to look for cars after 2007. Be sure to check your owner's manual to confirm whether or not your car is OBD-II compliant.
There are tools to connect to your OBD connecter to access OBD functions. At first, most tools were out of reach of most consumers as they were costly, but have gone down in price and portability over the years.
Today you can go on Amazon and get an OBD-II diagnostic scan tool for just $20. Or you can get an adapter scan tool to use with your phone. That's what I'm going to do today with OBD Auto Doctor for Windows Phone.
Why use OBD Auto Doctor?
Your check engine light is on, and you want to know what's wrong. If you fix the problem yourself, you also want to be able to clear the check engine light – all from your Windows Phone. Bonus. You can read monitor statuses to make sure your car is ready for a smog inspection
What you need
- OBD-II compliant car
- Windows Phone
- OBD Auto Doctor app
- Bluetooth-enabled OBD-II adapter scan tool (ELM327 based hardware)
First things first, make sure you have a car that's OBD-II compliant. Check your owner's manual if you aren't sure (or just Bing it). You'll then want to download the OBD Auto Doctor app to your Windows Phone and buy a Bluetooth-enabled OBD-II scan tool. You can find them at your local auto parts store and pay full retail, or get one off Amazon for cheap.
I bought the iDiagnose OBD-II scan tool ( $14.99 through Amazon Prime) to try out OBD Auto Doctor on Windows Phone. It works as advertised, and I have no complaints. Read through the Amazon reviews before you click buy, or check out other Bluetooth OBD-II scan tools on Amazon to find the one you like. OBD Auto Doctor has a list of OBD adapters that work with their software.
Installation of an OBD scan tool in your car is easy. Most cars have their OBD port located under the steering column in the footwell. Again, consult your owner's manual (or the internet) to find where your OBD port is on your vehicle. Once you find it, all you need to do is line up the pins on your OBD scan tool and plug it into the OBD port on your vehicle.
Put the keys in your car and turn on the accessories, usually position 2. You'll then connect the OBD scan tool with your Windows Phone using Bluetooth. Consult the instruction manual for your OBD scan tool for the PIN code if you're prompted for one. Thought I'd be willing to bet it's either 0000 or 1234.
Your OBD scan tool and Windows Phone should be connected over Bluetooth now. Fire up the OBD Auto Doctor app and you're good to go!
OBD Auto Doctor – The app
OBD Auto Doctor is a free app in the Windows Phone Store, though there is an in-app purchase to unlock all features of the app. The devs made OBD Auto Doctor free so that you can test the app out with your OBD scan tool and car. This allows you to make sure everything can at least talk to one another before you spend cash on the app.
This is an awesome app that turns your Windows Phone into an automotive scanner when paired with an OBD scan tool.
I tested OBD Auto Doctor out on my 2001 BMW 330Ci. I don't have the check engine light on right now, but was able to test out all the other features of the app. You can check your engine RPM, coolant temperature, engine load and more in real-time using OBD Auto Doctor.
OBD Auto Doctor will be most useful those times when your check engine light comes on. You can use the app to read the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) and clear them if you want. You're also able to get a Freeze Frame using the app. A Freeze Frame is a snapshot of the engine and all the various parameters when the vehicle detected a fault and stored the diagnostic trouble code. Again, super useful stuff for those DIY home mechanics and auto enthusiasts.
Here's an overview of all the features you'll get with OBD Auto Doctor on Windows Phone
- Read Diagnostic Trouble Codes – Read and reset DTCs, get access to the Freeze Frame
- DTC database – search and browse the DTC database for generic and manufacturer specific trouble codes
- Readiness monitors – self-test the vehicle's emission system
- Sensors and parameters – monitor all sensor values that your car reports in real-time, like fuel consumption
- Vehicle information –get access to the basic information on the Engine Control Unit like the Vehicle Identification Number, Calibration Identifications, Calibration Verification Numbers and ECU name queries.
- Dashboard – the dashboard provides your speed, engine RPM, engine coolant temp, fuel consumption, intake air temp and calculated engine load in real-time.
OBD Auto Doctor is must-have for any auto enthusiast on Windows Phone. Trial the app today in the Windows Phone Store. If you it, you can upgrade to pro for $9.99 through an in-app purchase to unlock all features including Freeze Frames, the ability to clear DTCs, access to manufacturer specific DTCs, live sensor data and more.
Any auto enthusiasts already using OBD Auto Doctor on Windows Phone? Share your experiences with the app below in the comments!
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