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Using an ELM327 Bluetooth Scan Tool for Android and PC

ELM327 Bluetooth devices provide an easy way to scan a vehicle's Onboard Diagnostics II (OBD-II) system for codes. They can also read PIDs and aid in diagnostics. These devices represent a low-cost way for DIYers and seasoned techs alike to tackle computer diagnostics. However, there are a few ELM327 Bluetooth-related issues you need to be aware of before you buy one.

Potential Problems

The most pervasive issue with ELM327 Bluetooth devices is that some low-cost scanners include unauthorized ELM327 microcontroller clones. These cloned chips often exhibit strange behaviors, but even legitimate hardware fails to work with certain devices. If you want to use an iOS device as a scan tool, it's especially important to pay attention to these issues.

ELM327 Bluetooth Compatible Hardware

Scan tools that include an ELM327 microcontroller and a Bluetooth chip are capable of pairing with a variety of devices, but there are some important limitations. The primary devices you can use an ELM327 Bluetooth scan tool with are:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops

The most convenient way to take advantage of ELM327 Bluetooth connectivity is to pair a scanner with a phone, but not all phones work well with the technology. The primary exceptions include Apple iOS products such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

These iOS devices typically don't work with ELM327 scanners due to the way that Apple handles the Bluetooth stack. Most generic ELM327 Bluetooth devices fail to pair with Apple products, which means that Apple users are better off with USB and Wi-Fi ELM327 scanners.

In some cases, other smartphones can have issues pairing with certain ELM327 Bluetooth scanners. This is typically due to problems with unauthorized, cloned microcontrollers that don't have an up-to-date code.

Pairing ELM327 Bluetooth Devices

Aside from the situations outlined above, pairing ELM327 Bluetooth devices with smartphones, tablets, and PCs is typically a simple procedure. The most common steps are:

  1. Plug the ELM327 Bluetooth device into the OBD-II port.

  2. Set the smartphone, tablet, or laptop to scan for available connections.

  3. Select the ELM327 scan tool.

  4. Input the pairing code.

In most cases, the documentation that comes with an ELM327 Bluetooth scanner includes the pairing code and special instructions that differ from that basic outline. If no documentation is included, try one of the common codes, which include:

If those codes don't work, other sequential sets of four numbers are sometimes used.

What to Do When Pairing Fails

If your ELM327 Bluetooth scanning device fails to pair with your smartphone, there are several potential causes. The first step is to try alternate pairing codes. After that, pair the scanner with a different device. Some faulty cloned ELM327 microcontrollers have trouble connecting to certain devices, and you may find that your scanner pairs with a laptop while it refuses to connect to your phone.

Another thing that can cause a failed pairing is the limited amount of time your scanner remains discoverable. Most ELM327 Bluetooth scanners become discoverable as soon as you plug them in, but they stop being discoverable after a specific amount of time. If you perform the pairing operation within one minute of plugging the scan tool into the OBD-II jack, there shouldn't be an issue.

If your scan tool still doesn't pair, the unit may be faulty. This is the primary reason that it's a good idea to stay away from cheap, cloned scanners. Buy a scanner from a retailer that stands behind its products.

ELM327 Bluetooth Alternatives

The alternatives to ELM327 Bluetooth scanners are devices that use Wi-Fi and USB connections. Wi-Fi ELM327 scanners are typically more expensive than devices that use Bluetooth, but they can be used with Apple products. Most USB ELM327 scanners aren't designed for use with Apple products, but some Apple-authorized options can be used with the dock connector.

