Top 10 Best OBD2/ OBDII Scanners

Top 10 Best OBD2/ OBDII Scanners/On-board diagnostics (OBD2) is an automotive term referring to a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. OBD systems give the vehicle owner or repair technician access to the status of the various vehicle sub-systems. The amount of diagnostic information available via OBD has varied widely since its introduction in the early 1980s versions of on-board vehicle computers. Early versions of OBD would simply illuminate a malfunction indicator light or “idiot light” if a problem was detected but would not provide any information as to the nature of the problem. Modern OBD implementations use a standardized digital communications port to provide real-time data in addition to a standardized series of diagnostic trouble codes, or DTCs, which allow a person to rapidly identify and remedy malfunctions within the vehicle.

Taking the car to a professional mechanic or repair shop isn’t, only expensive but also requires time. Unfortunately, there comes a time when the car starts behaving erratically, and the check engine light comes on. The ABS or airbag light may also light up, and this will make you a bit uncomfortable to drive the car since you don’t know how severe the problem is and would rather not put your life and that of others at risk. Instead of struggling with a malfunctioning car or not feeling confident or worrying too much about the warning signs, why don’t you invest in an OBD II scanner? It will help you to instantly diagnose the issues from anywhere even if you lack experience. After looking at the products being offered in the market, we concluded that the following are the best OBD2 scanners.

Best On-Board Diagnostics (OBD2)/ OBDII Scanners 

  • BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII. See More Reviews.
  • ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal.
  • BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional.
  • FIXD OBD-II Active Car Health Monitor.
  • Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner.
  • OxGord OBD2 Scanner OBDII Code Reader.
  • Autel MaxiCOM MK808.
  • KOBRA Wireless OBD2 Car Code Reader.

Blusmart OBD MATE OBDII Auto Code Reader

  • Color: Orange
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.7 x 1.4 in.
  • Item Weight: 11.2 oz.

This OBD2 scanner works with a range of vehicles including American, Japanese, European, British, and Korean models. It comes in an elegant and user-friendly design that makes using easy even for first-timers.

Furthermore, the light and compact piece only weighs about 11 ounces and is designed for cars built as early as 2000. It features an easy-read display that shows all the functions, decently sized selection buttons, and will show the reading within a short time. The Blusmart OBD scan tool is designed for checking the engine and may not work with airbags.

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Reasons To Buy This

  • Small and nice-looking display for easy reading
  • Reads both hard memory and intermittent faults
  • Resets monitors and clears codes

ScanTool 425801 OBDLink SX USB: Professional OBD-II Scan Tool For Windows

  • Color: Red
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 0.9 x 1.8 in.
  • Item Weight: 3.2 oz.

With this device, you will transform your tablet, laptop, or desktop PC into a reliable scanner. Furthermore, it’s designed to operate on different car models and types and will easily connect to the OBD connector of most vehicles.

The checks and analysis take a few minutes if not seconds. Also, it can work with vehicles that were manufactured back in 1996 to the latest in the market. The lightweight and compact unit is easy to carry around and delivers professional results just as a commercial repair shop would do. In addition to analyzing the codes, this decently sized and sturdily built gadget also clears the codes.

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Reasons To Buy This

  • Reads Map and MAF sensor
  • Free Windows PC diagnostic software license
  • The latest OBDwiz software for quality graphics
  • Free firmware updates to keep the device up to date

Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD II & CAN Scan Tool

  • Color: Red
  • Product Dimensions: 63 x 17.7 x 92.5 in.
  • Item Weight: 8.8 oz.

With this nice-looking scan tool, diagnosing faults and erasing error codes will be easy, inexpensive, and convenient. Simply plug it into the OBD connector and follow the simple instructions.

The compact and sturdy gadget works with cars built as early as 1996 as well as the latest ones on the market, whether local or imported. For easy reading, the device features a good-sized display and also emits a sound alert. On top of that, the scan tool is well built to withstand falls, bangs, and should provide good service for many years. In addition to the quick display of generic and specific codes, consumers love this tool because of the color screen, simple controls, good quality, and reasonable price.

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Reasons To Buy This

  • The built-in speaker produces audible sound
  • The multilingual menu includes English, French, and Spanish.
  • Retrieves additional information including CIN, VIN, and CVN
  • I/M reading for checking the emission levels

Autel AL519 AutoLink Enhanced OBD Ll Scan Tool With Mode 6

  • Color: Red/Black
  • Product Dimensions: 70.9 x 31.5 x 102.4 in.
  • Item Weight: 2 lbs.

