OBD & Vehicle FAQs

Is my vehicle OBD-II compliant?
Our scan tools and software work with 1996 and newer cars and light trucks made in the United States and Canada. If your vehicle is made outside the United States, check to make sure it is OBD-II compliant before purchasing.
Where is my OBD port (DLC) located?
The National OBD Clearinghouse has compiled an extensive database of OBD-II connector locations. The OBD port is usually located under the dash on the driver side.
What is OBD-II?
On our sister website, we have a series of articles that describes OBD-II.

Which OBD-II protocol is supported by my vehicle?
Please view the article here.
Will OBDLink work with OBD-I?
No, but there are other companies that make scan tools for OBD-I. Our scan tools and software work with 1996 and newer cars and light trucks made in the United States and Canada. If your vehicle is made outside the United States, check to make sure it is OBD-II compliant before purchasing.
Will OBDLink adapters work on my vehicle?
Our scan tools and software work with 1996 and newer cars and light trucks made in the United States and Canada. If your vehicle is made outside the United States, check to make sure it is OBD-II compliant before purchasing.
What’s the difference between OBDLink and cheap Chinese brands
OBDLink offers faster data throughput giving you detailed graphs and logs, overvoltage protection, BatterySaverтм sleep mode, and strong Bluetooth encryption. Cheap Chinese “clones” use a version on the ELM327 chip, offering minimal security, no sleep mode, and slow data rates.
What is an ECU?
An engine control unit (ECU), also commonly called an engine control module (ECM), is a type of electronic control unit that controls a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure optimal engine performance. It does this by reading values from a multitude of sensors within the engine bay, interpreting the data using multidimensional performance maps (called lookup tables), and adjusting the engine actuators accordingly. Before ECUs, air-fuel mixture, ignition timing, and idle speed were mechanically set and dynamically controlled by mechanical and pneumatic means.

Source: Wikipedia
I can't connect to my ECU?
The most common reasons:
  • Blown fuse. If you plug the device into the OBD port and no LEDs turn on, check your fuses. The OBD Port often shares a fuse with the cigarette/auxiliary outlet(s).
  • If the software finds the scan tool and can connect, but fails to connect to the ECU, it is likely that the vehicle is not OBD-II compliant. Please refer to the “Is my vehicle OBD-II compliant” section.
  • Corroded pins. On older vehicles, or in climates where metal is quick to oxidize, corrosion on the OBD pins can be an issue. The solution is to plug and unplug the device from the DLC a couple dozen times.
  • If you are sure the vehicle is compliant, the scan tool is getting power, and you are unable to connect, please post on our Community Forum and a member of our Technical Team will help you.
Can I use OBDLink to “Flash” the chip in my ECU?
Will your scan tools read the J1939 protocol?
Will OBDLink work on a motorhome?
This depends. If your motorhome uses a 12V system and is OBD-II compliant, then yes; however, many motorhomes use 24V systems. Plugging the OBDLink into 24V systems can cause damage to the device.
Do your scan tools work on vehicles sold in Japan?
Yes, they work on vehicles sold in Japan 2003 and newer that are OBD-II complaint.
Do your scan tools work on Hybrid or Electric vehicles?
Being that Hybrid and Electric vehicles are low or zero emission vehicles, our scan tools may not work. Check your vehicle manual, research online, or consult with your dealership.
Does OBDLink work on diesel vehicles?
Yes, all OBD-II compliant vehicles are supported, regardless of fuel type.
Can I use OBDLink on more than one vehicle?
Yes, you can use it on an unlimited number of vehicles. Be sure to check that they are OBD-II compliant.
Can I use OBDLink while driving?
Using a smartphone or tablet while driving is dangerous and not recommended. The OBDLink app offers logging capabilities and will save driving data.
Can I download my driving data?
Data can be downloaded as a CSV file and viewed with Excel or any CSV-compatible program. It can be emailed and/or uploaded to Dropbox.
Can OBDLink bleed my brakes?
Can OBDLink open and close valves or solenoids?
Can OBDLink clear ABS and or SRS codes?
You can clear ABS and SRS codes with the ScanXL software AND one of the Enhanced add-on’s. Currently only for GM, Ford, and Mazda vehicles.
Can I use OBDLink to adjust the odometer?
Can OBDLink change the VIN number on my vehicle?
Will OBDLink drain my battery if I leave it plugged in?
No. OBDLink comes with BatterySaver™ technology, meaning it automatically goes to sleep when not in use, saving you the trouble of dealing with a dead car battery.
Will my warranty on my vehicle become void if I install OBDLink?
No, using OBDLink is protected by the Magnuson-Moss act.
Can I lock my doors with OBDLink?
Yes, certain vehicles with the obdCANeX Lite app only.
Can I roll my windows up and down with OBDLink?
Can I remote start my vehicle with OBDLink?
Yes, certain vehicles with the obdCANeX Lite app only.

