Choosing the best OBD2 Scanner

By YOUCANIC on Mar 15, 2019

Choosing the best OBD2 Scanner

With hundreds of diagnostic scanner on the market, choosing the best OBD2 scanner can be difficult. To help car owners make a wise choice, we decided to review some of the best OBD2 scanners on the market today. To learn more, check out Pros and Cons of each OBD2 scanner and watch the corresponding video. 

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Autel MaxiScan MS309

Maxiscan MS300 is a cheap and popular scanner which is very easy to use. Even if you have never used a scanner before. MaxiScan works on 1996 and newer vehicles. It provides support for OBD II and CAN compliant cars. It is able to retrieve the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and determine the correct protocol.

It will read and the clear check engine light or service engine soon. MaxiScan MS309 will display the fault code on the LCD and a short description of the code. Always research the problem. Do not rely on the fault code alone.

 

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 Autel MaxiScan MS309

PROS
  • Inexpensive
  • Read & Clear Check Engine Codes
  • Supports CAN and OBD-II protocls
  • Works on most 1996 and newer vehicles
  • Check emission readiness
  • View freeze frame data
  • Easy to use
CONS
  • No support for ABS, SRS, Transmission modules

 

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. There are many variations of these Bluetooth adapters including dongles such as Fixd 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) is the way to go.

 

PROS
  • Read, Clear Check Engine Codes
  • View live sensor data
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Keep it plugged to monitor your vehicle
CONS
  • Requires a smartphone
  • Requires an OBD2 app, free options available
  • No support for other modules except Engine Control Unit (Check Engine Light)

 

Autophix OM126 Scanner

If you are looking robust OBD2 scanner a good choice would be OM126. Not only is it an affordable OBD2 scanner that is easy to use but also offers several amazing features and supports all 1996 and newer vehicles. 

 

 

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Autophix OM126 Scanner

PROS
  • Read and Clear Fault Codes including Check Engine Codes. 

  • Retrieves generic (P0, P2, P3 and U0), manufacturer specific (P1, P3 and U1) codes and pending codes.

  • Views freeze frame data.

  • Display monitor and I/M readiness status (emissions).

  • Retrieves vehicle information such as VIN

  • Supports all 1996 and newer vehicles.

  • Well built

CONS
  • 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 Engine Unit.

Launch Creader

It 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

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 Launch Creader Scanner

PROS
  • Read/Clear codes from multiple systems: Engine, ABS, Airbag, Transmission
  • View live sensor data
  • Easy to use
  • Great value
CONS
  • It can diagnose problems from main modules (such as ABS, transmission, airbag) but not all modules on a car.

 

Universal Foxwell NT624 / N510

Foxwell NT624 provides in-depth vehicle troubleshooting of all systems and works on most makes including American, Asian and European vehicles. 

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 Foxwell NT624

PROS
  • ABS

  • Airbag / SRS

  • Automatic Transmission

  • Instrument Cluster

  • Climate Control

  • Power Steering

  • Engine / ECU / Check Engine Light
    Works on cars, SUVs, trucks, and minivans.

CONS
  • Menu items mislabeled. Software can be updated.

 

ArtiDiag 100 OBD2 Scanner

obd2 scannerArtiDiag 100 is a Level 2 Scanner that provides coverage for most makes and is able to read and clear codes from all modules on a vehicle. Watch the demonstration on a Mercedes-Benz S Class.

 

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TopDon ArtiDiag 100

PROS
  • Read/Clear codes from all vehicle systems
  • View live sensor data from any sensor in your car
  • Perform reset procedures
  • Free software updates
  • Multiple vehicle support
CONS
  • While it provides good value it may not be affordable for most DIYers.

Autel MaxiDAS

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 in this list. It is easy to navigate even for a beginner. Not only does it read and clear codes from all modules on vehicles, but is also allow you to perform adaptations and reset various systems. You can use Autel MaxiDas to carry functions such as reset the steering angle sensor or register the battery. Reset transmission shifting points etc. It offers great value for the money. It still costs more than what most DIYers are willing to spend on a scanner.

The latest version is Autel MaxiDAS DS808  

PROS
  • Professional Level Scanner

  • Can read and clear fault codes from systems such as:

  • Transmission

  • Anti-Lock Brakes

  • Traction Control

  • Climate Control 

  • Entertainment, Navigation

  • Stability Control

  • Engine / ECU

  • TPMS

  • All module support.

  • Often used as by independent auto repair shops.

CONS
  • Expensive for DIYers.
  • Requires yearly updates to keep up with new models. 
  • Yearly updates cost money. 

 

BlueDriver OBD2 scanner  is a powerful and reasonably priced scanner that you should consider as well. We are working on adding a review of the BlueDriver scanner as well. 

Comments

wayne w., 2017-08-10

I was going to take my 2013 dodge van into the dealer to have my spark plugs change on a 3.6L engine , but after watching your video I did it myself and save myself a lot of money. Keep making those great video. Great job guys.

i have the cheap scanner. If I clear a code and then take it into get tested for smog will it show the tech that I just cleared a code? If so will that keep me from passing? This is CA

When you clear the codes, all the monitors are reset. It takes two to three days worth of driving to get all the monitors ready. If you have more than one monitor Not Ready, you will fail. In most states at least. Probably CA too since they are so strict on emissions. In most cases you will pass with only one monitor being Not Ready. If you take your car for emission right after you clear the codes. You will surely fail.

I have bought Launch CR4001 code reader before. It is well worth buying because of the high quality. It works on my Ford perfectly. In fact, the design is considerate – the cable attached to the device and the other end of the cable plugged into the OBD port on my vehicle. The instruction described on the user manual is clearly, which are really easy to understand. I can easily check if the engine emissions reach the standard.
I don’t have to always go to automotive services cause this tool can help me solve some small problems. What satisfied me a lot is the metal dome designed keys which are sensitive and easy to operate with great feelings. Maybe you can have a try.

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