A lot of times, when the ‘check engine’ light on the dashboard starts blinking, people are not aware of what problem or issue in the car can cause the light to pop up.
This is when a Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner (OBD2) come in handy.
If you are having a problem with your car, you can use diagnostic scanners to run diagnostic tests that will help you identify your car’s problem and provide you with other information as well.
To maintain the efficiency of your car for a long time, you are supposed to get your car regularly maintained. This can be accomplished by having a good automotive diagnostic scanner that will enable to find the faults and issues in your car as soon as possible.
Buying this device is a big investment as having it by your side helps you save money and time that is needed to take the car to the mechanic.
The market is saturated with a number of simple and advanced diagnostic scanners that are available in different brands and models. Since you have such a huge variety to choose from, picking the best diagnostic scanner can be a little complicated.
To narrow down your choices and educate you about the important features that a diagnostic scanner is supposed to have, we have reviewed the 10 best automotive diagnostic scanners available in the market. A buying guide is also included below for your help.
10 Best OBD2 Scanner Reviews 2021
We have carefully selected and reviewed the top 10 automotive scanners that are present in the market these days. The pros and the cons of each product are also mentioned below.
|Autel Maxi Link ML619||Cable||Yes|
|Launch CPR 129||Cable||Yes|
|Autel Maxisys Pro||Cable/Bluetooth||ABS|
|Foxwell NT624 PRO||Cable||Yes|
|Kitbest OBD2 Scanner||Bluetooth||No|
1. Autel Maxi Link ML619 – Best OBD2 Scanner 2021 ( Our Pick)
Autel is quite popular among the producers of automotive diagnostic tools. This company has a huge number of consumers from all over the world that believe in the expertise and the security that Autel brings to its buyers.
Other than providing great quality, Autel also offers its products at an affordable price.
If your car was manufactured after 1996, then the Autel Maxi Link is a great choice, as this device is compatible with any car model and brand that was manufactured after 1996.
Since this device works with a huge range of car models and brands, we will shorten the list and mention a few of the car brands that the Autel Maxi works with: MW, Toyota, Subaru, Honda, Ford F150, Citroen, Land rover, Chrysler, Gm, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oeugeot anf Jagugar.
The device has a sturdy built and comes in a gray and black body. The device can fit into your hand easily and is super easy to use. It has a screen and two operative buttons. Like all OBD2 scanners, this one also connects to an OB2D diagnostic post.
You can also print the information via a computer, reset monitors and clear codes. In the package, other than the Auto Maxilink device you are also provided a main cable, 16 Gb micro SD card for information storage, a user manual and reference guide as well as a protective nylon casing.
Even though it is a great device, it still has had some negative reviews and rating by customers in the past. It is recommended that before you purchase the device, you test it out with your car and see if it functions properly with your car model before you pay for it.
Overall, the ML619 is a great device that can help you perform basic diagnostic tests and present live graph data. It can be used to provide you with a full overview of the cars sensors and overall system.
- It is compatible with a large number of car brands and models
- Multilingual interface
- Provides Live data stream
- It can be difficult to update the device
- Flawed car model support
2. Innova 3040e – Great OBD2 Scanner For Ford F150
Innova is another very popular and well know manufacturer that manufactures high quality equipment’s for automobiles. If you are looking for a reliable, high quality code reader then the Innova 3010e diagnostic code reader is a great choice.
The device is very lightweight and weighs only 8 ounces. It has an ergonomic design with a compact and modern look. It also comes with a large, backlit, colored display.
The display is simple, clear and easy to read. This brilliant interface enables you to read or delete codes and perform different functions effortlessly and quickly.
The device can be used with all OBD2 vehicles. To name a few brands, you can read and erase trouble codes on Toyota, Honda, GM, ALL Ford vehicles, and Chrysler. Other functions like resetting oil service light and solving check light warming problems can be done on any car model that has been manufactured after 1996.