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Car Scanner ELM OBD2

See what your car is doing in realtime, get OBD fault codes, car performance, sensor data and more!
Car Scanner is a vehicle / car performance / trip computer / diagnostics tool and scanner that uses an OBD II Wi-Fi or Bluetooth adapter to connect to your OBD2 engine management / ECU.
Car Scanner gives you a bunch of unique features:
1) Layout your own dashboard with the gauges and charts you want!
2) Add custom (extended PIDs) and get information, that was hidden from you by car manufacturer!
3) It can also show and reset a DTC fault code like a scantool. Car Scanner includes a huge database of DTC codes descriptions.
4) Car Scanner allows you to read free-frames (sensors state when DTC is saved).
5) Now with Mode 06 - you can get ECU self-monitoring test results. Helps you fix your car and helps keep repair costs down!
6) Check if your car is ready for emission tests.
7) Check all of the sensors at one screen
8) Car Scanner works with any vehicle that uses the OBD 2 standard (most vehicles built after 2000, but can work for vehicles as far back as 1996, check for more details).
9) Car Scanner includes a lot of connection profiles, that gives you some extra features for Toyota, Mitsubishi, GM, Opel, Vauxhal, Chevrolet, Nissan, Infinity, Renault, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Ford, Subaru, Dacia, Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat, Audi and others.
10) Car Scanner dashboard includes a HUD mode, that you can use to project data to your windshield.
11) Car Scanner provides a tool for very accurate acceleration measurments (0-60, 0-100, etc.)
12) Car Scanner can be used as a trip computer and can show you fuel consumption statistics!
13) Car Scanner supports coding (changing hidden settings of your car) for this cars:
- VAG group (Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Seat), built on the MQB, PQ26 and MLB-EVO platforms. Some exclusive functions you would find only in Car Scanner: Video in motion (VIM), Mirrorlink in motion (MIM), Traffic Jam Assist activation, Drive mode profiles editor (compatibility may depend on your car modules and firmware versions), Ambient lights configuration, etc.;
- Toyota/Lexus cars with CAN bus (almost all cars since 2008 up to nowadays);
- Some of Renault/Dacia (compatibility may depend on your car modules and firmware versions);
- Several service functions available for other cars.
14) And one more thing - Car Scanner provides the widest variety of features for FREE across the Play Market.

The app requires a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth LE) OBD2 ELM327 compatible adapter (device) to work. ELM327 devices plugs into the diagnostics socket in the car and gives your phone access to car diagnostics.
Recommended adapters brands: Kiwi 3, Viecar, V-Gate, Carista, LELink, Veepeak.
If you buy one of the cheap china OBD2 ELM327 adapters from ebay / amazon, then make sure it’s not marked as v.2.1. This adapters are supported, but they have lot’s of bugs.

PLEASE NOTE: Vehicle ECUs vary in the amount of sensors supported. This app can’t show you something, that is not provided by your car.

Attention "bad" adapters! We faced the problem, that some adapters (often cheep Chinese clones), can’t connect to the smartphone or the car. Some of them can even make your car engine work unstable, often lost connection, increase time lag when reading data.
So, we recommend you to use genuine ELM327 or recommended adapter brands.

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The Best OBD2 Bluetooth Adapters

Dec 18, 2020 - 4 Recommendations

That check engine light has been worrying you for quite a while, and each time your significant other mentions the light, you know something has to be done. Now, it’s finally time to do something. Your new OBD2 Bluetooth adapter just came in the mail, and now that you have the perfect scan app downloaded, it’s time to plug and play. A quick scan and a Google search reveal that the issue is nothing more than a sensor that is super easy to replace, and before long you are back on the road without a care in the world. Of course, none of this would have been possible without that OBD2 Bluetooth adapter. There are some things only a mechanic can do, but with the right adapter and app combination, it’s much easier to know when to take the car into the shop and when you can fix it yourself.

Read full article

OBDII ELM327 Bluetooth - Chinese Adapter for Car Diagnostics review

ELM 327 Bluetooth Best Hardware V1.5 OBD II ODB2 ELM327 Car Diagnostic Interface Scanner Works On Android Torque

ELM327 Bluetooth OBDⅡ Scanner


1. Supports all OBD-II Protocols (ISO15765-4 (CAN), ISO14230-4 (KWP2000), ISO9141-2, J1850 VPW, J1850 PWM)

2. Works on all OBD2 Vehicles which were produced after 1966 (including VPW, PWM, ISO, KWP 2000, CAN protocols).

3. Software for ELM327 USB OBD-II auto diagnostic system is free. It allows you to use your PC and ELM327 to get various data information of the engine on your car. The software is easy to use and it supports DOS and Windows operating system.

