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Fcar FOBD : Buyers Guide & Reviews

The Fcar FOBD is a ‘plug and play’ OBD2 adapter that can turn your smartphone into a professional quality diagnostic scan tool. The FOBD is an alternative to dedicated scan tools, that usually command a premium price tag. Diagnostic scanners are pretty essential tools for the modern mechanic and their workshop, and can save a lot of time and money if used to their potential.

In this review, we’ll give a rundown of the Fcar FOBD adapter, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether this is the right scan tool for you. The first part of the review will give a general overview of the adapter, before we delve deeper into its best features. Stay tuned until the end to hear our verdict on the product and whether we’d recommend it to other professional mechanics.

Product Overview

The Fcar FOBD is a bluetooth adapter that connects to Android and iOS smartphones. These kind of diagnostic tools are often known as ‘plug and play’ devices, since that’s exactly what they do – the FOBD is plugged straight into your vehicle’s OBD diagnostic port, and then the user can begin servicing jobs via their smartphone once it is connected. This is an interesting and accessible way to run vehicle diagnostics.

The Fcar FOBD links to a companion app that can be downloaded onto Android and iOS devices. The app is used to control the adapter and also where you can view all the information that is gathered by the diagnostic tool.

The Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter offers a lot of classic functions that you’d expect from an auto diagnostic scanner, but also some advanced features that might surprise you. We’ll break this section up into basic and advanced functionality so that you know exactly what this scan tool is capable of.

Basic functions

The Fcar FOBD can run a lot of standard OBD functions that are regularly used by professionals in the workshop. The first is its ability to read error codes. The FOBD OBD2 adapter can recognise fault codes from a variety of different vehicle systems and locations. It will understand the trouble code, and then give a brief code description to the user so that they know exactly where the problem lies. This is lot simpler than having to research errors yourself every time a new one comes up.

After the repairs have been completed, the Fcar FOBD can then be used to clear the error codes that were being displayed. It clears them quickly and accurately, again saving a mechanic valuable workshop time. Clearing error codes after a repair is important, because you always want to return a vehicle to a customer with no error codes showing. This will also ensure that if the car develops a new problem, then the correct error codes will show up, and wont cause confusion.

As well as being a great code reader, the Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter can also complete other classic diagnostic functions. For example, it can deactivate the check engine light when it is illuminated. This is ideal for after you have completed a repair and another important final step in any job. This is for the same reason as the code clearing, the car needs to be sent away not showing any errors. As well as the check engine light, the Fcar can also turn off warning lights for the transmission, oil, and tire pressure systems.

The Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter is clearly a very capable scanner, and can complete basic OBD functions with ease. Although this is expected from an OBD2 diagnostic tool, many tools aren’t as efficient as the Fcar FOBD, so it definitely stands out in that regard.

Advanced functions

We’ve already seen that the Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter is an effective tool for completing various standard diagnostic tasks, such as reading and clearing error codes, and turning off the check engine light. However, this isn’t the full extent of what this device can do. It is also capable of a number of more advanced functions that you might not think possible from an affordable device like the Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter.

The first innovative feature that the Fcar FOBD offers is an HUD mode. This mode is effectively a live data system, that is displayed in a very easy to understand and intuitive fashion. Specifically, the HUD mode acts like a car dashboard, with a large speedometer that dominates the centre of the screen. The screen also displays values for engine condition, fuel consumption, coolant state and engine RPM.

The most obvious use for the HUD mode is during a test drive, when as a mechanic you want to find out if there are any problems whilst the vehicle is in motion. The smartphone can be securely attached to a phone holder and then used as an alternative car dashboard, with extra helpful information. Seeing vehicle data like this in real time is a very easy way to locate vehicle problems, especially ones from within the engine.

Design

The Fcar FOBF OBD2 adapter has a very simple design that is really easy to use. It is small and lightweight which makes it ultra portable. This means you can take it out on call to broken down vehicles, or stick it in the glovebox on your own long distance road trips. Most scan tools aren’t this small and compact, and are much more difficult to take out on the go.

The companion app is also very well designed, with an intuitive layout and user friendly interface. This makes using the scan tool an absolute pleasure, and really ensures a positive workshop experience. The colourful and dynamic display also makes everything easy to visualise. Overall the design is simple enough for any vehicle owner to understand, but still has enough features to satisfy a professional mechanic.

Software

As we said above, the companion app runs smoothly and without any delay. The fact that the app runs on an iOS or Android platform, which are both reliable able, is a bonus. The app also supports multiple languages, including English, Spanish and Russian. This is ideal if you have members of staff in your workshop that speak different languages, they too can get the most out of the scanner.

Compatibility

The Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter is compatible with a huge range of vehicles and makes from across US, European and Asian car markets. The FOBD is an OBD2 adapter, which means that it is compatible with OBD2 vehicles. OBD2 vehicles are those built in 1996 or later. Cars built before 1996 are OBD1 compliant, and usually require a different kind of scan tool to run diagnostics on them.

Compatibility is an important consideration when picking your next scan tool. If you’re working in a professional workshop, then most likely you’ll be dealing with a range of different car makes and models every single day. So it makes sense to look for a device that will be able to assist your repairs for the most possible jobs. This way you’ll save time during servicing, and be able to complete more jobs per day.

There’s not really much point picking up a diagnostic tool that is only compatible with one or two different brands, if you’re only going to be able to use it once a month. We recommend choosing a scan tool that maximises your workshop’s potential. The Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter is one of those tools.

Functionality

We’ve already talked about some of the features of the Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter. In this section, we’ll take more in depth look at some of its best functions, and then highlight the key features at the end.

Read and clear codes

The Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter supports multiple OBD2 protocols and can read error codes across all of them. Whether the fault code has originated from the engine, transmission, ABS, or other systems, the FOBD will absolutely be able to help a mechanic work out how a problem has developed. In fact, the scan tool will provide a brief code description as it recognises each error, to let the mechanic know where to start with a repair.

A good code reader should be able to clear error codes as well. The Fcar FOBD can indeed clear codes, and it does so quickly and accurately. As we already said, if you’re running a professional standard workshop, you really want to be able to clear codes after you’ve finished the repairs.

Lots of diagnostic tools can clear and read codes effectively, but the Fcar FOBD competes with the best of them in terms of speed and lag-free efficiency.

Automatic VIN reading

When you plug it into your vehicle’s diagnostic port, the Fcar FOBD OBD2 tool will automatically read your vehicle’s VIN number. This lets the scanner know the make and model of the vehicle, as well as its year of manufacture. This information helps the scanner with its code reading and makes its repair suggestions more accurate and effective.

This feature is also useful if you are buying a new car, and want to check the true age of the vehicle.

HUD mode

The interesting HUD mode that is included on the companion app for the Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter might be one of its best and most useful tools. The HUD mode is basically a virtual car dashboard, but displays more information than just speed and revs. The HUD mode also has dials for coolant temperature, fuel consumption and an engine condition monitor. These are all great tools for understanding how your vehicle is performing in real time, and give a great insight into potential problems.

Live data

The Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter also has a live data function in addition to its HUD display. The live data focusses on things like throttle position, oxygen sensors, fuel trims and emission readings. These values also update in real time and are extremely useful in the workshop. Live data is a feature all good mechanics look out for when choosing a new scan tool.

The big benefit of live data is that the values update as you observe them. So, a mechanic could do something like press the brake pedal, and see how the ABS readings change. Again this is an easy way to get down to the root cause of engine or other system troubles.

Freeze frame data

Freeze frame data is a feature that compliments live data greatly. Freeze frames let the user take snapshots of live data information at a specific moment in time. For example this could be the moment the accelerator pedal is pressed. This allows data to be saved that can then be compared later in time. You could contrast this data with data taken following a repair for instance, to see if the repair was successful.

The Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter and its companion app also has the capability to display the freeze frame and live data in a graphical form. Usually information in graphs is much easier to understand, so being able to do that with the Fcar FOBD is a great feature and idea. You can also overlay different freeze frames on the graphs for simple comparison.

I/M readiness test

Another great function that the Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter can complete is an I/M readiness test, more commonly known as a smog test. A smog test runs scans on the emission systems of your vehicle and lets a mechanic know the likelihood that that car will pass an external emissions examination. It uses the oxygen sensors around the catalytic converter to work out this likelihood, which also gives the mechanic an indication as to how well the catalytic converter is functioning.

This is extremely useful and a huge time and money saver for mechanics. There’s no point sending a car for a potentially expensive emissions test if you know it’s going to fail. The Fcar FOBD smog test removes the guesswork out of the equation and lets the mechanic make informed decisions about when to request an emissions exam.

Clear warning lights

Another ‘classic’ OBD function that the Fcar FOBD does well is turning off vehicle warning lights. It can deactivate the check engine light, as well as other warnings from the ABS, transmission and oil systems. As with clearing error codes, being able to turn off warning lights is absolutely essential for a professional mechanic. The repair isn’t really complete until the cars warning lights are all not showing.

The Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter turns off the lights quickly and with minimal fuss, another reason why the scan tool is perfect for a fast paced vehicle workshop.

App design

The companion app for the Fcar FOBD is very well designed, intuitive and easy to use. It has a dynamic display that is particularly noticeable when using the dynamic display HUD mode. All the menus are in a nice font and easy to read. Most importantly, the app runs smoothly and without lag, even on older iOS and Android devices.

There’s nothing worse than buying a well built scanning adapter only to discover that its companion app isn’t up to standard. That definitely isn’t the case for the Fcar!

Key Features:

Live data

The inclusion of live data on the Fcar FOBD OBD2 scanner is a big plus for the device, and is on of the most useful features mechanics use in the workshop. When this is combined with the freeze frame technology, you get a great tool for vehicle problem diagnosis.

Languages

The Fcar FOBD OBD2 tool can be configured into a range of different languages. This is ideal if you have staff members who speak different languages, and means everyone can get good use out of the tool.

Companion App

The companion app is very well designed, intuitive and easy to use. It has a dynamic display that is particularly noticeable when using the dynamic display HUD mode and overall it has a very user friendly interface. The Fcar FOBD app runs very smoothly and it’s very unlikely that you’ll experience any lag or delay when using it.

I/M readiness

The smog test feature is another useful function of this Fcar FOBD OBD2 san tool. The smog test is a great first indicator as to whether a vehicle is going to pass an emissions test, and will ultimately save a mechanic loads of time and money.

Pros

  • HUD mode works very well
  • Freeze frame data technology
  • Effective code reader and clearer
  • Supports multiple languages
  • Very portable

Cons

  • Sells out quickly
  • Instructions are quite hard to understand – not needed when connected to the app though

Verdict

In conclusion the Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter is a fantastic tool for the professional workshop. Whether you need to read and clear codes, or use more advanced features such as the dynamic display HUD mode, you’ll have no problems with this tool. The app supports multiple languages and has a very user friendly interface. Overall, we definitely recommend this tool to professional mechanics and vehicle owners.

FAQs

Can I use the Fcar FOBD on Android devices?

Yes! The app can work on any device that is running Android 4.4 or above, which includes some older devices as well. The app has a user friendly interface supports multiple languages, and the dynamic display HUD mode works well across all Android devices. The Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter connects easily to Anroid devices over bluetooth.

How do I use the Fcar FOBD?

Using the Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter is as simple as plugging it into a vehicle’s OBD2 port, and then connecting it to the companion app via bluetooth. From the app you can then access all diagnostic functions that the Fcar FOBD OBD2 adapter offers.

Is the Fcar FOBD easy to use?

Yes, the Fcar FOBD is very to use. The app is intuitive and responsive and has a user friendly interface. Moreover, the app supports multiple languages, such as English, Spanish and Russian, making this OBD2 adapter easy to use for the maximum number of people.

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