Wireless OBD2 Bluetooth adapters have become very popular since they are low cost and have a lot of functionality.
These small adapters can convert OBDII signals and transmit them to a smartphone or laptop via Bluetooth.
They are also low-cost units making them a good fit for anyone looking to troubleshoot a car or truck on a budget.
Just because they are cheap doesn’t make them less useful compared to more expensive hand-held scanners.
The software installed on a phone or computer is what makes a Bluetooth OBDII adapter so capable and able to do any of the things a hand-held scanner can do and in some cases more.
The list of apps for smartphones and laptops is very long. Some are paid while others are free.
OBD2 Apps for phones often offer a free basic version and a paid version with more features.
For example the Torque app which is popular for smartphones offers a free version which can read codes and clear them.
The paid version gives more features such as built in tracking and gas mileage usage which is helpful in many scenarios.
There is many available with those below some of our favorite options for best OBD2 Bluetooth Adapters.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
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Our Picks for Best OBD2 Bluetooth Adapters 2019
- ELM 327
- OBDLink LX
- OBDLink MX+
- Vgate iCar Pro
BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android
The BlueDriver is a Bluetooth OBD2 Dongle that is compatible with Androids or iPhones.
The setup is straight forward by downloading the app and connecting it to your smartphone
After this the app is used to troubleshoot a car or truck such as reading and clearing codes.
During testing it worked well for such a budget unit.
Mestart OBDII OBD2 Bluetooth Car Diagnostic Scan Tool Auto OBD Scanner for Android Devices
Anyone looking for an OBD2 Bluetooth adapter will some across the ELM 327.
The ELM 327 does not belong to one Bluetooth device it is actuality a computer chip that was designed to decode OBDII signals.
It originally used the PIC18F2480 micro-controller and has been revised with versions 1.0, 1.3a, 1.4b and 2.1.
There are many devices with the ELM 327 as the main component of the adapter, even if it doesn’t say it is.
How a manufacture packages it and creates other components on the board varies.
One thing that’s certain is they are low cost with some less than 15$ dollars. This makes them ideal for those on a budget.
We tested this unit with both and android phone and laptop and had good results.
There are comments about it over heating and getting too hot which we did not run into.
The overheating some see may be due to a combination of a hot day and leaving it plugged in for long periods, Or possibly simply some faulty units.
We had good result from it and are still using it.
Vgate Bluetooth Scan Tool OBD2 OBDII Scanner for Torque APP Android
Vgate is another small unit with circuitry built around the ELM 327 chip.
This model is built for android devices and is compatible with the popular Torque app.
We tested this unit with the free version of Torque and where able to read and clear codes.
The Torque app is able to do much more than simply read and clear codes. Like many other OBD2 apps it has many more features available.
In our test the unit did at times disconnect and reconnect occasionally, which would effect someone watching the engine RPM, Oil pressure or other real-time functions.
Even though is disconnected a few times it did what it was built for which was reading and clearing codes and was low cost.
ScanTool OBDLink LX Bluetooth: Professional Grade OBD-II Automotive Scan Tool for Windows and Android – DIY Car and Truck Data and Diagnostics
The OBDLink LX is a top end unit for those looking for a unit that is well built.
It only works with android devices and Window computers.
The OBDLink app for android smartphones is included and OBDwiz PC Software for a laptop.
The OBDLink LX cost more than other Bluetooth dongles but is better built and comes with everything needed to decode a vehicle engine light or any code it may have.
BAFX Products Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader/Scanner for Android Devices
The BAFX is made for Android devices to troubleshoot vehicle error codes.
Like most all OBDII scan tools it can read and clear engine codes.
This small dongle is capable of much more than reading and clearing car computer codes.
Depending on the app it can show fuel mileage, RPMs, Vacuum, Oil pressure and much more.
OBDLink MX+ Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner Turns Your iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire or Windows Device into a Professional-Grade Diagnostic Scan Tool, Trip Computer, and Real-time Performance Monitor.
The OBDLink MX+ is a good OBDII scan tool that is works with most any devices such as iPhone, Android, or Windows PCs.
The App that comes with the unit has a lot of advanced features such as Freeze Frame, SMOG readiness, Graphing and more.
It is a good unit with good support along with firmware updates and 3-year warranty.
Vgate iCar Pro Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE) OBD2 Fault Code Reader OBDII Code Scanner Car Check Engine Light iOS iPhone iPad/Android Compatible ELM327 Adapter
The Vgate iCar Pro has three versions Android Bluetooth, iPhone WiFi, and a version with both built-in.
This gives it very good compatibility with most any smartphone.
It also works with most any OBD2 app such as the popular Torque or many others.
The Vgate iCar Pro is a nice unit that has no problems reading and clearing engine codes and more.
Setting up and using a Bluetooth OBD2 adapter is easy to do with a smartphone or laptop.
There is some technicalities involved which will not be hard for most.
If you have ever installed an app and paired a Bluetooth device before than you will be reading and clearing codes quickly and easily.
The Bluetooth dongles shown here are mainly for the average home user or back-yard mechanic.
A busy mechanic shop will no doubt need more robust tools that can take a daily beating and rough environment.
The above scan tools will benefit mainly any home user who has an engine light on and want to know what the error is.
Since most cars and trucks only give a vague engine light for any problem, a user who has these tools can make them invaluable for saving money.
For example some codes are a simple fix such as a bad gas cap which can make a engine light come on.
Even if the problem is beyond the ability of the user to fix it will give them more information needed as to the problem and average repair cost.
For example if an error code is given for a bad oxygen sensor then reading through forums about the vehicle and what others paid will help keep a mechanic honest when they work on the car.