Best Car Health Monitors Review 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

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IMAGE PRODUCT
  • Monitors engine health
  • Helps you find your parking location
  • Safety center prompts you for specific issues
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  • Family safety features
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Emergency crash response
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  • Wide-angle recording
  • Collision detection
  • Parking monitor
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Nonda Zus - Best Overall

Nonda Zus Smart Vehicle Health Monitor and Zus app

PROS

  • Monitors engine health
  • Helps you find your parking location
  • IRS-compliant reports for tax deductions
  • Safety center prompts you for specific issues
  • Customizable dashboard

CONS

  • Car Finder is dependent on GPS signal range
  • Most features are available only in Premium
  • Limited compatibility

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users say that it's a cool car health monitor with lots of safety features. Another user says this is an excellent gift for any car owner who wants to keep their car in good health.

Some users report experiencing issues with the Car Finder feature, but overall they are happy with this product. It also allows you to file your taxes and get tax deductions, a big plus for self-employed users.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This device is an excellent way for self-employed business people to make sure they stay tax compliant with all of their expenses while keeping track of mileage and other important data points that they can use for reporting purposes.

The monitor is free. You can order it from Amazon and pay the shipping fee only. It is smaller than most Bluetooth dongles and is unobtrusive to use in the OBD II port.

You can also download the Zus app from Google Play Store or the App Store for free, but you can subscribe to the Premium account to enjoy the advanced features.

A fascinating feature of the Zus car health monitor, though, is the safety center. It is available only for Premium subscribers, but this additional feature will give you a better chance at keeping yourself healthy while on the road.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are always on the road will love having this smart car health monitor on board because of its holistic approach to keeping your car in tiptop condition while you're on the road.

FIXD 7388 OBD2 Active Car Health Monitor

PROS

  • Free mobile app
  • Reads more than 7000 error codes
  • Compatible with OBD-compliant US, European, and Asian cars
  • Tracks maintenance schedules
  • Consultation with ASE-certified mechanics

CONS

  • Incorrect information
  • Need to upgrade to Premium (recurring)

What Recent Buyers Report

The FIXD OBD II is an affordable fix that saves users from spending hundreds of dollars in the car repair shop. It is also straightforward to use, even for newbies, though they would appreciate it better if the premium features were a one-time payment thing, not a monthly recurring one.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The FIXD's best feature is its compatibility. It works on Toyota, Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, BMW, Porsche, Subaru, Nissan, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Lexus, and other US, European, and Asian cars. You can also use it on your Android and iOS devices.

This smart car health monitor also reads error codes, clears your car's check engine light, O2 sensor voltage, vehicle speed, fuel trims, etc.

It will also save you money from frequent visits to the auto repair shop for fixes you can do in your garage since you can call a professional mechanic to ask for advice and tips on how to fix your car.

Who Will Use This Most

The FIXD OBD II scan tool is best for people trying to fix their car or understand what's wrong. It is beneficial since you can talk to a professional mechanic 6 days a week to help you with DIY fixes or consult with them regarding your car's issues.

Thinkcar OBD2 scanner

PROS

  • Conducts full OBD2 and EOBD diagnostics
  • Easy to use
  • Universal compatibility
  • Affordable
  • 1-year warranty

CONS

  • Communication errors
  • Does not efficiently clear some error codes

What Recent Buyers Report

Several users were delighted that they could use it to scan their older OBD-compliant cars. While other scanners promise to work for vehicles from 1996 onwards, they don't work well in earlier OBD2 vehicles.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Thinkcar OBD2 code reader is one of the best vehicle diagnostics tools that monitor your car's health by giving you access to live data stream, freeze frame data, and I/M readiness tests.

It also supports OBD2, EOBD, and JOBD protocols and is available in 7 languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, and Portuguese) so non-English speakers can still use it.

Who Will Use This Most

This diagnostic device is the perfect choice if you want your mobile device for communication purposes only, need an offline resource for DTCs, or work on older car models.

