Category Archives: OBD

OBD2 parameters added – download the update

The latest software version for every supported platform (Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iPhone and Windows Phone) added support for 16 new OBD2 parameters. These parameters are implemented according to the latest OBD2 standard version (SAE J1979 AUG2014).

Adding these new parameters increases the value of the OBD2 software you have. All these parameters are available for our existing customers totally free. Just remember that in order for the software to be able to show the values, your car needs to support the sensors too. Typically, the newer the car the more values it supports.

With these new parameters, you will get even more out of your OBDII software. Grab the update from our website or from the appropriate mobile app store.

The added OBD2 parameters

  • Boost pressure control ($70)
    • Commanded boost pressure A and B
    • Boost pressure A and B
    • Boost pressure control status A and B
  • Variable geometry turbo (VGT) control ($71)
    • Commanded variable geometry turbo A and B
    • Variable geometry turbo A and B
    • VGT control status A and B
  • Wastegate control ($72)
    • Commanded wastegate position A and B
    • Wastegate position A and B
  • Exhaust pressure ($73)
    • Exhaust pressure sensor bank 1 – 2
  • Turbocharger RPM ($74)
    • Turbocharger RPM A and B
  • Turbocharger Temperature A and B ($75 and $76)
    • Turbocharger compressor inlet temperature
    • Turbocharger compressor outlet temperature
    • Turbocharger turbine outlet temperature
  • Charge air cooler temperature (CACT) ($77)
    • Bank 1 – 2: Sensor 1 – 2
  • Exhaust gas temperature (EGT) ($78 and $79)
    • Bank 1 – 2: Sensor 1 – 4
  • Diesel particulate filter (DPF), Bank 1 – 2 ($7A and $7B)
    • Delta pressure
    • Inlet pressure
    • Outlet pressure
  • Diesel particulate filter (DPF) temperature ($7C)
    • Inlet temperature, bank 1 – 2
    • Outlet temperature, bank 1 – 2
  • NOx NTE control area status ($7D)
  • PM NTE control area status ($7E)
  • Engine run time ($7F)
    • Total engine run time
    • Total idle run time
    • Total run time with PTO active

OBD WiFi adapter support in Android

The latest update of OBD Auto Doctor for Android added support for OBD WiFi adapters. So now the Android app supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi adapters. Although not as easy to setup as Bluetooth adapters, Wi-Fi adapters are good choice for those who consider switching from/to iPhone. The price of the OBD Wi-Fi adapters has considerable lowered in the last couple of years, which has brought the adapters to the awareness of new consumers.

Wi-Fi vs Bluetooth OBD adapters

Wifi adapter settings

One of the benefits of Wi-Fi adapter is that it allows very fast data rates. It means that your sensors will update faster in the app screen, for example. Another advantage is broad support on different platforms. The wifi adapters are supported in every platform so you can use them with OBD Auto Doctor iPhone and Windows Phone versions and with the desktop/laptop version as well.

One of the drawbacks compared to Bluetooth adapters is that Wi-Fi adapters are not as easy to setup. First, you need to connect to the network created by the adapter. Only after that you can use the app to connect to the adapter and car. The procedure might seem a bit tricky at first but it will get easier after you have done it a couple of times. To help and guide you through the first time, we made a short Quick start guide for WiFi adapters to get you started with the app and adapter.

Happy diagnosing!

Multiple control units supported in Android, Windows Phone

In the previous app update for Android (version 2.2) and Windows Phone (version 2.0) we added support for multiple control units. The most common and usually the only control unit is the Engine Control Module. However, newer cars are starting to have more than the ECU responding to OBD2 requests. Most cars with automatic transmission have Transmission Control Module (TCM) available for example. There can be also other controllers depending on the manufacturer and model.

Our desktop software has had the support for multiple control units for ages but with the last update we brought the support to the mobile versions too. As with all mobile version updates, this update is completely free for all of our existing customers using the app in these platforms.

Android

Multiple control units with Android

In Android, the selection of control unit was added as dropdown spinner in the action bar. The screenshot illustrates a vehicle with three control units available. The selection can be made by opening the spinner by tapping the title and then selecting the appropriate control unit. The selected control unit is visible in every view where it matters and where it can be changed. After changing the control unit, the view data is refreshed from the car and information is shown for the selected controller.

Get this OBD2 application from Google Play!

Windows Phone

Multiple control units with WP8
In Windows Phone, the control unit selection was added to the navigation page. The controller can be changed using the list picker on top of the navigation page titled “browse”. To change the control unit, you need to come back to the browse page and do the change you wanted. The screenshot is from the same car as the Android screenshot. The car has three control units and the first one is selected. The acronym of the selected control unit is indicated on top of the view in the title.

Get this OBD2 application from Windows Phone Store!

