Best OBD2 Scanners 2017

Last update December 30, 2016
Using an automotive scan tool is similar to having a mini service station right on board of a car. If you're searching for a decent

electric device to monitor all car issues and keep control of a technical condition of your vehicle, you've come to the right page. In our OBD2 scanner review, we've selected some of the most popular onboard diagnostic devices that work on all domestic and foreign vehicles, including trucks and SUV, and won't cost you a fortune.

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BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Diagnostic Features
Connection Options
Data to Display
 
PROS

An advanced OBD2 Scanner that is able to turn your smartphone or tablet into a professional mechanic onboard. Supports CAN and all current OBD2 protocols.

CONS

Doesn’t support Windows OS, but for owners of Android and iOS devices, it will surely be a godsend.

OUR VERDICT

A reasonably-priced scanning tool with smart programming capabilities of expensive models.

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features
Repair Reports, Freeze Frame, Smog Check, Live Data, Free Software Update, Mode 6
Connection Options
OBD2 port, Bluetooth, iOS and Android devices
Data to Display
Confirmed CEL codes, Pending CEL codes, Permanent CEL codes, Enhanced codes - ABS, Airbag, Transmission, etc (GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota), Possible Causes, Code Definitions
PROS


A portable and professional technical assistance on the condition of an engine from the leading automotive company. Features outstanding diagnostic features on a multilingual all-in-one patented screen.

CONS

The device doesn’t show live data.

OUR VERDICT

A bit costly, but absolutely worth the money equipment, supported on most vehicles, including trucks and hybrids, and highly appreciated by most professional technicians and mechanics worldwide.

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features
Check Engine warning light, ABS light trouble codes (Toyota, GM, Ford, Chrysler), State Emission Readiness, Basic Report, Comprehensive Report, Free Software Update
Connection Options
OBD2 port, DLC port, USB, Battery, Battery Backup, PC, Windows OS
Data to Display
Short error message with a code
PROS
Fits for performing an ODBII and CAN diagnostics on all passenger cars and light trucks manufactured in 1996 and later. Provides the O2 sensor (Oxygen Sensor) readings for oxygen content in a car exhaust
CONS
For its operation, this OBD2 scanner requires lithium metal batteries that are not included.
OUR VERDICT
The implementation of One-Click I/M Readiness Key patented technology, use of color TFT display and built-in speaker empower this OBD2 car scanner to quickly perform its functions with high precision.
detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features
VIN, CIN, and CVN reading. Diagnostic data screenshots. Advanced diagnostic mode 6 for OBD-II; One-Click I/M Readiness Key technology
Connection Options
OBD2 port, PC, Windows OS
Data to Display
The information is displayed in numeric and graphic forms. Multi-language menu and a database of DTC malfunction codes are available
PROS

A small unit that will transform your PC, laptop or tablet into a proper scanning tool. Easy to setup and navigate. Capable of reading over 7000 trouble codes generated in a database and checking the engine light.

CONS

Doesn't work with electric cars and hybrids. Compatible only with Windows OS.

OUR VERDICT

This is a budget-priced diagnostic tool, easily setup on Windows OS, that reads most trouble issues and translates them into error codes. All you need to have it work is a PC and a vehicle newer 1996.

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features
Check Engine, Freeze Frame, Custom Screens, Read & Erase Stored Information, Emission Test Readiness, Free Software Update
Connection Options
OBD2 port, USB, Windows OS, Android 3.1 and newer
Data to Display
Instant MPG, Fuel Economy, Total MPG, Distance, Trip MPG, Error codes and short definitions
PROS

A super cheap and easy-to-read scan that doesn’t yield to more expensive models a fraction. Displays most diagnostic codes and includes their definitions on a CD.

CONS

It doesn’t display the codes that are not stored in PC and it doesn’t stream live data.

OUR VERDICT

The best tool at such a price tag that will stun you with its overall performance, simplicity of use and a plethora of diagnostic features available.

