What Is Torque?
Torque is available in the Android Play Store as both a free and a paid version. It can be used to connect to a bluetooth compatible ELM327 OBDII adapter for such functions as reading out Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs), checking the temperature of vehicle fluids, voltage readouts of oxygen sensors, instantaneous fuel economy, trip fuel economy and so on.
Even more useful in the case of the Prius, Torque can be used with custom PIDs made available for the Gen 2 Prius (2004-2009 Model Years) or for the Gen 3 Prius (Late 2009 to Present Model Years) available for download from PriusChat.com (courtesy of usbseawolf2000) enabling Torque to be used to acquire more useful information such as the actual State-Of-Charge of the high voltage battery pack, the voltage of individual groups of batteries (which can be useful in determining the health of high mileage or aging battery packs, monitoring how much (or little) that you are using the friction brakes to slow the vehicle down versus whether or not you are maximizing regenerative braking as much as possible to charge the battery pack rather than wasting forward momentum as heat.
The paid version of Torque is available for $5 and is well worth the cost. It’s compatible with bluetooth equipped Android smartphones and will work with the majority of ELM327 adapters available from Amazon or Ebay and you don’t even have to buy a top of the line unit.
ELM327 OBDII Bluetooth Adapters
I know, I know, the name looks like gibberish but the gist of what an ELM327 adapter is is that it simply provides access to the On-Board Diagnostics interface that has been standard on most vehicles since 1996. The bluetooth part is especially important here since it allows you to connect a laptop (using software other than Torque), Android tablet or smartphone to gain access to diagnostic codes and the information that the vehicle’s ECU keeps track of in relation to various components such as the engine, the transmission and so forth.
There are many different brands of these adapter’s available. Some are the more known brands such as the Kiwi Bluetooth Scanner made by PLX Devices however it is at the more expensive end of the scale in terms of pricing. The cheaper ones are produced under random generic sounding names and the majority of them look exactly alike. These are technically clones but their low cost hasn’t stopped anyone from buying one and most Torque users have no trouble using the ones at the cheaper end of the spectrum and can be generally bought or bid on in the $15-$20 range.
Where To Connect An ELM327 Adapter In A Prius?
Its easy to access and right in front of you when you’re in your Prius…rather right in front of your right leg. Look under the dash below the steering wheel and column, you’ll see a multi-pin female plug that the end of an OBDII adapter will fit right into.
Depending on the size of the adapter you purchased…you might have issues with coming into contact with it or may have concerns about that. Mine is fairly large in my opinion and I don’t find I have any issue avoiding or having to avoid my adapter when I have it plugged in (all the time, except when I’m not driving). There are various sized adapters available so if this is a concern for you, you can find ones that don’t extend out so far as mine.
Torque Or My Bluetooth Adapter Are Causing My ABS Or Traction Control Warning Lights To Activate
Occasionally you might notice that after parking on short trips and leaving your tablet or smartphone running Torque that upon starting up, your ABS, VSC and possibly the traction control warning lights are on and all braking is mostly done via the friction brakes. Nothing is actually wrong with your Prius. Torque simply entered a scanning mode trying to regain communication with the ECU’s in your Prius and the ECU’s didn’t take to kindly to this so they detect it as a problem and default to restricting regenerative braking.
If this happens to you, park somewhere safe (don’t try to do this while you are driving or at an intersection, you don’t want to risk an accident or to be impeding the flow of traffic!) and remove the Bluetooth adapter, power your Prius on and of 2-3 times until the warning lights turn off after going into READY mode. You can prevent this from occurring by going into your vehicle profile in Torque, scrolling to the bottom and specifying you want to use a particular CAN-bus communication protocol, specifically the ISO 15765-4 CAN (11-Bit 500k baud) option. This way, when Torque loses connection, it will know to try reconnecting using this protocol.