9 Best OBD2 Scanners Reviews & Comparison 2018

What is the best OBD2 Scanner on the market?

There are thousands of OBD2 Scanners available on the market. Then, it can be a bit tricky for you to choose the one which is perfect for you in every respect.

There are a lot of OBD2 scanner reviews out there for you to read but not all are useful and helpful because the writers don’t know much about the products. Therefore, they cannot give you the right advice.

In this article, I’m going to review the 9 best OBD2 scanners in 2018.

The scan tools are listed in order of increasing price and belong to 3 types.

You will find on this page:

    • 3 OBD2 Code Readers for beginners and ordinary car owners (Autel Al319, Launch Creader 4001, and Foxwell NT301),
    • 3 OBD2 Scanners for DIY (Bluedriver, Autel Al619, and Innova 3100j), and
    • 3 Professional Car Diagnostic Tools (Autel MaxiCOM MK808, Launch CRP129, and Autel Maxisys MS906BT).

Let’s see!!

Best OBD2 Scanners Review

Bluedriver is the best OBD2 Scanner for DIYers
Bluedriver is the best OBD2 Scanner for DIYers.
Credit: Amazon

I’ve tested the best OBD2 scanners on the market myself, and have listed their strengths and weaknesses out for you. Depending on your requirements, you can pick the one which you deem best for yourself!

The OBD scanners are arranged in order of increasing price for your convenient follow.

1

autel al319
Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner Automotive Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Scan Tool
(4.4 / 5)
Autel AL319 OBD2 code scanner works on all vehicles from 1996 onwards (OBD II & CAN).

Autel Al319 is exactly the best OBDII scanner to be used for basic diagnostic purposes. It supports various functions and helps diagnose and solve problems quickly.

AL319 is an amazing OBD2 scanner which turns off Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL/CEL), clears codes and resets monitors, displays monitor, and I/M readiness status and retrieves vehicle information (VIN, CIN, and CVN).

Autel Al319 offers various functions and extensive vehicle coverage that not many car code reader can do.
Autel AL319 is an amazing OBD2 scanner which can turn off the CEL, read and clear codes and reset monitors. This OBD2 Code Reader also displays monitor, I/M readiness status and retrieves vehicle information (VIN, CIN, and CVN), etc.
Credit: Amazon.com
Autel AutoLink AL319 is one of the best OBD2 Car Code Reader for Clearing Engine Fault Codes.
Autel AL319 has a small but clear screen that can display all the information very well.
Credit: Amazon

Compatibility

Autel AL319 OBD2 code scanner works on all vehicles from 1996 onwards (OBD II & CAN).

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It has the unique One-Click I/M Readiness Key.
  • It doesn’t need any batteries or charger.
  • OBDII Data Link Connector supplies power to this tool.
  • There is a built-in speaker and brightly colored LEDs.
  • They are helpful in readiness verification both visually and audibly.
  • There is a one year warranty on this device.
  • The 2-inch color screen with its bright graphics.

Cons

  • It is not able to explain what the error codes mean
  • It cannot display live operating data.
  • The 2-foot cord is too short to reach the engine compartment
  • Reset functions like airbag reset and SRS are not available

Who is it built for?

If you want to save money while diagnosing problems with your car, then Autel AL319 is the best obd scanner for money you should take. Bottom line, it found car’s faults like a charm, erased them and turned off the MIL.

A video about Autel Al319:

2

launch creader 4001
Launch Creader 4001 OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Scan Tool
(5 / 5)
This simple obd  scanner works on most OBDII & CAN Domestic, Asian and European vehicles after 1996.

Launch Creader 4001 OBDD2 scanner has many functionalities including reading and erasing DTCs and turning off Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL).
It can satisfy your basic need for troubleshooting the problems, and help you fix them quickly and efficiently.

Launch Creader 4001 offers various functions for an OBD2 code reader.
Launch Creader 4001 is an OBD2 Code Reader that can Read and Clear Codes, Display I/M Readiness status, and Retrieve VIN. It has the DTCs Lookup Library for easy usage.
Credit: Amazon
Launch 4001 is a corded Car Code Reader.
Launch Creader 4001 is a compact plug-and-play OBD2 Code Reader.
Credit: Amazon

Compatibility

This simple car scanner works on most OBDII & CAN Domestic, Asian and European vehicles after 1996.

