Before the OBD2 scanners were discovered, the mechanics used to listen to the sound of the engine and tell what problem your car was facing. But with the advancement in technology and the creation of a car computer system, things become more complicated, and an OBDII scanner was introduced to help engineers and mechanics to identify faults in the vehicle. Now, scan tools are easy to use. Without advanced knowledge, A typical car owner can diagnosis to find out the car problems.
Read more: Best Sellers in Code Readers & Scan Tools
The best OBD2 scanners on the market do beyond the essential function of reading and erasing trouble codes. They’ll give you not only a wide range of features but also the best quality. When looking for a good OBD2 scan tool, you should look for the most user-friendly, functional code readers that are also reasonably priced.
The range of features offered by an OBD2 scanner varies. You’ll need to decide which features are a priority for you before you make a purchase. For example, if your car is showing a trouble code that is manufacturer specific, you’ll need to buy a car scanner that can read that code.
Hence, we have provided the following list to help you out.
The 10 best OBD2 scanners on the market and are highly appreciated by users.
Image And Name Specifications
Bottom Line User Rating
1.Autel MaxiCOM MK808 -Dimensions : 9.4 x1.4 x 5.9 inches.
Autel MK808 is an automotive diagnostic scanner for professional car enthusiasts and mostly used in car repair shops. 4.3 / 5
2. Launch CRP129 -Dimensions : 7.3 x 4.3 x 1.2″
-Weight : 10.6 ounces
It is definitely a suitable fit for professionals, DIYers, and car owners who have a bit of knowledge regarding the 4 systems (ABS, SRS, Transmission, and Engine). If you are looking for the best code reader for cars then this is an excellent pick.
3.9 / 5
3. Autel Maxisys MS906 -Dimensions : 10 x 1.4 x 6.9 inches
-Weight : 22 pounds
Is a great diagnostic tool for professionals. Its wide vehicle coverage, combined with support for basic and advanced diagnostics, means you can use it as the primary scan tool in an auto shop. 4.3 / 5
4.Autel AutoLink AL319 -Dimensions : 70.9 x 31.5 x 102.4″
-Weight : 2 pounds
If you perform your own vehicle maintenance, basic repairs on your own, or want to save yourself time and money from having the dealership pull your engine codes, you should get the Autolink AL319.
4.4 / 5
5.LAUNCH Creader 4001 -Dimensions : 4.7 x 0.8 x 3 inches
-Weight : 7 ounces
The Launch Creader 4001 is one of the most effective auto diagnosis devices today. It has a variety of features which boost its user-friendliness and it is compatible with a wide variety of vehicles. After buying it, you’ll get to enjoy a manufacturer’s warranty that lasts 1 year and easily accessible customer support too. 4.4 / 5
6.FOXWELL NT301 -Dimensions : 8.7 x 3.1 x 6.7″
-Weight : 1.05 pounds
It is extremely convenient for DIY-ers and home mechanics. But Foxwell NT301 is more complicated than what an ordinary car owner could figure out. 4.3 / 5
7.BAFX Products - Wireless Bluetooth -Dimensions : 2.8 x 1.5 x 1 inches
-Weight : 2.4 ounces
This OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter suited to average car users and beginners as it offers easy setup and user experience and users who want a diagnostics aid that will deliver a good performance. 4.4 / 5
8.BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro -Dimensions : 2.2 x 1.9 x 1 inches
-Weight : 2.08 ounces
Bludriver is excellent for DIYers and average car owners. 4.5 / 5
9.Autel MaxiLink ML619 -Dimensions : 7.3 x 10.2 x 3 inches
-Weight : 1.95 pounds
If you have a vehicle model compatible with this OBDII scan tool and you don’t want to spend too much, then the ML619 is an excellent choice. 4.4 / 5
10.INNOVA 3100j -Dimensions : 12 x 8.5 x 2.5″
-Weight : 1 pounds
However, one undeniable truth about the INNOVA 3100J OBD2 scanner is that it is worth every penny of its price. In short, you will not regret your purchase if this is the best scanner you can afford. 4.2 / 5
Best OBD2 Scanner Review 2019
And now we will go into each tool:
1. Autel MaxiCOM MK808 Diagnostic Scan Tool
Why did you choose Autel MaxiCOM MK808?
