Keeping track of your car, including problems that may not be immediately apparent or visible to the naked eye, is critical to proper maintenance and extending the life of your vehicle. Bluedriver and Torque, both Torque Pro and Torque Lite, are designed to make that maintenance easy.
Torque offers an app that works with a number of compatible OBD2 scanners, whereas Bluedriver provides a scanner tool which then connects to a free app on your phone.
Both provide the basics you need to accurately diagnose and perform maintenance on your vehicle, but they also have strengths and weaknesses. How they work, the ease of menus and diagnostics, and which cars they are most compatible with, all differ.
In this article, we go in-depth into each app, their strengths, and weaknesses, and make some suggestions for which will work best for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 Bluedriver vs Torque: Comparison Chart
- 2 Bluedriver vs. Torque Pro vs. Torque Lite: Detailed Comparison
- 3 Key Differences Explained
- 4 Best Adapter for Bluedriver App
- 5 Best Adapter for Torque Pro
- 6 Best Adapter for Torque Lite
- 7 FAQ’s
Bluedriver vs Torque: Comparison Chart
|Torque Pro||Bluedriver||Torque Lite|
|Operating Systems||Android, Windows||iOS, Android||Android, Windows|
|MPG Tracker (gasoline)||✔️||--||✔️|
|MPG Tracker (diesel)||✔️||--||--|
|Freeze Frame Data||--||✔️||--|
|ABS, Airbag, Transmission Diagnostics||✔️||✔️||--|
|GPS Based Compass||✔️||--||--|
Bluedriver vs. Torque Pro vs. Torque Lite: Detailed Comparison
Key Things in Common
All three of these programs work through a Bluetooth connection to a scanner dongle, which you plug directly into your car.
They are all compatible with OBD2 protocols.
All three will run checks for engine problems, retrieve your car’s VIN, test for emissions readiness, and will check for ABS (airbag) problems.
But none of these programs will be able to help with some other common problems for home mechanics. Neither scanner type will allow you to reset oil indicators. Nor can they help reset EVAP codes.
For difference, we’ll start with Torque Lite. Unlike the other two apps, Torque Lite does include ads and is missing some of the advanced features you can find in Torque Pro.
It’s designed, as the company admits outright, to serve some of the most important purposes and to give you a chance to see if the format works well for you and is compatible with your vehicle.
Missing from Torque Lite are the following features:
- Turbo Boost Support
- Data graphs
- Map track view
- Quarter mile testing
- Diesel MPG
- Advanced ABS support
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but rather gives a good sense of the main differences between the two apps.
Among the biggest differences between Torque Pro and Bluedriver is how you get the information from your car in the first place. Torque Pro provides a list of compatible scanners, while Bluedriver requires that you use their specific scanning tool.
Key Differences Explained
To get a sense of each of these apps we need to take a detailed look at each one.
Bluedriver is designed to be a professional, or near-professional, tool. It’s highly specialized, and only provides details directly relating to the performance and maintenance needs of your vehicle.
It doesn’t offer driving aids, like a compass, map, or MPG ratings for the performance of your vehicle. It does, however, capture freeze-frame snapshots of your vehicle. That makes it easier to determine what’s wrong with inconsistent issues that present one moment and then disappear the next.
Bluedriver also offers repair reports. Once you have successfully cleared an error code, Bluedriver will track that information for you. You can print these reports, which are much more detailed than simply the code and recommended repair action, to provide to your mechanic or if you sell your car.
It’s compatible with all OBD2 compliant vehicles. In the US that means purchased 1996 or after. It also has advanced diagnostic info on cars from the following brands: GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, BMW/Mini, Honda/Acura, Volkswagen/Audi.
The app is free. The scanner adapter is approximately $100. This system gets updated frequently, keeping it up to date with the latest cars and any new error codes, as well as updating diagnostic procedures.
Bluedriver also has the advantage that it’s compatible with both Android and Apple devices. If you are an Apple user, this is the only app of the three that will work with your current devices.
Bluedriver is a good option if you’re looking for an advanced diagnostic tool, and don’t need driver’s assistance or other features more geared toward casual users and drivers.
This is great for mechanics taking care of their cars at home, and advanced DIYer’s who need a more specialized tool to interface with their vehicle’s computer.
Torque Lite is the most bare-bones option of the three. It’s the most cost-effective since the app is free and you can spend as little as $20 on a decent compatible scanner adapter. It only works with Android devices, however, so it’s not a good option if you primarily use Apple products.
Torque Lite receives updates when Torque Pro does read and reset engine error codes from the same massive database.
It’s also OBD2 compatible, so the vast majority of vehicles originally purchased after 1996 are compatible with this app, and its compatible adapters.
Depending on the adapter (some have different compatibility) this app will work with the following vehicle makers: Ford, GM, Chrysler, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi, Jaguar, Kia, Mazda, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, BMW, Toyota, Seat, Dodge, Jeep, Pontiac, Subaru, and others.
This OBD2 app is a good option for casual users and users who are experimenting with multiple different apps and diagnostic tools. Since this is a free app, it’s not as complete as either Bluedriver or Torque Pro, but still more than enough to diagnose the most pressing concerns with your vehicle.
If you don’t drive a diesel vehicle, this app may be all you need in terms of other driving benefits. It does track your progress, MPG, and other driving data. This app is good for users concerned about economical driving habits, or who wish to monitor the driving style and use of new teen drivers.
Torque Pro is the more detailed, and more effective version of these last two apps. Torque Pro has greater diagnostic abilities.
In addition to reading, engine error codes, Torque Pro will also read transmission temperature, torque, horsepower used, and both gasoline and diesel MPG. It provides quite a bit more driving information and also translates the raw data from each of its diagnostic readings into easily read graphs.
The app will also provide real-time warnings for certain immediate issues, like coolant overheating. That makes this a good app to use as a driving companion for new drivers, or vehicles with known problems waiting for repair.
The addition of a GPS compass, social media interfaces, and a real-time speedometer, make Torque Pro especially useful for long-distance drivers and parents monitoring their teen’s driving.
This app is a good choice for Android users looking for a combination of diagnostic and driving trackers, but that doesn’t need highly specialized tools in either category. This app won’t allow you to become entirely your own mechanic, but you’ll be able to take care of significantly more errors and problems than you would without it.
In terms of price, this app is very affordable. It has a one-time $5 charge. The compatible adapters range in price from $20-$100, so they have a great deal of control over the cost of this system.
Best Adapter for Bluedriver App
There is only one compatible adapter for Bluedriver. In part, this is because Bluedriver pushes frequent updates, and using their adapter ensures that you can access the new features and scan codes that come out with those updates.
But they also require that you use their adapter because the app itself is free.
This adapter is comparable to handheld scanners, it checks for a similar number of error codes, and is equally good at identifying the most important codes if your car’s computer is throwing more than one error.
The adapter and app also allow you to generate repair reports. That makes it easier to provide records of important maintenance and repair without having to pay a mechanic to get the job done.
Best Adapter for Torque Pro
BAFX for Android
The BAFX is only compatible with Android products. Unfortunately, if you have an iPhone or other Apple products, this adapter will not be able to interface with those products. You’ll need at least one Android phone or tablet to receive reports and information.
That said, it comes with a 2-year warranty, and is a good bit cheaper than the Bluedriver adapter. It’s designed to work on all cars purchased in the USA after 1996.
As a bonus, this adapter goes one step further and provides real-time reports on the workings of your car. If there is something wrong, or starting to go wrong, you’ll know long before it’s become a larger and more expensive problem.
However, unlike the Bluedriver adapter, the BAFX doesn’t interface with any of the systems outside of OBD2, so it won’t help with ABS, SRS, or oil change alerts.
Best Adapter for Torque Lite
Like the BAFX, this adapter is only compatible with PC and Android devices. It has a 12-month replacement warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. If it doesn’t perform the way you want it to, you can contact the company to make it right.
This adapter is compatible with several different OBD2 apps, including both Torque Lite and Torque Pro. You can use different apps for different interfaces if you have preferred tools for different tasks.
In the USA, this adapter is compatible with all cars sold after 1996, which are OBD2 compliant. OBD2 compliance starts at different points for other countries.
Q: How fast are real-time updates from these apps?
A: It varies with each app how quickly you’ll receive real-time alerts. It also depends on the distance between your phone and the car, and what the app is reporting.
Torque Pro gives near instantaneous reports from its speedometer and temperature monitors, while Bluedriver captures free frame data, but may take a minute or two to transmit the full detailed report.
Q: Does the app make repair recommendations?
A: Bluedriver does, Torque Pro and Torque Lite do not. Instead, you’ll look up the error code to see repair requirements and recommendations.
Q: I’m not car literate, is there any value in getting these apps for someone like me?
A: Even if you aren’t car literate, and don’t intend to do your maintenance and repair, a monitoring app can still have a lot of value.
It’s important to catch errors in your vehicle as early as possible. Getting a code reading quickly, potentially even before it impacts the actual function of your car, can make a huge difference in your repair costs.
Having the error codes at hand, and a detailed record of your driving habits and the car’s performance (which both Bluedriver and Torque Pro can provide) can also help your mechanic diagnose and repair your car more quickly. They might even be able to give you insight on how you can avoid similar errors in the future.