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10 Best Automotive Oscilloscope Review 2020

Here's where you can find the best automotive oscilloscope
If you’re looking for the best automotive oscilloscope, this is the right place

The best automotive oscilloscope will allow you to read voltage changes from automotive components. This is helpful for troubleshooting problems and a necessary tool for many vehicle repairs

You can find automotive oscilloscopes at every price point. The biggest difference between them will be the precision of their measurements and the range of data manipulation options. Let’s look at the 10 best options on the market to give you a better idea of the features they offer.

Best Automotive Oscilloscope

Editor's PicksProductOur Rating
Best OverallSiglent SDS1202X-E9.5/10
Runner UpHantek 1008C9.5/10
Best Budget BuyQuimat Q150018.5/10
Best ValueRigol DS1054Z8.5/10
Also GreatLIUMY7.5/10

1. Siglent SDS1202X-E 2 Channels Digital Oscilloscope

<strong>Siglent SDS1202X-E</strong>
Siglent SDS1202X-E Digital Automotive Oscilloscope
4.74.7 / 5
It has all the features you need for accurate automotive testing, with a full-color temperature graded display for easy interpretation of data.

Let’s start with the best automotive oscilloscope for mechanics and professionals: the Siglet SDS1202X-E Digital Automotive Oscilloscope. Its sophisticated display and broad functionality make it a versatile, through device, capable of measuring any vehicle component.

The Siglent SDS1202X-E has both a high waveform capture rate and a high sampling rate. This allows it to detect voltage fluctuations other oscilloscopes might miss and is especially helpful in detecting unusual events. True measurement of all sample points gives the Siglent SDS1202X-E spot-on accuracy.

If you are looking forr the best Automotive Oscilloscope, Siglet SDS1202X-E Digital is a good choice for you
Siglet SDS1202X-E Digital Automotive Oscilloscope has both a high waveform capture rate and a high sampling rate.

Interpreting data is easier with the Siglent SDS1202X-E, as well. The history function saves waveform in multiple memory segments with timestamps so you can isolate and compare specific readings. A full color display with 256-intensity grading shows frequency of trace readings, letting you see where readings happen most often at a glance.

The only issue some users have with the Siglent SDS1202X-E is that the interface isn’t the most intuitively designed. Navigating the menus can take a bit of practice. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, though, the Siglent SDS1202X-E gives you more information than your average handheld automotive oscilloscope. 

Pros

  • Easy to zoom and change view
  • High sampling rate captures more signal information
  • History function records and plays latest triggered events
  • Color display with color temperature trace
  • Fast refresh rate shows frequency of traces
  • Can detect irregular and low-probability events

Cons

  • Higher cost
  • Menus are a bit confusing at first

The Siglent SDS1202X-E has all the features you need for accurate automotive testing, with a full-color temperature graded display for easy interpretation of data. 

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A video about Siglent SDS1202X-E review

2. Hantek 1008C USB PC-based Diagnostic Oscilloscope

<strong>Hantek 1008C</strong>
Hantek 1008C PC Based Automotive Oscilloscope
4.14.1 / 5
It’s the best PC based automotive oscilloscope for buyers who need multiple channels.

For those who need the best automotive oscilloscope with a lot of channels, the Hantek 1008C is a great option. It’s a PC-based oscilloscope with a programmable waveform generator, ideal for most home automotive applications.

The functions of the Hantek 1008C are what set it apart from other automotive oscilloscopes. Along with the waveform generator, it has a built-in FFT function and basic mathematic functions, too. It also comes with 20 automatic measurements and auto cursor tracking functions.

Compatibility is the only major drawback of the Hantek 1008C. The included software can only be installed on Windows 8 or 10 PCs. Since the product is discontinued, it’s also no longer being updated. If this isn’t an issue for you, however, it’s certainly the lowest per-channel cost you’ll find in an automotive oscilloscope. 

Pros

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

Cons

  • Needs PC to operate (Windows 8 or 10)
  • Not usable for all automotive functions

The Hantek 1008C is the best PC based automotive oscilloscope for buyers who need multiple channels, though its limited software compatibility may be an issue for some users. 

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3. Quimat Q15001 Digital Oscilloscope with Power Supply

<strong>Quimat Q15001</strong>
Quimat Q15001 Digital Automotive Oscilloscope
4.24.2 / 5
It’s the best automotive oscilloscope you’ll find for less than fifty bucks.

If your budget is limited, the Quimat Q15001 Digital Automotive Oscilloscope has basic functionality for the lowest price. A low sample rate does limit its accuracy, but for basic applications it gets the job done.

The streamlined design of the Quimat Q15001 has an advantage from a usability standpoint, too. Operating this oscilloscope is quick and easy, and it’s sized to fit into your pocket. The casing is well-built and durable, too.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Low sample rate and memory depth
  • One channel 

While its functions and accuracy are limited, the Quimat Q15001 is the best automotive oscilloscope you’ll find for less than fifty bucks. 

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4. Rigol DS1054Z 4 Channels Digital Automotive Oscilloscopes

<strong>Rigol DS1054Z</strong>
Rigol DS1054Z Digital Automotive Oscilloscope
4.84.8 / 5
It’s the best automotive oscilloscope for professionals.

