Tag Archives: elm327 bluetooth

How to use Carista App, ELM327 Bluetooth and Android

I came across the ELM327 adapter and the Android application Carista. It was the application that really interested me. I decided to test it and finally I want to talk more about it.


I have been using ELM327 Bluetooth OBDII scanner for no two years in the car, and Torque has been installed on the smartphone thanks to which it is possible to take readings from the sensors installed in the car (temperature, speed, engine speed, acceleration, etc.). A cool application, there are a bunch of plug-ins, but I did not really like it, I played it a couple of times and that’s it.

Installed Carista on my Android smartphone. I’m very surprised with the functionality of the application! Firstly, he can adequately read errors. Secondly, the most important thing is how to code additional functions (auto-closing doors, change the amount of flickering of comfortable turn signals, etc.)! You can absolutely encode the available additional functions without a VAG-com and a complicated ODIS-diagnostics. And so we will dwell on this in more detail.

The first thing we need is the adapter ELM327 . In China, such an adapter costs about a couple of dollars. The adapter has built-in Bluetooth. Somebody said Carista does not recognize the ELM327 version 2.1, however the ELM327 version 1.5 no issue, if you recognize them and make the diagnosis.  So better choose  ELM327 1.5 interface.

The adapter is extremely simple to use. First turn off the ignition, and then:

1). Find the diagnostic connector.


2). Usually the connector is located under the steering column, at the very bottom of the dashboard. If you are first looking for a diagnostic connector in your car and it is not helping with your fingers, you can kneel down and look under the dashboard. The result will not take long.


3). We stick the ELM327 BT adapter into the socket. If you can not stuck – turn it upside down and try again (like with a USB stick).


4). After that, turn on the ignition and take your precious smartphone, which you must first download and install Carista .

Here’s a free version to try:
5). The first time you connect the adapter to the phone via Bluetooth, you need to pair them. On the smartphone, turn on Bluetooth and look for available devices for pairing.

6). After we found the device OBDII select it. For pairing, you must enter the password 1234.


7). Now the ELM327 scanner adapter and smartphone are interfaced and the next time you plug the adapter into the connector, it will automatically connect to the smartphone.


8). We launch on the smartphone Carista. And we see two sections:


CHECK FAULTS allows you to read errors from all blocks. Also a list of found errors can be forwarded to yourself by e-mail. Convenient for debriefing. This is how the error search process looks:


I found two mistakes myself – something connected with the headlights.


The most interesting is in CUSTOMIZE . Here you can activate hidden functions . We open:


Available custom hidden functions are divided into four categories:
– Doors / Windows / Remote ( Doors / Windows / Remote control );
– Instruments / Display / Dings ( Tools / Display / Signals );
– Lights ( lighting );
– Other (Other );


Going into each of the sections we see separately each function that can be activated or deactivated. Here is a list of what is available from me. The list is actually much larger, here is a list of what is activated / deactivated from me:

Doors / Windows / Remote ( Doors / Windows / Remote control ): 
– Auto-lock doors when moving;
– Auto-unlock doors when key is taken out of ignition (Auto unlocking of doors when the key is removed from the ignition lock);
– Auto-lock trunk when moving (Automatic luggage compartment lock when driving);
– Unlock trunk when the doors are unlocked (unlocking the luggage compartment when unlocking the doors);
– Blink turn signals when locking / unlocking with remote (Flashing indicators when setting / removing from the signal);
– Beep when locking with remote (Horn by a horn when signaling);
– Beep when unlocking with remote (Horn by a horn at removal from the alarm system);
– Beep when alarm is armed (Horn by a horn when an alarm is triggered);

Instruments / Display / Dings ( Tools / Display / Signals ): 
– Instrument cluster language (System language, voice control);
– Instrument cluster region;
– Time display format (Time format format 24H / 12H AM PM);
– Multi-Function Display ( Multifunction display );
– Lane-change turn signal auto-flasher (function of comfort turn signals)
– Lane-change turn signal auto-flasher count (Number of flickers of comfortable turn signals);

Lights ( Lighting ) 
– Cornering lights (Backlight turns with fog lights when the dipped beam is on);
– Turn on the interior lights when the key is taken out of ignition (Turn on the interior lighting when the key is removed from the ignition switch);