Driving a car with the engine check light showing will be a thing of the past if you acquire this good-looking OBDII scanner. It’s one of the lightest and most compact in the market and easily fits in small spaces inside the car or a carry bag. Furthermore, the unit reads both general and specific codes and is suitable for most cars on the market. Besides reading, this tool can also record, and playback lives data and comes with a carry bag, user manual, USB cable, CD, and OBD11 cable.

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Reasons To Buy This

  • Patented one-click I/M reading for analyzing the emission levels
  • Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) turns off automatically
  • Retrieves vehicle-specific codes including CIN, VIN, and CVN
  • Recording and playing back live data improves functionality

 FOXWELL Nt301 Obd2 Code Scanner Universal Car Engine

  • Color: Black/Orange
  • Product Dimensions:: 8.7 x 3.1 x 6.7 in.
  • Item Weight: 2.9 lbs.

This scan tool will work on cars manufactured from 1996 to the most current ones, both local and imported. Also, it’s perfect for light trucks, SUVs, small cars, minivans, pickup trucks, and much more.

The movable piece is quite common in the market and is loved by both amateurs as well as professionals. This is because of its good size and weight, simplicity, user-friendliness, and capacity to read both generic and specific codes. Last but not least, it also helps you to clear error codes as well as resetting the monitors.

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Reasons To Buy This

  • Unique One-Click Readiness Key checks the State Emissions
  • Supports multiple requests
  • Verifies drive cycle

Launch X431 Creader VII+ ( CRP123) Auto Code Reader EOBD OBD2 Scanner

  • Color: Black
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.9 x 1.9 in.
  • Item Weight: 1.5 lbs.

This scan tool will work on American, French, Japanese, German, Korean, Chinese, and other car models. The simple device easily fits in the OBD slot of car manufacturers from as early as 1996 and checks different parameters including the engine, transmission, airbags, braking system, and more. Moreover, the durable gadget is made from high-quality material to withstand regular use and comes with close buttons and medium-size display. Like other top gadgets, it also erases codes, relays data stream graphics and playback live data stream.

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Reasons To Buy This

  • Multilingual Menu includes English, French, Spanish, Chinese and more languages
  • Checks engine, airbag, transmission, ABS and rests codes
  • Scans carbon canister and oxygen sensor

Innova 3100i CanOBD2 Diagnostic Tool & ABS Color Screen

  • Color: Black/Blue
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.2 x 2.5 in.
  • Item Weight: 1.1 lbs.

Coming in a bright and colorful display is this light and compact ScanTool. It works with any car and comes with an onboard computer including models that were manufactured as far back as 1996.

The professional-looking device delivers comprehensive statistics within minutes allowing you to discover a problem faster. Lastly, it also features an ergonomic design for smooth operation and comfort.

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Reasons To Buy This

  • Malfunction Indicator Lamp indicates the time set
  • Red, green and yellow LEDs for indicating emissions status
  • Battery/Alternator checks for the charging system

Car WIFI OBD 2 OBD2 OBDII Scan Tool Foseal Scanner

  • Color: Black
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 2 x 1 in.
  • Item Weight: 1.6 oz.

With this scan tool, you will easily check the status of your car’s engine without removing any parts. Also, it simply inserts into the OBD connector and will display data on engine performance, fuel status, throttle option, coolant temperature, RPM, and much more. Although looking very simple and basic, this gadget is highly advanced and should work with most cars on the market. It also comes handy in erasing error codes.

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Reasons To Buy This

  • Wireless design for a tangle-free experience
  • Advanced design for checking many variables including load value, timing, throttle position, fuel system status and more
  • Compatible with iOS and Windows programs

Innova 3150f Code Reader For OBD2 Vehicles

  • Color: Black
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.2 x 1.5 in.
  • Item Weight: 2.5 lbs.

If you own or would like to diagnose a car that comes with an onboard computer, including early models, then this scan tool by Launch should serve you well. Although it comes in fairly small size and looks basic, it can carry out a range of diagnostic tests including engine status, transmission, brake system, airbags, and more.

It can also reset the oil light, battery maintenance limit, and even erase ABS and airbag trouble codes. Furthermore, the solid and sturdily built piece is perfect for European, American, and Asian cars and is compatible with Windows operating system. You can always update the software by downloading it online.