Ancel diagnostic OBD II scanner and health monitor device

PROS

  • Reads and clears OBD II codes
  • Wireless and handheld mode
  • Exclusive free app
  • Records real-time data
  • Advanced features

CONS

  • The mobile app constantly crashes
  • Some features do not work

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users think it's an excellent car health monitor with many advanced features that's more than just an OBD II code reader. Others also think it's a must for every family, especially if you're driving your kids to school.

Why It Stands Out to Us

You can use the Ancel OBD II active car health monitor in handheld or Bluetooth wireless mode. The handheld mode supports Deutsch, Dutch, English, Spanish, French, Italiano, Portuguese, Suomi and can read trouble codes and reset the check engine light.

As an OBD II code reader, you can view live data stream, freeze frame, evaporative system test, and I/M readiness. It also reads your vehicle information number, so you don't need to input it into your code reader.

The Bluetooth wireless mode monitors your mileage, car health, and real-time performance with the exclusive free app that you can use for your Android and iOS devices.

Aside from the mentioned monitors, you can also customize the color of your gauges, display engine RPM, measure coolant temperature, oil temperature, fuel consumption, intake air temperature, voltage, vehicle speed, and other advanced diagnostics.

Who Will Use This Most

This OBD2 car code reader is perfect for professional and DIY mechanics and everyone who loves tinkering with cars. We recommend this to new drivers since it also tracks your driving habits, giving you inside information on improving them.

AutoBrain OBD - Best for Families

AutoBrain monitor and app

PROS

  • Tracks your car's real-time location
  • Family safety features
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Mileage log, driving score, etc.
  • Emergency crash response

CONS

  • Confusing and inaccurate information
  • Inconsistent real-time GPS information

What Recent Buyers Report

The monitor is very affordable, and the app is free to download, though it does not say on Google Play if it has in-app purchases. One mom says it's an excellent location service in locating disoriented family members. Though there are slight differences in GPS location and real-time, it still points you to your desired location.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The AutoBrain car health monitor is an excellent tool for families, whatever their age. It has three modes for your specific safety needs. For teen drivers, you can set alerts on the mobile app, so it sends you a message when the car leaves home or school.

For senior drivers, features like car finder, low fuel level, and car parking location are helpful. For mommies and daddies driving with their babies, the app alerts you when you turn your car off to take your baby out of the vehicle.

Another vital safety feature of this monitor is the emergency crash response. If you don't respond when emergency advisors contact you after AutoBrain sends them a crash alert, they will send EMT personnel to your location to help you.

Who Will Use This Most

The AutoBrain car health monitor is a brilliant monitoring device and app combo for your teenage drivers, senior citizens, and drivers who bring their babies on trips.

Nonda Zus app and car charger

PROS

  • Monitors car battery health
  • Mileage log
  • Parking time alerts
  • Automatic car finder
  • Fast charger

CONS

  • Compatible with iOS devices only
  • Does not record the entire trip at times

What Recent Buyers Report

Besides fast charging, this car health monitor is also a user-friendly tool that tells you of your parking location, tracks mileage, and monitors battery health, which is very important to the users.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This in-car charger is a companion device for the Nonda Zus Smart Car Health Monitor, so when you add this device, you won't have issues pairing it with the mobile app. To use its advanced features, though, you should be a Premium member. Otherwise, you can still use it as a charger.

It also does many other things, including monitoring your battery health, recording mileage for IRS tax deductions, and sending you parking meter alerts.

It connects using a USB port and can charge two mobile devices at once. It also comes with a one-year warranty, and its military-grade German Bayer polycarbonate meets US military standards (MIL-STD-810G).

Even without the Zus OBD2 monitor, you can still use this charger with the free-to-download companion app for iOS and Android devices. Just pair your charger with the app and upgrade to Premium ($2.99/month or $29.99 per year) and enjoy great experiences with your Nonda devices.

Who Will Use This Most

This in-car charger also serves as a car health and parking monitor, making it an excellent choice for drivers who love multipurpose gadgets.

