Best Cheap OBD2 Scanner Reviews 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

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Cheap OBD2 scanners
IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Comes with a free app
  • Checks OBD2 and ABS codes
  • Displays 20 data in one screen
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  • Built-in DTC library for easy retrieval
  • Performs O2 sensor and evap system tests
  • Powerful CPU for steady performance
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  • Full OBD2 functions
  • Data recording, report, & print
  • 5-year quality warranty
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INNOVA 3020RS - Best Overall

INNOVA 3020RS Code Scanner

PROS

  • Comes with a free app
  • App allows you to buy replacement parts
  • Checks OBD2 and ABS codes
  • Easy-to-use hotkeys
  • Displays 20 data in one screen

CONS

  • Not the best choice for a newbie
  • Limited ABS code reading compatibility

What Recent Buyers Report

Many users find the free app delightful, especially since it can predict future repairs based on car history and driving behavior. It is also very compact and easy to store in their cars, but mostly, users love it for the savings they get from this code reader.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Backed with decades of Innova excellence, Innova 3020RS is an entry-level diagnostic tool derived from years of innovative research.

Each purchase of an Innova code reader gives you access to RepairSolutions2, a mobile app for iOS and Android devices that you can use to get a verified fix for your car with Innova's help. They have every part you could need, and they provide access to their database so that you don't miss any vital information about the automobile industry or manufacturer updates.

Every purchase of Innova code reader gives you access to an ASE-certified support team 6 days a week.

Who Will Use This Most

Intermediate DIY mechanics will love the Innova 3020RS code scanner for its advanced features.

Veepeak OBDCheck BLE OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner

PROS

  • Works with iOS and Bluetooth devices
  • Robust, reliable, and affordable
  • Works with various OBD2 apps
  • Wide compatibility
  • 1-year replacement warranty

CONS

  • Fails to pair with some apps
  • May not work with more modern cars

What Recent Buyers Report

Users love it for its simple operation and easy-to-use interface. It loses connection sometimes, but disconnecting and reconnecting it usually solves the problem. It also comes with a sturdy carry case with a mesh pocket inside, which users also think is helpful in the organization.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Veepeak OBDCheck is an OBD2 scanner for cars to read diagnostic trouble codes, freeze frame data, and reset check engine lights. It can also do smog tests, view real-time sensor readings, and create a customized dashboard to estimate fuel economy.

It works with OBD2/EOBD compliant cars, including US cars from 1996 onwards, EU gas from 2001 and EU diesel from 2004, Australian cars from 2006, and Latin American cars from 2006.

Compatible with Torque Pro, OBD Fusion, Car Scanner, GaragePro, BImmer Code, BimmerLink, BTool, Carista OBD2, JScan OBD, DashCommand, Dr. Prius, and Harry's LapTimer.

Who Will Use This Most

The Veepeak OBDCheck is an excellent OBD2 scanner for new mechanics.

Asani MS300 Car Diagnostic Tool

PROS

  • Compatible with all OBD2 protocols
  • Two-button operation
  • Reads VIN on more modern cars
  • Very affordable
  • Compact design

CONS

  • Has unfixed bugs even after updates
  • May not work with some cars

What Recent Buyers Report

One user fixed the misfires on his 10-year old car for less than a hundred dollars. However, the cord is too short for some users' preferences. Another user saved thousands for a dealership repair in his exhaust when he spent less than a hundred with this code reader.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The MS300 Car Diagnostic Tool is a cheap tool that diagnoses check engine light errors and gives you the power to decode them in seconds, and saves you hundreds of dollars by avoiding expensive auto shop repairs.

It works on most SUVs, trucks, vans, and cars and reads OBD fault codes from US, European, and Asian vehicles.

When it comes to storing your car diagnostic car scanner, give yourself easy-to-access space. The display measures 2.75 inches wide, 1 inch thick, and 4.25 inches in length.

Who Will Use This Most

The MS300 diagnostic scanner is super easy to use, so even the most inexperienced drivers can quickly diagnose and fix their car problems.

This code reader would be a good purchase for anyone with little experience with cars or who wants something simple and user-friendly.

LAUNCH CR529 - Long-Term Warranty

LAUNCH CR529 OBD2 Scanner

PROS

  • Full OBD2 functions
  • Compliant with all OBD2 protocols
  • Data recording, report, & print
  • Lifetime free updates
  • 5-year quality warranty

CONS

  • Troublesome software update
  • May not work on some cars
  • Needs a pc or laptop for updates

What Recent Buyers Report

One automotive instructor uses this scan tool for his classes, and he appreciates the multilingual interface. The code descriptions are in plain English and have more functions for a scan tool of this price.

