About Motor Pulse
After plugging into the OBD-II port in seconds and pairing with your iOS or Android smartphone, the Motor Pulse device promises to provide real-time diagnostic reporting about precisely what's wrong with your car.
This way, they advertise you can stop getting ripped off on car repairs, save time and money, and eliminate the unknown. In fact, we’re told it features the same technology used by professional mechanics, so you can clear the diagnostic codes yourself, without having to visit the dealer.
Finally, if Motor Pulse learns that you need work, the commercial advertises it will provide repair estimates whether you own a car, truck, or RV, and whether it runs on gasoline or diesel.
Seeing a check engine or other mysterious light appear on your console can be intimidating. How will you figure out what’s wrong? How can you ensure you won’t pay too much?
But can you expect Motor Pulse to deliver on all the claims made in its commercial? And if so, are there other brands you should consider during your research? Let’s help you find some actionable answers by looking at the underlying technology.
The Basics of How OBD-II Scanners Work
Since 1997, all cars sold in the United States are required to feature an onboard diagnostics II (or ODB-II, for short) port, which MakeUseOf.com explains, “is a sort of computer which monitors emissions, mileage, speed, and other useful data.”
Its “primary method of alerting the driver to any problems with the vehicle’s performance is via the Check Engine light. When this comes on, there’s the potential for serious damage to your vehicle, and drivers are recommended to take their car to a mechanic immediately.”
Specifically, the website reports that OBD-II ports store Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC), which in years past were only accessible through a mechanic using highly specialized equipment. However, inexpensive ‘scanners’ like Motor Pulse are readily available in today’s marketplace, which allow consumers to access and translate these DTCs into actionable information.
Many of these devices also allow consumers to turn off their annoying check engine light.
Just keep in mind that while devices like Motor Pulse promise to provide a roundabout estimate of any repairs (as well as clear your check engine light, if you choose), there’s no guarantee these estimates are accurate for your specific market. Also, clearing an error doesn’t mean that the underlying problem has been repaired.
We’ll discuss more factors to keep in mind when shopping for an OBD-II scanner soon. For now, let’s quickly address the price and the device’s manufacturer.
How Much Does Motor Pulse Cost?
One Motor Pulse OBD-II scanner is priced at $39.99, plus $8.99 S&H. During checkout, you can purchase a second device for an additional $8.99 fee.
All Motor Pulses come with a full 60-day money back guarantee, less S&H and any fees associated with the BOGO offer. To request one, support can be reached at 888-596-2546 or customerservice@InvenTel.tv.
Next, let’s find out who you’ll be contacting.
Who Manufactures Motor Pulse?
Motor Pulse is brought to you by Inventel Products, LLC, a company who’s based out of Rockaway, NJ and has been manufacturing products like HD Mirror Cam, Square Copper Pan Pro, HD Free TV Antenna, and Liberty Lantern (to name just a few random examples) since 2010.
From a customer satisfaction standpoint, Inventel held a D rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on 39 customer reviews and more than 360 closed complaints, as of 6/22/18.
Although a company representative responded in many instances, most of these referenced product quality and customer support concerns.
Are There Other OBD-II Code Readers & Scanners Like Motor Pulse?
A quick online search for variations of terms like ‘ODB-II scanner app,’ ‘ODB-II reader,’ and ‘smartphone OBD2 code scanner’ will reveal hundreds of potential options.
Related Article Avoid Mechanic Rip-Offs With These 7 Expert Tips
Focusing on marketplaces like Google Shopping and Amazon at the time of our research, we encountered many different devices that promised to provide the same ease of use, app functionality across iOS and Android devices, and repair estimates as Motor Pulse. Some of the top results included:
- MicroTech 4.0 Car Scanner, $25
- XTOOL Bluetooth OBDII OBD2 Car Diagnostic Scanner, $34
- BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional Obd-II Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android, $100
- FIXD OBD-II Active Car Health Monitor, $60
- LYL Super Mini Wireless Wi-Fi OBDII Diagnostic Scanner for iPhone iPad iPod, $60
- Veepeak Mini Wi-Fi OBD2 Scanner Adapter for iOS and Android, $70
And this is to say nothing of fully connected OBD-II-based systems like Hum by Verizon ($120 retail; $60 w/a contract, $5/mo for 24 mos.), Automatic, Vinli, and OnStar & RemoteLink that offer additional benefits (outside of simple diagnostics) like emergency roadside assistance, navigation, security tracking, and even Wi-Fi hotspots.
Given all your options and available price points, where can you start?
YouCanic.com explains that you should begin by understanding what basic OBD-II code readers and scanners (the general class that Motor Pulse seems to belong to) can and cannot do. For example, they report these devices are typically useful for reading fault codes, determining why the check engine light is on, erasing check engine codes, and displaying live sensor data from the ECU.
On the other hand, they report these devices aren’t suitable if you’re looking to access other modules, read codes from secondary systems (ABS, SRS, transmission, etc.), troubleshoot the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), or to enter customized programming or coding.
Outside of these considerations, Youcanic.om indicates that choosing the best option might largely come down to price:
“These scanners cost as little as $15 USD. We also have seen basic OBD2 scanners priced over $100 at local auto parts stores. There is no need to spend $100 for a basic OBD2 scanner. To read and clear Check Engine Light and Service Engine Soon light a $15 OBD2 scanner will get the job done. The more expensive OBD2 scanners may show you live oxygen sensor data, intake air temperature, and a few other parameters.”
From there, like any other consumer purchase, you’ll want to dig deeper into the details of any models that make your short list.
Do they come with mostly positive online customer feedback? Does the company seem to have a generally good online reputation? What you read from other customers could be a good indication of what you might experience after handing over your hard-earned money.
Should You Place an Order for Motor Pulse?
In the end, the HighYa team’s goal is to present you with the relevant details about a product or service and leave the final decision up to you. In other words, our goal is to help you make a more informed decision—not to tell you how to spend your money.
With this in mind, Motor Pulse comes from a popular As Seen on TV company with several years in business, and who stands behind their OBD-II reader with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. As such, you might not have much more to lose than return S&H charges—as well as any fees associated with the BOGO offer—if you decide to give it a try and end up dissatisfied.
But, at nearly $40, it’s important to point out that Motor Pulse is priced meaningfully higher than many other app-connected OB2 scanner competitors.