Espar Diagnostic tool

Kiltym

'05 Westy
I was/am having some issues with the Sprinter espar heater under the hood. In trying to diagnose the issue I ordered an Autel AP200 OBD device that many folks over on the T1N forum have used and praised. Here is a link to what I bought:


The tool was able to connect and read the Sprinter Espar as I assumed it would based on folk's posts on the T1N forum. However, I was curious if it would also read our Westy Espar since the iCarsoft MB-II is reported to do so. And surprise, it does.

I am able to connect to the Westy Espar, view live data, view codes, and erase codes. I did not have any codes, so that part was not very exciting, but I am able to monitor some live data of the unit while it is running (also can do all the same to the Sprinter Espar, which does have codes for me :)).

Here are some screenshots. The adapter is only like $60, so seems worth the price for insight into the heaters (as well as the rest of the Sprinter).
 

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mogul2us

Member
This just plugs into the vehicle OBD port?

No issues now, but maybe in the future, and I'm thinking it might be worth it to have one of these, especially if it can clear error codes.

Thanks,
mogul2us
 

onemanvan

Active member
Yes, just into the OBD port. Connects to your phone via Bluetooth.
I have an OBDLink MX Bluetooth OBD-II Automotive Scan Tool which comes with the OBDlink app

Also works with FORScan, Carista, Torque, DashCommand, AlfaOBD, BimmerCode and dozens of other apps

I can imagine that since your scan tool & the iCarsoft are compatible with our heaters then perhaps mine is too.

I'm wondering if compatibility is hardware or software dependent.

In other words maybe any scan tool will work if it's running the right software ( app ).
 

onemanvan

Active member
Update on my experience with bluetooth OBD scan tools.
I plugged my OBDLink MX scan tool in for the first time in about 6 years - very frustrating!
Had a lot of trouble connecting my android phone via bluetooth to the scan tool using the OBDLink app.
Could not connect at all using the Torque app.

The OBDLink app could only read and display a VERY LIMITED amount of information - RPM, engine coolant temp, just basic stuff.

Looked at the Autel app on google play store - downloaded the app to my android phone and it crashed as soon as I started it.
Looked at the reviews on the google play store and everyone who has upgraded to android 11 reports the same issue.
Apparently users had the same issue when their android phone upgraded to version 10.
Bad reviews for autel app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.autel.maxiap200.autelap&hl=en_US&gl=US

I'm beginning to think maybe it's not such a good idea to use an android phone as an interface to a bluetooth OBD scan tool.
Every time your phones operating system is upgraded you're dependent on the scan tool vendor to upgrade their software.
With something like an iCarsoft the interface is hardwired to the OBD port - which eliminates the cell phone software upgrade issues...
 

Kiltym

'05 Westy
Bummer, but I would assume the apps will get updated fairly quickly since everyone will be moved onto Android 11 over time. I think my phone is still running 10, and I had no issues. I agree, being independent of a phone has its advantages, but the interface on the phone is typically a bit easier to deal with. And Autel has some nice features like recording live data over time, and saving code reports to view later.
 

mogul2us

Member
Well, I got this and have a couple questions that you may be able to help with please:
1) Did you use the vehicle "Dodge" or "Benz Sprinter"
2) Was it necessary to download additional "sub-apps" to get the Espar readouts?

Many thanks,
mogul2us
 

Kiltym

'05 Westy
I would take a look at this thread: https://sprinter-source.com/forums/index.php?threads/77100/

Pretty sure it's Benz Sprinter.

It tells what brand/model car to download and what options to select to get into our Sprinter. The Autel app did download a second app as part of the Sprinter/Benz selection, but I only use the main one. I assume it is utilized as needed by the main app. Have not tried using the second app directly.

The heater has to be on in order for the Autel to see it. This is true for the Sprinter Espar as well.

And I had some hiccup if I read codes on the heater, then tried to view live data it did not work quite right. I just backed out of the page, then clicked on the heater again, and went straight to live data and it works fine.
 
