Cable Extender

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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It is becoming obvious that the Automatic Link sticks out in awkward places on some cars, a problem that is both a safety issue and an aesthetic one. I'm not happy having something solid pointed at my shinbone. How about an extender cable that would plug into the OBD port and provide a 12-18 inch "leash" permitting the Link itself to be positioned flat under the dash panel or elsewhere, perhaps using Velcro? Maybe such an extender cable already exists for use by technicians accessing the OBD port? Do we have a mechanic on board who might know about such things?
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Brian Weiss

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Posted 5 years ago

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Brian Weiss

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I'll reply to myself. A quick search shows that there are a HUGE number of 16-pin OBD-2 female-to-male cable extenders out there. Now it's a matter of finding one that isn't TOO long, and that is as thin as possible. Looking. This does NOT negate the suggestion that Automatic create its own cable that is short, flat, and could be purchased at the same time as the device.
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Amy

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If you find a good contender, please be sure to share it here!
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Justin Pirie

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Yeah- I really think you should be shipping with one of these because the cables are in really bad places...
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Spike

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I purchased a 1-meter cable from Amazon. One end is a 90, so it tucks away from the port and hides when driving. I had enough room to tuck it up under the dash, and it works just fine.
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Brian Weiss

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Spike: Can you post which one you purchased? Amazon offered several when I checked last night.
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Spike

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Sure... sorry I didn't put it in the original.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007...
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Brian Weiss

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Thanks Spike. And for those who might be interested, I purchased a shorter version (30cm, about a foot) from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/OBD-II-Female-E.... The one Spike got is 100cm, or a little over three feet. Depends on how far away you want/need to put it.
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Ken Hames

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I found this Low Profile one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E...
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Bob_M

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Need a fix for a bad Link install location.


I have just installed the link into my 2004 YukonXL. The port is located just above the parking break pedal. It will be snapped off the next time I set this break because I will forget its there!
What I need is an "extension cable" that will let me relocate the Link over a few inches. Is there such a cable available?
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gamassey

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How will an extension cable affect the ability of the unit to stay plugged in during a collision? It seems that unless the unit is firmly secured to the underside of the dash it will come loose if a significant impact occurs.
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Amy

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That's a great question and we're concerned about that. We don't know but our prediction is that it will affect the effectiveness of Crash Alert. This is why we don't officially support the use of extension cables yet.
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dianebrat

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Keep in mind that many cars that have a small door covering the ODB connector also have the connector in a bracket that you can disconnect it from.

In the case of my Ford Focus, you open the door, squeeze the sides of the ODB-II connector and it pops out, then you plug in the Link and can place it to the side.
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Mark DeHate

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I just want to elaborate a tiny bit on this for the sake of future searchers - my 2013 Ford Focus works the same as described here. Squeeze two white connectors on the port itself, and push *in* to release the cable from its bracket. Then you can attach the Link to the now-free cable, and you're good to go - no extenders necessary. Hooray!
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Kathi

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I ordered an extender for my 2016 Kia Soul OBD port, hoping that I would be able to use it to stick the Link through the hole of the OBD panel door; however, it still did not fit. Thanks to the postings regarding the ability to release the port from its bracket, we were able to make this happen. The link is now plugged directly into the OBD port and just sits behind the bracket now, enabling me to replace the door to cover the ugly, wire-showing hole and keep the Link safely out of the way!
(Edited)
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Bob_M

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I just ordered a 30 cm cable per above to fix my problem. It is far more likely my Link module will be broken by stepping on the parking break than coming off a reasonably secured cable extension in a crash.

Thanks Spike and Brian Weiss for your posts
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Amy

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I'm glad you found a solution. I hope it works for you. Let us know! :)
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burdell1

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Do you have a link for it? This sounds like a good one to buy (since it is only 30cm)
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Alex Sarver

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
2013 Ford Focus.


The link sticks out of the plug for the on board computer and now the door will not close. Any ideas what to do or am I out of luck?
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Andy Vazquez

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I'm having the same issue on my 2014 Focus 
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Tom, Former Employee

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Hi Andy. The location of the OBD-III port varies from vehicle, and unfortunately the Link sticks out on some cars. Some folks use an extension cable to alleviate this issue, but keep in mind that using these accessories is not officially supported. Using a cable extension can also impact the performance of Crash Alert.

Here's a link to a related discussion on the 2014 Ford Focus more specifically.
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ryanjgeorge

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2009 BMW 335xi here.