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features
VIN recognition, Diagnostic Trouble Codes, Free Software Update, Check Engine
Connection Options
OBD2 port, PC, Windows OS
Data to Display
Error codes and DTC definitions

What Is It

OBD2 auto scanner is a lightweight, compact size and comparatively inexpensive auto diagnostic tool with a built-in software, designed to continuously control a vehicle and inform his owner about all malfunctions in a real-time mode. This is a perfect device for both, professional and custom diagnostic in the service stations. Most customers give preference to using OBD2 Scanners over other similar tools due to their price, compact size and simplicity of use.

Portable OBD2 Scanners are commonly used for diagnostics of electronic engine management systems and other systems found in most modern cars. As they don’t require connection to a PC, they are handy to keep in a glove compartment and easily accessible to run a quick scan of a vehicle. The minor flaw of a thing is a limited functional. It’s only aimed to read and stream error codes on a display. A diagnostic scanner with a connection to PC may be a more beneficial purchase in this sense. Within the same price range, it offers much more functionality. On using a stationary PC or laptop, it’d be possible to access way more programming capabilities of such scanner.

We suggest choosing one of the models that we examined in our Jump Starters review. Using this starter enables you to start the engine of your vehicle even with the battery fully depleted thus ruling out the necessity of finding a charged car battery or a power source for the battery charging

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What To Look For

The first thing to consider when searching through a plethora of OBD2 Scanners available is its Diagnostic Features. This is prime information that is gonna tell you whether (or not) a certain device will go with your car make. The cars manufactured before 1996 will not be compatible with any of the scanners on the market for the reason they’re not equipped with an OBD2 port, so, be aware. All scanners provide some built-in programming diagnostic software or a CD so a user doesn’t need to buy any special hardware. Diagnostic features vary a lot depending on the model of a device and a manufacturer (though, the plan is to extend functionality for more vehicles). However, there are certain things that are common for all - most OBD2 Scanners are capable of updating their software and extending functional with micro-programs via the Internet and PC. These programs are usually easily found on the official websites of manufacturers and available for free download. 

In order to update the software or stream data on a display, a scanner should be connected to the storage source via USB, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This is where you may want to consider available Connection Options of a chosen model and make sure that it will work for you as expected. Portable scanners are usually charged either via a battery or onboard power. Which one to choose will depend on what features you’d like your scanner provide. For example, if a scanner supports printouts, it may be a good idea to buy a battery-operated scanner. When compared to an onboard analog, it will provide an owner with more mobility options so that he can disconnect it and print out all the needed information on a car in any copy center.

The information on a car can be streamed right on a display of a scanner, smartphone or PC, depending on what option is supported by a device. Consider Data to Display feature and check what kind of information is gonna be displayed on your device - a short error code or a code with a definition.

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Review of BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool

Diagnostic Features

BlueDriver Scan Tool is a stylish-looking device that outwardly resembles a smartphone, but differs in functionality. American mechanics and users from outside the country have already had a chance to do justice to its diagnostic features and overall performance. If you haven’t got a scan tool yet, it’s time to consider buying one. And why not BlueDriver, considering its popularity and worldwide recognition of professionals? BlueDriver Sensor together with a free BlueDriver App are meant to work as one tool and indicate all little issues that earlier on you used to pay for at the service stations. Right from the start, you’ll see dozens of pages with diagnostics that you can easily run for your vehicle. Now, whenever the engine light turns on, you’ll know exactly whether there’s a serious trouble or a minor issue, not worth worrying about. The detailed Repair Reports generated from a database of million fixes will provide you with code definitions, possible causes of troubles and fixes reports, and help you succeed in repair completion more accurately and faster. Smog check tool will show you whether an automobile is ready to pass a smog test. There is also Mode 6 diagnostic available with advanced test results.

Connection Options

In order to get to the data about your car, connect a device via Bluetooth to your smartphone and open BlueDriver app. The scan tool is licensed to work with both, Apple iOS and Android OS so you don’t need to buy another phone to be able to use it. The operation of a unit is luckily not limited to certain makes or models and hence, can be used on all vehicles, both, domestic and imported, issued after 1996. BlueDriver Sensor Scan tool supports all OBD2 protocols, automatically runs updates, saves data to PDF files and provides an interactive graphing in real time mode.

