Not all trouble codes are included under the OBD2 diagnostic protocols. For diagnosing systems like the anti-lock brakes (ABS) and airbags (SRS), an ABS/SRS OBD2 scanner is what you’ll want to get the job done.
There’s more to these scan tools than reading and clearing trouble codes. Many can also perform repair functions like bleeding your brakes, while advanced models even allow you to reprogram or customize the system parameters in the ECU.
Choosing the right ABS/SRS reader comes down to finding a device that’s compatible with your vehicle and offers the functions you need. The good news is, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune, and can save you money down the line by letting you make your own repairs at home.
What Are ABS/SRS Code Readers?
A code reader is a piece of automotive diagnostic equipment that allows you to read data from the engine computer. Basic code readers are designed to work with the OBD2 (on board diagnostic) system, which provides trouble codes and sensor readings from the engine but isn’t compatible with other vehicle systems. That’s where an ABS/SRS code reader comes in. These devices are designed to work with the anti-lock brake system (ABS) and airbag system (SRS) in the same way basic code readers communicate with the engine.
The most obvious advantage of this is the ability to turn off the associate warning lights for those systems without going to a garage. Most of these SRS and ABS scanners can do a lot more than that, though. Let’s take a look at the key features you can expect from these devices.
Ready to find the perfect scan tool for your garage? Let’s take a look at the best options currently on the market.
Best OBD2 Scanners with ABS SRS (Editor’s Picks)
|Editor's Picks||Products||Our Rating|
|Best Overall||Foxwell NT630 Plus||9.5/10|
|Runner Up||Launch CRP123X||9.5/10|
|Best Budget Buy||BlueDriver||8.5/10|
|Best Value||Autel AL619||8.5/10|
|Also Great||Launch CRP123||7.5/10|
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are ABS/SRS Code Readers?
- 2 Best OBD2 Scanners with ABS SRS (Editor’s Picks)
- 3 Best OBD2 Scan Tools With ABS SRS Review
- 3.1 1. Foxwell NT630 Plus ABS Bleeding Tool
- 3.2 2. Launch CRP123X ABS Airbag Scanner
- 3.3 3. BlueDriver Bluetooth OBDII Scanner with ABS Airbag
- 3.4 4. Autel AutoLink AL619 for ABS Airbag
- 3.5 5. Launch CRP123 Airbag ABS Scanner
- 3.6 6. Autel Diaglink OBDII Scan Tool for ABS and SRS
- 3.7 7. Launch CRP123i OBD2 Scanner with ABS SRS
- 3.8 8. Launch 129i OBDII Diagnostic Tool
- 3.9 9. Innova 3100j ABS/SRS Code Reader
- 4 Final Thoughts
- 5 Buying Guide
- 6 FAQs
Best OBD2 Scan Tools With ABS SRS Review
1. Foxwell NT630 Plus ABS Bleeding Tool
The Foxwell NT630 Plus is a great tool for both diagnosing and repairing the airbag and anti-lock brake systems. It supports bi-directional testing of individual system components, and can perform repair functions like ABS bleed in addition to reading and clearing ABS/SRS trouble codes.
You can diagnose engine issues with the Foxwell NT630 Plus, as well. This scan tool supports all 10 modes of OBD2 for the majority of cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks on the road, and you’ll get the same wide compatibility for its ABS/SRS functions.
The only notable omission on the Foxwell NT630 Plus is that it can’t diagnose the transmission, so it’s less comprehensive than other options on the list. That said, its robust functionality for other systems makes up for this lack. With its portable and lightweight design, it’s an ideal travel scan tool for professional mechanics.
The Foxwell NT630 Plus supports professional features like bi-directional testing for ABS and SRS components, in a compact housing that’s perfect for repairs on the road.Check Price at Amazon
2. Launch CRP123X ABS Airbag Scanner
An upgraded version of the Launch CRP123 above, the CRP123X also has both 4-system diagnosis and full OBD2 functionality. An easy diagnostic report function lets you evaluate your vehicle’s health at a glance, and you can save and print all live data and error codes.
