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0-60 Timer – GPS vs OBD2, Which is Best?

In this article I’ll take you through some testing I did of 0-60 timers. I used the in-built 0-60 timer on the Car Scanner OBD2 code scanner app and compared the results to a Racelogic Performance Box, probably the gold standard manufacturer when it comes to GPS timers.

Short Version

The OBD2 app was within a tenth of a second of the Racelogic Performance Box in acceleration timer mode.

You can assemble everything you need to measure 0-60 times through OBD2 for around 20-30 dollars.

An accurate GPS 0-60 timer is going to come in around $300 for the Racelogic Performance Box and the Dragy Performance Box claims to be accurate down to 0.01 seconds (we haven’t tested these claims) and costs $187.

If you can live with 0.2 second accuracy (at worst), the OBD2 solution looks like the clear winner.

The testing process and results

How I Tested the Accuracy

4 runs were done, each measuring 2 speed segments of 20km/h, for a total of 8 timed segments. Both timers ran simultaneously and recorded the same runs.

I worked on the assumption the Racelogic was the gold standard measuring to a tenth of a second, and the accuracy of the OBD times were judged according to how far the OBD2 times were away from the Racelogic (GPS) times.

The Results

The tables showing the recorded times for both timers can be seen in the video here

The biggest difference between acceleration times was 0.17 seconds. From this I concluded that at worst, the accuracy of the OBD2 timer is within 0.2 seconds of reality, if the GPS 0-60 timer was reading absolutely perfectly.

But is it?

The accuracy of the Racelogic Performance Box could be off by as much as 0.1 seconds due to the fact it uses a 10Hz GPS sensor.

If we decided to take 0.1 seconds off the times with the biggest difference between the two timers ie differences over 0.1 seconds, we may be able to say that the ODB2 scanner can also measure times within a tenth of a second of reality. But this would be specualtion.

To keep things conservative, I’ll say, in my opinion, the OBD2 code scanner app Car Scanner, can measure acceleration times to within 0.2 seconds.

0-60 Timer – Which to Choose?

For a budget option I think the Car Scanner app is the clear winner (if you can live with thought of it being up to 0.17 seconds off the Racelogic). The OBD2 setup is around 6 times cheaper than a Dragy and 10 times cheaper than the Racelogic.

For measurements within a tenth of a second, the Dragy looks to be the choice, faster GPS engine and lower cost and better user interface but I have not tested a Dragy so I can’t confirm it’s accuracy claims. Assuming it does what it says, it gets the nod over the Racelogic.

Find performance parts on ebay

This page was last modified Nov 16, 2023 @ 12:00 am

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