FIXD Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner Review

An OBD2 scanner is in our opinion one of the most important tools any motorist can own. They can help you determine what is wrong with your vehicle and they also come in handy when conducting an inspection of a used car.

There are a ton of different OBD2 tools (also labelled OBD-II) out there, but in this review we our going to be covering one of the most popular ones, the FIXD Bluetooth OBD2 Diagnostic Tool. We will look at the physical product, software, price and more. Carry on reading to find out more!

How Much Does the FIXD Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner Cost to Buy?

We purchased the FIXD OBD2 scanner for US$39.99 (you can find it here on Amazon), but it is regularly on sale for quite a bit less (at the time of writing it is currently 25% off). This is a bit more expensive than the really budget-end Bluetooth OBD2 tools that tend to go for around US$10 to $20. However, there are also much more expensive Bluetooth OBD2 scanners such as the BlueDriver Pro OBDII, which is another product we have been testing over the past year.

While the upfront cost of the FIXD OBD2 tool is fairly reasonable in our opinion, the matching FIXD app really pushes you to upgrade to the premium version of the software. The main five features that FIXD Premium includes are the following:

  • Mechanic Hotline – Talk and ask questions to a FIXD mechanic.
  • Confirmed Fix & Cost – Informs you of the fix you need and an estimated cost of how much it will be to repair it.
  • Issue Forecast – Predicts issues that may occur with your vehicle and how to avoid them.
  • Issue Commonality – Lets you know how rare or common the issues on your vehicle are.
  • Emissions Pre-Check – Lets you know if your vehicle will pass an emissions test.

At US$8.99 a month or $69.99 a year, we really don’t think the premium version of the app is worth it. The five additional features listed above may be of use to some people, but they really wouldn’t be for us. For example, we live in New Zealand, so we can’t image that the “Confirmed Fix & Cost” is that accurate for us as repair costs tend to be higher here. Additionally, the “Emissions Pre-Check” is also of no use as passing an emissions test is not needed for NZ roads.

Even if you do live in a country where the features may come in handy, we still don’t think they are worth it for given the relatively high yearly cost. Additionally, the free version of the software is perfectly adequate if you only need to check fault codes (it will give you the number and name/description) and clear the Check Engine Light (which is what we assume most people need from their OBD2 scanner).

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can actually use third-party apps such as ELM OBD2 if you want more features upgrading to FIXED Premium.

The last thing we noted is that the price of FIXD Premium actually varies quite a bit depending on where you live in the world. For example, in New Zealand banana bucks the app says that the annual cost is NZ$199.99 and $23.49 for the monthly option. This is significantly more expensive than the price for USA based users, even when accounting for the exchange rate. This makes Premium even less of a compelling option and is definitely not something we would recommend.

What Cars will the FIXD OBD2 Scanner Work On?

The FIXD scanner will work on pretty much any vehicle with an OBD2 port. OBD2 is a standardised system (a bit like USB for computers) that ensures there is one universal connector that all vehicles can use. Basically, any car built in the last 20 years will almost certainly have OBD2 functionality. If you are dealing with an older vehicle, then your car may not have this feature and the FIXD OBD2 tool will not work.

OBD2 was made a requirement for all cars manufactured in the USA in 1996. It was then mandated by the European Union in 2001 (2004 for diesel vehicles) and 2006 for Australia/New Zealand. In Japan OBD2 was mandated from 2008, but some manufacturers introduced it earlier (see below for more):

  • Honda from 2001
  • Mazda from 2001
  • Mitsubishi from 2006
  • Nissan from 2007
  • Subaru from 2003 (engine codes only – full OBD2 from 2008)
  • Suzuki from 2006
  • Toyota from 2006
  • Toyota Diesel from 2008

First Impressions and What’s in the Box

There’s not too much to say here to be honest. The FIXD scanner comes in a small plastic container and the device itself features a simple design. It is nice and small at 45 x 38 x 13 mm (1.75 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches), so it won’t take up a lot of space in your car’s glovebox. Additionally, it will easily fit in your pocket or bag if you take it to an inspection of a used car. The small size is also beneficial as it doesn’t stick out as far when connected to your vehicle’s OBD2 port.