Live stream information is very critical in this line of items. With Innova 3040e, you are able to access your vehicle’s execution as you drive.
The gadget will update you with data, for example, the value of emissions, and detailed readings that appear to be excessively difficult to comprehend if you aren’t a vehicle technician as fuel trim and engine coolant. You can catch the readings with freeze data option and read it later as well.
Furthermore, if you are having any problem with this device or have any questions regarding the device, you can get help from the company’s multilingual Customer Support facility. You can contact certified technicians that are available for your help and queries six days a week.
You also get a one-year warranty with the device.
Now let’s have a look at the few downsides of this device, the first one being that up till now this software does not work with Windows 10. It is not compatible with vehicles manufactured before 1996 and it has been reported by the costumers that the length of the stock cable is very short in size and it would be better if the device came with an extension cord.
Overall, with a reliable performance, strong LCD and quick response time, this device is a good choice and is worth the money you’ll pay for it.
- Features a large LCD screen
- Comes with a one year warranty
- Verified quality manufacturer
- Does not work with all vehicles
- Short stock cable
- Not compactable with all pc platforms
3. Launch CPR 129 – Awesome OBDII Scanner For European Cars
The company has numerous buyers from all over the world that believe in the reliability of their items and the high quality of products they offer.
As long as you have this item in your car tools box, you can easily monitor all the problems and issues your car might have when the ‘check engine’ light is flashing.
As for the Launch CPR 129 OBD 2 code reader, it comes with an OBD 2 cable, USB cable and user’s manual alongside the main device itself. The device has a very smooth and modern design and it comes in a red and black combination color with a 4-inch true color screen.
It has a LED status indicator and is equipped with a complete personalized functions menu.
The device is compatible with a huge number of car brands and models manufactured in Asia, USA and Europe. It is also compatible with a variety of 12V diesel vehicles.
Weighing only 1.65 pounds, the device is super light. It measures 5.9 x 1.3 x 2.4 and can comfortably fit into the size of your hand. The device supports four car systems: automatic transmission, Engine, Airbag and Anti-lock braking system. Additionally, it can also be used to reset the steering angle reset, oil light and electronic parking brakes.
Live data can be recorded, save and played for up to 8 hours. You can access the data in graph format as well.
Furthermore, this device can also be used to run carbon canister and oxygen sensor tests. It can read and erase trouble codes, erase the previous settings after the setting of the steering wheel has been set and can be updated to the latest software to ensure its compatibility with the latest technology.
If any issue appears while driving, you can run diagnostics as you drive.
Let’s have a look at the downsides of this tool. Costumers have often had a problem with the updates in the past because you do not get a software CD with the device. In order to use the device, the software has to be downloaded.
But if we look at the numerous features that the device offers, we can easily say that the product is worth the price. Overall, the device is durable, has a lot of features, is flexible and is reliable as well.
- The device covers 40 brands
- It has a multilingual interface
- Has a large 4 inch display
- Has a solid build and design
- Problems with updating
- Many counterfeits on the market
- It is not compatible with Mac
4. BlueDriver OBDII Scan Tool – Best Bluetooth Diagnostic Scanner Under $100
This device comes with a very unique design and since it is wireless and connects to your device via Bluetooth connection, it does not require any cables in order to function properly.
All you need to do to use this device is to plug it into the OBD2 port in your car and the rest of the work can be done from your computer, phone or tablet. The BlueDriver app can be run on android devices and IOS.
It provides you with complete information regarding your car and allows you to export the result as a file as well. You can set up an update plan at a specific mileage or time period, for example, 5000 miles or a half year or for instance.
It also shows you almost all of the vehicle’s specifications such as vehicle type, production sequel no, model and trim level. etc.
One of the downsides of this device is that it is not compatible with Windows Phone. Fact readings are provided but the Bluetooth connection is not reliable.
One of the biggest issues that costumers have faced is that all the data is lost as soon as the device locks or goes in sleep mode.