The main improvement made with the Launch CRP123X isn’t its functionality but its convenience. Since it has on-board Wi-Fi, you can update the device with one click without connecting it to a computer. It also gives you access to the “Feedback” function, which provides customized repair suggestions from Launch’s certified professionals.
The high-resolution 5” touchscreen interface on the Launch CRP123X lets you view readings more easily and with more detail than smaller scan tools. If you’re looking for the most in-depth and accurate information, this is the best tool for you.
Built-in Wi-Fi capability makes the Launch CRP123X a convenient way for both professionals and home mechanics to quickly diagnose the ABS and SRS systems.Check Price at Amazon
3. BlueDriver Bluetooth OBDII Scanner with ABS Airbag
The BlueDriver Bluetooth OBDII Scanner is our top choice for everyday drivers and beginning home mechanics who want to diagnose the ABS and SRS systems. Using the BlueDriver app lets you run vehicle diagnostics straight from your phone, even while you’re driving. You’ll also enjoy free, automatic updates and easy saving and exporting of data.
BlueDriver’s compatibility for ABS and SRS diagnosis is narrower than you’ll find with other brands. These functions are part of its Enhanced Codes, and are available for 8 manufacturers. This list includes common brands like Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen, but you’ll want to make sure your car’s on the list before you buy it.
With BlueDriver, you can view live data from PIDs, read and clear codes, and view suggested fixes. That said, it doesn’t include any repair functions, or advanced diagnostic options like bi-directional control. This is the main reason we don’t recommend it for professionals. For home users, though, the streamlined functions make it an easier tool to use and navigate.
BlueDriver is an easy to use ABS and SRS scanner for everyday drivers and beginning home mechanics, though its compatibility and functions are more limited than other options.Check Price at Amazon
4. Autel AutoLink AL619 for ABS Airbag
The affordable Autel AL619 is our top hand-held scanner for beginners, or any home mechanic on a budget. Its straightforward design is easy to learn, and it’s a compact tool, as well, so you can stash it easily in your glovebox.
Maybe the best thing about the Autel AL619 is the way it guides you through the diagnostic process. There’s a built-in library that provides code definitions. The fast-access OBDII Diagnostics function lets you easily see any trouble codes or issues, and you can save and print data, too.
This isn’t just a basic code reader, either. The Autel AL619 supports bi-directional testing of ABS components and has advanced Mode 6 OBD2 testing. While updating the device can be a bit of a hassle, that’s our only complaint against this powerful airbag scanner.
The Autel AL619 is portable, easy to use, and surprisingly affordable given its range of professional functions.Check Price at Amazon
5. Launch CRP123 Airbag ABS Scanner
The 4-system diagnosis of the Launch CRP123 includes both ABS and SRS, as well as engine and transmission. Sensor data can be viewed graphically on the scanner, or saved and printed through a computer for more in-depth analysis.
The user-friendly interface on the Launch CRP123 has a built-in tutorial with one-click access. That makes it a great choice for home mechanics, since it’s easy to learn and navigate even without a lot of experience.
You’ll get relatively broad compatibility with the Launch CRP123, as well. One thing to note is that it doesn’t work with trucks, and also has difficulty with Dodge vehicles. Aside from that, it’s compatible with most makes and models made in 2006 or later, and is an especially great choice for Chevy, Mercedes, and Lexus drivers.
The Launch CRP123 is a user-friendly tool for diagnosing the four major systems in your vehicle.Check Price at Amazon
The Autel Diaglink is the home mechanic version of their popular MD802. It brings together comprehensive professional-level diagnostic power with an easy and intuitive operation, making it one of the best airbag scanners for DIY-ers.
You can read and clear codes from all systems using the Autel Diaglink. This gives you a more comprehensive picture of your engine’s health than 4-system scanners, which can’t access information from systems like the climate control. It also supports all 10 modes of OBD2, including on-board monitoring and component tests, and 2 service functions (oil reset and EPB reset).
While the vehicle compatibility of the Autel Diaglink is broad, you won’t get access to all of them right out of the box. You’ll get diagnosis for one vehicle make free with the scan tool. To add additional vehicles, you’ll need to download separate software at a price of $10/vehicle. This isn’t necessarily an issue for a DIYer but does limit the use of the Autel Diaglink for professional mechanics.
