Best ELM 327 Scanners – 2020 Buyer’s Guide Review

These days, automobiles are packed with advanced technology to enhance the comfort and safety levels of a ride. However, you can’t deny the fact that a visit to a workshop for merely checking the brake light can be an expensive deal.

Well, the good news is that OBD2 scanners have made this scanning procedure extremely easy and pocket-friendly. The ELM327 interface uses OBD2 software for generating a link between a PC and the vehicle’s ECU.

Read on to find the best ELM327 scanners that are quite efficient in transmitting the data between your vehicle’s computer and external drives.

Comparison Chart of the Best ELM 327 Scanners

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Wsiiroon ELM 327 Adapter

  • Efficient diagnosis of trouble codes
  • With wide vehicle coverage, this model is the best overall
  • Works well with numerous subsystems for effective detection of faults
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ELM327 FORScan OBD2 Adapter

  • USB connection allows further ease of use
  • Compatibility with almost all imported and local vehicles
  • An efficient scanner with a speed of 500kbit per second, this runner-up is just behind the best overall model
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Launchh Mini ELM327

  • Built-in Bluetooth for quality connection
  • Plug-and-play functionality to mark easy handling
  • Suitable for Android phone systems and Windows on PCs, and is the best for the money
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FORScan OBD2 VINT-TT55502 ELMconfig ELM327

  • A fast operating device with constant speed
  • Offers access to numerous subsystems in the car
  • Flawless scanning in a wide range of vehicle models
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Forscan ELM327 Scanner OBD2

  • Easy setup and accurate measurements
  • A USB cable to provide a stable connection
  • Faultless testing of a number of systems in your vehicle
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What is ELM327?

Remarkable technology from ELM electronics, ELM327 is a microcontroller programmed to translate the OBD interface you have in your vehicle. This interface is quite popular for its compatibility with a wide range of OBD2 protocols.

It is equipped with three major components, including a chip, set of electric voltage adapters, and set of voltage adapters for PC. The ELM327 chip is basically the main integrated circuit that engineers the translation of information from the car's ECU to a format that can be processed in a computer. Similarly, the electric voltage adapters work in the identification of various OBD2 systems. In the end, voltage adapters are responsible for generating communication between the adapter and the PC.

Are All ELM327 Scanners the Same?

Most ELM327 scanners on the market follow the same procedure of connectivity and usage. However, two models may look alike but can be entirely different in certain specifications.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Some ELM327 scanners do not offer a stable Bluetooth functionality, as they are deprived of this feature. On the other hand, OBD2 scanners equipped with built-in Bluetooth capability to provide wide coverage and ultimately enhance the mobility of the device.

Platform Support

Not all ELM327 scanners have the ability to support all working platforms in order to perform diagnosis. Some scanners are best-suited for iOS systems and require a computer device to provide accurate measurements. Similarly, scanners having compatibility with Windows on PCs do not work efficiently with Android systems.

On the other hand, nowadays, you will also find many improved versions on the market that are efficient enough to support all systems and keep you updated on your car’s status.

Apps

Just like some scanners are best suited for a particular operating system, they require the availability of a specific app to activate the operation.

From the above discussion, we have concluded that not all ELM327 scanners are the same. Some are ideal for iOS systems, while others are good for Android systems. However, in our opinion, we recommend you go for an advanced version that shows compatibility with all operating systems and also features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities to ensure a valued purchase.

What Should I Look For When Buying an ELM327 Scanner?

If you ever intend to buy an ELM327 scanner, you’ll find a plethora of options available in the market. This makes the purchase quite confusing and extremely tiresome. Therefore, we have summarized a set of features that must be focused whenever you are in the market for a scanner.

Durability

An important feature that you must look for in an ELM327 scanner is the quality of construction. Always go for a model composed of high-quality materials and built to perform, even under tough conditions.

User-Friendly

This is the most important feature for any beginner to get the best results possible. Opt for a model that is handy and comes with a user-friendly design so you won’t get confused while working with it for the first time.

Multi-Compatibility

One of the most significant features of any great ELM327 scanner is its ability to work with a wide range of vehicles, including US-based or non-US models. From Mazda to Ford, it must be capable of diagnosing the problem in each vehicle. Additionally, it should be suitable for numerous subsystems of your automobile vehicle to check the faults seamlessly. The app should also be compatible with your devices, whether iOS, Android, or Windows.

Pocket-Friendly

Since not everybody can afford to spend tons of cash on a scanner, it is recommended to choose a model that features all essential specifications, without feeling heavy on the pocket.