Now it’s good time to update your app to the newest version. Remember that as with all the other features, your car needs to support multiple control units for them to show up in the app. If you have only one ECU listed, then your car has only one ECU responding to the OBD2 messages. Happy diagnosing!

OBD Readiness Monitors Explained

Once in a while we get questions about OBD Readiness Monitors. This post will explain what the readiness monitors are.

The purpose of readiness monitors in a car is to self-test the car’s emission systems. Readiness monitors are self check routines that observe the performance of specific vehicle emissions control systems. Cars may perform up to 11 system tests; these are so called readiness monitors. The output of readiness monitors identify whether the car’s computer has completed the required tests while the car is being driven.

Readiness Monitors

There are two different types of monitors: continuous and non-continuous. Continuous monitors are different in design from the non-continuous monitors. Continuous monitors are being constantly tested and evaluated by the car’s computer while the car is running. Conversely, the non-continuous monitors require certain conditions to be met before a test or series of tests can be completed. The conditions necessary for the car to run these self-diagnostic tests vary. Some monitors require that the car follows a predefined “drive cycle” routine. Some require two drive cycles due to the need for a cool down and warm up periods in between.

Continuous readiness monitors read with the Windows Phone app

Continuous readiness monitors read with the Windows Phone app

Continuous Monitors

  • Misfire
  • Fuel System
  • Comprehensive Component

Non-Continuous Monitors

Non-continuous monitors are different for spark ignition cars (gasoline engines) and compression ignition cars (diesel engines).

Spark ignition vehicles (Gas)

  • Catalyst (CAT)
  • Heated Catalyst
  • Evaporative (EVAP) System
  • Secondary Air System
  • Oxygen (O2) Sensor
  • Oxygen Sensor Heater
  • EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) and/or VVT System
Non-continuous readiness monitors read with the Android app

Non-continuous readiness monitors read with the Android app

Compression ignition vehicles (Diesel)

  • NMHC Catalyst
  • NOx/SCR Aftertreatment
  • Boost Pressure
  • Exhaust Gas Sensor
  • PM Filter
  • EGR and/or VVT System

Monitor status

Each readiness monitor will have it’s own output status. The completion status can be:

  • Ready or complete (green mark) meaning that the test has been completed e.g. the OBD-II system has checked this emissions control system.
  • Not ready (red mark) meaning the test is uncompleted e.g. the OBD-II system has not checked this emissions control system.

OBD Auto Doctor reports the status only for supported monitors in the mobile apps. The desktop version (Windows, Mac, Linux) lists the unsupported monitors too. They are marked as unsupported. It simply means that the car doesn’t have that monitor and therefore it can’t be tested.

OBD readiness monitors read with the Mac version

OBD readiness monitors read with the Mac version

Monitor “not ready”

Clearing the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) will reset the monitor statuses. This typically occurs during vehicle repair. Statuses are reset in case of power failure too. This usually happens when the battery has been disconnected. Therefore it is not advisable to disconnect the battery. If you need to disconnect the battery for example to replace it, read further to learn how to get the monitors back to complete.

Note! Depending on your country and state, OBDII vehicle may not pass the annual inspection unless the required monitors are “ready”. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines allow up to two monitors to be in a “not ready” state for model year 1996 through 2000 vehicles and one monitor “not read” for 2001 and newer model year vehicles.

How to get the monitors “ready”?

1. First, make sure that the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light) is not commanded on. Having stored or even pending diagnostic trouble codes active may prevent a monitor from running to completion.

2. Second, make sure that you have enough fuel in the car. Some monitors, for instance the EVAP monitor, may require the fuel level to be between 35% and 85% to initiate the diagnostic testing.

3. Third, complete the so called “drive cycle”. About one week of combined city and highway driving is usually enough to allow the monitors to reach complete status. The drive cycle is explained in more details in the next paragraph.

OBD drive cycle

The purpose of the OBD2 drive cycle is to let your car run on-board diagnostics. This, in turn, allows monitors to operate and detect potential malfunctions of your cars’s emission system. The correct drive cycle for your car can vary greatly depending on the car model and manufacturer. Also, the monitor in question affects the required drive cycle.

Today, many vehicle manufacturers include these drive cycles in the vehicle owner’s manual. Typically, a few days of normal driving, both city and highway, will make the monitors ready. The following generic drive cycle can be used as a guideline if a specific drive cycle is not known. It will assist with resetting monitors when a car specific drive cycle is not available. However, it may not work for all cars and monitors.

The drive cycle can be difficult to follow exactly under normal driving conditions. Therefore, it is better to drive it in restricted area!

1. The universal OBD-II drive cycle begins with a cold start (coolant temperature below 50 C /122 F, and the coolant and air temperature sensors within 11 degrees of one another). This condition is easily achieved by letting the car to sit overnight.

2. The ignition key must not be left on prior to the cold start. Otherwise the heated oxygen sensor diagnostic may not run.

