DANGER ALERT - OBD Insurance Monitors

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Hey guys
This week I have had three vehicles roll though the shop with ABS, Instrument panel issues and one lit up like a Christmas tree.

All three of these vehicles were Dodges, one a 2005 Sprinter.
In each case they had what we would call an OBD2 fault recorder, but this thing is a recording device plugged into the OBD2 diagnostic socket insurance companies to gauge your driving habits promising it seems lower premiums.

So far State Farm & Progressive are the clowns seemingly pedaling this idea, and all I can tell you is that in the case of a Sprinter and Dodge Durango it corrupted the Becm modules and the instrument clusters. So beware if these company's start mentioning it.

After fixing the Sprinter I felt like drop kicking the stupid thing like a good Auzzie No Rules Fooball player over the shop fence. Crooked the whole vehicle!
Expensive repair.
Beware Dennis
 

wshtb

Member
Did it cause any real damage? Or is it a simple case of unplugging that thing?

Since you said "Expensive repair", I assume something actually get damaged because of it? Curious to know and thanks for the head up.
 

pgr

Active member
Anyone who would consider installing one of these to possibly save a few $ is out of their mind! Does anyone really believe the insurance companies have our best interests at hand?:idunno:
 

Oilburner

2004 2500 140"cargo l/r
If someone will ask me to install this, I will have ready answer: Give me this gadget and now- bend over! :laughing:
 

showkey

Well-known member
Class action against an insurance company (especially State Farm) for damage their device caused.............NOW that's one I could support:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:


And normally do not like class actions :cheers:
 

mugget

Member
So I am guessing that somehow these "recorders" actually modify the vehicle electronics? No other way it could cause those problems. Or is it something else to do with having it plugged into the OBD2 port long-term? I'd hope not otherwise everyone using the ScanGauge and other bluetooth adapters would have serious problems as well??
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Well guys here's my observations on this thing.

The unit is modifiable enough by individuals for starters to "fool" insurance company's data, so it begs the question are these devices cleared and passed off for your particular vehicle.

In the case of the Sprinter & the speedo instrument cluster, it took out the electronics and with the device removed from the OBD2 port the whole area was dead, plug it back in and the system was operative but the ABS wng light was illuminated; the reason why the van rolled in originally.

We had to replace and program in a used instrument pane; the bill was just shy of $1700.

I the case of the Dodge Durango, the whole instrument panel was dead , and no communication with the engine PCM either with the device installed or removed. The guages would only work with the device plugged in. We discoved the unit when we did a cursory scan to check for fault codes and ABS reported brake related issues by the customer.

This particular customer just elected to leave the device in place so that his gauges would work. Guys was pissed since there were no issues with the truck before he plugged it in.

So beware!
P.S
In fact insurance companys are getting a bit too big for their breaches!
Recently an aqaintance told me he signed up for some new household property insurance and the said insurance company did a surprise un-announced physical inspection of the said property.
Because he has a wrecking yard he just happened to have his vicious yard dog in the back yard all pissed off having had some sort of vet surgery under sedation. The bloke walked into the back yard only to be attacked --yes by the junk yard dog getting over the the drugs to keep it sedated.---Well guess what??? They cancelled is policy and now he can't get coverage by anyone! Surpise surprise!
Dennis
 

L8RSK8R

2006 2.7 Mercedes 2500
I have a GPS tracker installed (OBD port) in my Sprinter. No issues to report, hard to live without it in my business.
 

Attachments

smiller

2008 View J (2007 NCV3 3500)
The circumstantial evidence seems to be strong, but hard to believe that the device would actually try to write anything back to the vehicle..?
 

Rensho

Member
I've had the Progressive ODB plug in mine for 5 months. No issues to report. Just sent it back to them. Got a 8% discount for using it.
 

Ivessm

2005 140 HighTop Pass
Rensho,

Was that 8% discount an overall discount or just a discount on certain coverage's. I'll bet it was just a discount on certain coverage's rather than over all.

For you benefit I hope it was over-all.

stew
 

Rensho

Member
Rensho,

Was that 8% discount an overall discount or just a discount on certain coverage's. I'll bet it was just a discount on certain coverage's rather than over all.