Setting up the Software & Using the FIXD OBD2 Scanner

Downloading and setting up the FIXD app was a painless affair. It is available on both iOS and Android devices, so pretty much any modern phone or tablet is supported. Once you have downloaded the app you need to complete the account registration and enter the sensor code which is located on the device itself.

The next step is to plug the FIXD scanner into your vehicle’s OBD2 port, which is usually located beneath the dash. Just be aware that some vehicles have a slightly strange OBD2 port or one that is located in a difficult to access place. For example, the FIXD OBD2 tool worked well on three of the four cars we tested it on, but it didn’t play nice with an old 2005 Fiat Stilo Abarth. While we could get it working, we had to hold the scanner against the port to maintain a connection. This isn’t a negative against the FIXD scanner, but it is something to keep in mind when buying an OBD2 tool (it is worth checking your car’s port before selecting one).

The FIXD scanner gets its power from the OBD2 port, so there is no need to worry about replacing any batteries and it can actually be left in permanently if you want.

Once the FIXD Bluetooth OBD2 scanner is plugged in, and you have the app open you can begin scanning. Before going any further the app will prompt you to add the details of your vehicle (VIN, model, year, etc.). You can add multiple vehicles and then manage them by clicking on the banner at the top of the screen. This was all a fairly smooth process, but once again we had a problem with the Fiat as the FIXD app would not accept the VIN number from the car. We did eventually get it to work by putting a random set of numbers at the end and selecting 2004 for the model year (the car is actually from 2005).

One thing to keep in mind is that the FIXD app needs a constant cellular or Wi-Fi connection, so if you are out of range it will not work. This is because it needs to connect to FIXD’s servers to get the retrieve information for your car.

With your vehicle’s details loaded into the app you can do various different things. Obviously, the first thing you are probably going to want to do is to check to see if there are any current fault codes. Simply tap the big green “Tap To Scan” button and let the FIXD app work its magic. It will soon come back saying that an issue (red notification) or a potential issue (yellow notification) has been detected. If there is nothing wrong it will come up with a tick and a notification saying that “FIXD didn’t detect anything wrong with your vehicle” (screen will be green in this case).

When problems are detected the app will provide you with the code and any extra details that FIXD has on the problem (a More Details page becomes available). The extra details can provide information such as the consequences of driving with the issue and the severity of the problem. While the information provided can be quite handy, we would always double check online by looking up what the fault code indicates.

The free version of the FIXD app also provides you with the ability to clear the codes by pressing “Clear Engine Light” on the More Details page. Obviously, if the code is cleared but the problem still persists the Check Engine Light (CEL) may illuminate again and the fault codes will reappear after another scan.

What Other Things Can You Do with the FIXD OBD2 Scanner?

The free version of the FIXD app also provides some other features as well. For example, if you click on the maintenance tab you can do things like enter when your vehicle last had an oil change. The app will then recommend when next to replace the oil.

While this is a nice feature to have, we do have some problems with it. Many manufacturers have different recommendations for service intervals depending on the region the vehicle was sold in. This could pose a potential issue if you rely on the FIXD app to tell you when an oil change is needed, but your car’s manufacturer actually recommends an earlier change. This could lead to your vehicle’s dealer voiding the warranty as one of the requirements of it is usually adhering to the recommended service interval.

One extra feature we do like is the “Dash Light Library”. While manufacturers often have slightly different looking warning lights, the Dash Light Library can help you determine what a warning light indicates if the FIXD scanner can’t read the codes. The FIXD app only has information on engine fault codes, so it won’t be able to tell you about a Maintenance Light for example (this is where the Dash Light Library comes in handy).

