ELM 327 Interface: Top 10 Picks Review

ELM327 interface is a connector that uses an OBD software to serve as a link between a vehicle’s ECU and a computer.

Also, ELM327 adapters are OBD2 devices that help to transmit data between a vehicle’s computer and external devices (such as phone, laptop, PC). It makes it possible to relay or translate data from a vehicle’s ECU to the display of an external device.

best ELM 327- Review

ELM327 interface.
Credit: wikimedia.org

Contents

What Is An ELM327 Interface?

It works on three components:

  • ELM327 Chip: A MHz integrated circuit that translates information from a car’s ECU into a format that can be understood by modern computers.
  • Set Of Electric Voltage Adapters: Using unique voltage characteristics, these components help identify various OBD systems.
  • Set Of Voltage Adapters For PC: Forms communication between the adapter and the computer.

What Functions Can ELM327 Interface Offer?

Depends on the software you use.

Here are some of the functions it offers:

  • CEL: It allows you to check and clear engine light. Moreover, you may also be able to see live data including vehicle’s horsepower, throttle, speed, acceleration, coolant temperature, etc.
  • Data Logging: You are able to log data onto the computer or smartphone using the ELM327 interface.
  • Data Record And Graphical Results: It lets you record speed, lap times, acceleration, and also makes it possible to see results on your phone or PC in a graphical form.
  • Diagnostics: You will be able to diagnose various systems and processes such as fuel consumption, coolant temperature, as well as oxygen sensor ratios.
  • DTC: Engine trouble codes are displayed thanks to the DTC feature. Some may offer codes in multiple languages and with solutions.
  • Live Data: It shows live data while the vehicle is operating
    / running . It includes GPS information, fuel information, trip information, voltage, temp, acceleration, air/fuel ratio, and many more parameters.

What Protocols Are Supported By ELM327 Interface?

ELM327 is the latest and only ELM interface today that supports all the OBD2 protocols . There were some other interfaces such as ELM320, ELM 322 and ELM323 which were before it but they didn’t support all OBD2 protocols.

  • ELM320 and ELM 322: Both of them supported the PWM protocol only.
  • ELM323: This one supported KWP and VPN only.
  • ELM327: This latest ELM interface supports all the major OBD2 protocols including:
  • ISO 15765-4 CAN (11 bit, 250 kbit/s)
  • ISO 15765-4 CAN (29 bit, 250 kbit/s)
  • ISO 15765-4 CAN (11 bit, 500 kbit/s)
  • ISO 15765-4 CAN (29 bit, 500 kbit/s)
  • ISO 14230-4 KWP (fast init, 10.4 kbit/s)
  • ISO 14230-4 KWP (5 baud init, 10.4 kbit/s)
  • SAE J1850 VPW (10.4 kbit/s)
  • SAE J1850 PWM (41.6 kbit/s)
  • SAE J1939 (250 kbit/s)
  • SAE J1939 (500kbit/s)
  • ISO 9141-2 (5 baud init, 10.4 kbit/s)

This means that ELM327 covers all the US made cars made in 1996 or later.

ELM327 Apps: What Are the Best Ones For iPhone Or Android?

Since ELM327 are connectors/dongles that require pairing with a computer device to perform diagnosis, you will need an app to operate it. 

Here are some of the best ELM327 apps (iOs/Android) on the market today:

Comparison Chart

ELM327 Apps  Free/Paid Read/Clear CEL Live data Platform
1. ScanMaster Free+Paid with some paid features ✔️ ✔️ Android
2. Torque Lite (OBD2 & Car) Free+Paid with some paid features ✔️ ✔️ Android
3. inCarDoc | ELM327 OBD2 Scanner Bluetooth/WiFi Free+Paid with some paid features ✔️ ✔️ Android
4. Car Scanner ELM OBD2 Paid ✔️ ✔️ iOS
5. OBD Auto Doctor Paid ✔️ ✔️ iOS and Android
6.DashCommand Paid ✔️ ✔️ iOS and Android

1

ScanMaster is one of the best OBD2 apps for Android users on the market.