Why It Stands Out to Us

CR529 AutoScanner is a device that can plug into the vehicle and read codes without needing its battery. The power comes from your car, which means you don't need to worry about draining the battery or forgetting your charger at home.

The I/M shortcut can give you quick access to the I/M R ready function. The three following LEDs are used as visual aids to help you determine engine system conditions: green for no fault codes, yellow for pending fault codes, and red for permanent fault codes.

The DTC Lookup can provide you with the definitions of any fault codes on your car and highlight keywords you may need to know further. The HELP shortcut provides input that contains tips to help diagnose your engine trouble in different sections.

This Launch OBD2 scanner helps car owners retrieve vehicle information, such as VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), CID (Calibration ID), and CVN (Calibration verification number).

Who Will Use This Most

The LAUNCH CR529 OBD2 Scanner is the perfect device for DIY mechanics who want long-term support and a warranty for their tools.

LAUNCH Creader 3001 OBD2 Scanner

PROS

  • Easy OBD2 DTC lookup
  • Compact design
  • Multilingual interface
  • Wide vehicle model coverage
  • Lifetime free updates

CONS

  • Some codes need to be purchased
  • Blocked website for updates

What Recent Buyers Report

One driver used this code reader to fix his car issues and recommended it to fellow drivers, claiming every car should have this code reader. Another user is delighted with the clear screen and no-battery operation. It doesn't even need a user's manual because of the simple language used in the interface.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Launch 3001 car scanner is one upgrade from more basic scanners. It provides comprehensive OBD2 functions such as reading and clearing DTCs, Freeze Frame Data Viewing, O2 Sensor Test, On-Board Monitor Test, I/M Readiness Check, and vehicle information.

You can also use the Launch 3001 scanner to identify any emissions-related powertrain component or system issues in your vehicle. These problems might not trigger the check engine light, but they could still create a safety hazard and affect your vehicle's emission levels over time.

The EVAP test function of this obd2 scanner lets you initiate a leak test for the vehicle's EVAP system to prevent fuel from evaporating out and contributing to smog. By detecting and fixing problems right away, this helpful tool can verify your fix without having to take your car in for testing.

Who Will Use This Most

People who don't have much experience working on cars but want to save themselves money by doing it themselves to understand what is going on without taking anything apart or paying someone else.

EDIAG YA201 2021 Enhanced OBD2 Scanner

PROS

  • Displays more than 40 PIDs
  • Easy-to-navigate menu
  • Records and displays data for printing
  • Checks battery status
  • Lifetime free updates

CONS

  • May not work with some car models
  • Doesn't read ABS codes

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users find the EDIAG YA201 Enhanced OBD2 Scanner very handy and comparable with more known brands. The UI design is also lovely and takes only seconds to finish a scan.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The EDIAG YA201 2021 Enhanced OBD2 Scanner improves battery life by displaying the instantaneous voltage across the terminals. You can detect early warnings for potential problems with this device which helps drivers avoid any possible issues.

This vehicle code reader also does smog checks to help retrieve and view O2 sensor monitor test results from the onboard computer.

This code reader car diagnostic tool comes with a 2.4-inch TFT backlit LCD, an adjustable resolution to reduce eyestrain, plug-and-play use, and an ergonomic design. It also supports nine languages.

It also has an extra gift card that you can use for premium tech support, but you can always get free tech support for generic issues with their online support staff.

Who Will Use This Most

If you need more than just an OBD2 reader, the battery voltage checker on this scanner will work best for you.

ANCEL AD410 - Best Easy Access Display

ANCEL AD410 Enhanced OBD II Vehicle Code Reader

PROS

  • Compact design
  • Built-in DTC library for easy retrieval
  • Performs O2 sensor and evap system tests
  • Powerful CPU for steady performance
  • Lifetime free online upgrade

CONS

  • No ABS and battery check
  • Some code definitions are not clear

What Recent Buyers Report

Users value Ancel AD410's ability to check throttle position, rpm, and mass airflow volume in seconds, then present these values in one graph. It doesn't have a built-in battery, so you don't have to worry about your device going dead in the middle of a scan.

Why It Stands Out to Us

ANCEL AD410 Enhanced OBD II Vehicle Code Reader info display includes values (volts, rpm, temperature, speed, etc.) and system information generated by the various vehicle sensors, switches, and actuators.

