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What is ELM327?

We’re not “ELM327”, and you shouldn’t trust anyone who falsely claims to be.

The real ELM327 was an automotive interface chip from the now-defunct Elm Electronics company, which offered a simple and powerful command set for computers and smartphones to communicate with OBD-II equipped automobiles. It became extremely popular, and the defacto standard for many OBD-enabled apps, leading various other OBD interface manufacturers to implement the ELM327 command set as well.

However, the bottom end of the OBD interface market has become absolutely flooded with cheap and problematic devices, often also misrepresenting themselves as simply being “ELM327”, as if that is their brand or model name. These tarnish the ELM327’s otherwise good name, and make it very important that buyers do their research. We have found such devices to be made up of various different components and quality, despite often appearing visually identical from the outside, making it hard to know if you’re getting a “good” one or total junk. While some of these even do seem to work, the performance has generally been quite poor, many misrepresent their capabilities and have broken or incomplete ELM327 command set implementations, typically have little to no wireless security, may drain your car’s battery if left plugged in, and reliability has been questionable at best.

We strongly recommend avoiding any complete device representing its brand or model name as “ELM327”, as these are almost certainly fakes. The real ELM327 chip did not have Bluetooth or WiFi in it, and would have instead been one of many components inside a quality device, which would have its own brand and product name. With Elm Electronics closed down, we wouldn’t even expect to find many of those anymore.

What you want to look for is a reputable OBD device that is “ELM327 Compatible”, that has its own brand name and identity, from a real company that you trust.

To that end, we designed DauntlessOBD to provide superior quality, performance, security, and innovation. We’re a US-based business that loves cars and motorsports, and have invested extensive time and effort into developing an extremely complete and compatible ELM327 command set implementation for today’s CAN-based vehicles, while also innovating beyond that, using quality components and designs, intelligent power saving logic, secured wireless pairing, offering our own app to get you started, and more.

When you get tired of gambling on low-end knock-offs claiming to be “ELM327”, we’d love to earn your business.

DauntlessOBD Info