Best Transmission Code Readers of 2020 – Ultimate Review

Are you looking for the best transmission code reader for your vehicle to stay updated about its performance in real-time? 


If yes, then you're at the right place because, in this article, we have reviewed some of the top transmission code readers to help you pick the best one out of them.


Let's take a look.

Comparison of the Best Transmission Code Readers

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Autel AP200 Bluetooth OBD2

  • Uses an OBD2 scanner for instant and accurate delivery of information
  • Gets paired with your Android Bluetooth within a second without needing any scan tool
  • Best overall that works with European, Asian, and Asian OBD2 models of vehicles.
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Launch Creader VII+ OBD2 Scanner

  • Uses ENG/SRS/ABS to retrieve data, identify DTCs and detect problems
  • Runner-up that works for OBD2/CAN supported vehicles and 2006 or newer ones
  • Receive automatic diagnostic reports in seconds and print with PC Print
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Bafx Products - Diagnostic Car Scanner & Reader

  • Users can connect it with Android or Windows devices
  • Comes with a two-year warranty and is the best for the money
  • Compatible with all vehicles with US model 1996 or newer
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FIXD OBD2 Professional Code Reader

  • Powerful check engine lights to diagnose and solve vehicle issues
  • Best for Ford
  • OBD2 sensor and live app provide all diagnostic data
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FOXWELL NT510 for BMW OBD2 Scanner

  • Best for BMW
  • OBD2 scanner reads and clears fault codes
  • Playback and data print options are available
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What is a Transmission Code Reader and What is it Used For?

A transmission code reader is a bridge between your vehicle's ECU and you. It collects transmission information from the transmission sensors that detect your vehicle's speed, fluid temperature, wheel speed, and other related things. After collecting this information, the data about your vehicle's performance is sent to the transmission control unit (TCU), which is responsible for regulating the entire system of the vehicle like gear engagement, etc.

In addition to managing the system, it also gives you access to the data for your car's output in real-time. Based on this information, you can then identify any problem, if any exist, and then take the required actions like replacing problematic and faulty sensors or repairing any other part of the vehicle.

Why Did These Transmission Code Readers Make Our List?

A number of key factors need to be considered in order to short-list the best transmission code readers. To make you understand their importance better, we narrowed down our research to the following aspects:

Product's Brand

When it comes to investing in and incorporating any product in your vehicle, you need to be careful about its quality because it can affect your vehicle's performance significantly. If you use a low-quality product, it can damage other products connected to it by giving false information, hence, costing you a lot of bucks. Therefore, a product's brand image should be taken into consideration before buying it. Brands like Autel, Creader, Bafx, FIXD, and Foxwell have maintained a good brand reputation by having a track of providing fine quality products to its customers, so we can trust their transmission code readers as well.

Compatibility

Before buying a transmission reader, check its compatibility with your vehicle's model. A good transmission reader is compatible with a number of vehicles instead of a few. The products that we chose are not only compatible with numerous vehicle models but also sync with any two or more Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows as well to make the process of displaying data more convenient.

Application

The transmission readers should provide an application that works in synchronization with the transmission system. You can not only monitor and regulate more than one vehicle at a time, but you will also know the meaning of each code with the help of this application system. 

Quick Take - Best Transmission Code Readers

In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of the best transmission code readers:

  1. Autel AP200 Bluetooth OBD2
  2. Launch Creader VII+ OBD2 Scanner
  3. Bafx Products - Diagnostic Car Scanner & Reader

Review of the Best Transmission Code Readers

To help you make the right choice about transmission code readers, we have reviewed some of the top ones along with their main features, pros, and cons.

PROS

  • Comes with a detailed guide for installation
  • Easy setup process to install it in your vehicles
  • Gives solutions for 19 features for your car system
  • You can get free app service if you sign up for the basic model 
  • Possible to upgrade your vehicle coverage by an in-app purchase
  • Bluetooth connectivity with your Android device helps allow easy reading and retrieving of codes

CONS

  • No option to update your information again in case you put it in wrong on the  first try
  • Updates to avail the maximum benefits of multiple features need to be purchased

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers were quite satisfied with its live data streaming and diagnostic and programming functions. Moreover, they reported that it was convenient to carry and easy to set up. A few buyers reported that its Bluetooth scanners do not do any service resets. Yet, overall customer feedback was positive.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This transmission code reader displays information on a high-quality screen. It works for no less than 19 different service functions. You can convert it into a portable vehicle scanner and save costs for repairing services by budgeting time properly. Moreover, its app service allows access to an array of features that work in conjunction with the transmission reader.

