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If you’re looking for an OBDII scanner, the Autel AL609P is an affordable option with all the features you need to diagnose your vehicle. With this handy tool, you can turn off your check engine light, run emissions tests, and more.
While the Autel AL609P is a great choice for many car and truck owners, it’s not the right scan tool for everyone. The compatibility is likely to be the biggest concern, as we’ll get into below. Feature-wise, it’s aimed at home-mechanics, with a simple and user-friendly interface.
Ready to find out what the Autel AL609P can do? Let’s break down feature by feature and compare it to similar models in the Autel line.
But first, check out how the Autel AL609P compares to other Autel OBDII scanners like the Autel ML629 and Autel AL619.
Autel AL609P Vs. Autel ML629 Vs. Autel AL619: Comparison Table
|Editor's Pick||Runner-up||Best affordable|
4.5 / 5
4.5 / 5
4.5 / 5
|Full OBDII Modes||✔||✔||✔|
|Read Pending Codes||✔||✔||✔|
|Read/clear ABS Codes||✔||✔||✔|
|Read/clear SRS Codes||✔||✔||✔|
|Read/clear Transmission Codes||--||✔||--|
|Retrieves VIN Information||✔||✔||✔|
|Vehicle Compatibility||14 manufacturers||All OBDII vehicles (1996 and later)||US vehicles 1996 and later; Asian/EU vehicles 2000 and later|
Why Is Autel AL609P an Excellent Comparison for Home Mechanics?
Full OBDII Functions
The OBDII diagnostics of the Autel 609P are robust. It supports all 10 modes of the OBDII diagnostic system, meaning you can run emissions tests as well as reading codes. Freeze frame and sensor data can be viewed as text or graphs, helping you better understand what’s going on in your engine.
The main reason people buy OBDII scan tools is to turn off the check engine light. You can accomplish this easily with the Autel 609P. It reads generic codes, manufacturer codes, and pending codes. Clear them away, and if they recur use the Autel 609P’s other features to learn what repairs are needed.
One important function for home users is the DTC look-up. With the Autel 609P, you’ll get the Code Breaker feature as well as a built-in library. This lets you more accurately diagnose engine trouble at home.
The Autel 609P also has some helpful hotkeys that can speed up your diagnosis. This includes an Auto VIN function for quickly retrieving vehicle information. There’s also a handy one-button readiness test.
Not all of your car’s systems are covered under the OBDII system. The Autel 609P can also read codes from the airbag system (abbreviated SRS) and the anti-lock brake system (ABS). You can turn off those warning lights, too, just like you can with the check engine light.
There are certainly other systems in your vehicle that the Autel 609P can’t diagnose. Transmission codes are a notable omission (as you’ll see on the comparison chart down below). Having said that, most code scanners in this price range will only read basic engine codes. In our opinion, the ABS and SRS functions make the Autel 609P an excellent value.
The Autel 609P also gives you a lot of options as to how you view and handle data. An on-board memory allows you to save and playback data. You can also send it to a Windows-based PC to print, letting you maintain better records about your car’s diagnostic history.
Wide Vehicle Coverage
The coverage offered by the Autel 609P is its only major weak spot. It does support an assortment of popular brands from the United States, Europe, and Asia, but there are also some notable omissions. Compared to other Autel models, which support the majority of cars and trucks on the road, the Autel 609P is limited.
The compatibility of the Autel 609P is even more restricted when it comes to reading ABS and SRS codes. Check out their full compatibility list if you’re not sure whether your vehicle is covered.
While the Autel 609P is wonderfully light and portable, at under 2 pounds, it still feels solid in your hand. The rubber bumper all around the casing protects the inside from damage in case of drops and bumps. We like that it’s designed to stand up to the wear and tear from a garage. At the same time, it’s small enough to fit into your glove box, making it the best of both worlds in terms of build.
Perfect Software And Updates
Updates for the Autel 609P are free for life and easy to install. You will need to hook your scanner up to a Windows-based PC—something for Mac users to keep in mind.
As far as the software itself, we found the Autel 609P reasonably fast, smooth, and easy to navigate. The menus are intuitive and clearly laid out on a very readable screen, and it handles graphic data well.
- Performs all 10 test modes of OBDII
- Read and clear generic and manufacturer-specific codes
- Can reset warning lights for anti-lock brake and airbag systems
- Code Breaker function gives you repair suggestions
- Auto VIN feature quickly retrieves vehicle information
- Can save diagnostic data and print to PC
- Free lifetime updates
- Vehicle compatibility is limited to select models
- Cannot read transmission codes
- Data printing only compatible with Windows-based devices
The Autel 609P is definitely aimed at home car owners. A professional mechanic would find the compatibility limitations an issue, even if they were just looking for a portable code reader.
For a home user, though, the simplicity of the Autel 609P is an advantage more than a detriment. The addition of the look-up library and Code Breaker repair tips teach you about your car while you diagnose.
While you should make sure it’s compatible with your vehicle before you buy it, the Autel 609P is an affordable OBDII scanner for DIY diagnosis and repair.