Do you own an OBD1 vehicle?
Or perhaps you are an auto technician who deals with OBD1 vehicles frequently? If yes then you need a top-performing and reliable OBD1 scanner.
In this review, the first two products are strictly OBD1 scanners. The other three are OBD1/OBD2 combos.
If you own an OBD1-compliant vehicle you can pick any one of them. It will work with your vehicle.
Table of Contents
- 1 Editor’s Top 3 Picks of the Best OBD1 Scanners Comparison Chart
- 2 Best OBD1 Scanners Review
- 3 The Bottom Line
Editor’s Top 3 Picks of the Best OBD1 Scanners Comparison Chart
OXWELL NT510 OBD1&2 Multi-System Automotive Scanner for BMW
Actron CP9690 OBD I/OBD II Elite AUTO SCANNER Pro Kit
Innova 3120 OBD1&2 Diagnostic Scan Tool
|Customer Rating||(4.1 / 5)||(4.2 / 5)||(4 / 5)|
|Pros||A Multi-system OBD1&2 Scanner with free software updates; Foxwell NT510 offers several service functions (ABS/SRS/EPB/Transmission, OIL Service Reset, ABS Reset.)||Contains built-in library with code definitions;|
Color LCD screen;
Can Perform ABS and Airbag Diagnosis;
Compatible with most OBDI and OBD2 (1984-2013) GM,Ford,Chrysler,Honda,Nissan,Toyota, Hyundai vehicles;
Offers live engine data.
|Supports one-click reading and erasing of codes.|
|Cons||Cannot recognize new battery that is different from the original||Customer service is not really good.||Doesn’t support reading and clearing of SRS, ABS, transmission and chassis codes.|
|Bottom Line||Foxwell NT510 is the perfect OBD2 and OBD1 scanner for a professionals, especially those who often work on BMW vehicle.||Actron CP9690 scanner is definitely one to consider if you want a tool that can diagnose the engine, ABS, and SRS.||Innova 3120 is primarily a DIY tool, meaning it is perfect for ordinary car owners and DIY technicians.|
I’ve also prepared a summary table that compares all the reviewed scanners so that you can easily pick the best item that suits you.
Best OBD1 Scanners Review
Scroll down to read the detailed review of the 5 Best OBD1 Scanners!!
#1. INNOVA 3123 GM OBD1 Scanner
Why Taking Innova 3123 GM OBD1 Scanner?
You can always put your money on an Innova scanner. They are made with quality in mind, and the Innova 3123 is no different. Designed to work on most GM vehicles, this OBD1 scanner accesses a vehicle’s on-board computer systems and retrieves trouble codes.
More specifically, it covers US-made GM cars and trucks that were made between 1982 and 1995. In terms of functionality, the device reads ECM (engine) and ABS (anti-lock braking system) codes.
If you’re not a mechanic you probably won’t understand what each code means. The good news is that this OBD1 scanner comes with a guidebook that contains definitions of codes.a3. So once the Check Engine Light comes on you can perform a DIY diagnosis.
Simply use this device to retrieve all the problem codes. After that refer to the guide to understand what each code means.
Basically, the information you will get is a report of what’s faulty in your vehicle’s engine. From there you can either fix it yourself or take it to a repair shop.
Obviously that all depends on the nature of the problem. Either way, once the issue is resolved the Check Engine Light will turn off.
Pros and Cons
Who is it built for?
The Innova 3123 GM OBD1 Scanner is ideal for the ordinary car owner who drives a GM model. In addition to being a simple-to-use device, it connects to a vehicle’s onboard systems safely.
You don’t have to worry about harming your vehicle even if you don’t have any diagnostic knowledge. More importantly, it is a handy device for diagnosing the Check Engine Light. We all need such a device for when the light comes on at the most inopportune time.
If you have this scanner with you it will just take a few minutes to retrieve the codes and understand what the problem is. And with dimensions of 10 x 2 x 6 inches, it is compact enough to fit in your vehicle’s compartment.
So the trick is using just enough force when connecting the scanner.
Otherwise, it is an excellent tool for anybody who owns a GM vehicle. As long as you have it you will be able to diagnose your vehicle yourself.
That will save you a lot of time and money that you would have spent going to a repair shop.
