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2015 Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
Are any of you using Bluetooth OBD2 adapters with a 2014+ Forester or other Subaru?

I have a Vgate adapter that I have had for a few years now. I used it with my previous BMW and never ran into any issues.

I have a suspicion that it is causing issues with the Forester. A couple of days ago, while my data logging program (Torque ... Torque ? OBD2 Performance and Diagnostics for your Vehicle) was iterating through the different protocols, I got a couple of warnings. ABS, VSC and Hill Start. The next time I started the car, those were gone.

Then on Sunday when it was iterating through the protocols, the ECU completely freaked out and lit up the dashboard like a Christmas tree. The ECU went into limp mode (could not go over 25% throttle) and threw all of the codes again. It also threw a CEL with a fault code of losing connection with the ECU.

I had the car towed to the dealership. The CEL was gone, but while they were diagnosing it, the ECU threw a hard start code. They flashed the ECU software to a newer version and "fixed" the problem.

Another thing that they noticed is that the ECU had previously recorded a voltage spike to 13.2 volts. Normally it runs 11.2 volts.

While the OBD2 adapter is supposed to be passive, I think that while the software is iterating through the various protocols it might be tripping up the ECU and generating fault codes. I want to be able to data log and get more information from the vehicle sensors than would otherwise be available on the dashboard, but I am hesitant to plug the adapter in again.

Any thoughts?
 

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2015 Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter #4
For what it is worth, here is the reply that I got from the developer of Torque. Apparently the issue I am running into is fairly common.

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It’s likely to be the adapter – some of the clones can cause issues and have been known to send out ‘rubbish’ over the vehicle bus on bad units

You are able to set the adapters protocol scanning by going into the vehicle profile and either setting the protocol to use, or setting the adapter to ‘Automatic – Fast’. I’d recommend setting it to the protocol the ECU uses to avoid the adapter scanning for the right protocol to use. It’s the adapter that performs the protocol discovery and selection from the ECU

The voltage fluctuation should not be a problem, however it could have thrown the adapter off as the voltage regulation on the clones isn’t great (interestingly in a vehicle system, the battery usually charges over 14v so you can see (whilst cranking) the voltage drop to < 10v in some circumstances, and rise to over 14v. This is usually normal for a /lot/ of vehicles as lead acid cells don’t charge properly below 12v)
 

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2015 XT Touring HT-CVT
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The problem is the protocol search. It lit my car up too the first time I tried.
You want to use ISO-15765-4 CAN (11bit 500k baud) when you set up the vehicle profile.
I'm no expert but that's what I gathered from a thread in the diesel forum I believe. Worked for lots of people including myself.

**edit
I found the thread with a bunch of links to other threads on this issue:

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f95/torque-pro-caused-ecu-crash-489961/

Check out post 15, that's where the links are.
 

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I wouldn't call 13.2 volts a spike; I'd call it normal. It might be called a 12V battery, but actual voltage is typically a little higher. I just happened to have a recent screenshot from my Baja (via Torque), and you can see the voltage is steady at almost 13V. Again, 13.2 isn't anything I'd personally be concerned with.

By the way, I use an OBDII scanner with Torque on my 14 FXT and 05 Baja, and have for years on various vehicles. I've never had the problems you describe. The only ones I've used are the inexpensive Amazon models. It's black with a blue decal on it that simply reads, "OBD Diagnostic Interface," with a few indicator lights. No other description whatsoever.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The problem is the protocol search. It lit my car up too the first time I tried.
You want to use ISO-15765-4 CAN (11bit 500k baud) when you set up the vehicle profile.
Thanks for that. I am going to give it a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
By the way, I use an OBDII scanner with Torque on my 14 FXT and 05 Baja, and have for years on various vehicles. I've never had the problems you describe.
Are you manually specifying the protocol, or using auto detect?

Another poster in this thread recommended a specific protocol that I am going to try.

