8 Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanners 2022 [Comparison & Review]

Are you a home mechanic looking for a professional OBD2 scanner?

Or are you an automotive mechanic/technician finding a professional automotive diagnostic scanner?

If yes, I’ve got you covered!

In this article, I will review the top professional car diagnostic tools on the market in 2022 and show you how to choose the right one.

To make sure you choose the right scan tool for your specific needs and pockets, navigate to the suitable group of products below:

Professional OBD2 Scanners [$150-$500, for Home Mechanics]

Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner [$750-$1,300, for Pros]

Scan Tools with ECU Programming [$2,500-$5,500, for Pros]

Universal OBD2 Scanners [$30-$120, for beginners]


Best Professional Automotive Scan Tools Recommendation

Here come the best choices based on my experiences.

1. If you’re a home mechanic, buy nothing but LAUNCH CRP129E.

3. I highly recommend LAUNCH X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0 to professionals.

3. Those that perform ECU programming frequently should buy LAUNCH X431 PAD V.

2. If you’re learning to do it yourself, testing used cars, or getting to know the insight of the problems before talking to the mechanic, Bluedriver is your best fit.

The comparison chart below consists of 8 professional car diagnostic tools. Each suits an appropriate group of users.

Make sure you choose the right one for your needs and experience level.

Top PicksRecommended UserRatingAction
Editor's Pick
launch crp129e

LAUNCH CRP129E
Home Mechanic9.7/10Check Price

Read review
FOXWELL NT614 Elite

FOXWELL NT614 Elite
Home Mechanic9.5/10Check Price

Read review
Editor's Pick
launch x431 v plus

Launch X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0
- Professional;
- Advanced DIYer
9.7/10Check Price

Read review
autel mp808k

Autel MP808K
- Professional;
- Advanced DIYer
9.4/10Check Price

Read review
Editor's Pick
Autel Maxisys Elite

LAUNCH X431 PAD V
ECU Programming9.8/10Check Price

Read review
Autel Maxisys Ultra

Autel Maxisys Ultra
ECU Programming9.5/10Check Price

Read review
Editor's Pick
Bluedriver

Bluedriver
Beginner9.8/10Check Price

Read review
foxwell nt301

FOXWELL NT301
Beginner9.4/10Check Price

Read review

If you are asking “Which is the best match for me and my budget? Do I really need that $1,000 diagnostic tool – and conversely, will a $100 scanner do what I need?”, read on!!

Your best scan tool depends much on your experiences, your current skill level, and your plan with auto repair.

My advice is “Buy something above your current needs because your skills will get better soon after using a scan tool for a while.”

For example, if you’re a regular home mechanic and don’t do any ECU coding at the moment, your best choice now is definitely the Autel MK808.

But,

I recommend you thinking about a professional scan tool with ECU coding like LAUNCH X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0 because you may need it next year or in a couple of years.

Remember that when you can get something difficult done, you always want to conquer something much more complicated than that.


Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanners 2022

  • Price range: $750-$1,300
  • Recommended user: advanced DIYer and auto mechanic/technician

A professional automotive diagnostic scanner in this price range must have advanced system diagnostics, service reset functions, bidirectional controls, key programming, ECU coding, etc. 

We’ll be looking at the LAUNCH X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0, Autel MP808K, and Autel MS906BT.

These are the top professional car diagnostic tools you can always count on if you’re an experienced DIYer or a shop technician/mechanic. 

First, let’s see which is the winner in the side-by-side comparison chart below!!

Comparison Chart

Editor's Pick
Launch X431 V+
Launch X431 V+ PRO Elite
Check Price
“Autel
Autel MS906BT
Check Price
Autel MP808K
Autel MP808K
Check Price
Customer Rating
4.4
4.7
4.5
Price rangeLaunch X431 V+ priceAutel MS906BT priceAutel MP808K price
OBD2 FunctionsFull OBD2 FunctionsFull OBD2 FunctionsFull OBD2 Functions
System
Diagnostics
All systemsAll systemsAll systems
Advanced
Service
Functions
31+31+30+
Coding/
Programming
Key Coding
ECU Coding
Injector Coding
Key Coding
ECU Coding
Injector Coding
Key Coding
ECU Coding
Injector Coding
Vehicle
Covered
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks,
12V HD trucks,
24V diesel trucks
from 1996 and newer
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks,
12V HD trucks
from 1996 or newer
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks,
12V HD trucks
from 1996 or newer

1. LAUNCH X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0 – Professional Automotive Diagnostics Scanner [Editor’s Pick]

Launch X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0 is a powerful diagnostic tool meant to be used by advanced DIYers and mechanics in repair shops.

