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Old 01-27-2022, 02:20 PM   #1
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Using OBD-II port for real time monitoring

Have a 2019 32' Coachmen Freelander with a Ford E-450 chassis.
Would like to use the OBD-II port to monitor with greater accuracy the performance of the V10, tranny and coolant while traveling.


Has anyone here done this and have the results been satisfactory with no detrimental affects? Was thinking about using the UltraGauge Blue app in particular. Appears it would be a no-harm no-foul type situation but thought I'd ask the community first. https://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/


*Thanks in advance*


Ford manual says this about the OBD-II port:


Your vehicle has an OBD Data Link Connector (DLC) that is used in conjunction with a diagnostic scan tool for vehicle diagnostics, repairs and reprogramming services. Installing an aftermarket device that uses the DLC during normal driving for purposes such as remote insurance company monitoring,transmission of vehicle data to other devices or entities, or altering the performance of the vehicle, may cause interference with or even damage to vehicle systems. We do not recommend or endorse the use of aftermarket plug-in devices unless approved by Ford. The
vehicle Warranty will not cover damage caused by an aftermarket plug-in device.
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Old 01-28-2022, 02:09 PM   #2
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I have used a ScanGauge II continuously for 5 years on my current 2021 F53 (V8) chassis as well as 2017 E450 (V10) chassis with no issues.

I cant speak for the device you linked to but I doubt there is much difference in the OBD side of most devices.
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Old 01-28-2022, 03:05 PM   #3
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OBD2 scan gauges have been around since OBD2 first appeared on cars in 1995 -- 27 years ago. Never seen one "damage" anything and the same nonsense appears in my Ford owners manual as well. Heck my radar detector plugs in there so it doesn't annoy me with annoying detections if I'm driving under 35mph. FORSCAN requires access to the OBD2 port to change or activate things.

What data are you looking for? If it's not on the Ford OBD2 buss you can't see it but there are many "invisible" bits of information there. I viewed transmission temperature, engine cylinder head temperature, transmission slip, and a few others when was first towing and never found anything out of spec. Just be sure what gauge you're considering will read what you want.

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Old 01-28-2022, 03:22 PM   #4
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I've used the OBDII ports a lot for real-time monitoring especially when I had my 6.0 Powerstroke. On that rig, I used an Edge Evolution CTS and had a screen full of PIDs to monitor. Nowadays, I use FORScan on a tablet that allows me to monitor all my Ford vehicles via a wifi adapter on the OBDII port. Like the CTS, I can monitor a plethora of items but unlike with the 6.0 that I monitored like crazy to ensure all was working well, today I just monitor when I'm trying to diagnose an issue and/or verifying an issue was resolved.
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Old 01-28-2022, 03:45 PM   #5
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OBD Fusion app and one of their recommended bluetooth OBD readers. Been using for many years on Jeeps & Rams.
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Old 01-28-2022, 06:38 PM   #6
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Another setup is the one I use. I have a BAFX OBD2 bluetooth scanner that can be had on Amazon for less than $20 and then use Torque Pro to see what's going on. It cost a couple dollars for the pro app but there is also a Lite (free) app as well It monitors all sensors and many functions along with providing descriptions to any Check Engine Light faults and the ability to clear those codes. I haven't tried the OBD Fusion app but I would imagine they have pretty similar functions.
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Old 01-28-2022, 07:20 PM   #7
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I have used a ScanGuage II for a number of years on my older vehicles and it worked great... almost all of those important parameters you mention are available now on the dash of my 2014 RAM 1500 so I no longer use the ScanGuage.

I did like the ScanGuage as you could setup the parameters that you were interested in to be continuously displayed.
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Old 01-28-2022, 07:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney View Post
Your vehicle has an OBD Data Link Connector (DLC) that is used in conjunction with a diagnostic scan tool for vehicle diagnostics, repairs and reprogramming services. Installing an aftermarket device that uses the DLC during normal driving for purposes such as remote insurance company monitoring,transmission of vehicle data to other devices or entities, or altering the performance of the vehicle, may cause interference with or even damage to vehicle systems. We do not recommend or endorse the use of aftermarket plug-in devices unless approved by Ford. The
vehicle Warranty will not cover damage caused by an aftermarket plug-in device.
Monitoring isn't going to hurt anything, it's just displaying data that's already on the bus. Performance Altering, on the other hand, has the potential to do some harm, depending on what gets altered.
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Old 01-29-2022, 08:38 AM   #9
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Question Another example of overly cautious operator manual?