The app is free to use, however, you should purchase the full version to unlock additional features.

The free version offers some cool features. You can read/clear engine codes, auto detect car settings with CVN/VIN, see live data on the go, freeze frame data, and keep updated on the car’s status.

It can perform not only I/M readiness but also show fuel system information.

2

It can read fault codes and make it easier to understand the issue by passing a DTC explanation. For example, the app shows the indicator of P0133 – O2 sensor circuit slow response and real-time data.

Some other features offered include read/clear CEL, export files, engine performance (paid), dashboard customization, GPS, turbo boost gauge (paid) and more.

3

This app shows plenty of live parameters including speed, O2 sensor data, coolant temp, pressure, etc.

The highlight of this feature is the economizer feature that tracks fuel consumption and generates a detailed report after making calculations.

Other features include GPS, data export, custom configs, console mode, MIL, and DTC.

Use it with an ELM327 connector for best results.

4

This app covers all OBD2 supported vehicles and offers both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

It will help you read and clear engine codes, track fuel, gauge performance, and understand codes using DTC.

In addition to that, it covers I/M readiness, live data, mode6, etc.

5

If you are a technical person who loves to collect vehicle information then OBD auto doctor is for you. It covers many features such as freeze frame, VIN, CVN, live data, ECU codes, etc.

You can keep track of fuel consumption and improve the mileage of your vehicle. Apart from that, it helps resolve engine light issues with great ease.

6

Dashcommand is a bit expensive at $15 but for all the right reasons. It’s an award winning app that allows you to see engine related information on your phone.

With this app installed, you can use features such as dashboard customization, gauge gas consumption, read/clear trouble codes, DTC lookup, and data logging.

Another amazing feature this app provides is the ability to see fuel costs. You can figure out the cost it takes for a trip. Moreover, you can perform I/M readiness, check acceleration and brake performance, monitor plenty of parameters, etc.

ELM327 Software For PC

You can also connect your car’s computer to a PC using a suitable ELM327 software.

OBD2 Software for Mac OS X

Goserial

This free software offers few but useful features such as read and clear CEL, and emission related codes.

It supports most OBD2 compliant vehicles and will run on any Apple laptop that has Mac OS X 10.4 or newer.

OBD2 Software For Windows

Forscan

This tool supports most Window version starting from Windows 2000 up to Windows 10. It can read and clear both manufacturer specific and generic codes.

You can see PIDs in the form of text on the computer screen along with sensor data. Moreover, it also shows the output in a graphical form.

Another amazing feature of this app is the DTC which helpsto understand complex problems.

Some of the most popular brands it covers include Ford, Mazda, Mercury, Lincoln  and light trucks.

EngineCheck

Just like ForScan, this one also covers all Windows version between 2000 and Windows 10. However, it supports only a few vehicles including gas powered cars made in 2001 and later, and diesel cars manufactured in 2004 and later.

It can show freeze frame data, live sensor data, read and clear CEL, fuel system and on-board completion status.

Freediag

This software operates on CLI (Command Line Interface) which is why it is only for professionals. It can read/clear CEL and supports the 5 major OBD2 protocols as well.