This is one of the best OBD2 scanners and has the most comprehensive basic advanced features you’ll find on the market.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 is a perfect choice if you have a small workshop and are looking for a real high performing diagnostic tool for automotive car workshops. It’s probably over the budget of the most home users, and it may be a better choice for a small workshop. It has a lot of functions that the MaxiSys Pro diagnostic scanner have, for 1/4 of the price.
If you are do not want to spend the money on a MaxiSys scanner, but still want a high functional scanner that has the most required functions, the MaxiCom should be your choice because it’s actually a great scanner to purchase if you have a small workshop without a lot of money.
The Autel MaxiCom MK808 can read the most different control units in the most car brands on the market, and you will have the most required coding & programming functions like service light reset, electric parking brake reset, key programming and much more.
You will get a 12-month warranty and 12-month free software updates from Autel. It has a 7″ LED touchscreen with an easy-to-use interface with a performance A9 processor with Android OS.
Pros And Key features
2. Launch CRP129 Code Reader Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Scanner
Why did you choose Launch CRP129 obd2 scanner?
The Launch CRP129 will help you diagnose various car models and models quickly and accurately. Compared to Launch CRP123 it has a few extra features that give you superior user experience and a host of its functions make it flexible.
Whether it’s checking why the check engine light is on or diagnosing your car to know if it will pass the emission readiness, this is a nice affordable Launch scan tool to have.
As compact design makes use and storage to be simple. The large color screen displays all the results and you will have an easy time interpreting them. Additionally, it supports all the 10 test modes of OBD2 and diagnoses 4 systems.
And that important function is the car scan tool CRP129 is compatible with most US, European, and Asian vehicles And that important function ismanufactured from 1996 and newer. It can also be updated over the internet and has a 12-month hassle-free warranty.
Pros And Features
3. Autel Maxisys MS906BT Bluetooth Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Scanner
Why did you choose obd2 scanner?
This is the latest addition to the MaxiSys product line of advanced wireless diagnostic devices.
The Autel Maxisys MS906BT and Maxisys MS906 have the same OBD scanning and testing capabilities. They both support reading/clearing codes, live data, actuation tests, ECU coding, and adaptations. Plus they look a whole lot similar in physical appearance.
The scanner runs on an open-source Android operating system (OS). It also features a powerful Exynos 6-core processor with amazing multitasking abilities. That is why it is very fast to boot up and run scans/tests.
You can use this scan tool for all OE-level OBD2 diagnostic tasks. That includes reading/erasing codes, live data, freeze frame data, active tests, ECU information, matching, adaptation, data logging, ABS Bleeding, Oil Reset, TPMS Programming, and so much more. The Smart AutoVIN technology makes it so easy to identify a car.
As one of the leading professional automotive diagnostic scanners, the MS906BT is compatible with so many car makes and models. You can use it on over 80 brands of US, EU and Asian-made car models with OBD2 systems.
The comprehensive help and support you get when using the Maxisys MS906BT is yet another reason why it qualifies as one of the best professional automotive diagnostic scanners.
Fitted with a Wi-Fi module, you can go online to browse for verified diagnostic and repair tips for any vehicle. Even better, the MaxiFix community (used by Autel customers) is a great platform for getting proven fixes and recommended parts.
In case you need further assistance you can reach the manufacturer directly using interactive data logging. They will give you troubleshooting, diagnostic and repair guide to help you get any job done.
First things first, the MS906BT is well-sized for portability. It measures 25.6 x 16.7 x 7.4 inches and weighs 19.25 pounds. Not so different from a tablet.
As a matter of fact, the 7-inch LED touchscreen will leave you feeling like you are using an ordinary tablet. The 1024 x 768 resolution displays images with unmatched clarity.
Besides that, the built-in lithium-polymer battery allows you up to 14 hours of continuous use without charging. That is a lot more time than you will get in other professional automotive diagnostic scanners.
Finally, the scanner supports USB connection and also features audio and auxiliary connectivity ports.
