OBD2 Scanners List for Both Beginners and Professionals

An automotive scan tool is an electronic tool comes in a number of configurations and is a generic term for a tool that can interface with, diagnose and, occasionally, reprogram vehicle control modules.

The three basic forms that are available include the snap on “brick” which is a blue-tooth/WiFi tool that attaches to the vehicles computer system and streams data to and from the system via a local mobile (smartphone or tablet) or PC or even transmit to a distant remote location. The second version is a direct linked hand-held scanner or even software on a PC or tablet.

Whichever version you prefer to use, they all do the same thing, they connect to the vehicles engine control unit (ECU), can and read all connected electronic parts, and collect real-time transmitted data called diagnostic trouble codes, or DTCs, some models will allow configuration of the electronic part, these are bi-directional devices, but these models require specific software and are a safety pass through attachment.

List of The Best OBD2 Readers On The Market

Product ImageProduct NameSupported ProtocolsConnection TypeMore Information
1. BAFX Products Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader/Scanner for Android Devices1. BAFX Products Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader/Scanner for Android DevicesSAE J1850 PWM, SAE J1850 VPW, ISO9141-2, ISO14230-4 KWP, ISO15765-4 CAN, SAE J1939 CANBluetoothMore Information
2. BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android2. BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & AndroidSupports all OBD2 protocols (including CAN)BluetoothMore Information
3. Veepeak OBDCheck BLE Bluetooth 4.0 OBD2 Scanner Auto Diagnostic Tool for iOS & Android3. Veepeak OBDCheck BLE Bluetooth 4.0 OBD2 Scanner Auto Diagnostic Tool for iOS & AndroidSAE J1850 PWM, SAE J1850 VPW, ISO 9141-2, ISO 14230-4 (KWP2000), ISO15765-4 CANBluetoothMore Information
4. Innova 3100j Check Engine Code Reader Scan Tool with ABS, SRS, EVAP, and Freeze Frame4. Innova 3100j Check Engine Code Reader Scan Tool with ABS, SRS, EVAP, and Freeze FrameSupports all OBD 2 protocols including C.A.N.DLCMore Information
5. Autel MaxiLink ML619 CAN OBD2 Scanner Code Reader +ABS/SRS Diagnostic Scan Tool5. Autel MaxiLink ML619 CAN OBD2 Scanner Code Reader +ABS/SRS Diagnostic Scan Toolworks with all OBD II compliant vehicles, including C.A.N.DLCMore Information
6. Autel MaxiSYS MS906BT Car Diagnostic Tool OBDII Obd2 Universal Auto Scan Tool6. Autel MaxiSYS MS906BT Car Diagnostic Tool OBDII Obd2 Universal Auto Scan ToolISO 9142-2, ISO 14230-2, ISO 15765-4, K-Line, L-Line, Flashing Code, SAE-J1850 VPW, SAE-J1850 PWM, CAN ISO 11898, Highspeed, Middlespeed, Lowspeed and Singlewire CAN, GM UART, UART Echo Byte Protocol, Honda Diag-H Protocol, TP 2.0, TP 1.6, SAE J1939, SAE J1708, Fault-Tolerant CANUSB Cable Connection, BluetoothMore Information
7. Autel Maxidas DS808 Automotive Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Scanner with Key Coding and Multi-language System7. Autel Maxidas DS808 Automotive Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Scanner with Key Coding and Multi-language SystemISO 9141-2, K/L lins, Flashing code, SAE-J1850 VPW, SAE-J1850 PWM, CAN ISO 11898 ISO 15765-4, High speed, Middle speed, Low speed and Single wire CANUSB cable and wireless connectionMore Information
8. Autel TS401 MaxiTPMS Activation Tool with MX-sensor Programming Service8. Autel TS401 MaxiTPMS Activation Tool with MX-sensor Programming ServiceISO9141-2, ISO14230-2,ISO15765, K/L-Line, Flashing Code, SAE-J1850 VPW, SAE-J1850 PWM, ISO11898(Highspeed, Middlespeed, Lowspeed and Singlewire CAN, fault-tolerant CAN), SAE J2610,GM UART,UART Echo Byte Protocol, Honda Diag-H Protocol, TP2.0, TP1.6USB CableMore Information
9. Actron CP9690 Chrome Scan Tools9. Actron CP9690 Chrome Scan ToolsISO 9141-2, SAE J1850, ISO 15765-4, ISO 14230-4Data Link ConnectorMore Information
10. FOXWELL NT650 Automotive Code Reader Obd2 Scanner ABS/Airbag/SAS/EPB/DPF/BRT/EPS/CVT/Oil Service Reset Car Special Service Diagnostic Scan Tool10. FOXWELL NT650 Automotive Code Reader Obd2 Scanner ABS/Airbag/SAS/EPB/DPF/BRT/EPS/CVT/Oil Service Reset Car Special Service Diagnostic Scan ToolSAE J1850 (VPW and PWM), ISO 9141-2, ISO 14230-2 (KWP 2000), ISO 15765-4 (CAN)DLCMore Information
11. Launch CRP129 OBD2 Scanner Scan Tool ENG/AT/ABS/SRS EPB SAS OIL Service Light Resets Code Reader for Mechanic and Experienced Enthusiast11. Launch CRP129 OBD2 Scanner Scan Tool ENG/AT/ABS/SRS EPB SAS OIL Service Light Resets Code Reader for Mechanic and Experienced EnthusiastAuto Vehicle ID, Auto Module Search & Fast Protocol IDDLCMore Information
12. LAUNCH X431 OBD2 Scanner Viii Vehicle Code Reader Auto Scan Tool for ENG/AT/ABS/SRS/EPB/SAS/Oil Service Light Resets12. LAUNCH X431 OBD2 Scanner Viii Vehicle Code Reader Auto Scan Tool for ENG/AT/ABS/SRS/EPB/SAS/Oil Service Light ResetsOBDII/EOBD protocolsDLCMore Information
13. LAUNCH CRP Touch Pro 5.013. LAUNCH CRP Touch Pro 5.0" Android Touch Screen OBD2 Diagnostic Scan Tool for ABS, SRS, Transmission,Engine,Battery Registration, EPB, Oil Service Light Resetall vehicles and all ModulesDLCMore Information
14. TryAce OBD2 Scanner,OBDII Auto Diagnostic Code Scanner Universal Vehicle Engine O2 Sensor Systems14. TryAce OBD2 Scanner,OBDII Auto Diagnostic Code Scanner Universal Vehicle Engine O2 Sensor SystemsJ1859-41.6, J1850-10.4, ISO9141, KWP2000 (ISO 14230), CAN (Control Area Network ISO 11898)DLCMore Information

