[Tested] 5 Best Automotive Oscilloscopes 2024

Brandon Lutz

We think 3 things really matter when choosing a scope: versatility, super accuracy, and how easy it is to use! That’s what we looked at when picking out the top 5 scopes to recommend: 

  • HANMATEK HO52 50Mhz, 
  • FNIRSI 1013D Plus, 
  • Hantek 1008C,
  • PicoScope 2204A, 
  • and AUKUYEE Q15001.

These scopes cover different price ranges, so no matter what your budget is, there’s a perfect fit waiting for you.

Ready to find your perfect scope? Let’s kick things off by checking out our comparison chart of the 5 best oscilloscopes below. It’s a great starting point to help you decide which one suits your needs best!

5 Best Oscilloscopes for Automotive Use: Comparison Chart

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Special Features
[Editor's Pick]


- 2 channels scope
- Fast data readings at 250 m/s
- Waveform record
- Multimeter function
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[Best Cheap]
Hantek 1008C


- 8 channels scope
- Waveform record
- Programmable wave generator
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- 2 channels scope
- Low background noise
- Large 7" TFT-LCD display
- Auto Setup mode
- Free serial decoding
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- Single channel scope
- Rotary encoder
- 3 trigger modes
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PicoScope 2204A


- 2 channels scope
- 10 MHz bandwidth
- Arbitrary waveform generator
- 1 GS/s sampling
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#1. HANMATEK HO52: Best Handheld Oscilloscope for Automotive Use



Price: Under $150


  • Very stable meter and scope
  • Fast data reading
  • Accurate
  • Dual channels supported


  • Quite short battery life

HANMATEK HO52 is a really cool and compact oscilloscope. This scope has a 3.5-inch screen that’s perfect for checking out waveforms – super clear and easy to look at.

The folks who designed the firmware really nailed it. They set up the buttons so they’re easy to use—left/right and up/down all in the right places. That’s why our OBD Advisor gives this oscilloscope a perfect 10/10 for ease of use.

Why is the HANMATEK HO52 top-ranked among 5 scopes?

Speed is the answer! HANMATEK HO52 is super fast with data readings—250 M S / s for one channel. And even when it’s handling two channels, it’s still clocking a respectable 125 m/s each.

This device also boots up real quick  – just around 1 second!

One thing to note is that the battery life isn’t super long—only about 5 hours. But the batteries are rechargeable! Pop them out, recharge them fully, and you’re good to go again.

HANMATEK HO52 might not be the heavyweight out there, but for simple tasks like PWM and servo testing, it’s a steady performer!

Today’s best HANMATEK HO52 price:

#2. Hantek 1008C: Best USB Oscilloscope

Hantek 1008C


Price: Under $150


  • 8 channels
  • Programmable wave generator
  • Automatic cursor tracking and measurements
  • Store, record, and playback dynamic waveforms
  • Software is easy to install and use


  • Needs PC to operate
  • Not usable for all automotive functions

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly automotive oscilloscope with 8 channels, check out the Hantek 1008C.

What makes the Hantek 1008C special? Well, it stands out from other automotive oscilloscopes because it comes packed with cool features. Besides the waveform generator, it also boasts a built-in FFT function and basic math functions. Plus, you get 20 automatic measurements and auto cursor tracking functions – pretty handy, right?

We’ve tested the Hantek 1008C for various tasks like checking coils, fuel injectors, and alternator ripples. It’s proven to be a valuable tool for automotive diagnostics.

Now, it’s an 8-channel scope, but using more than 4 channels at once slows it down. If you max it out with all 8 channels, it becomes really sluggish—almost hard to use.

One downside is its compatibility—it only works with Windows 8 or 10 PCs, which might not suit everyone.

Overall, the Hantek 1008C is the go-to PC-based automotive oscilloscope if you need multiple channels. It’s budget-friendly and reliable for your automotive needs!

Today’s best Hantek 1008C price:

#3. FNIRSI 1013D Plus: Best User-Friendly Oscilloscope

FNIRSI 1013D Plus


Price: Under $200

FNIRSI 1013D Plus is another awesome digital oscilloscope we think you’ll like.

This oscilloscope is a lot like the HANMATEK HO52 in what it does, but here’s the cool part: it’s got an analog bandwidth of 100MHZ and a sample rate of 1 GSa/s.

One awesome thing? The screen—it’s touch-sensitive! Makes things a whole lot easier. We’re big fans of the hot function for adjusting the time scale. Just a tap on the left or right side of the waveform screen and presto! Super convenient.

The dual display on the big 7” screen is awesome and really easy to read. We can also save the waveforms while probing and check them out later or easily send it to a PC via USB cable.