3. Start the engine and idle the engine in drive for two and half minutes, with the A/C and rear defroster on if equipped.

4. Turn the A/C and rear defroster off, and accelerate to 90 km/h (55 mph) under moderate, constant acceleration. Hold at a steady speed for three minutes.

5. Decelerate (const down) to 30 km/h (20 mph) without braking or depressing the clutch for manual transmissions.

6. Accelerate back to 90-100 km/h (55-60 mph) at 3/4 throttle. Hold at a steady speed for five minutes.

7. Decelerate (const down) to a stop without braking.

To avoid being rejected in the annual inspection, you can prepare your car for it yourself. Do not wait until the annual inspection with your issues. If the check engine light comes on, read the diagnostic trouble codes and engine status immediately. It could save you a lot of time as well as future repair and fuel costs. You can do all this with OBD Auto Doctor diagnostic software. You can read all the monitors statuses even with the free version. Try the software now!

OBD Auto Doctor now available for Mac OS X

We are pleased to announce the release of OBD Auto Doctor for Mac OS X. Mac support has been requested by many of you and therefore we are especially happy about this release. It delights us to fulfill your wishes!

OBD Auto Doctor on Mac OS X

OBD Auto Doctor on Mac OS X

OBD Auto Doctor is the only true multi platform OBD diagnostic software available in the market. It’s available for basically for every operating system there is; Windows, Mac and Linux. Users who have purchased a desktop license earlier are able to use the same license key with the Mac version. This is true advantage for many of our customers who have PCs and Macs in their households.

The Mac version supports all the same adapters that our Windows and Linux versions also support. These include wireless Bluetooth and WiFi adapters, USB and serial cable adapters.

OBD Auto Doctor is now available for download from our own site. The software requires at least OS X 10.7 (Lion) to operate correctly. It has been tested to work on the new 10.9 Mavericks too.

Since this is our first release for Mac, we would be very happy to receive any feedback of the software; positive or negative. Leave your feedback to the comments or send us e-mail.

Download and try out the software now!

New OBD-II sensors added

We published new versions for Windows Phone and Android few days ago. These updates contained some improvements to connection establishing and some bug fixes. However, the greatest value these updates brought is the 16 new sensors that were added. All of these are totally free for all existing customers. However, remember that your car needs to support the sensors too in order for the app to be able to show the values.

The added OBD-II parameters

  • Battery Voltage (reported by the adapter)
  • Driver’s Demand Engine – Percent Torque ($61)
  • Actual Engine – Percent Torque ($62)
  • Engine Reference Torque ($63)
  • Engine Percent Torque Data ($64)
    • Engine Percent Torque At Idle, Point 2 – 5
  • Auxiliary Input / Outputs ($65)
    • Power Take Off (PTO) Status
    • Auto Trans Neutral Driver Status
    • Manual Trans Neutral Gear Status
    • Glow Plug Lamp Status
  • Mass Air Flow Sensor ($66)
    • Sensor A and B
  • Engine Coolant Temperature ($67)
    • Sensor 1 and 2
  • Intake Air Temperature Sensor ($68)
    • Bank 1 – Sensor 1
    • Bank 1 – Sensor 2
    • Bank 1 – Sensor 3
    • Bank 2 – Sensor 1
    • Bank 2 – Sensor 2
    • Bank 2 – Sensor 3
  • Commanded EGR and EGR Error ($69)
    • Commanded EGR Duty Cycle/Position A and B
    • Actual EGR Duty Cycle/Position A and B
    • EGR Error A and B
  • Commanded Diesel Intake Air Flow Control and Relative Intake Air Flow Position ($6A)
    • Commanded Intake Air Flow Control A and B
    • Relative Intake Air Flow Position A and B
  • Exhaust Gas Recirculation Temperature ($6B)
    • Bank 1 – Sensor 1
    • Bank 1 – Sensor 2
    • Bank 2 – Sensor 1
    • Bank 2 – Sensor 2
  • Commanded Throttle Actuator Control and Relative Throttle Position ($6C)
    • Commanded Throttle Actuator Control A and B
    • Relative Throttle Position A and B
  • Fuel Pressure Control System ($6D)
    • Commanded Fuel Rail Pressure A and B
    • Fuel Rail Pressure A and B
    • Fuel Rail Temperature A and B
  • Injection Pressure Control System ($6E)
    • Commanded Injection Control Pressure A and B
    • Injection Control Pressure A and B
  • Turbocharger Compressor Inlet Pressure ($6F)
    • Turbocharger Compressor Inlet Pressure Sensor A and B
    • Injection Control Pressure A and B

OBD Mode A

In addition, the Android version is now able to read emission related permanent trouble codes (OBD Mode A). The Windows Phone app will get this feature in the next release. And the desktop version will get all the sensors and the OBD Mode A in the next release. Stay tuned!