Pros And Features
4. Autel AutoLink AL319 Engine Fault CAN / OBD2 Code Reader
Why did you choose Autel AutoLink AL319?
The Autel AutoLink AL319 is an awesome and affordable scan tool for the average user. The speed and simplicity of this OBD2 tool will lessen your headache when that nasty Check Engine Light turns on. AL319 can read basic car problems and offer solutions.
The Autel AutoLink AL319 scanner reads and erases your trouble codes within seconds. It turns off your Check Engine light and diagnoses your car problems with the comprehensive DTC library available in this OBD2 scanner. Check codes for both generic (P0, P2, P3, and U1) and manufacturer specific (P1, P3, and U1) problems.
You can view live data as well as freeze frame information. This OBDII code reader even shows you your I/M readiness, emissions test status, PCM data, and vehicle information, including your car’s VIN, CIN, and CVN.
The Autel AL319 can check all this information and more without you having to use any battery or charger. Instead, it has a separate OBD2 cable that gets power straight from your car. Hence, it’s an easy and convenient choice of vehicle code readers.
Furthermore, it’s okay to use for any car manufactured after 1996 or compatible with a 16-pin OBD connector.
Vehicle coverage: The Autel AL319 is compatible with any OBD2 and CAN domestic and imported vehicle. It can be used with many brands. For example, 2012 Fiat 500 POP, 2002 Ford Explorer XLT, and 2006 Audi A4.
The Autel AutoLink AL319 is the best OBD code reader for beginners and domestic car owners. It’s easy to use and has a great user guide complete with detailed illustrations and diagrams. The user guide and language settings on the car scanner are available in English, French, German, and Spanish.
Pros And Features
5. LAUNCH Creader 4001 OBD2 Car Code Reader
Why did you choose to LAUNCH Creader 4001?
LAUNCH Creader 4001 OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Scan Tool Car Code Reader for Turning Off Check Engine Light Reads and Clears Engine Fault Codes
The Launch Creader 4001 is a comprehensive car code reader. By using the Launch Creader 4001, you can check the engine and turn off the check engine light.
Essentially an OBDII code reader, its design can provide a great customer experience. Since it is versatile, the unit can turn off your engine light, capture vehicle data in a free frame, stream data live and give you access to the DTC lookup library.
Generally, this device can fix error codes produced by your engine. In doing so, it turns off the check engine light on your car’s dashboard. In addition to that, it can check the emission status on your vehicle.
This device is able to extract information from your car’s computer system. It can read and clear up diagnostic trouble codes from your engine. The reader can also assess the readiness status of your I/M and stream live engine data.
In addition to decoding vehicle information and displaying it to you, this OBDII code reader can also decode freeze frame data. It also gives you complete access to a DTC lookup library built into it. Thanks to its qualities, the Launch Creader 4001 is a perfect entry-level tool for diagnosing any problems with your car even if you are a beginner.
Pros And Features
2) Clear DTCs
3) Turns off Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL)
4) Read dynamic data streams
5) Read readiness status
6) Read freeze frame data
7) Read pending DTCs
8) Read permanent DTCs
9)Read vehicle information
6. FOXWELL NT301 Professional Enhanced OBDII Code Reader
Why did you choose FOXWELL NT301?
Foxwell follows its reputable scan tools with loaded features including the ability to locate a bad O2 sensor and reset the check engine light.
In addition to that, the user can expect access to enhanced vehicle information, as well as access to emission readiness and onscreen DTC codes.
The smart design with read/erase and I/M readiness hotkeys make this device user-friendly right when you take it out of the package.
Not only will you be able to read/erase codes, but this tool will also show live engine data in either a text display or a graph.
Moreover, with freeze frame data you can read engine specific information like engine temperature, fuel trim and more at the exact moment the MIL turned on.
If this smart tool is not enhanced enough, with the purchase you can expect a lifetime of free upgrades to keep everything running smoothly.
