Before the OBD2 code readers 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 OBD scanner was introduced to help engineers and mechanics to easily identify faults in the vehicle. But, What is the best obd2 scanner for the money? Which scanner have lots of advanced features and support quick diagnosis like “check engine light” issue?
You will find lots of scanner brands and various ranges of their pricing. Thus, it is not easy to select the best OBD2 code reader. A few popular scanner brands are Innova, Autel, Launch, Foxwell, Actron etc. That’s why we have created this OBD2 scanner reviews after carrying out intense research on different brands and models to bring you the best.
Top 10 Best OBD2 Scanner Comparison chart
|Images||OBD2 Scanners Name||Weight||Product Dimensions|
|Editor's ChoiceCheck Price||Innova 3160g Code Reader/Scan Tool with 3.5" Display, ABS, SRS, Bluetooth, and Live Data for OBD2 Vehicles|
|1.23pounds||10.2 x 8.2 x 1.5 inches|
|Autel AL619 Autolink Engine,ABS,SRS Auto OBD2 Scanner Car Code Reader Automotive Diagnostic Tool|
|2.05pounds||70.9 x 31.5 x 102.4 inches|
|BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android|
|8ounces||2.2 x 1.9 x 1 inches|
|ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner Car Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool - Black |
|12.3ounces||8.9 x 6.9 x 1.4 inches|
|Check Price||Autel AL519 AutoLink Enhanced OBD ll Scan Tool with Mode 6 Fault Code Reader EOBD|
|2.05pounds||7.8 x 4.1 x 1.5 inches|
|Check Price||Innova 3100j Diagnostic Code Reader / Scan Tool with ABS and SRS for OBD2 Vehicles|
|1.2pounds||10 x 8 x 1.5 inches|
|Check Price||Launch Creader VII+ OBD2 Scanner ABS SRS Transmission and Engine Code Reader Diagnostic Scan Tool|
|1.38pounds||9.2 x 7.8 x 1.7 inches|
|Check Price||Actron CP9690 Trilingual OBD I/OBD II Elite AUTOSCANNER Pro Kit with Color Screen|
|3.8pounds||10.2 x 13.6 x 5.4 inches|
|Check Price||FOXWELL NT301 Car Obd2 Code Scanner Universal Check Engine Light Diagnostic Tool Automotive Fault Code Reader Obd II Eobd Scan Tool|
|10.4ounces||8.7 x 3.1 x 6.7 inches|
|Professional ChoiceCheck Price||LAUNCH X431 V+ Diagnostic Tool Full System OBD2 Scanner |
|13.23pounds||13.8 x 5.9 x 9.8 inches|
Our Recommend Top obd2 scanner 2018(video):
Importance of OBD2 diagnostic scanner
- The scanner lets you know that if your car is safe for driving or if you need to visit a mechanic right away.
- It provides you with an efficient up-to-date and uniform info in different car settings as needed by EPA regulatory body to ensure minimal emissions.
- It saves your money as you know which part of your vehicle needs to be repaired. You can repair it yourself as well if it’s not a delicate part.
What to consider when buying a scan tool?
- Does it have full code definitions?
- Is it compatible with my car or not?
- Can I upgrade it?
- Does it make it possible to store your data readings?
- What features does the scanner have?
- Is it within my budget range?
- Do I need a code reader or diagnostic scanner?
- What other accessories does the device come with?
- What are other clients saying about this code reader?
Top Rated Best OBD2 Scanner Reviews 2018
After lots of research, We have selected top 10 obdii scan tools.
Innova 3160g code reader(Our Top Pick)
Innova is a top brand with outstanding car diagnostic code readers. The Innova 3160 scanner does what it says it does. It is very effective in terms of reading error codes. The results are then displayed on the large display for easy interpretation.
Some of its functions include reading and clearing check engine lights, reset oil light, reads and clear ABS light, reset the battery, and test the charging system. Also, it is compatible with Bluetooth for easy use. If you have the newest car model, you can simply update the diagnostic scan tool over the internet. With a great customer support, you will find this Innova code reader to be very amazing to have. Use it on different OBD2 compatible vehicles manufactured from 1996 and newer. The Innova 3160g is the best obd2 scanner for home use.
- Reset battery maintenance light and initialization
- It reads and clear check engine light
- Reset oil light on popular OBD2 vehicles
- Stream and record real-time data
- 5-inch display screen
- Bluetooth app compatibility
- Powered by 3 AAA batteries
- Free lifetime updates
- Sleek and compact design
- Sturdy construction for longevity
- Capable of showing pending and current trouble codes
- It is compatible with most OBD II domestic, Asian, and European vehicles, manufactured from 1996 and newer.