10 Best ELM327 Adapters Review: ELM327 WiFi vs ELM 327 Bluetooth vs ELM327 USB

Comparison Chart

ELM327 Adapter Weight Dimensions Read/Clear CEL Live Data ABS/SRS DPF Platform Support
ELM327 Bluetooth Adapters              
1.ELM327 Mini Interface 0.64 ounces 1.9 x 1 x 1.3 inches ✔️ ✔️ Android, Windows, Symbian
2.Foseal Bluetooth ELM327 0.32 ounces 4 x 1 x 3.5 inches ✔️ ✔️ Android, Windows
3.Vgate iCar Pro 3.2 ounces 2.6 x 2.6 x 1.4 inches ✔️ ✔️ Android, iOs
ELM327 WIFI Adapters              
4.FOXWELL FW601 2.4 ounces 4.5 x 3.6 x 1.2 inches ✔️ ✔️ Android, iOs
5. Vgate iCar2 WiFi 2.88 ounces 4.7 x 2.7 x 1.4 inches ✔️ ✔️ Android, iOs and Windows
6.Wsiiroon Car WiFi 0.8 ounces 1.8 x 3.5 x 1 inches ✔️ ✔️ Android, iOs and Windows
7.Gemwon ELM327 0.64 ounces 3.5 x 2 x 1 inches ✔️ ✔️ Android, iOs and Windows
8.KOBRA WIFI 1.6 ounces 3 x 2 x 1.2 inches ✔️ ✔️ Android, iOs and Windows
ELM327 USB Adapters              
9.VINT-TT55502 ELM327 5.6 ounces 5.2 x 3.8 x 2.2 inches ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ Windows
10. OHP ELMconfig 6.4 ounces 6.8 x 4.7 x 1.5 inches ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ Windows

Bluetooth ELM327 Adapters

1

If you own a 1998 or later gasoline vehicle (US made) or 2001 or later EOBD supported vehicle then ELM327 Mini interface can serve you well.

It operates on Bluetooth technology and supports most Android devices, PCs, laptops, and Symbian phones.

Why Buy This Scanner?

You can view live sensor data and keep track of fuel system, engine temperature, speed, throttle position, airflow, etc.

Apart from that, it supports CAN and KWP OBD2 protocols as well.

This is an enhanced version and known for its amazing speed. Plus, it offers strong connections.

Moreover, it is also good at diagnosing and clearing engine light trouble codes.

Pros

  • 3- month- guarantee.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Can be used in 2 or more cars.
  • Shows voltage of oxygen sensors.

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with iOS and diesel vehicles.

Compatible Apps

ELM327 Mini Interface OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter for Android Devices B01MAURDGG works best with Torque Lite.

You can also use OBD Auto Doctor with this scanner and enjoy the basic features of this adapter.

2

Forseal works with both Android and Windows devices. This scanner is ideal when you want to find engine related problems and see live data on the go.

Why Buy This Scanner?

This OBD2 scanner can help read and clean engine codes with great ease. Its DTC library is extensive and in simple language.

It supports all 1996 and later manufactured gasoline vehicles. Plus, it offers all major OBD2 protocols.

You can check fuel economy, vehicle speed, O2 readings and oil temperature.

Pros

  • 1-year-warranty.
  • Shows live sensor data.
  • Offers DTC lookup.
  • Connects to the phone automatically when Bluetooth is on.

Cons

  • Doesn’t support diesel, hybrid vehicles.
  • Doesn’t work with iOS.

Compatible Apps

Torque Lite works the best with Foseal Bluetooth ELM327 OBD2 Scanner for Android and Windows Devices B00T5G53ZM. You can use basic features with this free app.

However, to see complete live sensor data, you will need to buy the pro version for $4.99.

DashCommand and OBD Fusion are also suitable.

3

This is an amazing scanner that supports both Android and iOS systems. You can use basic features and see extensive car-related data on the go.

Why Buy This Scanner?

It not only reads the engine light code but also resets it once the problem has been fixed.

It’s a fast scanner that processes 30 PIDs in a second, performs I/M readiness, and helps see freeze frame data, too.

The scanner shows advanced sensor data such as engine RPM, fuel status, oxygen sensor readings, and fuel pressure status.

It uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology to connect to most Android and iOS devices.

It supports 1996 US made and 1998 Canadian model vehicles that are OBD2 compliant. Moreover, it will also work with 2001 onwards (petrol) and 2003 onwards diesel EOBD vehicles.

Pros

  • Supports emission testing.
  • 2-year-warranty.
  • Consumes very less battery power.
  • LED lights on the scanner let users know when a connection is made.

Cons

  • Doesn’t support heavy duty vehicles (24v).

