OBDII Monitoring

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NiteSky

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OB1

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Tim
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I recently bought an OBD device to pair with the OBD Fusion app so I could monitor some of my rig’s performance. There are a few things I’ve set up to monitor, like transmission temp, but I’m not familiar with what other systems might be good to monitor when Offroad.

For those who also use an obd app, what have you found to be the most important things to monitor when Offroad? Do you have different dashboard layouts depending on what you’re doing?
 

reaver

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Trans temp, coolant Temp, oil temp are big ones if you have pids to read them. This is also vehicle dependent. Some vehicles have these sensors, but some don't.

For example, my 04 colorado has the ability to give me the transmission temp, plus a whole bunch of other sensors (trans, oil, misfire counts, etc).

My 03 xterra on the other hand, just has the standard obd sensor information.

Honestly, the only ones I'd really be worried about are coolant, oil and trans when driving at low speeds for long periods of time.
 

TahoePPV

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I have a Scangauge2 as well. The main thing I watch is coolant temp. I also watch engine HP, for fun. I watch transmission temp with the DIC.
 
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Shakes355

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As stated, temperatures are the main thing. Not all vehicles have actual gauges and others only read within an area of the sweep so oil pressure and system voltage are good ones to pay attention to.

The rest are basically reserved for folks with a deeper knowledge of what they're looking for (i.e: ignition timing, lambda/alpha/delta values, calculated load, etc) and for diagnostic purposes.
 

adventure_is_necessary

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I'm running an Atoto Bluetooth OBD2 reader that pairs with my Atoto head unit. I am currently running the Torque Lite version until I decide the Pro version is worth paying for. So far, I am enjoying the ability to read coolant temp, as well as intake temp with a past of some overheating issues in other rigs. I also monitor voltage as I recently had issues with a bad battery and wanted to monitor the charge level and if the alternator was sufficiently charging things. Another thing I use is a GPS driven speedometer, which I also compare with the vehicles speedo. I used to monitor other sensors on other rigs mainly mainly to find the root of some issues such as a misfire. Clearing codes is also another great feature. Beyond that, I believe it is stuff the layman would never use unless someone was tuning the rig.
 

RoarinRow

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I have a Scangauge2 as well. Since my rig is an 02 it doesn't have basic gauges for MPG, Ave MPG, HP, and MAF to name a few. With a full size rig 2500HD, I like to watch my gas needle drop, but I also like to know by how many mpg lol. Call me crazy.
 

El-Dracho

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I have a ScangaugeEco and the main thing I watch is also coolant temp (resp. cylinder head temp as this is measured instead of coolant temp in my rig as the sensor lives in the dry part). Sometimes also the boost pressure (more out of curiosity).

If something seems strange to me, I simply check through the different readings. For this, it is important - as with all readings - that you have or develop an understanding of what is actually being measured and what the normal condition is.

The usability of an obd reader depends on what is supported by the vehicle. So, for many other readings such as oil temperature, transfer box temperatures, oil presure I still use analog instruments with additional sensors.
 

TahoePPV

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I have a ScangaugeEco and the main thing I watch is also coolant temp (resp. cylinder head temp as this is measured instead of coolant temp in my rig as the sensor lives in the dry part). Sometimes also the boost pressure (more out of curiosity).

If something seems strange to me, I simply check through the different readings. For this, it is important - as with all readings - that you have or develop an understanding of what is actually being measured and what the normal condition is.

The usability of an obd reader depends on what is supported by the vehicle. So, for many other readings such as oil temperature, transfer box temperatures, oil presure I still use analog instruments with additional sensors.
You have a great point about watching to see normal conditions. I do that, and the scangauge saved me a lot of grief once when I saw engine temp rising quickly. I had lost enough coolant that it was overheating.
 
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El-Dracho

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You have a great point about watching to see normal conditions. I do that, and the scangauge saved me a lot of grief once when I saw engine temp rising quickly. I had lost enough coolant that it was overheating.
You have mentioned an important point! Loss of coolant. This can of course cause gigantic damage. So it is better to prevent it and have an early warining indicator.

I have installed an additional sensor for this purpose. If the coolant level drops, this closes a circuit and a big red LED lights up in the cockpit. Depending on how the coolant circuit is constructed, a sensor in the expansion tank or similar is sufficient for this. Some vehicles even have this as standard or there is something like that available as aftermarket part.