These refer to Onboard Diagnostics which makes use of onboard diagnostic car computers in running a diagnostic test on a system so as to detect any existing problem. This is, however, a standard system that can be used in trucks and cars worldwide and for the records, this sort of system was first developed by California Air Resources Board Regulations.
OBD2 Scanners are designed to detect error codes and also tell you what these error codes mean and how an OBD2 scanner functions solely depend on what model or quality you purchase. The main aim of making use of these scanners is to figure out problems when it is still in its early stages so they don’t turn into something quite serious later on.
You can trust OBD2 scanners in troubleshooting for existing problems in our vehicles and one big advantage that these scanners possess is the fact that they utilize standard format which boosts their compatibility with a host of models and manufacturers.
In this detailed guide, you would get to meet 15 of the best OBD2 scanners that are making waves on the market so you don’t waste more time carrying out any research by yourself. This guide would be useful in making the right choice and settling for a reliable OBD2 scanner as investing in a reliable OBD2 scanner is vital towards making your vehicle last longer.
1. BAFX Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader/Scanner
One reputable brand that is quite famous in making quality products is the BAFX brand and if you are windows or an Android user then this BAFX OBD2 scanner is the right product for you. Anyone making use of an iOS platform would not be able to make use of this product and this is actually not the type of OBD2 scanner to miss out on as it is very compatible with vehicles manufactured in the USA since 1966.
Also being extremely durable simply implies that this scanner would endure any sort of handling it goes through and still functions as intended. What makes customers love this scanner is the fact that it is capable of providing real-time diagnostic information and with such information, you can be able to identify any problem with your vehicle.
However, one major downside of this product is the fact that it doesn’t read TPMS, SRS and ABS codes and in trying to figure out or read these codes, one has to make use of certain special tools in order to get access to the desired information.
- Any vehicle manufactured in the United States of America from 1966 to beyond is compatible with this scanner
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- Works well with both Windows and IOS platforms
2. ANCEL AD310 Universal OBD II Scanner
Having a very large LCD display that has a white backlight and contrast adjustment makes this OBD2 scanner quite exceptional and unique. Having an LCD screen also means you would be able to view several codes together with their meanings, therefore, making sure that you do not check online for the meaning of any of these codes.
Clicking on an error code also brings up the meaning of the code while another impressive highlight of this OBD2 scanner is the fact that a wide range of protocols like j1850 PWM, JI850 VPW, CAN, ISO9141 and others.
Making use of this scanner in identifying problems would definitely bring an end to paying constant visits to the mechanic workshop as faults and errors can now be detected and corrected on your own. This makes it be considered as a straightforward do it yourself kit that saves money and time.
Furthermore, the addition of live feed and freeze frame features also means a collection of detailed information so a problem can be identified and tackled in less time.
- Powered using a 12v battery
- Comes with a large LCD display
- Supports lots of programs like j1850 PWM, JI850 VPW, CAN, ISO9141 and others.
3. BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool
When talking about expensive OBD2 scanners available for sale then the BlueDriver Bluetooth OBDII scan tool is one of them but what you must know is if you are splashing so much cash on a scanner just be rest assured that you are getting a very valuable item.
This is one scanner professionals and mechanics always make use of because of its exceptional functionality and what makes it stand out from the rest is its 6.6 million database fixes which can be sorted out using error codes, year, model and manufacturer.
It also has a BlueDriver app that makes figuring out problems very easy and it is compatible with Apple and Android platforms. Having this scanner would also limit how frequent you visit a mechanic workshop as you can now figure out and solve certain problems on your own and another exciting feature of this tool is that its live data can be represented as a graph.
- Supports live data
- Gets fixes from a 6.6 million database
- Comes with a free BlueDriver app
- Compatible with Apple and Android platforms
4. FIXD OBD-II Active Car Health Monitor & Professional Scan Tool
Another well-known brand that makes superior tools is the FIXD brand and if you desire a scanner that is compatible with vehicles manufactured in a996 and beyond then you have found what you are looking for.
This scanner comes with a FIXD app that is quite helpful in identifying and fixing a problem efficiently and it also provides about two or three lines explaining what an error code means. With the help of this scanner, you would be able to note problems in your vehicle on time and spend lesser rather than figure them out late and pay higher.
An outstanding feature of this scanner is it would tell you of a problem as it happens thanks to its real-time error detection design.
- Works great with vehicles made in 1996 and beyond
- Gives you a well-detailed explanation of an error in about two or three sentences
- Helps in reducing money spent on repairs
5. Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner
This is an effective but yet an affordable scanner manufactured by Autel AutoLink company. It has a user-friendly interface as all that is required is to plug in and play therefore making this scanner very easy to work with even for beginners.
