Torque Android app lets you tap into the brains of your car

June 19, 2012
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    We all, well at least, everyone who drives, have felt that second of irrational panic when the “engine fault” light on the dashboard suddenly lights up. It is, of course, recommended that you drop your car off at a service station as soon as possible, as in most cases you have no way to know where exactly the fault lies. Until now. With the Torque app for Android, checking fault codes is just one of the MANY things you can do.

    How it works?

    Apart from the application, you will need an OBD2 Bluetooth adapter which plugs into your car’s diagnostics socket. The OBD2 standard (On-Board Diagnostics) is found in most cars manufactured after 2000, but you should definitely check your vehicle information first. The Bluetooth adapter, once plugged into the socket connected to the ECU (Engine Control Unit), will then pair with your Android device, allowing you to access the many features provided by the app.

    Features

    While I love driving, I won’t even pretend to understand half of the extensive features this auto tuning application provides. That being said, here are a list of some that would be useful for everyone.

    • Dynamometer, horsepower, and torque gauges
    • 0-60mph (0-100 kmph) speed timings
    • CO2 emission readouts
    • Extensive fault code database of various manufacturers
    • Alarms and warnings
    • Mileage (miles per gallon) information
    • And more importantly, the ability to share screenshots on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

    Again, this is just a very short list of the multitude of features of this app, which you can find in the app description on the Google Play Store here.

    Usage/Limitations

    • Some features are limited to particular vehicle types. For example, a Turbo Boost feature is supported by cars that have MAP and MAF sensors such some VW and Audi cars.
    • Should be compatible with an extensive manufacturer list which can be found in the app description but feature availability may vary depending on your particular vehicle’s ECU.
    • A list of Bluetooth adapters can be found here, with obviously the more expensive adapters recommended. There is a $20 Chinese adapter found on Ebay/Amazon,  but the developer suggests avoiding it as the chance of it working is entirely dependent on your luck.

    Video

    An extensive app review video is available courtesy of Hemorrdroids which should give a fair idea of what to expect, and whether the “Torque” application is for you.

    Conclusion

    The “Torque Pro” app is available on the Google Play Store here for $4.66, but if you want to try it out first, there is a free “Lite” version available with some basic features, here. Regardless of which option you go for, there will be some investment required on your part as far as the OBD2 Bluetooth adapter is concerned. You can also find a lot more information about the application, on the Torque website, which also includes discussion forums.

    The app looks to be very useful for a lot of people who are into cars. Some reviews suggest that it isn’t as accurate as they would have liked, but a 4.8 Play Store rating speaks for itself. It does require some investment on your part, so I would recommend being absolutely sure that your car is compatible with the adapter and app before taking the steps mentioned above.

    What are your thoughts? Is this app what you’ve been looking for? Will you be downloading “Torque Pro?” If you already use this application, let us know your experience in the comments section below.

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    Comments

    • Dylan Doucet

      I’ve been using this app for quite a long time, and it really doesn’t get any better than this. They recommend a $200 adapter, but I’ve been using a $20 ELM327 adapter from eBay and I get all the functionality one could ever want.

    • Supernaut

      Where can I buy a Bluetooth adapter for this in India?

      • manjunath

        check in ebay.in for ELM adapter

    • Jizzamo

      Im using a $25 ELM327 adapter from Amazon and it works fine. Love this app.

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