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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I like numbers. On my pc, I have half a monitor devoted to displaying stats about what's going on (utilization, temperatures, volts, etc.). I've installed AutoMeter gauges in my cars and even made an o2 display out of flashing leds. But those cars were built last century. I like my 2015 Mazda3 but its gauges leave a bit to be desired. A 160 mph speedometer?

I picked up a $7 obd2 reader with bluetooth. I bought the $5 Torque app. It worked good. I got to see a lot more data in near real time. I made a mount for a tablet using a Pepsi box and rubber bands. It needs some slight tweaking for viewing angles but it holds it solid.

All was going well for a couple of weeks. Then I was casually driving and suddenly all the idiot lights turned on! I pulled into a parking lot, turned the car off and let it sit for ~30 seconds, pulled out the obd2 reader, and the 2 hard wire power cords I made, then restarted. All the lights went off except the check engine. After a few more restarts and 20 miles of driving, the check engine light went out too. I guess its normal for the cel to stay on for a bit, even after the problem is gone.

I made an appointment with the dealer to see what happened. I was honest with them as to what I had done. On the invoice it says, "CHECK AND FOUND SEVERAL U CODE PCM AND TCM - CHECK AND FOUND CUSTOMER TAMPERED WITH THE DATA LINK CONNECTOR CREATING THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT TO COME - ADVISE CUSTOMER NOT TO TAMPERED WITH DATA LINK CONNECTOR MAY CREATE PROBLEMS AGAIN"

I don't like the work "tampered". To me, a 'data link connector' is a port to link data from the car to another device. By using this port I tampered with it? Its functions, name, and location all lead one to believe its a usable port. Just like a video out port on a computer. For warranty/liability concerns, I can understand why Mazda doesn't want owners to use the port. I could also understand why Mazda doesn't want owners to open the hood too. Or use the usb port. Or even open the gas cap.

I believe the cheap reader probably caused the error. Not sure why unless something shorted. But the reader still works. Would a more expensive reader work without causing issues?

The service manager implied that problems caused by using the port wouldn't be covered under warranty in the future. He didn't ask about the quality of the reader. The data is there, why won't they let me see it?
 

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My cheap obd2 reader clears codes when it reads them

Both times I have read codes using my cheap obd2 adapter with Torque, the codes were cleared, even though I did not select that option.. My dealer had assured me that the codes were still there even when cleared. But I recently found out that they have to dump the raw data and send it to Mazda to decipher the data and retrieve the code after they are cleared. I've ordered a mini version with an on/off switch because I have to be careful not to let my foot hit the one I now have when I get in the car.

The one that clears my codes is -
[ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AAOOQJC[/ame]

What obd2 adapter do you have?
 

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I use an Edge Insight which connects to the port via a plug and cable. I use it regularly to monitor water temp, voltage, digital tach readings, mpgs, etc. No problems.

I'm sure it's not the use of the port that was the problem, but probably the particular device for whatever reason.

I have found that the port doesn't turn off with the ignition like many vehicles do. So, I have to disconnect the Edge to keep from putting a drain on the battery when the vehicle is not in use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can't find anyone who had the same error but did find one with a similar error. One of the theories was that the reader was overloading the car and the car lit the idiot lights. I did just add a few more gauges so the overload theory can't be disproved by me.

It seems many are using the readers and don't have issues.

The readers do stay powered on when the engine is off. And the bluetooth keeps broadcasting. That's bad for the battery and security. I just ordered the OBDLink MX. It has the ability to be put to sleep so the battery doesn't drain. And to pair it, you have to physically press a button on the reader. And a 3 year warranty. I guess if it causes issues, I'll have to lie to the the dealer.
 

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I just ordered the OBDLink MX. It has the ability to be put to sleep so the battery doesn't drain. And to pair it, you have to physically press a button on the reader. And a 3 year warranty. I guess if it causes issues, I'll have to lie to the the dealer.
May I ask why you ordered the MX instead of the LX? It seems that for a Mazda the LX would do just as well and save a few bills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
May I ask why you ordered the MX instead of the LX? It seems that for a Mazda the LX would do just as well and save a few bills.
Good question. I found this, "On GM, Ford, and Mazda vehicles that use Single-Wire CAN or Medium-Speed CAN, you can also use enhanced PC diagnostic software like ScanXL to access ABS, airbag, and other systems that aren't available with an OBD-II-only interface."