#2. Innova 3145 Ford OBD1 Code Reader
Why Taking Innova 3145 OBD1 Ford Code Reader?
Innova 3145 OBD1 scanner works on most Ford vehicles made between 1982 and 1995, including Lincoln and Mercury. While it covers cars and trucks alike, the vehicle in question should not be more than one ton in weight.
The scanner diagnoses Ford’s EEC-IV and MCU systems.
With Innova 3145, you can retrieve engine and transmission trouble codes. It will tell you exactly what problems your vehicle’s engine has. In case the Check Engine Light is on it will switch off the moment you fix the identified problems.
This OBD1 scanner features a built-in memory for storing codes. It will retain them even after you have unplugged it from the vehicle. That’s a handy feature that allows you to revisit the diagnosis data whenever you need to.
A compact and discreet device, the Innova 3145 measures 10 x 2.1 x 6.2 inches and weighs 1.2 pounds. On the front face of the scanner is a 1.5-inch LCD screen that displays numeric trouble codes.
Most other OBD1 scanners usually provide data in form of countable flashes. If you are not a professional mechanic you may find it very hard to interpret that type of data. But with Innova 3145’s numeric codes pretty much anybody can understand them.
Pros and Cons
Who is it built for?
Besides being easy to use, the Innova 3145 provides numeric codes that are very simple to understand even to a layperson. That is why the scanner is perfect for ordinary car owners who drive Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.
With it, you can easily and safely determine what’s wrong with your vehicle’s engine or transmission systems. To make your work easier, Innova includes a user manual that explains everything you need to know in order to use the device.
The manual contains codes and their definitions. It also offers step-by-step guides on how to conduct the KOEO, KOER, cylinder, and relay check tests.
A video about Innova 3145 OBD1 Ford Code Reader:
At times it pays to have a combo – a 2-in-1 scanner that supports both OBD1 and OBD2 diagnostics. Such a scanner would be more beneficial to a home that has two or more vehicles. More so when at least one vehicle is OBD1-compliant and the other OBD2 compliant.
If you’re a mechanic you would also benefit from a 2-in-1 scanner. Rather than having two different scanners – an OBD1 scanner for OBD1 vehicles and an OBD2 scanner for OBD2 vehicles – you can have just one that diagnoses both systems.
And with that in mind, which 2-in-1 OBD scanner is the best?
Below are the top three:
#3. Foxwell NT510 OBD1/OBD2 Engine ABS Transmission SRS SAS Scan Tool
Note: FOXWELL NT510 is a Multi-system Scanner. The version mentioned in this review is for BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce. It can be updated with the compatible software for different makes from the company website.
Why Taking FOXWELL NT510?
Foxwell NT510 has a very impressive coverage. It works on virtually all BMW vehicles, ranging from OBD1 to OBD2 models. As long as your BMW was manufactured at any time between 1987 and this year, it’s almost certain that you can use this scanner to diagnose it.
And just in case you’re wondering, it covers Rolls Royce and Mini models as well. So what functionality features does the Foxwell NT510 bring to the table?
The device also performs a series of advanced functions like battery registration, brake deactivation, control service interval reset, oil light service reset, ABS module activation, throttle body adjustment and so many more.
You can use it to run active test functions. That is because it has the capacity to start the vehicle temporarily and control its systems for active testing.
With regards to data, the scanner records live sensor data, provides live data graphing and displays freeze frame data.
Additionally, you can use it to retrieve ECU information.
One good thing about the Foxwell NT510 OBD2 and OBD1 scanner is that it automatically detects your vehicle’s model.
Upon identification, the scanner will then display all the available systems for you to choose which ones to diagnose.
Pros and Cons
Who is it built for?
Overall, it features a wide compatibility and comprehensive functionality bundled in a well-built device. That makes it comparable to high-end models despite costing a fraction of what actual high-end scanners cost.
If you’re new to OBD scan tools chances are you’ll find the Foxwell NT510 to be a bit too advanced. It may even be beyond what most ordinary car owners need, what with all the advanced functions.
But it is the perfect OBD2 and OBD1 scanner for a professional, especially one who works on BMW vehicle often. Besides codes and live data, the NT510 offers advanced functions like service, actuation, and adaptation.
