DIY solution to view fuel efficiency of my 2017 Hyundai Creta

The best part is that it can be installed in almost any car with an OBD2 port by anyone.

BHPian Chhanda Das recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello friends, this is a product recommendation and long-term user review of an interesting product.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid review and the views expressed are solely my own. I bought this generic/unbranded product with my own money. I have tried my best to keep this review as unbiased as possible from the point of view of a car owner.

When I got my 1st generation pre-facelifted Creta AT Petrol in 2017, I noticed that it lacked a few essential features. Two of them were that neither did it show live fuel consumption rates nor did it show current battery voltage. The two aforementioned parameters are amongst some of the first indicators when something is wrong with a vehicle's engine and/or transmission, electrical system, etc respectively. So I was looking for a relatively cheap solution to my problem with the added condition that I should be able to install it myself. I did not consider replacing the driver's display console since that would have set me back by around INR 40k at the very least. After some research online, I found a couple of easy and relatively cheaper solutions.

Firstly, I could go for a wired OBD2 display, but I didn't like its obtrusiveness especially with my stealth car camping goals. Plus I didn't want to spend upwards of INR 4k for that.

My second option was to get a Bluetooth OBD2 adapter with inbuilt GPS but that was way more expensive to the tune of INR 6k and I would like my car GPS tracker to be in a more clandestine location instead of on the OBD2 port.

The third option and my choice was a Bluetooth-based car OBD2 adapter whereby a mobile phone would be its display. I got it from Amazon India in a lightning deal for INR 430. This is a generic product and can fit in any car with an OBD2 port. The purpose of this device is to convert the signals from the car's ECU to Bluetooth frequencies. There are similar devices based on WiFi frequencies as well but those cost more than the Bluetooth ones.

Anyway, coming to the installation, was a breeze. Download and install Torque App from Google Playstore, start car engine, fit device on OBD2 port, pair phone (just like with any other Bluetooth device) and voila, I was ready to go. Setup of the app requires some tinkering. Currently, I have set up the App to display only the following: Fuel used, Fuel Flow Rate, Average fuel consumption, Battery Voltage, ECU voltage, Oil Temperature, Coolant Temperature, Lambda aka oxygen sensor readings, Commanded Equivalence Ratio (to get an idea of the air to fuel ratio going into the engine), etc.

Touchwood, the whole thing is working flawlessly and has not failed even once. The best part is that it can be installed in almost any car with an OBD2 port by anyone. Also, as car camping is my ultimate goal, the idea of being stranded somewhere doesn't appeal to me and I like to do as much preparation as necessary to prevent that.

From what I can understand, this OBD2 adapter is as accurate as of the ECU of the car since it cannot think for itself and merely converts the ECU's signals into Bluetooth frequencies.

The only downside of this product is that it continues to draw very minute quantities of power even when the car is off but we can easily keep the device plugged in unless the car is going to remain unused for more than a few days at a stretch or else the battery may get drained.

Here you can see it installed on the OBD2 port below the cabin fuses of my car on the lower right side of the steering wheel in front of the driver's right knee area:

And here is a closer look at the device itself. The small red LED on it glows/blinks red when idle and blinks green when it is connected to a smartphone or computer:

Here is a small video of the Torque App made by my son during the pandemic-induced lockdowns. The video also shows the effect of turning the air conditioning system on/off on the rate of fuel consumption and the RPMs after a cold start.

Here's what BHPian nik0502 had to say on the matter:

I have an almost similar set-up in my Civic. The difference is the OBD device I have has an ON switch. If it is left idle for some time the phone or the device doesn’t detect it and press the on button and the device will detect it immediately. I also don’t like keeping the phone mounted and using it as a display so I have installed an android head unit from a company foxfire. I read about it on the forum itself. It works great and looks very neat. The only downside is that the sound quality went down a bit. I was very satisfied with the original audio setup in Civic. Not so satisfied with the audio setup in my brother's Creta same model as yours however after changing the head unit I got disappointed and went in for a complete audio upgrade. The head unit cost me around ~10K.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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