- Makes repairs to be effortless as it refreshes every 30 seconds when connected to the car
- It allows off car analysis with the battery backup
- The LED patented all-in-one screen allows easy reading of error codes.
- It is not good for reading SRS or ABS codes unless you want live data, then it is the best.
- Don’t go by their instructions, but test to ensure that your car is supported by this scan tool before buying.
Autel AL619 OBD2 Scanner
The Autel AL619 autolink diagnostic code reader is an ideal tool for professionals as well as DIY enthusiasts. At such a great price, the scanner is able to cover all 1996 and newer vehicles that are OBD2 and CAN compatible. The device is very easy to use as it has a large display screen with a backlit. This enables the mechanic to read outcomes even in the dark or in dimly lit areas. Use it to read, store, and playback live PCM data stream and live sensor data.
The AL619 scan tool is lightweight and very portable. Carry it anywhere without much trouble. Its ability to retrieve generic as well as manufacturer-specific codes sets it above other scan tools in the market. With the multilingual menu, the AL619 OBDII can be utilized by people from different parts of the world. It has Spanish, English, and French languages to choose from.
- Reads, stores, and playback live PCM datastream
- Retrieve and clear codes in supplemental restraint system
- Multilingual menu and code definitions
- Retrieves vehicle information
- Displays monitor and I/M readiness status
- Views freeze frame data
- Read and erase codes on all 1996 and newer domestic, European, and Asian vehicles
- This best OBD2 scanner is compatible with a wide range of vehicles which were manufactured from 1996 and latest.
- It is portable and compact in design for easy use
- It does a great job of retrieving vehicle information
- AL619 has a large display that is easy to read
- It can be updated over the internet
- Great and responsive customer service
- It is not very durable as it is made of a poor quality housing.
- Check for compatibility before buying as it does function on all vehicles.
BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool
As versatile as this scan tool is, it is very simple to connect to your iOS or Android device. It has a BlueDriver sensor and BlueDriver Bluetooth app that you have to connect in order to begin scanning.
The BlueDriver bluetooth professional obdii scan tool performs a wide range of functions such as checking whether the vehicle is ready for a smog test, reads and clears codes, view live data, and read & clear CEL codes, etc. Also, it provides free vehicle-specific repair reports got from a database of more than 6.6 million fixes verified by certified auto mechanics from North America. This is the best obd2 scanner for iphone and android.
The convenience and durability of this diagnostic scan tool make it a favorite to many DIYers as well as professional mechanics. Furthermore, it covers different vehicles that are OBD2 compatible.
- Has a BlueDriver app and BlueDriver sensor that works together to ensure quality.
- It is a professional scan tool trusted by mechanics and developed by Professional Engineers in North America.
- Officially licensed and certified for Apple and Android devices.
- It is integrated with the capabilities of an expensive handheld scan tool plus the benefits of a smartphone or tablet.
- It is very easy to use with the user-friendly Bluetooth app
- It is easy to install as no tools are needed
- This allows you to share or export your reports on the go
- It is very easy to connect to Bluetooth on your phone
- BlueDriver has free vehicle-specific repair reports from a database of more than 30 million fixes
- It has enhanced vehicle coverage of vehicles such as Ford, GM, Toyota, Chrysler, BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan, and Honda.
- They have a great customer support team who are available 24/7
- It is only compatible with iOS and Android devices. If you have a Microsoft gadget or any other gadget, it won’t function.
- You will have to pay more to use features like TPMS diagnosis and some other features.
Autel AL519 OBD II Scan Tool
Save on the cost of visiting a mechanic by acquiring this reliable and accurate code reader. Autel AL519 scan tool is compactly designed for versatile use. It performs various functions like viewing freeze frame data, retrieving codes, reading and erasing error codes. In addition, this device is portable and can be carried to anywhere. The carry case makes carrying the scan tool to be easy and safe. The large TFT color screen and audio tones enable the user to have an easy time reading error codes and other tests. If you want to buy an affordable but best obd2 scanner then choose this.
One of the reasons as to why motorists and DIYers love this diagnostic scan tool is because it is fairly priced and can be used to diagnose different car makes and models. This includes all vehicles built from 1996 and newer. The AL519 scanner will help you get rid of the check engine light by erasing the error codes. It can be used in well lit as well as dimly lit places.