The full-system diagnosis power of the Autel Diaglink makes it a great value for the price and one of the best hand-held SRS scanners for DIY mechanics.Check Price at Amazon
7. Launch CRP123i OBD2 Scanner with ABS SRS
Here’s another upgrade of the Launch CRP123. With the CRP123i, you get an improved Android 7.0 operating system and a more powerful 6100mAh battery. This means smoother navigation and long-lasting performance for conducing full diagnoses of your vehicle.
Along with 4-system diagnosis, the Launch CRP123i has a battery health check and real-time voltage monitoring, a huge help in troubleshooting electrical issues. We also like how easy it is to record and share health reports or other data, letting you maintain vehicle health logs or share the information with mechanics.
The Launch CRP123i also includes expanded convenience features. The built-in Wi-Fi connection makes it easy to update straight through the device, and doing so is free for life. Along with that, you have the choice of touchscreen or button navigation, so it’s easy to use this diagnostic scanner even when your hands are dirty.
Built-in Wi-Fi, an upgraded operating system, and a choice of touchscreen or button navigation make the Launch CRP123i one of the most convenient 4-system diagnostic tools on the market.Check Price at Amazon
8. Launch 129i OBDII Diagnostic Tool
Here’s another great option from Launch for intermediate and advanced home mechanics who need repair functions along with basic diagnostics. The Launch 129i has been upgraded for 2020 with a more intuitive navigation and wider vehicle coverage, letting you perform comprehensive diagnostics more easily.
The functions of the Launch 129i start with full OBD2 support. Along with that, you can read error codes and sensor data from the transmission, ABS, and SRS systems. This includes real-time data monitoring, which you can view graphically or record to playback or print.
Even better, you can use the Launch 129i to reset the oil light after service, calibrate the steering angle, or perform throttle adaptation. It also has support for TPMS and EPB reset, covering the most common service functions used by DIY mechanics.
Launch’s customer support is another perk of using their scan tools. Since the Launch 129i has built-in Wi-Fi, you can reach out for advice from tech support straight through the scanner. The same goes for updates, which are free for life, making the Launch 129i a great long-term investment for any home mechanic.
The user-friendly Launch 129i is one of the best tools for advanced home mechanics, with a range of useful reset and service functions in addition to comprehensive 4-system diagnostics.Check Price at Amazon
9. Innova 3100j ABS/SRS Code Reader
The Innova 3100J can read and clear engine, ABS, and SRS trouble codes from most OBD2-compliant vehicles, including light trucks and even hybrid vehicles. It can also reset the oil light and test your battery and alternator.
This combination of features makes the Innova 3100J a great choice for home mechanics, giving you the power to change your own oil or troubleshoot electrical issues. That said, it has its limitations. You can’t use it to view live PID data or conduct active tests of system components.
On the plus side, the Innova 3100J is easy to learn how to use, with a detailed user manual included to walk you through the process. Beginning and intermediate home mechanics will find it ideally suited to their needs.
The Innova 3100J has all the functions most home mechanics need and can be used on vehicles like hybrids and pickup trucks that other scan tools won’t work with.Check Price at Amazon
Choosing the right ABS SRS code reader starts by deciding which features and functions you need. As an everyday driver, basic code reading and PID data reading, like you’ll get with models such as BlueDriver or the Launch CRP123X, should be plenty.
Professional mechanics, on the other hand, will want a model that’s capable of more in-depth diagnostic and repair functions. Bi-directional testing is another helpful feature for professionals, allowing you to identify malfunctioning sensors, valves, and other components.
Whichever way you go, one of the scanners above should fit your needs! We hope this review has helped you figure out the right SRS/ABS code reader for you.
The functionality of ABS and SRS scan tools varies widely, from basic models that only read and clear trouble codes to professional SRS/ABS diagnostic tools with full programming and coding capabilities.
Generally speaking, beginning home mechanics and DIY-ers will only need a code reader that provides the basic features listed below. The Advanced Features will primarily be of use to professionals and experienced home mechanics.