This scanner has the ability to select languages ranging from English to German to French and even Spanish while its color screen is vital in showing you error codes. By using an internet connection, one can update or upgrade this scanner and you can trust this scanner to help you find out the meaning of certain problems quickly.
Figuring out a particular problem with this scanner tells you how severe the problem is and also if it would be necessary to take a trip to the mechanic. Another highlight of this scanner is it gets its power from your car’s OBDII data link connector meaning you don’t have to make use of a power unit or battery when making use of this scanner.
- Easy to use as it features a plug and plays user interface
- Comes with a color screen
- Works in multiple languages
6. OBD2 Scanner OBDII Code Reader
Providing users with several language features is such an interesting feature of this OBD2 scanner as it provides information in Spanish, English, German and even French and if your vehicle was manufactured either in 1996 and beyond then this is a good scanner that would be compatible with it.
This scanner works great when it comes to figuring out what a problem truly is and it also tells you if a particular problem is worth taking a trip to the mechanic shop. Having a large LCD display also helps in showing and viewing error codes and one doesn’t need a battery or power unit to make use of this scanner as it draws its power from a car OBD2 data link connector.
It comes with a three-year warranty meaning this product would last for about three years before developing any issue or problem.
- Comes with a 2.5 feet cable
- Works in various languages
- Three-year warranty backing
- Has a large LCD display
7. Autel MaxiCOM MK808 OBD2 Scanner
This is an OBD2 scanner that is meant solely for professional use and it comes with certain impressive features like 32GB memory unit, A9 processors and even a seven inch LCD screen.
Without making use of a Smartphone or PC, this OBD2 scanner is designed to process and store data while its LCD screen comes with a touchscreen interface that enables users to be able to type in commands.
You can trust this OBD2 scanner in figuring diagnostic problems quickly and easily. For all year 2000 based EU cars and also cars manufactured from 1996 and beyond in the United States of America, this is the required OBD2 scanner for them while its multi-language option is added for those who do not have English as their primary language.
- Has a one year warranty
- Its battery life lasts for as long as four hours
- Has a wide LCD display screen
8. KOBRA Wireless OBD2 Car Code Reader Scan
Designed with lots of positive points, the KOBRA OBD2 scanner is one that would provide competition for other brands on the market and it is designed in such a way that it would be able to read codes if your cars in the United States was manufactured from 1996 to 2018.
Figuring out what the problem is with your car is what makes this OBD2 scanner very functional and it has a database of about three thousand code definitions so users would be able to figure out what each code means.
With the aid of this OBD2 scanner, you can be able to figure out how severe a problem is and also the nature of your car’s problem so you would be able to tell if paying a visit to the mechanic shop would be necessary. This OBD2 scanner is very vital to the better health of your vehicle.
- Comes backed with a 1-year warranty
- Has a 3000-word error database
- Cars manufactured in the US from 1996 and 2018 is compatible with this OBD2 scanner
9. INNOVA 3150 Diagnostic Scan Tool
The INNOVA 3150 diagnostic scan tool is one that is built based on the quality which is why it works effectively and efficiently and no matter the vehicle whether it is a truck, SUV, hybrids or a car, the INNOVA 3150 diagnostic scan tool is built to be compatible with it.
For every professional or beginner out there, this diagnostic scan tool would be easy to work with thanks to its all in one hotkey which possesses easy to access features and asides being compatible with OBD2 vehicles, this diagnostic scanner is also compatible with OBD1 vehicles.
It comes fully equipped with a RepairSolution online service that works in detecting and solving your vehicle’s problem.
- Has a straightforward and simple interface
- Compatible with OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles
- Offers live information
10. ANCEL AD510 Enhanced Vehicle OBD2 Scanner
Supporting every OBD2 modes so as to carry out a complete diagnostics is a resounding feature of the ANCEL AD510 OBD2 scanner and customers who have made use of this OBD2 scanner have expressed satisfaction with its /M readiness key which helps in informing car owners if it is time to take their car for an emission test.
That isn’t just all that this scanner does as it also checks a vehicle’s drive cycle and if you also want to figure out why your engine light is on then you can call on this OBD2 scanner. With the aid of this device, you can be able to obtain manufacture and generic specific codes so as to accurately detect vehicle malfunction.
This scanner has a unique feature that most scanners lack and that is being able to check your vehicle’s engine system so as to find out if there is an issue going on there and with this scanner, you would spend less effort and time in figuring out and solving any problem with your vehicle.
- Can be able to print out data using a personal computer
- Features a memory backup option
- Designed to support and explain graphical representations
11. FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner
Being lightweight and also small are some of the physical features of the FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 scanner which also comes with a 2.4 LCD display screen for viewing error codes and other useful information this scanner brings.
Being able to update software and export data are some of the notable features this scanner possesses and it also features a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for everyone to work with no matter if you are a beginner or a professional.