Data to Display

This is an awesome scan tool with a great variety of features available. Not only will it run a scan of your vehicle, it will also come up with a comprehensive report on each detected issue and save it to a file for export. Among the data that are displayed for all makes and models are confirmed, pending and permanent codes. Enhanced codes such as ABS, errors on transmission and airbag, would be available for owners of Ford, GM, Toyota and Chrysler (the list of models is going to be expanded in the nearest future).


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Review of INNOVA  3100   Diagnostic ScanTool/Code Reader

INNOVA 3100 Diagnostic ScanTool/Code Reader

INNOVA 3100 Diagnostic ScanTool/Code Reader

Diagnostic Features

Innova 3100 auto scan is a small and handy tool, well-recognized and widely used by professional technicians. It takes just a few seconds to run a quick scan and reveal the major issues found in an engine. Whenever you’ll see the warning light on with a message “Check Engine”, you’ll know for sure there’s something that’s got to be checked. A basic report on diagnostic is provided for free, but for more detailed information you may want to purchase a comprehensive report separately. The scan is also made to read and erase ABS light trouble codes that may occur on board of Toyota, Ford, Chrysler and GM. The multilingual interface of the screen would come in handy to English, French and Spanish speakers. Innova 3100 diagnostic scanner is capable of automatically updating its software every 30 seconds; that makes it an irreplaceable technical assistant in matters of solving detected problems quickly and effectively. It’s hard to argue that this OBD2 car scanner offers a vast variety of diagnostic features that are highly estimated by most mechanics and car drivers.

Connection Options

This is a battery-operated scanner that’s connected to a vehicle via a cable. To get it started, a scan has got to be plugged in a relevant port. Once it’s positioned in a DLC port, a user should download a PC Link software on a computer and through this link, access the detailed information on the technical condition of a car whenever it’s necessary. What we like about Innova 3100 diagnostic scan is an opportunity to look through a backup history of a car in the memory of a device. To save the data, you only need to hit the button “Save to File” and then, transfer it to a storage source that you prefer. This is very convenient when you need to compare test drive results and complete the repair.

Data to Display

Apart from all other handy features that Innova 3100 has been designed to provide, it comes with a patented all-in-one LED multilingual screen that streams most error codes, including pending, and says what monitors have been used to run a scan. It doesn’t show sensor values in real time, alas, but in the rest, it’s an amazing little thing. It doesn’t display long sheets of information, but a brief rundown of car issues on a screen will surely give you the right direction where to dig in.


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Review of Autel AL519  AutoLink Enhanced OBDII/EOBD Scanner

Autel AL519 AutoLink Enhanced OBDII/EOBD Scanner

Autel AL519 AutoLink Enhanced OBDII/EOBD Scanner

Diagnostic Features

The Autel AL519 OBD2 diagnostic scanner allows retrieving the basic info concerning a car by reading a VIN, CIN, and CVN number. This data set provides an extended car information. The AutoLink AL519 model supports a diagnostics in all the 10 modes for an OBDII system. In addition, this OBD scanner supports the Control Area Network (CAN), which is a next generation diagnostic protocol. The device is able to read the standard (P0, P2, P3 и U0), manufacturer-specific (P1, P3 и U1) and pending malfunction codes. A unique One-Click I/M Readiness Key technology provides a quick access to resulting data and checking of a vehicle exhaust gas for its conformance to the standards, thus enabling you to realize which fuel quality is more environmentally friendly.

Connection Options

To get the information on a technical condition of your car, first, you need to connect the Autel OBD2 scanner to it with a special bundled cable via an OBD2 socket. After plugging the scanner into the socket you will have all the retrieved information shown on the TFT display in a form of numeric codes or graphics. This Autel OBD2 diagnostic scanner model allows connecting to a Windows OS-based PC and printing out the diagnostic data if needed. This OBD scanner can be used with any car model that was launched in 1996 or later for performing an OBDII or CAN diagnostics.

