So you’re driving down the road when suddenly your check engine light comes on. Not too long ago this meant heading back to the dealership or your local garage for them to roll out their expensive code-reading machine and in turn hand you a hefty bill. An alternative to this is using the Lemur Monitors BlueDriver OBD2 Bluetooth Scan Tool.
OBD2 is the acronym for the on-board diagnostic system built into every new vehicle coming off the assembly line. Underneath the dash is a multi-pin plug that a reader can plug in to and decipher a plethora of codes sent out by the vehicle’s electronic control modules. In the past, these readers were (and still are) very costly and are normally only found in full service garages and service centers. Lemur has changed that with the launch of their small Bluetooth device that sends the translated codes to your iOS or Android smart device.
Lemur Vehicle Monitors recently provided us with a review unit, and by some strange coincidence my wife’s check engine light illuminated less than a week later. No problem, we plugged the device into the OBD connector under the steering column panel, and launched the free Scan Tool app on my iPad, and voila – instant translation along with common fixes to the issue (which turned out to be an evac canister that was most likely loosened when she had her battery replaced the week before). The vehicle was running fine, so I hit the “clear codes” button on the app and after just a few restarts of the vehicle, the check engine light went off.
Prior to this, I had never used an OBD scanner and had seen one used only once. The Lemur BlueDriver device was so simple to use and understand, and the app includes links to videos to further explain not only its operation but how to read the reports that are generated. Up to five reports are free with the app and each additional five are only 99 cents. The device can be used on multiple vehicles without any resetting or recalibration to each vehicle, and all that is accomplished when it is plugged into the OBD port.
A friend of mine is a semi-professional mechanic (a step above the shade tree variety, but he does not do it full time) for 26 years. He does own a more expensive OBD scanner, so I asked if he could test the unit on some vehicles he was working on. His immediate response was that he loved this device, and he could not believe it was only 99 bucks. He went on to tell me how the BlueDriver device even read “Mode 6” information, and judging by his enthusiasm this was a big deal.
In a nutshell, the Lemur BlueDriver device and corresponding app’s main features are:
• Reads and clears diagnostic trouble codes,
• Generates a repair report with code definition, possible cause(s) and top or frequently reported fixes,
• Shows freeze frame data (snapshot of vehicle when code was stored),
• Checks to see if vehicle is ready for smog (emissions) testing,
• Provides advanced Mode 6 test results,
• Captures and shares live data supported by vehicle in graph, gauge and date log formats.
Jimmy, my mechanic friend, was really impressed with the share features found in the app, as information can be easily sent to clients or colleagues. The amount of vehicle information available was in excess of what he has available with his more expensive device, and that Mode 6 information has to be translated with a scientific calculator with his, unit but not so with the BlueDriver.
He was further impressed by the endless Freeze Frame Data available, as well as the MIL status information BlueDriver provided to the Scan Tool app.
The impressions below are all his:
What do you like most about BlueDriver: I would have to say that after 26 years of mechanics and using several aids in car repair, I am more impressed with this little tool than any other I have used for OBD and vehicle diagnoses.
What could be improved: I really can’t think of much…actually, nothing.
Is it a good value: The $99.95 Lemur BlueDriver is too cheap in my mind, it does more than some $500-plus machines.
Would you recommend it to others: HELL TO THE YEAH! (That would be a “yes”)
As for myself, I found it simple to use for the inexperienced, and while much of the data appeared as “greek” to me I was able to navigate through the multiple modes and reports to determine we were just fine this time when that check engine light came on. I would recommend the Lemur BlueDriver to anyone who has a vehicle or two in the driveway that are beyond their warranty periods. Although this unit was provided by Lemur, this one event would have paid for itself by saving us the trip to the dealership or to my buddy Jimmy.
Source: The Lemur Monitors BlueDriver was a manufacturer provided review sample
Buy at: www.lemurmonitors.com