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onemanvan

Active member
Bummer, but I would assume the apps will get updated fairly quickly since everyone will be moved onto Android 11 over time. I think my phone is still running 10, and I had no issues. I agree, being independent of a phone has its advantages, but the interface on the phone is typically a bit easier to deal with. And Autel has some nice features like recording live data over time, and saving code reports to view later.
Today I checked the status of the "Autel MaxiAP200" app on the Google Play Store and it indicated an update was available for Android 11
I downloaded the update and now the app runs OK without crashing.
So you were correct in predicting that Autel would provide an update for Android 11 fairly quickly:)
 

onemanvan

Active member
I already noticed one thing about the app that concerns me.
Maybe I'm missing something - but it would appear that you must have internet access to login to the app.
So if you break down out in the boonies - with no cellular data - the AP200 will be useless...
 

onemanvan

Active member
I already noticed one thing about the app that concerns me.
Maybe I'm missing something - but it would appear that you must have internet access to login to the app.
So if you break down out in the boonies - with no cellular data - the AP200 will be useless...
Guess I've answered my own question...

I was reluctant to purchase one of these given the possibility that it would not work unless it had internet access.
That concern was based on testing the the app prior to purchasing and configuring an AP200 dongle.
Also another user/poster said something that suggested an internet connection was required.


Nevertheless I purchased an AP200, set everything up, tested it in 'airplane' mode and it works OK without internet access.

So yeah - I was missing something IE: the dongle - duh...

Internet access is required during the initial registration and setup phase but thereafter only for software updates.

IE: Once the dongle is setup you don't have to login to the app with username/password.

Thanks to Kiltym for discovering and sharing this scanner option for our Westies.

All things considered - at this time - it seems to offer the most bang for the buck.
 

Kiltym

'05 Westy
You beat me to it. Was going to try in Airplane mode and report back. Would have been a bummer if it needed internet at all times, so glad it doesn't!
 

onemanvan

Active member
I can confirm the AP200 can read airtronic codes and clear them.

As a test I unplugged the glow pin from the ECU.

PXL_20201025_191920574.jpg

And got a corresponding fault code.

Screenshot_20201025-121724.jpg

And I was able to erase the code.
 

Kiltym

'05 Westy
And it will clear a lock out.

We were at 5000ft and I was too lazy to switch my normal pump out to the high alt pump. Ran the heater, and it would overheat and stop. Did this a few times as we needed some spurts of heat.

Now back at 1800ft, tried the heater. Nothing. Plugged in the Autel, had two codes, one for overheat, and one for too many attempts. Cleared the codes and the heater started right up.

Now will change back to the high alt pump which has worked fine for us at all elevations.
 

onemanvan

Active member
Over the years many people have inquired about how to read and clear codes for the Westy Espar D4 Airtronic heater.
I believe this thread answers that question and deserves to be made 'sticky' - does anyone know who can do that?
 

mogul2us

Member
If you get one of these for your Westy Sprinter (and it does seem to work), be sure to put the vehicle in as Benz - Sprinter. If you use Dodge - Sprinter it will not work. I found out the hard way so now I have to resubscribe to the Benz - Sprinter vehicle every year for $20. Autel claims they can't change it. Still probably worth it.

mogul2us
 

Camp

Sprinter Westfalia
Amazon has the Autel AP200 as a Cyber Monday deal with 20% off for Prime members. Has the "lowest price in 30 days" notification for the current price of $55.96. CamelCamelCamel seems to back this up.
 

mrweenus

05 Westy
For those interested, the hyper tough, HT200 (from Walmart) is just a rebranded AT200 (branded for Amazon). HT200 is available typically in store and only goes for $50. Definitely the cheaper option of the two.
 

mrweenus

05 Westy
did you all who have the ability to read the ZHE-L_Auxiliery Heater warm air have the standard ECU that comes from Westy? I can't get mine to communicate with that device, but wierdly I am able to read codes and see live data on the under the hood Espar heater.

My heater stopped working - starts up and blows white smoke, cycling through two start attempts and then shuts down. It had done this to me about a month ago (received the van with a broken heater) and i replaced the atomizer and switched out to the high altitude pump (live in Denver) and started working for me. Then a few trips ago, it ran at its lowest setting for the entire night, never got into the high heat boost mode like normal. I again tried replacing atomizer screen and doing a better job cleaning out the journal area but no success. Was hoping to read codes with one of these devices but no such luck and not quiet sure where to take it to get serviced.
 

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