Anyone uses Blue Driver OBDII tool?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by VFerdman, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    I just learned about Blue Driver OBDII tool that is supposed to be better than the usual $20 dongle plus Torque Pro. It looks really nice from descriptions, but I am wondering how it is for the hybrid part of the equation. Does anyone use one of these on their Prius? How well does it work for say diagnosing the HV battery, computers and networks related to hybrid systems in the car?
     
  2. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    The wonders of marketing!

    Ask the makers if their toy can read ALL codes, including sub-codes?
    Ask them if it can perform maintenance tasks: Bleed brakes? Crank engine for compression check? Activate CHRS pump? Activate the HV Battery fan? Other features.
    Let us know what they say.

    If you have NO desire for DIY maintenance, then that toy will probably work. But, all the OBD2 toy bluetooth readers have consistently demonstrated an INABILITY to READ ALL CODES.

    Techstream or comparable professional equivalent, is required to READ ALL CODES and perform maintenance. Getting codes read at the dealer will likely cost you $100+. Ouch, that toy reader costs $99.95 on Amazon! Techstream will give you the same dealer code reading and maintenance capability, as that is what they use. Techstream is the OFFICIAL diagnostic and maintenance software, written for Toyota/Lexus, and used at all Toyota/Lexus dealerships.
     
    #2 exstudent, Jun 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  3. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    The big question:

    Is it smart enough to detect that the car has been turned off so that it turns itself off instead of killing your 12v battery overnight?

    The OBD specification requires that the OBD port receive hot battery power at all times. Therefore any device plugged into the port has the potential to kill your battery. So they have to use some logic to determine whether the car is on and charging the battery, and they have to accurately detect that when the car is off and go into sleep mode. Even in sleep mode it's still taking a little power to check for when it should wake up, so a good one will use very little electricity in that mode.

    It's harder to make this call on a hybrid, because the engine won't run all the time, and 12v charging is provided by the DC/DC converter which seems to have a narrower voltage range than the typical car alternator.
     
  4. GearHead600

    GearHead600 Member

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    I was actually looking at this device too! Would highly appreciate any follow-up info you have. Such as, did you buy one (and all the questions that come with that if you did). Or, has anyone else out there experience with this device and a Prius???

    The top two contenders I was looking at for b/t OBD2 scanners was this Blue Driver and the OBDLink MX.
     
  5. jessiejosco

    jessiejosco Member

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    I have a blue driver and it works fine for routine codes. I don't know about the hybrid codes because I have never had a problem with the hybrid system. It definitely works for the brake and engine codes and it resets them.
    When it reads a code, the Blue Driver app gives you the commonly reported reasons for that code specific to your car, so the app is helpful. It will also monitor a bunch of live data if you are into that.

    It is definitely expensive but it is also universal. It will work on any car with OBD, and as long as you have an internet connection, it interprets many of the codes for you. I would say they justify the cost because of the information on the app, not because it is a special dongle.
    I also have 2 cheap dongles and hacked techstream but have not had much success with it. The first dongle totally crashed the cars computer. Disconnecting the 12v battery fortunately fixed that. I have not had to try the second one yet because the Blue Driver has worked for me. Also getting techstream working on a computer is a real pain, and there is concern about malware so you don't want it on a computer you use for anything else. Genuine techstream would be great but that would be way more expensive than the Blue Driver.
    These are just my experiences with Blue Driver. I'm not saying its the best choice.
     
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  6. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Had ours for about a year, & I can't say this does EVERYTHING that techstream does, but it's mighty close. As far as parasitic draw goes? BlueDriver power consumption is small (<10ma) - using tech similar to cell phones which pulse only periodically to check for an incoming call/transmission while screen is off. Most devices on cars have some kind of milliamp draw ..... gps / time / door lock-prox sensors etc. Even so, if folks are the type that leave there vehicle sitting dormant for weeks or months at a time, one can install an auxiliary power source to run such items. Our dashcams came with those backup power features but we decided to forego.
    .
     
    #6 hill, Feb 24, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  7. Willl

    Willl Junior Member

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    Is Bluedriver the best wireless odb2 scanner available currently? Does it do ecu coding to enable/disable features in the car? What about others like Carista, Carly, etc.?

    Looking to buy something ASAP. Thanks!
     
  8. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    It may be overkill. I have been using OBDLink LX for years to capture data for video. It works fine and doesn't cost anywhere as much.
     
  9. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    I am using Carista with my iPhone 8 and it works just fine. $20 or so. Bluedriver is what? $100? I am not sure it has more capabilities, but I may be wrong. I have not found anything I can't do with Carista yet. Before Carista I had a an inexpensive dongle (still have it, actually) that worked just as well as Carista with Android, but once I got an iPhone it could not connect to its bluetooth for some reason. Carista connects to iPhone and Android just fine. Also inexpensive and works with the apps I use it with like Dr. Prius.
     
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  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    There aren't many software-accessible options in a Prius. I don't think I'd want to spend much on a tool I'd be done with in 8 minutes.
     
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  11. DAVID 4

    DAVID 4 New Member

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    I have Carista and BlueDriver.
    Bluedriver get you into more details, gives you more information abouth engine. But is gives you almost no information on hybrid battery. And the biggest downside is that it does not support alternative apps, so no dr. Prius or Hybrid assistant.
    Carista on the other side gives you decent information, but not as much as BlueDriver. Best side is, that it support additional apps, so you can use dr. Prius and hybrid assistant. with carista you get best inview into hybrid battery.
    As for price keep in minde that carista app has subscription, so in long term it is more expensive than bluedriver. Also many apps has it own subscription if you need more tools. Bluedriver has no subscription, so you just buy the dongle and you have full and detail inview into you car.
    To conclude, if you have only prius (or other hybrid) than carista is best for you to keep your hybrid battery in good condition. But if you have other cars as well than bluedriver is best choice. I have older car and carista show me no info, bur bluedriver has no problem.
     
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  12. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    You do not need to have a Carista subscription to use it with other apps. It's just $20 or whatever for the hardware and you're good to go. It's worth mentioning that Carista connects to iOS devices as well as Android. Not sure about BlueDriver, but another inexpensive adapter I have that works very well does not connect to iOS, only Android.
     
  13. Willl

    Willl Junior Member

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    Does anyone happen to know the fastest or lowest latency odb2 dongle to be able to use with third party apps?

    It is dealt a shame that there is no way to use bluedriver with any third party
     
  14. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    yes - BlueDriver works on both OS's -
    don't know about ALL 3rd party apps - but the couple we tried work fine w/ BlueDriver .... currently using it w/ the 'MyGreenVolt' app.
    .
     
    #14 hill, May 24, 2021
    Last edited: May 24, 2021
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