10 Best Automotive Diagnostic Scanners in 2020
10 rows · Mar 10, · Below is a list of the best automotive diagnostic scanners that allow you to effectively. Apr 02, · Kobra Products OBD2 Scan Tool This Kobra Product unit is a really bankable, standard car diagnostic scanner which, to be frank, is really all you need. It is absurdly simple to use, even for.
Home » Reviews. Cars are getting more and more complex for every day that goes past. Gone are these days while you could clean the carburetor to make your car run great again. Nowadays, it helps if you have an automotive scan tool to make proper diagnostics how to apply liquid eyeliner cat eye your car before replacing parts.
Luckily with great scan tools, diagnostics have become fun and easy most often. Disclaimer — This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases. View Latest Price. We have gone through many different automotive scanners through the years, and I can, without doubt, say that there is no automotive scanner that can beat the BlueDriver when it comes to price compared to functions.
One of the reasons is probably because there is just an adapter and you control it with the phone; you do not have to pay for a whole scanner with a screen. The BlueDriver can read enhanced trouble codes, making it pretty unique on the market for this price. It is also effortless to use, and if you need help, you will get good support if you ask for it. It is maybe a little bit too expensive for people who are just fixing their own cars at home, and it may fit small workshops better.
If you do not care for paying a little bit extra, though — this is a really great scanner for a great price. Autel MaxiCom has the most functions that you need for car diagnostics and programming. You also have a great database for the trouble codes. Nexpeak NX is a great scanner for those on a budget and do not want to spend too much on an automotive scanner. Nexpeak is very affordable and has the most functions that you need to fix simpler tasks at home.
The drawback is that you cant read enhanced trouble codes with this tool, only generic codes. This is not a big problem for most diagnostics, but it can be difficult in some cars. The Autel MaxiSys Elite is not for those who are just looking for a tool to use at home. This is a real professional tool that has almost all the functions you need for scan tools. This tool suits very well for small to medium-sized automotive workshops that need a tool that can read a lot of different vehicles and at the same time have programming functions for most of them.
The only drawback of this tool is, of course, the cost. If you feel that you can afford a tool like this, it is a super good tool for many years ahead because of the free software updates. The Innova CarScan Pro is another strong candidate for the top tools how to book your theory test this automotive scan tool list.
It has a bright 2. The repair solutions app makes your car diagnostics very easy to find solutions for the problems which you find with this tool.
It is also made in the USA and holds great quality. The Ancel BD is an automotive scanner for those looking for a cheaper scanner that can do simple tasks but still have some basic functions. It is indeed very affordable and it has the most functions you need like live data reading, health monitoring, and generic trouble code reading.
You can also connect this scanner directly to your iPhone or Android phone. This is a unique function that can help your diagnostics a lot. It is also pretty affordable for what you get in the package, and it has the most basic functions that you need for a scan tool.
It also has the most basic functions as live data, active testing, and more. It is very affordable compared to what you can do with it. The drawback of this tool is, of course, that it is very limited for other car models than how to get a loan with a bad credit ones mentioned before, but if you have one of these, it is absolutely a great alternative.
This Device is tiny and simple — and you will get it for a super low price. It can do basic things like seeing live data, reading generic trouble codes, and checking the on-board monitor. It also comes with a month warranty. The Jethax Automotive scanner is a scan tool made for use with smart-phones.
This can also be good because you only have to pay for the adapter, making the price for it much better. The Jethax has the most simple functions you need, like reading generic trouble codes, real-time live data. I hope you liked this list of the best automotive scan tools. What is the best automotive diagnostic scanner you have anything you want me to change, let me know in the comment section down below. I have been working with cars for 10 years, specialized in diagnostics and troubleshooting.
I created this blog because I was tired of finding false information on the web while looking for repair information. I hope you enjoy my content! Here is my choices of the best automotive scan tools on the market. Contents show. BlueDriver Bluetooth Automotive Scanner. Nexpeak NX Diagnostic Scanner. Ancel BD Diagnostic Scanner. Jethax Automotive Scanner. Cons: A little bit on the expensive side. Cons: No enhanced trouble codes.
Cons: Not enhanced trouble codes Cant graph live data. Pros: Small device 3 years warranty Both phone app or handheld scanner Live data. Cons: Not reading enhanced trouble codes Very basic Interface.
Cons: No enhanced trouble codes Cant use how to be a foley artist and multimeter at once. Cons: Small screen No enhanced trouble codes Limited functions. Cons: No enhanced trouble codes Only adapter. You Might Love These Too:. Search This Site.