It is designed to show two lights with the red lights indicating a problem that already exists while the yellow light tells you of a pending problem. This OBD2 scanner is quite effective as it only makes use of six seconds in bringing up your car parameters as well as your car’s VIN code.
- Comes with an O2 sensor
- Very quick in reading and erasing DTC
- Also designed to read enhanced data
- Capable of resetting the monitor and turning off CEL
12. ANCEL AD410 Enhanced OBD II
Just as every OBD2 scan tool is designed to operate, this OBD2 scanner would work with vehicles manufactured from 1996 to 2018 and no matter if a vehicle is locally made or a foreign-made vehicle, it would work with this scanner as long as it is an OBD2 compliant vehicle.
This scanner comes in quite handy in reading and clearing error codes and in addition, it is also designed to trigger EVAP sensor and O2 sensor tests. The major downside of this scanner is it isn’t designed to display am engine system’s live data.
- Would work with any OBD2 compliant vehicle
- Also supports EVAP and O2 tests
- Designed to print and also save diagnostic tests
- Comes with a clear and large LCD display
- Turns check engine light off
13. JDiag JD101 Engine Scan Tool
It would be a wise investment to spend less on the JDiag JD101 engine scanner than spend heavily on taking a trip to a mechanic shop as this OBD2 scanner is designed with the aim of reading the engine codes.
Despite being a cheap OBD2 scanner, it guarantees the provision of accurate readings and not forgetting it is also a good choice if you are on a tight budget. You can also trust this OBD2 scanner to do its job whenever your engine lights come on.
Running battery and IM tests are other duties this OBD2 scanner is designed to do as they are key to keeping any vehicle in good working condition and thanks to a live data mode, this scanner would also provide you with information on calibration ID, voltage and battery status.
- Fits the palm for portability
- Comes in various languages
- Works great in retrieving your vehicle’s information
- Good at clearing and reading engine codes
14. Autel AutoLink AL519 OBDII
This is a handheld OBD2 scanner equipped with lots of functions which makes it a perfect choice for do it yourself type of people and with the aid of this innovative tool, lots of functions and tests can be carried out like sensor tests, component tests and more.
It is quite a good product from Autel AutoLink as it is able to show you error codes together with the reason behind these error codes and this takes away the need to check Google for answers. Thanks to this, your effort and time are saved and this also contributes to why it is rated as one of the best OBD2 scanner tools available today.
- Comes with a six feet cord
- Doesn’t freeze or lag
- Boots in just ten seconds
15. Autel MaxiLink ML619 CAN OBD2 Scanner
The Autel MaxiLink ML619 OBD2 CAN scanner is one of a kind as it is capable of reading and clearing error codes found in the Airbag and ABS systems and it is also a perfect choice for carrying out a diagnostic test.
With the help of this outstanding scanner, you would find it very easy to keep an eye on your engine light and also helps in working on it. For every vehicle manufactured in 1996 to date, this scanner would diagnose SRS and ABS systems and it is compatible with vehicles like Volvo, Ford, GM, BMW and more.
- Able to view freeze frame data
- Makes use of a PC in printing data
- Graphs data
- Turns off SRS and ABS lights
Factors to Look Out for When Shopping
When trying to shop for an OBD2 scanner, there are some key factors that one must pay attention to as it would help in brushing up your knowledge on this product as well as playing a vital role in helping you make the right choice. Let’s take a look at these key factors;
How quality the screen is would determine how one can make use of an OBD2 scanner effectively meaning settling for an OBD2 scanner with a clear on-screen design is a welcomed idea
Knowing the quality of every brand is a key role that shouldn’t be neglected when shopping for an OBD2 scanner. Some of the quality brands we have in this review include the Autel, Innova, FIXD, Ancel, BAFX among others and if you come across any of these brands don’t hesitate to check them out.
There is a possibility that some brands might provide an app that would work with a scanner effectively and these apps are useful as they also help in monitoring your vehicle as well as explaining certain problems that might occur in your vehicle.
The storage method an OBD2 scanner makes use of is also another key factor buyers ought to pay close attention to and take, for instance, if you scan multiple cars each day then you need a data storage format that is well organized.
Sometimes, a live feed is one of the best and helpful means of identifying and solving a problem with your vehicle. An OBD2 scanner with such design is also a welcomed idea as it helps users in understanding information with ease.
Buying an OBD2 scanner could be an exhausting task as there are quite numerous products available for sale but if you find yourself in such space then you don’t need to worry anymore as we have done the necessary research and the hard work for you.
We bring you this outstanding best OBD2 scanner reviews not just for professionals but also for home users. You would find the expensive ones and the cheap ones but pay close attention to their features so as to find that which would be suitable for your vehicle and meet your needs.