I love cars, and I love my Chevrolet Avalanche. Last year, I paid nearly $200 for a top quality Actron CP9580A Scan Tool. It has worked perfectly for me until now. My brother knows my enthusiasm for car repair, and this Christmas he bought me a BlueDriver – Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool. I opened the package, and there it was — a tiny device with a compact design. I have been using it for nearly three months, so it’s a good time to write a review about it. All the reviews I have written until now were about conventional scanners produced by major manufacturers such as Actron, Innova and Autel. This time I decided to analyze the BlueDriver using the Bluetooth technology to connect directly to my smartphone.
To meet the ever-increasing demand for faster and more accurate car diagnostics, the team at Lemur Vehicle Monitors has produced the BlueDriver OBD-II Scan Tool. This scanner is capable of providing Live and Freeze engine data, analyzing error readings, turning off check engine lights, and conducting tests such as the Smog Test. BlueDriver is a professional OBD2 scanner incorporating Bluetooth technology to connect to Apple, Android, iPhone, and iPad devices. Connecting the OBD2 Scanner to my smartphone has opened a whole new window in car diagnosis for me.
The BlueDriver is focused on diagnosis and repair, so it does not give you advice on things like fuel economy or driving. It does give you accurate, in-depth data readings on your car’s systems and the solutions to any problems it finds. There are a wide range of scanners on the market at all levels. However, there are two mainstream types: Conventional scanners and scanners with the wireless capability to connect to your smartphone. Each has advantages and disadvantages. This review will assess the features of the BlueDriver Scan Tool and compare two of the best professional scanners in each category.
Problems the BlueDriver solves:
What problems does a BlueDriver scanner solve in comparison to conventional scan tools? You might think transmitting data wirelessly with BlueDriver using Bluetooth technology could be somewhat unstable and lead to more problems, so standing by your car to read data using a conventional scanner wired to your engine is best. You may have a point, and the BlueDriver does have incompatibility issues — however, in my assessment this is not a major factor. The advantages of the wireless connection far outweigh the disadvantages. First, connecting the wiring every time you want to read data is time-consuming. With the BlueDriver, it’s easy. You just plug it in and read you data on your smartphone. Another helpful feature: Downloading the app is free of charge and the connection is made easily after your smartphone is paired. The pairing will not take more than 5 seconds.
Bottom Line: The BlueDriver saves you money and time. After using my Actron Scan Tool for years, the BlueDriver was really a time-saver. I just plugged it in, and in a matter of seconds I had the data on my screen.
Analyzing the Pros and Cons of BlueDriver
Like all other scanners, the BlueDriver has all the standard features that a professional OBD2 scanner should, such as Freeze and Live data, and ABS and transmission readings. However, there are some features you should consider as real advantages of this device, such as:
- Made in America: The BlueDriver is a well known Scan Tool among technicians. The components are made and assembled in North America. You may not know where all scanning devices are made or assembled. With BlueDriver, you can trust that everything is made by American engineers.
- BlueDriver apps and sensors: They work in compatibility with each other as one tool to give quality data readings. The app is free to download on iTunes and Google Play. BlueDriver is licensed to work with Apple iOS and Android phones. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with Windows phones.
- Reading and clearing codes: Confirmed Pending and Permanent CEL Codes of all makes; provides advance codes for ABS, Airbag and Transmission.
- Advanced Mode 6 data readings: Advanced data readings, such as misfire counts.
- Repair report: When the BlueDriver receives an error code, the app immediately compiles a detailed report on how to fix the problem. The app draws its information from a huge database of more than 4.3 million verified repairs carried out by certified technicians. With this data on your smartphone, you can to send it to a printer or simply email it to your car technician for further analysis. In my view, this can also save money.
- Smog readiness test: This feature gives the BlueDriver an edge in comparison to many other Scan Tools. The app is programmed to run through all emissions tests and will tell you if the car will pass. The Repair Report saved me money, and this will surely save me time. I would only register for the emissions test when I’m confident that my car will pass.
- User-friendly: You will be amazed by the BlueDriver’s size. I can hide it in the palm of my hand. This tiny device, which should be plugged in rather carefully under the dashboard, is only 5.5 x 3.3 x 2.2 inches in size and weighs 3.2 ounces.
Bottom line: The BlueDriver has all the capabilities of a conventional scan tool plus the special features of your smartphone, such as free app updates, compactness, portability, saving data, and graphing of live data. During the three months I have had my BlueDriver plugged into my car virtually 24 hours a day, the repair report feature is the top pick for me.
- Instability in transmission: Having a Wi-Fi system to send your data readings straight to your smartphone is great, but it’s here that problems arise. The Bluetooth connection drops and fails fairly easily. This can be a nuisance when you need a fast, accurate data reading.
- Windows phones left out: The BlueDriver is basically intended for Apple iOS. Excluding Windows phones leaves out a big chunk of the market. There are reports that a new Windows-compatible version will be produced, but that has not happened yet.
- Flaws with the app: There are some problems with the software app provided by the manufacturer. For example, as soon as your smartphone goes into sleep mode, all the data readings are zeroed out — and there is no setting to stop it. This issue is irritating when you are reading live data from your car’s engine. Hopefully this will be resolved with an app upgrade. Also, the live data coming in is not saved on the BlueDriver sensors or within the app. So if you turn off your engine, the data only saves if you export the info within the app to a DropBox file or an email.
- Not compatible with some car models: According to reports by the manufacturer’s technical support team, the BlueDriver doesn’t work well with BMWs, VW Golf, Volvos and Hyundais. If you have one of these models, check the compatibility of the BlueDriver with them.
BlueDriver vs. Actron CP9580A Scanner
The ActronCP9580A has worked just fine for me, however, receiving a BlueDriver as a Christmas present gave me the opportunity to compare these two devices side by side. Both Actron CP9580A and the BlueDriver are professional Scan Tools that provide basic and advanced readings. Common features include: Using Advance code definition database, ABS data reading, Freeze Frame and Live data reading.
So which scanner would be the better one to invest your money in? Should you pay nearly twice as much to purchase a top-quality Actron Enhanced Scan Tool or purchase the BlueDriver with all the benefits of connectivity to a smartphone?
Bottom Line: Actron CP9580A Enhanced is an outstanding Scan Tool, providing basic and advanced data readings in an easy to use and clear display format. However, its price is much higher than similar high quality scanners. >> READ FULL REVIEW OF ACTRON CP9580A SCAN TOOL On the other hand, the BlueDriver, despite the drawbacks mentioned, costs half the price. It gives you the same readings, in addition to the convenience of accessing the data on your smartphone — which can’t be matched by any conventional scan tool.
Considering all the Pros and Cons of the BlueDriver, is it worth investing in? BlueDriver provides you with data readings and analysis, using Bluetooth wireless technology, directly on your smartphone. Some of the data readings are very advanced and might not be of any use for a beginner. However, it does let you store the data to send for further analysis by experts. Up against all the obvious advantages of Bluetooth technology are the drawbacks I have covered in this review. The main problem is the instability of Bluetooth connectivity and the flaws in the app provided by the manufacturer. Of course, apps are updated regularly. There is a good chance the problems will be solved in the new version, including incompatibility with Widows phones.
Final verdict: For this price, the BlueDriver is a Scan Tool suitable for skilled technicians and enthusiastic drivers. It empowers them to have basic and advanced data readings on their Smartphones effortlessly. It has its flaws, but its advantages outweigh them. I do recommend it, but strongly suggest you double-check its compatibility with your car before making your purchase.
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