- Retrieves generic codes, manufacturer-specific codes, pending codes, and vehicle information
- It disables check engine lights, clear codes, and resets monitors
- Patented one-click I/M readiness key provides quick state emissions readiness checks and drive cycle verification.
- Reads, records, and playback live sensor data
- Turns off malfunction indicator light
- Views freeze frame data
- Large TFT color screen and built-in speaker
- Carrying case
- Compact and durable design for versatile use
- It easily and quickly determines the cause of the check engine light
- It functions on all 1996 and newer domestic, Asian, and European vehicles
- The large TFT colored screen is for displaying results both in well lit and poorly lit areas
- It has a built-in speaker that offers audible tone for readiness verification
- It is sold at a very great price
- AL519 is portable and easy to move around with
- It is not very reliable for long-term use as it is not very durable
- The diagnostic scanner is not upgradeable
Ancel AD310 OBD II Scanners
Ancel AD310 scanner is built for use by startup mechanics, DIYers, and professional mechanics. The sleek and compact code reader has a large LCD screen that is backlit. So, it allows reading of error codes even in poorly lit areas. The AD310 performs various functions despite its fair price. You can use it to view freeze frame data, retrieve vehicle info, read live data, and read & clear error codes for check engine light. This is for both generic and manufacturer-specific codes. This is the best cheap obd2 scanner for home use.
Moreover, the code reader supports all OBD2 protocols including J1850 PWM, CAN, ISO9141, J1850 VPW, and KWP2000. You can use this device on most 1996 US-based, 2000 EU-based, and Asian, and newer obd 2 and CAN domestic or import vehicles. This scan tool ensures that the monitor is set before you perform a smog test. It is easy to use and you will save the cost of visiting a mechanic from now and then as you can fix some of the error codes.
- Reads live data stream
- Large, easy to read backlit LCD screen
- Retrieves vehicle information
- Read and clear error codes for the check engine light, both generic and manufacturer specific codes.
- View freeze frame data
- Shows the codes and their meanings
- It is compatible with all OBDII protocols such as ISO9141, J1850 PWM, KWP2000, CAN, and J1850 VPW.
- Works with most 1996 US-based, 2000 EU-based, and Asian cars, and newer OBD II and CAN domestic or import vehicles
- Has a multilingual menu that supports 8 languages
- AD310 has an easy to use interface
- It is compact in design for easy handling
- It easily and quickly determines the cause of the MIL
- Use it to check the monitor before taking the car for a smog test
- Saves you money by diagnosing the car yourself instead of taking it to a mechanic
- Ancel offers buyers 3-years warranty
- It has limited functions as it cannot diagnose the ABS system
- It has compatibility issues and thus you should ensure that it is compatible with your car model before buying.
Innova 3100J Diagnostic Code Reader
The Innova 3100 code reader one of the popular model from Innova brand. The Bluetooth compatible diagnostic scanner is very easy to use with the hot-keys, multilingual menu, and large color LCD screen.
This is a top rated obd2 scanner to buy. It reads and erase error codes, views freeze frame data, and performs battery and alternator tests.
The 3100j code reader functions on all 1996 and newer OBD II light trucks, cars, SUV’s, hybrid, and minivans.
Actually, it is an ideal tool for startup technicians and mechanics as it quickly determines the cause of the check engine light.
One of the advantages of using this code reader is that it can be used in both well lit and poorly lit places as it is backlit. With its sturdy construction, this scanner will save you the cost of visiting a repair shop.
Search online and fix some of the easy errors found on your vehicle.
- Oil reset feature
- Read and erase ABS and SRS light
- Battery and alternator test
- Quickly determines the cause of the check engine light
- Large color LCD screen with backlit
- Freeze frame data
- Work on all 1996 and newer OBD2 cars, light trucks, SUV’s, hybrids, and minivans
- Multilingual menu
- Easy to use with large colored backlit screen
- It is compatible with a wide range or vehicles, especially those manufactured from 1996 and newer OBD II vehicles
- It quickly reads and clears error codes
- Innova 3100 is a user-friendly with the hot-keys and multilingual menu
- It diagnoses ABS and SRS
- Considering its price, it should have live data, but it doesn’t, which is a disappointment as other code readers within this price range have it.
- The instructions of the code reader are not very clear and you will have to read them keenly and understand before using the device.
Launch CRP123 OBD2 Scanner
Quickly diagnose and repair your vehicles with the Launch CRP123 obd2 scanner. It supports all the 10 OBD2 test modes, which is a feature that many mechanics look forward to. In addition, it can be updated via the internet by simply connecting the USB cable to a PC.