Other things you can do include recording information about the current tread height of your tyres, when the battery was last replaced and its voltage, when the wipers were last replaced, and more. Like with the oil, the FIXD app will then send you a notification when it comes time to replace these items and the purchase button will give you a list of compatible parts you can purchase through Amazon.

Did we Have Any Problems with the FIXD Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner?

We didn’t really have any issues with the FIXD Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner itself, apart from the fact that it wouldn’t connect properly to the port on one of our cars (again, less of a FIXD problem and more of a Fiat problem).

The free version of the app is also pretty good if you are just looking to detect codes/faults and clear them. However, we did have a few connection issues on occasion, and this is something that other buyers have noted. It isn’t a major problem and disconnecting the scanner and restarting the app tend to fix the issue. This problem wouldn’t put us off buying the FIXD scanner as 99% of the time it works as intended.

Apart from that we don’t really have any issues, apart from the fact that FIXD Premium seems incredibly expensive for what is on offer and the app heavily pushes you to upgrade to premium.

Update: We have had a number of readers complain that FIXD has continued to charge them a subscription after they cancelled their Premium membership. One has even complained that they were charged without signing up for FIXD Premium. While we didn’t have any problems like this ourselves, it is a major concern for us and we recommend that you avoid the FIXD app altogether.

The free app does work for limited scanning as we wrote in this review, but the risk of being charged incorrectly or accidentally signing up for Premium is to great. We now only recommend that you buy this scanner if you plan to use it with third party apps.

Using the FIXD OBD2 Tool with Third Party Apps

As mentioned earlier, if you dislike the FIXD app you can use the scanner with third-party options. ELM OBD2 is what we would recommend and even if you don’t mind the original FIXD app, it is definitely worth checking out as it has a ton of features and doesn’t spam you with as many Premium upgrade requests. We also found that ELM OBD2 is a bit more reliable in both connection and detecting codes.

ELM OBD2 is a free app, but there are in-app purchases to unlock more features (the free version should be more than good enough for most users).

We haven’t tried the FIXD OBD2 scanner with any other third-party apps as we were more than satisfied with the combination of the FIXD app and ELM OBD2. However, if we do try any others we will update this review to let you know how we get on.

Conclusion – Is the FIXD Bluetooth OBD-II Scanner Worth a Buy?

While the device is fine, the software really lets it down. FIXD Premium is pushed heavily, and a number of our readers have complained about being incorrectly charged for the service or continually charged after cancelling Premium. For this reason we cannot recommend the FIXD OBD2 scanner with the FIXD app. However, we still think the device itself is good and when matched with a third-party app like ELM OBD2 it operates well.

Overall, the FIXD Bluetooth OBD2 scanner is worth a buy at $39.99, but only if you avoid the FIXD app and go with a third-party solution. The free version of the FIXD app does work pretty well for basic scanning, but we don’t want any other readers having trouble, so we suggest that you steer clear of it.

You can find the FIXD Bluetooth OBD2 scanner here on Amazon.

If you are looking for another option we recommend that you check out the BlueDriver Pro.

4 thoughts on “FIXD Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner Review”

  1. Even though I have not opened the package yet that my 2 FIXD scanners have come in and the fact I did not activate the Premium upgrade and the fact that I clicked on unsubscribe three times .. I was still billed the $69.99 which was deducted from my checking account .. I will be pursuing legal assistance in being refunded since there is no contact information to speak with the FIXD customer service about this issue .. I’m not sure if I even want their products if this is the way they conduct business

    Reply
    • Hi David, sorry to hear about that. I’ll chat to Ben (the other site writer, who reviewed this product) and see what his experience has been.

      Reply
  2. Don’t do it! They’re are better scanners on the market. They will charge you for the subscription even if you canceled it and won’t give you a refund. Read the reviews first before you buy!

    Reply
    • Hi Bill, thanks for your feedback on this. We have updated the review to reflect you and some other readers’ experiences and now we suggest that users don’t use the FIXD app.

      We didn’t have a problem ourselves, but we only used the FIXD app during testing as we found that third party apps were much better.

      Reply

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