Software Compatibility FAQs

What are the smart phone/tablet requirements?
OBDLink Android app requires Android 2.2 and newer. Android tablets require 2.3.3 and newer. Windows smart phones and tablets require Windows Phone 8 and newer. OBDLink iOS app for iOS smart phones and tablets requires iOS 7 and newer.
What are the computer requirements?
OBDwiz, TouchScan, and ScanMaster are compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. ScanXL software and add-ons and DashCommand are compatible with Windows NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
What versions of Windows are OBDLink devices compatible with?
OBDLink is compatible with WIndows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 , and Windows 10.
Will there be a Mac or Linux version?
OBDLink hardware is compatible with Mac and Linux operating systems. However, we do not currenly have plans to make Mac or Linux software.
What if the PC I wish to use doesn’t have Internet access?
The free OBDwiz diagnostics software is provided via a download link, so you will need Internet access to download the file. Alternatively, you can download the EXE file and transfer onto an external USB or flash drive. The file size is 10.5 MB. Then you can install the software on whichever PC you choose.

All other 3rd party software is provided via a link in an email after purchase and payment confirmation, usually within 24 hours, except weekends and holidays, so the same procedure as above will be required.
Can I run OBDwiz on more than one PC?
Yes, OBDwiz can be installed on up to three PCs per license.
Will OBDLink work on Microsoft Surface tablets?
Surface Pro versions are compatible. OBDwiz is also compatible with Surface Pro.
Will OBDLink work with an Amazon Kindle Fire?
Can I use OBDLink MX Bluetooth or OBDLink LX Bluetooth with my iPhone?
No, OBDLink MX Bluetooth and OBDLink LX BLuetooth are only compatible with Android and Windows devices. OBDLink MX Wi-Fi is compatible with iOS devices.
Does OBDLink work on an iPod touch or iPad?
Yes, OBDLink MX Wi-Fi is compatible. OBDLink MX Bluetooth and LX Bluetooth are NOT compatible.
Does OBDLink support Blackberry?
OBDLink MX Bluetooth, LX Bluetooth, and MX Wi-Fi are compatible with Blackberry version 10.2.1 and higher. However, the OBDLink app and OBDwiz software do not support Blackberry. The Torque app supports Blackberry v10.2.1+, and Torque is compatible with OBDLink adapters.

General FAQs

Where can I download the OBDLink app?
OBDLink app for Android can be downloaded from the Google Play store. OBDLink app for iOS can be downloaded from iTunes.
Does OBDLink charge subscription fees?
No, there are no hidden fees or subscriptions. Once you purchase an adapter, the OBDLink app and OBDwiz software are free for use.
Are firmware and software updates included?
Yes, lifetime firmware and OBDLink app updates are included with your purchase.
How do I update OBDLink to the newest firmware?
Updating firmware can be done through the OBDLink app or via USB or Bluetooth on Windows.
How do I update OBDwiz to the newest version?
Open OBDwiz, go to the "About" tab in the "Setup" screen and click on "Updates."
Does OBDLink use cellular data?
No, with the exception of the provided Android work-around to use MX Wi-Fi and the Internet simultaneously.
What is the difference between the ElmScan5 Compact and the OBDLink SX?
The OBDlink SX is Firmware upgradable, has an extended command set, and BatterySaver Technology.
What is the difference between OBDLink MX Bluetooth and LX Bluetooth?
Both adapters provide access to standard OBD-II vehicle data. The MX Bluetooth can also access GM SW-CAN & Ford MS-CAN networks.
What is the range of the Bluetooth?
OBDLink MX and LX use a class 1 Bluetooth module with range up to 80m line of sight.
What is the range of the Wi-Fi?
  • Receive Sensitivity: -83 dBm
  • Typical Power Output: 0 to +12 dBm
  • 802.11b/g device
  • (Awaiting Range Test)
Is OBDLink safe from hackers?
Yes, OBDLink MX Bluetooth and LX Bluetooth require actual physical access to the button on the front of the adapter. Without physical access, establishing a connection with MX Bluetooth or LX Bluetooth is not possible. Each MX Wi-Fi adapter uses wireless encryption by default, and each Wi-Fi unit uses a unique, randomized Wi-Fi key that must be entered before access is allowed.

Orders, Accounts & Sales FAQs

How much is shipping?
A shipping calculator is provided at checkout. We offer USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL shipping options.
When will my order ship and how long does shipping take?
OBDLink orders placed before 2 pm MST will be processed and shipped within 1-3 business days, unless next day falls on a holiday or weekend or otherwise noted. Shipping usually takes between 5-7 business days within the U.S., unless express shipping options are chosen at checkout.
Do you ship outside of the US?
Yes, a full list of shipping locations is available at checkout.
Can I purchase from a reseller closer to me?
Yes, please view our list of resellers.
Do you offer product support?
Yes. We offer a Community Forum where you can search for answers to your question, or post a new question. The forum is monitored by our engineer support team.
What is your return policy?
If you are not completely satisfied, we offer a 90-day money-back guarantee on all our scan tools, no questions asked. View our return policy or submit a ticket for an RMA.
Does OBDLink come with a warranty?
Yes, we offer an industry-best 3-year manufacturer warranty on all OBDLink products.
Do you offer quantity discounts?
Sometimes. Please contact us to inquire further.
I want to become your reseller, how do I proceed?
Send us your contact information and brief company details.