If you are a DIY enthusiast looking for a scan tool that performs better than a basic or entry level scanner at a wonderful price, then the Foxwell NT301 is the ideal diagnostic scanner for you. This device can detect malfunctions on your vehicle and erase them, too. It has an easy to read display screen, clearly labeled buttons, and it is compact in design. Above all, the NT301 is compatible with any vehicle manufactured from 1996 and newer. Get to update the device when you purchase a new car and there is no battery required for it to function. This device will save you cash and time spent visiting a car repair shop. Still, have a question after reading this foxwell nt301 review? Comment below.
Pros And Features
7. BAFX Products – Wireless Bluetooth OBD2
Why did you choose BAFX Products?
This is an easy BAFX 34t5 obd2 Bluetooth tool for scanning vehicle errors, emission tests and it works on most cars from 1996. As the manufacturer claims it’s super easy to setup.
You can use it with your Android phone/tablet or Windows PC using a 3rd party app. Read & Clear diagnostic trouble codes for the check engine light, both generic & manufacturer specific codes.
Get REAL-TIME sensor information right on your phone or another device that is connected via Bluetooth.
Diagnostic Car Scanner & Reader Tool for Android Devices – Read / Clear Your Check Engine Light & So Much More!
The main purpose of this scanning tool is to read OBDII check engine light codes, reset the CEL, Graph sensor readings and prepare emission tests.
The other thing to be aware of if choosing the BAFX OBD2 scanner is that it only works with android or windows based products. It can not be used with any apple or iOS products. This means if you have an iPhone, then this scanner is not for you.
Compatibility – Our OBDII reader will work on all vehicles purchased in the USA model year 1996 or newer; Unlike other OBD2 readers, ours works on all OBD2 protocols including J1850 and CAN
Important, this OBD2 scanner does not read ABS, SRS, TPMS, Oil Change or any other non-OBDII related lights
This is a perfect choice for those who want to use it for their personal needs. It is a handy diagnostic tool for professionals users or expert DIYers.
Pros And Features
8. BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android
Why did you choose BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth?
This is great and can do anything you want. You will have the power of a professional scan tool in your hand and also know that it will be updated regularly.
Bluedriver Professional Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tool is compatible with any OBD2 compliant vehicle.
Read and Clear CEL Codes: Confirmed, Pending, and Permanent for all makes,
Read and Clear Enhanced Codes: e.g. ABS, Airbag, Transmission, etc for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda (available worldwide), as well as BMW, VW, and 2003+ Honda (available in North America),
Repair Reports: Code Definition, Possible Causes, Reported Fixes (Vehicle-specific for each DTC),
Freeze Frame: Vehicle snapshot when a code is stored,
Smog Check: See if the vehicle is ready for a smog test
The Bluetooth code reader also offers enhanced diagnostics as it can perform basic functions and some additional tasks such as Airbag, Climate control, ABS, and much more.
It is also compatible with a wide range of vehicles such as GM, Ford, Nissan, BMW, Honda, Mazda, Toyota, and Volkswagen. Always ensure that it is compatible with your device before buying.
If you own a GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, BMW, Nissan, Honda or Volkswagen, this scan tool will be your engine perfect pair.
The Bluedriver scan tool is specifically built for use on Apple and Android devices.
Besides,The Bluedriver scan tool only supports the Bluedriver App and not any other third-party apps.
Bluedriver Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tool can quickly detect the car’s fault codes and erase them as well. It is a handy diagnostic tool for professionals users or expert DIYers.
Pros And Features
9. Autel MaxiLink ML619 CAN OBD2 Scanner
Why did you choose BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth?
The Autel AL619 is similar to the AL519, except this one can also diagnose ABS / SRS codes.
You can also view the information on the large color screen when it displays the live data, and even freeze the screen so you can analyze the information it provides.
But one of the best things we like about this Autel scanner is the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) Lookup feature.
When the device provides you with either generic or manufacturer specific codes, you can quickly enter the code in the DTC Lookup field and it will give you the definition of the code so you know exactly what the problem is.
Similar to the Autel AL519, the AL619 may not work all newer vehicles as advertised. A careful compatibility check before buying is highly recommended to make sure that the scanner will work well on your vehicles.
However, this could just be an isolated issue that can be fixed with a simple call to Autel customer service.