Over on the Torque forums, they mentioned that the adapter does the auto detect and not Torque itself. Allowing adapters to auto detect is known to cause problems on Subaru's apparently.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
hook up a meter to the battery with the car running should be near 13.8v
You're talking about charging voltage.

The dealership / technician report was talking about voltage going into the ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Interesting to hear about this thanks for posting. I'm using an "Ikkegol" (aka cheap amazon version) and have not had issues like this in my '03. I too thought since it was "read only" nothing could go wrong.
That makes sense. I had my adapter in a 2003 BMW and never had any problems either.

In this case, the issue is with a cheap adapter and the sensitive CAN bus based Subaru ECUs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One last question for Athens Tubaru and Suubxt1, have you guys tried using the Subaru SSM protocol emulation in Torque? It supposedly supports it and I have seen some mentions on the internet of people using it on older Subaru's. I would like to use it because it is supposed to be faster (which provides more frequent logging and allows more sensors to be logged simultaneously) but am hesitant to mess with a beta implementation of the protocol via Torque given the problems I ran into.
 

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2015 XT Touring HT-CVT
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I never even saw the SSM II(beta) when looking through the protocols, and to be honest I'm personally not that interested in being the guinea pig. I'm finishing my masters degree right now (less than two weeks till done) and don't want to mess with anything that will potentially occupy my time... so I understand your hesitation, even though it would be super nice to get more PID's and faster refreshing.

If you do give that a shot, post back as to how it worked out!

Also, I did a quick google search and found this massive thread on the outback forum..

FreeSSM - Complete access to your ECM and TCU - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

Might be some info there that you can find... but there is 96 pages :surprise:

Good luck!
 

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Oh! When connecting torque to the car, make sure you plug in the adapter, start the car, THEN open torque in whatever device you are using. If torque is running when you start the car, bad things (christmas tree dash) might happen. This was mentioned by others when I was figuring this all out.
 

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Are you manually specifying the protocol, or using auto detect?

Another poster in this thread recommended a specific protocol that I am going to try.

Over on the Torque forums, they mentioned that the adapter does the auto detect and not Torque itself. Allowing adapters to auto detect is known to cause problems on Subaru's apparently.
On the Baja, I'm certain it was automatically detected.

I'm 90% sure it was the same for the FXT, because I don't recall specifying anything.

I'm referring to Torque app when I say that, because my adapter is simply a black box with the standard OBD female connector; I'm not sure how I'd even make any changes to protocols on the adapter itself.
 

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One last question for Athens Tubaru and Suubxt1, have you guys tried using the Subaru SSM protocol emulation in Torque? It supposedly supports it and I have seen some mentions on the internet of people using it on older Subaru's. I would like to use it because it is supposed to be faster (which provides more frequent logging and allows more sensors to be logged simultaneously) but am hesitant to mess with a beta implementation of the protocol via Torque given the problems I ran into.
No, I haven't.

I don't use the adapter for logging much in the FXT. In fact, I've only used it twice total:
1. I ran out of gas on a long stretch of highway at night after some gas stations closed surprisingly early. Subaru Roadside Assistance brought me gas, but I had to reset the CEL light that came on when I ran out. Otherwise, no cruise control on a several-hundred-mile trip.
2. My mechanic told me we needed a new battery, a year after buying the car. Curious, I logged voltage for a few minutes from before cranking up cold to normal driving. Everything looked great, with a minor dip at crank, and everything else around 14V. I showed my mechanic the plot on my phone, to which he replied, "I gotta get me one of those."

I log all the time on my Baja, looking at coolant temp, boost, voltage, etc., just like the picture I attached in my first post. It never lags so I don't personally have a need to go faster.
 

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To clarify the last sentence in the previous post, I most certainly do "personally have a need to go faster." That would only apply to my Subies, though, not the OBD scanner.

(I make joke).
 

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Silly question. Do you guys leave your adapters in the car 24/7? Or only plug it in when you want to gather data? Not sure how it'll handle the heat in the summer or the cold in the winter (I live in Toronto Canada)
 
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