When it comes to OBD tools, good luck. Most people that want to get one jump on Amazon, may or may not look at reviews, find what is affordable and buy it.
This is the worst advice. Here is the thing, how are you as a consumer supposed to know what tool is right for you and your Prius? Unless you buy, use, and log data for how well they work, it can be hit or miss with what you get. I wanted to know the same things as many Prius owners do, so I did some research. Here is what I found out.
Most Connectors Are Rebranded Junk
Just hop on Amazon and type in bluetooth OBD2 adapter/connector. You will see the same picture of the same connector with loads of different names. They are all the same one. If you are wanting to just pick one that will connect with your car and you do not care about quality or functionality, pick one up. I personally am a little more skeptical, here is why.
Cheap OBD2 interface Toyota Prius
The Adapters Have Different Processing Capabilities
Each one of these adapters has different internals. If you want a list of what ones have different capabilities check out this story where a guy breaks into them and physically looks at the internal circuit boards with processors. They all vary widely. The main difference in being some have better hardware than others, but since they all look the same, you cannot really tell what you are getting unless you crack it open and look.
I think this really stinks that you just cannot get a straight answer when choosing one. That is where Carista comes in.
The Best For The Money Bluetooth Adapter For Toyota Prius
The reason I chose using the Carista Adapter, is that the reviews were so good on it. People loved the connection speed, the feel of the device, (not that it really matters) the packaging, the overall look, and the functionality of the device.
Carista white box logo OBD2 adapter
Many people also reported they felt that having the device really helped them understand what was going on with their Prius even if they were not sure what the codes meant, but just knowing that they could ask someone on the Prius group and provide data has been worth it.
The Carista App also allows users to turn on and off certain functions of the Prius as well, including that annoying beep you hear when backing up. You can change door lock settings, as well as a few other things. To get the full benefits of the Carista adapter and the app, you would want to pay the subscription fee of $20. This will get you more out of the app if you are a mechanic or even a DIY car repair enthusiast.
The Dr. Prius App And Carista
Many Prius owners have been using an app with their Carista called Dr. Prius. This app which is also a paid subscription of either $13 for a single use, or $30 for multiple users, allows you to see what is going on with your traction battery. It will also give you fault codes.
Toyota Prius traction battery data
The thing that is really cool is Dr. Prius has software that is built in that will allow you to have a diagnostic health check on he HV battery itself, you will have to have a paid subscription though. I look at it as a great tool to have to let you know the state of health in your traction battery, and that really is worth it.
Just beware of what you are buying when you are looking to get an OBD2 adapter for your Prius. Here is the link (again) to the one I bought off Amazon. I will do a more indepth review once I gather more data, and can use the subscription to the maximum potential. So for now, the cost and the quality make this adapter a total win in my book
I hope you enjoyed reading about OBD2 adapters and found this article useful. Be sure to check out my favorite 3rd gen accessory right now which is the Nimbus Phone Mount, found on Amazon.
Check out my other story Why the first generation Prius is better than either generation Nissan Leaf.
See you in the next story where I am discussing how to use understand Toyota Prius battery health using Dr. Prius App.
Also Watch New tech means more MPG from your Toyota Prius and Click to Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Toyota Prius and Automotive News.
Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He is an automotive technology instructor at Columbia Basin College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Adjunct Instructor of automotive technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter.