Carly vs. BlueDriver: Which is better for my car?

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Carly and BlueDriver OBD2 diagnostics apps are two top-rated options for working on your car. However, one is more sophisticated than the other. Pair these babies with a Bluetooth OBD2 scanner, and you have DTCs and critical analyses for your car. Plus, they support different vehicle brands.

That’s why we’ve decided to take Carly Vs. BlueDriver head-to-head. We’ll guide you on the similarities and differences between the two. By the end of this article, you can pick one of these apps with confidence.

Carly vs. BlueDriver: Overview

Whether you are a mechanic, car enthusiast, or DIYer, knowing what’s happening with a vehicle is not always straightforward. You need the best tool and app for the job. And in this case, either Carly or BlueDriver is ideal for translating results from your scan tool. In short, you can quickly know your car’s health by accessing the car’s info on your smartphone.

Carly is an advanced app that performs diagnostics and provides some service resets and customization features.

On the other hand, BlueDriver is a primary tool for engine and system diagnostics. Its advantage over Carly is that it gives you free recommended fixes for the problem. However, you won’t be able to change any ECU features like the sunroof or welcome lights.

BlueDriver’s purpose is to help you diagnose and repair common vehicle problems.

carly vs bluedriver
You no longer have to turn on unreliable programs to check up on what’s going on under the hood. Carly and BlueDriver are excellent apps for engine diagnostics and enhanced systems diagnostics. And if you want to change the exterior optics for your BMW, Carly will do it in a cinch.

Carly vs. Bluedriver: Complete comparison chart

CarlyBlueDriver
Supported Operating SystemiOS, AndroidiOS, Android
OBD2 Functions and Enhanced CodesRead and Clear Fault Codes Manufacturer-level diagnostics Smog check Live DataRead and Clear Fault Codes Manufacturer-level diagnostics Smog check Live Data
System DiagnosticsAll SystemsAll Systems
Advanced Service Functions6+Battery Registration TPMS Reset Oil Reset
Customization/Coding--
Vehicle Coverage1996 and newer OBD2 compliant vehicles (basic diagnostics) BMW, Audi, VW, Skoda, Seat, and Mini cars (Advanced diagnostics and customization)1996 and newer OBD2 compliant vehicles (basic diagnostics) GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Mercedes, BMW, Honda, and VW (Advanced diagnostics)  
Best Matched AdapterCarly Scanner+
Carly Scanner+
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BlueDriver Pro
BlueDriver Pro
Check Price

Carly vs. BlueDriver: What are their similarities and differences?

Both apps give you OBD2 information after pairing with a Bluetooth connector. They have their developer devices—Carly Scanner+ for the Carly app and BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro for the BlueDriver app.

You can download both apps on an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.

Carly Scanner+

Carly Scanner+

Rating

BlueDriver Pro

BlueDriver Pro

Rating

OBD2 functions and system diagnostics

Carly and BlueDriver can read and clear diagnostic trouble codes from the engine. Carly presents generic codes with color to signify whether the problem is urgent or not. While BlueDriver does not color code the DTCs, it gives you a detailed explanation of the problem and the confirmed fix for each issue for free.

On Carly, detailed fault descriptions and fix recommendations are only available with a paid subscription.

The free pro tips on BlueDriver mean the app is easier to use for new mechanics and DIYers.

Live engine data is also available on both apps. Furthermore, on BlueDriver, you get to see engine RPM, vehicle speed, and fuel pressure. You can choose to see data as a gauge, digital, or graph display. It also allows you to log and export the live data as a file. Not to mention, it boasts the capability to resize, customize colors, and place the live data in the arrangement that suits you.

Both applications support enhanced diagnostics. You can read and clear DTCs from the ABS, Airbag, TPMS, and other vehicle systems. Unfortunately, this feature is a reserve for specific vehicles.

On BlueDriver, advanced diagnostics are possible on GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Mercedes, BMW, Honda, and VW vehicles.

