For several years people have been investing in systems from companies like Edge, SCT, Banks, Bullydog etc seeking basic monitoring of PCM
parameters on the fly through your OBDII port. These monitors are usually affixed to the dash area for the long term and can cost anywhere from $300-$1000.
However, now there is another option for people wanting those same basic monitoring capabilities for less. Recently, advancements have been made in OBDII based monitoring systems for our trucks that incorporate Bluetooth devices. One of those products in particular that utilizes this technology is the Torque Pro App for Android based devices.
Rather than invest in another expensive device that only serves one purpose in a single vehicle, why not put your smart phone to work? That's right, the smart phone that you already spent a fortune on can be put to work in your truck for as little as $20.
Here is an example of only a FRACTION of the 100+ parameters this system offers to monitor:
(Pictured: Engine parameters at hot idle.)
Now I am no expert on this program, but seeing how little information there is out there for this incredible device, I at least wanted to get people talking about it! This information is all from my personal experience using it with my 2001 F250 Super Duty with the 7.3 Powerstroke Diesel.
BE AWARE, this device is NOT
a replacement for systems like Auto Ingenuity or DP-Tuner's Infinity system. Those systems are capable of diagnostic tests like injector 'buzz' tests and cylinder contribution tests. This system only offers basic monitoring of vehicle parameters at this time.
BE AWARE, this device is also NOT
a replacement for custom tuning software! This device is for basic monitoring ONLY
The Torque Pro App for Android devices offers:
>>>View live OBD
engine data on your Android phone - Connect to your vehicle ECU
>>>Fully customisable dashboard screens - Design your own layouts and custom dials, use your own themes
>>>Retrieve Fault Codes (DTCs) and clear Check Engine lights - View fault descriptions using the built-in databases
>>>Upload live OBD2 data to your webserver or the torque web viewer in realtime
>>>Check the performance of your vehicle with BHP / Torque / 0-60 & Quarter Mile widgets
More information about compatibility and usage can be found HERE:
Torque OBD2 Wiki
Can you use this product with your older 7.3 Powerstroke diesel? Find out HERE:
Vehicle Requirements - Torque OBD2 Wiki
Forum support from the creator of this program can be found HERE:
Torque OBD2 Performance and Diagnostics for your Vehicle
From my personal experience with this product, I was able to monitor everything from HPOP
Pressure to Transmission Fluid Temp to things like Steering Wheel Angle and ABS
Speed Sensors. I was also able to map
my trips via GPS
on Google Earth and monitor my fuel usage as well as my speed. There are simply more parameters with this setup than I know what to do with!
There are a few minor things worth noting to this setup:
>>>There are HUNDREDS of Bluetooth OBDII devices floating around the net. I took a gamble and I bought this one after much research: CY-B06 Super Mini ElM327 v1.5 Bluetooth OBD2 CAN-BUS Auto Scanner Tool Supports All OBD-II Protocols Compatible for OBD-II Complaint Vehicles and Bluetooth Diagnostic - Newegg.com
>>>Other recommended Bluetooth OBDII devices that work with this program can be found HERE
Bluetooth Adapters - Torque OBD2 Wiki
>>>As you can see, Bluetooth OBDII devices range anywhere from $10-$100 with hit or miss quality. Just be aware of that if you shop for a different one than the ones in the provided links above.
>>>Do note: The bluetooth OBDII device will stay powered on, from my experience, as long as it is plugged in. It doesn't eat up that much power, but you may not want to leave it plugged in if the truck is parked for long periods.
>>>As usual with most scanners, DO NOT try to pull codes with the engine running. From my experience, it will kill the engine during the scan. That may have been adjusted in recent updates though, I haven't tried it in a while.
Other things worth mentioning:
>>>There is a free version of the Torque App for Android, but it does NOT have the support for extended PIDs for our trucks. You've gotta spring for the paid version which can be found HERE
Torque Pro (OBD 2 Car) - Android Apps on Google Play
>>>To load the extended PIDs for the 7.3 powerstroke, load the Torque Pro App and navigate to 'Settings' -> 'Manage extra PIDs/Sensors' -> 'Add predefined set' -> select 'Ford (Incl PowerStroke).
That's it! Enjoy having more parameters at your fingertips than you will ever use. Seriously, who the heck is going to monitor things like 'Steering wheel angle' anyway?
As far as I know, this App is available for Android based devices ONLY. There currently seems to be no plans to carry this program over to the iOS platform. However, I have heard that similar monitoring programs exist for iOS. I cannot in good faith recommend any of them though as I have no personal experience with them.