It features complete system diagnosis, an array of useful reset services, and bi-directional control – functions that are extremely useful in the shop.

Launch X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0 is built with a 7000 mAh battery and wireless Bluetooth connectivity to give users the comfort and peace of mind they need when using it for extended diagnostics.

Setup with this device is easy. The Launch team will provide your registration ID with an activation code. Once you have those and your serial number, you can set the device up online.

Many mechanics swear by Launch X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0 as the best OBD2 scanner. And its compatibility with over 90% of all vehicles is a big reason for that, apart from its powerful features, of course.

There’s no use buying such a great scanner if it can be damaged easily. Thankfully, Launch X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0 is waterproof, greaseproof, and dustproof to survive heavy-duty work.

Launch X431 V+
LAUNCH X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0 Bi-Directional Scan Tool
4.5
If you want the best professional car diagnostic tool for professionals, buy Launch X431 V+ to enjoy its extended models, advanced diagnostics, programming, and ECU coding functions.

Launch X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0 uses state-of-the-art tech, which is why it costs slightly higher. The manufacturer includes a generous warranty and 2 years of free updates.

Note: After the first two years, updates cost around $400 per year. Before buying an update, send an email to ask the manufacturer what is included in the newest software version. If you’re still happy with what the scan tool offers, my advice is you don’t have to update. Why? The scan tool will still work as usual without updating.

Pros

  • Bi-directional communication allows active testing
  • Supports key programming and ECU coding
  • Fast diagnosis with Auto-Detect
  • Wide range of reset and service functions
  • Compatible with more than 10,000 vehicle models
  • Optional Heavy Truck add-on
  • 2 years free updates included

Cons

  • Some users have difficulty pairing to wireless OBD2 connector

Read more: Launch X431 V+ Vs. X431 V PRO Vs. Launch CRP Touch Pro Elite: Which I shouldn’t buy?


2. Autel MP808K – Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner with 30+ Services

Autel MP808K has over 30 service functions – that’s an impressive amount for such an affordable scanner.

If you’re into changing your car settings and unlocking hidden functions, you can’t go wrong with the Autel MP808K. It performs ECU coding for all supported car brands at a professional level while being easy to understand for enthusiasts.

Another really impressive feature is its support for bi-directional control. You can use this feature to confirm the integrity of your vehicle’s parts easily by activating those parts. The scanner is designed to be fast, easy to operate, and fully featured.

Autel MP808K is compatible with popular car brands like BMW and Ford but also works with less popular brands like Opel and Saab, totally over 80+ brands.

Buying this device means you get access to Autel’s 24/7 customer service and one year of free updates. It is also backed by a 30-days replacement guarantee or a full refund.

Autel MP808K
Autel MaxiPRO MP808K OBD2 Diagnostic Tool
4.6
Autel MP808K is a reliable, professional vehicle diagnostic tool that lets you perform OE-Level diagnostics. It best serves auto enthusiasts, professional auto technicians or mechanics looking for comprehensive service functions and advanced system diagnostics.

Autel MP808K has 23 reset functions, but it can’t service the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). This feature is in demand by most professionals who want to turn off the TPMS light in some vehicles.

Also, you may have to confirm which one of those reset functions works on your vehicle. The same goes for ECU coding.

Apart from that, it perfectly fits the professional scanner category well.

Related post: Autel MP808BT Vs. MP808TS Vs. MP808K: Which Is The Best For Mechanics?


3. Autel MS906BT – Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner With ECU Coding

If you’re searching for a high-quality wireless OBD2 scanner, then you’d definitely want to check out Autel MS906BT. This is an extremely accurate device, even over its wireless Bluetooth connection.

It can transmit data wirelessly over 164 feet, so you can move around the shop during your fix. No need to be stuck by your OBD2 DLC during diagnostics.

It comes with 32 GB of memory storage and a whopping 10000mAh of battery, powering a top-tier Samsung Exynos processor. You also get an 8.0’, 1024 x 768 LED-backlit screen that is simply stunning.

Needless to say, Autel MS906BT is fast and will cut down on your repair time.

But don’t let all these hardware specs distract you from the technical prowess of this device. There are very few scanners that can rival the Autel MS906BT, not even its predecessor.

Autel MS906BT packs a host of reset functions, as well as ECU coding, programming, and bi-directional control.

