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Autel Maxisys MS906: Professional car diagnostic scanner review

If you’re looking to buy a reliable, intuitive, and well-built scan tool, then the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 should perhaps be on top of your shopping list.

In this comprehensive review, you’ll find everything you need to know about the device.

Here's where you can get an in-depth review of the Autel Maxisys MS906
If you’re looking for an in-depth review of the Autel Maxisys MS906, this is the right place

But first,

Let’s find out how it competes against other professional diagnostic tools.

Autel MS906 vs. Autel MS906BT vs. Autel MK808 comparison chart

The Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is a favorite for many technicians and DIYers because it balances functionality and design almost perfectly.

But how does it compare to other Autel scanners of almost the same price range? Here’s a comparison table:

Autel Maxisys MS906
Autel Maxisys MS906
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Autel MaxiCOM MK808
Autel MaxiCOM MK808
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Autel Maxisys MS906BT
Autel Maxisys MS906BT
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Customer Rating
4.4
4.5
4.7
PriceAutel Maxisys MS906 priceAutel MaxiCOM MK808 priceAutel Maxisys MS906BT price
Product Dimensions10" x 1.4" x 6.9"14.7" x 11.7" x 4.8"30.1" x 18" x 7.2"
Item Weight18.75lbs2lbs19.15lbs
ProsOffers Full-system diagnosis and full-OBDII modes;
Actuation Tests, Adaptation;
One-stop multitasking for shop management.
Offers Full-system diagnosis and full-OBDII modes.
The same as MS906;
Support oscilloscope;
Wireless VCI;
Advanced EDU Coding.
ConsOnly 1-year free update;
Possible car compatibility problem.
Not support ECU Coding.Possible vehicles Communication issue.
Bottom LineAutel MS906 is the perfect diagnostic tool for technicians and mechanics.Autel MK808 is an excellent diagnostic tool for mechanics and experienced enthusiasts who doesn't really need OE-level functions such as ECU Coding, Actuation Test, or Adaptation..Autel MS906BT is the perfect diagnostic tool for technicians and mechanics who want to do advanced ECU Coding.

The MaxiSYS MS906 is the perfect compromise for the other two Autel scanners. It offers almost the same professional functions as the MaxiSYS MS906BT, except VCI connection and support for an oscilloscope.

Even with that high-grade functionality, it only doubles the MaxiCOM MK808’s price. The latter falls short because it lacks OBD1 support and has no camera, Wi-Fi, and other extra features, making the MaxiSYS MS906 the most practical of the three, especially for professional technicians or DIYers.

Autel MaxiSYS MS906 overview

Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is a more improved version of the highly acclaimed MaxiDAS DS808 and DS708.

Compared to its predecessor, the MS906 has a broader range of features. They include diagnosis, service and repair functions, key coding, Wi-Fi connectivity, touch screen, sleek tablet-like design, and so much more.

So let’s get down to the main business, shall we?

Autel MS906 detailed review

Autel Maxisys ms906 review
Autel MaxiSYS MS906 OBD1 & 2 Professional Automotive Diagnostic Tool
4.4
Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is a perfect device for doing significant vehicle repair and maintenance works.

In the box

The Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is neatly packed in a black carrying case. Apart from housing the scan tool, the heavy-duty plastic case holds the OBD2 main cable, user manuals, and manufacturer-specific adapters.

In total, there are nine adapters nicely clipped in the case’s lid. The nine are for:

  • Chrysler
  • GM/Daewoo
  • BMW-20
  • Benz-38
  • Kia-20
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Mitsubishi/Hyundai-12+16
  • Nissan-14
  • Honda-3
  • VW/Audi-2+2

Optional adapters that you can include in the purchase are Benz-14, Fiat-3, and PSA-2.

The scanner itself is held in place using a Velcro strap. That protects it from damage, not only during shipping but also in your day to day use of the device.

Software

Based on an Android operating system, the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 uses a Samsung Exynos 5260 6-core processor. It’s actually designed like a tablet, so it makes total sense that Autel decided to use Android OS. The OS and processor account for the scanner’s super-fast diagnostic speeds.

Compatibility

First things first, the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 covers over 80 vehicle brands. The list includes all mainstream makes like Chrysler (the US only), Benz, BMW, Audi, Ford, Chevrolet, etc.

Although it’s primarily an OBD2 scanner, the MS906 does support OBD1 diagnosis. That is why the package comes with full OBD1 adapters. Basically, it supports full OBD1 and OBD2 protocols. That means you can use this scan tool on virtually any vehicle manufactured between 1982 and now.

Still, on compatibility, the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 works with Windows computers. You can connect it to a PC via USB, download and analyze diagnostic reports. It’s this kind of convenience that makes the scanner a favorite for many professionals and DIYers.

Connecting the scanner

Now you know the hardware and software parts of the Autel MaxiSYS MS906, and you also know the range of vehicles that it covers. But how do you go about using it?