The best OBD2 scanners you can buy today
Apr 03, · Overall, the best OBD2 scanner is the Innova CarScan Pro It offers a relatively big color display and delivers a ton of useful data. The Innova provides code definitions to help you easily.
The best automotive diagnostic scanner designs, also known as an OBD scanner or OBDII scanner, are diagnostic tools that are used to gather the error codes relating to your car. Scan tools like this play the same role as a mechanic might, helping you understand what the problem is and giving you the error codes needed to look up further details online. Here are ten of the best automotive diagnostic scanner tools on the market, details about what they can do, and recommendations on where they might be most useful.
Despite its small size, it supports a full set of diagnostics features: gear reset, ABS bleeding, key coding, and throttle matching among plenty of others!
The active test features make it easy to find specific data to identify problems that you might have missed. Why We Liked It — This is sometimes said to be one of the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner tools on the market, giving you full control over the data you record and the tests you carry out on your vehicle.
The software has 20 preset functions that can apply to a variety of features on your car, and the Bi-Directional active test system makes it easy to request certain information as live data. Why We Liked It — This bi-directional scanner is ideal for performing full diagnostic checks on almost any vehicle, especially if you are trying to identify a certain error code. The large LCD screen tells you the exact test results with no need for a separate power source , drawing it directly from the data link connector attached to the car.
A simple four-button control system makes it an extremely easy to use diagnostic tool, and the scanner display will tell you the meaning of each error code once it gathers the data needed to identify it. Unlike a lot of scan tools, it can also detect the engine system, tracking emissions, and performance problems with ease.
Officially certified to work on both iOS and Android devices, it boasts an install-free and easy to use design that can give you multiple different reports and read a range of error codes quickly. The Live Data option, Freeze Frame setting, Smog Check tool, and Mode 6 option can improve your test result accuracy even further, giving you far more data to work with.
Why We Liked It — This is one of the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner models available for people who want to avoid unnecessary cables and save or share data effectively. The simple LCD screen is able to display all of the data you collect with ease, and it is compatible with plenty of different vehicle makes and designs.
Running on 2 AAA batteries and weighing just over 1. Why We Liked It — This diagnostic scan tool is perfect for people who want to be sure that they are recording data in a readable, digestible way for future reference. It can store sensor data in real-time and display it as graphics straight away and is capable of tracking anything from ABS information to emission levels depending on your needs. Unlike many scan tools, the MaxiLink uses sound cues and visual changes to help you identify problems, making it easier to scan an entire vehicle without skipping over or misreading important data.
Charged directly from your car to avoid needing batteries, the scanner has a variety of different hotkeys to make it very easy to use, helping you set up specific checks or scans without wasting any time. A built-in speaker also helps alert you to anything that you might otherwise miss or forget to check properly. Why We Liked It — This is a great car diagnostic and scanner tool for anybody who might end up having to deal with multiple vehicles at once. The scan tool can get free updates when connected to the internet and works with a large list of vehicle models, giving you a card diagnostic scanner that can work extremely well in a wide range of situations.
The tablet-style design also gives you a larger 7-inch touchscreen compared to other scan tools, making it easier to accurately read and compare the information you gather. Why We Liked It — The quality of this diagnostic tool makes it one of the best for professional users and new users alike, giving you accurate results across all car systems. When used for diagnostic purposes, it can reset dozens of features across the car while gathering plenty of useful information that can help you uncover malfunctions or damaged components.
A battery life of six hours and 32 GB of storage adds some extra long-term reliability, too. Why We Liked It — This is another one of the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner tools on the market, combining speed with dozens of ways to check your vehicle systems. The tool can also interpret error and warning codes on most OBD2 scanner vehicles, as well as resetting their oil lights and checking on their battery status. Despite the small size, it can record real-time readings and save them for review, either directly onto the diagnostic tool screen or a linked computer running Windows.
Multiple control buttons give you easier access to more advanced features without over-complicating the scan tool, making it suitable for newcomers and professionals alike. Why We Liked It — The small size of this scan tool, combined with its excellent range of professional features, makes it a great choice for people who want a reliable car diagnostic tool they can use consistently.
Automotive diagnostic scanner tools are complicated, and very few people will deny that. Even experienced and professional mechanics who want the best professional car diagnostic tool they can find can struggle to find certain advanced functions, and there is no guarantee that two scan tools will read fault codes in the same way. Being familiar with how a diagnostic tool like this can work, will make it easier to use, but it can still take a while to wrap your head around which features you will need, especially if you are not experienced with using a scanner.