Autel MS906BT
Autel MaxiSys MS906BT with MV108 Automotive Scan Tool
4.8
Its relative, Autel MS906BT, has more reset functions. If you want an Autel product with more special functions, stable ECU coding, buy the MS906BT.

Autel MS906BT has excellent battery life, but it still needs to be recharged. Recharging, however, isn’t as fast as it could be, but it is manageable.

The other thing to note is that, like the Autel MP808K, it can’t service TPMS. You get free updates for the first year, although they are limited. After that, you’ll need to pay for newer updates. 

Related post: Autel MS906 vs. MS906BT vs. MS906TS: Which Is the Best for Professionals?


Best Professional OBD2 Scanners

  • Price range: $150-$500
  • Recommended user: home mechanic

As a home mechanic, the right professional OBD2 scanner can quickly become a wondrous tool in your hand.

These scanners allow you to read trouble codes, analyze operational data, and arrive at the cause of the vehicle’s problems.

Also, some of them (take Autel MK808 as an example) offer advanced service functions such as:

  • All System Diagnosis
  • Injector Coding
  • EPB
  • BMS
  • SAS
  • TPMS
  • AutoVIN
  • ABS Bleeding

But what are the top professional OBD2 scanners for home mechanics that you can rely on?

We’re going to review and compare LAUNCH CRP129E, FOXWELL NT614 Elite, and AUTEL MaxiCOM MK808. Placing them side by side will help you make the right buying decision in earnest.

First, let’s see which is the winner in the side-by-side comparison chart below!!

Comparison Chart

Launch CRP129E
Launch CRP129E - Editor's Pick
Check Price
Autel MK808
Autel MK808
Check Price
“Foxwell
Foxwell NT614 Elite
Check Price
Customer Rating
4.4
4.6
4.4
Price rangeLaunch CRP129E priceAutel MK808 priceFoxwell NT614 Elite price
OBD2 functionsFull OBD2 FunctionsFull OBD2 FunctionsFull OBD2 Functions
System
diagnostics
Engine, ABS, SRS, TransmissionAll systemsEngine, ABS, SRS, Transmission
Advanced
Service
Functions
Oil Reset
EPB Reset
TPMS Reset
SAS Calibration
Throttle Body Reset
25+EPB Reset
Oil Light Reset
ABS Bleeding--✔️--
Coding/
Programming
--Key Coding
Injector Coding
--
Vehicle
Coverage
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks,
12V HD trucks
from 1996 and newer
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks,
12V HD trucks
from 1996 and newer
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks,
12V HD trucks
from 1996 and newer

Want to read more before buying?

Let’s go to the detailed review of the diagnostic tools!!

1. Launch CRP129E – Professional OBD2 Scanner with TPMS Reset

Launch CRP129E is an excellent tool for professionals and beginners alike. It has a useful touchscreen, which is one of the major differences between Launch CRP129E and Launch CRP129.

This car scanner is powered by a 4000mAh battery to continuously power extended usage in the mechanic shop or your garage.

The Launch CRP129E comes with a comprehensive range of features, which makes it an excellent value for its price. Launch CRP129E connects to your vehicle over a cord and will diagnose your ABS, SAS, EPB, engine, etc. It can also reset TPMS, monitor your battery, and generate health reports for your vehicle.

The device supports both OBD2, JOBD, KOBD, and EOBD vehicles made after 1996, but its advanced features mostly work on vehicles made after 2006.

Unlike many other scanners, the Launch CRP129E works on diesel trucks. You can buy it without any worries as it has a 5-year warranty and supports 9 languages.

Launch CRP123E
LAUNCH CRP129E OBD2 Scan Tool for TCM Eng ABS SRS Code Reader
4.4
The CRP129E is another professional OBD2 scanner for home mechanics that offers a number of service functions and allows the diagnosis of the most important systems in a vehicle: engine, ABS, airbag, and transmission.

Launch CRP129E runs on a battery, which means that you have to keep it charged to use it. This advanced OBD2 scanner can perform multiple features on many car brands, but like many other scanners, it is limited by the features or data your OEM decides to share.

Its many features mean that it costs a bit extra, and you may have to purchase some advanced features separately. 

Pros

  • 4-system diagnosis (engine, transmission, SRS, ABS)
  • Record and graph live data from up to 10 PIDs simultaneously
  • Five reset services, including oil light and TPMS
  • 5″ HD touchscreen is easy to read and navigate
  • Broad compatibility (57+ brands supported)
  • Free lifetime upgrades

Cons

  • Repair functions limited for a professional tool
  • No bi-directional control

Related post: Launch CRP129E Vs. CRP129X Vs. CRP129: Should I get upgraded to the new version?