Other (Other ) 
– the Activate side by mirror heaters are the when REAR window defroster is on (mirrors heating, when the heated rear window);
– Speed-dependent windshield wiper speed (wiper speed, depending on the speed of the vehicle);
– Auto-enable rear wiper when front wipers on and reverse gear engaged (Turn on rear wiper, when reverse gear is on);
– Horn works even when ignition is off (the horn works with the ignition switched off);

This is what I got to activate / deactivate. Still available, but it did not turn out to activate the daytime running lights (those that are installed in the fog-lights, I do not have one), the Coming / leaving-home functions (but you need a light sensor) and a couple of small things.

In general, for those who want to read errors and without activate / deactivate hidden functions – ELM327 + Carista are ideal thing. I recommend!

Note: The document was translated form Russian. Credit to Mr.WanDerWin.

Torque App tested working Code Scanner Adapters List

This is a list of adapters that Torque application has been tested with which work with OBD2 compliant vehicles:

(Note: All the adapters offer the same access to all the available OBD2 sensors in the vehicle. The adapters do not determine what sensors are or are not available, they are all the same in this respect)


Working Bluetooth Adapters

Adapter Form factor Other features Cost(at time of writing) Comments
OBDLink MXobdlink-mx-1

Small unit Power, Host, Bluetooth and OBD status lights, High speed PID readingDevice Security $199.95 Flash upgradable firmware, Powersave/sleep function,Reports of good customer support. This is the best adapter if you want the fastest PID read speed. Read speeds can be as fast as 100PIDs/sec over Bluetooth (Tested on a Galaxy S4, CANBUS protocol) This device also offers security to prevent unauthorized use


Small unit Power, Host, Bluetooth and OBD status lights, High speed PID readingDevice Security $69.94 (special offer), $99.95 normally Flash upgradable firmware, Powersave/sleep function,Reports of good customer support. This is the best adapter if you want the fastest PID read speed. Read speeds can be as fast as 100PIDs/sec over Bluetooth (Tested on a Galaxy S4, CANBUS protocol) This device also offers security to prevent unauthorized use

Adapter and cable (adapter can be separated from cable) Rx/Tx Host<->ECU status lights $149.90(Special offer), $179.90 Normal Flash upgradable firmware, Powersave/sleep function,Reports of good customer support. Fast PID read speeds, in excess of 160PIDs/second using a Motorola Xoom and USB
ELM327 Adapter obdscan-elm327

Moulded adapter (single unit) Power, OBD, and PC(Host) status lights $6.99 Fully checked and tested before dispatch – This is the official version of this adapter

Adapter and cable (adapter can be separated from cable) Rx/Tx Host<->ECU status lights $84.95 + BT option at $74.95 = $159.90 Upgradable firmware
Diamex DX70 & DXM


Adapter in single unit RX/TX status light, Power Light 149EUR Not the fastest adapter, but good construction, reliable.
PLX Devices Kiwi Bluetoothkiwi-bluetooth

Adapter and cable (adapter cannot be separated from cable) On/off switch, link light $99.99 New versions of this adapter appear to require a manual ‘link’ button to be pressed to wake it up before Torque will be able to connect. If you use automatic logging you may wish to avoid this adapterThere have been user reports of some of these adapters being faulty like some of the clone adapters. If Torque reports there is an issue with the adapter, check with PLX devices support for more help or getting a replacement
ELM327 BluetoothAdapter

Vgate Bluetooth

Single moulded unit (though there are several different coloured ‘stickers’ used) Rx/Tx Host<->ECU status lights $8.00 to $15.00 Some units seem to suffer poor build quality and reliability issues. Other units are perfectly fine. Make sure you purchase with a buyer who has a decent returns policy should the unit turn out to be defective. If you have connection issues, or displays randomly ‘pausing’ in the app then it is most likely an adapter issue.If you are using the USB version of this adapter then be aware that you will need to make sure the adapter uses an FTDI or Prolific usb to serial converter chip and have an android device running Android 3.1 or 4.0(or above) and supports USB host mode – you will also need the Pro version of Torque for USB support (though this will be ported to the lite app eventually)If you are using adapters with a bluetooth MAC address of 11:22:33:DD:EE:FF then be aware that these adapters will not work with other adapters nearby with the same address (and should be avoided if you plan to use multiple adapters) Some of these units also appear to have pairing issues – some of the super mini adapters have this flaw

