Nexiq Blue Link : Buyers Guide & Reviews

The Nexiq Blue Link Mini is a diagnostic scan tool built specifically for heavy duty vehicles such as trucks and other large commercial vehicles. The Blue Link allows the mechanic or vehicle owner to run quick health status checks on their truck to help them understand the cause of any issues that may be causing problems within the vehicle systems.

The Nexiq Blue Link Mini is effectively a bluetooth adapter, which connects directly to your vehicle’s diagnostic port and transmits data to the Nexiq First Link app. The app runs on iOS or Android devices and acts as a control tool to access all the information gathered by the Nexiq Blue Link Mini.

In this review, we’ll go through all the key features of the Blue Link so that you can decide whether this scan tool is right for you and your workshop. The first part of the review will give a general overview of the Nexiq Blue Link Mini, before delving deeper into its functionality and main features. Finally we’ll let you know our verdict on the product and whether we’d recommend the Blue Link for your vehicle service and repair jobs.

Product Overview

The Blue Link actually comes in two different versions. The first is the Nexiq Blue Link and the other is the Nexiq Blue Link Mini. Both versions work in the same way, the mini is just slightly more compact and consequently more portable. The larger device is still small enough to carry around though.

The main appeal of the Nexiq Blue Link and Nexiq Blue Link Mini is that they are both wireless devices that provide a viable alternative to purchasing a full blown OBD2 vehicle scanner. Although the Blue Link devices won’t be able to do complex diagnosis and repairs that a dedicated OBD scanner can help with, you will be able to read error codes from a variety of different vehicle systems on the smartphone app.

For example, if the check engine light is illuminated, the information gathered by the application will be able to help in highlighting where the engine problem lies. The Nexiq Blue Link Mini is a read-only device, which means it will only be able to read error codes and won’t be able to clear them within the system. This is why the Blue Link and the Blue Link Mini are ideal for drivers and service technicians of commercial vehicles and equipment, since they can quickly point towards any problems without over facing anyone with too much information.

The first thing the Nexiq Blue Link Mini will be able to scan is the engine and its main components. From the app a technician will be able to see the rated horsepower, engine RPM and MIL Status. Service technicians can utilize the information gathered by the application to aid their engine repairs. It is easy to see from the app whether the values are higher or lower than they should be. For example if the engine RPM is too high, this would indicate an engine problem and then the mechanic can delve into the error codes to find a specific issue.

This kind of data reporting is called Live Data streaming, and is one of the most useful features offered by diagnostic scanners. Live Data is usually only seen on more expensive and dedicated OBD scanners, so to have it on the Blue Link and Blue Link Mini is particularly impressive. Another example of how live data can be utilised is with throttle position. The Nexiq First Link app reports on throttle position, and the real time data stream lets you see how the throttle position changes as you press the pedal. This is the perfect way to check that the throttle pedal is functioning as expected.

The Nexiq Blue Link Mini automatically reads the VIN numbers of your heavy duty vehicles and can give general information based on the VIN number. Automatic VIN reading is quite an advanced feature and might not be something you’d expected from a budget adapter. The Blue Link will then display the vehicle make, model and year of production. You’ll also be able to see the engine type and the year of its manufacture as well as the make and model of the transmission. This is an easy to way to find out basic information that will definitely aid in vehicle service.

The Nexiq First Link app also has a Life/Trip section that can be accessed from the main menu. This section tells the driver vehicle statistics across the whole lifetime of the truck, as well as the statistics for the most recent trip. This is a useful feature of the Nexiq Blue Link and can help a mechanic or driver gather a lot of information about their heavy duty vehicle. For example, in the Lifetime readings, you can view the average fuel economy and the amount of fuel used. This can then be contrasted with the average fuel rate of your latest trip, to see if the engine is still using fuel economically.

The Life/Trip section also has readings for engine idle hours and engine idle fuel used, which are both good indicators of an engine’s health status and can help a driver make decisions about how to run their vehicle in the most economical way possible. You can also investigate the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) readings. The information gathered in the Life/Trip Section is a real aid in vehicle service and repair and is a great tool for mechanics trying to understand the cause of problems in the engine and fuel usage departments.