Carly enhanced diagnostics are for BMW, Audi, VW, Mercedes, Toyota, Renault, and Skoda.

BlueDriver can check specific parameters using Mode 6 on the OBD2 scanner. It’s possible to see whether a car’s systems are operating within limits.

Finally, Carly and BlueDriver can perform smog checks. So, you won’t be caught off guard in your next emission test.

BlueDriver Pro
BlueDriver Pro
4.7
A dedicated OBD2 scan tool with pro-grade functionality. Decipher what’s going on in virtually any system with this Bluetooth adapter.

Advanced service functions/reset features

As far as maintenance is concerned, there are much more advanced apps for the jobs. But for the price, we can say you can perform some decent service and reset functions on both apps.

BlueDriver is still on the basic side. It gives you a step-by-step guide for TPMS resets, oil resets, and battery registration.

Nonetheless, Carly gives you more advanced functions. It helps you to perform more service functions. Apart from the advanced features on BlueDriver, Carly can also help you replace NOx filters, check DPF values, reset the EPB and transmission values.

A unique function by Carly is the “Used Car Check.” If you’re buying a second-hand car, you can determine if the mileage is correct. And if you’re the seller, you can prove you’re transparent by showing there’s no odometer tampering.

Carly Scanner+
Carly Scanner+
4.5
Everything an auto hobbyist and home mechanic needs in one tool. It lets you target any system for basic to advanced repair and maintenance functions.

Customizations/coding

Here’s where Carly takes the lead and never looks back. There’s nothing you can do in customizing your vehicle with the BlueDriver app.

On Carly, you can unlock lots of features for BMW, Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda, and Mini owners. Say you want to disable the automatic start-stop engine system that’s annoying for many drivers. Not to mention, leaving the exhaust flap open or closed, and many other features.

A good thing with Carly is its capability to revert to previous settings. The app will store a backup of factory settings, so you can always go back if your new settings are not what you imagined.

Supported protocols

Carly works over proprietary and multiple standard K-Line and CAN protocols. BlueDriver supports all five OBD2 protocols. These are ISO 9141-2, ISO 15765-4 (CAN), SAE J1850 (VPW & PWM) and ISO 14230-4 (KWP2000).

Supported vehicles years and models

 CarlyBlueDriver
Audi2004+2004+
BMW2003+2005+
Chrysler2008+2001+
Ford2008+1996+
GM-2003+
Honda-2003+
Hyundai-2011+
Mercedes2008+2005+
Mitsubishi-2008+
Mini2008+2003+
Mazda-1996+
Nissan-1996+
Renault2008+2004+
Seat2004+-
Skoda2004+-
Toyota2006+2000+
Volkswagen2003+2001+

Price, extra fees, in-app fees, and updates

Carly and BlueDriver are free to download from iOS and Android devices.

Carly is pricey owing to its comprehensive functionality. To this end, you’ll pay around $120 for the Carly Scanner+ and app.

Still, Carly has a free version that allows you to perform one-time enhanced diagnostics. This feature helps you see if the app is compatible with your vehicle.

You then need to pay a yearly fee for advanced diagnostics, including coding and used car checks. Without the subscription, you can only perform diagnostics on the engine. Carly allows you to pay for one vehicle or all brands. This means you can opt to get features for an Audi or use the All-brands subscription for more than one vehicle.

Also, Carly has add-ons that you will need to pay for per item. It’s more expensive than other apps. So, you’ll want to think carefully before purchasing any add-on. Thankfully, updates are free for the lifetime of the product.

Now, BlueDriver is free to download and operate. There are no in-app purchases or yearly subscriptions. You only need the BlueDriver adapter, which goes for roughly $99-$120. The device seems pricey. But it’s a one-off purchase. A single diagnostics and DIY repair can pay off the device.