Working WiFi Adapters (non ad-hoc mode)

Adapter Form factor Other features Cost(at time of writing) Comments
Vgate WiFi Vgate-wifi

Small moulded adapter WiFi connection using infrastructure mode, not ad-hoc About 34ukp (from ebay) Suitable for use with Blackberry Q10 & Z10 devices – adapter can get warm, but has an inbuilt powersaving mode

Working USB Adapters

Adapter Form factor Other features Cost(at time of writing) Comments
Scantool.net OBDLink


USB Adapter Activity/status light $49.95(Special offer), $74.95 Normal User upgradeable via free downloadsReports of good customer support. Fast PID read speeds, in excess of 165 PIDs/sec with USB to a Samsung Note 3

Supported Non-OBD2 adapters

Adapter Form factor Other features Cost(at time of writing) Comments
Track Electronics ConsultBTtrack-consult-bt

Moulded plug Works with Nissan Consult systems (using special non-OBD2 socket, beta testing in Torque)


Moulded plug Works with WV/Seat/Audi using VW’s native protocols (beta testing in Torque)


Adapters that are not currently supported

Adapter Form factor Other features Comments
Garmin EcoRoute Moulded plug attached to cable, not detatchable Works with EcoRoute HD navigation, “offline” data storage Non ELM327 compatible. The protocol was discovered, however the adapter proved to be too slow to be of any use.
GoPoint BT1 Moulded plug Non ELM327 compatible. Uses their own closed protocol.

Actron U-Scan

Large moulded plug Not ELM327 compatible, uses their own closed protocol. Not interoperable with other industry standard ELM327 OBD software


How to choose a Code Scanner for Toyota Prius Hybrid

Questions before entering the topix:

I’ve been looking around for a scanner that can read all the various Toyota Prius hybrid & ABS codes, since my extended family owns an ’05 with almost 180k, an ’08 with over 200k, and a ’12 plugin with about 68K. Which is the better one to choose?


Following are the Toyota Prius real owner experiences on OBD code scanners:

If you have a laptop the best interface available is the Mini VCI with the Toyota Techstream software. You can find it in the $30 range.



My preferred scanner is a VXDIAG. With SAE J2534 Vxdiag VCX Nano for Toyota Tis Techstream V10.30.029 Compatible.

It is much faster and more reliable than the Mini VCI cables, It uses Techstream just as the Mini VCI.


I used a Mini VCI cable for years.  The cheap Mini VCI uses firmware 1.4.1 . There are more Xhorse made expensive versions out there that have newer firmware 2.0.4.

On my 2006 Prius.

Version 1.4.1 instantly disables the car and reads a bunch of “U” codes. U codes are can bus communication errors. It is the Mini VCI causing the errors.

Version 2.0.4 will connect and read codes.

The VXDIAG uses it’s own firmware. It connects and reads codes much quicker than a Mini VCI cable.



I use an iPhone app called EngineLink that uses a WiFi dongle hooked to the port. The app was a few buck, but I don’t remember. The elm3277 dongle was ~$20 on obdii365.com. On the iPhone, the app can be set up, and there are downloadable PIDs for the Prius so you can monitor all the battery module voltages, temps, whatever you want. I originally bought it to turn off the idiotic internal reverse beep. I use it occasionally to keep an eye on the difference between min and max battery module voltage, which I think is a pretty good indicator of battery health.


+1 on mini VCI cable with hacked Techstream software. Mini VCI with Techstream software. Runs best on Windows XP or Windows 7. Runs about $24.

If you just need to read codes and set some user settings, then Scangauge 2 is also a good choice. With the Scangauge you’ll also be able to leave it hooked up to your OBDII port and read real time (real time enough) data with the user selected gauges and x gauges. Runs $150+



I think the best tool for your requirements is the Mini VCI with Techstream software £22. This gives near dealer level of diagnostics at a very cheap price. It can be made to run on Windows 8.1 using XP virtual machine.
I use an ancient IBM laptop with XP loaded bought for £22, “rather than risk damaging my house machine loaded with Windows 7” and gets over the minor difficulties of getting the program to run on W 7/8.
For purely monitoring purposes I use an ELM327 (bluetooth version) and Priidash (free). This gives a dashboard readout of just about every parameter available, and records HV battery module voltages and other information to a file.


