Best OBD2 Scanners

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 30, 2020
Using an automotive scan tool is similar to having a mini service station right on board your 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 SUVs, and won't cost you a fortune. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Diagnostic Features
Connection Options
Controls
Data to Display
Warranty
 
PROS

The device allows you to get extended information on the DTC (DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES) LIST, where you can study in detail the information regarding errors in electronic control units. And here it provides the function of resetting SRS-codes.

CONS

Loads a little slowly.

OUR VERDICT

The main advantage of the Autel MaxiLink ML629 is that it is compatible almost with all cars produced from 1996 and newer that support the function of OBDII scan. Not only that. It is also one of the few scanners that allow you to get VIN, CALID and CVN codes.

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features

Engine Diagnosis, Transmission diagnosis, ABS/SRS diagnoses, DTC (Diagnostics Trouble Codes) lookup, Retrieving vehicle information (VIN, CALID and CVN)

Connection Options

OBD2 port, USB, microSD-card slot

Controls

LCD-display with control panel

Data to Display

Misfire Monitor, Fuel System Monitor, Comprehensive Component Monitor, EGR System Monitor, O2 Sensors Monitor, Catalyst Monitor, Evaporative System Monitor, O2 Sensor Heater Monitor, Secondary Air Monitor, Heated Catalyst Monitor etc.

Warranty

1 year

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

This scanning tool is much less expensive than some of its rials yet its functionality and programming capabilities are just about on a par with most of them. Plus it has Bluetooth, which gives it a leg up.

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
Controls

The BlueDriver App (compatible with iOS and Android)

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
Warranty

1 year

PROS

The scanner has the broadest functionality, while its management is more than clear and simple, thanks to a large and informative display. And the Read / Erase DTC and I / M readiness hot keys allow you to use it directly from the package.

CONS

USB cable is a bit short.

OUR VERDICT

The FOXWELL NT301 autoscanner is a practical device, equipped with a large color display, a body with a rubber bumper, a comfortable keyboard and a fast processor. It supports a huge number of cars equipped with the OBD2 connector and is supplemented by a multilingual interface and lifetime free software updates.

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features

Engine Diagnosis, emissions readiness status, on-screen DTC definitions, built-in DTC look up library, Lifetime free software updates

Connection Options

OBD2 port, USB port

Controls

2.8" FTF color screen

Data to Display

Misfire Monitor, Fuel System Monitor, Comprehensive Components Monitor, Catalyst Monitor, Heated Catalyst Monitor, Evaporative System Monitor, Secondary Air System Monitor, Air Conditioning Refrigerant Monitor, Oxygen Sensor Monitor, Oxygen Sensor Heater Monitor, Exhaust Gas Recirculation System Monitor

Warranty

Limited 1 year

PROS

The connection cable boasts a very thick flexible insulator, so it is almost impossible to damage it. And it also has an increased length of 2.5 feet which facilitates its use in cars where the port is located in a hard-to-reach place.

CONS

Doesn't erase all error codes.

OUR VERDICT

The ANCEL scanner stands out for its practicality and ease of use. It has an intuitive interface and controls which consists of only 4 buttons so that even someone who has not had any previous experience of working with detailed devices should be able to master its basic functions very quickly.

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features

Reading Powertrain Codes, Erasing CheckEngine code, viewing freeze frame data

Connection Options

OBD2 port

Controls

LCD display with control panel

Data to Display

EGR System Monitor, O2 Sensors Monitor, O2 Sensor Heater Monitor, Catalyst Monitor, Evaporative System Monitor, Secondary air Monitor, Heated Catalyst Monitor, A/C system monitor

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The Autel AutoLink AL319 has extended functionality, making it suitable both for spark ignition engines and for compression ignition engines. Also, it is distinguished by the EGR System which allows normalizing the level of harmful substances emitted into the atmosphere. 

CONS

Keyless remote programming is unavailable.

OUR VERDICT

This model can not only detect the error code and output it on the screen but also can show the type of malfunction. This way, detecting and fixing a problem will take you considerably less time. The menu of the device is available in 7 languages (English, Spanish, French, German, etc.).

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features
Free Software Update, Malfunction Indicator Light, Freeze Frame, State Emission Monitor Status, Check Engine light, Software MaxiLinkII Tool Kit for PC
Connection Options
OBD2 port, USB, PC, Windows OS
Controls

LCD-display with control panel

Data to Display
Generic (P0, P2, P3, and U0), Manufacturer specific (P1, P3, and U1) codes, Permanent codes and Definitions
Warranty

1 year

Autel MaxiLink ML629

Full Functionality

A car mechanic, in many instances, is only as good as the tools that they use. In order to diagnose and repair problems with any vehicle, any number of tools are required for this task, and of course the better the quality of the tools, the more thorough of a job can be done. Any mechanic using inferior tools is sure to run into problems with being able to fully fix a vehicle they are repairing, so it is of the upmost importance to ensure that they are using the highest quality tools possible in order to ensure a quality diagnosis and repair job.

