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View Full Version : OBDII computer programs and modification software


AxleIke
03-29-2013, 10:14 PM
So, the old man had some issues with his Tacoma, and has been getting interested in possibly purchasing something to do more than just read and reset codes.

My scan tool will read, reset, and give freeze frame data, but cannot do real time monitoring.

In looking into a few options, I began seeing these types of programs pop up, and it piqued my interest.

http://www.totalcardiagnostics.com/toad/

Obviously, I'm not sure if this is a good choice or not, but both pops and I would be interested in something that can do both the diagnostic side, and possibly some ECU tuning (lots of superchargers in the family now, could be a fun project down the road).

Does anyone have recommendations? Something they've used/heard about? Stuff that is total garbage?

thefatkid (and others I'm sure) has a software package he uses at the dealer, and we were able to see in real time how my short and long term fuel trim were doing, my AFM readings, O2 readings etc...I'm sure the dealer program is big bucks, but that sort of capability is what we are looking for, and I like the idea of the computer based because I can save stuff for reference, and then go back and re-read.

Thanks!

nakman
03-29-2013, 10:21 PM
Isaac I have the Ultra Gauge II that you are welcome to borrow for an extended period of time. At only $60, it's actually pretty sweet what it does http://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/index.htm

And I just bought a OBD2 WiFi cable. this one, in fact http://www.ebay.com/itm/OBD2-WiFi-OBD-II-Car-Diagnostics-Tool-for-Apple-iPad-iPhone-iPod-Touch-Hot-Sale-/170942169978?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item27ccf2837a&vxp=mtr

But I haven't been able to get it to work yet, can't seem to hack the IP address, etc., but plan to spend an hour or so in the car tomorrow night with a laptop and try to get it working- all my laptops were at work this week, so it's been tabled until then. My longer term plan is to run all the real time monitoring and diagnostics from an iPhone. I've spent the last 2 weeks watching intake air temp, throttle position, and coolant temp on the Ultra Gauge, which really makes the commute a little more entertaining. I can't believe how hot my little commuter likes to run... :o

I think the App to get is called Rev, I have the free version but haven't popped for the pay one yet, still waiting on a functional OBD wifi setup. There are many others out there though, check the app store. And if you don't have an iphone, then you have even more options, from what I have heard.

nakman
03-29-2013, 10:27 PM
Ok I just read that TOAD site, if it does all it says then it's worth the $77. Maybe not practical to have a laptop in the truck the whole time but cool enough for fiddling around?

DaveInDenver
03-30-2013, 06:02 AM
TOAD is $127 if you don't already have a cable. Is $50 right or high for a USB to OBD-II cable? I'm seriously interested because it claims it can talk OBD-I like 22R-E Toyotas, too. That would be cool. I've never really seen the utility of the little scan tools and endless menus with cryptic text. If you're gonna tune and diagnose, bring the laptop and do it right. Otherwise I don't need the distraction of knowing my MPG to the hundredth.

AxleIke
03-30-2013, 08:06 AM
I have a scan tool already.

Most of the lower end (mine was around 100) just read codes, and freeze frame data (9 or so values stored in the cars computer when the code is set).

It also came with a software package and I can plug it into my computer and download that data, and it has a program with details about individual codes, likely causes, etc...

However, after visiting with thefatkid about a problem on my 99, I saw the advantages of being able to watch what is going on in real time, and see all of the sensor inputs.

For example, my dads code on the 04 taco was P0171, Bank 1 Lean.

This has quite a few possible explanations: Bad or Dirty MAF, stuck throttle body, leaky injector, bad injector, bad O2 sensor, and a few others.

My reader simply told me what the long and short term fuel trim were at the time of the code. My software listed out the specs they should be (within + or - 15%), and since they were both above +15, I could see the reason for the code. However, that doesn't tell me WHY. If I could monitor everything in real time, I could see what he MAF and O2 sensors are doing so I could see if one of them was simply giving bogus values. I could also monitor the TPS and see if there were any issues with a sticking throttle body.

I had to do the ol guess and check. I reasoned that they live on a dirt road, and therefore it was a good possibility that the MAF was dirty. Sure enough, it was filthy. Cleaned it, but while I was in there, I noticed the throttle body had a ton of carbon inside it, so I removed and cleaned that was well.

Anyway, that is my interest in the extras. It really does allow for a much more in depth diagnosis, and, IMO, less time overall fixing an issue. To me, that is worth the added cost for the extras.

coloradobound
03-30-2013, 08:17 AM
Pretty sure the obd-ii software I have on my phone reads via a Bluetooth connection has real time reading on a ton of different levels. No tuning though since I thought you really couldn't do a lot with the Tacoma ecu.

ScaldedDog
03-30-2013, 04:32 PM
I use AE on a laptop, but if you're just wanting to look at OBDII parameters in real time, take a look at the Torque app for your phone. For less than $50, total, you can have a set of gauges showing anyting the PCM can see. I use it all the time on my PowerStroke.