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Originally Posted by Ex-tenter View Post
Monitoring isn't going to hurt anything, it's just displaying data that's already on the bus. Performance Altering, on the other hand, has the potential to do some harm, depending on what gets altered.
X2

ALSO--They mention "transmission" of the data to insurance companies. It's possible there is a (very slight) concern that TRANSMISSION to a remote location could cause some interference with the electrical system (like using your cell phone during a jet airline takeoff??). Although I'd consider the risk negligible, it might not hurt to ask Ford exactly what they think the issue might be.

Like others, I've used the OBD port for real time monitoring for several different vehicles for many years.
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Old 01-29-2022, 09:27 AM   #10
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I used an Innova QuickLink OBD-II reader I got at AutoZone or similar in 2017 and it was priceless for working through a problem. It connects by Bluetooth to the phone and accesses their website. One issue with that (inexpensive) model is it requires internet for initial setup each time you start it up (I know, that's a bit crazy) so no cell service, no reader. It also started having problems connecting to the phone so I stopped using it.


Regarding Ford's warnings...I don't think anyone's mentioned the fact that most of these do connect to the internet at some point. All car makers are getting very skittish about risks from hacking, since cars now are mostly computer networks on wheels.
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Old 01-29-2022, 10:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney View Post
Have a 2019 32' Coachmen Freelander with a Ford E-450 chassis.
Would like to use the OBD-II port to monitor with greater accuracy the performance of the V10, tranny and coolant while traveling.


Has anyone here done this and have the results been satisfactory with no detrimental affects? Was thinking about using the UltraGauge Blue app in particular. Appears it would be a no-harm no-foul type situation but thought I'd ask the community first. https://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/


*Thanks in advance*


Ford manual says this about the OBD-II port:


Your vehicle has an OBD Data Link Connector (DLC) that is used in conjunction with a diagnostic scan tool for vehicle diagnostics, repairs and reprogramming services. Installing an aftermarket device that uses the DLC during normal driving for purposes such as remote insurance company monitoring,transmission of vehicle data to other devices or entities, or altering the performance of the vehicle, may cause interference with or even damage to vehicle systems. We do not recommend or endorse the use of aftermarket plug-in devices unless approved by Ford. The
vehicle Warranty will not cover damage caused by an aftermarket plug-in device.
I just installed the ScanGuage II a week ago. Simply plug into the OBD on a 2022 GT7. You are not alerting anything and just reading what is already available so not sure what harm there would be. With the new ScanGuage you can use the X-Gauge to make custom changes to the gauge letting you get info you are looking for. Time will tell if its worth are not.
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Old 01-29-2022, 10:55 AM   #12
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I wonder if FORscan would be a good addition to your arsenal. Forscan is a free program that supports modifying some of the computer settings on many Ford, Mazda, and a few other brand vehicles. I've used it on my F-150. In addition to the computer modification capability, it reads and reports other vehicle functions including DTC's and supports resetting them.
To use the program to make modifications you do need one of a several specific connectors and a windows pc. To just read codes, there is an Android version (I'm fuzzy on the Android having never used it).

There are a number of very active support forums around for Forscan users, a big one is: https://www.f150forum.com/f118/forsc...-truck-348987/
The first post in this thread has a tutorial on how to get started. Using the program requires a license, a free 3 month license is available. After 3 months, the program stops allowing changes to the various computer chip settings but you can get what appears to be unlimited free renewals. Other functions continue to work. Most folks get the program and make the setting mods they want and then only renew if they decide on additional changes or get another vehicle.
On my truck, I've disabled the horn honk you get if you get out of the truck and close the door with engine running, enable continuous display of my tranny temps both gauge and number on top row of the center display with engine temps. Added seat and steering wheel on/off from the home screen on center display along with a number of others.
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Old 01-29-2022, 11:21 AM   #13
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Frankly, I don't see the attraction of monitoring real time data as you're going down the road. It's just a "gadget". The on-board computer is capable of looking at 1000 items per second and making adjustments. A lot faster then you can by looking at "pages" on a device. By the time you see the data it's history, and you can't effect any changes. If there's a problem, the computer will let you know. I own a decent scan tool, but I would never consider going down the road with it plugged in unless I had to perform diagnostics for a known DTC. Besides, when a code sets, there is always Freeze Frame data that tells you exactly what was going on when the code was set. As far as MPG goes, I can get all that info on the DIP by pushing a button on the steering wheel. I just don't have an obsession to be looking at it every minute.
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Old 01-29-2022, 11:31 AM   #14
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Maybe some don't see the "attraction," but those who know can sure benefit from monitoring FLUID TEMPERATURES, especially for long uphill grades under load on hot days. There's other things that may need attention, but you get the idea. It's good to know there's trouble before you trip the stock computer.

