Torque is an Android application that will connect to a Bluetooth OBD 2 dongle and allow you to read fault codes, monitor vacuum performance, clear fault codes, and get information about what might be going on with your vehicle.
As it can only pull what the computer provides, it’s not a miracle worker, that’s going to have to be you, but for the average person you can at least find out why your check engine light is on and do something about it.
Some of the neat features that go beyond simple diagnostics include GPS tagging of logs so you can know where you were when something happened, 0-60 speed timings in case you’re into that sort of thing, C02 emissions readout if you don’t have a Volkswagen, GPS speedometer in case you don’t trust yours, alarms and warnings based on temperatures or RPMs you set, and a customizable dashboard for monitoring how you like it.
I’ll admit, most of my use over the past two years with this has been to simply track down what’s throwing an error code this time, but I did manage to find and reproduce an event which caused the check engine light to come on every time, and find out that the fault actually lays in the firmware (and that I need to get it to the dealer for them to flash some new firmware.)
Before Torque Pro I’d formerly had a laptop and a cable strung through the compartment. Now the OBD2 dongle goes in and is powered by the car, phone can be anywhere within about 13 feet (cars block signal like you wouldn’t believe.)
If you’re not in the engine diagnostics game and are interested in entering it (even if just to clear a pesky recurring check engine light,) you can grab yourself an OBD2 Bluetooth adapter for under $30 (that’s the one I have, there may be better, it works.)
There are two versions of Torque, however I’ve only ever used the pro version so I can’t tell you what the differences are, and that seem to be a complaint in the reviews that the developers don’t spell out for you what’s different.
With Google Play’s refund timeframe, you can find out without risk if you need the pro version or not though, so might as well try the lite version and move up if you need to.
Torque Pro is available for $4.99 from Google Play
Download: Google Play