This can be quite frustrating especially if you are tracking live data. The device at times also shows error while connecting to Volvos and VW Gold, hence it is recommended that you test the device with your vehicle before you pay for it.
Overall, this device is a great tool that comes with a wide range of features that are reliable and efficient. The best feature of this device is that it is small in size and does not require cables to function. The device is affordable and with the feature it follows, the minor shortcomings can be ignored to some extent.
- It is lightweight and small in size
- Since it is wireless, no cables are required
- Available at an affordable price
- It is not compatible with windows phone
- Trouble working with Volvo and VW vehicles
- The Bluetooth connection can be unstable at times
5. Innova 3160g – Best OBD2 Scanner With Live Data
The device has a unique design resembling the design of a walkie talkie.
It comes with a 3.5 color screen, weighing only 1.35 pounds and measuring 10.2 x 8.2 x 1.5 inches the device is very light weight and comfortable in size.
The device can read various OBD2 as well as OBD1 vehicles that have been manufactured between the year 1981 to 1995. It allows you to detect problems related to the engine, SRS lights, and ABS.
Obtaining information related to the vehicle problems is really easy and quick. All the user has to do is fit the scanner, run a scan and the results get displayed on the screen accurately and quickly.
The results can be stored and printed from your computer. Most of the other scanners that are available at this price in the market do not allow you to save data and other previous tests. However, this feature is available on this device.
In short, this device is quite easy to use, is reliable and supports both OBD2 and OBD1 vehicles. It has a good battery time and is capable of performing all functions that a good automotive scanner is supposed to. Hence, this product is a decent choice among the variety of automotive scanner present in the market.
- Supports OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles
- Has a live stream view that records data in real-time
- Works with any car foreign or domestic
- Long-lasting battery up to 8 hours
- Has a detachable cable to allow replacement in case of damage
- Instructions for functions are not provided with the device and need to be downloaded.
- It cannot program vehicles
6. Autel Maxisys Pro MS908P – Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner
It has an extensive system coverage and can diagnose vehicles from over 80 different manufacturers.
The device has an impressive battery life. It comes with 11000 mAh battery life that can last for up to 8 hours. Most of the other models that come at this price do not offer such a good battery life. The device weighs 22.4 pounds and measures 0.1 x 0.5 x 0.3 inches in size.
The device features auto VIN technology that enables easy extraction of car’s information from specific systems. Furthermore, if you need previous data that might be need for car service or repair you can retrieve the data management system of the device.
As a result of the cloud-based support team of this device, the problems and issues in your car get fixed in no time. The information about the repair and the overall diagnosis procedure can easily and quickly be accessed from the database.
Once you have access to the vehicle analysis, you can also print the results through your computer. This allows you to keep a record of the analysis in hard copy. If you encounter any issues with the device or have any questions or queries you can contact the Autel customer support.
Overall, this scanner is good at the job it was made to do. It provides accurate results, is compact and reliable and that is pretty much everything you need from an automotive scanner.
- It has comprehensive OE-Level diagnostic & services
- Comes with advanced ECU coding and programming for pro tools.
- Easily print data via Windows-based PC or Wi-Fi Printer
- It can display DTC description and data values
- It can reprogram vehicle
- Comes with Smart AutoVIN technology for quick and exact identification of vehicles in one touch
- May not suitable for mechanics without advanced knowledge
- It is on the pricey side
7. Autel Maxisys MS906 – Best Lightweight OBD2 Scanner For Toyota
If you are looking for a professional automotive scanner that offers a number of features and is compatible with a wide range of vehicle models and brands, then you might consider looking into Maxisys MS906.
This device is a better and updated version of Autel DS708 and DS808 and it includes more features that work well with the latest technology and the latest vehicles.
The device is also equipped with auto VIN tech that allows it to run a scan to identify, gather the information regarding the vehicle and run diagnostic tests on systems of the car.
