MaxiScan MS300 Scanner Overview
Autel Maixscann MS300 scanner is an entry level OBD II / CAN scanner. This is one of the bestselling low-cost OBD II scanners that allow you to read the check engine light and retrieve and erase fault codes.
This OBD II scanner works on all vehicles 1996 and newer. In fact, the manufacturer even guarantees compatibility with all vehicles sold in USA since 1996. Not only can this scanner read the diagnostic trouble codes but also clear the trouble codes and turn off the check engine light.
We noticed that many users who had given this product five stars on Amazon had gotten the scanner for free or at a discounted price in order to provide a review on this item, according to their comments.
Our review is based on our hands-on experience. We are not affiliated with the manufacturer in any way, and we paid full price to acquire this OBD II scanner for review.
- Easy to read LCD screen with backlight
- Has Read, Erase or Clear Check engine light /MIL feature
- One of the least expensive OBD II scanners
- Does not provide a description of the fault code.
- Not the most intuitive menu compared to other OBD II scanners in the same price range.
- Does not retrieve factory specific fault codes. Communication with the ECU is a bit slow but acceptable.
The device is easy to operate with its 2-button feature plus it fits like a glove in your hands. The scanner includes a user manual with the instructions and a list of the trouble code definitions. However, we would still recommend that you do research online for your specific fault code, as the manual was created and printed hurriedly. Consequently, there are yet uncorrected typographical errors in it.
How to use MaxiScan MS300 OBD II Code Reader
Operating the code scanner is simple. You start by attaching it to the OBD in your car. When the scanner's display is bright green, turn the ignition to the ON setting, which is one click forward, and select DTC or Diagnostic Trouble Code. The scanner will then begin scanning and displaying the brief explanation of the trouble code if it sees one. Please note that only the code and not the DTC description will be displayed. If you're a mechanic or you understand mechanical jargons, you may understand it. Otherwise, you should check the manual or ask for Google's help.
- Start with the ignition off plug it into the OBD 2 port under the dashboard. CAN OBD2 should display on the LCD.
- Turn the ignition switch to the ON position. This is the position just before you start the car. Do not start the engine.
- Then press the ENTER button on the code reader which starts the scan.
- Use the SCROLL button on the reader to view the results.
Note that you need to fix the problem to successfully erase the fault code. Otherwise, the fault code will return either right away or after a few driving cycles.
If you have addressed the problem, you can hit erase and delete the error code from the ECU (engine control unit).
If you have other lights on in your instrument cluster such as ABS, ETS, ESP, BAS, Traction Control, SRS, Air Bag lights, you are out of luck. For this purpose, you need a full system scanner such as Launch Creader or Autel MD802.
Based on our experience this scanner may require that you perform the reset procedure a couple of times to clear the fault codes. If you experience communication issues when using this scanner or if you can't erase the fault codes, disconnect the scanner and try the reset procedure for the second time.
Note that the scanner may get frozen in READ state. If that is the case, unplug the scanner and reconnect it again.
Remember that any diagnostic scanner will not be able to erase the fault code unless you fix the problem that caused the light to come on in the first place.
We triggered the check engine light manually by unplugging a couple of sensors. The check engine light came on and diagnosed what was wrong. Then we plugged the MaxiScan MS300 into the OBD 2 port. It took only a minute to get the fault code.
There was a time the device displayed ERASE FAILED even though the codes were erased. The code stayed on the device and the light did not turn off. Hold the scroll button down, which is the erase shortcut according to the manual. The device did not indicate that changes have been made. Upon rescanning, however, we saw that the codes have already been deleted.
Autel MaxiSCan MS300 DTC Code List
Unfortunately, the MS300 does not provide descriptions for the DTC codes. If you need to look up codes but don't have the code book here are a couple of options.
Autel MaxiScan MS300 Link Error Fix
When you use the MasiScan MS300 you may get a Link Error message. If you are experiencing Link Error Message, try the following.
- Make sure that the scanner is correctly plugged into the OBD II port.
- Turn the key to position II or ON. All the dashboard lights will turn on at this point, but don't start the engine yet. Now try to read the fault codes again.
- If you are still having problems try the scanner on a different vehicle. If the problem persists you should return the scanner and get a replacement unit.
While for the price this scanner will get the job done, there are a few other alternatives in the same price range that you may want to consider. The most important thing that this scanner is lacking is the fact that it does not provide code definitions. You have to either look it up in the user?s manual or search online.
Don't be skeptical about the very inexpensive price of this scanner. It can read, erase and reset the ECU/ MIL and Check engine light on most cars manufactured since 1996. Even if you are not a car person, this scanner is easy to use and a sound investment. In short, it is a sweet deal for the price. One of the cheapest OBD II scanners for the DIY car repair that gets the job done. You will avoid going to a repair facility just to check the engine codes.
MS300 code reader supports all OBD II protocols, including the newly released Controller Area Network (CAN) protocol. Though it is small, it can retrieve same information as large, expensive scanners. This little scanner will save you money.