Also, it covers different OBD II compatible car makes and models that were manufactured from 2006 and newer. Using this scan tool to read and clear fault codes is easy as it has a large LCD screen with a multilingual menu. Choose English, French or Spanish for easy and quick use. Moreover, it allows you to insert a large extension memory card if you have lots of things to save. When you purchase the product, Launch offers the buyer with a one year warranty and a free lifetime software update. Launch is one of the best obd2 scanner brand on the market.
- Read and clears DTCs, read datastreams, and view freeze frame data
- Read and erase codes on engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS
- It supports DLC location hints/DTC help/Data stream display/Historical data record, and playback
- Supports O2 sensor test on-board monitor test and EVAP system test
- 5-inch TFT color screen
- Built-in menus and code definitions
- Internet upgradeable
- Support large extension memory card
- Support all 10 test modes of OBD2 scan tool
- Easy to use device with a large colored screen and clear code definitions
- It has a multilingual menu for diverse usage. English is the default language, but you can reset it to French or Spanish.
- It covers a wide range of OBD II vehicles manufactured from 2006 and newer from Asia, Europe, and the US.
- The CRP123 supports full obd2 functions which include data stream, read/erase codes, view freeze frame data, I/M readiness, Vehicle information display, On-board monitor test, etc.
- It is quick and saves on diagnosing and repair time
- Lunch provides a one year warranty or free lifetime software update
- It takes longer to update, so you should be prepared to be patient
- Check for compatibility issues as it doesn’t function on some car models
Actron CP9690 Trilingual OBD I/OBD II Elite scanner
Approved by technicians as well as mechanics, Actron CP9690 trilingual elite scan tool is a powerful tool for checking the cause of the check engine light.
The scanner reads, playback, and records live data. It is very easy to use with the hotkey definitions and large LCD color screen that displays diagnostic results. The quality code reader always provides accurate and quick outcomes. CP9690 performs various functions like reading manufacturer-specific DTCs, graph engine data, turn off check engine light, and much more. This is the best obd2 scanner for obd1 and obd2 because it supports both.
It is compatible with OBD2 1996 and newer vehicles. In addition, it has OBD 1 cables for 1984-1995 Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Toyota vehicles and reads engine data for both OBDI and OBDII vehicles. This makes it be versatile and loved by many professional mechanics as they work on different car types and models.
- Record, playback, and graph live engine data
- LCD screen and trilingual menu
- Compatible with 1996 and newer import and domestic OBD2 and CAN vehicles, 1994-1995 OBD2 compliant vehicles, and 1984-1995 GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota OBD1 vehicles
- OEM-specific definitions/codes
- OBD2 definitions/codes
- Easy to use device with a large colored LC screen
- Covers a wide range of vehicles that were manufactured from 1996 and newer import and domestic.
- It performs various functions such as the battery system monitor, record & playback live data, graph engine data, oil light & battery reset, ABS & SRS coverage, read & clear error codes, and turns check engine light off.
- Save time and money by performing the tests yourself instead of taking the car to a repair shop.
- Fast and accurate diagnostic results.
- Has the ability to read engine data for both OBD2 and OBD1 vehicles.
- The only issue with this auto scan tool is that you have to pay in order to get fixes
FOXWELL NT301 Car OBD2 Code Scanner
Even though the Foxwell NT301 obd2 code scanner is offered at a great price, this device performs functions of high-end diagnostic scan tools. On top of that, it is sturdily constructed and can withstand the toughest conditions that the mechanics and technicians work in.
The large colored screen and built-in speaker make using the gadget be easy as they both provide visual and audio results. You don’t need to have an extra battery as it charges directly from the OBD2 car scanner interface in your car.
Simply set the menu to the language you understand best from one of English, Spanish, French, Swedish, or Portuguese for easy use. You will be able to read and clear error codes from 1996 and newer vehicles from the US, Europe, and Asian vehicles. Just check for compatibility. Then, use it to read and erase DTCs, and several other error codes. This is an amazing tool for DIY enthusiasts as well as professionals.
- Read and clear vehicle error codes for 1996 US-based, 2001 EU-based, and Asian vehicles, and newer OBD2/Eobd and CAN domestic or import vehicles.
- LED screen and built-in speaker
- Read and erase engine fault codes
- Multilingual menu with English, Spanish, French, Swedish, and Portuguese
- 1-year product warranty and free lifetime upgrades
- No need for additional battery
- Reads live O2 sensor/On-board monitor test data
- Reads, records, graphs, and playbacks live sensor data
- And reads freeze frame data
- It is sturdily constructed for long-term use
- It has a large display screen for an easy and quick reading of error codes.