The standard terminology you will see today refers to Onboard Diagnostics II (OBD-II) this is the current system that vehicle onboard computers use for self-diagnostics and reporting. OBD gives the mechanic or owner the ability to review the performance of the vehicle through direct linkage to electronically controlled devices.

The best example is the pre-IoT “idiot light” which is a simple red light that tells you something is wrong, such as oil levels, water temperature, and car battery levels. The OBD version is an exact reading, with a warning message explaining what is wrong. The OBD system is made up of standardized error codes, and this is reached by connecting to a specific OBD port.

Most car manufacturers have a different port connector; there is no industrial standard for port connections, so all modern OBD devices come with a number of port adapters allowing the scanner to connect to the specific port configuration. All car manufacturers must conform to SAE J1979, which is a standard for requesting diagnostic data. The SAE J1979 defines the “parameter identification numbers” (parameter IDs or PIDs) that are the error codes and ID codes used to identify each unit irrespective in which vehicle brand and model is being checked.

Today most vehicle manufacturing companies make the OBD-II Data Link Connector (DLC) the main connector in the vehicle for all be diagnosed and reprogrammed systems. While most PID’s are generic, some can be proprietary, and these show up in the diagnostic toolkit that checks the car’s system.

Bottom Line: It all sounds so complicated, but in fact, it is a very simple system. Every car as an ECU that can be linked to via a DLC. OBD II is the current linking method that is used by all devices that wish to connect. Every vehicle has a number of electronically controlled components that link into the ECU, as such, they can be linked into by the OBD II scanner. The scanner can diagnose the car, find issues, and report them for further maintenance. Some OBD bi-directional adapters will also allow you to re-configure components that an electronic reconfiguration will fix. However, if there is a faulty wire or a bad part, the bi-directional ability will not fix the part, then you will need to get your hands dirty.

This review will look at the latest and best OBD II scanners and provide enough specification details to enable you to decide which one is the best to choose. What you need to look out for is what are your uses, what vehicles are you going to use the device on and for what purpose. Based on these predefined factors, you should be able to decide which one of the following devices is the best one for your needs.

1. BAFX Products Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader/Scanner for Android Devices

Overview

The BAFX scanner connects to an Android mobile device or Windows operating system. It provides real-time diagnostics as well as recording diagnostics for future review. This is a great device for any driving centric user, as well as a great device for anyone interested in knowing exactly what the problem with the car before the mechanic is starting to rip you off with false claims.

This is a must device for ridesharing drivers as we well as long-distance drivers that want extra security in knowing in real time if any issues need to be sorted out before they become critical.

Review

This is an extremely value-for-money item, and the price is a major factor in a decision-making process. The reason that price is a factor in this instance is that the BAFX has a load of features that you would expect to find in a more expensive model.

The BAFX is extremely reliable and versatile. This model is so easy to use that its idiot proof, literally. You just plug it in, download the app and start reviewing your car’s information. Its versatility is in the fact that it can scan a wide range of codes, making life easy for the motorist.

The app is easy to use, while it’s the only drawback is that its Android-based, the end results on your smartphone are excellent. This model works with just about every model of car you can find on the market that is ODBII compliant.

The BAFX comes with over 3,000 codes, so you can easily read any PID that is integrated into your cars ECU.

Features

This is a real-time engine monitoring device.