Nexiq are well known for manufacturing high quality products that are built to last. The Nexiq Blue Link Mini is no exception and is made with durable materials that will keep the device functioning for years. You don’t need to worry about being gentle with this Nexiq Link scanner, it will stand up to a beating. The device fits well into the vehicle’s diagnostic port, and won’t be falling out mid service.

Overall, the Nexiq Blue Link Mini has plenty of features that help a technician or driver service and repair heavy duty vehicles, at a very reasonable and competitive price point. The next part of the review will talk about the compatibility of the Nexiq Link, as well as delving deeper into its great functionality.

Compatibility

The Nexiq Blue Link bluetooth adapter is compatible with any heavy duty vehicle that has a 9 pin diagnostic plug. These are usually vehicles that have been manufactured in the last 10-15 years or so. The vehicle’s diagnostic port is usually located on the passenger side of the truck cab, underneath the dashboard.

If you are a mechanic or work in vehicle service and repair then compatibility is an important factor to consider. You never really know what is going to turn up at the workshop, so having a device with good compatibility means you have the best chance of being able to fix whatever is placed in front of you. If you are a driver who only operates one vehicle, then compatibility is less important, but you still need to check that any device you buy is going to work with your truck.

The Nexiq First Link companion app is a mobile vehicle interface that is compatible with iOS or Android devices. This includes a wide range of smartphones and tablets. Since the only requirements to use the Link Mini are the adapter and the free First Link app, the Nexiq represents a cheaper alternative to buying a dedicated scan tool. Most people will already have iOS or Android devices, so why not make use of what you already have?

The device has very impressive compatibility, and you’re unlikely to come across any modern heavy duty vehicles that you won’t be able to use this scan tool with.

Functionality

The Nexiq Blue Link Mini has a great range of functions that it can be used to aid in vehicle servicing. The device is read-only, which means that it can only recognise and read error codes, and won’t be able to send information back to the vehicle. This means that the Nexiq Link Mini performs best when it is used as a quick diagnostic tool and then a mechanic can utilize the information gathered by the application themselves. Now, we’ll look at some of the functions of the Nexiq Blue Link Mini.

Engine Diagnosis

The Nexiq Blue Link Mini can be used to diagnose a variety of engine problems and give valuable information to be used in the service and repair of commercial vehicles and equipment. The Nexiq reports on very specific readings to do with the engine, for example the AFT 1 DOC Outlet Gas Temperature and the Turbocharger outlet pressure. These in depth readings help the mechanic or driver to understand their vehicles better, and of course to assess issues and problems that may have developed.

The Engine diagnosis function also provides data on the transmission system. The Nexiq Link will relay information to the app about Transmission Turbine speed and Transmission Output shaft speed. There are also readings that concern the battery and related systems. All these values can really help drivers and service technicians of commercial vehicles to diagnose issues within the engine.

Engine Diagnosis is an ideal feature for when the check engine light is illuminated and you’re struggling to find out why.

Life/Trip

As mentioned before, the Life/Trip function is an interesting feature that allows the user to compare their current vehicle data to its lifetime performance. This can be a useful feature since you can easily see whether the engine is performing better or worse than it usually does. Specifically the Life/Trip menu includes data such as fuel economy, engine idle hours and average fuel rate. Fuel economy is one of the most important considerations for truck and commercial drivers, so being able to monitor the vehicle’s performance is ideal.

Live Data

The Nexiq Blue Link Mini streams live data in real time directly from the vehicle’s diagnostic port to the companion app. This live data can be used to monitor vehicle functions as they progress. Live data is a feature that is seen on higher priced scanners, and is one of the key functions that professional mechanics use in their workshops.

Some of the parameters included in the live data stream are engine RPM, throttle position and engine air intake pressure. All of these values are really useful as indicators that let the mechanic know immediately if there is something wrong with any vehicle components. Another big advantage of live data is that it responds in real time as you operate the vehicle. For example you can press the accelerator and watch to see if the RPM responds as you’d expect.

Live data is a big plus for the Nexiq, especially at the device’s relatively low and affordable price point.