- The multilingual menu allows this device to be used in different parts of the world as one can set it to the language that they understand better.
- It covers a wide range of vehicles manufactured from 1996 US-based, 2001 EU-based, and Asian, and newer OBD II/Eobd, and CAN domestic and import vehicles.
- The device can be upgraded on Windows 10 systems. Note that it cannot be upgraded on MAC systems.
- This scanner has a user-friendly and compact design
- It performs a wide range of works such as read freeze frame data, reads live O2 sensor test data, and supports multiple code requests.
- It helps you prepare your car for a smog test.
- To avoid issues associated with upgrading the device, turn off the computer firewall and anti-virus software. Many people complain that it failed to upgrade, but they don’t follow instructions
Launch X431 V+ Full System Diagnostic OBD2 Scanner
Among the diagnostic scan tools that we’ve reviewed on our list, the Launch X431 scan tool is the most diverse and sophisticated code reader. Not only is it costly, but as well it performs a wide range of functions. The Launch X431 is robustly constructed for long-term use.
Also, it has a large display screen for easy reading of diagnostic outputs and erasing of error codes. The color LED display measures 10.1-inches and has a 5MP camera. So, you can use it to take photos. In addition, it comes with a 16GB memory card for storage of results and images captured. The Launch x431 v+ is the best obd2 scanner for mechanics.
The Launch X431 diagnostic scanner is both grease and water resistant. It takes less time to read error codes as it has a 1.4GHz quad-core processor. Unlike other code readers, you can connect this device using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Simply touch on the screen to read or erase different fault codes on your vehicle. A great aspect of this Wi-Fi scan tool is that it covers more than 68 car brands and 220 car models from America, Europe, and Asia. At such a price, this is not a device that everybody can acquire as it is costly. So, it is best suited for industrial and commercial use. But if you can, get it and you will never have to buy another code reader as it is also upgradeable.
- Supports EU coding and auto VIN technology
- Wireless Bluetooth diagnosis
- Made of a dustproof, greaseproof, drop resistant, and waterproof construction
- Powered by 7000mAh long runtime battery
- 1-inch colored screen
- One-touch operation
- Full 11 special functions
- Anti-theft matching feature
- One-click online updateable
- Active test
- Supports more than 68 car brands and 220 car models from America, Europe, and Asia
- Well built for long-term use
- Easy to use interface
- Large colored screen for easy display of results
- Wide vehicle coverage
- Performs a wide range of functions
- Easy to connect with the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
- The user manual should be clearer so that the user can find an easy thing understanding how to use the code reader.
Now that you have gone through our best obd2 scanner review, you should be able to find a code reader of your choice depending on your needs and budget. Consider a brand that offers warranty and the scan tool should have the features that you want. For professionals, I can recommend the Launch X431 scan tool due to its durability and versatility. But for beginners and DIY enthusiast, they can go for the FOXWELL NT301 scanner. It is cheaper but has lots of features to offer. All the best with your new On-board diagnostics auto scanner.
Q. What is OBD and how does it benefit the user?
Ans. OBD in full means “on-board diagnostics”. This is a computer-based system built into all vehicle models manufactured from 1996 and latest. The OBD monitors the performance of some of the engine’s main parts, including personal emission controls. If there is an issue, the system presents it in form of a warning “check engine light” that come son. With this signal, the OBD protects the environment and it also lets users know that their car has an issue before it escalates into a bigger problem.
Q. Is my vehicle equipped with OBDII?
Ans. It is a mandatory in the USA for your vehicle to be equipped with the OBD2 scanner. Identifying if your vehicle has OBDII is very simple. The OBDII in the current vehicles are installed below the driver’s seat. Just pull the seat and see whether the OBD 2 feature is there or not. You can also take the car to the mechanic to check.
Q. What is the reason of the check engine light coming on?
Ans. When the check engine light comes on and stays on, this means that your car has a problem. The car may be having a problem that causes excessive air pollution, fuel wastage, shortens engine life, etc. You need to address this issue immediately or it will lead to costly repairs.
Q. How to identify the best obd2 scanner?
Ans. It depends a lot on your budget. If you want an advanced features scan tool, then you have to spend $500 or above. For normal users or DIYers can buy a decent scanner under 300 bucks. Support vehicle, Check engine light, ABS, RBS, etc most common features you should look at.