AlfaOBD Review: Is It Worth It?

AlfaOBD Review: Is It Worth It?

Being able to monitor and test your car’s diagnostics via your phone is a great way to make looking after your car a much smoother experience.

There are many apps out there that essentially turn your phone into a scanning device. One of them is AlfaOBD, which caters to a range of vehicles that are often difficult to find scanners for. 

What is AlfaOBD? This is an app that’s used for cars produced by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It’s a great tool to help you find out what could be wrong with your car and if it needs repairs.

However, it’s important to know you will need an adapter in order to use AlfaOBD. Here’s your AlfaOBD review so you can find out if it’s right for you. 

What Functions Does AlfaOBD Have? 

What Functions Does AlfaOBD Have?

When we talk about apps that can monitor your car for problems, it’s good to know that they come with various features.

  • AlfaOBD is considered to be a top-quality app because it offers car owners features that they don’t always manage to find if they happen to own a car such as a Lancia or Alfa Romeo, for example.
  • There are various things you can do with AlfaOBD software. Here’s a general outline of what you can expect from this car-scanning app. 
  • You can monitor the parameters of the dash, code, engine, ABS, gearbox, and much more, which we’ll get to later in this review.
  • You can read static data, such as fault codes and the system status. This will help you to diagnose problems in your car and maintain it better.
  • You can also clear fault codes and keep monitoring the system for any new faults that come up. This is a great way to nip any problems in the bud before they become costly and stressful.
  • Even if you don’t want all the advanced features of the app, or you feel that it’s too complicated for you, you can still make use of the error codes and clear them, so this is a valuable tool for car owners.

AlfaOBD: What Are Its Pros And Cons?

AlfaOBD: What Are Its Pros And Cons?

Now that we’ve looked at the basics of AlfaOBD, let’s check out some of its pros and cons.

This will give you a clear picture of AlfaOBDs best features and potential drawbacks of which you should be aware before you purchase this app to scan your car.

Pros

  • AlfaOBD is compatible with cars produced by Fiat Chrysler automobiles. These include Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and Lancia cars, provided that they were made during the period of 1994 to 2017. It’s also compatible with Chrysler, Ram, Jeep, and Dodge cars that were made between the years 2005 and 2017. 
  • While this software has been designed for car owners, it offers you many features that you can find in professional car scanning devices. AlfaOBD works with Electronic Control Units that are found in Fiat Chrysler vehicles. In this way, it varies from other diagnostic applications because it’s not generic. 
  • It’s compatible with both Android and Windows PC devices.
  • It allows you to diagnose and configure procedures for equipment that’s controlled by the gearbox, engine, body computer, climate control, code control, airbag, instrument panel, ABS, air conditioning, and other systems.
  • You’ll be able to do a variety of tasks with this app, such as an engine oil change and service light reset, as well as electronic key and RF remote control programming.
  • When you purchase AlfaOBD, you’ll have to pay a one-time fee of $49.00. While that might sound like a lot of money, the good news is that all future updates on the software are included in this price. On Windows PC, the price for this app is $56.70 to download and future updates are also included. You can also transfer the license to another PC without having to pay a fee, so that’s a nice bonus.
  • You can view a complete list of compatible devices to use with this software on the AlfaOBD website. This helps as it will prevent you from trying to use a device that won’t work. For example, you’ll see that if you have an Alfa Romeo, you will need to get a special adapter so that the software will be able to communicate with the car’s CAN Bus network. Having this information at your fingertips is valuable since some car diagnostic tools throw consumers into the deep end.
  • The AlfaOBD software requires an adapter, as we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, but it will connect to a range of connectors or interfaces. This makes it quite versatile.
  • When you start using the software, you’ll see a list of faults that come up immediately. The screen will also display information about how the engine is being monitored without delay.
  • You will be able to view the data in graph format, which makes it more user-friendly. 
  • You’ll be able to save the data. On the Android app, you’ll conveniently be able to upload your information and settings directly to your Google Drive account.  

Cons

Now, what about AlfaOBD’s cons? 

  • AlfaOBD is not compatible with iOS at this time. This is unfortunate, especially because most apps that you can use to scan your car can work with iOS devices.
  • When downloading and installing the software on your PC, you will receive a license activation email within an hour after making your purchase. Having to wait up to an hour can feel like quite a long time, especially if you’re raring to use the app!
  • While the AlfaOBD website does have a lot of in-depth information about how the app works and what you need to know about it, as we mentioned earlier, it does feel dated and doesn’t look very appealing.
  • A word of warning: the system doesn’t give you a chance to return to your previous settings so make sure that you note everything you’ve changed and test your changes as you do them to ensure that you’re happy with them otherwise you might regret it.
  • While you will be able to make use of a free trial of the software, you will be limited to certain functions in that trial. Basically, you’ll only be able to test your adapter and see what features you’ll be able to access with the full version. You won’t be able to test or change any settings, which is unfortunate because this won’t give you a proper test run of the software before you commit to purchasing it.
  • Although you can do many things with AlfaOBD, you won’t be able to disable the “stop/start” feature on your car.
  • Starting out with using this software can be a bit overwhelming at first, so you will have to experiment a bit and take a look around so that you can get used to it. The website instructions will help you, though, so take the time to read and work through them. 