Carly Scanner+

Carly Scanner+

Rating

BlueDriver Pro

BlueDriver Pro

Rating

Carly OBD2 app

Pros

  • Can perform diagnostics, maintenance, and coding functions
  • Used Car Check option
  • Detailed fault descriptions
  • Can read DTCs from up to 80 car modules
  • Stores coding backup

Cons

  • It’s pricey in the long run
  • Coding features are not advanced

Carly Scanner+

Carly Scanner+

Rating

DOWNLOAD: Carly

BlueDriver OBD2 app

Pros

  • Log and export live data
  • Can sync vehicle data across devices
  • Indicates faults and possible solution
  • It has advanced reading with Mode 6
  • Free to use with no in-app purchases

Cons

  • Limited maintenance functions
  • It does not offer any coding features for the price

BlueDriver Pro

BlueDriver Pro

Rating

Which is the better app for my car?

BlueDriver is a better option for drivers and enthusiasts looking for a straightforward app. It is also free. You won’t miss out on any features. Plus, it gives you pro tips and confirmed fixes. This way, you can perform the repairs at home. The only thing you won’t enjoy is lots of maintenance features.

Such features are available on the Carly app. But you have to pay a yearly fee to access them. These include advanced maintenance, coding, and other additional features. It’s best for Audi, BMW, VW, Seat, and Skoda drivers who want to customize the ECU. It’s also ideal for mechanics because it has OE-level diagnostics and commonly used repair and maintenance functions.

Best Adapters

Carly Scanner+ for Carly

From a renowned name in the industry, Carly Scanner+ targets drivers. But it comes with pro-level features. It is essential at reading a car’s codes and is a handy tool for changing a car’s features. The device is only 3 x 1.8 x 1.9 inches. It weighs 1.76 ounces, making it the lightest scan tool in its class.

Carly Scanner+ connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. It has LEDs that flash to tell you when it’s connected. Once it establishes a stable connection, it readily performs diagnostics checks. So, there’s no need to schedule for analysis.

For those looking for a smart device with controls on your phone and numerous coding features, Carly scanner is a perfect option for your needs.

Carly Scanner+
Carly Scanner+
4.5
Everything an auto hobbyist and home mechanic needs in one tool. It lets you target any system for basic to advanced repair and maintenance functions.

BlueDriver Pro for BlueDriver

This scanner comes in a nifty size that easily fits in the OBD2 connector of your vehicle. It can read and clear basic and manufacturer-specific codes from countless car models. You’ll like that it connects fast. It detects the app as soon as there’s a Bluetooth connection. Most people find the sides are firm to grip for easy removal.

Still, it does not power off when you shut off your vehicle. So, it can drain the car’s battery. You’ll want to unplug it after use. The scan tool does not have the best build quality. It’s best to store it separately from other car tools.

Overall, BlueDriver Pro is a nice option for home mechanics and car enthusiasts thanks to its ease of use and detailed diagnostics on all systems. We do like that it has excellent customer support. One customer says she spoke with only one rep several times, so there was no need to repeat the problem.

BlueDriver Pro
BlueDriver Pro
4.7
A dedicated OBD2 scan tool with pro-grade functionality. Decipher what’s going on in virtually any system with this Bluetooth adapter.

Read more: Never Buy BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool Before Reading This Guide

Final Thoughts

You no longer have to turn on unreliable programs to check up on what’s going on under the hood. Carly and BlueDriver are excellent apps for engine diagnostics and enhanced systems diagnostics. And if you want to change the exterior optics for your BMW, Carly will do it in a cinch.

In conclusion, BlueDriver is ideal for most car owners who want a high-grade but straightforward app.

Grab the Carly app if you have an Audi, BMW, VW, Seat, Skoda, or Mini car. Combined with its scanner, it opens possibilities no other app can for the price.

The ball’s now on your court!

Carly Scanner+

Carly Scanner+

Rating

BlueDriver Pro

BlueDriver Pro

Rating

Read more: Best FREE ELM327 OBD2 apps 2021 (Android/iOS): Turn your smartphone into a special OBD2 scanner [Update]

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