Who Will Use This Most

Autel AP200 Bluetooth OBD2 is best suited for people who want to have a portable scanner for easy handling and require app service to read and retrieve diagnostic tests on their Android smartphones or tablets conveniently.

Bottom Line

This product is a complete package with easy setup, app availability, and Bluetooth connectivity with Android devices. It works with the OBD2 scanner that gives fast and accurate information about the data received from the transmission system. All in all, it is worthy of your valuable investment.

PROS

  • Highly accurate at detecting and reading DTCs
  • You can print out the diagnostic report after connecting the scanner with a PC
  • O2 sensor test and EVAP to detect any troubleshooting and emission problems in time
  • Provides customers with a live data stream to avoid any suspicious or faulty parameters in real-time
  • Works for eight different languages including Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, French, German, Italian, Spanish and English

CONS

  • You cannot delete or reset the keep-alive memory
  • Compatibility problems with European and some Asian brands sometimes

What Recent Buyers Report

The buyers of this product gave positive feedback regarding its accuracy and speed of detecting DTCs. According to its customers, it efficiently reads codes and provides solutions in case of any troubleshooting. Some buyers complained about its compatibility with their vehicle's model. However, the customer base was overall satisfied and recommended this product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product has a responsive operating system that provides fast and intuitive performance. It not only reads data but also gives live streaming in the graphical format along with an O2 sensor test. With its multi-purpose, all-in-one service, it stands out from its competitors' products.

Who Will Use This Most

The customers who have vehicle models supported by OBD2 and CAN can benefit the best from this product. It also suits 2006 and newer models. However, buyers should always confirm its compatibility with their vehicle by contacting their customer support service.

Bottom Line

This model can easily detect DTCs and help you clear them out of the system efficiently. With the OBD2 scanner, it ensures real-time data reading and accurate solutions. It covers a wide range of models that are compatible with OBD2 and CAN. Along with amazing features like live streaming, O2 sensor test, and multilingual DTC lookup, it also provides its customers with lifetime free update service that they can get online.

PROS

  • Covers a wide range of models, so compatibility issues are rare
  • Works efficiently with Android, ensuring you get what you pay for
  • Two-year warranty to give technical support to its users against all manufacturing-related defects
  • Bluetooth connectivity can provide you with transmission data right on your smartphones and tablets
  • Check Engine light can always alarm you to monitor and analyze any emission problems or other issues

CONS

  • Not compatible with iOS devices
  • Cannot stay plugged to OBD2 for a long time

What Recent Buyers Report

The buyers were happy with all the features that it offered at such a good price. It read their vehicle-specific data and detected problematic parts accurately. A few of them complained about its in-adaptability with their iOS devices, but clearly, the pros outweigh the cons.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The product is a bang for the buck because of all the amazing features that it offers, including O2 testing, emission tests, and DTCs detection with its warning lights. Users can connect it with their Android or Windows devices to read data more conveniently. All of these attributes for such a reasonable price makes it worth purchasing.

Who Will Use This Most

It is well-suited for buyers who own US-bought vehicles with models 1996 or newer. People having Android and Windows devices can connect them with this transmission reader and get real-time information on their smartphones or tablets.

Bottom Line

Bafx diagnostic car scanner and the reader can quickly diagnose car problems and give solutions like O2 sensors, air to fuel ratio, emission tests, and detect DTCs with its warning lights. It works for a wide range of car models and supports Bluetooth connectivity with your android and windows devices. What else could you ask for at such an affordable price?

PROS

  • Has an easy to use, comprehensive display for diagnosis
  • Works with every kind of device, be it iOS, Android or Windows
  • Offers Bluetooth connectivity for conveniently managing data on your smartphones or tablets
  • The app paired with the OBD2 sensor provides live diagnostic data, maintenance reminders and translates codes into simple English

CONS

  • Bluetooth connection does not remain strong for long
  • Registration system for the vehicle's VIN is inefficient and hard

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers highly recommended this device because of its accurate diagnostic reports, well-functioning check engine light, and easy-to-use system. There were a few reports about its weak Bluetooth signal and a bug in-app, but the overall response from customers was good.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This transmission reader synchronizes with iOS, Android, and Windows devices so more users can benefit from it. The product performs well to give you diagnostic reports about your car's performance in simple English by pairing up with its app. Moreover, it can control more than one vehicle at a time and sends maintenance reminders whenever they are due. All these features make it an all-inclusive product for maintaining your vehicle's performance.

Who Will Use This Most

Although it covers a wide range of vehicles, this model is best suited for Ford. People who own Nissan, Honda, and Toyota can also benefit from this device. The best part is, it works equally well for all three types of devices i.e. iOS, Android, and Windows.