This means you plug it in, and can watch as your car performs, checking all the minute details of heating, lighting and engine transmission details. You can also set it to record the data while you drive and watch it later.

The BAFX reads and clears trouble codes; it can read 02 sensor data and EOT’s (Embedded Open Type codes). This means it can read your motors revs, boost, throttle and speed fuel performance. The BAFX can read engine light as well as turn off the engine as well.

The mobile adaptability, specifically with Android, makes this model extremely versatile to use, where you don’t need to carry any extra accessories or cables. The mobile phone does everything for you, and you control all the data from one portable handheld the phone.

The BAFX is compact; it’s dimensions 8” x 4.2” x 1.5” and weighs in at 2.4 ounces in weight. This makes the device pocket portable, and since its so small you best keep it in a safe place, so it won’t get lost.

Installation

The BAFX unit does not come with a proprietary app, so you need to download an app from Google Store, and that can cost you a little bit more, but nothing that will seriously change your budget.

Conclusions

This is a classic amateur ECU reader, a very good tool for the average motorist. It can be used before you take you ca into the mechanic, so you know if you are being ripped off, it can also be used after the mechanic to see if they performed a good job.

Its great for monitoring your car’s performance during driving, and when you got to buy a used car, it can plug in and check the cars ECU to help you make a decision.

All in all a very good, cost-effective and easy to use the unit for the average motorist or amateur home-mechanic enthusiast.

2. BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android

Overview

BlueDriver uses the Identifix database that most professional mechanics use. This means that the PID’s will be cross-referenced with a database of over 30 million fixes. The upside to this is that you don’t need to rely on the internet for finding ways to handle car problems that can be read via an ODB scanner.

Another great feature is that BlueDriver has its own App which is available on both iOS and Android. So it doesn’t matter what smartphone you have, so long as it has a good sized screen you can read all your vehicles data in one quick glance.

The BlueDriver covers all car types, so it is highly versatile, and once you connect it to the ECU, your smartphone starts to collect the data. You can scan every minute detail that your ECU controls, from lights to engine performance to airbags and climate control.

Features

The BlueDriver covers the following brands:

  • GM, including Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Buick, Saab, Saturn, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, & Hummer
  • Ford, including Ford, Lincoln, & Mercury
  • Chrysler, including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, & Plymouth
  • Toyota, including Toyota, Lexus, & Scion
  • Nissan, including Nissan, Infiniti, & Renault
  • BMW sold in North America, including BMW, Mini & Rolls Royce
  • Honda sold in North America, including Honda & Acura (2003 models and newer)
  • Volkswagen sold in North America, including Volkswagen, Audi, Lamborghini & Bentley

BlueDriver is a diagnostic and repair tool; it will scan and show you all your cars performance ratings, as well as give you advice on how to fix any problems that show up. The device will not fix the problem; it will tell you how to fix it.

This is a wireless model; it means that you don’t need any pesky wires to attach to a port, and to connect to a screen. You plug in the device and connect via your smartphone. You can drive and collect data, or have the car running at home and read the data coming in.

The features included are Freeze and Live data, as well as ABS and transmission readings. The added benefit of this device is that it can link up to any other BlueDriver app and tool that you own. While this unit will work great with Android and iOS devices, it does not yet have a windows OS solution.

What you get

This model will scan and read via the ECU; it will then compile a report and also give you a solution for fixing the problems it encounters. The information that you receive is compiled for a source of over 4.3 million successfully reported fixes, and this database is growing daily, by every use and fix reported.

Another great feature is the exhaust reading sensor, it will prepare you for your car test by scanning your emissions, what is termed a smog readiness test. This will save you a lot of time and money, preparing for a car test with a smog-free result or fix is a great advantage to have.

BlueDriver is a user-friendly device, compact and easy to carry and store. The device dimensions are 5.5” x 3.3” x 2.2” and weighs 3.2 ounces. It’s a plug and play device, which means that once you download the app, you just plug it in and start to play with it.

Bottom line: This is an advanced tool for all motorists as we as amateur mechanics. In fact it’s also a good diagnostic tool in the hands of any mechanic since you can plug it into any car anywhere at any time and just check the motor. Perfect for helping out stranded motorists (unless it’s a flat tire).

You can plug this into your ECU and just keep it on all the time, collecting data and fixing out problems as they come. This is a perfect unit for any ridesharing driver, such as Uber, Lyft, and Amazon Prime.

3. Veepeak OBDCheck BLE Bluetooth 4.0 OBD2 Scanner Auto Diagnostic Tool for iOS & Android

Overview

If you are seeking a small and inexpensive, simple ODBII scanner, then you should really consider this Veepeak BLE unit since its compact, Bluetooth and compatible with all iOS and Android smartphones.

Every time your car engine red light comes on, the Veepeak BLE will provide you with basic information of the problem and can prepare you for tests as well as to check out used cars before buying them.

This small, inexpensive device works with your iPhone, iPad or Android device and a choice of apps, most of them are free.

Features

This is easy to install the device, it’s a plug and play model, which means you plug it in and play. However, you will need to install an appropriate app since this model doesn’t come with a bespoke app. This is sometimes an issue with the more professional users; however, once you have selected the right app, you get great service from this model.

The BLE will work with most cars and light trucks, so it’s extremely versatile in its range of options, making it a perfect handy tool to carry around. You can use it on any car that needs help, and if you are driving for a living, then plug it in and watch your performance metrics as for and when they occur.

The BLE supports all 5 OBD II protocols, including ISO9141-2, CAN, J1850 VPW, KWP2000 and J1850 PWM.

This model has three modes; it can be a scanning too, a trip computer that records your performance for later readings, and real-time monitor of your car’s performance as you drive.

Whilst it doesn’t come with its own app, its versatile enough to connect to any one of the following options: Torque Lite, Torque Pro, piston, Car Doctor Pro for Android Marshmallow, Carista, Dash, Dash Command, and more.

Since it’s a compact and wireless unit, you don’t get the hassle of cables and screens, you just plug it in, and it will operate from the moment you turn on your vehicle.

The final clincher of this amazing device is its price. It is a very inexpensive unit, and as such provides amazing insights for you at a budget-friendly price. When you consider the thousands of dollars your car is worth, spending under 50 bucks is a great way to improve your car’s performance without taking a loan.

Bottom Line: The Veepeak BLE is great value for money, a simple tool for an amateur mechanic, or professional driver. It is also a great tool for the home mechanic as well as anyone that wants to maintain a low-cost car through informative decision making.

4. Innova 3100j Check Engine Code Reader Scan Tool with ABS, SRS, EVAP, and Freeze Frame

Overview

Innova Electronics Corporation is a well-known and leading supplier of diagnostic equipment for the automotive industry and aftermarket. They have multiple distributors around North America, and their products are all pretested for quality and efficacy.

This is a handheld all in one unit that connects to your ECU via cable and appropriate vehicle adapter.  It comes with three language support, making it versatile for most of the North American population.  This is a cross-over device, which means it was developed to be a professional model that is adapted for amateur use as well. Making its target market very large.

Features

The unit reports issues immediately, it scans continuously and saves all trouble codes on screen for a minimum of 30 seconds. The device will read the code, report it and delete the code. SR and ABS codes can be solved after reading. This 3100j also checks the charging system and comes with a detailed step by step oil reset process.

When using this while the MIL is on, you will be able to scan for the status of the fuel supply, engine coolant temperature, and more.  It includes an oil reset light which is great for saving you time checking the engine oil levels physically.

Innova has a comprehensive database solution site, so you can check up all instances that need fixing via their online site, and they provide a comprehensive English and Spanish customer support service.

The Innova 3100j dimensions are 10” x 8” x 1.5,” and it weighs 1.2lbs. It connects to the vehicle’s battery or can be fitted with 3 AAA batteries.

The software comes with hotkey support and a red button for erasing trouble codes. The S button is for accessing the “System Menu,” and the M button gets you to the “Main Menu” immediately.

Bottom Line: The Innova 3100j is a great device in the hands of a home mechanic, this code reader will provide you with car metrics on the spot. However, it is not a live reader. This means that it will not show you as you drive data, (live data), it’s a mechanics scanner used in “shop” for on the spot testing.

All in all, this is a great value for money scanner.

5. Autel MaxiLink ML619 CAN OBD2 Scanner Code Reader +ABS/SRS Diagnostic Scan Tool

Overview

This is the Autel MaxiLink ML619 hand-held unit. This device is a great scanner that can read error codes from the SRS and ABS systems. The code reader identifies the reason why your ‘Check Engine’ light goes on, and it resets the monitor and clears any error codes when required.

This model has freeze frame data capturing, essentially this OBD2 code reader accesses your ECU system, reads the data, and corrects the errors. It also turns off the malfunction indicator light.

The Autel MaxiLink ML619 gives you access to important information such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), CVN and also the CALID. It’s a great tool when checking ownership of used cars and history of problems.

Features

The Autel MaxiLink ML619 reads test data from the O2 sensor and I/M readiness status of emissions, displaying the results in seconds on screen. Checking your smog readiness is an important prep option before going into a car test.

The unit also provides onboard control of the systems as well as scanning them. It reads and solves issues on the go. Solutions are provided in code tips, which is a useful tool for professional and home mechanics.

It comes with multilingual support, including English, Spanish, and French. The menu items and DTC’s are presented in the language of choice. It also collects generic (P0, P2, P3 and U0), manufacturer specific (P1, P3, and U1) and pending codes. This model also reads, records and plays back live PCM data stream and live sensor data when needed.

The Autel MaxiLink ML619 can connect to and read any vehicle type from 1996 upwards, and it can scan and analyze these models: Volvo, Toyota, BMW, Land Rover, Nissan, Peugeot, Fiat, Citroen, Renault, Jaguar, Hyundai Honda, Ford, and Chrysler.

Upgrading is not an issue either you can connect the unit via USB to any PC and upgrade the software as well as connect it to peripherals, so you can print reports as well. You can print to paper or to PDF files (if you have the necessary driver on your PC), essentially giving you the ability to present printed reports or e-mail them.

The device’s dimensions are 7.83” x 4.11” x 1.48,” and it weighs 280g without the wire, and 484g with the wire attached.

Bottom Line: The Autel MaxiLink ML619 is a great ECU scanning device, will provide professional service level reports and is a perfect handheld the tool for all mechanics on the go.

6. Autel MaxiSYS MS906BT Car Diagnostic Tool OBDII Obd2 Universal Auto Scan Tool

Overview

The Autel Maxisys MS906BT and Maxisys MS906 use the same OBD scanning and testing features, however, the BT version is an upgraded unit, so it’s better to use this model. The main difference is that the MS906BT connect to a car’s OBD system using VCI, and as a wireless connection, that provides more versatility for use.

The MS906BT also comes with a camera to camera inspection option; you will need to buy the camera to operate this option. The operating system (PS) is Android, and the core CPU is an Exynos 6-core processor, which provides fast and steady procedures.

This unit provides you with all OE-level OBD2 diagnostics; this means it can provide you with reading and erasing codes, live data, freeze frame data, active tests, ECU information, matching, adaptation, data logging and more. It also comes with an AutoVIN app that makes car identification easier.

Features

This model is considered to be one of the leading and most popular ODB II scanner models that can be used to check over 80 brands of US, EU, and Asian-made car models.

MaxiSys is also well known for its professional support, and your scanner will use WiFi to access online information as well as receive support. Via the WiFi, you can access repair options, tips and verified successful fixes. It also comes with a MaxiFix community, where likeminded Autel customers, amateur enthusiasts, and professional mechanics help each other.

This model’s dimensions are 25.6” x 16.7” x 7.4” inches and weigh 19.25lbs. Which means that this model is tablet size, making viewing and control via touchscreen much easier than the smaller hand-held scanners. The screen’s resolution is 1024 x 768, very much similar to a tablet.

This model comes with a built-in lithium-polymer battery that gives you 14 hours of continuous use before you need to either charge it or connect it to the car battery system. It comes with USB connectors, audio and aux connectors as well as a range of adapters for every vehicle type.

This model includes a 32GB storage drive and comes in two languages; English and Spanish.

Bottom Line: This is a professional tool, it can be used by any serious mechanics shop as well as traveling mechanics. If you are a professional driver, then this might be the unit you prefer, since it will provide you every advantage that a professional mechanic will have, and in fact, it doesn’t really get much better than this.

7. Autel Maxidas DS808 Automotive Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Scanner with Key Coding and Multi-language System

Overview

This is the Autel Maxidas DS808, which is a professional unit for mechanics that want to control as well as diagnose. In the hands of a mechanic, this unit will provide all the insights into what is happening in the ECU. This is more than a diagnostic unit; it also provides solutions from Autels large online database.

This is the small brother of the MS906BT, and it’s a great tool at a great price for any mechanic.

Features

This is a handheld tablet-style scanner and comes with 32GB of memory for storing large data batches. It comes with Autel’s OE-level diagnostic software package that delivers exceptional engine analysis. It reads and clears basic engine codes and performs deep diagnostic scans in seconds.

The touchscreen makes using this device easy, and you can control all functions with a quick tap. The 32GB storage is great for storing older data for comparing performance over time.

Bottom Line: The MK808 is a great model that can link to most models from 1996 onwards. It’s a very simple design, non-complicated methods of operation. Its only downside is that the batteries need often recharging, when used on a daily basis, other than that it delivers great service at an affordable price.

8. Autel TS401 MaxiTPMS Activation Tool with MX-sensor Programming Service

Overview

This is the Autel MaxiTPMS® TS401 V5.22 TPMS Diagnostic and Service Tool, which is an industrial standard for fast, no-nonsense scanning and diagnostics. This is a hand-held unit with small LED display that provides fast and accurate data from any model, US or European dating as far back as 1996.

Most home mechanics use this model for its versatility and quick response time. It’s a hand on the device, used as mechanics work for checking the progress of their fixes.

Features

This is a TPMS enabled tool good for both US and European car models.

The Autel TS401 reads sensor ID, OE part number, temperature, tire pressure, battery condition, and will relearn data provided by the ECU sensors. The TS401 also provides audio as well as visual diagnostics to confirm that important sensors in your vehicle are working properly.

The model reads accurately: tire pressure, temperature, sensor ID, relearn information, and battery condition. You can use it to reset the TPMS or turn off the lights. However, the Autel TS401  cannot read, display, or clear trouble codes.

Another great feature is that you can program the MX-Sensors to replace OEM sensors.

This model comes with an easy GUI and provides a step by step instruction to fix all issues that are found. The screen size is a compact 12 x 64-pixel black LCD display. The battery is a built-in rechargeable .7V Li-polymer battery and has a built-in “Automatic power-off feature” when its energy is depleting.

This is a compact unit, so it doesn’t have all the features of Autel’s bigger models. However, this one does have the ability to save up to 10 TPMS records that you can use for Autel customer service requests at a later date.