4. Bluetooth connection, convenient for connecting to laptop.

5. Reading and analyzing the fault codes. Clearing fault codes. Displaying data of sensor.

Tech Specs:

Color: Black

Output protocol: RS232 serial port

Frequency: 38400

Operating voltage: 12V(short circuit &over current protection)

Current: 45mA

OBD-II protocols:






Output interface: USB

LED indicator light: OBD transmit/receive, RS232 transmit/receive, power

Package Included:

1 x ELM 327 Bluetooth Scanner Tool


Elm bluetooth


The ELM327 is a programmed microcontroller produced by ELM Electronics for translating the on-board diagnostics (OBD) interface found in most modern cars. The ELM327 command protocol is one of the most popular PC-to-OBD interface standards and is also implemented by other vendors.

The original ELM327 is implemented on the PIC18F2480 microcontroller from Microchip Technology.

ELM327 is one of a family of OBD translators from ELM Electronics. Other variants implement only a subset of the OBD protocols.

In June 2020 ELM Electronics announced it was closing the business in June 2022 due to the problems caused by Covid-19.[1]


Main article: On-Board Diagnostics § OBD Applications

The ELM327 abstracts the low-level protocol and presents a simple interface that can be called via a UART, typically by a hand-held diagnostic tool or a computer program connected by USB, RS-232, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. New applications include smartphones.

There are a large number of programs available that connect to the ELM327.[2]

The function of such software may include supplementary vehicle instrumentation, reporting and clearing of error codes

ELM327 Functions:

  • Read diagnostic trouble codes, both generic and manufacturer-specific.
  • Clear some trouble codes and turn off the MIL ("Malfunction Indicator Light", more commonly known as the "Check Engine Light")
  • Display current sensor data
  • Engine RPM
  • Calculated Load Value
  • Coolant Temperature
  • Fuel System Status
  • Vehicle Speed
  • Short Term Fuel Trim
  • Long Term Fuel Trim
  • Intake Manifold Pressure
  • Timing Advance
  • Intake Air Temperature
  • Air Flow Rate
  • Absolute Throttle Position
  • Oxygen sensor voltages/associated short term fuel trims
  • Fuel System status
  • Fuel Pressure

Protocols supported[edit]

The protocols supported by ELM327 are:[3]

  • SAE J1850 PWM (41.6 kbit/s)
  • SAE J1850 VPW (10.4 kbit/s)
  • ISO 9141-2 (5 baud init, 10.4 kbit/s)
  • ISO 14230-4 KWP (5 baud init, 10.4 kbit/s)
  • ISO 14230-4 KWP (fast init, 10.4 kbit/s)
  • ISO 15765-4 CAN (11 bit ID, 500 kbit/s)
  • ISO 15765-4 CAN (29 bit ID, 500 kbit/s)
  • ISO 15765-4 CAN (11 bit ID, 250 kbit/s)
  • ISO 15765-4 CAN (29 bit ID, 250 kbit/s)
  • SAE J1939 (250kbit/s)
  • SAE J1939 (500kbit/s)

Command set[edit]

The ELM327 command set[4][5] is similar to the Hayes AT commands.

Other versions[edit]

Typical cheap ELM327 copy without label on the controller

The ELM327 is a PIC microcontroller that has been customized with ELM Electronics' proprietary code that implements the testing protocols. When ELM Electronics sold version 1.0 of its ELM327, it did not enable the copy protection feature of the PIC microcontroller. Consequently, anyone could buy a genuine ELM327, and read ELM's proprietary binary microcontroller software using a device programmer. With this software, pirates could trivially produce ELM327 clones by purchasing the same microcontroller chips and programming them with the copied code.[6][7] ELM327 copies were widely sold in devices claiming to contain an ELM327 device, and problems have been reported with the copies.[8] The problems reflect bugs that were present in ELM's version 1.0 microcode; those making the clones may continue to sell the old version.