The only problem with Mini VCI is that it will require laptop.
I am mostly on the move and if it happen that I suspect a trouble then I will be keen to know the issue immediately. I am kind of thinking of getting ELM327 first and Android App, this way I can at ease and no time just plug the device and try to read data.

I started with the ELM 327, but wanted the ability to bleed the brakes to change the fluid among other things.
Then one day I was in Birmingham picking up a HID kit from ebay and spotted the mini VCI on sale there. So I bought one. Very pleased with it, the last job I did with it a few days ago was to set the AC compressor not to come on automatically when demisting the windscreen, “something the dealer said could not be done”.
This works on most Toyota’s and will also work on most cars for emission faults that have the standard OBD connector. With adapter connectors it will work on BMW and Mercedes.

The VCI works on all Toyota’s from around 1998 on, not just the Prius. as well as the ELM327 and Torque app works for more than just Toyotas….



The ELM 327 is designed to be an OBD reader engine for emissions DTC’s. There is an international agreement on the standards for these codes and the methods of delivering them for engines, but not transmissions and other items.
The Mini VCI is a Chinese clone of a more expensive device called a Mongoose. This device with Toyota’s Techstream software is what dealers use for reading codes, fault finding, and carrying out service tasks to the range of Toyota cars, covering all aspects not just the engine and emissions. This means it is capable of almost anything that the dealer can do. The dealers in the UK will typically charge £80 to read any trouble codes, more than 3 times the price of buying a Mini VCI.

Scangauge is good for realtime dash monitoring of up to 4 different parameters in the genII, example: I use btv,mpg,rpm,soc.. as far as reading any DTC’s it will only read engine ecu standard codes not the hybrid stuff. For that I’ve been using autoenginuity scan tool & dongle and software, been using that since genI days and now the genII with updated Toyota enhanced interface it also works great for anything. I use it on a 1.2ghz laptop running winXP. Sure wish it would work in linux but that’s a whole nother can of worms..Anyway already got the Toyota enhanced interface and software running then to add another family like FORD, just buy that enhanced interface and they give the key to unlock it. The software contains all NA/EU you merely unlock the different interfaces you purchased. I now have 3 Toyota, Chevy and Ford including the diesels. Handy but must have laptop and pay 475+ for software but once u have it, very easy to add on and superior diagnostics capabilities and data recording. For instance I can record all hv battery module voltages and then played them back later on a spreadsheet chart, or how about mg1 current mg2 current and mg1temp and mg2 temp etc etc.. nice



The best tool for diagnostics is Toyota Techstream (dealer software). Software can be “found” online if you are creative, but you’ll need a $500 Mongoose MFC cable (or Chinese clone) in order to use it. There are a bunch of Scangauge Xgauges defined for the Gen1 Prius, not quite Android user interface, but gives you insight into various Hybrid parameters.
Since my check engine light went on a few weeks ago for my ’02 Prius, I bought a Bluetooth OBDII scanner about $15. It shipped from China, sure, but it works well so far and was dirt cheap compared to most of what you find here. I use is in conjunction with an Android-powered HTC EVO phone. I’ve tried several OBDII programs so far, but Torque is the easiest to use and seems to be the most powerful (as in, full of options I’d be too afraid to play with). It’s both free and premium. I’m using the free version, but I think I’ll be a big spender and pay the $8 for the full version. Suffice to say, Torque and the others I’ve downloaded (all free, btw) seem to offer all the options that those expensive programs I looked at over the web do.