Basic Key Features
- Read and erase ABS/SRS trouble codes. Trouble codes are the warnings generated by these systems when something is amiss. Once triggered, they’ll activate the associated dash warning light to let you know there’s a problem. Reading the code lets you identify the issue. You can then clear it once it’s fixed to turn off the light.
- Read and erase engine DTCs. Most ABS/SRS scanners support at least some of the 10 OBD2 Modes. At the least, you can expect them to read and clear diagnostic trouble codes that trigger your check engine light.
- Read live data. Live data reading enables you to see sensor readings, engine temperature, and other valuable information in real time. Most SRS/ABS readers can show you information from the brakes, airbags, or engine, which can be a great help in identifying the cause of pesky trouble codes.
- EVAP system tests. The main focus of the OBD2 system is vehicle emissions. Many of the modes are designed with this in mind, allowing you to test the oxygen (O2) sensors or other areas of the emission system. This lets you be prepared for the emission and smog checks that are often part of state vehicle inspections.
- I/M readiness. This mode of OBD2 evaluates your system’s preparedness for emissions tests, and is another helpful feature for preparing for smog and emission checks.
- Read VIN data. Every car that’s made has a unique VIN code that gives you important information like the vehicle’s manufacturer and model, as well as where and in what year it was made. You can also retrieve information on the car’s features and specifications with this function, which can be very helpful for replacing parts or making other at home repairs.
Advanced Key Features Of ABS Scan Tools
- ABS Manual Control Tests. Also called active testing or bi-directional control, this feature enables you to manually activate mechanical and electronic components in your vehicle. Testing individual sensors, valves, and solenoids allows you to more quickly locate and repair malfunctions.
- ABS Motor Test. The motor drives the pumping action that helps you stop without skidding in icy weather. An ABS motor test allows you to manually control the pump motor and ensure it’s working the way it should.
- ABS Version Test. Similar to VIN data, this tells you useful information about the ABS system, including the version number, software ID, and sequence value. You’ll need this information if you plan to repair or replace parts of the system.
- Actuator Tests. A form of manual control, this lets you test the AYC valves, inlet valves, outlet valves, TRACS valves, and pump motors of the ABS system.
- ABS Bleeding. Air bubbles can get into the hydraulic brake lines during repairs or servicing, impeding their function. Bleeding the brakes removes this air to keep things running smoothly. ABS tools often include an automatic brake bleeding program that removes the air for you, saving you the hassle of bleeding out the air manually.
Advanced Key Features Of SRS Scan Tools
- Check the airbag system. Diagnostic functions on SRS scanners go deeper than just reading trouble codes. You can check every aspect of your airbag system with these tools, identifying issues you’d otherwise need a mechanic to correct.
- Reset SRS Control Module. The SRS system needs to be reset after you install a replacement airbag. This function allows you to do so in your home garage.
- Ensure the airbag system is functioning normally. Unlike other systems, you won’t always be able to tell if the airbags are working properly during day-to-day driving. An SRS scan tool has systems in place that make sure all safety systems are functional when you need them.
There are lots of companies out there making diagnostic equipment, but you don’t just want to go with the first one you find. Buying from a well-known brand means you can trust their scanners to be both durable and accurate. Here are our top 3 choices for both professionals and home enthusiasts.
Founded in 1992, this Chinese company has decades of experience providing top-notch customer service and reliable automotive repair equipment. Their tools are used in more than 60 countries around the world and are designed for both wide compatibility and consumer value.
Launch tools are a great choice for home mechanics because they have a reputation for providing excellent support. Their tools are also easy to use, and come in a wide range of features and price points, from basic code readers to full professional scanners.
Recommendation: Launch CRP123
Foxwell’s focus as a company is on innovation and excellence. Their diagnostic tools are preferred by many professional mechanics because of their top-notch engineering. Since they invest about 20% of their profits into research and development, you know you’re getting the most up-to-date technology.
Foxwell designs their tools with the customer experience in mind, and that’s reflected in the products. On the whole, they’re well-built and intuitive to navigate, providing fast and accurate diagnosis for a range of vehicles and systems.