It doesn’t need chargers and batteries since it can be powered by plugging it into the vehicle’s DLC socket.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The 2.4-inch color LCD gives an amazing graphical user interface and display.
  • It has a 47-inch 16-pin OBD2 cable, which allows it to be used comfortably.
  • It has a one-year warranty.
  • The DTC Lookup function in this tool is very helpful.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • There is no O2 sensor test present.
  • ABS/SRS diagnosis is also not present
  • It is not available for some cars of JOBD protocol.

Who is it for?

If you are a basic level car enthusiast, this OBD2 car code reader will troubleshoot your problems and will help you in fixing them pretty quickly and in an efficient manner. It’s one of the best OBD scanners available in the market.

A video about Launch Creader 4001:

3

foxwell nt301
FOXWELL NT301 Enhanced OBDII Diagnostic OBD2 Scanner
(4.3 / 5)
It is compatible with worldwide cars, SUVs, light truck and 12V diesel equipped with OBD2.

Foxwell NT301 is small and light and has a 2.4-inch color screen. It has the ability to export data and can update its software.

The red LED shows the existing faults while yellow LED indicates the pending problems. Similarly, green means that there is no existing fault.

It takes 6 seconds for the scanner to retrieve the car’s VIN code and the parameters of the car.

FOXWELL NT301 offers a variety of testing functions such as turning off the MIL, I/M Readiness test, Evap Test, etc.
FOXWELL NT301 plays the role of an early warning system that helps keep the car in a good condition.
Credit: Amazon.com
FOXWELL NT301 is a Universal OBD2 EOBD Car Code Reader.
FOXWELL NT301 is a User-Friendly OBD2 Code Reader that offers Life-long Free Online Upgrade and Printing via PC.
Credit: Amazon

Compatibility

It is compatible with worldwide cars, SUVs, light truck and 12V diesel equipped with OBD2.

It supports data logging feature and has the ability to record and review log.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • This scanner has an O2 sensor
  • It can turn off CEL, reset the monitor
  • It is able to read enhanced data.
  • This OBD2 scanner can quickly read and erase DTC.
  • The reason behind the CEL can be determined.

Cons

  • This scanner can only be updated on a Windows system.
  • It can only work on OBDII systems.
  • It can’t work on ABS/airbag/oil service light, etc.

Who is it for?

There is no need for a battery since it is charged directly from the OBDII car scanner interface in your vehicle.

Thus, it is extremely convenient for DIY-ers and home mechanics. But it is more complicated than what an amateur mechanic could figure out.

A video about FOXWELL NT301:

4

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android
(4.4 / 5)
Bluedriver performs pre-inspection emissions checking and interprets the specialty codes for Detroit’s big three automakers, BMW/Mini and Toyota vehicles.

The BlueDriver kit is a tad bit expensive than other scanners. But it goes beyond basic scanners to show recalls and dynamic data, and offer repair suggestions.

BlueDriver has an amazing 32-foot range, and its app is available on both Android and iOS platforms.

Its Freeze Frame feature delivers a slice of data. Moreover, the app can display speed, engine RPMs, and other data as numbers or graphics gauges.

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool gives you the confirmed Fix by using the Identifix database with 30 million specific fixes.
Bluedriver uses the Identifix database that is used by professional shops, which ensures to match your vehicle’s information and the DTCs to a specific fix from the 30-million-fix database.
Credit: Amazon.com
With the BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool, you don't have to search for the compatible software or worry about connection issues.
Bluedriver Scan Tool is a complete combination of the BlueDriver Sensor and the BlueDriver App (free).
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

It performs pre-inspection emissions checking and interprets the specialty codes for Detroit’s big three automakers, BMW/Mini and Toyota vehicles.

Nissan’s codes are being added. It can count engine misfires on many newer cars, and the reports can be saved as PDFs.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can read and clear CEL codes
  • Can read and clear enhanced codes: like ABS, Airbag, Transmission, etc.
  • Repair Reports: Code Definition, Possible Causes, Reported Fixes
  • Freeze Frame: Allows vehicle snapshot once a code is stored
  • Mode 6: Advanced test results (like misfire counts)
  • Smog Check: Check if the car is ready for a smog test
  • Live Data: Display multiple PIDs as a graph, gauge, or digital readout

Cons

  • The computerized voice can be annoying at times.
  • It doesn’t support the Windows phone as it supports only iOS/Android.
  • The layout is a little confusing.

