Wireless OBD2 Bluetooth adapters have become very popular since they are low-cost and have a lot of functionality.
What are OBD2 Bluetooth Adapters for Smartphones?
Bluetooth OBDII adapters Pair with a smartphone and vehicles onboard computer (ECM/PCM) and can read diagnostic information.
This includes reading engine error codes and clearing them.
For example, someone may ask, how do I tell why the engine light is on?
The engine light error code can be read with an OBD2 scan tool which includes low-cost Bluetooth units.
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 budget units, they are less useful than 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 that 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 are many available with those below some of our favorite options for the best OBD2 Bluetooth Adapters.
As always, be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks for Best OBD2 Bluetooth Adapters for Smartphones
- BlueDriver LSB2
- Veepeak OBDCheck
- ELM 327
- OBDLink MX+
- OBDLink LX
- Vgate iCar Pro
- Foxwell FW601
BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android
The BlueDriver is a Bluetooth OBD2 Dongle that is compatible with Android or iPhones.
The setup is straightforward by plugging it in, 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 a budget unit.
Veepeak OBDCheck BLE Bluetooth OBD II Scanner Auto Diagnostic Scan Tool for iOS & Android, Bluetooth 4.0 Car Check Engine Light Code Reader
The Veepeak OBDCheck is a Bluetooth OBDII scan adapter that works with Android and iOS.
Like all OBD2 scan tools, it will work on almost any vehicle from 1996 and is newer.
It works with the popular OBD2 scanner apps OBD Fusion, Torque Pro, Car Scanner, and many others.
The Veepeak OBDCheck is well worth the money and makes for a good low-cost scan tool to read error codes on a vehicle with a smartphone.
Mestart OBD2, 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 a computer chip that was designed to decode OBDII signals.
It originally used the PIC18F2480 microcontroller and has been revised with versions 1.0, 1.3a, 1.4b, 2.1, and 2.2.
There are many devices with the ELM 327 as the main component of the adapter, even if it doesn’t say it is.
How manufacture packages it and create 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 an Android phone and laptop and had good results.
There are comments about it overheating 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 results from it and are still using it.
BAFX Products Android Wireless Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner & Fault Code Reader Diagnostic Scan Tool for Cars & Trucks – for All OBD2 Protocols on All Consumer Vehicles 1996 & Newer
The BAFX is made for Android devices to troubleshoot vehicle error codes.
Depending on the app it can show fuel mileage, RPMs, Vacuum, Oil pressure, and much more.
OBDLink MX+ OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner for iPhone, Android, and Windows
The OBDLink MX is a good OBDII scan tool that works with 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 a 3-year warranty.
OBDLink LX OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner for Android and Windows
The OBDLink LX is also a good unit for those looking for an OBD2 adapter that is well built.
It only works with Android devices and Windows computers.
The OBDLink app for Android smartphones is included, and OBDwiz PC Software for a laptop.
The OBDLink LX is well built and comes with everything needed to decode a vehicle engine light or almost any code it may have.
Vgate iCar Pro Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE) OBD2 Fault Code Reader OBDII Code Scanner Car Check Engine Light for iOS/Android
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 almost any smartphone.
It also works with almost 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.
FOXWELL FW601 ELM327 WiFi OBD2 Scanner – Wireless Code Reader Car Diagnostic Tool, Read & Clear Your Check Engine Light & More for iPhone, iPad, Android&Windows
Foxwell FW601 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 were 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 occasionally reconnect, which would affect someone watching the engine RPM, Oil pressure, or other real-time functions.
Even though it disconnected a few times, it did what it was built for: reading and clearing codes and was low-cost.
Setting up and using a Bluetooth OBD2 adapter is easy to do with a smartphone or laptop.
There are some technicalities involved that will not be hard for most.
If you have ever installed an app and paired a Bluetooth device before then, 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 the 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.