Recommendation: Foxwell NT630 Plus
Innova is the leading brand in the United States for code readers and diagnostic scan tools. Their staff of Automotive Service Excellence certified technicians design their tools with a mechanic’s point of view, and are able to provide more in-depth customer service than most other companies.
One great aspect of using an Innova scan tool is you’ll get access to their repair database. Built over 15 years, this contains diagnosis and repair information for more than 3 million vehicle issues, with confirmed fixes tailored to specific vehicles.
Recommendation: Innova 3100j
The typical budget for an airbag scanner or SRS scan tool is between $100 and $200. Tools priced in that range will usually have full OBD2 functionality along with the ability to read both ABS and SRS data. You may also get a few advanced functions, including ABS bleeding or limited manual control options.
Recommendation: Launch CRP123X
Scan tools priced over $200 are more aimed at advanced mechanics and repair professionals. While you will get added functions with these tools, they won’t be specifically aimed at the brake or airbag systems. Though they are more likely to take care of all your SRS and ABS needs in one tool, and will provide a more comprehensive diagnosis overall, they’re often more than at-home car enthusiasts need.
Recommendation: Foxwell NT630 Plus
Updates don’t just improve the software’s performance, they’re also necessary to get the most up to date repair information. Some tools offer free updates for life, while others will require a paid subscription.
If the ABS or airbag scanner has Wi-Fi or Bluetooth you can update it straight through the device. Otherwise, you’ll need to connect it to a computer first. Many tools are only compatible with PCs for updates, so keep that in mind if you’re a Mac user.
The more advanced the processor in the scan tool, the faster it can deliver results. This doesn’t just save time, either. Scan tools that can read information more quickly are able to give more accurate real-time sensor data without lags or gaps.
Along with the processing speed, consider the speed of navigating the tool. Functions like health reports and one-touch diagnostic checks can take a lot of the tedious work out of diagnostics.
A strong support system is especially necessary when something goes wrong with your tool. Many scan tool companies also have active online communities or networks of certified mechanics who can provide a more advanced form of support, giving you experienced-backed repair suggestions you can’t get from any tool.
How To Reset Airbag With An Airbag Scan Tool
Often when you replace the airbag, or any of the associated components, the warning light will activate. While this won’t cause any problems when you’re driving, it will mean you have no way of knowing if something actually goes wrong with the system.
Resetting SRS fixes this issue. The exact process for using the SRS reset function will vary from one scan tool to the next, so you’ll want to check the instruction manual that came with your tool before you get started. The basic steps will be the same for all of them, though:
- Identify the OBD2 port in your vehicle. This is typically around, on, or under the steering column, in the driver’s area of the interior.
- Plug the airbag scan tool into the OBD2 port.
- Put the key in the ignition and turn it on without starting the engine. The scan tool should turn on when you do this. If it doesn’t, check that the connection is secure.
- Tools with auto VIN will pull your vehicle’s information automatically. Otherwise, you’ll need to enter it before you move forward.
- Locate the SRS system functions and follow the prompts on the screen to reset the system.
How To Bleed ABS With An ABS Scan Tool
Some ABS systems can be bled manually, but this can be a tedious process and it won’t work for all vehicles. Scan tools allow you to activate the pumps and cycle the valves in the system, pushing air out.
As with the SRS reset above, you should check the tool manual to make sure of the exact steps before you start. Generally, though, it’s pretty straightforward:
- Locate the OBD2 port in your vehicle and plug in the ABS diagnostic tool.
- Turn the vehicle key on without starting the engine. The scan tool should turn on automatically when you do this.
- Locate the Automated bleed function on the scan tool. Some tools will automatically read your VIN data, while others will require you to enter the vehicle data manually.
- Verify the vehicle is in park, then start the process.
- The scan tool will instruct you to press down on the brake pedal. Follow the instructions on the screen until the process finishes. The whole process usually takes less than 5 minutes.
1. Does the Launch CRP123 work on Mac?
Unfortunately, no. To update this device, you’ll need to use a PC running Windows 7, 8, or XP.
2. Does the Launch CRP123 do crank relearn?
No, this function isn’t supported by the Launch CRP123. If you need this function, you should look at the Launch X431 Pro, which does include it.