The MS906 is capable of performing complete OBD2 functions such as reading, erasing and storing codes. It also provides live data view, adaptations, actuation tests and much more.
The best part about this device is that it is compatible with a huge range of vehicles. It supports over 8- different brands of such as Lexus, Bugatti, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Land Rover, Hyundai, Ford f150 and many others.
Other than running diagnostic tests this device also enables you to print out the reports through your laptop or PC. This is very useful as you will have the complete reports and information regarding the vehicle to show to a customer or car technician later on.
A few problems regarding this device are that since this device is a Chinese model, therefore it’s parts and servicing is not available in the USA. So, in case you have a problem with the device or you need its spare parts then you will have to get them shipped from China. Luckily, this device comes with a 1 year warranty which should get you sorted.
Another downside of this device is that it does not support OBD1 vehicles, hence if you own an OBD1 vehicle as well you will need to get a separate scanner for that. Also, for some users the battery life is not sufficient, and they need to recharge the device after just a few hours of use.
Overall, this device doesn’t have any big issues, just a few minor ones. Considering the performance and its features, this device is a pretty great choice among the many automotive scanners available in the market.
- Online Electronic Control Unit coding
- The scanner comes with AutoVIN technology
- The in built battery helps device for a long time
- High resolution and High hardware configuration
- Codes are difficult to understand
- Recharging the battery of the scanner takes time
- Price of this product is quite high
8. Autel Maxidas DS808 – Best OBD2 Scanner With ABS
The Autel Maxidas is another addition to our top choices for affordable professional automotive scanners. This device like all other automotive scanners is manufactured to perform functions such as key coding, EPB service, ECU coding and ABS/SRS service.
Weighing 1.74 pounds and measuring 9.4 x 1.4 x 5.9 inches the device is light weight and the size allows it to comfortably sit in the size of your hand.
The device has been manufactured with diversified power options and the scanner has a very good screen layout.
The reports of the car system analysis are saved to the 32 Gb internal memory of the device. If you have access to Wi-Fi you can send these reports to the customer and also get the reports printed via your laptop or computer. Exportation of the reports is easy since they are saved in PDF form.
Furthermore, if you are having any problem or issue about the device you can contact the Autel support team to get your queries answered by professional technicians.
Overall, this is a basic and simple to use automotive scanner that can be a good long-term investment for you.
- Complete capabilities for codes, active test, live data , ECU information, matching, adaptation, etc.
- Smart AutoVIN technology for identifying vehicles easily
- Exceptional OEM manufacturer-level system coverage for all electronic systems
- Other than the basics, the manufacturer manual does not provide much information
9. Foxwell NT624 PRO – Best OBD2 Scanner For Home Mechanic
If you are searching for an OBD2 scanner that is compact, reliable and easy to use then this might be a great choice. The device works well with both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles that have been manufactured between 1996 till this day.
The device can be used with over 61 different brands and models of vehicles from all over the world and combability is not a problem while utilizing this device. For mechanics that work with various car models on daily basis, this tool is very helpful.
You can get free software updates for life from Foxwell. These updates ensure that the device is compatible with the latest technology.
Overall, this device is very reliable and is a great choice for professionals.
- Compatible with almost all OBD II cars, light-duty trucks, minivans, SUVs that have been manufactured after 1996
- Free software updates for life
- Data is recorded in real time through live stream view
- Reads/clears codes and turns off MILs of all systems
- Support all 10 OBDII test modes, like sensor test, live data, component test, o2 sensor test and more
- Retrieves ECU information
- It cannot program vehicles
10. Kitbest OBD2 Scanner – Best Android Diagnostic Scanner
This is an ideal cheap scanner for you if you own a tablet or an android phone. Other than being affordable, this device is also efficient and reliable.
The device is compatible with almost all vehicles that have been manufactured after 1996 onwards. The device ensures that users do not face pre-emission testing issues with their vehicles, which is quite common.
