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Remote vehicle diagnostics - OBD2 remote access technology

Helga York Helga York Jan 21, 2022

It’s no secret that to get the most out of your vehicle, you shouldn’t forget to service it regularly. Sometimes, however, your car may stop functioning properly when you least expect it even if you do your best to keep it in top condition. Luckily, you don’t need to figure out how to fix all issues by yourself. You can delegate this task to a service center where a fault code from your car will be read and analyzed by a competent mechanic.

Contents:

  1. Remote OBD diagnostics issue
  2. Remote vehicle diagnostics with FlexiHub
  3. Benefits of remote fleet diagnostics
  4. Frequently asked questions about remote car diagnostics

Numerous fault codes are intended to indicate issues in new-day vehicles. This undoubtedly makes things easier for both car owners and service specialists. By generating fault codes, specialized hardware controllers working with the engine, transmission, and other vital vehicle components are telling what is wrong with the car and helping identify the issue without much of a hassle.

OBD scanner

But what if you had no possibility to take your car directly to the service location? Could the fault codes be scanned and analyzed from a remote place? Sure. This is what is called remote vehicle diagnostics. Below we are taking a closer look at how it works and which benefits it brings to its users.

Network technology for remote access to vehicle scanning tools

In contrast to on-site vehicle diagnostics, remote car service does not require any equipment and experts to be present locally.

By using a dedicated software application - FlexiHub, a technician can get the required data from the malfunctioning vehicle over the internet.

The app provides the ability to receive OBD fault codes and sensor data remotely like there was a direct physical connection to the scan tools.

Capable of redirecting data over the network, FlexiHub enables communications between the technician's diagnostics software and remote testing equipment attached directly to the car.

The implementation of remote diagnostics in a vehicle has a range of clear benefits, including significantly reduced service costs, saved time, and a high level of flexibility for service specialists that can perform vehicle inspection virtually from anywhere.

Remote OBD diagnostics with FlexiHub
30-day demo period

To run FlexiHub-based OBD2 vehicle diagnostics, you will need:

  • A car scanner hardware (that is going to be connected to the car directly);
  • A laptop with fast internet access on the client side;
  • A laptop or a desktop with internet access on the technician side (where vehicle diagnostic software to read and interpret remote car data is installed).

Setting up a network communication for remote
car diagnostics with FlexiHub

Here are a few steps to follow to establish a connection to remote vehicle testing tools using the FlexiHub software:
1
Create a FlexiHub account and start your free 7-day demo.
 FlexiHub account
2
Install the FlexiHub desktop app on both the client’s and the technician's computers.
 desktop app
3
On the client side, connect an OBD2 hardware scanner directly to the car and to the laptop with FlexiHub installed. Start the app and log into your account.
 OBD2 hardware scanner
4
On the technician’s side, start FlexiHub and log into the same account. The remote scanner will be shown in the software interface with the Connect button next to its name. Click this button to get remote access to the device.

That’s it! Now you can use your specialized vehicle diagnostic software to work with the remote OBD scanner as though it were physically attached to your machine.

OBD diagnostics with FlexiHub - use cases

1. We rely on FlexiHub specifically for remote access to program client vehicles from our location. On a rare occasion, we ran into issues where both users had good data transfer speeds on the internet network but the USB device was transmitting very low speeds & would not ping.

To eliminate the latency issues, we deployed the FlexiHub Private Tunnel Server. Now we use this solution on a regular basis as it lets us provide remote assistance worldwide without any delays.

Automotive company owner

2. We have 10 server computers running different car manufacturer OEM applications. We also have 5 laptops/tablets in the field with USB ports to connect to cars that are used to send the data from cars to the OEM app computers for diagnostics, etc.

Thanks to FlexiHub, we managed to receive USB signals on the 10 OEM app computers from the remote laptops and tablets in the field regardless of how far they are located physically.