Bottom Line

This model is best suited for Ford with its OBD2 sensor and live app duo. It's a hands-free compact transmission that gives you real-time, accurate transmission information and solutions to deal with DTCs in simple English. The cherry on top is that it works equally well for iOS, Android, and Windows users. This product certainly needs to be considered if you are looking for an easy-to-use transmission reader with great compatibility.

PROS

  • Intuitive scanner to provide ease of use 
  • Allows you to work on oil service reset, ABS light reset, and DPF regeneration
  • Reads, retrieves, and records live transmission data for regulating vehicles' outputs
  • Views data in easy text and graphical format so that you can interpret the information easily
  • Comes with a one-year product technical service where you can also return the product anytime you want

CONS

  • Only suited for BMW, Mini, and Rolls Royce vehicles
  • Online updates for software are unpaid only for the first 18 months

What Recent Buyers Report

The buyers reported that it was a fine product with an easy, intuitive interface and accurate scanner results. They also reported that it helped them save money as they had to spend less on repairing problems. One of them claimed that it could not read their ABS code, but the majority of buyers recommended the product and gave positive feedback.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This transmission reader has a compact design that suits well for both professional mechanics as well as private car owners. Its OBD2 scanner works fine for all required operations like transmission, airbag, engine, DISA, DSC, ABS, SAS, etc. It also has options for multilingual code definitions. Due to its top-notch attributes, this device strengthens its place on the market.

Who Will Use This Most

It is best suited for people who own BMW models from 1987 to 1996 and want to regulate and maintain their vehicles' performance efficiently. It also performs well for Mini and Rolls Royce vehicles to provide accurate data about any troubleshooting.

Bottom Line

This device provides solutions for a wide range of required problems, including engine, transmission, airbag, oil service reset, diesel particulate filter, etc. It has Nt510 that allows OE level diagnosis on every electronic device that you own to give you fast, accurate, and multilingual transmission information. 

Pros and Cons of Transmission Code Readers

While transmission code readers seem to be a great way to save money, they're not always a worthy investment. Therefore, it's better to know both sides of the story before deciding to invest in one of these. 

Pros

Since we now understand that each model possesses unique features to help you control your vehicles' performance, there are still some great common reasons why you should invest in them. 

Saves Bucks

A transmission code reader plugged in your vehicle saves you a lot of money that you would have wasted on trips to mechanics. Your vehicle may have a problem that is too minor to rush for a mechanic because you can solve it by yourself. You just need to own a transmission code reader that can detect, troubleshoot, and locate the exact part of the vehicle that is undergoing a problem. If it is a minor issue, you can then work on that all by yourself without needing to spend money on mechanic workshops.

Detect Serious Problems

This device helps you detect any problematic part of the vehicle that gets out of order. The warning lights on the sensor can alarm you about the area that is defected, and then you can analyze the severity of that problem by reading codes. Be it minor or serious; it always informs you about a technical issue timely so that you can work on solving it without any delays.

Portable Package

You can always keep this device with you even if you are going for a long drive. The size of transmission readers serves as a mini portable mechanic shop that you can take with you where you can work on any troubleshooting area by reading codes.

Cons

Along with all the quality attributes and pros discussed above, you should also be aware of the disadvantages that come with transmission readers so that you can make a well-informed decision.

No Solution

A transmission code reader merely tells you about the location of the problem. It does not inform you about the way to solve that problem. So if you are someone who does not have good knowledge about solving a vehicle troubleshoot, then you will eventually have to rush to a mechanic.

Faulty Diagnostic Results

The reports that transmission code readers provide us with, are not always 100% accurate. Hence, it is not advisable to replace any component of the vehicle in haste based on such diagnostic reports.

Conclusion

A transmission code reader is an integral component to keep a record of your vehicle's performance and output. All of the above-mentioned models possess different features, yet they work for the same purpose of detecting the vehicle's technical problems and regulating your car's output. With the help of this review, you can choose a transmission reader that is compatible with your vehicle and fulfill your requirements.

People Also Ask

If you still have any kind of ambiguities and confusion in mind, read on to find out answers of two of the most frequently asked questions:

Will BlueDriver Read Transmission Codes?

Yes, BlueDriver can read all kinds of transmission codes. In addition to that, it also gives you complete access to the data that is only available on expensive tools owned by professional mechanics.

Can You Tell if a Code Has Been Cleared on a Car?

Yes, you can check if the code has been cleared or not by using your BlueDriver in two ways i.e. either by disconnecting the battery or by using a scan tool. Generally, with a smog test, the codes are cleared if all emission tests are cleared, and the display shows an 'incomplete' sign.