3. Will the Foxwell NT630 Plus read the transmission fluid temperature?
No, the Foxwell NT630 Plus doesn’t read the transmission system. It’s only for the engine, ABS, and SRS. If you need transmission diagnostic capability, the Foxwell NT614 or NT624 will do the trick.
4. Do I need any special software to bleed ABS with the Foxwell NT630 Plus?
No, that function is available right out of the box. Having said that, it’s not universally available for all supported vehicles. Make sure you check the specific ABS bleed compatibility to verify that it works for your vehicle.
5. Which devices is the BlueDriver app compatible with?
The BlueDriver app can be downloaded onto any iOS or Android device, including both phones and tablets.
6. Can BlueDriver read short and long term fuel trim data?
Yes, this data is available under the “Live Data” area of the BlueDriver app. However, it may not be available for all vehicles. You can check the FAQ on their website to confirm if it’s supported for your car or truck.
7. How can I register the online software of the Autel AL619?
You can register this tool by going to Autel’s website. After you’ve successfully registered following the prompts on the screen, you’ll be able to download updates or request service through the warranty.
8. Does the AL619 read transmission codes?
No, the Autel AL619 is designed to diagnose the ABS, SRS, and engine, and can’t read codes from the transmission.
9. Do you have to pay for software updates on the Ancel AD610?
No, updates of this device are free for life. You will need to register first, which you can do through Ancel’s website.
10. Does the Ancel AD610 relearn the throttle body sensor?
No, unfortunately that function isn’t supported on this tool.
11. Does the Innova 3100J read all SRS and ABS codes?
This tool can read all trouble codes put out by the SRS, ABS, and engine systems. However, it cannot clear permanent codes, which are activated when there is an immediate safety issue with the system. For those, you’ll need to go to a mechanic or get a professional scan tool.
12. Does the Innova 3100J work right out of the box?
Yes, it arrives ready to go without needing initial updating or set-up. You can also use the tool without registering it, though you’ll need to do so when it’s time to update or request service.
13. What is the difference between the Launch CRP123 and the Launch CRP123X?
The CRP123X is the upgraded version of the Launch CRP123. It has expanded vehicle coverage, more language options, and extra functions like auto VIN and a one-click update through Wi-Fi. Between the two, the Launch CRP123X is the better option for most users.
14. Does the Launch CRP123X read real-time transmission data?
Yes, you can read several parameters from the transmission in real-time, including temperature and other performance data.
15. Can you bleed ABS using the Launch CRP123i?
Unfortunately, no. The Launch CRP123i can diagnose the anti-lock brake system but cannot take control of the valves and pumps to automatically bleed them.
16. Will the Launch CRP123i read transmission codes from all vehicles?
The Launch CRP123i has a broad compatibility, with coverage for more than 10,0000 cars, trucks, and SUVs. It will read transmission codes for the majority of vehicles on the road today, but having said that, no scan tool is 100% comprehensive. If you want to verify that it will read transmission codes for your vehicle, your best bet is to contact Launch customer support before you buy it.
17. What makes the Launch 129i different from the Launch CRP123 line?
The main difference is the inclusion of service functions like oil reset and SAS calibration. The Launch CRP123 line of scan tools can perform 4-system diagnosis and battery monitoring similar to what the Launch 129i offers, but lack the 5 reset functions it includes.
18. Will the Launch 129i work on diesel trucks?
Yes, as long as they’re from one of the 57+ manufacturers included in its compatibility. This includes larger trucks like the Ford F250 Super Duty.
19. How do you add additional vehicles to the Autel Diaglink?
For each make and model of vehicle you want to diagnose with the Autel Diaglink, you’ll need to download the corresponding software. Start by purchasing the software from their website then log in to the PC suite for the scan tool. Once you do this, your download list should sync with the Autel database and you’ll be able to install the software on your device.
20. Does the Autel Diaglink work with Japanese vehicles?
If the vehicle uses the OBD2 diagnostic system, the Autel Diaglink will work with it. However, the Diaglink is not compatible with JOBD protocols. Check your user manual if you’re not sure which your vehicle uses.