Compatible Apps

Auto Doctor is the best choice for iOS devices. Opt for DashCommand, Torque or OBD Fusion if you have an Android device.,

ELM327 WiFi Adapters

4

Foxwell FW601 works on WiFi technology and connects to your iOS or Android device. It offers basic features such as resolving engine codes.

Why Buy This Scanner?

Apart from reading and clearing engine light codes, you can record and see graphical data on your phone or tablet with this scanner.

It can show live sensor data along with detailed information regarding O2 sensor, fuel system, airflow rate, engine RPM, temp, throttle position, etc. In short, you can find out how your car is performing on the road.

It supports all major OBD2 protocols and works flawlessly on 2000 and newer US made cars that are OBD2 compliant.

Pros

  • Supports many languages.
  • 1-year warranty.
  • DTC explains engine codes to understand the problem.
  • Offers good WiFi connections.

Cons

  • Doesn’t support all OBD2 cars.

Compatible Apps

Car Doc Pro and ELM Scanner apps are the best for Android users. They are free to use and offer basic functionalities. However, if you want better connection, speed and parameters, then go for the paid version of Torque.

For iPhone users, OBD Auto Doctor can be a good choice. For an even better experience, get the paid version of DashCommand app.

5

Vgate is a universal scanner that works with iOS, Android and Windows devices. It supports all 1996 and later made US/European made vehicles including light trucks.

Why Buy This Scanner?

This scanner will let you read complete engine data including coolant temperature, air flow rate, throttle position, oxygen sensor voltages, fuel status, speed, short/ long term fuel trim, and more.

It is a suitable diagnostic tool for DIYers as it allows you to read and clear engine codes with the help of the extensive DTC function.

Plus, it consumes very little battery power (10 ma). 

Pros

  • 1-year-warranty.
  • Auto sleep mode helps save power.
  • Reads both specific and non-specific manufacturer codes.
  • It can check EVAP system vapor pressure.

Cons

  • No advanced features such as ABS/SRS.

Compatible Apps

The best app to use with this OBD2 adapter is its own Vgate app. However, it only works for iOS.

You can buy and install DashCommand or Torque Pro app for Android devices and get the best of this scanner.

6

Wsiiroon WIFI is made up of ELM327 v1.5 microchip technology that supports up to 9 protocols and covers all 1996 and later petrol cars. 

Why Buy This Scanner?

This scanner is a viable option for users who want to diagnose and repair various engine related faults in the car.

It can read engine codes and help them clear when the issue has been resolved. The DTC library is rich with detailed explanations.

Displaying current sensor data is yet another strong feature of this scanner. You can see engine RPM, coolant temp, intake air temp, speed, fuel, and oxygen sensor system status, etc.

It can also conduct emission testing and help you figure out if your car is emission ready or not.

Pros

  • Supports all iOS, Android and Windows devices.
  • Contains 3000 generic code definitions.
  • Automatically connects to the phone when WiFi is on.
  • Fast at diagnosing problems.

Cons

  • Doesn’t support diesel cars.

Compatible Apps

This scan tool works flawlessly with the DashCommand app. The app is not free and needs to be purchased for $9.9.

7

Gemwon ELM327 is not only a budget-friendly scanner but offers amazing features as well. It will help you keep your vehicle in good shape and supports all platforms including iOS, Windows and Android.

.

Why Buy This Scanner?

Smart scanning is the highlight of this scan tool. It shows you live vehicle speed, engine RPM, intake manifold pressure, timing advance, throttle position, oxygen sensor voltage, fuel status, short/long term trips and more.

It lets you check individual components. Plus, you can also read and clear engine codes with this beauty.

This scanner covers all 12v petrol cars that are manufactured in 1996 or later including Honda, BMW, Audi.

It supports major OBD protocols including KWP, CAN, PWM and VPW.

Pros

  • 1.5 year replacement warranty.
  • 50 feet range.
  • Shows real time information and map view.
  • Shows test results in a graphical form.

Cons

  • Doesn’t work on Chev KV 1500.

