The Best Android OBD II Apps

By Steve McFarlane

A good OBD ii solution can help you identify engine problems and perhaps save you hundreds by enabling you to diagnose and fix the problem yourself. They are also great for logging and analyzing your vehicles performance on track days.

The full capabilities of any Android OBD app will of course depend on what data is available through the vehicle’s ECU and the capability of the OBD interface you are using to capture that data and interfacing it with your Android. In any case, here are some of the best Android OBD11 apps.

Torque Pro (OBD2 & Car)

Torque is one of the most well-known and highly rated Android OBD 2 tool on the market. It allows you to connect to the vehicle’s ECU (engine management unit) to diagnose issues and see how well the vehicle is performing.

With its themes you can customize the overall look of the dashboard, while the included widgets and gauges display readings for the following:

  • Dyno Horsepower and Torque
  • Transmission Temperatures (vehicle dependant)
  • 0-60 speed timings
  • CO2 emissions
  • Alarms and warnings (i.e. engine temperature) with voice/speech overlay
  • Turbo boost for vehicles that support MAP and MAF sensors (VW, Golf, Audi, Seat etc)
  • GPS Speedometer/Tracking so you can see what was happening, at a point in time
  • Use the Track Recorder plugin to overlay a video with OBDII data

Because the app has a large fault code database you can save yourself money when certain issues crop up, in that it allows the user to figure out what is going on and in fact decide if an issue can be resolved as a DIY project. If you can’t figure out the problem yourself, you can send a log of data that Torque had collected to a friend or expert via email, or send a screenshot to Facebook, and other social media sites.

You can also use Torque Pro to graph the data it had collected; automatically send GPS tagged tweets to Twitter, and connect to third party apps with the AIDL API. The heads up display mode also makes night time driving a safer by making it easy for you to see the gauges if you have your Android mounted to the dashboard.

Torque Pro for Android costs $4.79; there is a feature-limited free version as well.

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aLapRecorder HD

A strong competitor to Torque is aLapRecroder HD. In fact, after seeing this app in action you may be tempted to think that its a racing game on account of the rich performance gauge assortments that overlay its videos and screen shots.

aLapRecorder can record video footage and overlay accelerometer data, vehicle speed, GPS position information, engine rpm, throttle position and more — vehicle and equipment dependent of course. If you combine these with a high definition video source you can create professional looking videos and even share them with friends, or upload them to the web.

Feature Highlights

  • Record/replay 720p HD videos
  • Support for external 5/10hz GPS receivers
  • Racing lap timer stopwatch
  • Speed, bearing and altitude display
  • OBDII ELM 327 data log interface to ECU
  • OBD data includes rpm, MAF, Throttle
  • Gear selection calculated
  • GPS satellite location lap overlay
  • Google Maps overlay
  • Google Maps Picture in Picture
  • Peak G-Meter indication
  • Export Blue Screen Video
  • Save or send charts in PNG format
  • Save or send tracks in GPX format
  • Save logged OBD2 data in CSV format
  • Calculate lap times
  • Calculate ave & max speeds
  • Calculate sector times
  • Calculate 0-60 mph & 0-100 mph split timing
  • Calculate power, torque and peaks
  • Import and review data in Google Earth

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Tip:

Before you purchase an OBD 2 solution ensure that your vehicle is compliant with the OBD 2 standard. Most vehicles built after 2000, will be, but you may be able to get it to work on vehicles built from as far back as 1996. To be sure, check the vehicle’s documentation or look to see if ‘OBD2′ is written on a big white label in the engine bay.

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