When your car broke down on the road, there is always one thing you wish: a warning before it happens. If only you knew there was a function that has been performing weird up until now, you could have sent your car to a workshop before it gets worse. However, detecting such thing is nearly impossible if you don’t have any experience working with car before. So, what can you do not to have that moment when you hopelessly sat behind the steer in the middle of the road, your car unmoving as a nonprofessional? You can invest in OBD app and device.
OBD – On Board Diagnostic – app and device help you monitor many component of your car – from engine, fuel, to emission. When it recognizes abnormal utility from the vehicle, it will alert you that there is possible malfunction and you should take your car to the nearest workshop or dealership for maintenance before the problem gets too big. Monitoring fuel and emission has its perk as well. For example, if you notice that your fuel consumption has been soaring even though you don’t remember using your car any differently, you may want to check if your engine is getting old and less efficient in using fuel.
Plenty of OBD devices and apps are available out there. Most of OBD apps have two version, free and premium. To get the most out of those OBD apps, we’d recommend you to buy the premium. Among them, what are the best one for your car? Today we’ll compare five of the best OBD apps available at either Android or iOS based on their feature and price.
1. OBD Car Doctor Pro
Created by Mobile Developed, this app receives 4.1 stars at Google PlayStore (2017). It is available for Android and iOS users – both free and premium version. Currently it has four main features: General Information to check for your VIN and protocol, Current Data to monitor your car condition (such as battery voltage, consumption, engine RPM, engine coolant temperature, and many more) real-time, Diagnostic to alert you if it detects trouble in your engine, fuel, or emission system, as well as Logbook to save the history of your car data for future use. The connection from the device to the app uses wifi, and users have been praising the fast data transmission.
2. Torque Pro
Torque Pro is arguably the most popular OBD app out there. Developed by Ian Hawkins, it receives 4.5 stars in Google PlayStore (2017) with more than a million download. This 2017, the iOS version has been available as well. It has enough features: Realtime Information to monitor your car condition (from coolant temperature, engine RPM, HP, and many more), Fault Codes to alert you if there is any malfunction in the car, Map View to track your car condition during a trip, Test Result, Graphing, and if you still doesn’t understand something about Torque Pro, Help menu is available too. User interface is pretty and easy to read as well, and that’s a plus for this app. Torque is available in free version as well – the name is Torque Lite – and even if some of the feature is removed, it still covers the basic and perform admirably.
Dash currently has over 100 thousands download and 3.8 stars in Google PlayStore. Developed by Dash, it has a catchy and colorful user interface. But, it’s not only the surface that looks good, the feature it provides is good as well. Aside from the usual information of your car condition OBD app always provide as well as alerting system when something doesn’t seem to work right, Dash also has unique feature that will encourage good driving habit. The developer named it Dash Score – in which the app will give you a score when you drive from one location to another. It also has speeding breaking alert, as well as other little but helpful addition such as ability to find you the nearest gas station and repair shop from your location if you ever in a need of them. If you are a social person, you can compete for a place in the leaderboard for all the Dash users.
4. OBD Auto Doctor
OBD Auto Doctor by Creosys have over 500 thousands download and 3.7 stars in Google PlayStore. It also has iOS version. OBD Auto Doctor has the basic feature for OBD app such as monitoring car condition, reading Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC), and alerting you from any trouble in the car. The app is free, but additional feature such as sending diagnostic data via email and exporting report in .csv format can be purchased in-app.
Developed by ScanTool, in Google PlayStore this app receives 3.9 stars with over one million download. It provides common features of OBD app, such as Diagnostic for alerting you for any early trouble in your car, Monitors for keeping you up with information about your car real-time as you use it, Logs for keeping all the information from the monitoring safe, as well as customizable dashboard. The plus side is, all of those you can get for free, including some feature that in other similar app is only available in premium version. The minus side is, OBDLink is compatible with OBDLink adapter only, and also for certain models only.
The overall judgment is this: all of these five apps have the same essential function for OBD scanner and work with most OBD tools unless specified otherwise. To decide which one to download, maybe you’ll want to test their free version first to check which one of them work the best with you and your car. However, take notes that free version only show the most basic feature, so also consider the additional feature they give you in premium version. Think of choosing the best app as preventative measure to keep your car from any trouble in the future – you’ll want the best, not the cheapest.