Rexing V1 - Best Dash Security

Rexing dashcam and mobile device

PROS

  • Non-obtrusive, discreet design
  • Wide-angle recording
  • 4K resolution for better video output
  • Collision detection
  • Parking monitor

CONS

  • Poor quality in-car charger
  • The rear cam may not work

What Recent Buyers Report

Users love it for its price, but the most stand-out feature is the 4K resolution, so you don't get that grainy videos typical to cheaper dashcams. Another feature that users love is the upgrade in memory capacity. At 256GB, it's a fantastic upgrade from the previous 8GB.

Other users love it so much that they have more than one Rexing dashcam in the garage.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Aside from its temperature-resistant built-in capacitor and housing that could survive a fire or explosion, we also love the gravity sensor on this dashcam as it locks itself if it senses a collision and gets a good recording of the last seconds before the crash.

The loop recording is another excellent feature. Even if the memory is full, it overwrites the oldest recordings, allowing you to change the memory without losing important real-time dashcam records.

The parking monitor is another important feature. While parked, it can record a 20-second video when it detects a vibration other than the opening of the car door with your car keys or without disabling the car alarm system. You can also activate a 24/7 time-lapse video, though it needs a smart hardware kit so you can enjoy the parking feature.

Who Will Use This Most

Every driver needs an explosion-proof dash camera so that even if you got into an accident, your family could still find out what happened prior.

AutoMend Pro diagnostic tool

PROS

  • DIY car diagnostics at an affordable cost
  • User-friendly device and app
  • Compatible with most car makes
  • Wireless Bluetooth smart scan tool
  • Multiple languages

CONS

  • Monthly subscription
  • Flimsy electronics

What Recent Buyers Report

Users appreciate that it's very affordable but with extensive functionality. Another user said she brings it with her when she checks out second-hand cars to buy to haggle better as she has a good arsenal with her. It is also a beneficial diagnostic tool that you can use on several vehicles.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The AutoMend Pro has an intuitive user interface that's easy to use and alerts you when it detects error codes on your car. Since you can use it to diagnose more than one car, it's a perfect addition to your garage if you have a fleet or collect cars.

Besides clearing the check engine light on your cars, it also records car mileage, alerts you before your parking ticket runs out, and does pre-emission checks to get your car ready for the state emissions test.

However, what we love most about AutoMend is its estimate on how much you'll likely spend on repairs such as changing your tires, batteries, etc. Aside from the engine scan, it also scans transmission, SRS, and ABS systems.

Who Will Use This Most

This is one of the best car health monitors, especially if you have cars that use different OBD protocols since it supports the nine existing OBD II protocols.

An OBDLink MX+ device

PROS

  • Recommended by professionals
  • Forever-free exclusive app
  • Battery drain and over-voltage protection
  • Enhanced features
  • Checks non-OBD2 parameters

CONS

  • Needs constant resetting to work
  • Limited functionality on some car makes

What Recent Buyers Report

Many users use it across several cars, though they recommend clearing the DTCs stored before using it on another vehicle. Sometimes, the car detects a PID from a different vehicle and recognizes itself as stolen. 

Modern cars may cause you to be locked out of your car with no choice but to call other people, which can be annoying, especially if you're in a public location.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The OBDLink MX+ is compatible with other OBD apps, but its exclusive OBDLink app is free without hidden fees, in-app purchases, and premium subscription fees. We cannot say the same for the compatible third-party apps, though.

It has a customizable digital dashboard and is highly encrypted so no one can steal your VIN stored in your scanner. You can also use it to lock and unlock car doors, though this is limited to a handful of models.

It also scans trouble codes and clears check engine lights on your dash, and displays real-time parameters through its digital dashboard. It can also protect your car's battery with its intelligent sleep mode that prevents the device from draining the battery.

Who Will Use This Most

If you own a car (it does not work with hybrid and electric cars, though), or if you're looking for a secondhand car to buy, you need this diagnostic scan tool.

A BlueDriver Bluetooth monitor

PROS

  • Checks non-OBD2 codes
  • Free exclusive app
  • Customizable digital dashboard
  • Performs emissions tests
  • Analyzes engine operation

CONS

  • Limited compatibility
  • Inconsistent scan results

What Recent Buyers Report

One user reported that the BlueDriver saved their vacation when it alerted them of a code, identifying the error as the Vapor Recovery System. They fixed it before they left, and the long drive was incident-free.