I have no idea if the 2015 Mazda 3 uses a Single-Wire CAN or Medium-Speed CAN or another CAN. My other vehicle is a Chevy Blazer and the airbag idiot light sometimes comes on. If it helps with the Blazer, its worth the extra $$$. If the Mazda has one of the CAN's mentioned, even better. If it doesn't help with either of these 2 situations, it still might help me out in the future with another car.
 

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I have these systems, and everything works fantastic.

MazdaEdit w/ Tactrix OpenPort 2.0 - Flashing, DTC, logging
FORscan w/ Tactrix OpenPort 2.0 - For additional module testing, DTC and resetting of learned values
EcuTek w/ EcuTek cable - No flashing supported yet, Single (shitty) license, DTC and some additional features like DPF regeneration.
Versatune w/ Versalink cable - Not yet supported

iPhone/iPad Mini w/ EOBD Facile (full version) and Vlink 2.0 WiFi adapter.

as i said, eveything works good. Especially the dongle for the iPhone/iPad, MazdaEdit and FORscan w/ Tactrix OpenPort 2.0.
 

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Good question. I found this, "On GM, Ford, and Mazda vehicles that use Single-Wire CAN or Medium-Speed CAN, you can also use enhanced PC diagnostic software like ScanXL to access ABS, airbag, and other systems that aren't available with an OBD-II-only interface."

I have no idea if the 2015 Mazda 3 uses a Single-Wire CAN or Medium-Speed CAN or another CAN. My other vehicle is a Chevy Blazer and the airbag idiot light sometimes comes on. If it helps with the Blazer, its worth the extra $$$. If the Mazda has one of the CAN's mentioned, even better. If it doesn't help with either of these 2 situations, it still might help me out in the future with another car.
Would you mind posting your findings after you get the MX and have a chance to put it through its paces.

I have a Garmin ecoRoute HD, which works for some gauges and code retrieval/resetting. But I did have an airbag problem on my prior 2005 Mazda3 so I'm curious about the MX. I've been thinking that eventually I'd get the LX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Would you mind posting your findings after you get the MX and have a chance to put it through its paces.
Will do. I should have it Saturday and nothing scheduled this weekend.

The car has gps. My phone has gps. But the tablet I've dedicated for gauges does not have gps. So I won't have full functionality. I might have to get a bluetooth adapter for my old laptop to check out the windows software.

Flashing the chips via openport sounds scary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got my OBDLink MX Bluetooth yesterday. It came with Windows software that's supposed to be good but I haven't played with it yet. I downloaded the OBDLink software off the Play Store. I made a couple pages of gauges and it works pretty much like Torque. This reader/app combo seems to update the gauges much quicker than the $7 reader/Torque combo. One neat thing about the OBDLink app is a diagnostic report generated in html. http://http://site.lvhost2.com:82/car/OBDLink%20Diagnostic%20Report.html

I still have Torque loaded and will give it run with this reader. I'm going to look at Forscan too.

I haven't tested to see if the reader goes to sleep yet but its supposed to.
 

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Can I connect an OBD to my phone via Bluetooth, AND have the phone connected to the car for full audio/phone/sms support? I'm finding an equal amount of yesses and nos online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can I connect an OBD to my phone via Bluetooth, AND have the phone connected to the car for full audio/phone/sms support? I'm finding an equal amount of yesses and nos online.
I'll check it out when I can get some time and remember.

I dedicated a tablet for the obd. The tablet doesn't have gps. But my phone does have gps. I create a wifi hotspot with my phone and stream the gps data to the tablet. So the tablet can mark where the car did what it did. That'll complicate the test a bit.
 

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BSLIV, interesting challenge, what caused all the codes..... i have been using a very lo-cost ELM327 based dongle BT to my S4 using Torque (which is then displayed on my CMU display via WiFI screen mirroring using WITHEs controller). No issues yet. (perhaps 3 hours of usage over 12 drives.) But then i am pretty much using the stock display with only 6 gauges.

i googled Wikipedia to review the J-1979 standard to see if it is limited to diagnostic testing (querying over the CAN-BUS) while in shop only. It doesn't appear to be. Ended up looking at the ELM327 chipset wiki page with the following: "The 1.0 version of the ELM327 did not implement copy protection, and the PIC code was copied[6][7] and widely sold in devices claiming to contain an ELM327 device. Problems have been reported[8] with Chinese clones, partially due to bugs inherent in the early code. These clones frequently advertise the "ELM327" name more prominently than brand-name devices that may contain a real ELM327." While the above may create your symptoms...thinking more likely ..... poor connections....