Bottom Line: The Autel TS401 is a great home mechanic and car enthusiast tool. Since it cannot read error codes, its relegated to an enthusiast level, where it can provide all the basic requests and diagnostics and can manage TPMS sensor issues.

9. Actron CP9690 Chrome Scan Tools

Overview

The Actron CP9690 is a comprehensive hand-held scanner that supports three languages and interfaces with every model of car that was manufactured between 1996 to 2013. This is an OBD I, OBD II and CAN protocol reader. It also provides data for a lot of models manufactured between 1984 to 1995, which is a great plus for many mechanics.

Features

This is a very user-friendly model, versatile and reliable. It is compact for transportation and versatile to connect up to most vehicles dating as far back as 1985. It will read ABS and SRS data as well as the standard ECU PID’s.

The OBD II, OBD I and Can support codes include Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai, and GM.

What stands out is that this unit has a wide range of codes, in fact, it covers over 26 million codes in its database, which is one of the widest ranges of data available. Certainly, there is a lot of obsolete data, but you never know when you will be faced with that one vehicle you never thought you would see.

This model comes with an external power source, so you don’t need to worry if your battery goes flat, this unit will continue to activate as well as recharge.

This model has a code connect feature; this means it has quick fault code correction and compatibility including the antilock brake system (ABS) as a safety measure.

It is updated via the internet, so you connect it with the USB cable and get upgrades in minutes.

The overall design is very user-friendly, with nine buttons and color screen, and you can view live or stored data in the graph form as well as in syntax.

Bottom Line: This is a model built for car enthusiasts, especially those individuals that collect vehicles. When faced with a really early model, such as a 1980’s Ford, you will need this handheld scanner to give you extra accurate readings. This model is found in many mechanic shops around the US due to its versatile reading of ODB I models. This is a great value for money reader.

10. FOXWELL NT650 Automotive Code Reader Obd2 Scanner ABS/Airbag/SAS/EPB/DPF/BRT/EPS/CVT/Oil Service Reset Car Special Service Diagnostic Scan Tool

Overview

This is the Foxwell NT301 ODB II scanner, and it’s a professional reader for advanced diagnostics. This model can be used by anyone that wants the best hand-held reading device around. This model will read most vehicles (cars and vans) from 1996 onwards and has 10 support modes built in. It is both OBD  II and EOBD complaint, so it makes this a more versatile reader than many other models on the market.

Features

The Foxwell NT301 ODB-II scanner can read and erase codes, catch intermittent problems as they occur or from their last finished drive cycle. It supports multiple code requests and provides access to all OBD-II or EOBD compliant vehicles manufactured from 1996 onwards, including domestic and foreign models.

This device supports J1850-10.4, J1859-41.6, KWP2000 (ISO 14230), ISO9141, and CAN (Control Area Network ISO 11898)

The most pop-out amazing fact about this model is that it supports all 10 ODB-II service, and these are:

  1. Live data
  2. Freeze frame information
  3. Emissions-related analytic trouble codes
  4. Clearing and resetting stored test data, and DTCs.
  5. Access to oxygen sensors (Emission detection)
  6. Onboard monitoring examination results
  7. “Pending codes” detected during current or last driving cycle
  8. Bidirectional control and examination of the ECU
  9. Access to VIN
  10. Obtaining permanent codes

The emission detection and reporting feature is a great bonus in this model and helps you prepare for a test, as well as notifies you of any issues that are linked to faulty emissions.

This model comes with both a Red-Yellow-Green LED and a built-in speaker to notify you of any issues that arise when scanning your vehicle.

It also comes with a fix verification review, which means it will tell you if the issue has been repaired or not. There is a full on-screen DTC definition list that is called upon by the DTC unit to report the exact cause of an issue.

This model also calls upon specific codes as well a generic one, providing full code versatility, and its VIN, CID, and CVN network database will restore all history and data related to your vehicle. This is a great feature for buying a used car and helping out when fixing or preparing a car for testing. Apart from reading the VIN, it will also improve the mode 6 data.

This model gives you a DTC definition, so you know what it is wrong, and how can be fixed. This database comes with the package, as a disk, but can be updated online via a USB connector, so your database is always up to date.

The Foxwell NT301 ODB II scanner is powered by your car’s battery, so it doesn’t come with a built-in power supply, making this unit lighter to hold. This is actually its only con since you need an external source of power to operate it, and if you don’t have one, then you’re stuck. (as in the case of a dead battery).

However, it comes with a 3’ cable so you can connect it to your car while driving and collect data on the go.

Bottom Line: This is a great unit for both professionals and enthusiasts. It is great for a mechanic as well as a rideshare driver (Uber, Lyft, Amazon Prime, GrubHub, etc.) . This is also a great tool to have in your vehicle at tall times and can be sued to help stranded drivers, diagnose and fix or suggest how to fix their problems in minutes.

Its great value for money too, and should be seriously considered as a great lightweight unit to have in your vehicle at all times.