Who is it for?

BlueDrive quickly detectes car’ fault, erased it and turns off the check engine light. This is definitely the best OBD2 scanner in 2018 for DIY and comes at a relatively affordable price.

A video about Bluedriver

5

autel maxilink ml619
Autel ML619 Maxilink OBD2/Eobd Code Reader
(4.4 / 5)
This OBD2 scanner diagnoses ABS/ SRS system codes on most 1996.

This OBD2 scanner can be updated and upgraded using the Internet. You can quickly diagnose problems with the Autel MaxiLink ML619 Vehicle Diagnostic Scanner Reader.

It is a good OBD2 scanner for detecting faults on anti-lock brakes ABS, supplemental restraint systems, and airbag systems SRS.

Moreover, it is perfect for performing OBDII diagnostics too. With the help of Autel MaxiLink ML619, you can find the cause of the Check Engine light and then work on it.

Autel MaxiLink ML619 can perform All OBDII Scanning, ABS and SRS Diagnosis, Reset Monitors, Turn off MIL, Clear Codes and display live data.
Autel MaxiLink ML619 offers a variety of Functions not many OBD2 Scan Tool at this price range can.
Autel ML619 is a Super Durable ABS OBD2 Scanner.
Autel ML619 is made with new material that is Super Durable.
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

This OBD2 scanner diagnoses ABS/ SRS system codes on most 1996. It also works on newer major vehicle models including GM, Ford, Chrysler, Volvo, VW, Mercedes, BMW, etc.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It turns off Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) and ABS/SRS warning lights.
  • It retrieves generic, manufacturer specific codes and pending codes.
  • Views freeze frame data
  • Reads, stores, and playbacks live PCM data stream and live sensor data
  • Graphs data
  • Prints data via PC

Cons

  • For models before 2002, you need an additional connector cable.
  • It doesn’t support MAC OS.
  • It doesn’t work for electric cars which can be a nuisance in itself.

Who is it for?

If you have a vehicle model compatible with this OBDII scan tool and you don’t want to spend too much, then the ML619 is a good choice.

A video about Autel ML619:

6

innova 3100j
Innova 3100j Check Engine Code Reader Scan Tool
(4.3 / 5)
The scanner works for any 1996 and newer OBD2 car, light truck, SUV, and hybrids.

A simple and affordable OBD2 scan tool, the INNOVA 3100j allows you to diagnose your car’s problems. It accesses onboard systems safely and reads codes.

Innova 3100j is one of the best OBD2 Scanners that can perform ABS SRS EVAP diagnosis.
Innova 3100j ABS SRS EVAP OBD2 Scanner fits your palm well, which ensures the Ease of Use.
Credit: Amazon.com
Innova 3100j is an ABS SRS EVAP OBD2 Scanner with Freeze Frame Function
The Free Internet Updates ensure that your Innova 3100j is always up-to-date.
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

With the help of Innova 3100j, you can quickly reveal the cause of “Check Engine” light warnings. It works for any 1996 and newer OBD2 car, light truck, SUV, and hybrids.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can read and erase ABS & SRS light trouble codes.
  • Added features of battery & alternator tests
  • Can check the performance of a vehicle’s charging system.
  • The oil reset feature provides step-by-step reset procedures.
  • The free updates ensure that the tools are always up-to-date.

Cons

  • The instructions for the code reader are pretty vague.
  • There is an associated subscription fee to access the site.
  • Slow response time during operation

Who is it for?

This scanner is designed with easy handheld and easy to operate. It is suitable for DIYers and average car owners.

A video about Innova 3100j:

7

launch crp129
Launch CRP129 OBD2 ENG/AT/ABS/SRS EPB SAS OIL Service Light Resets Code Reader
(4.2 / 5)
This reader works on over 40 1996 US-based, 2000 European-based and newer OBD2/EOBD protocol vehicles.

