Coming up next: OBD software for Symbian

We have got several requests for supporting Nokia Symbian phones since the release of the mobile version for N9. Your voice has been heard. Now it is official, OBD Auto Doctor for Mobile is coming up next for Symbian phones. Symbian Anna, Belle and later phones will be supported. It means phones such as Nokia C6, C7, E7, N8 and several others.

We just need to polish and test the app little more and them submit it for Nokia quality assurance. The plan is to release the diagnostic software to Nokia Store during December. The features and outlook will be identical to N9 version with one exception. The Symbian version does not have the option to use WiFi for connectivity. However, Bluetooth is available and I think almost every wireless OBD scantool adapter in the market is Bluetooth based.

Hang in there all Symbian owners. No more than few weeks until you can start diagnosing your vehicles!





OBD Auto Doctor for Mobile updates

The anticipated Live Sensor Data feature has arrived for OBD Auto Doctor for Mobile in version 1.2. Every sensor supported by a car can be selected and monitored in this Sensor Data view. The update frequency depends on the amount of active sensors. The more sensors you select, the slower the update rate becomes. To make the updates more frequent, select only the sensor you really want to monitor at the moment. The sensor readings are available in both metric and imperial units.


OBD Live Sensor Data
Dragstrip


Another new and exiting feature is dragstrip timing. With this feature, you can measure the performance of your vehicle. A new and innovative way to start the measurement is auto-sensing. In auto-sensing, the app polls vehicle speed sensor and trigs on movement. The timing can also be started by traditional timing lights. Four red lights will light with fixed period. Then, after some random time, the lights will go off. That is the moment when measurement is started and you should hit the pedal. You should only use the drag strip feature on a close racetrack.

The Sensor Data and Dragstrip features are fully working only in the Pro version. We have also got queries whether the new upcoming features will be free for existing customers. Yes, all future releases will be free as long as you have purchased the app once.





OBD Auto Doctor Pro for Mobile now in Nokia Store!

OBD Auto Doctor Pro for Mobile

I’m glad to announce that the Pro version of the OBD Auto Doctor diagnostic software is now available for purchase from Nokia Store.

The work to improve the software and add more features is on-going. One reviewer pointed out that the app does not support live data yet. Well, I can tell you that the next version will have the feature (see the live sensor data screenshot). The next version will also have an option to choose imperial units instead of metric units, and more…


OBD2 Live Data
OBDII Live Sensor Data




What to do when Malfunction Indicator Light illuminates?

Check Engine Light

People usually get interested in the On-Board Diagnostics when the Malfunction Indicator Light illuminates on the dashboard of their cars. The Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) is also known as the Check Engine Light. The purpose of this warning light is to indicate a detected problem with the car and alert the driver about the issue.

The OBD2 system illuminates the light when there is a problem with the car’s engine, transmission or emission control system. The light turns on only for a reason and you should not ignore it. You should always investigate the cause.

What does the Malfunction Indicator Light mean?

The Malfunction Indicator Light can signal three different types of problems.

  • Occasional flashes indicate temporary engine malfunctions. In this case, it is good to be aware of the possible forthcoming issues which can later on turn to more serious ones.

  • The most common case is when the indicator light stays on constantly. It indicates more serious problem that requires action to be taken; the sooner the better. Yet, sometimes the issues aren’t that serious but can affect the emissions of the vehicle, for example.

  • The most serious type of signaling is when the MIL flashes all the time. It is a sign that your vehicle’s engine is misfiring. The issue is a major one and you should stop the engine immediately to prevent serious damage. For instance, it might cause the catalytic converter to overheat and even cause a fire.

N.B. It is totally normal for the light to illuminate for a few seconds when you start the engine. But it should go out when the engine is running.

How to get more information about the issue?

Some of the OBD-II issues are relatively small. Those don’t have much impact on engine operation. On the other hand, some of the issues are major and need appropriate measures to be taken. Unfortunately, there is no way to distinguish between them by just looking at the MIL.

The only way to find out what’s wrong with the car is to plug in a OBD2 scantool. The tool and accompanied software can read the Diagnostic Trouble Code(s) from the system. Every time the OBD system turns on the MIL light, it will also store a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) in the electronic control unit. The DTC will give information about the detected issue.

The OBD2 system can turn the MIL off automatically if the conditions for the problem stop to exist. After evaluating a system or component for three consecutive times without detecting the problem, the light can be turned off. But, usually the light remains on.

What are the next steps?

If you have a OBD-II scantool (for example one with ELM327 chip) and OBD diagnostic software, you can check the reason for the problem yourself. For example, our car diagnostic software can read the DTC code from the car and give you description of the code. Those will guide you towards the main cause of the problem.

With diagnostic software, you can even reset the MIL yourself. It is important to clear the Malfunction Indicator Light after fixing the problem. This is because, for example, the car will fail emissions testing if the MIL light is ON when tested.

To learn more, read our tutorial on How to read the Diagnostic Trouble Codes and Reset the Check Engine Light with OBD Auto Doctor.


Editor's note: This post has been updated in February 2017 for accuracy and the latest information.





OBDAutoDoctor Pro for Mobile coming soon!

The first release milestone of OBD Auto Doctor Pro for Mobile was achieved during last week. It means that the first version of the software is ready and it was submitted to Nokia Store. At the moment, the application is pending for Quality Assurance by Nokia Store before it will become available for the public. Hopefully, we’ll see the best OBD diagnostic software in the app store during this week.

The main new features the Pro version includes are manufacturer specific Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs), continuous and non-continuous monitors, Freeze Frame data, Vehicle Identification Number, Calibration Identifications and Calibration Verification Numbers.

And now it’s time for some screenshots:


OBD2 Continuous Monitors
OBD2 Continuous Monitors
OBD2 Non-Continuous Monitors
OBD2 Non-Continuous Monitors
OBD2 Freeze Frame
OBD2 Freeze Frame
OBD2 VIN, CALID and CVN
OBD2 Vehicle Identification Number, Calibration Identifications and Calibration Verification Numbers