Data to Display

This OBD2 scanner model is capable of providing the information on various malfunctions and faults occurring in your car. The valuable information can be displayed in both numeric and graphic forms to be easier understood by a user. The OBD2 car scanner uses a big malfunction code database and a detailed interactive reference system. The LED indicators with 3 color modes and sounds produced by a built-in speaker warn you of the faults and condition of diagnostic code retrieval by this OBD2 auto scanner. The device provides a real-time detection of a fault cause in reference to malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) signals. You can disable the MIL signaling, stop parameters monitoring and reset the device readings at your will.


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Review of ScanTool  425801  OBD, EOBD, JOBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner

ScanTool 425801 OBD, EOBD, JOBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner

ScanTool 425801 OBD, EOBD, JOBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner

Diagnostic Features

In a flash of a moment, ScanTool 425801 will transform your PC or laptop in a small service station right at home. You wouldn’t need to go to a mechanic every time you see the Check Engine light on. With this small, but accurate and easy-to-use scan tool, you’ll quickly find out where the problem lies. Whenever the car issue is found, the unit comes up with an error code message so that you can quickly solve the trouble points and do the repair yourself. ScanTool 425801 is designed to work on all cars and trucks sold in the USA (newer 1996 year of issue) except for electric vehicles and hybrids. Among the features that you’ll certainly like is an opportunity to get a quick snapshot the moment a problem has occurred and create your own layouts custom screens.

Connection Options

If you’re searching for a scanning tool, compatible with iOS, ScanTool 425801 would not be a great option for this need. With all the features it provides and overall simplicity, its connection options are rather limited. The operation systems it supports are Windows and Android. Through a USB port, you can connect a device to PC and get all the information on your vehicle right on the screen.

Data to Display

ScanTool 425801 is a small and easy-to-configure device, compatible with more vehicles than most other available models are. Within a reasonable price range, it is capable of reading and diagnosing trouble codes, erasing stored information, retrieving information on emissions test, displaying info on fuel economy, trip MPG and distance. The data that a device is gonna display mostly depend a model of a vehicle, but on a whole, it hardly yields to more expensive OBD2 auto scanners by the amount of features and data it provides.


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Review of Autel MS300  CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool for OBDII

Autel MS300 CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool for OBDII

Autel MS300 CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool for OBDII

Diagnostic Features

Despite it’s only a small and extremely cheap diagnostic scan tool, its programming capabilities hardly differ from more expensive smart models. It offers a plethora of diagnostic features which may vary depending on a model of a car and its year of issue. But on a whole, the provided diagnostic features include the following capabilities - erasing all codes, retrieving VIN numbers of vehicles issued in 2002 and newer, retrieving Diagnostic Trouble Codes, retrieving I/M readiness status and rescanning. All the codes displayed on a screen have got their definitions on a CD disk, however, you can always go online and find more information with Google. Autel MaxiScan MS300 might lack some features like, for example, streaming live data and printouts, but for what it is, it definitely provides a good lot of diagnostic features that would be of value to the customers.

Connection Options

Would you expect to buy a scan tool at an extremely low price and be able to use it on all marks and models trouble-free? This is a great little thing that is well compliant with U.S. cars as well as imported vehicles from European and Asian countries. It supports all OBD2 protocols, including the CAN. On using Autel MaxiScan you wouldn’t need to worry about keeping it charged. While being plugged in the OBD2 port via a standard 16-pin OBD2 connector, the unit is going to be automatically powered onboard. All in all, it’s a very convenient device to use on a regular basis effortlessly and stress-free.

Data to Display

Keeping Autel MaxiScan plugged in a port is not enough to have the data displayed on a screen. Before you engage the starter, make sure to turn the ignition switch ON, hit the ENTER button and only then, start a vehicle. The device will run a quick scan and come up with the results a few seconds later. Take a note that resetting the codes won’t happen on a single press of the button. The scan has showed to get back to the ready status only after a few miles driven on a road. This is what it takes for sensors to retest and get prepared for a new emission test. But after all, it is capable of retrieving the same information that most expensive scanning tools are - it indicates most trouble codes including generic, pending a specific manufacturer codes (all definitions are given on a CD trouble codes catalog).


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