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06 forester 5spd
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
I have a pretty basic Actron obd2 scan tool that allows me to read codes and access some live data readouts while the car is running. I've been thinking about buying something a little more advanced so that I can watch my temps, o2 sensors, and a few other engine data readout PIDs while I drive. I'm looking at buying a launch bi-directional scanner for more in-depth diagnostic abilities but in the meantime I wanted to get something rather basic that I can just mount up on the dash and glance at while driving. I'm hoping to find something that keys on when the ignition is turned on, unfortunately the Actron is always on if plugged in and its annoying to have to yank it out of the OBD2 port every time I shut the car off. Any recommendations?
 

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2020 Forester 2.5 CVT base model
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296 Posts
The very best obd2 scan tool is the one left ,fully packaged, on the shelf.
All that extra ,real time, data will start to erode the simple pleasure of driving.......
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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275 Posts
How sensitive do you need it to be? Are you trying to diagnose something specific, or just to see what's going on?
I picked up one of those Bluetooth OBD2 modules and I use the Torque app on my phone. When I was having an overheating issue with an old Forester, I used it to graph the temperature so I could see exactly what it was doing. Worked well enough for me, and the out-of-pocket cost was under $20. I keep one permanently installed on my current Forester, and also on my 11 Outback. If one of the cars throws a code, all I have to do is pull out my phone and connect to the Bluetooth to read and reset the codes. I've even occasionally connected it to a tablet, with a dash mount, to have a more easy to read display.
 

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2005 Subaru Forester XT
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21 Posts
Not sure if its a consideration for you or not, but i had an ABS fault and had to diagnose the old fashioned way because my cheap OBD2 doesn't read those subaru codes and i was too cheap to buy one which can read those codes. if i hadn't found the fault then i would probably have bought a better OBD2 reader for the next time.
i think there are also other codes which need a more comprehensive reader (airbag maybe?).
i do not think the phone based readers often come with this ability, but they will probably be the easiest to use for supplementary live data you are looking at.
there are loads of these bluetooth/app based data readers; hopefully others will chime in with their favs.
i think there are also really cheap ways to do it using freeware and cheap components but personally i know i would not be patient enough for those. best of luck
 

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Registered
06 forester 5spd
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How sensitive do you need it to be? Are you trying to diagnose something specific, or just to see what's going on?
I picked up one of those Bluetooth OBD2 modules and I use the Torque app on my phone. When I was having an overheating issue with an old Forester, I used it to graph the temperature so I could see exactly what it was doing. Worked well enough for me, and the out-of-pocket cost was under $20. I keep one permanently installed on my current Forester, and also on my 11 Outback. If one of the cars throws a code, all I have to do is pull out my phone and connect to the Bluetooth to read and reset the codes. I've even occasionally connected it to a tablet, with a dash mount, to have a more easy to read display.
Essentially I'm looking for data graphing and just basic OBD info while driving, coolant temp, maybe fuel trim info, etc. I have a slight idle shake I'm trying to track down. Dealer said dirty MAF, kind of fixed it, but its still there. But that's a story for another thread. I've been scratching my head on trying to track it down but I would like to monitor some data PIDs while I drive to HOPEFULLY aid me in this.
 
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