This extends to ODB2 scanners, where the quality of the device is going to directly affect the information that can be gathered and analyzed by the mechanic. The Autel MaxiLink ML629 OBD2 Scanner provides any mechanic with a great quality scanner that can be used in almost any situation. The device allows you to get extended information on the DTC (DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES) LIST, where you can study in detail the information regarding errors in electronic control units. In addition, it also provides the function of resetting SRS-codes, giving you a fully featured device that lets you get to the root of any vehicle's problems in a quick and accurate manner.

Review of Autel MaxiLink ML629 OBD2 Scanner Upgraded Version of ML619

High Compatibility

One of thee main advantages of this model is that it is compatible with almost all cars of 1996 release and later, including European, Asian, and domestic vehicles, which is a much higher range of compatibility than many other competing devices. This device supports the OBDII scan function, and it is also one of the few scanners that allows you to get VIN, CALID and CVN codes. Basically, the functionality featured in this model is superb, offering you quite a bit, especially for a device in its price range.

Unlike many other OBD2 scanners, this device is extremely easy to use, with very intuitive controls that are displayed through a color LCD screen. The different functions of the device are located in menus that are displayed as icons on the screen that can be navigated through by using the four direction control pad. As everything in the menu is laid out in a logical manner, you can quickly and easily find the functions and data that you need. The device itself is housed in a durable shell that can withstand the rigors normally associated with vehicle maintenance. With all of these features combined into a sturdy and compact unit, any mechanic who needs a fully featured ODB2 scanner will find few faults with this model.

Autel MaxiLink ML629 OBD2 Scanner Upgraded Version of ML619 in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

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.

Review of BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool

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.

To summarize, 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).

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
BlueDriver Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool Review

What customers say about this product

Features

They have the ability to add features and are constantly improving!

Diagnostic

Has built-in scanner for newer cars that have QR code VINs - have to manual input the VIN -- doing so gives you TSBs & recalls for car - no other under $200 scan tool does this for this price -- saves a lot of time!

Key Specs

Reads out ALL or most vehicle systems, not just engine/ emissions, on domestic vehicles.
 

FOXWELL NT301

Troubleshoot With Ease

ODB2 scanners are highly useful tools when trying to troubleshoot problems with a car. With the data that can be provided from a car's computer, a fully-featured ODB2 scanner can help you find just about any issue, no matter how small or obscure it may be. However, with the complexity of some ODB2 scanners on the market, this can actually be more difficult to do than it should be, thanks to the lack of intuitiveness and overabundance of complexity that some of these devices seem to be loaded with. Furthermore, the ones that are easy to use sometimes are lacking some basic functionality that would help diagnose more complex issues. It is rare indeed to find a device that is both fully functional and easy to use.

The FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner gives you the best of both worlds by having an abundance of functionality while still remaining easy to use. The scanner itself has the broadest functionality, giving you a fully-featured list of tests and scans, while its management is more than clear and simple, thanks to the large and informative display. The Read / Erase DTC and I / M readiness hot keys allow you to use it directly from the package, without the need to go through a lengthy or complex setup process that seems to be the norm with some other scanners.

Review of FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner

Practical and Durable

The FOXWELL NT301 autoscanner is a practical device, equipped with a large color display that gives you all of the necessary information in very easy to read text while providing a very intuitive interface. The body includes a rubber bumper that adds to its durability, a comfortable keyboard and a fast processor, which all help to make this device extremely easy to use. In addition, the device supports a huge number of cars equipped with the OBD2 connector, supplemented by a multilingual interface and lifetime free software updates, so there is no need to worry about this device going out of date as long as you check for software updates regularly.

If there is an actual downside to this device, it would be that the included USB cable is a bit short, which can make it difficult to connect to a computer for some people. Having said that, though, the ODB2 cable is plenty long enough to use it comfortably in most cars, including those that have their ODB2 ports in hard to reach places. At the end of the day, this ODB2 scanner will easily prove itself to be an extremely useful tool for diagnosing and fixing car problems thanks to its wide array of features coupled with its durable design and ease of use.

FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

ANCEL AD310

Convenient Form Factor

Anyone who has ever used an ODB2 scanner in multiple cars is sure to be familiar with this story: the port is located in a very inconvenient and hard to reach place where the scanner's included cord can't easily reach, precipitating either an awkward pose of trying to reach the port, or even necessitating the purchase of a longer cable. Such situations can even lead to a damaged cord due to having to twist and turn it to reach the port, thus leaving the device virtually useless until a new cord is found. Sounds familiar? If it does, then you should read on for the perfect solution to this problem.