That said, none of these programs offer car-specific settings that I’ve noticed. Especially not a Prius specific interface, which would be ideal. I oddly got a trouble code reading of P2000, which is not in any list of trouble codes anywhere… Best I can tell, it might mean something is problematic in the O2 sensor of the catalytic converter…

If you want a code reader that will read not only all the Prius codes, but most other vehicle codes I am afraid your going to need a large bank account to take care of the cost. Although the OBD2 engine codes are supposed to be standard the actual connectors are not, and the coding for other systems “transmission, body, air bags, ect” are very manufacturer, and vehicle specific.
Snap on make a reader for most vehicles at around £2000, $3200, but even then add on units are needed for different manufacturers at extra cost.
The mini VCI will read all the codes for most Toyota vehicles, and engine codes on most other manufacturers cars providing the OBD connector is the same. For those that use different connectors adapters are available cheaply. These are typically for German cars, Mercedes, BMW, but are not limited to those.
You will often find reference here on PC about retailers that will read vehicle codes free of charge, you will also note these readers often give only part of the code, no code or even codes that do not exist. They have also been known to cause problems with the car. This is because they are not scanners specific to the Prius.
This is not just a Prius, or Toyota problem, but a problem with manufacturers using there own individual systems and codes.
I am not saying the VCI is the best reader. I am saying it is the best reader by far at it’s price and above, for a Toyota. If you need a device that will read all codes on most cars be prepared for the cost involved.



I have the ELM327 code reader, and a great piece of equipment it is for extra monitoring on the dash.
I also use the same device with a laptop and the free program “Priidash” that will give virtually every parameter available from the Prius on one screen along with recording of vital information.

The VCI is not the tool for the above capabilities, “apart from recording information”. It does however not only give the ability to read all!! the Prius DTC’s, and sub codes, what they mean, and clear them. It also gives the ability to do all the service tasks, and program any programmable features such as lock timing, lighting, seat belt and reverse beep, register key fobs, and more.
To sum up. Two different pieces of equipment that are capable of different functions with some overlap.



The Mini VCI with Techstream (comes with the VCI) will tell you what the DTC is and guide you to the problem “gives a list of possible causes for the DTC (s)” and will clear it or them.
I have the equipment myself and honestly believe that anyone that has a Toyota particularly a Prius should buy one. One trip to the dealer for DTC reading will pay for the device x4.



Read Clear Toyota Corolla TS Fault Code OK by ELM327

I am here to share experience on troubleshooting Toyota Corolla via cheap Bluetooth ELM327 OBD2 scan tool and Torque app. The steps are as follows.


Vehicle: Toyota Corolla TS

Tool I used: V1.5 MINI ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2 interface ($7.99, free shipping)

Android Smart Phone

Torque app (mobile application, you can download it before starting the job)


First I connect ELM327 to my Corolla, the port usually is placed above pedals


Turn on the ignition to contact ELM327 code scanner.

(No need to start the ignition but you can do just in case)


I shut the headlights down to empty the accumulator


Next, I turn on Bluetooth of my phone and find OBDII to pair with

The pass is 1234 or 0000




Then I open [Torque] (Download at Android app Store)


This blue car icon means the device is connected successfully


I click [Fault Codes] and tap to scan fault codes, this step cost me a few minutes



All right, it reminds me No fault codes stored in ECU


If you have fault codes in ECU, you can clear them here


And you can search online for solutions. Of course you should have your phone connect to internet.




After everything has done, turn off the Bluetooth contact and take of the ELM327 code reader.


Cheap $7.99 ELM327 and Troque Pro review


Honestly, kind of worried about items within $10, even free shipping… I believe it’s risky to do so. And now, alarm free.


My vehicle:

Volvo C30 T5 2.5 L 5-cylinder


Scanning devices:


ELM327 Bluetooth interface v1.5 (bought from obdii365.com at $7.99 no shipping)




Things i did:

First, plug in ELM327 obd2 scanner under the dash on the drivers side




pair it with my SAMSUNG phone

Pairing is very simple… The phone will search for the unit.. Then when it finds it, press it and start the pairing process.

start the Troque APP





go to read “Real Time Information”





slide the page

Detailed information here like fuel pressure, speed, MAF, Timing ADV…





Revs & power highest value and lowest value




then slide again



Emission readiness s/DTC


slide to read vacuum



back to the main interface

go to read fault codes


result: no fault codes stored in ECU


back to the main interface

go to read adapter status information







ELM327 test drive

Read real-time data










So, it seems that i worried about it too much. Received the ELM327 adapter unit for 2 weeks and no issues so far. Cheap things cannot stand for bad quality. Biased opinion should be get rid of!!