The start-up takes a bit longer than the HANMATEK HO52, about 2 seconds. But once it’s up, smooth sailing—no lag at all.

Overall, if you’re into touch controls and affordability, the FNIRSI 1013D Plus is a great choice!

Today’s best FNIRSI 1013D Plus price:

#4. PicoScope 2204A: Best PC-Based Oscilloscope

PicoScope 2204A


Price: Under $200


  • Compact, streamlined design
  • High waveform capture rate
  • Includes serial decoding and mask limit testing
  • Free software upgrades
  • Allows importing and editing of waveforms


  • No built-in display
  • Limited software compatibility (requires Windows 7, 8, XP, or Vista)

PicoScope 2204A is an awesome PC-based automotive oscilloscope. Just a heads up, it only shows 2 channels at once.

With those 2 channels, you can check both CAM and Crank position sensors together. It’s a real time-saver for spotting problems pronto.

Because it’s got fewer channels on display, this scope refreshes way faster compared to the Hantek 1008C.

The PicoScope 2204A has all the fancy features of pricier professional automotive oscilloscopes! Things like serial bus decoding, advanced digital triggering, and even an in-built waveform generator. You can import and edit waveforms for specific uses too!

The software you need comes right in the box with this Pico automotive oscilloscope. But it’s a bit less user-friendly due to an extra step. And remember, it only works with Windows, so Apple users might want to explore other options.

But overall, PicoScope 2204A is a bang-for-your-buck option. It’s got almost everything you’d need in an automotive oscilloscope.

Today’s best PicoScope 2204A price:

#5. AUKUYEE Q15001: Cheapest Automotive Oscilloscope



Price: Under $100


  • Most affordable option
  • Easily portable
  • Straightforward design
  • Has 3 trigger modes
  • Reliable and durable construction


  • Low sample rate and memory depth
  • 1 channel only

If your budget is limited, the AUKUYEE Q15001 has basic functionality for the lowest price. 

Sure, its accuracy might take a slight hit due to the lower sample rate, but for everyday tasks, it holds up really well.

During our testing, we were pleasantly surprised by its accuracy in measurements. It handles tasks quite well, especially up to around 100 kHz, providing sufficient samples per wave period.

What’s cool about the AUKUYEE Q15001? It’s got a sleek design that’s super user-friendly. It’s quick to use, fits right in your pocket, and the build is tough and durable.

AUKUYEE Q15001 might be tiny, but don’t underestimate it! This little powerhouse is the best automotive oscilloscope you can find for under 50 bucks. It’s a solid choice if you’re working within a limited budget but still need reliable functionality.

Today’s best AUKUYEE Q15001 price:

What Is An Automotive Oscilloscope?

An automotive oscilloscope is a tool for diagnosing sensors and circuits. The power from these components can often change too quickly for a digital multimeter to measure them effectively. An oscilloscope can detect issues with electronic components even before diagnostic trouble codes trigger.

When signals enter the oscilloscope through the probe, the device graphs the signal based on its rate of change over time, giving a more accurate picture of the components’ performance than multimeters. It’s also crucial for detecting intermittent issues other diagnostic tools miss.

There are many kinds of oscilloscopes out there for other applications, including manufacturing or scientific purposes. An automotive oscilloscope includes the pre-set data and capacity you need for auto components.

How To Use An Oscilloscope

how to use an oscilloscope
Steps to use an oscilloscope
  1. Identify the controls on the oscilloscope. Make sure you know how to change the horizontal and vertical increments of the grid and that it’s set to the correct range for the component you’re measuring.
  2. Turn on the oscilloscope. When nothing is plugged in, you should see a flat line, indicating no voltage change. If there is input when nothing is connected to the probe, disconnect and reconnect it. If the screen is blank (no flat line), make sure you’re on the correct input. Also, check the zoom; you may be tightly focused on a blank area of the screen.
  3. Connect the probe to the component or circuit you want to measure. The flat line should turn into some kind of waveform.
  4. Adjust the horizontal and vertical divisions until the waveform oscillates only within the screen’s confines and is large enough to discern changes. If the waveform seems unstable and challenging to see, adjust the trigger level.
  5. You should now be able to determine how the component is functioning. The trickiest part of using an automotive oscilloscope is learning how to set the controls for various situations and components. If you’re having difficulty reading the circuit, connect the oscilloscope to a functioning circuit, which may be easier to graph and tell you what settings work best.

Final Thoughts

Generally, the more you pay, the more features and accuracy you’ll get from an automotive oscilloscope. 

Out of the 10 automotive oscilloscopes we’ve checked, there are two top picks we highly recommend. 

Both of these scanners are priced at around $100. They’re great quality picks that won’t break the bank.

Read More: Top 25 Auto Mechanic Schools In The US 2021

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