Quick Take - Best ELM 327 Scanners

In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of the best ELM 327 scanners:

  1. Wsiiroon ELM 327 Adapter
  2. ELM327 FORScan OBD2 Adapter
  3. Launchh Mini ELM327

Review of the Best ELM 327 Scanners

Hopefully, the last section gave you enough information about the essential features that must be kept in mind while choosing an ELM327 scanner. Moving forward, let’s review the trending products in detail to ease your picking task.

PROS

  • Works with a third-party app
  • Also suitable for non-US vehicles
  • Live updates for data monitoring
  • A compact design with sturdy construction
  • Capable of providing fast and accurate measurements

CONS

  • A bit on the pricey side
  • Lacks Bluetooth capability
  • Lacks compatibility for large trucks

What Recent Buyers Report

Considered to be the best overall product, this model has earned this position for exhibiting a number of exceptional features. Users are highly satisfied with its accurate diagnosis and fast operation. Moreover, almost all users report that this model is quite handy and does not require too much effort from them.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Wsiiroon ELM 327 Adapter is a great solution for almost all car types. This all-rounder features a durable design, which is user-friendly, as well. Similarly, it is equipped with a reliable protector, which helps in protecting your car from high voltage. Talking about the speed, this model is far better than its competitors.

Who Will Use This Most

It is an ideal option for all the people who need an effective scanner to read and erase trouble codes. Its rapid functioning makes it suitable for use in the garage by professionals. Moreover, it works well with almost all vehicles and even non-UD vehicles manufactured since 1996, which is quite impressive.

Bottom Line

An extraordinary product with high-end features, the Wsiiroon ELM 327 Adapter is well-known for its handy design and fast diagnosis of problems in the vehicle. It is not only durable but also worth the investment. All in all, it has all the features vital for such an adapter.

OHP ELMconfig FORScan OBD2 USB Adapter for Windows, Ford Diagnostic ELM327 Coding Tool with MS-CAN / HS-CAN Switch

PROS

  • Supports all US models
  • Offers access to all modules
  • Suitable for a great range of vehicles
  • Capable of providing live data management
  • Can be operated with multiple software including FORScan and FoCCUS

CONS

  • Lacks any Bluetooth support
  • Does not have Wi-Fi capability
  • Not recommended for heavy trucks

What Recent Buyers Report

Similar to our top product, this runner-up has also gained a positive response from its users. The much-appreciated quality is its rapid functioning that allows the user to detect the problem in almost no time. Similarly, users are also impressed with its wide range of compatibility, as it saves the additional expenditure of purchasing a certain model for each vehicle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Another great model on our list, the ELM327 FORScan OBD2 Adapter is one of the most efficient OBD2 adapters you will find on the market. It features a flexible design, which is further enhanced by a USB connection to allow easy handling. It offers access to multiple modules and works at a rapid speed for the effective detection of any fault.

Who Will Use This Most

Since this model shows compatibility with a number of models, it can be used by even professionals in workshops. Its user-friendly design makes it suitable for even beginners. Talking about the vehicles, this adapter is quite useful for Mazda, Lincoln, and even Ford. In short, it works well with all vehicles from 1996.

Bottom Line

The ELM327 FORScan OBD2 Adapter is undoubtedly a powerhouse of features. Whether we are talking about its robust design or its fast operation, this model has amazed everyone in all areas. Compatible with almost every vehicle model, this OBD2 adapter ensures that you won’t go wrong in an hour of need.

Best for the Money:​
Launchh Mini ELM327

PROS

  • Suitable for a number of vehicles
  • Has the most affordable price tag
  • Easy to use makes it a popular choice
  • Attractive design with durable construction
  • Most recommended for Windows and Android systems

CONS

  • Not suitable for the iOS system
  • Does not work with diesel vehicles
  • Might face some connectivity issues

What Recent Buyers Report

This OBD2 adapter is immensely popular among the customers for its attractive price. It exhibits all the essential features at a very reasonable price compared to its competitors. Moreover, users appreciate it for its compact design that is not only durable but can also be used easily with multiple cars.

Why it Stands Out to Us

An OBD2 scanner packed to the brim with high-end features, the Launchh Mini ELM327 mainly stands out from its rivals for its reasonable price. Coming to its design, it features a nice design that suits many vehicle models. It is equipped with a reliable Bluetooth coverage that makes connectivity a breeze.

Who Will Use This Most

Available at a relatively low price, this adapter is an ideal choice for budget-conscious people. It has all the important features to effectively diagnose trouble codes in gasoline and EOBD cars from 1998. Moreover, it is highly recommended for Android systems and Windows to have a seamless functioning anytime you want.

Bottom Line

The Launchh Mini ELM327 is meant to bring value to your bucks. It has many top-notch features that work together to get you the best results possible. Similarly, the compatibility range is quite impressive. Honestly, you won’t find a better and more versatile OBD2 adapter at this price in the market.

