Automobile

The OBDLink MX+ Is a Loaded Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner With Fun Tricks, but It’s Not Super Cheap

Using the OBDLink MX+

  • Good: No monthly fee, goes beyond a typical set of tools and diagnostics, fairly intuitive, quick, wireless, can be left plugged in, works with numerous devices, supports manufacturer add-ons, third-party app support, tiny for easy storage
  • Bad: Certain competitors offer in-depth repair help, can find similar (but not all) options on cheaper devices, app design found elsewhere, button and body feels cheap, stays on in sleep mode when left plugged in, no USB port, no support phone number
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After downloading the free OBDLink app, the dongle plugged into my 2003 Acura RSX, and it paired and connected to my iPhone quickly and easily. I actually didn’t read the instructions, did it wrong, and I was still able to link it up. Once it was paired, I didn’t have any issues with dropped connections or poor readings. The only thing that might slip people up is the fact that certain features like many of the basic diagnostics cannot be used when the car is running, while others like the live data charts require the car to be running. So, if you’re switching back and forth, you might accidentally lose the connection by turning the car completely off instead of returning the ignition to the on position.

The OBDLink app, which has 4.7 stars from 3,500 reviews on Apple’s app store and 4.1 stars from 9,896 ratings on the Google Play store, is clean and straightforward, but it’s a bit overwhelming. The main menu shows two vertical columns that include Settings, Diagnostics, Dashboard, Maps, Monitors, Logs, and Performance, and a Connect button sits at the bottom. But there’s so much more information available, and each menu seems to have dozens of additional options. 

I ran three primary tests with the MX+. I wanted to check for codes and emissions issues, experience the real-time gauges and fuel economy, and see if I could find a way to clear an SRS light. Checking for codes was quick, as my check-engine light was not on, and when the car was scanned, no codes were found. All systems go. I then checked if the car was ready for emissions testing, a really nice feature, and everything looked fine.

When I tried to find a way to search for an SRS code, however, I couldn’t figure out if it was possible. I downloaded the optional Honda/Acura extras that are built into the MX+’s program, and nothing was showing up. After some digging, I found my way to the manufacturer-specific advanced diagnostics support PDF document that shows all of the vehicles that work with the scanner’s advanced diagnostics. This doc showed that the RSX is not supported, only the 2007-2019 MDX, 2016-2019 NSX, 2007-2019 RDX, 2009-2012 RL, 2014-2019 RLX, 2009-2014 TL, 2014-2019 TLX, 2009-2014 TSX, and 2010-2013 ZDX. You might want to check that document to see if your cars are supported before purchase.

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