Mark

thefatkid
03-30-2013, 05:09 PM
I don't know much about aftermarket OBD-II scanners. I don't have one worth anything at this point. I was looking at Techstream light (by Toyota) but that would be for work and could justify the $450 price tag. For the average person to use it would not be very cost effective.

As far as being able to "tune" a Toyota ECU, good luck. Toyota never released the information (language) to the pubic market. No aftermarket programmers can reflash a Toyota ECU at this time other then to install factory programs. Fuel and timing maps can not be changed by the end user at this point. This is why URD and other piggy backs are popular.

L43dean
03-30-2013, 06:05 PM
So this is just like turning my octane selector a click or two, right?

Uncle Ben
03-30-2013, 07:02 PM
Only special people can tweak Toy ECU's and I dont know anyone that special. In order to change tune on Toy ECU's you need a piggy back computer. I really like Spit Second (http://www.splitsec.com/). BTW....URD rebadges Spit Second products. You can buy the cable off ebay and there is great free-ware diagnostics out there! You really need a laptop as even scan ware needs to data log so you can see what heppens when. Piggy Backs do not change ECU programming but rather they lie to the ECU, by altering sensor signals so the ECU compensates thus allowing you to tune. When building a new map you will have the ecu parameters on your screen AND the piggy backs spread sheet map on the screen. To properly tune you also need a wide band O2 sensor in place so you can see whats real and not what the ECU thinks it sees. Gadget is the guru when tuning Toyotas, especially 3.4's. Gadget is the owner of URD. He has sooooo much info written up and shared on line you can get one hell of an education in the process once your migraine goes away!

AxleIke
03-30-2013, 11:04 PM
I use AE on a laptop, but if you're just wanting to look at OBDII parameters in real time, take a look at the Torque app for your phone. For less than $50, total, you can have a set of gauges showing anyting the PCM can see. I use it all the time on my PowerStroke.

Mark

Mark, what is AE?

Pretty sure the obd-ii software I have on my phone reads via a Bluetooth connection has real time reading on a ton of different levels. No tuning though since I thought you really couldn't do a lot with the Tacoma ecu.

Do you buy a kit for the phone? Something that plugs into the OBDII

I don't know much about aftermarket OBD-II scanners. I don't have one worth anything at this point. I was looking at Techstream light (by Toyota) but that would be for work and could justify the $450 price tag. For the average person to use it would not be very cost effective.

As far as being able to "tune" a Toyota ECU, good luck. Toyota never released the information (language) to the pubic market. No aftermarket programmers can reflash a Toyota ECU at this time other then to install factory programs. Fuel and timing maps can not be changed by the end user at this point. This is why URD and other piggy backs are popular.

Good to know Brian. Is the Techstream something that would be useful to shade tree mechanics such as myself? Or is it just pissing money away because it has more features than we'd be able to use? What are you using now?

My inner geek is shocked by the idea that these haven't been cracked. I didn't realize that, nor did I realize the language would be that difficult to mess with. My curiosity is now very piqued. I need to look into more information.


Only special people can tweak Toy ECU's and I dont know anyone that special. In order to change tune on Toy ECU's you need a piggy back computer. I really like Spit Second (http://www.splitsec.com/). BTW....URD rebadges Spit Second products. You can buy the cable off ebay and there is great free-ware diagnostics out there! You really need a laptop as even scan ware needs to data log so you can see what heppens when. Piggy Backs do not change ECU programming but rather they lie to the ECU, by altering sensor signals so the ECU compensates thus allowing you to tune. When building a new map you will have the ecu parameters on your screen AND the piggy backs spread sheet map on the screen. To properly tune you also need a wide band O2 sensor in place so you can see whats real and not what the ECU thinks it sees. Gadget is the guru when tuning Toyotas, especially 3.4's. Gadget is the owner of URD. He has sooooo much info written up and shared on line you can get one hell of an education in the process once your migraine goes away!

I will check it out UB. Thanks. I need an edumechation on this stuff, as I'm hankering to mess with it now.

ScaldedDog
03-30-2013, 11:41 PM
AE is Auto Enginuity, a PC-based OBDII diagnostics program. It's "universal" for OBDII compliant stuff, but requires add-on packages for non-OBDII stuff, which every manufacturer has. The only add-on I have is the Ford one, for use on my PowerStroke.