The Launch CRP 129 is an OBD2 scanner with many functions. It works for the most important car systems, including:

  • ENG/AT/ABS/SRS/ 4 basic systems
  • Reset functions for EPB/SAS/Oil Service Light
Launch CRP129 OBD2 Automotive Diagnostic Tool can perform all the basic functions one can expect from an automotive diagnostic tool
Launch CRP129 offers all the basic functions for most needs.
Credit: Amazon.com
Launch CRP129 offers diagnosis on 4 systems such as Engine, ABS, SRS and Transmission.
Engine System, ABS, Transmission System, and SRS are the four systems that Launch CRP129 can perform thorough diagnosis.
Credit: Amazon.com
Launch CRP129 lets you perform 3 Reseting Functions: Oil Reset, EPB Reset, and SAS Reset.
Launch CRP129 offers 3 exceptional reset capabilities such as Oil, EPB, and SAS Reset.
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

This reader works on over 40 1996 US-based, 2000 European-based and newer OBD2/EOBD protocol vehicles.

Launch CRP129 has an advanced system output and graphics display with OBDII Data Stream.

It makes the analysis of diagnostic information relatively easy while you are repairing and adjusting the vehicle.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It has a one year manufacturer’s warranty. You can access all the latest updates online.
  • Allows the diagnosis of 4 systems; Engine, Transmission, ABS, Airbag
  • Resets functions like oil reset, EPB reset and SAS reset
  • Applicable for most vehicles which match OBDII standard after 1996
  • Supports all ten test modes of OBDII
  • Reads and clear DTC
  • Supports online upgrade

Cons

  • Launch CRP129 cannot work on diesel trucks but can work for some 12v diesel vehicles.
  • It needs an additional BENZ 38 pin connector and BMW 20 pin connector
  • Does not show any emissions information

Who is it for?

This is an automotive Diagnostic Tool for mechanics and professionals. It can diagnose tens of vehicles within an hour, though that depends on your activeness.

A video about Launch CRP129:

8

autel mk808
Autel MaxiCOM MK808 OBD2 Diagnostic Scan Tool
(4.5 / 5)
Autel MaxiCOM MK808 OBD2 Diagnostic Tool is ideal for professionals. It is multi-functional and works efficiently, helping you save time.

Autel MaxiCOM MK808 has a large variety of functions available. These include oil reset and EPB/BMS/SAS/ DPF. All these are very important and useful for the safe and efficient maintenance of systems.

Since this OBDII scan tool is equipped with built-in batteries, you don’t have to install batteries. The MK808 started to communicate with cars automatically and recognized it too.

Autel MaxiCOM MK808 is a Comprehensive Scan Tablet and Diagnostic Scanner
Autel MK808 is a tablet diagnostic scanner with 7” touchable screen and enables sensitive response with the fast quad-core process.
Credit: Amazon.com

Moreover, with a Wi-Fi connection, there is no USB or card reader needed for updating the software. You get a one-year warranty and 12-months free update period too.

Autel MaxiCOM MK808 offers full OBDII Modes, All System and Service Functions.
Autel MaxiCOM MK808 can diagnose All Systems of your vehicles, perform All-Service Functions and offers full-OBD2 Modes.
Credit: Amazon.com
Key Programming is one of the advanced functions that Autel MaxiCOM MK808 can perform.
Autel MaxiCOM MK808 can perform Key Programming, which helps protect your car from being stolen.
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

MaxiCOM MK808 works on most 1996 US-based, 2000 EU-based and newer vehicles.

It performs the full system’s diagnosis including reading and clearing of the codes and viewing live data. It can check the health status of various vehicle parts.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The buttons are designed at the edge of the device.
  • It is well laid out for easy navigation.
  • The touchscreen can also give you a quick response.
  • This MK808 does not need to be connected to a computer to display information.
  • Supports various functions like TPMS service and IMMO functions
  • Displays sensor IDs from vehicle’s ECU
  • Registers sensors to the vehicle

Cons

  • It isn’t the fastest to scan and connect.
  • If a module doesn’t connect or return a signal, it will return a misdiagnosis.
  • Doesn’t allow coding, adaptation, or actuation

Who is it for?

It is an OBDII scanner for professional car enthusiasts, and it is not a gadget to be kept at home. Rather, it is designed for professionals and is mostly used in car repair shops.