11. Launch CRP129 OBD2 Scanner Scan Tool ENG/AT/ABS/SRS EPB SAS OIL Service Light Resets Code Reader for Mechanic and Experienced Enthusiast

Overview

Launch is a major automotive accessory manufacturing company that produces a ton of products. This is their flagship model, the CRP129. The reason it’s a flagship model is due to its simplicity, versatility, and price.

Features

To start off with, this unit is packed with different features, and all of these are accessible through its stable style design, making it easy to hold an operate. It comes with a four-arrow button set, and you can scroll all over the place to read data, and it comes with a dedicated section button making navigation all that much easier.

One of the nicest features you have is the Launch book button; this little button links you to a library of information about codes, definitions and how to fix issues. This model comes with the ability to read all the ECU warning lights, and that is why it’s a flagship model.

The price is extremely budget friendly when considering what you get when buying this model. Apart from scanning and reading all warning lights, this device will test your cars oxygen and carbon monoxide emissions. The model works with dynamic data streaming, and this means it can reset most of your warning lights as well as help correct your steering angle system, break block and oil lights.

Versatility in the form of connecting to most car models dated from 10996 and upwards.  It works with domestic and foreign cars, and if you don’t have the right adapter, you can buy every possible adapter from Launch to suit your specific car.

This model supports all 10 ODB II codes which are:

  1. Reading Live data
  2. Providing Freeze frame data
  3. Analyzing emission DTCs.
  4. Clearing and resetting stored test data, and DTCs.
  5. Detection of oxygen and CO2 emissions
  6. Onboard monitoring examination results
  7. “Pending codes” detected during current or last driving cycle
  8. Bidirectional control and examination of the ECU
  9. Access to VIN
  10. Reading permanent codes

The built-in book will allow you to read or print out any information for easy and future reading.

The compact size is a boon since it can sit in your car all the time, and provide constant data streaming while driving, and recording it for future use.

Bottom Line: The Launch CRP129 scanner is great for all users, it provides professional mechanics with all the data they need, supporting all 10 ODB II features and is friendly enough for amateurs and professional drivers that need information all the time. Many ridesharing drivers and couriers use this device constantly.

12. LAUNCH X431 OBD2 Scanner Viii Vehicle Code Reader Auto Scan Tool for ENG/AT/ABS/SRS/EPB/SAS/Oil Service Light Resets

Overview

If the Launch CRP129 is not enough for you, then you will find their latest and most advanced model the X432 Creader VIII (8) the perfect tool.  This model comes with even more features and versatility and is a perfect tool for all professional mechanics, drivers, and car enthusiasts. In fact, this is a one-stop shop model; you don’t get much more than this anywhere,

The Launch X431 OBD2 scanner is a compact and easy to hold hand-held scanner that provides every bit of information and solution that a car mechanic needs.

Features

Just like the CRP129 this model provides the 10 ODB-II functions but goes a step further in delivering the results, and in operational excellence.

Let’s take a look at the extra features that make this one of the world’s leading ODB-II scanners on the markets today.

This unit will check all error codes, as well as turn of the check engine light while performing operations. The unit works in a step-wise process, which is:

  • Step 1: Retrieve all and any error codes causing ABS, SRS, and Transmission issues.
  • Step 2: Turn off the check engine light by eliminating any activation codes.
  • Step 3: Stream graphical data for diagnostic analysis.

This model will perform these steps for all 10 modes, and it will also read and delete DTCs, analyze all live data streams, check emissions or I/M readiness and also test the O2 sensor. The reader will display all the data in a number of formats including graphical comparison to standards, thereby giving you a benchmark for reference.

Among the many features you get with this model, are: resetting the Steering Angle Sensor (SAS), resetting the engine oil light and also resetting the Electrical Parking Brake (EPB).  It will also reset the oil light from blinking, giving you time to replace the oil without the distraction.

After you replaced the old brake discs, your unit will reset the ECU’s Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) code, making the system recognize the new discs, and supplying data thereof. It will also reset the Steering Angle Sensor (SAS) after you replace any parts. This will enable the device to calibrate the new steering sensor setting.  It can work with a wide variety of car models

The versatility of this model is not lost on all users; it is so easy to operate that both professionals with years of experience as well as newbies with no experience will both be able to understand the information, while each level of experience will be able to determine what to do at their own pace.

The Launch X431 gets automatic online updates that provide upgrades to the software as well as updates to the database of definitions and error codes. It is windows compatible, so it can be linked to USB and refresh for information at any time.

This model is extremely versatile when it comes to compatibility to car make and model, and it will work with any post-1996 vehicles from Lancia, Peugeot, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Toyota, Chrysler, Dacia, Vauxhall, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Isuzu, and Jaguar.

Bottom Line: This is a professional model for use by skilled mechanics. It is overkill in the hands of a home mechanic or enthusiast. However, if you want to buy this unit, go ahead. It will certainly make your driving life experience much easier to manage and will definitely reduce costs through efficient reporting and solution providing.