Mark

coloradobound
03-31-2013, 09:23 AM
I have this one. Simply plugs into the port and connects to the phone via Bluetooth. I have the torque software and then Toyota and Subaru addons.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004KL0I9I

nakman
04-01-2013, 03:49 PM
I have this one. Simply plugs into the port and connects to the phone via Bluetooth. I have the torque software and then Toyota and Subaru addons.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004KL0I9I

Do you have an iPhone? Do you know if that bluetooth sender works ok with iPhones? They seem needlessly limited when it comes to this OBD stuff. Like no Torque, for example. :mad:

coloradobound
04-01-2013, 07:33 PM
Do you have an iPhone? Do you know if that bluetooth sender works ok with iPhones? They seem needlessly limited when it comes to this OBD stuff. Like no Torque, for example. :mad:

Droid RAZR maxx. Not sure how it works with the iPhone. Even works with my droid tablet.

nakman
04-01-2013, 11:20 PM
Huh, thanks. I just read some reviews and it looks like Apple devices need to be hacked or "jailbreaked" to work? Not even sure what that is.. yes, I'm old.

coloradobound
04-02-2013, 09:44 AM
Huh, thanks. I just read some reviews and it looks like Apple devices need to be hacked or "jailbreaked" to work? Not even sure what that is.. yes, I'm old.

Looks like a few options for apple. And I don't know anything about jail breaking. I think it cracks the programming so you have access to more on the programming?


http://mbworld.org/forums/c36-amg-c43-amg-w202/405182-obdii-bluetooth-iphone-apps.html

Otherwise maybe try and find a used/cheap android phone or tablet.

And I think the Bluetooth is very specific and limited on the iPhone. That is one issue on some of the programs and obd2 readers.

MountainGoat
04-02-2013, 09:53 AM
"iOS jailbreaking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_jailbreaking) is the process of removing the limitations on Apple devices running the iOS operating system through the use of software and hardware exploits such devices include the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and second generation Apple TV. Jailbreaking permits root access to the iOS operating system, allowing the download of additional applications, extensions, and themes that are unavailable through the official Apple App Store." Ref: Wikipedia

DaveInDenver
04-02-2013, 10:00 AM
If you jailbreak you cannot allow unrestricted syncing with iTunes, primarily never allow Apple to patch or update your OS since they usually fix jailbreak techniques. It is also now illegal to unlock your phone and might be illegal to jailbreak it under DCMA. Silly Apple users think they pay all that money and actually own the devices.

nakman
04-02-2013, 10:34 AM
Alright, not messing that that... I think a small tablet would be better for this anyway, will look for one with BT.

OilHammer
04-02-2013, 10:53 AM
I have a Scanguage II that I used to for resetting my CEL on the 450 a couple of times. I never installed it permanently, so essentially brand new. I was going to sell it, but forgot I even had it until I read this. So, if you are interested in something like that, let me know.

coloradobound
04-02-2013, 11:14 AM
I also have a brand new android prepay phone I'm selling that would work.

nakman
04-02-2013, 11:17 AM
I may be interested in both, what are you guys thinking?

coloradobound
04-02-2013, 11:25 AM
Looking for $40. Its a kyocera rise. Prices online are around $60-70.

It's only been turned on, never activated.

PhatFJ
04-02-2013, 11:31 AM
I have used an Auto Enginuity (AE) with ProLine connector for years now and is an amazing tool, Professional grade. I was turned on to this unit via the Ford forums I was frequenting as I needed something to look at my 1999 7.3. You can buy the software for various manufacturers. I have Toyota and Ford but can only use it on vehicles 2010 and earlier, if I want to work on newer models I would have to pay $50.00 for an upgrade... Anyhow, I have been very happy with tool and service..
http://www.autoenginuity.com/

:thumb:

nakman
04-04-2013, 10:55 PM
Ok, this torque stuff is pretty cool, thanks again coloradobound for the hookup. I wasted a good hour tonight setting up gauges, setting up my profile, etc., in addition to finally getting the phone to recognize the blue tooth. I've abandoned my iPhone for this, instead a cheap Android seems way more appropriate, one that can double as a kid gamer or whatever as well-

Will try to get some real data on the way in tomorrow, I'm looking forward to my first drive with this thing. Next I need to figure out a mount for this little phonamajig.

coloradobound
04-06-2013, 10:56 AM
No problem. Plenty of stuff you can add on with that setup.

OilHammer
04-06-2013, 07:10 PM
Tim, I was about to pull the trigger on a nexus 7, and then realized they are about to release a new version. $200 bones and rave reviews. I'm guessing that may fit your bill for what you are looking to do.

nakman
04-06-2013, 10:15 PM
Yeah, so far my $40 Kyocera Rise is fitting the bill just fine... in fact I'm quite surprised by just how much utility you can get from a phone with no phone service. The GPS stuff works, the map works, I can get internet anytime I'm near a public wifi obviously.. I actually forget I don't have 3g/4g service sometimes. Plus it never rings, it's like the perfect phone. Ok the screen resolution isn't great, battery life isn't superb... I'll refer you back to the $40 part.

But thanks for the tip on the new Nexus, they keep saying at the real job that they'll pop for a tablet some time, so maybe that's what I'll go for? We make Kindle Fire cases so I was looking hard at those, but they don't have bluetooth.

Jacket
04-07-2013, 08:55 AM
This is a great thread! Tons of interesting info. :ranger: