Fault code readers


Active Member
Hi All

So looking to purchase a car over the next couple of weeks..
Probably be a BMW or Mercedes (2005 - 2007 models).

I want to invest in a decent OBD2 machine. Don't want to spend too much and probably one from ebay (£20-£40).

Could anyone recommend one? There are so many different variations available.
I'd rather have a all in one unit (rather than just buying cable and software to install on my laptop - unless of course anyone thinks that's the way to go)..



Well-known Member
If you have a smart phone, you can get a Bluetooth OBD reader for not much and pair it up with one of the many Apps. I use Torque for Android.

iPhones Bluetooth doesn't work properly, so you may need a different reader if you have one of those.


Distinguished Member
I use a £10 obd2 Bluetooth dongle and Torque Pro for android. Works very well and does a lot more then just read fault codes. I also have the usb cable version and have heard good things about the U480 reader if you want a simple plug in all in one solution.

Have used Torque so far on 2007 Alfa GT, 2005 Megane and 2005 Elise.


Distinguished Member
I bought a proper software solution for my BMW Z3 (and my OH's Mini) which cost about £40. It's much better than a simple code reader as it tells me exactly what the fault is rather than a number. It tooka bit of setting up however, so make sure you go to a seller with good back up (mine even answered emails on a Bank Holiday).

FWIW This is the one I bought:


Mine is the second one down for £34.99.


Distinguished Member
Torque gives you the error messages and codes. There are only a few codes that are manufacturer percific and a quick Google will tell you what they are for your make car. With torque you can also capture data in real time and use the GPS to map routes and data along that route. There's a plugin called track recorder that uses the camera to record your drive and overlays it with Google maps and data f your choice.


Distinguished Member
The problem with just having a code number for a BMW for example is that it often isn't specific enough as has come up a few times on the Z3 forum I go on. You are then at risk of taking a gamble as to which sensor you need to replace: If I'd had a code reader I wouldn't have known which sensor had failed on my Z3 (there are two since the 3.0 litre model has variable camshafts on inlet and exhaust). As it turned out I needed the cheaper one, but going on the internet suggested it would be more likely to be the dearer one, so it paid for itself first time out.

The other issue is that I have a company phone (Blackberry) so I can't buy apps for it and don't see the point having a second personal phone. So in my case it was either a simple code reader or the software and the price wasn't much different anyway.


Distinguished Member
use a Creader VI only due to a few Different cars in the household, it has saved me a few Quid already :)

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