Engine monitoring while towing

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Engine monitoring while towing

Postby Vtec44 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:25 pm

I bought a Veepeak OBDCheck BLE bluetooth device on Amazon and OBD Fusion app for my phone. It's a pretty neat combination to monitor your engine in real time while towing. The transmission oil temperature is actually part of a $50 software upgrade for additional features. All the gauges are customizable with whatever colors, values, and how many gauges you want.

Some pretty interesting statistics regarding oil temperature in various components. I have a 2016 Highlander LE Plus 3.5L V6 with the tow prep package that includes a "larger" radiator, transmission cooler, and wiring for trailer lights.

1. The transmission oil doesn't get above 150F at freeway cruising speed with ambient temperature at about 82F . I have a separate transmission oil cooler. Coolant temperature stays at around 185F while moving at 70mph.
2. I was driving up the mountains about 40 minutes at moderate speed and the transmission temperature got as high as 160F but stays around 155F for most of the drive up.
3. Engine oil and transmission oil are at around the same temperature.
4. Everything got really hot when I stopped at a rest stop, even with coolant fan running. Air flow is kind of important :D

I can use this as a baseline to compare with when I tow my little trailer on both the freeway and up hill in a few months. I thought I'd share this here in case someone may find the info useful. What are people using out there to monitor the towing vehicle?

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Last edited by Vtec44 on Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:23 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Engine monitoring while towing

Postby MtnDon » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:25 pm

Thanks for posting that
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Re: Engine monitoring while towing

Postby rjgimp » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:53 am

Ok... I am very intrigued by those torque and horsepower numbers. I assume that is a snapshot in time of how much of each is being used to propel you down the road.

I have at least three questions:

1) What does your engine produce and at what rpm is the maximum reached?
B) What (if you recall) were the road and weather conditions at the time of this screenshot? I see 82 degrees, but was it dry and calm and were you on level ground?
Fourthly, do you know what your total weight is when hitched up and loaded?

What a fantastic tool! Thanks for sharing. :thumbsup:
-Rob


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just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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Re: Engine monitoring while towing

Postby Vtec44 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:19 am

rjgimp wrote:Ok... I am very intrigued by those torque and horsepower numbers. I assume that is a snapshot in time of how much of each is being used to propel you down the road.

I have at least three questions:

1) What does your engine produce and at what rpm is the maximum reached?
B) What (if you recall) were the road and weather conditions at the time of this screenshot? I see 82 degrees, but was it dry and calm and were you on level ground?
Fourthly, do you know what your total weight is when hitched up and loaded?

What a fantastic tool! Thanks for sharing. :thumbsup:


Yeah, the HP and torque figure is snap shot of that split second that I was cruising down a slight hill.

1. I'm not sure if I understood it right but it's rated for 270hp@6200RPM and 248lb-ft@4700RPM. The max redline looks to be at around 6300RPM.
B. It was sunny and clear at 82F, going slightly down hill. The manufacturer's MPG is rated at 19 city / 25 highway so I was cruising down hill in 6th gear :D

The total weight of the towing vehicle or the trailer? The towing vehicle is about 4250lbs with a payload of 1400lbs and max tow capacity is 5000lbs. The trailer tongue weight is about 280bls at full load. The entire trailer is about 2000lbs fully loaded. Mostly it's just under 1400lbs since I don't always load it to to the max.
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Re: Engine monitoring while towing

Postby rjgimp » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:21 am

Yeah, I could have assumed with the 51+mpg figure you were coasting down a grade. Even my wife's Hummer will get that once in a blue moon! :lol:

The torque number fascinates me. I never would have guessed it would use that much under such conditions. I assume the rpm was fairly low at this point?
-Rob


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just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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Re: Engine monitoring while towing

Postby Vtec44 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:22 am

rjgimp wrote:Yeah, I could have assumed with the 51+mpg figure you were coasting down a grade. Even my wife's Hummer will get that once in a blue moon! :lol:

The torque number fascinates me. I never would have guessed it would use that much under such conditions. I assume the rpm was fairly low at this point?


I think the torque figure was just the amount of torque available from the engine running at that speed at that specific RPM, not necessarily the torque needed to push the car going down hill. Gravity was doing most of the work!! LOL If I remember it correctly 6th gear cruising then the RPM should be just under 2000.
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Re: Engine monitoring while towing

Postby Sparksalot » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:34 am

I use a scangauge on my tow vehicle. It can be configured to display four items. Many more can be monitored, and scrolled through as well.

I’m pretty sure the horsepower figure displayed is simply read from a lookup table based upon rpm and throttle position.
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Re: Engine monitoring while towing

Postby working on it » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:44 pm

Vtec44 wrote:I bought a Veepeak OBDCheck BLE bluetooth device on Amazon and OBD Fusion app for my phone. It's a pretty neat combination to monitor your engine in real time while towing. ... What are people using out there to monitor the towing vehicle?


* I have used two different apps on my Android phone and tablets, Torque Pro and OBDLink, to monitor my '04 Silverado 2500HD when going on trips. I used the Torque Pro running in the background on my tablet (with Google maps in the foreground) on long trips, or used OBDLink on my phone (if only going on familiar shorter hops, not needing the Google maps for GPS use). Either app works well for me, but I've switched between one and the other for specific PIDs and codes I'm scanning for, and such. The OBDLink uses a bluetooth dongle that I can leave plugged-in at camp, while I use a BAFX dongle (must be unplugged) for the Torque Pro app. I think the OBDLink LX dongle might also work with Torque, but I can't remember if I tried that before.

* I bought my first Android phone (Samsung Rugby Pro) in Sept.'13, just so I could use the Torque app (I really liked my 2010 model flip-phone, a Samsung Rugby 2, a non-Android phone, and still keep it charged-up as an emergency back-up, in my truck). When I was using my HHR Panel as a daily driver, with the truck as a back-up for my 120+ mile commute, I had two OBDLink LX dongles in use year-round. But, after retiring, I really haven't driven much at all, and mainly use my Innova 3100i plug-in scan tool for diagnosis at home. The mapping feature of both Android apps is the main usage I have for them now. that and the instant mileage and temperature functions on the truck (it's a worktruck version, that came without a DIC dashboard display). I just now realized that I haven't set up my latest phone (a Samsung S7, acquired two years ago) to run with either app, and have not used them for two years, even on trips.
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Re: Engine monitoring while towing

Postby Tyrtill » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:01 am

I've been using a TrekPow ELM 327 Bluetooth 4.0 with my iphone using the car scanner app (I bought the pro version for $3 but the free version was pretty good).

The adapter is probably the same as [url]https://www.amazon.com/SAVFY-Bluetooth-Scanner-Adapter-Diagnostic-Tool/dp/B07PVNTC2J/[/url

The pro version of the app looks for "non continuous monitors" which allowed me to add misfire monitors to my honda. Also if you know the PID you can manually enter a new one. This allowed me to add transmission temperature to my Honda.

I've been very happy with both considering I paid less than $15 for the software and the bluetooth unit.
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Re: Engine monitoring while towing

Postby gudmund » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:23 pm

still loving my Scanguage, even after over 15+ years of use - should say Scanguage's, being I now have two of them - one in each vehicle !!! The one feature I really like is the 'speed' feature being it can be adjusted up/down for a speedometer that is not close, I have slightly oversized tires on my PU and it reads slow (reads 97/98 miles driven ever 100 miles traveled) and this along with living close to 'Canadian' land where they use Km's, it is 'SO' nice to be able to change from miles to Km's when crossing north over the 'line'..... so much easier to read the Scanguage than the 'tiny' printed Km's on the speedometer (and to think this speedometer on this PU used read out in -large- print 'Kil-o-meter's being this PU started life as a 'Canadian' before it was 're-patriot-ed' back to the states where it had been assembled (Louisiana) when new - 12 GMC Canyon - sold new in Alberta - than BC, now makes it's home in Washington)
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