Best OBD2 Scanner for DIY Auto Repair
Looking for the best OBD2 scanner that can diagnose your cars without having to go to the dealer? The best scan tools allow you to diagnose all vehicle systems on a vehicle. If you are looking for a professional-level scanner you need it to perform bidirectional testing as well which activates sensors, tests, resets, and even operates motors such as seat motor, window motor, fuel pump, and more.
1. YOUCANIC Full System Scanner
We tested a lot of scanners trying to find the best scanner to use in our garage. What we found is that:
- Many scanner manufacturers make scanners that require a yearly subscription.
- Can diagnose one make but doesn’t work on all different car makes. You will have to pay more to cover other vehicle makes.
- Can’t diagnose all vehicle systems. May only diagnose the engine, airbag, transmission, and ABS problems. That’s only 4 systems. Modern cars can have up to 40+ systems.
- Don’t support bi-direction support for sensor testing and activation.
If you wanted a scanner that can do all these, you have to spend thousands of dollars and most likely pay a yearly subscription.
So we decided to launch the YOUCANIC full system scanner that works on all makes and models.
The YOUCANIC full system scanner:
- Works on all makes.
- Can read and clear codes from all vehicle control units.
- View live data from any sensor.
- Bi-direction support to activate and test sensors and motors.
- Reset functions depending on model
If that is not enough, keep in mind that the YOUCANIC scanner does not require a yearly subscription as other professional-level tools do. We believe that the YOUCANIC scanner offers the best OBD2 for the money for auto mechanics and DIYers.
Don’t want to buy a scanner? We still want to help you fix your vehicle in an economical way. We created a scanner rental program that allows you to use the scanner for a few days on as many cars as you like.
We have a ton of how-to video showing you how to troubleshoot car problems. Once you get the codes, the YOUCANIC technicians can help you with any questions you may have.
2. ELM 327 Bluetooth OBD-II Scanners
A Bluetooth OBD-II adapter can pair with your phone and allow you to read and clear fault codes using your smartphone. These Bluetooth adapters have many variations, including dongles such as Fixed OBD-II Adapter and BAFX Products Bluetooth Scanner.
If you are looking for the cheapest way to read and clear your check engine light, an ELM327 Bluetooth adapter + a free OBD-II app (Android / iPhone) are the way to go.
Note that this scanner requires:
- A smartphone
- Requires an OBD2 app, free options are available
Also, it provides no support for other modules except Engine Control Unit (Check Engine Light).
3. ArtiDiag 100 OBD2 Scanner
TopDON ArtiDiag 100 is an all-system coverage; all make canner. As a result, it has many functions and system coverage that you typically only get from dealer-level scanners.
Can read and clear codes from all modules on a vehicle. Watch the demonstration on a Mercedes-Benz S Class.
- Works on ALL makes
- Read and Clear codes from ALL vehicle Systems (including engine, transmission, suspension, ABS, airbag, climate control, and more).
- Several Reset Functions
- View Sensor Data from almost any sensor in the vehicle
- While it provides good value, it may not be affordable for all DIYers.
- It does not offer bi-directional support.
TopDON ArtiDiag 100 is one of the best OBD2 scanners for the money. If you need bi-directional support, take a look at Autel MaxiDAS.
4. Autophix OM126 Scanner
If you are looking robust OBD2 scanner, a good choice would be OM126. It is an affordable OBD2 scanner that is easy to use and offers several amazing features, and supports all 1996 and newer vehicles.
- Owners manual needs improvement
- Read/Clear codes related to check engine light only, no support for other systems.
- No support for other modules other than the Engine Unit.
5. Launch Creader
Launch Creader VII+ covers most vehicle makes. Works on European, Asian, and domestic cars. Provides coverage for four vehicle systems. To learn more about Level 2 scanners, read this article: Multi-system OBD2 scanners.
It can diagnose problems from main modules (such as ABS, transmission, and airbag) but not all modules on a car.
6. Foxwell NT624 / N510
Foxwell NT624 provides in-depth vehicle troubleshooting of all systems and works on most makes, including American, Asian, and European vehicles.
- Menu items mislabeled. The software can be updated.
7. Autel MaxiDAS
Autel Maxidas is a professional-level scanner that many repair shops use. While it is more expensive, it is without a doubt the best OBD2 scanner on this list. In addition, it is easy to navigate, even for a beginner.
Not only does it read and clear codes from all modules on vehicles, but it also allows you to perform adaptations and reset various systems.
You can use Autel MaxiDas to carry out functions such as resetting the steering angle sensor or registering the battery. Reset transmission shifting points etc. It offers great value for the money. However, it still costs more than what most DIYers are willing to spend on a scanner.
- Expensive for DIYers.
- Requires yearly updates to keep up with new models.
- Yearly updates cost money.
BlueDriver OBD2 scanner is another powerful and reasonably priced scanner you should consider. We are working on adding a review of the BlueDriver scanner as well.
We hope you find the Best OBD2 Scanners for DIY Auto Repair guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your vehicle.