Store chain owner

3. I was in the process of creating my machine repair business on-site and needed a software tool to connect to my customers' USBs remotely. I didn’t want to share a USB but connect to my clients' ones. I opted for FlexiHub to get remote access to USB interface boxes and now I can perform customer troubleshooting over the internet.

Technical director at automotive company

4. The diagnostic program we rely on is installed on one of the computers in our central office. We have several service centers countrywide. Coming to the remote centers, customer cars are connected to our laptops via USB ports. With the help of FlexiHub, the data we receive from the cars are then transmitted to the diagnostics computer over the internet connection.

VAG Coding Specialist

5. We supply GPS tracking units to school buses and wanted to reprogram such units remotely by connecting them to a laptop or/and an Android device and then sharing it with our office engineer. We were planning on using the cell phone connection for that. So far FlexiHub works perfectly well and allows us to automate the workflow as much as possible.

CEO of Transportation company

Selecting a subscription plan that fits your service center needs

Once your FlexiHub demo period is over, you will be offered to select a suitable subscription plan. Depending on your business needs, you can choose between Personal, Business, and Team subscriptions.

When it comes to remote OBD diagnostic service, PAYG-based FlexiHub for Business and subscription-based FlexiHub for Teams seem to be the best of available options.

With the Business Plan, you can purchase a package of Sessions (one-time connections to remote OBD2 devices) and use the FlexiHub Service until your Sessions end up.

The Team Plan will let you create a dedicated account for a team of technicians that will be able to establish an unlimited number of Sessions with client devices during the selected subscription period.

Run vehicle diagnostics remotely
30-day demo period

Here’s how the two plans differ:

Team Business
Number of computers Unlimited Unlimited
Number of concurrent remote connections 10+ Unlimited
Number of Sessions Unlimited 100/200/300
Billing model Monthly Prepaid

Benefits of remote fleet diagnostics

  1. 1
    Improved fleet productivity

    A vehicle waiting in a repair shop seems to be a nightmare for any truck company owner. Unable to deliver cargo to the required location and pick up a new one, a truck that has broken down on the road can lead to financial and reputational losses.

    Instead, preventing vehicles from failing by using remote diagnostics tools will eliminate the truck downtime problems, increase productivity, and save your company significant time and money.
    diagnostics tools

  2. 2
    Saving costs on vehicle repairs

    Another benefit you get if performing remote vehicle diagnostics is reduced repair costs due to timely car inspections and maintenance. It is much cheaper to identify and fix a small problem immediately than wait until it causes a breakdown and the car will require a softly and time-consuming repair.
  3. 3
    Centralized car management

    Being one-by-one with the issue, the driver may lack the qualification or experience to make the best decision concerning the vehicle repair. By sending car data to the administrator for in-depth analysis, the remote fleet management system may help to find the best solution and determine whether the car needs immediate servicing or it may wait for some time.
  4. 4
    Overcoming distance limitations

    Even if the truck is in another country or in another part of the world, you can still be aware of its condition and provide immediate assistance when needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Remote vehicle diagnostics is a process of collecting data from in-vehicle sensors and measuring devices in order to process it on a remote computer without a physical connection to the vehicle.
Remote fleet management means keeping track of trucks conditions remotely using dedicated software with remote access capabilities. With a fleet remote diagnostics system, mechanics can receive data from vehicles no matter their physical location, analyze it and provide recommendations on the resolution of possible issues.
Vehicle to Network (V2N) makes it easy to set up communication between cars, trucks, buses, etc., and a centralized management system utilizing dedicated servers to send warnings about current accidents, traffic jams, or any other useful information.
Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) is an information exchange between a vehicle and any object, subject, or system that may interact with it in any way. The concept includes such ideas as vehicle-to-network, vehicle-to-cloud, vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-pedestrian, etc.
Vehicle-to-Cloud (V2C) involves the implementation of cloud technologies for remote vehicle diagnostics via IoT. V2C connectivity allows diagnosing car issues, optimizing performance, and scheduling routine maintenance with the help of cloud-based applications and software.