Another user said that she hadn't experienced any issues after months of use, besides proving its effectiveness in scanning cars during weekly auctions she attends.

Why It Stands Out to Us

When you can't see what's inside your car, you have no idea what's going on inside it. However, with the $Mode 6 (Analyze Engine Operation), you can check how your car performs and what repairs you can expect soon.

It connects via Bluetooth with Android and iOS devices for more straightforward diagnosis and performs a routine pre-emissions test to prepare your car for state-imposed tests.

Best of all, it is forever free as long as you use the exclusive OBD2 app, BlueDriver https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lemurmonitors.bluedriver&hl=en&gl=US. With more than 30 million reported fixes, you can check its offline resource for more information about your trouble codes.

Who Will Use This Most

Many professional mechanics recommend the BlueDriver as the best car health monitor for professional and DIY mechanics.

Car Health Monitor Buying Guide

Functionality

When buying a car health monitor, always look for its functionality. It is best to determine what you want before trying to find your monitor. 

It helps if you have a checklist of the functions you want on your monitor so that you can tick them off while doing your research. It's easy to get sidetracked with additional features when it doesn't do its purpose. 

So, if you're a newbie mechanic, find one that suits your needs. Professionals need more advanced functions so that a basic code scanner won't do them any good.

Compatibility

Next, what is your car make? Most car health monitors list the compatible cars for their product. While some users reported that a monitor designed for Subaru works for Ford, you cannot access some important features.  

Features

Many manufacturers pack their products with features but forget to strengthen the most important ones to monitor your car's health. 

Reading and clearing DTCs is essential, but so are the other systems of your car. It would be great to get a monitor to read non-OBD2 codes such as SRS, ABS, TPMS, etc. 

Value

Lastly, always look for value. Granted, the monitor is cheap, but does it give you the best service you need? It may be expensive, but you only use 2-3 features since the others are too complicated for you to understand. 

Thus, you must understand the specifics of your needs before deciding to buy a car health monitor (or any other product), for that matter. 

Car Health Monitor FAQ

1. How can I monitor my car health?

Use a good code scanner to understand how your car works and what is happening behind the car hood. To do this, you need a device or software to do that for you to plan your maintenance budget and check the different systems inside your car.

2. What is the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner?

There are many diagnostic scanners on the market, but if you want a top-of-the-line device for your auto shop or garage, we recommend looking for what works best for you. Since every car has its character, they sometimes need specific features to diagnose what is wrong.

3. What to plug into the car to see what's wrong with it?

If you are looking for a device that plugs into your car, the best solution would be to buy an OBD II scanner. Its display screen lights up when plugged into the vehicle's OBD port.

There are devices that you can plug directly into the OBD2 port, while others need a Bluetooth or WiFi adapter and a mobile app. More advanced scanners, though, work only with a laptop or desktop computer.

4. Why do mechanics charge for diagnostics?

Mechanics charge a fee for diagnosis to understand the reason behind an issue. Customers should know that figuring out why a problem occurs takes far more time, training, and experience than simply seeing an issue's symptoms. 

Aside from that, professional diagnostic tools are pricey, and mechanics need to offset that expense.

Conclusion

We hope this review of the best car health monitors helped you find the ideal device for your needs.

We give the best overall vote to the Nonda Zus Smart Vehicle Health Monitor because it proactively monitors engine health, locates your car in a parking lot, and prompts you for specific issues not reported by your OBD2 scanners.

Another smart vehicle health monitor is the AutoBrain OBD Real-Time GPS Tracker. It boasts family-friendly features where you can select the best mode. It also offers 24/7 road assistance with just a text prompt and emergency crash response if you're involved in an accident.

The roads are not always safe, so double up your security with the Rexing V1 Ultra HD Dash Cam. This dashcam has a wide-angle recording (up to 170 degrees), has collision detection, and a parking monitor that alerts you when someone tries to open your car.