This Autel scanner displays a lot of the information you need to work on just about any vehicle. Because of that, it’s a quality device for both the average vehicle owners and the mechanic alike.
Mechanics still may want a higher quality one for their main use in the shop, but Autel AL19 is definitely a reliable one to have around.
If you are looking for a top-quality diagnostic tool that can do it all, then the Autel MaxiLink ML619 CAN OBD2 Scanner just might be the best one for you.
Pros And Features
10. Innova 3100j ABS SRS EVAP OBD2 Scanner with Freeze Frame Function
Why did you choose Innova 3100j obd2 scanner?
The Innova 3100j is a great entry-level diagnostic car scan tool. It is an upgrade of the 3100j code reader and has excellent features. This is ideal for people who are looking for a simple but reliable scanner to diagnose their car(s).
If you have the latest car models, you can still use this gadget by updating the device via your PC. At 1.2 pounds and measurements of 10 by 8 by 1.5 inches, this is a compact and lightweight device to have with you. On top of that, the manufacturer provides the user with a one-year warranty.
This scanner is another one that is the perfect size. It is only 1.01 pounds and measures 10 inches x 8 inches x 1.5 inches.
This is a tool that can perform battery and generator tests that show engine conditions such as engine coolant temperature and fuel cut.
This scanner is easy to use and will read the codes fast. The screen is bright but smaller than the Autel.
The display screen is colored and is backlit to offer results in both well lit and poorly lit places.
It also performs an oil reset,the Innova 3100j reads and erases ABS and SRS light error codes.
It functions on all 1996 and newer OBD II SUVs, cars, light trucks, and hybrids, but again it is important to check to make sure it works with your vehicle.
One downside with this scanner though is it runs off batteries and not power from the car.
If you go with the 3100j you get access to customer support, so if you ever have a problem with your scanner, you can get an answer fast.
No matter you are on the way, or in the garage or on the trip, this little handheld tool accompanies you. Simple and super easy to use. saves you the trips to your mechanic, lets you decide if it’s something you can fix or need more advanced help. Save money and time.
Pros And Features
Best OBD2 Scanner Buying Guide
What is OBD Scanner?
Before we get to understanding OBD scanner, let’s do a quick recap of what is OBD. On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) is a diagnostic system found in vehicles. It helps, mechanics and car owners alike, in monitoring and fixing various components of the car.
However, OBD systems on their own can only indicate that there is a problem. For example, if there is an issue in the engine, the OBD system in your car will alert you through the Check Engine Light (CEL). But you won’t be able to figure out the exact problem from just that.
This is where OBD scanners come in. OBD scanners are the tools that help in translating what the OBD system in your car is saying to something that you can understand. The OBD system checks your vehicle and produces specific Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) according to the problem.
Then, the OBD scanner makes it possible for us to read, understand, and act upon these codes. Since there are so many different scanners out there, the scanner’s functions depend on the type of scanner.
Let’s read more about this ahead.
Types of OBD Scanners
When you’re deciding which is the best OBD scanner for you, the number of options you see will leave your head spinning. Once you understand all the different types of OBD scanners, it will be much easier to narrow down your choices.
OBD1 vs OBD2 Scanner: Do I Need OBD1 Scanner or OBD2 Scanner?
In a nutshell, OBD1 is an older diagnostic system, and OBD2 is a more modern, more commonly used, and much better diagnostic system. So, to decide whether you need an OBD1 scanner or OBD2 scanner, you first need to figure which system your car uses. If your vehicle was sold any time from 1996 onwards, it most likely has OBD2 technology.
Therefore, you’ll need an OBD2 scanner. Similarly, If your car was manufactured somewhere between 1991 and 1995, it’ll have OBD1 technology for which you’ll need an OBD1 scanner.
Besides that, there are other differences between the two types of scanners. For instance, OBD1 scanners could only be used for one specific car made by a particular manufacturer. Whereas, OBD2 technology is more standardized so the same scanner can be used for multiple vehicles, regardless of make or manufacturer. Furthermore, OBD2 scanners are more accurate, have more features, and therefore, are more popular.
Types of OBD2 Scanners: Code Reader, DIY Scanner, or Diagnostic Tool?
Now that we’ve established that OBD2 scanners are the better option, we will discuss the different kinds within OBD2 scanners. There are three main kinds: Code Reader, DIY Scanner, and Diagnostic Tool.
1. Code Reader
Code readers is the most basic and popular scanner available. They are relatively cheap, and you can most probably find it at any hardware store. You might have also seen your mechanic using this type of an OBD2 scanner.
For most code reader type scanners, you need to plug them to the OBD2 port. These can perform essential functions like reading and clearing the DTCs. Although there are some code reader scanners which offer some advanced features as well.
2. DIY Scanner
DIY Scanners are a step ahead of Code Readers in terms of features. Moreover, these are more expensive too. They make diagnosing easier as you can not only read and clear codes but also access more information regarding the codes and your car.
With DIY scanners, you can see details behind the codes, DTC definitions, troubleshooting methods, live data about your car, and much more. Furthermore, some of these scanners can be traditional with them having to be plugged during use. But most DIY scanners can be used wirelessly with the help of dongles and dedicated apps.
3. Diagnostic Tool
The Diagnostic Tool scanners are the most advanced OBD2 scanners. They are more powerful and better suited for professional use. Accordingly, these are also the most expensive out of the three scanners.
Some of its features include ECU programming, coding, adaptations, and many more advanced options. Moreover, they allow you to save substantial amounts of data from your car.
Which OBD2 Scanner Type is Best for Me?
Since all three types of OBD2 scanners have different levels of features and functions, it then depends on an individual’s need. Which one proves to be the best OBD2 scanner for you will depend on how you plan to use a scanner, and which features you need. For instance, a code reader would be best for you if you’re looking for something cheap and that can perform essential functions for you.
Similarly, if you’re a home mechanic, and you want more features and secure connectivity, then a DIY Scanner would be perfect. Moreover, if you require a more sophisticated tool, more features than a DIY scanner, and you don’t care about the price, you should take a Professional Diagnostic Tool Scanner.
OBD Scan Tools for Specific Vehicles
Getting an OBD2 scanner specifically for your vehicle will be even better as then you won’t run into any manufacturer specific complications.
BMW Scan Tools:
Some general scanners might not be able to interface with your BMW OBD system completely. So, you will need a BMW-specific OBD2 scanner to avail all of its features.
Audi Scan Tools:
Similar to BMW, Audi OBD systems might not support all OBD2 scanners and will need scanners specially made for Audis.
Ford Scan Tools:
A scanner that is specifically for Ford vehicles will give you much better results and performance than a generic scanner.
Volkswagen Scan Tools: With a Volkswagen scan tool, you can use the scanner with any Volkswagen manufactured from 1996 onwards.
Toyota Scan Tools:
You will find some excellent Toyota scan tools that will give you the most accurate and reliable results when used with a Toyota.
General Motors Scan Tools:
If you use a General Motors-specific OBD2 scanner, there’ll be fewer chances of running into trouble with your scanner.
Heavy-Duty Truck Scan Tools:
Different kinds of vehicles have different problems. Which is why you need a heavy-duty truck scan tool if you own a heavy duty truck.
OBD2 Bluetooth Adapters for iOS, Android, Windows Devices
Another great thing to come out of OBD2 scanners are the Bluetooth adapters. Rather than using traditional cords to connect to the OBD2 system in your car, many OBD2 scanners now come with the option of wireless connection through Bluetooth. You can use these adapters with any Bluetooth compatible device like smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Although, while most OBD2 Bluetooth adapters will be compatible with your car, your phone or laptop might not support all of them. There are some which might only work with Android systems or only Windows operating systems. Similarly, with an iPhone, it’ll be harder to find the right adapter as iOS supports minimal Bluetooth connections.
So, when you’re choosing an OBD2 Bluetooth adapter, you have to check it against the operating system you’re using.
What If I Need an OBD2 Scanner for a Specific System or Diagnostics: ABS, SRS, Engine, Transmission, or Bidirectional Scan Tool?