There's a reason we have all heard the term "idiot lights." Before we had OBD, you had to install gages if you did not want to rely on "idiot lights," and many of us did just that. If you relied on the "HOT" light to tell you that your engine was running hot, you may have already damaged it before the light came on.

OBD Port enabled monitoring devices are easier than installing traditional gages.
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Old 01-29-2022, 12:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Moon View Post
Maybe some don't see the "attraction," but those who know can sure benefit from monitoring FLUID TEMPERATURES, especially for long uphill grades under load on hot days. There's other things that may need attention, but you get the idea. It's good to know there's trouble before you trip the stock computer.

There's a reason we have all heard the term "idiot lights." Before we had OBD, you had to install gages if you did not want to rely on "idiot lights," and many of us did just that. If you relied on the "HOT" light to tell you that your engine was running hot, you may have already damaged it before the light came on.

OBD Port enabled monitoring devices are easier than installing traditional gages.
I agree, nice to look down and check things out on the hills
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Old 01-29-2022, 12:04 PM   #16
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OBD Fusion app and one of their recommended bluetooth OBD readers. Been using for many years on Jeeps & Rams.
Wondering what year RAM you have. Our 2019 apparently has some extra connection on the OBD2 port. Does it prohibit using a scanner?

I see that tuners require an adapter of some sort to work on the 2019 and higher.

Just started my research.

Thanks
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Old 01-29-2022, 12:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Slow Moon View Post
Maybe some don't see the "attraction," but those who know can sure benefit from monitoring FLUID TEMPERATURES, especially for long uphill grades under load on hot days. There's other things that may need attention, but you get the idea. It's good to know there's trouble before you trip the stock computer.

There's a reason we have all heard the term "idiot lights." Before we had OBD, you had to install gages if you did not want to rely on "idiot lights," and many of us did just that. If you relied on the "HOT" light to tell you that your engine was running hot, you may have already damaged it before the light came on.

OBD Port enabled monitoring devices are easier than installing traditional gages.
I would agree. Data is knowledge and power just ask Google or FB
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Old 01-29-2022, 12:28 PM   #18
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Just one thing. You have to start with the device that plugs into the OBD II port. It draws power, even when the key is off (more when it's on). Some devices even feel warm. Not too big a deal for a daily driver, but if you only use the truck to pull the trailer on weekends, you may well find the battery dead from the current drain. You would have to develop the habit of unplugging the device each time you parked.

(Chasing a parasitic draw in the Sierra 2500 pickup right now and it's driving me crazy.)
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Old 01-29-2022, 12:29 PM   #19
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Talk about information overload! And possible gauge fixation when you should be watching road and mirrors. Scan gauge is fine but get one with an alarm function to attract your attention when needed. Oh wait! Those are already on the dashboard! No pilot I know calls the Master Warning Light an "idiot light."



After a couple thousand towing miles I determined the Ford dashboard was fine and stopped using the scan gauge.

YMMV.

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Old 01-29-2022, 01:23 PM   #20
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Talk about information overload! And possible gauge fixation when you should be watching road and mirrors. Scan gauge is fine but get one with an alarm function to attract your attention when needed. Oh wait! Those are already on the dashboard! No pilot I know calls the Master Warning Light an "idiot light."



After a couple thousand towing miles I determined the Ford dashboard was fine and stopped using the scan gauge.

YMMV.

-- Chuck
This image is more reasonable. Coolant & Oil Temp at a glance, (Boost is a bonus) plus Trans & EGT take a quarter second. No overload here.

I'll restrain myself and not characterize your stretch to compare aircraft MWL to an automobile "HOT" idiot light. We ALL know that no pilot ignores individual gages because they have a MWL. Google images of "cockpit instruments," then consider whether an MWL replaces gages.

After a couple thousand miles, I determined the Ford dashboard is inadequate for my towing. Like any competent aircraft pilot, I choose not to be oblivious to critical information. Even if some of this info is on the stock panel, I prefer this in a "heads up" display, in line with the front of my hood, so I don't need to look down. Pilots also prefer "heads up displays," AKA "HUD."

Some may call this a "gadget" to feel superior, but those who know, know.
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