Recommended obd2 scanner?

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Oh4Corolla, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. Oh4Corolla

    Oh4Corolla Junior Member

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    I'm thinking about making the jump to DIY since my wife's 2014 Sienna has been throwing codes randomly and now my 2017 Prius has a check engine light. Amazon has tons of OBD2 scanners, YouTube has dozens of reviews. Which should I get? I'm not looking to spend a ton and not looking to be a full time mechanic just want to find out why these codes are popping up and maybe I'll try to repair the problem if it's not too difficult (not jacking up the car, not spending all day or all weekend working on the cars).

    I'm located in the US and I have an iPhone (noticed bluetooth devices are platform dependent)

    Thanks!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    tech stream
     
  3. bongoman

    bongoman New Member

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    This depends really on your comfort level with technology and what you are willing to do. The super cheap Bluetooth ones you find are usually clones of more expensive products. I’d usually recommend avoiding the very cheapest brands because they are made with poor quality components and have had one randomly stop working on its own.

    With that said they are all pretty similar in that they will still do the job of reading codes since they will use the same protocols in most obd apps. Some of the apps in the iTunes Store will only work will recommend a specific brand others work with standard Bluetooth or wifi enabled.

    On the more advanced end there’s USB readers that work with software such as tech stream tools. This is usually a pirated copy included on a CD as its normally a subscription service from Toyota.

    Another try before you buy if the engine light is on the car is to pop into an auto parts store they usually have a code reader tool on hand you can borrow to check codes.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    How about besides Techstream? I know, nothing else comes close, but for off-the-shelf, not-too-pricey generic scanners: any preferences?
     
  5. EdPalmer42

    EdPalmer42 Member

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    I tried a couple of the cheap adapters and they were garbage. Either they didn't work at all, or they could only retrieve some of the data from some of the car's subsystems. I decided to quit wasting money and bought an OBDLink MX Bluetooth adapter. OBDLink® MX Bluetooth | OBDLink® | OBD Solutions . It's available either from them directly or on amazon, ebay, etc. So far, it's been able to read everything.

    I've used it to check tire pressure with Tire Assistant. I shouldn't need an OBDII adapter to check the tires, but that's another rant.

    I was curious to see some battery info. I used Hybrid Assistant and found that without trying very hard I was able to pull over 150A out of the battery. Rather impressive considering the battery is at 350V. That's about 52KW (70 Hp) which is more than a typical North American house with a 220V/200A service. I'd like to find some more detailed battery info, but haven't spent a lot of time searching.
     
  6. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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    Carista works fine. The BT dongle will also work with most any software and comes with a fee 30 day trial of the Carista app.
     
  7. bongoman

    bongoman New Member

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    Have had good luck with Veepeak, works with Carista, Hybrid Assistant.
     
  8. Marcius

    Marcius Junior Member

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    I heard to get Carista, and use the Dr. Prius app. Amazon only rates it 4.2 of 5. Not sure why so low. Carista apparently wants to get people to pay into a subscription service for basic tasks. I'm currently shopping for an OBD2 reader, and trying to figure out this whole thing. Can you still recommend Carista?
     
  9. Austin Longenecker

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    I use the Carista scanner. The fee is only for the Carista app itself, which is redundant if you us Dr. Prius.
     
  10. Kurt Weiske

    Kurt Weiske Active Member

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  11. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Dr Prius Phone app with a Carista obd will pull codes.

    Techstream is 100% more inclusive but requires a burner laptop as it has garanteed malware on it.
    Some software the dealer uses.

    Techstream Choices are mini vci or Vxdiag.com.
     
  12. Marcius

    Marcius Junior Member

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    My understanding is that buying legit Techstream is really expensive. So, it sounds like folks are buying pirated copies? I probably don't need that. I would like to pull codes at some point, but for now, I'd like to test the traction battery and disable the backup beeping.
     
  13. Hydrocket

    Hydrocket Member

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    I've used a variety of these.

    I think the best low cost version is a generic ELM Bluetooth OBD dongle and Torque Pro app..Which is surprisingly powerful (can even datalog stuff ).
     
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  14. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Oh it’s pirated alright. You cannot afford the real thing.
    But if your hybrid battery is toast or have a myriad of other troubles an old g2 has
    Your gonna need it.
    Best choices are mini Vci or VXDIAG. Both very cheap require a burner laptop.
    Or you can have the car towed to the dealer and have them pull the codes for $150 an hour.
     
  15. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    Other options for hardware include the Techstream Lite kit (recommended by Toyota), a MongoosePro interface purchased directly from Drew Technologies, or the Tactrix Openport 2.0 kindly recommended by @ChapmanF. These all work with Techstream software obtained legitimately from Toyota, through a Professional Diagnostic subscription (from $65) to techinfo.toyota.com.

    For the higher prices, you get assured compatibility with current Microsoft Windows 10 operating systems (including 64-bit versions) and a minimal risk of malware, so there’s no need for a dedicated computer.
     
  16. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    There you go. Go with that.
     
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