For professional-level diagnostics, the Rigol DS1054Z Digital Automotive Oscilloscope is the best digital automotive oscilloscope on the list. It has the wide waveform capture rate, deep memory, and full-color display you need for a thorough, accurate analysis.  

The Rigol DS1054Z is surprisingly easy to use, considering how many features it offers. A large 7” display with high pixel resolution lets it show readings from all 4 channels on the screen at once. This speeds your diagnosis and makes it easier to find inconsistencies between circuits. 

The only disappointing thing about the Rigol DS1054Z is that the advertised price is a bit deceptive. Many of the features are only available on a 30-day trial basis without a paid upgrade. Considering its price is already on the high side for an oscilloscope for automotive troubleshooting, this puts it out of the budget of many hobbyists. 

Pros

  • 4 channels 
  • Easy to read color display
  • Simultaneously view readings from all channels
  • User-friendly and intuitive
  • Display offers multi-level intensity grading
  • Deeper memory with UltraVision technology

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • Some functions require paid upgrade

The feature-rich Rigol DS1054AZ is the best automotive oscilloscope for professionals, though the high cost and paid upgrades put it out of the price range of most DIY-ers.

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5. LIUMY Professional LED Portable Oscilloscope

<strong>LIUMY</strong>
LIUMY Professional LED Handheld Automotive Oscilloscope
3.93.9 / 5
It gives you convenient multi-tool capability in one affordable package.

The LIUMY Professional Handheld Automotive Oscilloscope is a multi-function tool that can handle all your automotive diagnostic needs. It includes multimeter functions such as testing the capacitance, resistance, and frequency of components.

As an oscilloscope, this LIUMY model is good if not exceptional. The screen is easy to read but lacks the color and detail of other models. It also has a relatively low sample rate and only one channel, limiting its professional use.

For the hobbyists, though, the LIUMY Professional Handheld Automotive Oscilloscope is a convenient all-in-one tool. It’s compact, easy to use, and a relatively good value. 

Pros

  • Easy to read backlit display
  • Functions as a multimeter as well as an oscilloscope
  • Compact design
  • Good value and versatility
  • Auto shutoff feature saves battery life

Cons

  • Included manual is difficult to read
  • Low sample rate and bandwidth

The LIUMY Professional Automotive Oscilloscope can also function as a multimeter, giving you convenient multi-tool capability in one affordable package. 

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6. YEAPOOK 5MHz Handheld Mini Digital Oscilloscope

<strong>YEAPOOK 2050H</strong>
YEAPOOK 2050H Handheld Digital Automotive Oscilloscope
4.34.3 / 5
It’s a great option for DIY automotive testing and its portability is truly impressive..

The YEAPOOK 2050H Handheld Digital Automotive Oscilloscope has a streamlined design that makes it one of the most portable handheld oscilloscopes on the market. While it’s missing some features a professional needs, it’s a great option for DIY automotive testing.

One reason the YEAPOOK 2050H is a great choice for hobbyists is that it’s easy to use, even if you’re not an expert. Navigating the interface is easy as soon as you take it out of the box. While the screen is on the small side, the resolution is high enough to make the waveforms readable. 

The capture rate of this YEAPOOK oscilloscope is on the low side. This is its main drawback, especially if you need to diagnose intermittent issues. Having said that, it’s a useful unit for the price, with the basic functions you need for automotive diagnosis. 

Pros

  • Ultra-portable design
  • Records and plays back waveforms
  • 3 trigger modes for easy waveform capture
  • Interface is easy to navigate
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Screen somewhat small and hard to read
  • Only 1 channel 
  • Relatively low sample rate and memory

The portability of the YEAPOOK 2050H is impressive, though its limited channels and features make it less versatile. 

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7. YEAPOOK 100mhz Handheld Professional Oscilloscope

<strong>YEAPOOK 5012H</strong>
YEAPOOK 5012H Handheld Digital Automotive Oscilloscope
4.54.5 / 5
It’s the best automotive oscilloscope for home mechanics who want the best value for their money.

Another option from YEAPOOK that has a bit more oomph is their 100MHz Handheld Digital Automotive Oscilloscope. Though it’s a bit pricier, it’s still comparatively affordable, and has a similarly portable build. 

The YEAPOOK 5012H has a higher sample rate and larger memory than the 2050H above, and for not much more money. It also has an improved display, with color temperature sensitivity for seeing traces. 

Like the YEAPOOK 2050H, the YEAPOOK 5012H is easy to use with an intuitive interface. Saving and viewing waveforms is as simple as taking readings. It’s energy efficient, too, with a long battery life that can last for up to 8 hours of continuous use. 

While you can spend more for more features, the YEAPOOK 5012H can conduct basic automotive diagnosis without a problem. Its solid build and user-friendly design are the reason it’s the best automotive oscilloscope for DIY-ers.

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Higher sample rate than comparably priced oscilloscopes
  • Color temperature sensitive screen
  • 3 trigger modes
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Relatively small display
  • Only one channel

The YEAPOOK 5012H is the best automotive oscilloscope for home mechanics who want the best value for their money. 