PROS

  • Easy to install and activate
  • Allows DFP force regeneration
  • Capable of reading and erasing live data easily
  • Involves all common and easy service procedures
  • Comes with modified ECU parameters to mark perfection

CONS

  • Not suitable for heavy trucks
  • Compatible with US models only
  • Limited to Ford and Mazda models only

What Recent Buyers Report

Users have appreciated this scanner for a number of reasons. First of all, the design is unique and the USB connection makes it easy to use whenever you want. Similarly, it comes with all service procedures to saves the user from any confusion. Lastly, users report that it works well with all advertised models in an efficient manner.

Why it Stands Out to Us

In case you are looking for a great OBD2 adapter to meet your everyday demands, then you must get your hands on the FORScan OBD2 VINT-TT55502 ELMconfig ELM327. Its attractive and flexible design is well complemented by the rapid and accurate diagnostic functioning. Moreover, it comes with multiple service procedures to offer comfort to the user.

Who Will Use This Most

This adapter has a hassle-free setup that makes it a go-to choice for many people out there. Anyone who needs to diagnose faults in the vehicle should consider it to enhance their overall experience. Talking about its compatibility, this adapter ensures suitability for Ford, Kuga, Fusion, and all other US-manufactured vehicles from the year 1996 on.

Bottom Line

One of the most user-friendly pieces of equipment, the FORScan OBD2 VINT-TT55502 ELMconfig ELM327 is appreciable for its accurate testing. This model not only features a nice design but also manages live data quite efficiently. With seamless access and communication to all modules, this improved version is surely a great steal.

PROS

  • Works for many vehicle models
  • Black design with flexible functionality
  • Comprehensive access to many modules
  • Compatible with numerous popular software
  • Allows you to edit settings according to your choice

CONS

  • Might face some connectivity issues
  • Some complaints of slow functioning
  • App does not work with an adapter at times

What Recent Buyers Report

Just like other scanners, this model also succeeded in winning the confidence of the people. Users report it shows compatibility with a wide range of vehicle models and provides accurate diagnostic results to achieve perfection. Last but not least, it enables the user to make changes according to their desire.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Forscan ELM327 Scanner OBD2 mainly stands out to us for its reliable construction, as well as user-friendly design. Similarly, it features V1.5 hardware to allow rapid functionality to detect problems in your vehicle. Lastly, it lets you activate or deactivate the modules on your own without calling for professional help.

Who Will Use This Most

An all-rounder, this adapter is highly suitable for those who do not want to pay to continuously visit a workshop for module activation. It shows compatibility with high-end models of Ford, Fusion, Kuga, and other US-based models. Additionally, it also works with Mazda and Mercury to provide accurate testing results.

Bottom Line

Are you in search of a durable adapter that is efficient enough to provide results anytime you want? Then you must get your hands on the Forscan ELM327 Scanner OBD2. This is equipped with all the essential features required for a fast diagnosis of trouble codes in multiple systems of your vehicle.

Pros and Cons of ELM327

The ELM327 is being used across the globe to help achieve precise diagnostics. All of these adapters may vary in design, size, and shape, but almost all of them follow the same procedure for stable connection and use. In this section, we have listed a couple of pros and cons associated with ELM327 scanners to help you make the choice accordingly.

Pros

There are several advantages of employing an ELM327, and some of them are discussed as follows.

Accurate Diagnosis

Having an ELM327 onboard helps you read and clear generic, as well as manufacturer’s trouble codes. Moreover, some models offer the definition of each code and a quick solution to a specific problem. This makes it beneficial for many users in terms of time and money.

Live Data

The generated data is quite helpful in pinpointing a certain problem. ELM327 scanners are capable of generating live data that allows you to check the working condition of your vehicle. Whether it is about engine performance or fuel economy, ELM327 will be there to rescue you.

Data Management

Another benefit of using an ELM327 scanner is that it gives you the choice of obtaining data in either text or E-mail form.

Cons

While there are many benefits of an ELM327 scanner, there are a few disadvantages as well.

Not Compatible With OBD1 ​Vehicles

One of the prominent drawbacks of ELM327 is that it shows compatibility with only OBD2 vehicles. Any enthusiast who owns an OBD1 vehicle can’t use this scanner.

Requires a System

Another disadvantage includes that this scanner must be connected with a phone or PC to operate.

Conclusion

ELM technology has made the diagnosis of certain problems possible right in the comfort of your house. This not only saves a considerable amount of cash, but your time as well, considering that you don’t have to take your car to the workshop every other day. The ELM327 scanners mentioned above are some of the best models that help you detect what’s wrong with your car, so picking one of these won’t lead to regrets later on.