AD410 is a much improved diagnostic scan tool with more precise test results and a user-friendly UI design. With a 2.4" TFT color LCD, you can see your diagnosis and easily access setup, OBD2 diagnostics, I/M readiness, etc.

It also supports a clear text display, and you can customize the data you want to see on display.

Who Will Use This Most

People who want to do an OBD II scan on their vehicle quickly and easily. It's also the best OBD2 scanner for people with any level of experience in diagnostics, including beginners.

Romondes RD100 Car Scanner

PROS

  • Full OBD2 support
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Retrieves vehicle information
  • More than 3000 built-in DTCs
  • Multilingual support

CONS

  • Small, almost unreadable instruction manual
  • Some users find the UI difficult to navigate

What Recent Buyers Report

Many users think that Romondes RD100 is a great scanner at a very affordable price, while some newbies were apprehensive at first until they tried it and found it very helpful. Some even claim that it's even better than some more expensive scanners.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Romondes RD100 Car Scanner reads and erases generic codes (P0, P2, P3, and U0), manufacturer-specific codes (P1, P3, and U1), and pending codes. It also supports all OBDII protocols: J1850-41.6, J1850-10.4, ISO9141, KWP2000 (ISO 14230), CAN (ISO 15765).

You can install and start using this scanner without help from anyone else, including mechanics who don't usually work on cars. It's a simple Plug-And-Play, with no additional battery or apps needed.

Who Will Use This Most

Although the RD100 is cheap, it's excellent for those who like to tinker with their vehicles. Plus, there are no monthly software updates or subscription costs that come with an expensive scanner. 

NEXPOW V311 OBD2 Scanner

PROS

  • Reads and erases codes
  • Compatible with all OBD2 protocols
  • Monitors battery voltage
  • Onboard monitoring
  • One-touch hotkeys for DTCs and battery

CONS

  • Does not work with hybrid and electric vehicles
  • Low-pixel density display

What Recent Buyers Report

Some users think it's a perfect upgrade from their previous OBD2 scanners. The cable is long so that you can navigate it quickly, and it is straightforward to use.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This V311 check engine code reader features over 3000 code definitions for a more straightforward offline diagnosis. With an enhanced fault code definition, you can fully understand what a code means.

The V311 OBD2 scanner can perform multiple diagnostic functions, including determining the cause of the Engine Light, reading/erasing codes, viewing freeze frame data, checking readiness and emissions compliance (I/M Readiness), and getting vehicle information while also providing Data Streams.

It also displays the real-time curve on car speed, vehicle load, engine coolant temperature, and engine RPM that's usually not available in code readers of the same price range.

Who Will Use This Most

For everyone who wants an easy-to-use entry-level code reader, the NEXPOW V311 OBD2 Scanner is an excellent choice. 

Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner

PROS

  • One-touch I/M readiness hotkey
  • Color-coded LCDs
  • Free lifetime update
  • Built-in speaker
  • Easy plug-and-play

CONS

  • Drains car battery
  • No manual included

What Recent Buyers Report

The Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner saved many users hundreds and even thousands of dollars even for its low price. Even professional mechanics think it works great for simple car diagnostics.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner is a small but reliable diagnostic scan tool with comprehensive vehicle coverage and OBD2 support. Aside from the usual function of reading and clearing OBD2 codes, it also displays freeze data, live data, read vehicle information, and I/M readiness status.

The Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner is a worry-free purchase since you get a 30-day free reimbursement if you're not satisfied with it, a 12-month QA access to the online support, and a lifetime free update.

It also has color-coded LED indicators for pending, active, and permanent trouble codes and a TFT color display. To avoid draining your car battery, be sure to remove it from the OBD2 port after each use.

Who Will Use This Most

If you want a bestseller with thousands of good reviews, you will love the Autel AutoLink AL319 scanner.

Conclusion

For this review, we give the winning vote to INNOVA 3020RS Code Scanner as the best overall because it comes with a free app, checks ABS codes, and has an easy-to-view display.

The winner for the best easy-access display goes to the ANCEL AD410 Enhanced OBD II Vehicle Code Reader because it has an extensive DTC library for online checking of fault codes. It can also perform onboard monitoring and has a powerful CPU for faster and steadier performance.

Another winner for us is the 5-year quality warranty, full OBD2 functions, and data recording and printing of the LAUNCH CR529 OBD2 Scanner.

Did you find the best cheap OBD2 scanner you were looking for? Let us know in the comments.