It practically gives you access to a vehicle’s chassis, train and body systems. That’s almost everything that a professional mechanic needs.
A video about FOXWELL NT510:
#4. Actron CP9690 Automotive Engine, ABS and SRS OBD1/OBD2 Scanner
diagnostics. It also supports scanning of the engine, ABS and SRS systems. That’s almost everything you need from a non-professional scanner.
Why Taking Actron CP9690?
In addition to the OBD2 cable, the Actron CP9690 Scanner comes with OBD1 cables for Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and GM vehicles. But for it to work the vehicle must be a model made between 1984 and 1995.
With regards to OBD2 compatibility, the scanner covers most vehicles manufactured between 1996 and 2013.
As an OBD2 and OBD1 scanner, the CP9690 reads and clears trouble codes for three main systems. The three are the engine, SRS, and ABS. By clearing engine codes it makes it possible to turn off the Check Engine Light.
Fitted on the scanner is a clear LCD screen where diagnostic data is displayed. Apart from viewing live engine data, you can record and playback the data at any time.
And if you don’t fancy analyzing diagnostic information straight from the scanner you can do so via computer. But you’ll need a USB cable (sold separately) which will allow you to connect the CP9690 to a PC.
The total weight of this 2-in-1 scanner is just 3.61 pounds. It measures 10.2 x 13.6 x 5.4 inches. That’s a compact enough size for daily use.
Pros and Cons
Who is it built for?
If you own or drive a Ford, Toyota, Chrysler or GM vehicle then the Actron CP9690 makes an excellent purchase.
Although it can serve a professional mechanic, it is perfect for the ordinary car owner who doesn’t need advanced functions.
With it, you can turn the Check Engine Light off and diagnose SRS and ABS problems.
And you don’t even need to have any professional mechanical knowledge to use it effectively thanks to the CodeConnect tool.
CodeConnect is basically a database of over 25 million verified fixes for DTCs.
In case you don’t understand a problem code or how to fix it you can visit CodeConnect and get definitions as well as recommended fixes.
A video about Actron CP9690:
#5. Innova 3120 Engine Transmission ABS OBD1/OBD2 Scanner
Why Taking Innova 3120?
If you’re a beginner mechanic or DIY enthusiast you will love the Innova 3120 code reader. Made for OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles, this scanner features an impressively wide coverage.
It covers all mainstream OBD2 vehicles sold in the USA (made from 1996 onward). That coverage includes cars, SUVs, and light-duty trucks.
Additionally, the Innova 3120 works on OBD1 vehicles made between 1983 and 1995. But the vehicle in question must have an EEC-IV system; i.e. KOEO or KOER.
As for Toyota and Lexus vehicles, the scanner supports those made between 1991 and 1995. The Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth models supported are those made from 1993 to 1995.
A plug-and-play device, the Innova 3120 OBD1 & 2 Scanner can read and erases engine, transmission, and ABS codes.
It’s a very effective tool for resetting the Check Engine Light. Besides codes, the scanner supports freeze frame data. It refreshes diagnostic data every 30 seconds, which makes it perfect for ongoing repairs.
You can reset MIL, ABS and transmission warning lights in real time. Also, there’s a built-in battery that supports memory backup. It makes it possible to access diagnostic data even when the vehicle is off.
Even so, the device is still compact and portable. It weighs just 2 pounds and measures 2.5 x 15 x 10.5 inches.
Pros and Cons
Who is it built for?
The fact that it is an OBD2 and OBD1 scanner makes the Innova 3120 great for a wide audience. But it is primarily a DIY tool, meaning it is perfect for ordinary car owners and DIY technicians.
From it, you get basic diagnostic functions for the engine, ABS and transmission. That’s a lot less than what a professional technician needs but just enough for ordinary car owners and DIY people.
A video about Innova 3120:
The Bottom Line
There’s no denying that most of the sophisticated scan tools support OBD2 diagnostics only. That, however, doesn’t mean that there are no great OBD1 scanners for your consideration.
If you’re in the market for one you can consider choosing from the five reviewed above. At least one of them will help, as long as your vehicle was made in the period between 1982 and 1995.
Either way, any of the 5 OBD1 scanners will serve you with satisfaction.