The CAN-BUS standard is very robust with very good noise immunity, in my findings for the odd vehicle where the dash lights up like a x-mas tree after a lot of research we have found that mechanics were connecting the diagnostics tool to CAN-BUS via t-taps..... converting those to solder connections resolved the issue each time. ..... perhaps your lo-cost ELM has poor CAN-BUS connections (cold solder joints etc.) within teh connector itself, that created the issue.

Now that you have gone to more expensive (higher quality) diagnostic tools.... you may be good..... be interesting to hear back in several months to hear if you have any Dash Light issues with the new MX tool?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Can I connect an OBD to my phone via Bluetooth, AND have the phone connected to the car for full audio/phone/sms support? I'm finding an equal amount of yesses and nos online.
An LG G3 connected to the ODB2 and to the Mazda at the same time. Unfortunately, it connected to the Mazda with Phone Calls Only, no Pandora available.

Different phones may act differently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
BSLIV, interesting challenge, what caused all the codes..... i have been using a very lo-cost ELM327 based dongle BT to my S4 using Torque (which is then displayed on my CMU display via WiFI screen mirroring using WITHEs controller). No issues yet. (perhaps 3 hours of usage over 12 drives.) But then i am pretty much using the stock display with only 6 gauges.

i googled Wikipedia to review the J-1979 standard to see if it is limited to diagnostic testing (querying over the CAN-BUS) while in shop only. It doesn't appear to be. Ended up looking at the ELM327 chipset wiki page with the following: "The 1.0 version of the ELM327 did not implement copy protection, and the PIC code was copied[6][7] and widely sold in devices claiming to contain an ELM327 device. Problems have been reported[8] with Chinese clones, partially due to bugs inherent in the early code. These clones frequently advertise the "ELM327" name more prominently than brand-name devices that may contain a real ELM327." While the above may create your symptoms...thinking more likely ..... poor connections....

The CAN-BUS standard is very robust with very good noise immunity, in my findings for the odd vehicle where the dash lights up like a x-mas tree after a lot of research we have found that mechanics were connecting the diagnostics tool to CAN-BUS via t-taps..... converting those to solder connections resolved the issue each time. ..... perhaps your lo-cost ELM has poor CAN-BUS connections (cold solder joints etc.) within teh connector itself, that created the issue.

Now that you have gone to more expensive (higher quality) diagnostic tools.... you may be good..... be interesting to hear back in several months to hear if you have any Dash Light issues with the new MX tool?
Its been about a month and a half of daily use with the OBDLink MX adapter. So far, no issues.

I suspect the build quality of the cheap adapter caused the lights to come on. Although I could have overloaded something by adding every gauge I thought might be interesting (>20). In addition to the more expensive adapter probably having a better build quality, its also faster. Maybe the extra speed allows the data to pass without triggering an error. I wish Mazda would have been more open about the information instead of telling me to not tamper with the connector. I had never heard of all the idiot lights turning on at once. Mazda probably has a record of all the lights turning on under certain conditions. I'd like to know those conditions.
 

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An LG G3 connected to the ODB2 and to the Mazda at the same time. Unfortunately, it connected to the Mazda with Phone Calls Only, no Pandora available.

Different phones may act differently.
Ok thanks. That might be a deal breaker for me, I'll have to see how much I actually use my phone. Did you try to text by any chance?
 

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I have a Samsung S4 it connects to the OBD2 (ELM327 based) dongle via BT and the Infotainment system still allows me to make calls, accept and reply to both text and email and select and listen to Stitcher. I'm still running V33_NA.



Interesting that an LG will not.....there is a lot more to BT than I know about, recently learned why my S4 can not be paired to open our KEVO home door lock, however my daughters iPhone no problems..... related to iPhone allows their BT to be the master or slave.....for the S4 slave only...which may be more of an Android drivers issue?
 
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