Is There Anything Else To Know About AlfaOBD?

Is There Anything Else To Know About AlfaOBD?

Before you go ahead and purchase AlfaOBD, it’s good to know some technical aspects so that they don’t get in your way later.

  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has installed security gateway modules on some of their car models that were made in 2018, and this prevents diagnostics from being used on those cars. This does not come with a software solution, but a hardware bypass module will need to be followed to override the system so that you can use the software. This requires additional purchases, such as a device that you can use to bypass the security system. 
  • If you own an Alfa Romeo Giulia/Stelvio, Fiat 500X/Toro/Jeep Renegade/Compass (MP), you will need to ensure that the bypass is compatible with the second high-speed CAN bus that’s connected to the pins numbered 12 and 13 on your car’s OBD port.

So, Is AlfaOBD Worth It For You?

So, Is AlfaOBD Worth It For You?

After learning about the pros and cons of this car diagnostic software, it’s clear to see that there might be some immediate deal breakers which will prevent you from being able to use the software.

For starters, if you own an iOS device, you won’t be able to use AlfaOBD. Similarly, you need a certain kind of vehicle otherwise AlfaOBD won’t work since it’s not a universal diagnostic tool.

In case you don’t know, there are many OBD2 scanners out there that are universal and will cater to a wider range of vehicles, so one of those might be a better fit for you if your vehicle is incompatible with AlfaOBD.

If you’re interested in such devices, you can find the best OBD2 scanners on the market by reading our buying guide, “Best OBD2 Scanner For The Money.”

Now, it’s worth noting that if you do have an Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Ram, or other AlfaOBD-compatible car, choosing this diagnostic software is definitely worth it.

This is because it will be able to scan your car much more comprehensively than what you’ll usually find with other, more standard, scanning tools.

If you’re battling with a specific feature or component of your car, this software will be able to help you monitor and diagnose problems with it, but it offers a large variety of functions that every car owner will be able to enjoy – and without having to pay a lot of money for them. 

The truth is that some car-scanning apps provide you with free and paid versions, but sometimes you’ll have to deal with in-app purchases that can just bump up their costs.

With AlfaOBD you only need to pay to purchase the software and then you’re good to go. You won’t need to worry about other costs along the way.

That said, depending on the type of vehicle you have, you might need a security bypass device. This will obviously come at an additional cost, but hopefully you won’t need one for your specific car.

The good thing is that, even though the AlfaOBD software seems to be a bit overwhelming, the website does offer you lots of comprehensive information.

You just need to take the time to go through it so that you know exactly what you need in order to start using and enjoying it.

So, whether or not you use AlfaOBD really comes down to how much knowledge you have with OBD2 scanners and if you’re a DIY mechanic in your spare time.

If you’re interested in learning about all the components of your car and being able to find and fix problems with them, then AlfaOBD will be valuable software to own.

If you want a more universal, quick, and easy app that won’t result in you having to jump through a few hoops to ensure you have everything you need, then maybe it won’t feel worth it for you. 

Related Questions

What’s the AlfaOBD customer service like?

WHAT’S THE ALFAOBD CUSTOMER SERVICE LIKE?

People who have purchased this app have reported that the customer support is very helpful.

Is AlfaOBD good when used on RAM vehicles?

People have reported that it works well on RAM vehicles, however, it’s essential to read the RAM Forum so that you can get a wealth of information about using this app on your car.  

Conclusion 

While you might not be sure if AlfaOBD is right for you, it’s clear to see that it’s a great way to monitor and diagnose your car as it offers a comprehensive range of features, provided you have a compatible vehicle.

In this AlfaOBD review, we’ve looked at its various pros and cons, and what you need to know before you go ahead and purchase it.

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AlfaOBD Review: Is It Worth It? 1

Christopher McKellar

Christopher McKellar has spent so many years dealing with OBD scanners that he has established himself as an OBD scanner expert. This guy talks about OBD scanners at length, explaining everything you want to know. At CarInformant, Christopher will be the chief of OBD scanner guides, buying guides, and other information regarding these small devices. Rest assured, you can count on his insightful ideas in this subject domain, thanks to the decades of experience and the hours he spends on contemporary research. For a guy that spends more time with cars than his family, we think our blog has become a great place to share all his awesome ideas.