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8. SainSmart DSO212 Black Portable Mini Oscilloscope

<strong>SainSmart DS0212</strong>
SainSmart DS0212 Handheld Automotive Oscilloscope
4.34.3 / 5
It’s a super-portable automotive oscilloscope with an impressively detailed display.

We love the design of the SainSmart DS0212 Handheld Automotive Oscilloscope. The screen is relatively large and easy to read considering its compact size. 

Unfortunately, the inner workings of the SainSmart DS0212 aren’t as impressive. Its sample rate and bandwidth are among the lowest on the list. Though its display is color sensitive, this limits its use and accuracy. 

The SainSmart DS0212 does offer 2 channels, as well as easy connectivity to a PC to download waveform data. If you don’t need high precision from your measurements this SainSmart automotive oscilloscope is a convenient option, but it’s not the best choice for everyone.

Pros

  • Detailed color-sensitive screen
  • Compact enough to carry in your pocket
  • Connects to Windows computer to download data
  • 2-channel operation
  • Quick, simple set-up and navigation

Cons

  • Low sample rate and bandwidth

The SainSmart DS0212 is a super-portable automotive oscilloscope with an impressively detailed display, though the low sample rate is a concern for some buyers. 

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9. Hantek HT6022BE 20 MHz USB PC-Based Oscilloscope

<strong>Hantek HT6022BE</strong>
Hantek HT6022BE PC Based Automotive Oscilloscope
4.24.2 / 5
It’s a compact and modern PC-based oscilloscope, designed to work well with any Windows operating system.

Another PC-based oscilloscope from Hantek that’s worth checking out is the HT6022BE. It’s a compact oscilloscope that comes with everything you need to start using it. Since it’s a newer model than the Hantek 1008C above, it has a wider compatibility and more frequent software updates.

Overall, the Hantek HT6022BE is a very user-friendly PC-based oscilloscope. Everything you need to use it is included in the box. Software installation and set-up is a quick, painless process, and the software itself is intuitive to navigate. 

While the Hantek HT6022BE is compatible with a wider range of Windows operating systems, it still can’t be used on Apple-based computers. This is its only issue, from a design standpoint. The casing of the Hantek HT6022BE is made of durable aluminum with high heat resistance, perfect for automotive applications. 

Compared to more expensive automotive oscilloscopes, the Hantek 6022BE has a relatively low sample rate. Still, it gives you everything you need for the majority of automotive applications. It’s a great buy if you’re looking for a user-friendly PC-based oscilloscope. 

Pros

  • Slim and compact design
  • Durable anodized aluminum housing
  • Includes FFT and mathematic functions
  • Easy to install and use
  • Real-time sampling

Cons

  • Not compatible with iOS devices
  • Relatively low waveform capture rate and sample rate

The Hantek 6022BE is a compact and modern PC-based oscilloscope, designed to work well with any Windows operating system. Though the capture rate is on the low side, the build quality and functions make up for this lack. 

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10. PicoScope 2204A 10 MHz PC Based Oscilloscope with 2 Channels

<strong>PicoScope 2204A</strong>
PicoScope 2204A PC Based Automotive Oscilloscope
4.54.5 / 5
It’s a compact automotive oscilloscope that offers professional features at a great value for Windows PC owners.

Finally, here’s another great PC-based automotive oscilloscope, and we’ve arguably saved the best for last. The PicoScope 2204A PC-based Automotive Oscilloscope connects to a computer via USB. By eliminating the screen, the PicoScope 2204A is both more compact than other options, and very affordable for the features it offers.

The software you’ll need for this Pico automotive oscilloscope comes included. While it’s relatively easy to use, this extra step does make it less user-friendly. It also requires a Windows-based PC, so Apple users will need to look elsewhere. 

The PicoScope 2204A offers the same features as professional automotive oscilloscopes that cost twice as much or more. This includes serial bus decoding and advanced digital triggering. In addition, it has a built-in arbitrary waveform generator, and you can import and edit waveforms for specific uses. 

Pros

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

Cons

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

The PicoScope 2204A is a compact automotive oscilloscope that offers professional features at a great value for Windows PC owners.

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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. This gives a more accurate picture of the components performance than multimeters. It’s also important 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

  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 confines of the screen, and is large enough to discern changes. If the waveform seems unstable and difficult 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 will 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. Consider your needs before you buy. Most home mechanics don’t need the more extensive features offered by more expensive models.

All 10 of the automotive oscilloscopes above are reliable and convenient ways to test your engine components. We hope the reviews above have helped you find the right one for your garage!

Read More: Top 25 Auto Mechanic Schools In The US 2020

Tim MillerFounderOBD Advisor

I’m Tim Miller from Denver, Colorado. I’m the founder of obdadvisor.com, an automotive blog about "Auto Diagnostic Tools and Repair Guides". My fan page is facebook.com/autozikcom. I've been working as an automotive mechanic and blogger for over 10 years writing articles to share my experiences and expertise.

Web: https://www.obdadvisor.comEmail: [email protected]
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