The ANCEL AD310 OBD II Scanner Car helps out where other ODB2 scanners don't by providing a long and durable cord that lets you scan the port of virtually any vehicle without any further inconvenience. The cord length of 2.5 feet helps in giving you enough cord to work with without needing to use the device in awkward or inconvenient positions, while the cord itself features a thick but flexible coating that helps protect the cable. In fact, the cord insulator is thick enough to withstand quite a bit of abuse, so there should be little to no need to worry about it breaking. This alone helps make this one of the more convenient ODB2 scanners to use.

Review of ANCEL AD310 OBD II Scanner Car

Inuitive Interface and Controls

It is always nice to have a tool that helps make your work life easier, and that's exactly what this ODB2 scanner does. The length and durability of the cord aid in this, but where this device really shines is with its controls and user interface. This is definitely one of the easiest ODB2 scanners that we have used, with its large backlit LCD display providing all information in large text that is very easy to read, even if you are wearing protective goggles. The interface makes finding all of the options provided by the device easy and quick, letting you spend time working on your problems instead of trying to operate the device. The four button controls also allow for easy navigation through the menus, making its operation about as easy as it can possibly get.

The ease of use aside, this device offers plenty of options for helping to locate and fix error codes in a vehicle. This scanner works with most makes and models of cars, including US cars made after 1996, and EU and Asian cars made after 2000. In short, there are very few vehicles that this scanner won't work with. Best of all, though, is the fact that this scanner is very reasonably priced, making it one of the best values in ODB2 scanners.

ANCEL AD310 OBD II Scanner Car in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Autel AutoLink AL319

Easy Diagnostics

ODB2 scanners have been a real godsend to mechanics. Thanks to their ability to interface with the computer in almost any car, they are able to help detect issues with the car both quickly and accurately. However, many of the top models available tend to be pretty expensive, which puts them out of the price range for those who like to work on their own cars instead of relying on a mechanic. This, in turn, tends to take away the ability to quickly and easily detect issues with a vehicle. Not all of the top models are so expensive, though, and the Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD II & CAN Scan Tool is a great example of this.

This is an affordable and easy-to-use OBD2 diagnostic scanner that works on all models and makes of car from 1996 and newer. With the Autel AutoLink AL319, you won't need to go through guesswork when troubleshooting an issue and work out what part of the whole system has gone out of order. It quickly detects all malfunctions, notifies the user about the error codes by displaying a message on the screen, and explains the issues so that it’s not necessary to look up online for further explanation. The Autel AutoLink AL319 will assist users in verifying road tests, solving basic engine problems, checking the emission monitor status, resetting monitors, displaying and clearing error codes, and viewing freeze frame data.

Review of Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner

Highly Portable

To have the Autel AutoLink AL319 work, make sure it’s plugged into the vehicle's OBD2 port via a cable. Due to its small size and imponderable weight, it’s extremely portable and easy-to-use. Via a USB cable, you can connect the unit to a PC or laptop and have all the data about your vehicle displayed on the screen. This is one of the most affordable and yet, universal scan tools available in the market. The ability to connect it to virtually any PC makes it an invaluable tool for helping to track issues with any vehicle.

We are amazed at the value of the scan tool considering its very affordable price. Not only does this diagnostic device have a color LED screen, it’s also equipped with a built-in speaker, both aimed to provide a full (visual and audible) indication of car issues. By just the single push of a button, you’ll be able to quickly get all the required information of your vehicle's health right on the screen - the stored and pending codes, freeze frame data, the status of monitors, the status of MIL, manufacturer and generic specific codes and more. It’s one of those rare cases when you don’t really need to pay a fortune to get a quality device that will work just as expected.

 In short, those who are on a budget will certainly appreciate the convenience and ease of use of this ODB2 scanner.

Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Testing Autel AL319 AutoLink OBD2 Diagnostic Tool Powerful

What customers say about this product

Features

Large color screen. (Easy to read and you get lots of info in one shot, minimizing scrolling).

Key Specs

It includes a fair number of manufacturers and models so it goes beyond simple OBDII scanners. It also very quickly flags whether sufficient Drive Cycle tests have completed for emission inspection purposes.

Diagnostic

Has worked well when the check engine light comes on. I had an issue with my coolant thermostat and was able to diagnose it before visiting the mechanic through the web with the code I got and the symptoms I had.
 

What Is an OBD2 Scanner?

An OBD2 auto scanner is a lightweight, compact size and comparatively inexpensive auto diagnostic tool with built-in software, designed to continuously control a vehicle and inform its owner about all malfunctions in a real-time mode. This is a perfect device for both professional and custom diagnostics in 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 limited functionality. 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 a scanner.

One other device that will certainly go no amiss is a jump starter. If you have not got one yet or look for an upgrade, make sure to take a look at our review of jump starters. With a jump starter at your disposal, a depleted battery won't be an issue for you whatsoever, no matter how far from your home you land.

What Features to Compare

Diagnostic Features

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.

Connection Options

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.

Data to Display

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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