Something you’ll realize when you’re looking for OBD2 scanners is that there are a lot of them out there. Moreover, all of them have such different features and qualities, that everyone can find something that fits their needs perfectly.
An Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) scan tool is useful for diagnosing when the ABS light turns on due to any problem such as a bad relay. Moreover, Safety Restraint System (SRS) scanners can be helpful when the car detects a problem with the airbags. Similarly, you use Engine Code readers for engine-specific issues or Transmission scanners for checking the transmission.
Furthermore, only some of the OBD2 scanners are bidirectional tools. They allow you not only to read the incoming information from the car but also input information as actions for the vehicle to follow.
Other Things to Consider Before Buying an OBD2 Scanner
After coming this far, it’s crucial to note these few things. Otherwise, all the hard work that you’ve done up till now will go to waste.
The price of these scanners depends on the features it has. You can get basic Code readers with limited features for as low as $10. While professional diagnostic tools with more advanced features can cost you even more than $3000.
Since all new cars come with new features, they also bring with them new problems. Therefore, you need to continually update your scanner so that they can support these changes. Some brands offer free lifetime updates while some charge for it, so you must choose wisely.
Accidents can happen anytime, so it doesn’t hurt to have a 1- or 2-year warranty with your scanner. Ideally, though, you should look for 3-year warranties.
After Sale Service:
Most of the scanners are now becoming more and more complex with much more advanced technology. So, it is best to go for an OBD2 scanner that offers after sales service in case you face any issue with your scanner.
When you’re stuck in the middle of the road and have no idea what your scanner is saying, you’ll need the best tech support to guide you out of the problem.
You must also look at how easily you can contact the scanner’s manufacturer or seller because they’ll be the ones you need to contact if you need any spare parts or extra tools.
This might not be that important if you’re going for a cheap and basic scanner tool. But, if you’re going to spend thousands on a professional diagnostic tool, you need some assurance for refunds if the product is not to your liking.
Best OBD2 Scanner Buying Guide Checklist
We have reached the end of this OBD2 scanner buying guide. Let’s now have a look at what to consider when buying an OBD scanner.
Pick a scanner that is compatible with your vehicle (model, make, fuel type, etc., should be considered).
Most scanners support cars but some may support light and heavy-duty trucks as well.
Also, check for protocols. Most OBD2 scanners cover five OBD2 protocols but some may have support for additional protocols as well.
Also, remember that OBD2 scanners only work with 1996 and beyond models. You will need an OBD1 scanner for older cars.
Pick a scanner keeping your car and requirements in mind. If you are a DIYer and only want to save a little bit of money, you should go for a scanner that offers basic features.
Conversely, if you a machinist or a professional, you should opt for a scanner with advanced features. This will help you save more money and give your vehicle a boost.
Corded scanners have their benefits but Bluetooth scanners are preferred by more people these days.
Bluetooth adapters work better with Android devices and WiFi adapters work better with iOS devices. However, some can support both devices.
Moreover, many adapters also support Windows devices and Bluetooth-enabled laptops.
WiFi adapters are typically more expensive than Bluetooth adapters, but the price usually depends on factors such as warranty, features, etc.
You should ideally pick one that is within your budget. Check out our guide on Best OBD1 Scanners in 2018 for some good OBD1 scanners under your budget.
Note: Buying apps can add to the cost to try to get one that comes with a free app.
Go for a scanner that comes with regular updates to cover more problems. Many scanners offer lifetime software support.
This can be a good option especially because new vehicles come with new problems and only updates can keep you safe.
Some scanners can update online and some need to be connected to a computer. While they both work fine, getting a computer can often be a problem for some users.
Pick a scanner that comes with a warranty so that you do not have to worry about anything in case the scanner doesn’t work or support your vehicle.
Most scanners come with 1-2 year warranty that is typically not extendable.
OBD2 scanners work on apps. Some come with their own app and some supports third-party apps.
You should ideally pick a scanner that has its own app but also supports for third-party apps so that you can decide if you wish to pay for an app or not.
Plus, the features you get also depend on the app that you use, which is why third-party apps can be beneficial.