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Reasons To Buy This

  • Large backlit LCD screen for easy reading
  • Color Screen for easy reading
  • Bluetooth features allow pairing with other devices

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool For iPhone, IPad & Android

  • Color: Black
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 1.9 x 1 in.
  • Item Weight: 2.4 oz.

This OBDII ScanTool is designed for vehicles with an onboard computer. Also, the Bluetooth-enabled devices come in a wireless form and will still provide the same if not better service than the wired types. This reader and scanner are light in weight, easy to use, and also provide a quick reading. Lastly, it is compatible with the iPad, iPhone, and Android and works with American, European, and Asian cars.

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Reasons To Buy This

  • Free vehicle-specific Repair Reports to help in diagnostics
  • No cords or wires that would create a mess or inconvenience
  • Bluetooth feature supports pairing with phones, tablets, and computers

Benefits Of OBD2 Scanners

The need for a scanner is inevitable for different applications. It may seem simple by the term scanner, but actually there are lots of variants when it comes to the choice of scanners. The present discussion is focused on the benefits of OBD2 scanners. The coding nature of the OBD 2 scanners is regarded to have conveyed a lot of modification to the business years. A few years back, it was mentioned to note that motorists had to face through the hassles of having to take their car to the neighboring garage notwithstanding the fact that in the end, there would be much time consumed while trying to solve the minor faults.

The way in which the OBD 2 scanners of the present age are capable of identifying the specific areas where the fault is present is unique. The corresponding benefits provided by such scanners have simplified the life of the mechanics and motorists. Take a look at the benefits of these scanners:


Taking into account the repair cost in the present era of manual mechanical fault detection, there are many benefits of using the OBD2 scanners. The time, level of precision, and information are worth considering. These types of scanners provide the location of the specific fault area and also give the possible solution on the fault. Therefore, the repair costs become cost-effective. It is found that the relative costs of the scanners are usually low while compared to those few years back. They typically cost lesser along with broad coverage which makes them quite user-friendly.


There are lots of OBD2 scanners that are equipped with the potential to update on the wireless media. The same enables the scanners to last longer and ultimately facilitating the users in a better way. While choosing these scanners, durability is the prime factor to focus on.

Automatic Operation

The majority of the present-day scanners available on the market are essentially doing it yourself devices. They are found to be user-friendly to the car owner with the use of appropriate user repair guides. Moreover, they provoke the driver to perform the overall fault repair without anyone’s assistance or without visiting the mechanic.


The capability of the scanner to code on different car models is essential to take into account. With different protocols and millions of codes encompassed by most of them, it is necessary to check compatibility. They are identified to serve the user with tons of options. Moreover, broad compatibility enables such devices to work on different models and thus making them affordable.

Data Tracking

The contemporary models of modern scanners can offer rich information regarding your car. But if you are not a mechanic, it can be hard to comprehend what it means. Therefore, you should pick a unit that depicts clear data, charts, and easy-to-read graphs. Furthermore, you must be able to supervise this data over time in order that you could see any modifications as they happen and utilize that information to your benefit.

Live Scanning

The advancement that contemporary scanners have is that they enable the user to check their car’s performance. Because the onboard computers are much more advanced compared to what they were in 1996, it is easy to monitor the entire system of your vehicle at once. It is known that live scanning is an efficient tool since it can assist you in tracking the operation of your vehicle over time. Moreover, it allows you to identify any potential concerns prior they turn into an issue.

Accurate Self-diagnosis

By simply plugging an OBD2 scanner unit inside your system, you will receive an exceptional viewpoint on the health of your vehicle. For example, if you could notice a check engine warning light, then connecting an OBD2 scanner can pinpoint a particular DTC. Thus, it enables you to identify the root cause precisely. In case you are making use of an OBD2 Bluetooth adapter then you will be able to view all this information on your smartphone.

There is no doubt that time is money and so this diagnosis will help. The precise self-diagnosis can save both, particularly if it denotes a simple fix. To understand this, for example, a blocked filter can be effortlessly repaired at your home; thus, it avoids expensive hours in the garage or time in the absence of your vehicle. Considering the hefty fee for an OBD2 tool while using at a service station, it generally makes the fiscal sense to invest in your own. It is possible to save many dollars spent on future repairs or on maintenance costs.

