The Torque Pro app is an On Board Diagnostic reader which can show you real-time information about your vehicle’s health. It can also read and clear check engine lights. See below video for text from video.
Hey guys welcome to… How-To Tuesday!
Today we’re talking about On Board Diagnostics for your vehicle and how you can use this output module found on vehicles built after 1996 to monitor and troubleshoot system health while you’re on the go or broke down in the middle of nowhere.
Let’s jump right into this with a quick overview of the features found in Torque Pro
For starters, you can keep an eye on your engine vitals through the Realtime Information display. This fully customizable layout can be tailored to fit your needs and include readouts for Coolant Temps, Voltage Output, Intake Temps, Ambient Temps, GPS Speed, Mass Air Flow, Air-to-Fuel ratio and more. You can also record zero to 60 and 1/4 mile times from this layout.
The next feature that we feel makes this app truly worth the $4.95 price tag is the Fault Codes reader. With this function you’re going to be able to scan the vehicle computer for fault codes which can be a huge help when trying to determine if a check engine light is a sign of a serious component failure or a minor sensor issue.
You can also use this app to clear fault codes which can potentially override sensor errors that reduce performance, or even immobilize the vehicle. Obviously you’ll need to use this option with great care and thought as you could inflict worse damage to the vehicle under certain circumstances.
There’s also a handy Map View screen that tracks your trips and allows you to review speed and altitude along the route with markers for engine notifications and fault codes. This could be handy if you’re trying to troubleshoot when an engine issue occurs or simply to share your travels after a trip.
You can go even deeper into the functionality with exploring the Test Results and Graphing interfaces.
So how does this system work? Well first you’re going to need an Android device because this program is not available on iOS. Now Apple folks, don’t run off just yet… while this might be a deal breaker for some people, we highly recommend finding a cheap android tablet or used android device to add to your kit to use as a dedicated diagnostics tool. Keep watching and we will show you why you want this…
For this video we will be using the Samsung Tab 2 tablet but this app works on phones as well.
You’ll also need an OBD2 reader that has bluetooth capabilities in order to talk to the vehicle wirelessly. We went with the highest rated unit on Amazon made by BAFX Products and it has been rock solid for us over the past 5 years. It also includes a 2 year warranty.
We recommend a relocation cable if your OBD2 port location would put the reader in harm’s way. Our 4Runner’s port is right near our left shin so we installed a 90 degree ribbon cable to allow us to relocate the device to a more secure location.
I think it bears mentioning that this device will only read codes issued by the check engine light and does not have access to the ABS, Airbag, TPMS, or Oil Change modules. If you need to go deeper into the system then a more traditional code reader will be required.
Now that you have all the hardware and software in hand, let’s walk you through the setup.
Install the ribbon cable, then attach the reader and secure it in a safe location. Make sure it doesn’t interfere with your pedals, airbags, or emergency brake lever.
Now, switch the car key on to accessory. It’s not required for the engine to be running for these steps. Open the bluetooth menu on your device and pair the OBD2 reader using the pin number included with the unit. This is usually “0000” or “1234”.
Next, open the Torque App and navigate to the OBD2 Adapter Settings and ensure the connection type is set to bluetooth, then select the adapter.
Once connected, you’re all set to start setting up your app.
Start by opening the settings and creating a vehicle specific profile. This will allow you to accurately play with some of the fuel mileage tracking features.
Some engine and transmission PID’s (or, Proportional, Integral, Derivatives) are not available within the stock app installation without some custom programming. Thankfully, someone has already put a lot of effort into developing these additional formulas and a quick internet search will usually point you in the right direction for your vehicle. In this instance we found them available on Toyota4Runner.org by a user named JeremyB… thanks man!
Once you’ve found the CSV file for your custom PIDs, download the file and navigate to your “My Files” app on your device. Under the settings you want to click the “show hidden files” option to allow the torque folders to appear.
Now, unzip the file and save it to a folder called “extendedpids” within the .torque folder. You may have to create this folder if it’s not already in the directory.
Now head back to the Torque settings and open the “Manage extra PIDs/Sensors” setting. In the upper right dropdown menu, select the “Add Predefined Set” and then your file should appear here. Tap the file and your custom PID’s will be imported. The biggest reason for doing this on the 4Runner is to unlock the Input and Output temps.
At this point you can move to the real-time information screen and take a look around at the standard gauges and telemetry. You can adjust any of these readouts in size, gauge type, and description. There are also many other gauges that can be added to create a purpose-built display. But let me save you some time… you can actually export gauge layouts from the program and share them… so feel free to download the layout from the video description to jump start your own custom gauge layout.
Once downloaded, you simply select the settings button from the Realtime interface and select “Layout Settings” then “Import Layout” and select the downloaded file.
If you don’t like the gauge styles, you can adjust those as well and even download user created skins that suit your taste. The nice part is that the layout can remain and you can simply swap themes.
We have two primary layouts we use. One is setup for towing, the other is setup for off-road travel. We like to keep a close eye on transmission temps, especially on long mountain climbs and high ambient temp locations like Death Valley.
Now that your layout is complete, it’s time to go for a drive and make sure you’re receiving data from the gauges you imported or built.
This is also a great time to run a Fault Code check to see if there are any active or historical fault codes in the system.
I will note that sometime the fault codes do not include a description of the issue and instead provides you with a link to look it up online. Obviously this could be difficult from a remote location so it’s great if you have emergency communications (like a ham radio or satellite texting device) and an outside source to contact who can look it up for you.
The only downside to this app is the fact it’s only available on Android, but as you can see now it’s a highly customizable app which would be difficult to operate on the more conservative iOS operating system and worth the investment in an inexpensive android device.
If you absolutely have to stay with an iOS device, then not to worry, there are other similar apps out there that while much more limited, could possible give you the outputs you need.
When you’re ready to buy all the parts needed for this setup then see the video description for links to save you some time searching.
Don’t forget to download the custom layout and PID’s file found there as well.
Alright, that about wraps up our How-To setup for the Torque Pro App. This program has played a huge role in our travels and has helped us and others troubleshoot engine codes in the backcountry. While we’ve covered the important parts of the app, there’s still some aspects of the app we didn’t cover in this video like fuel mileage tracking, custom alarms, and quite a few 3rd party plug-ins for special uses like a driving camera with telemetry overlay.
If you have any questions about this app please post them in the comments below and we will do our best to answer them.
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We hope you’ve enjoyed this how-to video. Until next time, safe travels and remember to leave our public lands better than you found them.
Layout and PID Download: https://goo.gl/bWQBFT
TORQUE PRO APP: https://goo.gl/XnT6S3
BAFX OBDII READER: https://amzn.to/2Sp8Xm3
EXTENSION CABLE: https://amzn.to/2PdMHcN
SAMSUNG S2 TABLET: https://amzn.to/2JQB6yt
$90 SAMSUNG TABLET: https://amzn.to/2rmY74F