Review: The BlueDriver Pro Scan Tool

I own several cars, and while I'm not a mechanic, I do like to be able to see what's going on with them. When I get the generic "Check Engine Light" I want to know if I really need to bring it in for service. I was excited to try the BlueDriver Pro Scan Tool ($99.95), and when I did, I realized it's a game changer.

Related: Must-Have Car Accessories: Smart Gadgets for Safety, Health & Convenience on the Road

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

You simply plug the BlueDriver into your car's OBD2 (On-Board Diagnostics) port, which is accessible to any car owner. The hardest part is finding it on your particular car, but it's probably below your steering wheel column. Search for your car model on YouTube, adding the keyword OBD2, to see exactly where to find it. Once you do, plug in the BlueDriver and it will get power from the port. Then on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device, run the free companion app and pair the device over Bluetooth.

BlueDriver sensor

Now you will be able to take snapshots of your car's status and generate reports. It's not just "read only" though; simple errors can be reset. For example, if your mechanic forgot to reset the oil change sensor, you can do it! Or the most common error for me is that the gas cap isn't fully sealed, letting some air in, which throws off the sensor and triggers a Check Engine Light. For some reason this happened a lot when I had a Saab.

BlueDriver app

The app is pretty straightforward and easy to use. The device itself is durable and I've driven with it plugged in, but you might want to remove it when not in use. I've forgotten to and taken my car in for detailing, and they invariably unplug it and put it somewhere (cup holder, glove compartment, etc.) without telling me! I've also used it for friends and family when they receive the Check Engine Light, so you can share the cost and value with several others if you choose to.

Pros

  • Easy to use, straightforward app
  • Not just for displaying errors, but also for correcting and deactivating alerts
  • Durable
  • Bluetooth wireless connection
  • Takes snapshots and generates reports that you can share with mechanics or save for later
  • For iPhone, iPad, and Android

Cons

  • The only hard part is finding your OBD2 port in your car

Final Verdict

If you want more insight into your car's sensors and alerts, the BlueDriver Pro Scan Tool belongs in your garage.

5 star review

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Author Details

Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.