OBD graph for Windows and Linux

The release date of the next version of OBDAutoDoctor for Windows and Linux is coming closer. We would like to give you a short preview of the most important feature addition made to the software: OBD data graph aka oscilloscope.

With the OBD oscilloscope, you can visualize sensor value changes easily. Graphs are great tools because they communicate information visually. Even large amount of data, or fast changing data can be interpreted much better when expressed as a graph. Graphs help you to identify sudden spikes and trends in the data.

Air Flow Rate from Mass Flow Sensor Graph

Air Flow Rate from Mass Flow Sensor

In addition to visualizing the numeric OBD data, our software enables you to save the graphs to your computer as image files. You can share the images with your mechanics or friends, or you can post them to automotive forums when asking repair advice from fellow DIYers. The screenshots in this post are saved by OBDAutoDoctor.

Fuel Rail Pressure Graph

Fuel Rail Pressure

Follow us on Facebook or Google Plus and get notified when the new software version with the graphs is available for download!

OBD2 software for Symbian, MeeGo gets fuel economy

Fuel economy sensor in action
It’s been a while since the last update of our Symbian and MeeGo OBD-II software versions. Yet we haven’t forgotten you. Quite the opposite, last week we rolled out a new version for these platforms including fuel economy sensor. The version for Nokia N9 was approved last week already. Today we got informed by Nokia that the Symbian update was approved and is ready for download from the Nokia Store. Some of you may have tried the new versions already. We have got some feedback and thanks for keeping it in par with the Android version.

What’s new in 1.6?

The most interesting feature here is the fuel economy. Fuel economy is not reported by majority of cars. Instead, it has to be calculated using other sensor values. For cars using gasoline, we use air flow rate from mass air flow sensor or intake manifold absolute pressure and intake air temperature plus other needed sensor values. For diesel engines, the fuel economy calculation is based on calculated engine load and air flow rate from mass flow sensor.

There are few new settings related to the fuel consumption calculation that you might want to check:

  • Fuel correction factor: general factor that is used to multiply the calculated economy. Change this only if you think the calculated economy should be fine tuned.
  • Volumetric efficiency: For modern cars the VE is about 85%, for older cars it might be little lower such as 75% or 80%. Change this only if you know what you are doing.
  • Engine displacement: This is the volume of the engine in liters. Change this to reflect your car!

If you have any questions or something to say, please leave a comment or contact us using email.

Grab the update from Nokia Store or if you haven’t tried the software yet, get is now!
OBDAutoDoctor Pro for Symbian
OBDAutoDoctor Pro for N9
OBDAutoDoctor Lite for both

OBD2 data presented visually as a graph

The Android version of our popular OBD2 software got a new version released few days ago. In this blog post I want to demonstrate one of the most important new feature of the released 1.1 version: Sensor Graph.

With the Sensor Graph you can see the OBD2 sensor values presented visually as a graph. The benefit of a graph is that it helps you to see trends in sensor value changes. It is also easier (for the co-driver) to monitor the values while driving. Moreover, the fullscreen sensor view uses black background color to save the battery life as much as possible. It’s good to use it if you wan’t to monitor some gauge for a long period of time.

The screenshots below illustrate the graphs. They demonstrate the different views in OBDAutoDoctor that let you monitor OBD2 sensor values. The screenshots are taken with the Nexus 7 tablet. The graphs really look good on large screen but they are usable smaller screens too.

If you haven’t tried the app yet, please do yourself a favor and try it now!

OBD2 Sensor Data Graph illustration

The red circles in the images demonstrate the places to be touched. Touching the Fuel consumption item in the list view opens up the Sensor Graph view. The Fullscreen Sensor Graph view is opened by touching anywhere in the graph within the Sensor Graph view.

How to upgrade to the Pro version of OBD Auto Doctor for Android?

Well, that’s a question we hear once in a while. As you may have noticed, there is no separate Pro version of the app in Google Play. Your observation is correct. The reason for that is because the upgrade is done using Google Play In-App Billing mechanism.

Okey, so how does the process go in practice? Let me show you how to upgrade the app with some illustration. You can click the images to view them larger.

Upgrade step 1 to Pro

Step 1

Upgrade step 2 to Pro

Step 2

Upgrade step 3 to Pro

Step 3

The steps are very easy. Let’s go thru them:

  1. Launch the app. Once started, tap Extras from the bottom menu. Then scroll down and select Upgrade.
  2. Tap the ‘Upgrade now‘ button.
  3. Check all the details and then tap ‘BUY‘ to make the purchase.

As with all Google Play purchases, this purchase is also bind to your Google Account. You can install the app to all your Android devices with a single purchase. Just download the free app from Google Play, launch it and the app should automatically upgrade to the Pro version. It is that simple.