Technical FAQs

I get an error when installing the drivers for OBDLink. What do I do?
If you are getting the following error: “the .exe program to install the drivers is not a valid Win32 application”, or you are unable to install the drives for a different reason, please try running the .exe from the link below.
I am getting a "Cannot Find Device" error on my USB device. What do I do?
There are several scenarios that can cause this issue. The most common one is that the USB drivers are not properly installed.
  1. Try installing the drivers from the provided link. Download Drivers
  2. If this does not resolve the issue, try a different USB port on your computer.
  3. Still not resolved? Search our forums or start a new thread. Include scan tool and vehicle information, as well a description of the error that you are receiving.
How do I update the firmware?
  1. Download the files for your device from our website.
  2. Unzip the files.
  3. Launch the StnUpdater program and select the correct COM Port for your device.
  4. Click the “Upload Firmware” button
How do I update OBDwiz?
  1. Launch OBDwiz
  2. Select the "Setup" category
  3. Select the “About” tab
  4. Click the “Updates” Button
How do I log “raw” data in OBDwiz?
Follow the steps below to log “raw” data in OBDwiz.
  1. Launch OBDwiz
  2. Select the “Diagnostics” category
  3. Select the “Raw Data” tab
  4. Verify that there is a green check mark next to the “Always Collect” data button
  5. Select the “Setup” category and then the “Connection” tab
  6. Configure settings and connect
  7. Go back to the “Raw Data” tab to view the raw data in real time
I lost my license key for OBDwiz. How do I get a new key?
Please email sales@scantool.net. Include your purchasing information.
The lights on my scan tool do not come on. Is my scan tool dead?
Check the fuses for your aux ports/cigarette outlets. If the fuses are good, please post on our Community Forum.
How do I know if OBDLink goes to sleep?
By default, OBDLink is configured to turn off automatically, after 2 hours of inactivity. In this Sleep mode, the ‘Power’ LED flashes briefly, once every 3 seconds.
What do the LEDs represent?

OBDLink MX and LX Bluetooth

  • Power –
    • Solid – Ready
    • 1 second blink – Booting
    • Brief blink, once every 3 seconds – Sleep mode
  • OBD – Blinks for any OBD communcation
  • Host – Blinks for any host communication
  • Bluetooth –
    • Solid - Connection is active
    • Blinking - Waiting for connection
    • Fast blinking - Waiting for pairing

OBDLink MX Wi-Fi

  • Power –
    • Solid – Ready
    • 1 second blink – Booting
    • Brief blink, once every 3 seconds – Sleep mode
  • OBD – Blinks for any OBD communcation
  • Host – Blinks for any host communication
  • Wi-Fi – see Understanding the Wi-Fi LED documentation

OBDLink SX - 1.x (Grey Enclosure)

  • Blue – USB drivers are installed properly.
  • Blinking Blue – Comunicating with host device.
  • Off – The device is unplugged or the USB drivers are not installed properly.

OBDLink SX - 2.x (Red Enclosure)

  • Green – Connected to host.
  • Yellow – USB drivers are installed properly.
  • Red – USB drivers are NOT installed properly.
  • Off – The device is unplugged.

ElmScan5 Compact

  • Red – Powered through the vehicle or host device.


  • Green – Powered from the vehicle and connected to host (ex: PC).
  • Amber – Powered from the vehicle and host detected, but not connected to host.
  • Red – Powered from the vehicle, but the host is not detected.
  • Off – Not getting power from the vehicle; unplugged.
  • OBD Tx, Rx
    • Indicates OBD activity.
  • PC Tx, Rx
    • Indicates PC activity.
Do you have the OBD-II standard or specs? Can you send me a copy?
Unfortunately, OBD-II is not an open standard - the documents describing it are copyrighted. You have to buy it from the appropriate organizations (Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) or International Organization for Standartization (ISO)), or, check your local public library. They may have the standard in the "references" section.
What is SAE J1850 (J1962/J1978/J1979/J2190)? What is ISO 9141/14230?
Those are different standards created by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to provide guidelines for implementing the system of On Board Diagnostics (OBD-II) in modern vehicles. They describe everything, from the location of the diagnostic connector, to the enchanced diagnostic modes. International Organization for Standartization (ISO) developed the ISO 9141/14230 standard, which is the European equivalent of J1850.
What do I need to compile the source code?
You will need Allegro graphics and GUI library. Also you will need the following, depending on the target platform:

MS DOS: DJGPP compiler and DzComm serial library.

MS Windows: MINGW32 compiler.