Of course, the first thing is connecting the device to your vehicle’s OBD port using an adapter cable. Contrary to beginner scan tools, the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 will not start automatically after the connection.

You have to power it up by pressing the power button. The display will come on, and after a few seconds, you’ll be able to see the home screen.

Display and interface

Navigating the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is pretty simple, thanks to the 8-inch LED touch screen and an intuitive interface. With a resolution of 1024 x 768P, the display boasts crisp clarity. It’s definitely one of the clearest available in the market today.

More importantly, the scanner features a one-touch navigation menu that leads to all the supported functions. Once you choose a function, it will walk you through the whole process.

For example, if you want to diagnose the engine light, simply select the “EOBD” option. It will take you through the steps of reading the engine codes of the vehicle you’re diagnosing.

Additionally, there’s a MaxiFix tab whose function is to give repair recommendations. With this device, there’s practically nothing you can’t do. But you may want to go over the user manual just to get the hang of all the functions. It’s 104 pages long but totally worth a read.

Functionality

This Autel scanner performs full OBD2 functions.

  • It reads and clears OE-level codes for all the available vehicle systems. That includes engine, ABS, transmission, instrument panel, SRS, and more.
  • It provides live data. Besides offering real-time diagnostic feedback, live data also helps when you need to turn off warning lights.
  • It supports actuation tests, adaptation, and matching. For instance, you can use it to program the ECU, tire pressure monitor, and keys.
  • It offers reset oil service, EPB, SRS, ABS, SAS, and TPMS relearn.

Although the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is primarily an OBD2 scan tool, it also supports full OBD1 diagnostics. But you will need the OBD1 adapter for the vehicle in question.

Smart autoVIN

One of the best features of the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is identifying a vehicle with one touch. This AutoVIN function detects a vehicle’s VIN from the ECU then records and stores it. If the AutoVIN feature fails (rarely), you can still enter the vehicle’s details manually.

Connectivity

The scanner has a built-in Wi-Fi module. Besides downloading software updates, Wi-Fi also allows you to go online. While there, you can access tons of helpful diagnostic and repair resources. In case you run into any issues, you can also contact Autel through the online platform.

In addition to Wi-Fi, the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 also supports a USB connection. You can connect it to a PC very simply using a USB cable.

Data management and presentation

As mentioned already, the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is fitted with an 8-inch LED touch display. You can view data directly from that screen. If you don’t fancy that, you can print it out on paper via a USB connection to a PC.

All diagnostic data remains stored in the scanner’s 32GB internal memory. You can retrieve it at any time. But there’s an option for manually deleting data that you don’t need anymore. If you only want to delete data to create some storage space, you could consider transferring it to a PC instead.

Camera

At the back of the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is an 8MP camera that has a flashlight. It is meant to help you take pictures whenever you need to. Since the device is Wi-Fi enabled, you can share the pictures online with technicians and other experts or DIYers. They may help with whatever problem you are facing.

Construction and design

The Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is not just made to get the job done. It is also designed to withstand rough and tough use. The outer surface features a heavy-duty plastic encasing. And while it can survive a heavy fall, you need to treat it with care.

Inside the scanner is a 5000mAh lithium-polymer battery that provides up to 4.5 hours of continuous use. You don’t need to have it plugged into the car’s cigarette when using it. Consequently, you won’t have to worry about the possibility of the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 draining your car battery.

The total size of the scanner is 10 x 1.4 x 6.9 inches. Its weight is 22 pounds. That’s a perfect size for portability as well as storage.

Overall, it is a well-constructed device that looks like a tablet in so many ways.

Whether it is the sleek look, fast data processing, or exceptional diagnostic performance, it’s a guarantee that there’s at least one thing that will pick your interest the moment you try out the Autel MaxiSYS MS906.

Pros

  • It updates the software automatically via the internet.
  • It comes with a 12-month warranty.
  • It uses Android OS, which has a reputation for fast speed and excellent multitasking.
  • The camera makes it easy to capture parts and share.
  • It is easy to use for anyone who knows how to operate a smartphone or tablet.

Cons

  • The recharging time is long.

Who is Autel Ms906 for?

So who is the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 built for? I’ve already hinted at that – it is perfect for professional and DIY auto mechanics. If you own or run a small to medium-sized shop, you may want to add this device to your list of scanners.

There are several reasons for that. First, it is a great performer when it comes to diagnostics. Secondly, it covers a wide variety of vehicles, including OBD1 and OBD2 models.

Thirdly, it is tailored for professional work. The rugged construction, combined with the 32GB memory that stores vehicle data, makes it perfect for mechanical work. And while looks may not count for much, it is, in fact, an eye-catchy device.

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The bottom line

In sum, the Autel MaxiSYS MS906 is a perfect device for doing significant vehicle repair and maintenance works. It has an outstanding ability to probe onboard systems. And the included camera makes the whole process more fun.

Equally important is the affordable price tag of the scanner despite the strong Autel brand behind it. So if you’re looking for an OBD scanner, you may want to consider this one.

A video about Autel MS906 review

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