Overall, this device is really simple and easy to use, comes at an affordable price and is efficient, so if you are concerned about spending too much bucks on an OBD2 scanner, then you can get this one as it will fulfill your car needs.
- It is compact and lightweight
- It comes in a simple design
- You can easily checks and clears codes
- Is only on when the car is powered for safety
- It provides slow readings
Buying Guide – How to Buy Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner in 2020
It is better to properly research on an item you are planning to invest in. As far as automotive scanners are concerned, these devices come with a number of features.
However, there are a few features that should be present in every basic automotive scanner. Let’s look at the important features of automotive scanner you should know.
A lot of diagnostic scanners come with a one or two-year warranty. This ensures that you will be on the safe side if you encounter a problem or issue in the device. It is always better to buy a scanner that offers a warranty.
Also, try to buy a scanner that will receive complete upgrades and has the availability of accessories in your area.
Before you plan to buy a diagnostic scanner, you need to know what kind of diagnostic results you need from your car. You should know whether you need the diagnostic scanner just for diagnostics or for repair as well.
Every scanner has a specific and different purpose. If you are a car technician or work in a garage you might need a diagnostic scanner that is compatible with a wide range of vehicles, so you can use it with every vehicle that comes to your shop.
Price of the Scanner
Another thing you should keep in your mind while shopping is the price you are willing to pay for the scanner and then look at your choices accordingly. The price of the device depends on the number of features the device has such as yearly software updates and the capabilities of the scanner.
Furthermore, you can choose between simple and complex scanners. The simpler ones are made to only detect the problem and they generally do not provide any further information. These ones are relatively cheaper.
Whereas, the complex ones show a full report and description of the problem at hand. These scanners are usually more expensive.
The best automotive scanner tool is the one that is capable of programming the vehicles electronic module and other on-board modules.
Other issues that the scanner should be capable of covering are car efficiency and emission problems. Other vital components of the car such as temperature, airbag, ABS and steering should also be accessible by the scanner.
Ability to Work with an OBD2 Car
It is better to get a scanner that is compatible with most recent vehicles in the market these days. If you want a scanner that is capable of diagnosing vehicles manufactured before 1996, then the scanner should have adapters you can use for this kind of work.
Though these cars are gradually decreasing in the market but as a professional mechanic you should also have OBD1 scanners that are compatible with classic cars.
Ease of use
If you are not a professional and are unfamiliar with car gadgets and equipment, then it is recommended that you get a diagnostic scanner that is simple and easy to use. There are a number of automotive scanners in the market that are very good but are difficult to read.
Buying such a scanner can be a waste of money, if you do not know how to read the results. Monitoring your cars functionality is made easier if the diagnostic scanner is easy to install and provides ease of viewing your car systems information.
As the technology is getting advanced, so is the need for advanced equipment’s. To ensure that your diagnostic scanner does not have any connectivity issues it is better that you buy a scanner that has Bluetooth.
Bluetooth connection enables you to connect the scanner with other devices such as printers, mobile phones and computers.
After running diagnostics and getting the results you might need to store the results for future reference. Therefore, it is important that the scanner you buy comes with a high memory for data storage.
It is even better if you can get a scanner with expandable memory capability because the ones that come with fixed memory size might require you to delete the previous results from time to time.
It is better to get a scanner that provides a good visual representation of diagnostic information. This allows you to read the results easily.
If you own a good automotive scanner you won’t have to take your car to the mechanic every time the ‘check engine’ light pops up. This device will help you save a lot of cash and time. It will help you perform your own checkups on your car and if you are stuck in an area that does not have a car repairing shop nearby, this little tool can be very handy.
It is always a good decision to invest in a good automotive scanner and to gather information and educate yourself on your vehicles well-being.
Before you head out to buy an automotive scanner make sure you know what features work will work the best for you. This will help you make your choice much quickly and easily.
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