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2015 Forrester Diesel CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy

Can anyone recommend an OBD2 connection? Lots of cheapies out there but not sure whats good or not.

Also what software are people running, again any recommendations would be great :)

Cheers

Dan
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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Firstly, what type of computer do you have; Windows, Apple iOS, others?
99% of all OBDii readers run on Windows based OS. There are a few wireless readers that are compatible with mobile devices.

I personally use a Actron OBDii reader. Can read “Enhanced DTC’s.” However, I am currently in the search of a newer OBDii reader that can graph multiple PID’s for comparison during possible troubleshooting.
More specifically a Foxwell NT630 Elite. Have not decided yet. My old Actron is no longer supported and is almost 15 years old.

All in, it really depends on your budget. If you have a $300+ budget(US$ and I know it’ll be a tad more for you in the AU) then there’s a few brands; Foxwell, Actron and Autel just to name a few.
However, for the price point of less than $150 US, Foxwell is a pretty good price point for what I’m looking for.

Check Amazon and you’ll see. It looks to be about $222 AU for the Foxtron NT630 Elite.

Again, depending on your needs, you may want a more comprehensive reader such as the Foxwell NT650. Much more diagnostic functions.

Best of luck
 

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G'day @Mulga

I have 2 devices. One is a bluetooth dongle that plugs into the OBDII port and then interfaces to my android phone with the "Torque Pro" app.

The other is a hardwired device called ScanGauge II.

These have been all I've needed without going to the more expensive scanners and laptop software.
 

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2003 Forester X 5 MT
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Which Bluetooth dongle do you have? I bought one for my Subaru but it wouldn't work with the 03 Subaru, worked on my Ford Explorer though?
 

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2015 Forrester Diesel CVT
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the replies.

Has anyone used the BlueDriver scan tool?
 

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2010 Forester Diesel 6MT
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Dan,

unfortunately I think the 'cheapies' have become more phony than cheap now. My 'cheapie' has done well for many years, however, it does poll at a slow rate.

One good one that I have purchased since is OBDLink. I got the MX version (which gives extra access for Mazda/Ford vehicles), however you could probably use the LX version if you don't have a Mazda/Ford vehicle. This does poll at a higher rate, although the linking can be annoying.

and seems to like it, for what it is.

Note that it's still not a patch on a professional level tool which can dig deep into the different units on your vehicle. But it doesn't cost as much as those either!
 

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@Miker104, since you're posting in an Australian forum I'll assume you're in Australia (and N KY doesn't mean North Kentucky, USA). The reason the OBD-II dongle doesn't work with your 2003 Forester is likely because OBD-II (or more pedantically, the Australian implementation of it which is pin & signal compatible anyway) wasn't mandated until 1-Jan-2005 for light passenger vehicles, and then only new models.

Some vehicles did work anyway, the manufacturers probably didn't see the point of not fitting it and may have used it for their own diagnostics anyway. For example, my 2004 Mazda 3 SP23 works even though it wasn't legally required yet.
 

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2015 Forrester Diesel CVT
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Discussion Starter #9
Dan,

unfortunately I think the 'cheapies' have become more phony than cheap now. My 'cheapie' has done well for many years, however, it does poll at a slow rate.

One good one that I have purchased since is OBDLink. I got the MX version (which gives extra access for Mazda/Ford vehicles), however you could probably use the LX version if you don't have a Mazda/Ford vehicle. This does poll at a higher rate, although the linking can be annoying.

and seems to like it, for what it is.

Note that it's still not a patch on a professional level tool which can dig deep into the different units on your vehicle. But it doesn't cost as much as those either!


Thanks for your help, I just ordered the OBDLink MX off ebay.
 

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@Mulga If you leave the OBDLink plugged into the vehicle and have trouble relinking to it next time you drive, try unplugging the OBDLink and plugging it back in. I find this usually does the trick rather than having to press the OBDLink's button to reconnect with a new code.

If running, Torque Pro may then take (say) 30 seconds to connect as it cycles through the different protocols.
 

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@Miker104, since you're posting in an Australian forum I'll assume you're in Australia (and N KY doesn't mean North Kentucky, USA). The reason the OBD-II dongle doesn't work with your 2003 Forester is likely because OBD-II (or more pedantically, the Australian implementation of it which is pin & signal compatible anyway) wasn't mandated until 1-Jan-2005 for light passenger vehicles, and then only new models.

Some vehicles did work anyway, the manufacturers probably didn't see the point of not fitting it and may have used it for their own diagnostics anyway. For example, my 2004 Mazda 3 SP23 works even though it wasn't legally required yet.
No I am not in Aus, I was just asking what others had bought for the cable. My 2003 was a North American Build spec
 

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@Miker104 Ok, sorry. A few suggestions:

1a) It should work with your 03 if it is a USA model as OBDII was mandated from 1996 (I think) in the USA (shows how backward Oz was/is).

1b) If by "North American Build spec" you mean, say, Canada you'll need to check when OBDII was mandated for there.

