Choosing between Autel MS309 vs. Autel MS300 vs. Launch Creader V+, which one is the best?
You would be thinking about functionality and compatibility when choosing an OBD2 Scanner. That’s why we made a full review of these three. We focused on all the features you are looking for to make a smart buy. Here are three car diagnostic tools that make car diagnostics easy and quick.
Editor’s Top 3 Picks Of OBD2 Scanner Comparison chart
|Editor's Pick||Perfect for Professionals||Best affordable|
Launch Creader V+
4.6 / 5
4.4 / 5
4.4 / 5
|Product Dimensions||4.3 x 2.7 x 0.8 inches||6.3 x 2 x 9.1 inches||9.8 x 2.1 x 5.5 inches|
|Item Weight||8 ounces||8.8 ounces||12.3 ounces|
|Read & Clear Codes||✔||✔||✔|
|Freeze Frame Data||✔||--||✔|
|O2 sensor Test||✔||✔||✔|
|Evap System Test||✔||✔||✔|
|Retrieve Generic Codes, Manufacturer Specific Code, Pending Codes||✔||✔||✔|
|Turn Off Check Engine Light||✔||✔||✔|
|Read live PCM DataStream||--||--||✔|
|Support CAN (Controller Area Network)||✔||✔||✔|
|Vehicle Compatibility||All 1996 and newer cars, SUV and 12V Diesel that are OBD2 compliant except motorhome||All 1996 and newer cars & light trucks that are OBD2 compliant||US cars from 1996, European cars from 2001 and diesel trucks from 2004
|Pros||Easy to use with a backlit display|
No battery required
Lightweight and compatible with a lot of vehicles
No need to search the internet for DTC meaning
|Easy diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) look up|
Not expensive with a backlit display
Clear error codes
Compatible with many vehicles
|Supports more enhanced OBDII features like read live PCM datastream
Works fast and presents data in seconds
Wider and sharper display and better navigation buttons
Easy for a beginner to use, featuring a help menu
|Cons||The cord is short|
Two buttons are not enough for quick navigation
The buttons are loud
|Requires a battery for power|
Software is never updated
Does not support freeze frame data
Does not support advanced features
The Launch Creader V+ has many reasons to cost significantly more than the others in this review. It is more professional, has a better display, and performs more extra functions than others. For the extra bucks, it is worth it. For a quick scan without sacrificing too much functionality, the Autel MS309 can be an excellent second option. But the Launch scanner has our full support here.
Detailed Comparison And Review
There are certain features that all OBDII Scan tools have in common and even more between these three. But not all were built equal. We are going to explore their similarities as well as what makes them unique.
Key Things In Common Between Autel MS309 Vs. Autel MS300 Vs. Launch Creader V+
For the common OBDII scan tool functions, they all match each other shoulder to shoulder. And they could easily replace one another when you are searching for basic OBD2 features.
They are affordable, sitting between the $18 and $46 price range. They are also widely compatible with almost all vehicles produced earlier than 1996. You can hold them in your hands to work and plug them into the OBDII port in your car. Only the MS300 requires batteries — the others are all wired/“plug and play” devices.
All 3 of these car diagnostic tools don’t offer you advanced or special OBDII features. For their price, they perform as expected.
Key Differences Between Autel MS309 Vs Autel MS300 Vs Launch Creader V+
Design And Specification
There is not much difference between Autel MS309 and Autel MS300 in this regard. This is expected since they are both from the same manufacturer, although Autel MS309 is a step up from MS300. The display of the MS300 is a 2-line backlit display, easy to work with in the dark. But the MS300 has a much larger display, also backlit.
The design of the Launch Creader V+ is on another level compared to its Autel counterparts, which is enough to compensate for its price. Its screen is a backlit color screen. It covers much more information on one screen than the others.
The Launch Creader V+ looks more professional with six buttons for navigation. Unlike the Autel MS309 and MS300 that only have two.
Overall Features And Functions
All three perform the same basic OBD II functions without trying too hard to outdo the other. You can:
- Clear read and clear generic, manufacturer-specific, and pending codes
- Find out why your CEL (check engine light) is on
- Retrieve I/M readiness status, etc
The differences between their functions are:
- Autel MS300: Cannot display Ignition system info, unlike the other two
- Launch Creader V+: You can read live PCM Datastream, unlike the other two
As far as system diagnostics go, they all scratch the surface of how far OBD II Scan tools can go. But Autel MS300 falls behind its peers on this one by not supporting ignition system information.
If you are searching for OBD2 scanners that perform particular functions like oil reset, ABS, and SRS, you won’t find them in these.
Autel MS300 and MS309 support the following OBDII protocols: KWP2000, ISO2000, ISO9141, J1850 VPW, J1850 PWM, and CAN.
Launch Creader V+ supports all OBD2 protocols.
Supported Vehicle Makes
Autel MS300 supports all 1996 and newer cars and light trucks that are OBD2 compliant.
The MS309 supports all 1996 and newer cars, SUV and 12V Diesel that are OBD2 compliant except motorhome.
Launch Creader V+ supports all standard OBDII compliant cars and light trucks. That is all US cars from 1996, European cars from 2001 and diesel trucks from 2004.
Software And Updates
The software these diagnostic tools come with is usually not going to get updated, especially at this price range. The launch has software updates for the X431, but it has since been discontinued.
Pros And Cons Of Autel MS309
- Easy to use with a backlit display
- No battery required
- Lightweight and compatible with a lot of vehicles
- No need to search the internet for DTC’s meaning
- The cord is short
- Two buttons are not enough for quick navigation
- The buttons are loud
Pros And Cons Of Autel MS300
- Easy diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) look up
- Not expensive with a backlit display
- Clear error codes
- Compatible with many vehicles
- Requires a battery for power
- Software is never updated
- Does not support freeze frame data
Pros And Cons Of Launch Creader V+
- Supports more enhanced OBDII features like read live PCM datastream
- Works fast and presents data in seconds
- Wider and sharper display and better navigation buttons
- Easy for a beginner to use, featuring a help menu
- Higher price
- Does not support advanced features
Q: What kind of batteries do these OBDII Scanners use?
A: Only the Autel MS300 requires a battery, a Lithium-ion battery. The others take power through their 16-pin OBDII plug.
Q: Will they make my check engine light go away?
A: Yes, but this isn’t what you would want to do. The CEL lets you know something is wrong, and you should fix the problem before it can go off. Not all issues can be ignored.
Q: Can they tell you if there is a problem even if the check engine light is off?
A: The CEL indicates that something is wrong in one or more of the systems in your vehicle. If there weren’t any problems, the CEL (assuming it is working correctly) wouldn’t come on. And most of the time, the scan tool won’t find an issue.
Q: How do I turn off the check engine light with an OBD2 Scanner?
A: After you’ve located the problem through the scanner, you will see a “turn off check engine light” button. It is best practice to fix the problem before turning it off.
Q: Can I reset my miles with an OBDII Scan Tool?
A: This is illegal. It will help if you do not do it. Many scan tools these days do not have this function.