OBD2 Diagnostic Tool User Guide

Let’s get down to the basics, now you know how a normal automotive scan tool works, but now you need to know how to use it.

Heres a step by step explanation to turning on and using the scan tool:

How to use an OBD2 Scanner: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. OBD2 Set-Up for your Car Scanner

  • Turn the ignition of your vehicle OFF, this is very important before connecting any equipment.

2. How to Read Codes

  • Use the Scroll button to READ CODES from the Diagnostic Menu, these can be stored codes, pending codes or permanent codes.
  • You will be able to read the codes and their definitions on the screen.

3. How to Erase Codes

  • To ERASE CODES, use the scrolling feature and select ERASE codes, from there you will be prompted to confirm that you want to erase the code.
  • Select Yes or Confirm that you want to Erase the Code from the vehicle information system.

4. Retrieve Live Data

  • To view Live Data, use the scroll feature and the enter/exit button to select the Live Data function.
  • Wait a moment while the OBD2 scan tool accesses the stream from your vehicle’s engine.
  • If you wish to view a complete data set, select Complete Data Set and press Enter.

5. Freeze Frame

  • To view Freeze Frame Data, select it from the Diagnostic Menu.
  • Wait for the device to detect your vehicle information.
  • Use the scroll feature to read the messages from the Freeze Frame data of your vehicle.
  • If there is no freeze frame data, you should see a message appear that reads ¨no freeze frame data stored¨

6. I/M Readiness

  • To retrieve the I/M Readiness of your vehicle, select I/M Readiness from the Diagnostic Menu.
  • If your device allows for viewing of two different cycles, you will have a choice between DTCs Cleared and This Drive Cycle.
  • The display screen will show a list of codes to monitor many variables such as Engine Misfire (MIS), Fuel System Monitor (FUEL), O2S (Oxygen System Monitor) and more for both spark ignition and compression ignition engines.
  • Press Enter/Exit to return to the Diagnostic Menu.

7. Get your Vehicle Information

  • To retrieve Vehicle information, select vehicle info from the Display Menu.
  • An advisory message may appear to remind you to turn the engine OFF.
  • Wait a moment and then review vehicle information on the screen.
  • Here you will be able to read VIN number, ID number, Calibration Data and more.

8. Exit OBD2 Test

  • To Exit, an OBD2 Test, select the Previous Menu button and press the Enter/Exit button.
  • If a warning message appears, confirm that you want to Exit.

What to do when your OBD2 scanner does not work?

If you are having trouble using your obd2 scanner, I hope to help review some common troubleshooting problems and possible solutions.

Error linking Obdii Scanner to Vehicle

The first and most common problem may be an Error when linking to your vehicle.

If the scan tool does not respond when you plug it into your vehicle, a communication error may have occurred.

In order to fix this problem, here are some steps you can take:

  • Double-check that the key in the ignition in your vehicle is turned to the ON position.
  • Look at the OBD2 connector of your scan tool and make sure it is firmly connected to your vehicle’s DLC port.
  • Verify that your vehicle is compatible with OBD2 technology.
  • Turn your vehicle off, wait up to 10 seconds then turn it on and try again.
  • Make sure the device you have purchased is not broken or tampered with.

Error during Scan Tool Operation: Obd2 scanner fails to work

Maybe your vehicle is connecting to your device, but you are experiencing an Error during Operation.

If this is your case, maybe your device is freezing or experiencing slow running and reading times.

To combat this problem, try these steps:

  • Reset your scan tool.
  • Turn off your ignition, wait for about ten seconds, and try again.

On the other hand, you may have a more serious problem if your Scan Tool Doesn’t Turn On.

In the event that this is happening, follow these steps:

  • Double-Check that the connector is secure in your vehicle’s DLC port.
  • Look inside the DLC port in your vehicle, there may be some pins that are not straight or are missing.
  • Check the vehicle battery and make sure it is charged with at least 8.0 volts.

Final Words

An OBD2 scan tool is necessary for any serious driver, motorist, or car enthusiast. It allows you to diagnose any problems without popping the hood or opening the engine, you can know the problem even if you don’t have lots of knowledge, and it also works with different car models. Top models, such a those listed above come in light, portable and handy designs for easy carrying and use, they are compatible with the different software, and will also work with different car models whether American, European, Japanese, Korean or any other.

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