13. LAUNCH CRP Touch Pro 5.0″ Android Touch Screen OBD2 Diagnostic Scan Tool for ABS, SRS, Transmission,Engine,Battery Registration, EPB, Oil Service Light Reset

Overview

This is the Launch CRP TouchPRo model for gadget enthusiasts that like mobile devices. This model will provide you with every mobile performance session including Golo/Wi-Fi/EPB/DPF/TPMS. It runs on Android and is based on the very successful X431 model. This means you get all the high performance of the X431 in a compact mobile body.

The added advantages of this unit are that it covers 76 systems, 46 domestic and the remainder from Europe and Asia. It comes with automatic software upgrades and stat updates, so you are constantly kept revised.

This model was designed for technicians and mechanics on the go, where you need to be mobile and versatile, either in the shop or on the road.

Features

This model comes with an Android OS, in two languages; English and Spanish. It is WiFi enabled, so you get immediate access to streaming data all the time. The screen is a 5’touch screen, big enough to read easily, small enough to be compact and extremely mobile. Just like the X431 it provides graphics and alphanumeric readouts and works with all 10 OBD-II modes.

GOLO ready, as well as having a one-touch all vehicle reading system ready for immediate identification, code reading, and data management. The main features that stick out include Electronic Parking Brake (EPB), Steering Angle Sensor (SAS), Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) service, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Oil light Resets, and Battery Management Registration.

This unit’s dimensions are 9.2 ” x 4″x 1.4,” and it weighs under 1.3lbs

The Launch CRP covers an extensive range of vehicle brands and models from 1996 and onwards, including: Chrysler, Ford, GM, Skoda, Smart, Sprinter, Vauxhall, Volvo, VW, SsangYong, EOBD, Acura, Daewoo, Ford (Australia), Holden, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Citroen, Dacia, Fiat, Ford (Europe), Jaguar, Lancia, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Saab, Seat, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu.

Bottom Line: This is one of the most versatile Launch models and perhaps one of the most versatile models an on the market. It comes with the X431 features in a smaller body and is mobile and Wi-Fi capable. It’s a perfect tool for on the go technicians and mechanics and is an exceptional tool in the hands of a professional taxi or ridesharing driver.

14. TryAce OBD2 Scanner,OBDII Auto Diagnostic Code Scanner Universal Vehicle Engine O2 Sensor Systems

Overview

With all the various models, all contending for top place, this is definitely one of the top contenders. This amazing OBDATOR OTR-A02 OBDII/EOBD Scanner supports all 10 modes of OBDII providing complete diagnostic solutions.

It covers all 10 modes of OBD-II with the additional EOBD. It comes with OneTouch patented One-Click I//M Readiness key. Honestly, when writing this review, I had to factor in how this unit compares to the other leader, and this model comes with the combined power of a TFT display, built-in speakers and multiple language capabilities. Not three languages, but eight: English, German, French, Spanish, Italians, Dutch, Russian and Portuguese. It also works with all vehicles from 1996 and supports all OBDII protocols: KWP2000, ISO9141, J1850 VPW, J1850 PWM and CAN.

Features

Where to start? It has so many fantastic features to choose from.  Let’s start with the least important, just for the sake of it. It prints all reports via a PC. OK, now to the serious stuff.

It performs the following operations:

  1. Read & Clear DTCs,
  2. Query Freeze Frame Data,
  3. Read Dynamic DataStream,
  4. Read Vehicle Information,
  5. O2 Sensor Test,
  6. EVAP Systems Test,
  7. Onboard Monitor Test,
  8. Read Pending Fault Code,
  9. Read Permanent DTC,
  10. Read Readiness Status,
  11. Turn-off Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL),
  12. Print Data to PC,
  13. Permanent Code Retrieval…and more

This model comes with Red-Yellow-Green LED and audio indicators. It comes in a very compact size, so as a handheld unit is very comfortable in hand. The screen is an LCD 2.8” color, and it comes with its own software installed.  It connects to any PC (no MAC) and will update for free at any time.

Remember I wrote “and more,” well here is the more.

This model will quickly determine Check Engine Light ( MIL), as well as turns the MIL light off, and retrieve generic (P0, P2, P3, and U0) and manufacturer specific (P1, P3, and U1) codes. I will clear these codes and rest the monitor. It also freezes frame data and displays I/M status.

The OBDATOR OTR-A02 also performs modules present test, it will retrieve the vehicle information (VIN, CIN, and CVN) and it supports CAN (Controller Area Network).

Bottom Line: Whew, is there more to add? Oh yes, its very budget friendly when you factor in all of this versus the price in comparison to other models.

Conclusions

There are a number of great models to choose from, we chose the ones that are mobile, comprehensive and budget friendly. Just make sure that with all the advertised versatility and compatibility you assure the following:

  1. The unit can connect to the vehicle (hardware compatibility)
  2. The Unit can scan your vehicle (software compatibility)
  3. You have access to constant updated software and databases of information.

Once you have ascertained these three facts, you can then buy the unit, otherwise, you will end up with a nice gift for someone that can use it.