If you want to find the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner on the market, you need to identify which features and factors will make the biggest difference to you personally, as well as which features are going to be useful no matter the situation.
Car diagnostic tools technically come in all shapes and forms, but most people will be talking about an OBD or OBD2 scanner.
However, there are two types of OBD2 scanner that you can choose from: a diagnostic scan tool and a code reader. While they perform the same basic function, they are very different tools. A code reader is exactly what it says: it is a tool that will check your car for error codes, helping you read and clear each code to get an idea of what might be wrong. A diagnostic tool is much more useful, acting as a full automotive diagnostic scanner that can gather real information about your car and any relevant error codes.
While a full car diagnostic tool can cost more, they are also much more effective in every single way. The ability to use your scan tool to find out information about problems and figure out the causes or possible fixes is always more useful.
The best professional automotive diagnostic scanner devices might even have features that can tell you exactly how to repair certain faults, and others can save your readings remotely so that you can show them to a mechanic and skip the entire diagnostic stage. Not all car diagnostic tools work with every car. This is something that many people forget, but it is extremely important to choose a tool that will actually work with your vehicle since this can often be the biggest barrier towards getting good readings from your scan tool.
This makes it even more important to choose one that will work with your car. You can usually find out on the product pages of each scan tool or OBD2 scanner since it will list the types of vehicle that the scanner is compatible with. Some scanner designs might only cover certain car brands or makes, too, so keep an eye out for specific details like this.
OBD2 scanner and OBD1 scanner designs are also surprisingly different, meaning that they are meant for different types of cars. Some scanner tools will simply have more features than others, especially if they have more professional designs. This can include things like Freeze Frame data settings, allowing you to take a freeze frame shot of your stored information rather than losing it once the scan is stopped, or a tool that automatically finds the VIN of your vehicle instead of forcing you to enter it yourself.
Whether or not these are best for you depends on your personal needs, so try to think about what you will find helpful when you are using the tool. Some brands lock the best car diagnostic tool features behind subscriptions or paywalls. The sign-up process to services like this might require an intent comment, name, email, website information, or even business details. If you are brand new to the idea of a professional automotive diagnostic scanner, then even the best professional car diagnostic tool might seem difficult to use at first.
Once you have a professional automotive diagnostic scanner that you are comfortable using, you will need to plug it into the Diagnostic Link Connector: these are often to the left of your dashboard or near the steering wheel , depending on the car model.
Once the tool gets plugged in, you will have to input the Vehicle Identification Number although some OBD2 scanner designs can identify it on their own as well as any other details the tool requires.
After turning your diagnostic tool or scan tool on, you will have access to the full menu, which can usually let you run scans and will alert you to any significant error or fault codes that get triggered. There can be multiple fault code types, such as P powertrain , B body , U unidentified , C chassis , and N network , which will give you an idea of where the error is taking place. Once you have an error code, you should look up the meaning.
Some scan tool designs can do this on their own, but others will give you the code and let you look it up yourself.
If the reading is accurate, you should be able to find the error that the diagnostic tool is trying to alert you to, and you might also receive advice on how to fix it.
On the other hand, you might not have reset options for features that your car does have, either. There are other ways to reset the warning lights and systems, but this can still be a hassle, so try to use your scan tool as often as possible if you are able to. These reset options are common, but different brands and designs have different varieties.
For example, Autel makes a lot of professional OBD2 tools. It can all get very confusing, which is why features are more important than names. Remember that each person has their own opinion of which product is best, too.
However, most people who own a car like that will want something professional, which can be a helpful way of narrowing down the range of OBD2 scanners you have to look through. Once again, using brand names can help: Autel has made multiple scanners that get high praise, so looking through Autel products might give you some options.
If you are more concerned with raw results, then you can just as easily go for a less well-known OBD2 design and make, since all that really matters, in the long run, is the results. Features like Freeze Frame being able to freeze your live recording and review it when needed can be much more useful than a professional visual design, after all. It can sometimes just take a lot of trial and error to figure out which features would be best for you, especially if you are not very good at remembering acronyms or technical terms yet.
On the other hand, if you are a professional, you might still feel a bit overwhelmed by all of the OBD2 choices on the internet.
The best way to approach buying a professional scanner is to take the process slowly and figure out what matters rather than jumping into a purchase before you are sure it is going to be useful. It could take a day, or it could take a week, but eventually, you will be almost guaranteed to end up with something that is perfect for handling your car troubles.
Ryan Kelly has a keen eye for everything motorsport. An avid F1 follower and car enthusiast, his reporting and reviews shine through on GrandPrixTimes. With his years of experience of being in and around cars, his articles are second to none.
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