By YOUCANIC on May 20, 2019
Choosing a good Mazda diagnostic scanner that can perform more than reading engine codes and clearing them can be a challenge.
If you are a Mazda owner, you may want to be able to troubleshoot other systems as well such as ABS, SRS/Airbag, automatic transmission, and ECU. In this article, we talk about the OEM Mazda scanner.
The scanners listed here will allow you to diagnose: Engine, ABS, Airbag, and Transmission etc.
The Launch Creader is a diagnostic scanner that will allow you to read and clear the fault codes from the Engine, Transmission, ABS and SRS/Airbag modules. It works on over 20 car manufacturers including Mazda. It can diagnose engine problems and clear fault codes.
During our testing the Launch Creader was able to read the SRS -airbag system quickly. The software loaded on the Launch Creader is easy to use, and even if you never used an OBD-II, you will be able to figure it out. Just remember that your ignition needs to be in position II and do not start the car when you scan it for fault codes.
You can stream sensor data with this scanner, but you won't be able to do any control unit reprogramming. It is a safe purchase if all you care about is to diagnose the four systems mentioned above.
If you are looking for a professional diagnostic scanner that can provide similar functionality to the Mazda IDS scan tool, then MaxiDAS DS708 is your best option.
Note that MaxiDAS DS708 is inexpensive but compared to the OEM scanner, and other scanners that provide in-depth troubleshooting, programming, sensor activation, immobilizer testing the MaxiDAS708 is a steal.
For those who own a repair shop, this is one of the best scanners that you can add to your toolbox. If you need it to troubleshoot your cars, it is an excellent choice as long as you can afford one.
It makes sense that most Mazda owners may not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a diagnostic scanner, therefore check out our other recommendations below.
iCarsoft CR Plus is a diagnostic scan tool that will work on Mazda and 40+ other vehicles. It can perform the basic Check Engine Light read and reset, plus it can scan the ECU, Transmission, SRS/Airbag, and ABS systems.
We have used the iCarsoft scanners multiple times to diagnose cars and are quite impressed with the capabilities of this scanner. It can access almost all the systems in your Mazda, and it can read and clear fault codes.
Using the scanner is easy; you will need to know the year make, the model of your car and the chassis. The iCarsoft can display current and stored fault codes and clear them. The only thing that we didn't like is that at times it may show error codes that are not vehicle specific and you can not find any information on the code that is showing. You can ignore those kinds of fault codes.
The AutoLink MD802 is a popular scanner because it has many dealer level functions that you won't find in other scanners in this price range. It can read, and clear codes from domestic, and import vehicles made after 1996.
It can scan the ABS, SRS, TCU and ECU plus it can perform diagnostic of multiple systems in your Mazda including body, chassis, communication modules and powertrain. It has a broad vehicle coverage with support for over 50 car models. It features an auto scan mode plus an option to erase all fault codes with a push of a button.
Mazda dealers use a scanner known as the Integrated Diagnostic System (IDS). IDS is the software part; it requires a laptop and the VCM II hardware so that you can connect it to your Mazda vehicle.
A similar setup is used on Ford cars. Operating the IDS scanner requires a yearly license that costs several hundred dollars. You can read more about Mazda IDS software and subscription cost here.
While Mazda IDS provides full control to all systems on Mazda vehicles, it is not as simple to use, and it requires training plus a yearly subscription; which makes it unreasonable for Mazda owners to purchase.
The Mazda IDS used by the dealer is without a doubt the best OBD2 scanner for Mazda. We understand that the IDS is not feasible for Mazda owners.
If you work on cars regularly or have an auto repair shop, you may want to invest in a Level 3 Scanner such as Autel MaxiDAS. It is a bit expensive, but it is among the least expensive professional scanner that offers dealer level troubleshooting and diagnostics.
Most Mazda owners that perform occasional diagnostic will be happy with the AutoLink MD802 or Launch Creader. It is affordable can read and erase codes from all control units and works on multiple cars makes not just Mazda.
Have you used any Mazda scanner? What scanner do you like to use to diagnose Mazda problems?