How to Scan and Read Trouble Codes of Car with Android Phone

You may have come across the “Check Engine” light that appears when car ECU detects and stores a fault code generated by a sensor. If this Check Engine light keeps popping up and does not go away, you need to scan your vehicle with OBD scanner to read the fault code and fix the problem causing that Check Engine light. Keep driving with Check Engine light ON is not safe because your car can break down on road and may leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. If you are an auto-enthusiast or a person who believes in do-it-yourself you can scan and fix the car all by yourself. All you need is a Bluetooth or WiFi OBD scanner that will connect with your Android phone and assist you in reading error codes. You can use any good OBD Android app to read and get details about error codes and fix the car accordingly or erase the code and check if it reappears.

Tools that are required for scanning your car are as following:

1- A WiFi or Bluetooth ELM 327 scanner (also known as ELM adapter or connector)
2- Android phone or tablet
3- Android application: Torque Pro, OBD Car Doctor or Dashcommand (See Google Play Store to find any other alternative)

ELM327 OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner - Benign Blog

Connect ELM Scanner with OBD II port of your car and turn on the ignition. Do not start your car at this point. The LEDs will start blinking on scanner notifying you that it is ON and working. Now connect the scanner with your Android phone or tablet over WiFi or Bluetooth. Once connected, open the application and let the app scan the trouble codes. We recommend Torque or DashCommand apps for scanning purposes as these supports most cars and offer various features. (You may find details about their features on Play Store. Note that Torque Pro is the paid version while DashCommand includes in-app purchases to get additional features.)

There are various kinds of cheap and expensive WiFi & bluetooth ELM OBD scanners available that you may use with your Android phones or tablets. These will not only help you save money on expensive OBD scanners but also save your money that you will pay at auto repair shop to get your car scanned. If you have knowledge about how internal parts of your car work, you may change the faulty parts by yourself or take help from an expert.

Note that not all cars can be diagnosed with ELM OBD scanner and Android app. Different manufacturers follow different vehicle communication protocols. Protocols that require customized pins may fail to connect with your scanning device or could not be read by the app you are using. In that case, try different apps and if none of them work for you then there could be the problem with your scanner that it does not support your car OBD protocol. Usually ELM327 v1.5 or v2.1 supports majority of vehicle protocols. Avoid purchasing generic ELM scanners that do not mention the version number.

There could be other problems as well that you are unable to connect and scan your car. For example the OBD port is filled with dust or contacts are all corroded. Make sure that port is clear and contacts are not corroded. Clean them properly if you are not able to connect and scan.

Additional Notes: If you own Suzuki car and you are not able to connect it to any
OBDII app with your ELM adapter, use this app: SZ Viewer. It is specifically designed for OBD2 protocols of Suzuki vehicles. It is also available at Google Play Store.


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