Vehicle Information

The Nexiq Blue Link Mini uses a clever variations of automatic VIN technology which reads the VIN number of your vehicle and can instantly recognise its make and model. More importantly it also tells the user the vehicle’s true year of manufacture, so if you’re buying a new truck you can use the Nexiq Blue Link Mini to quickly confirm that the vehicle is fully legit.

This function will also provide information about the engine system. Like with the VIN reading, it will you tell you the make and model of the engine as well as its year of manufacture. Again this is ideal for drivers and service technicians working with commercial vehicles because it allows them to quickly identify the engine and order the correct parts to fix it.

Finally you can view information about the transmission, again the make and model of the system, as well as when it was built. This information that is gathered by the application will no doubt come in handy during any vehicle repairs and is essential for knowing which parts to order for the vehicle. Using the Nexiq Blue Link Mini is a lot easier and less time consuming than researching everything yourself online.

Design

The design of the Nexiq Blue Link Mini is simple and compact. The device itself is a very portable size that can be easily slipped into a pocket or the glovebox. The Nexiq Link plugs directly into the vehicle’s diagnostic port with a satisfying and solid connection – the device won’t be dropping out of the port when you need it the most. The plastic materials are durable and won’t be damaged during those accidental drops that always occur during repairs.

The companion app is equally well designed, with an intuitive and easy to navigate main menu. It works on iOS or Android devices and all of the functions are easy to operate and are completed quickly and accurately. It is also very easy to connect the app up to the Blue Link Mini and you’ll be ready to go in a matter of seconds. The Nexiq Link Mini really is ideal for drivers and service technicians who find themselves often running short on time.

Key Features

Live Data

Live data is probably the most impressive feature about the Nexiq Blue Link Mini. The data stream has a lot of great information that technicians can utilize during any repairs. The live data can really help mechanics understand the cause of any issues thanks to its real time adjustments. You might not expect this feature at the low price point of the Nexiq Blue Link Mini, which makes its inclusion even better.

Auto VIN reading

The Nexiq Blue Link Mini has an auto VIN function, which means that it can automatically read the make and model of the vehicle, as soon as you plug it into the vehicle’s diagnostic port. This is ideal for service technicians of commercial vehicles and equipment who want to find out vehicle information extremely quickly and accurately. The Nexiq will also provide read outs for engine type and age.

Engine Diagnostics

The Nexiq Blue Link Mini runs an impressive range of diagnostics on the engine system and service technicians can utilize the information gathered to aid in vehicle service. This function is ideal to use when the check engine light is illuminated and can help the mechanic or driver to understand what is causing it.

The Verdict

In conclusion, the Nexiq Blue Link Mini is a fantastic bluetooth scan tool that is a viable alternative to some more expensively priced scanners. Although it’s affordable, Nexiq haven’t sacrificed on functionality. The Nexiq Link Mini has a load of great service and repair tools built in that can be a great help to service technicians of commercial vehicles.

The Link Mini is very easy to use and plugs straight into your vehicle’s diagnostic port. Overall we definitely recommend the Nexiq as a tool that service technicians can utilize, as well as truck drivers who want to monitor their vehicle on the go.

FAQs

The Nexiq Blue Link Mini is an excellent diagnostic tool that is easy to use and will aid in vehicle service and repair tasks. It plugs straight into your truck or vehicle’s diagnostic port and connects to iOS or Android devices via bluetooth. It is an ideal tool for anyone regularly working with commercial vehicles and equipment and wants to understand the cause of their vehicle issues. Our review above gives more information about the tool’s functionality.

Yes! The Nexiq app is compatible with nearly all iOS or Android devices. Whatever your smartphone, you’ll be able to use the Nexiq Link Mini to get to the bottom of why the check engine light is illuminated. The app is very intuitive, and service technicians can utilize the information gathered to help them with repairs. Check out our review above for more information. The review goes into the device’s functionality, as well as talking about the app.

Nexiq Blue Link Mini
Nexiq Blue Link Mini OBD2 Scanner
4.54.5 / 5
It is one of the popular brands considered as a diagnostic tool for vehicles.
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