Compatible Apps

OBD Auto Doctor and OBD Fusion can be good picks if you have an iOS device.

For Android users, Torque Pro can be an excellent choice.

8

This Kobra OBD2 wireless scanner is an ideal adapter that supports Android, iOS and Windows devices.

Why Buy This Scanner?

Kobra OBD2 WiFi will let you check engine light codes and show the code definition as well. Once you have fixed the issue, you can reset the engine light.

This Kobra OBD2 scanner supports all OBD2 compliant US cars and light trucks that are manufactured between 1996-2018. It has a database that holds 3000 code definitions to help you understand various problems.

Pros

  • 1-year money back guarantee.
  • Lightweight and compact (doesn’t take up much space).
  • Supports all major operating systems.
  • Connects very easily.

Cons

  • No advanced features.

Compatible Apps

For Android users, Torque Pro can be a suitable option as it offers many basic features.

If you want to use it with a Windows device then OBD Doctor works best.

Lastly, for iOS, OBD Fusion and DashCommand are good options.

ELM327 USB Adapters

9

VINT is a scan tool that transfers and perceives data at 500 kbit/sec and offers=s both basic and advanced features. It supports MS-CAN switch protocol.

Why Buy This Scanner?

With this scanner, you can diagnose various modules including ABS, SRS, climate control, gearbox, engine, DPF, component activation, etc. Plus, it also offers almost all the basic features.

However, these advanced features are supported in a few vehicles only. These include 1996 US-made cars such as Mondeo/Fusion, Kuga, Focus, S-Max, C-Max, Transit, Ranger, F150, Ford, and Mazda.

It will work on all operating systems including XP, Vista, 10.

Pros

  • Allows you to calibrate the speedometer.
  • You can activate the electric brake controller with this tool.
  • The cord is 52 inches in length.
  • Offers advanced features.

Cons

  • Doesn’t work on all OBD2 vehicles.

Compatible Apps

Forscan app works the best with this one. It unlocks advanced features and helps you make the best of this scanner.

10

This one is almost similar to the VINT scanner when it comes to speed. It also operates on 500 Kbit/sec. The difference is that it supports both MS-CAN and HS-CAN switch.

Why Buy This Scanner?

You can access and communicate with the modules of your car. But the highlight of this scanner is the modifications it offers.

You can perform Forscan modification such as bambi mode, global window feature, tire size correction, reverse tilt mirror, heated steering wheel, 5s signal flash, perpendicular park, disable double horn honk, etc.

It works on all Ford, Mazda and Lincoln vehicles that are built in 1996 and later.

It offers module diagnosing of various components including climate control, ABS, SRS, gearbox, engine, DPF and component activation. Moreover, you can read/clear CEL as well.

Like VINT, it also supports a few vehicles including Focus, S-Max, C-Max, Mondeo/Fusion, Kuga, Transit, Ranger, F150, Ford, Mazda, etc.

Pros

  • Supports all operating systems including XP, Vista, 10. You can change ECU parameters as well.
  • Allows you to turn features on/off.
  • Supports firmware updates on Ford models.
  • Automatically picks up drivers.

Cons

  • Offers minimum vehicle coverage.

Compatible Apps

Focccus, ELM config and Forscan are some of the PC apps that you can use with this scanner.

ELM327 FAQS

1
How do I pair my ELM327?

Plug the scanner into the OBD2 port and start the engine. Now, turn on Bluetooth or WiFi on your phone, search the adapter name and pair.

2
How do I get ELM327 to work?

Once your car’s engine is on, connect the scanner into the port, and form a connection between the vehicle’s ECU and your phone/PC using an OBD2 app.

3
How do I connect my ELM327 to my iPhone?

When you have plugged in the adapter, turn on the WiFi/Bluetooth feature in your iPhone and pair.

4
Can ELM327 apps be upgraded?

No, they cannot.


DIY Bluetooth OBD II Mini ELM327 (Installing) .
Credit: youtube.com

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