[CHP] OBDII dongles? Any recommendations?

I’m considering giving away an OBDII dongle to my nephew (who works in IT and can handle pretty much any normal technical issues).

I also want one for myself. I currently have a ScanGauge II, and I’d like something similar for my second car.

So—I’m looking for something that can:

  1. Scan for codes
  2. Ideally, act as an engine parameter display through an iPhone, Android, and/or laptop.

Any suggestions? I’d prefer cheap unless that’s a bad idea. My nephew is Android, and I’m iPhone.

Also, I have googled already, and I’m not finding much good stuff. Search term suggestions are appreciated.

What kind of vehicle? Your choices will be different if you need VPW / PWM vs. straight CAN.

This is what I have (and just ordered a couple more), it’s shit, but surprisingly useful;


If you want to borrow one to see if it works for your application, I’ll bring it to the meeting Tuesday evening.

Steve J…

I have used this one I personally liked it but, pay for the nicer odb software and you'll enjoy your product much more.


That was the one I got when it was on an amazon sale thing for 7 bucks. If you are using an android device the app you want is torque.

If you are using an iOS device, the bluetooth ones can be a bit persnickety and most people recommend the wifi version. The wifi versions work with all the devices, but then you can’t get interwebs at the same time because the wifi is connected to the dongle.

The elm327 modules are great for the money. I really need to invest in another higher end unit for bleeding abs pumps and other tests that my snap on verdict did… I miss it :(. Those elm327 with a program like torque pro on android are AMAZING for the 7 bucks they costs.

My nephew has a new Jeep something.

I’ve got a 98 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS and VW Golf 2003.

Other cars of interest: 2005 & 2009 Honda Accord and 2015 Hyundai.



98 impreza is going to be ISO9141 i.e. old pre-CAN communication. A lot of the cheaper dongles don’t support the older protocols (ISO (asian/european), PWM (ford) and VPW (GM)) so be cautious.