Although these copies may contain the ELM327 v1.0 code, they may falsely report the version number as the current version provided by the genuine ELM327, and in some cases report an as-yet non-existent version.[9] Released software versions for the ELM327 are 1.0, 1.0a, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2a, 1.3, 1.3a, 1.4, 1.4b, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 only.[10] The actual functions of these copies are nonetheless limited to the functions of the original ELM327 v1.0, with their inherent deficiencies.

Version outline[edit]

v1.0 Initial public release, the ELM327 v1.0 supported: – SAEJ1850 PWM and VPW,- – ISO 9141-2 (10.4 and 9.6 kbps), – ISO 14230-4 (10.4 and 9.6 kbps), – ISO 15765-4 CAN (250 and 500 kbps)- The RS232 baud rates were only 9.6 kbps or 38.4 kbps

v1.0a – J1850 VPW timing adjustment for some ’99 – ’00 GM trucks.

v1.1 – Introduced Programmable Parameters – Added Flow Control commands

v1.2 – RS232 baud rates are adjustable to 500 kbps – Programmable Parameters can be reset with a jumper – Introduced Adaptive Timing – Added SAE J1939 support (protocol A) – Added user defined CAN protocols B and C – Modified KWP protocols to allow four byte headers

v1.2a – Changed error detection to catch KWP 4 byte headers if no data or checksum – Added check to prevent CAN mask corruption on certain Flow Control sends

v1.3 – Adaptive Timing tuned a little differently – Several J1939 improvements – New CAN CRA commands to help setting masks and filters – New CAN D0/D1 commands for printing of message dlc – New CAN RTR command for sending same – Added space character control in responses – New STOPPED message for user interrupts during searches – Introduced LV RESET message for resets from low voltage – New @2 and @3 commands for storing of unique identifier – Added ability to state the number of responses desired

v1.3a (still available) – Added wiring checks for when the J1962 CAN pins are used for other functions

v1.4 – Added Low Power mode (‘sleep’ function) – Added extended addressing mode for CAN protocols – Added 4800 baud ISO 9141 and ISO 14230 support – Allow manual control over ISO 9141 and ISO 14230 initiation – Provided a single EEPROM byte for user data storage – All interrupts now say STOPPED (not just when searching) – Many new Programmable Parameters and additions

v1.4a Elm Electronics never made a v1.4a

v1.4b (no longer available) – New CSM command to have active or passive CAN monitoring – New CRA command to quickly reset changed masks and filters – Several SAE J1939 updates

v1.5 Elm Electronics never made a v1.5

v2.0 – New Activity Monitor watches OBD pins – Wake from Low Power now retains settings – AT CRAs accept ‘don’t care’s (X’s) – New PP’s provide extensive ISO/KWP control – Increased the RS232 Tx buffer to 512 bytes – Brownout reset voltage reduced to 2.8V

v2.1 – Speed increases – Processes ‘Response Pending’ (7F xx 78) replies – CAN searches now measure frequency and require a match

v2.2 – AT CS command now shows CAN frequency – Added 12500 and 15625 bps ISO/KWP baud rates – New AT CER hh command allows defining the CEA Rx address – New IFR modes 4,5,6 control J1850 IFR sending while monitoring – Added PP 1F to allow KWP length to include the checksum byte – Increased PP19 from 31 to 4F

v2.3 (latest release) – New AT FT command adds another layer of filtering – Added three CAN Flow Control modes for experimenters – Response Pending now works with CAN Extended Addressing – New AT IA, and C0/C1 commands – Better noise tolerance on RS232 Rx

Slightly more detailed changes may be viewed in their latest datasheet in the Version History chapter (pag. 94-95).[11]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

How To Clear Check Engine Error? ELM 327 Bluetooth WiFi


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