A video about Autel MK808:

9

autel ms906bt
Autel Maxisys MS906BT Upgraded Version Of MS906
(3.9 / 5)
It is an extensive diagnostic scanner and code reader. It can offer complete system coverage for more than 80 US domestic, Asian and European makes and models.

This scanner is superior to Autel Maxisys MS906 as it has some functions which MS906 does not have. For example, Autel MS906BT:

  • Supports oscilloscope and digital inspection camera add-ons
  • Supports ultra-long distance blue-tooth transmission
  • Comes with an added USB port and HDMI port
  • Is more compact in size

MaxiSys MS906BT is the recent addition to the MaxiSys product line of wireless diagnostic devices.

The device is based on the Android operating system featured with the best possible coverage of OE-level diagnostics. It also supports ECU coding capability.

Autel Maxisys MS906BT is one of the best professional automotive diagnostic scanners that offers all system diagnosis, all service functions and ECU Coding.
Besides ECU Coding, Autel Maxisys MS906BT offers Full OBDII Modes, all the System Diagnosis, and Functions that a professional mechanic may expect from.
Credit: Amazon.com
With the Digital Inspection Camera on Autel Maxisys MS906BT Professional Car Diagnostic Tool, you can easily examine difficult-to-reach areas such as the oil pipeline, the concealed part, etc.
Autel Maxisys MS906BT has an inspection Camera for you to easily examine difficult-to-reach areas like the oil pipeline.
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

It is an extensive diagnostic scanner and code reader. It can offer complete system coverage for more than 80 US domestic, Asian and European makes and models.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The MaxiSys MS906BT supports over 15 service functions
  • Pretty straightforward to use
  • Frequent updates to make the tool running efficiently
  • Boots up very quickly
  • It is wireless, providing more flexibility
  • Provides good coverage

Cons

  • It needs a long time to be recharged.
  • Not programmed for American made vehicles
  • Relatively expensive

Who is it for?

The tool utilizes the powerful Exynos 5260 6-core processor (1.3 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 + 1.7 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A15).

Plus, it has an 8” capacitive HD touch screen, and long-distance wireless communication. Thus, the MaxiSys MS906BT efficiently provides comprehensive vehicle diagnostics and analysis.

So, if you want a professional OBD2 scanner to help you with car problems, this is the one.

A video about Autel MS906BT:

Recommendation

So, you’ve walked through the OBD2 scanner reviews. But which OBD scanner is best? 

Below is the Editor’s Top 3 Picks of the Best OBDII Scanners for you:

Best OBD2 Code ReaderBest DIY OBD2 ScannerBest Car Diagnostic Tool
Autel AutoLink AL319 Review
Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Code Reader
BlueDriver
BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android
Autel MaxiCOM MK808
Autel MaxiCOM MK808 OBD2 Professional Diagnostic Scan Tool
Customer Rating (4.4 / 5) (4.4 / 5) (4.5 / 5)
PriceAutel AL319 pricebluedriver priceAutel MaxiCOM MK808 price
ProsIt offers VIN, MIL, I/M readiness, Freeze Frame Data, etc.Can read and clear enhanced codes: like ABS, Airbag, Transmission, etc.;
Mode 6: Advanced test results (like misfire counts).
It offers Full System and Service Functions: EPB, BMS, SAS, DPF, IMMO, Oil reset, etc.
ConsUnable to explain what the error codes mean;
Cannot display live operating data;
Short cord;
Airbag reset and SRS are not available.
Randomly inconsistent;
Not for Windows devices.
Doesn’t allow programming, coding, adaptation, or actuation.
Bottom LineIf you want to save money while diagnosing problems with your car, then this is a suitable tool.Bludriver is excellent for DIYers and average car owners.MK808 is designed for professionals and is mostly used in car repair shops.

The Bottom Line

In the above article, we have discussed the features and the pros and cons of the 10 best OBD2 scanners in the market today.

If you’re an ordinary car owner and want to turn off the Check Engine Light, take Autel Al319.

We would recommend Bluedriver to average car owners and DIYers.

For Professional Mechanics, a diagnostic tool with full-system functions as Autel MK808 would suit you.

You can compare the scanners and choose the one which tailors your needs and demands perfectly. Keep your car in perfect condition with the best OBDII scanners available!

Read more: Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner Review 2018

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