For you benefit I hope it was over-all.

stew
I had one for this and one for the Audi a4. I got 8% off total rate for van, and 9% for the audi.

The audi we hardly drove, and the van we put 8000mi in 3 months.
 

K-9 SPRINTER

Well-known member
P.S
In fact insurance companys are getting a bit too big for their breaches!
Recently an aqaintance told me he signed up for some new household property insurance and the said insurance company did a surprise un-announced physical inspection of the said property.
Because he has a wrecking yard he just happened to have his vicious yard dog in the back yard all pissed off having had some sort of vet surgery under sedation. The bloke walked into the back yard only to be attacked --yes by the junk yard dog getting over the the drugs to keep it sedated.---Well guess what??? They cancelled is policy and now he can't get coverage by anyone! Surpise surprise!
Dennis
Good for the insurance company. Why should the insurance company be liable, due to the negligence of the owner of the vicious, uncontained dog. What if a young child had strolled in unannounced ?

also... its idiots like that owner, that get breeds like bulldogs, rottweilers, pits, dobermanns and other breeds, bad names and banned on other peoples homeowners insurance policies
 
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johnshmit

Well-known member
The circumstantial evidence seems to be strong, but hard to believe that the device would actually try to write anything back to the vehicle..?
In order to read something, device has to negotiate a protocol and send a pid. That is writing.
Some protocols have 0-12v levels, some 0-5v. If stupid device continuously trying to use ISO 9141-2 0-12v over CAN 0-5v to get a speed and don't take no as an answer, it will eventually overheat and burn poor thing.
 

Premier Sprinter

Premier Sprinter
Almost every fleet that I have maintained has had OBD GPS systems. The only one which had any problems were the ones which had them wired directly into the K40/SAM. They were using low amperage signaling wires to perform functions in the alarm portion of the unit. The SAM was getting crossed signals and strange things happened. The ABS module took the biggest hit. At first, it seemed fried as it would not take software. After SCN coding the EZS to relearn it's build specs, all affected modules took new software and functioned fine after removing the alarm/gps units. The biggest give away that this problem was going on was an ABS and traction control light which would come on at random, including coming on for 10-15 seconds after every time you cleared faults. I can't remember the exact faults that came up but I know that some were for variant coding.
 

Landyacht

New member
Love the dog stories but I'll ease us back on topic :rolleyes: ....... I resent the whole insc co bamboozle of a full-time driving monitor and suspect that, as was stated, their reader/transmitters are not designed to function perfectly on EVERY car out there.

Considering that, should I be concerned about my OBD port or electronical dash wonderment and ECM if I leave my full-time blue-tooth OBD reader plugged in for my Android realtime Torque app??

The set of completely incompetent gauges in this '08 Sprinter cab has been one of my MAJOR gripes that the Torque display seems to solve really well. I had a ScanII that was also a permanent plug-in unit but these Torque app gauges on my dash mounted 7"tablet are light years better in graphics, versatility and detail. Please don't send me back to the land of idiot lights for gauges but I need to protect my fussy d**! Sprinter at all costs. :yell:

Thanks, Mike
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...

Considering that, should I be concerned about my OBD port or electronical dash wonderment and ECM if I leave my full-time blue-tooth OBD reader plugged in for my Android realtime Torque app??

...

Thanks, Mike
The published literature by Mercedes regarding aftermarket OBDII monitor units is to absolutely not use them at all.

That said, there are are many members who leave their Scangauge II, Ultrgauage, and other aftermarket performance monitor devices plugged in all the time. I don't recall many (any?) threads here blaming that habit for damage to the modules. Added: Except for the insurance monitors in this thread.

Personally I would never leave any aftermarket performance monitor device plugged in if taking the vehicle in for dealership service. It might evoke a response similar to waving a red flag (or any other color) in front of a bull. Once they log that fact into your vehicle service history... Please, not on my permanent record!... it may be used against you in the future as to warranty issues.

vic
 

MCOSprinter

New member
As far as what exactly these units do. It's a tiny tracker that uses gps and cell towers to transmit data of your location. It's big brother selling your habits for a profit. I'll pass.
 

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