I'm having the same problem as many of you, such that my ODB-II port is precariously placed in the way of swinging feet upon entering and exiting the car. The port cover even had a swipe of dirt/mud on it when I took it off to install the Link... so I know that I will accidentally kick the thing at some point.

I'm concerned partly about damage to the Link, but mostly about damage to the ODB-II port itself. I would imagine that it would be costly if the port is damaged, especially on a BMW. :(

I don't really like the idea of an extension cable... but it's better than plugging it in the way it is now (see screenshot). With an extension cable, the ODB-II port is still exposed to hazards and the elements... and there's the question of where you put the cabling and the Link itself to keep it protected and looking good. There's a possibility, with a right-angle connector, that I could run an extension cable inside some of the trim pieces and inside my dash... but... that's a pain, and I'd probably end up breaking some of the clips on the trim pieces. And, I don't think the intent is to make the Link a permanent fixture in the car.

As far as it coming loose from the extension cable during an impact... I don't think that'd be an issue, especially if you wrap it in some electrical tape or something. I wouldn't hide the thing inside my dashboard without securing it with tape first. I'd imagine it would come loose easier from the stationary port, than from a flexible cable (again, especially after you wrap it in some electrical tape to hold it to the end of the cable)

I contacted Automatic, and suggested that they redesign the Link hardware. I'm reminded of the old Nintendo cartridges... I'm sure it's mostly air inside. Consider the size of some of the new bluetooth dongles and USB flash drives... they could probably get a pretty low-profile design, maybe even enough to get the ODB-II port cover back in place. I was told that there is no plan of making the Link any smaller, and that I should see this thread for more information.

Is anyone with me? I'm confident that they could have a smaller device, and still be able to put their hexagonal logo on the top, rather than the side... and not divert us to a thread discussing the purchase of generic extension cables that Automatic doesn't officially support. (Read: they can blame the cable if anything goes wrong)

I'm thinking about driving with the device for a few days to see if it was worth my cost of admission... and then returning it. I'll wait for a low profile version. I'm not sure if I want something that will chirp at me when I go 5mph over the speed limit, anyway. [Insert joke about how I already have a device like that... called 'my wife']

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Amy

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Hi ryanjgeorge. I'm sorry that you're unhappy with the current Link design. Please understand that there are plans for future versions of the Link (that I can't go in to) that affect the size it needs to be. If we could do what we want to do, maintain structural integrity AND make it tiny, we would happily do that. We know that for some cars the OBD port is inconvenient to impossible to have a device plugged in full time. We wish that was not the case but unfortunately, car manufacturers have quite a bit of wiggle room with where they can choose to put the port.

I'm not sure if you've wound up keeping yours but if you have I'd be curious to know how it's worked out for you.
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Justin Pirie

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I've just fitted the cable I ordered on Amazon- it has sorted out this location problem entirely for me on my 2004 BMW X5.

It's not that pretty, but works really well!

I used duct tape to stick it to the car so it won't rattle.

I think net-net, these cables are super cheap in China and should be included with the Automatic, since so many cars have very awkward OBD ports.
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Ani, Customer Care Lead

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Woah, awesome! Glad to hear you found a solution! Duct tape really does fix everything.
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Anthony Carandang

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http://www.amazon.com/OBD-II-Female-E...

They have a shorter one but I can't find the link. I had to tape mine too so it won't move around too much and get disconnected.
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Bryce Dreiling

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Odb adapter.

Is it ok to use an ODB extension adapter with Automatic? I ask because the placement of the ODB port + Automatic link on my Mustang isn't the greatest for my big feet and the clutch of my car. Last night my giant foot whacked the adapter when I was driving and a little bit after that Automatic thought I was in a wreck and almost called 911! Luckily I caught the warning on my iPhone first and told it I was ok and not in a wreck haha

I've seen male to female ODB extension cables on Amazon but I wanted to make sure it was ok first before jumping in and buying it.

Thanks for the advice!

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Tom, Former Employee

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Hi Bryce! I merged your post into a related discussion on cable extenders. We don't officially support extenders, but some folks use them with the known limitations. The reason why they aren't supported is that extension cables can impact the performance of Crash Alert (ha). If the adapter isn't firmly secured, Crash Alert may be falsely triggered.
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Michael Johnson

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Volvo S70. Port is under the center consol/arm rest. Can't close with Automatic installed. I ordered this cable.

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Amy

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Let us know how it goes for you. We can't guarantee that everything will work properly but I hope it does! I know there are some cars that put their OBD ports in the most inconvenient spots.

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