2) The issue may not be the dongle (given it works with another car) and maybe perhaps the socket and/or the car's ECU/wiring harness. I know I have a suspect socket on one of my cars, both 'dongles' I have have to be fiddled to just the right position to get 'em to work. To confirm this, if there's an auto chain store nearby that does free readouts you could ask them to test with one of theirs.

3) Your dongle may be a bit temperamental, have certain protocol/communication speed issues and/or even be Mazda/Ford specific as they use an alternate set of pins and protocols for Ford/Mazda specific comms (although it may be the same info). If you have a mate with another Subaru, you could ask to try it on that.
 

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Howdy

Can anyone recommend an OBD2 connection? Lots of cheapies out there but not sure whats good or not.

Also what software are people running, again any recommendations would be great :)

Cheers

Dan
I use UltraGauge - it's pretty cool. The LCD screen is configurable to monitor & display just about anything available on the OBD2. That's in addition to reading (and clearing) current and pending TCs. When I drove a Baja Turbo, I set it up as a set of additional gauges and monitored stuff like boost on each bank; oil & air intake temps; some other stuff.

It was also useful diagnosing the catalytic converter failure in my son's 05 Legacy - useful in the sense that I could read the O2 sensor voltages.

Google: ultra-gauge (as a new member I can't post links)
 

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I use UltraGauge - it's pretty cool. The LCD screen is configurable to monitor & display just about anything available on the OBD2. That's in addition to reading (and clearing) current and pending TCs. When I drove a Baja Turbo, I set it up as a set of additional gauges and monitored stuff like boost on each bank; oil & air intake temps; some other stuff.

It was also useful diagnosing the catalytic converter failure in my son's 05 Legacy - useful in the sense that I could read the O2 sensor voltages.

Google: ultra-gauge (as a new member I can't post links)
UltraGauge OBDII Scan tool & Information Center

I used to use an Ultraguage (wired) in my 2003 XS Forester too, mainly used it for the water temp as I never trusted the Subaru needle type gauge.
The gauge is approximately the same size as a credit card, if you search the net you can find a a few DIY mounts that people have made/adapted to make the buttons on the rear become push buttons from the front.

From recollection the gauge used to detect 40 different sensors on my Forester. It will only detect whatever sensors Suabru has installed into the vehicle, naturally no sensor - no information.

I still have the gauge and have temporarily connected it to my 2013 Honda CRV to check the water temp on it too.
 

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2015 Forrester Diesel CVT
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Discussion Starter #17
The OBDLink MX arrived last Friday. Using Torque Pro I added the PID codes. Everything works pretty well so far. I monitored my first active DPF regen yesterday. What was concerning was the oil dilution jumping 1% for that one event.
 

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One good one that I have purchased since is OBDLink. I got the MX version
After watching this


I looked at the OBDLink MX+. When I got to their website, I saw that the description for the MX+ states if you don't need Ford/GM, you can get the cheaper LX version. I was pretty happy about that but when I looked at the LX version I found that it doesn't support iOS devices! Duh. With an iOS device you are limited to the MX+ or the WiFi version.

I decided to order the MX+ version even though it is more expensive probably due to the extra Ford/GM functionality that I don't need. It hasn't arrived yet. I also understand that this tool is more of something that provides gauges and readouts and I may need to buy an Autel or something when it is time to bleed brakes etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
After watching this

Why Every Garage Needs An OBD2 Scan Tool - YouTube

I looked at the OBDLink MX+. When I got to their website, I saw that the description for the MX+ states if you don't need Ford/GM, you can get the cheaper LX version. I was pretty happy about that but when I looked at the LX version I found that it doesn't support iOS devices! Duh. With an iOS device you are limited to the MX+ or the WiFi version.

I decided to order the MX+ version even though it is more expensive probably due to the extra Ford/GM functionality that I don't need. It hasn't arrived yet. I also understand that this tool is more of something that provides gauges and readouts and I may need to buy an Autel or something when it is time to bleed brakes etc.
Same as the one I bought, I also have Mazda and Nissan vehicles. Connects easily and the OBDLink App is pretty good too.
 

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I monitored my first active DPF regen yesterday. What was concerning was the oil dilution jumping 1% for that one event.
Thant's roughly about right. It calculates a sharp ramp up for the regen, then a slow decline in between regens such that there is an overall rise over time. See Subdiesel's oil dilution graph webpage.

Same as the one I bought, I also have Mazda and Nissan vehicles. Connects easily and the OBDLink App is pretty good too.
(Bit off Subarus, but anyway)
For Mazdas you can also try FORScan on your laptop PC which can probe a bit deeper than a normal scan reading-only tool, if not actually start controlling stuff. I have found my PC linkage to the OBDLink MX problematic though, esp swapping between android and PC devices if you have to keep relinking. I also think my PC has some sort of incompatibility with the device and/or if not in constant contact, basically the PC seems to suspend/ tim-out/sleep the device connection almost immediately causing you to need to reconnect, except you can't then get back to the program in time...
 
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