2. Foxwell NT614 Elite – Professional OBD2 Scanner with EPB/Oil Reset

Foxwell NT614 Elite is on our list of best OBD2 scanners because it is a simple and cost-effective tool that does the job well.

You can do your own smog check conveniently from home, perform oxygen tests and even read ABS code with this scanner. All this is possible on its wide 4.3 “TFT color screen that is protected by a compact carrying case.

 Foxwell NT614 Elite
FOXWELL NT614 Elite OBD2 Scanner
4.4
NT614 Elite may not offer as many functionalities as the other two, but its advanced service functions can prove itself as one of the best professional car diagnostic tools for home mechanics.

Once you plug it into your vehicle, its visually-oriented screen will provide options for checking your vehicle information, performing diagnostics, or changing the device settings.

If you haven’t used a scanner before, its Quick Start Guide will help you navigate the device. If you’ve used a lot of scanners, you find that Foxwell NT614 Elite has some rare features.

One of those features is a microSD card slot for saving data, backing up data, and updating the device. The package includes a reader for the SD card if you want to transfer that data to a computer.

Foxwell NT614 Elite is quite limited when it comes to system diagnostics. It can’t diagnose other vehicle systems apart from the engine, ABS, SRS, and transmission.

Sometimes, reading data can be slow on this device, and it isn’t always compatible with newer models.

Related post: Foxwell NT604 Elite vs. NT614 Elite vs. NT644E: Which suits an experienced home mechanic?


3. Autel MK808 – Professional OBD2 Scanner with 25+ Service Functions

Autel MK808 has a portable, classic design that looks like a tablet. It runs Android OS with blazing fast processors that speed up diagnostics so you can get to fixing the problem quickly.

It has Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can look up code definitions and the best repair pathways online. You’ll enjoy all the features and functions this scanner offers on an impressive 7-inch LCD screen that is a joy to use.

MK808 packs a punch when it comes to advanced diagnostics. Beyond the usual OBD2 system functions, it can access your all vehicle systems and retrieve enhanced codes.

Autel MK808 can also help you keep your car in great condition with numerous advanced service functions. Of these three devices, this is also the only one that does IMMO key coding.

This Autel device is easy to update since it connects directly to the internet. You get access to one year of free updates, after which you can choose to pay for more updates if you want. Otherwise, you can still use all the device features without updating them.

Autel MK808
Autel Scanner MaxiCOM MK808 OBD2 Car Diagnostic Scanner
4.6
Autel MK808 is an ideal scanner for experienced home mechanics or new auto technicians. It has more than 25 service functions, allowing you to do so much more. The fact that it’s a full system diagnostic tool makes a must-have if you want to find out the problems in any system.

Autel MK808 provides free updates for the first 12 months, but you’ll have to pay after that. Also, to avoid compatibility issues with exotic vehicles, we recommend checking the vehicle compatibility before buying it. 

Some people have complained about the information provided on its IMMO function. In short, it can’t add new keys. Also, the wireless connection of this professional OBD2 scanner doesn’t include Bluetooth. 

Pros

  • Full system diagnosis
  • Reset functions including TPMS, DPF, and BMS
  • Quad-core processor for accurate, fast diagnosis
  • Compatible with most vehicles from the US and Europe
  • Easy to navigate 7″ touchscreen
  • Great value for the included features

Cons

  • No programming or re-learning capabilities
  • Doesn’t include active testing

Related post: Autel MK808 Vs. MK808BT Vs. MK808TS: Which Is The Best For Mechanics?


Best Scan Tools with ECU Programming

  • Price range: $2,500-$5,500
  • Recommended user: Professional auto technician/mechanic

The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) controls the major functions of a vehicle. An ECU programming tool allows you to reprogram a car by transferring a ROM file to permanent storage in the ECU. 

As a professional auto technician, choosing the right ECU programming tool can be quite a fix.

Here, we’re going to compare the best ECU programming tools today. We’ll take a look at LAUNCH X431 PAD V, Autel MaxiSys Ultra, and Autel MaxiSys Elite. 

With any of these tools, you can effectively reprogram a car to your customer’s specifications. 

First, let’s see which is the winner in the side-by-side comparison chart below!!

Comparison Chart

Editor's Pick
Launch X431 Pad V
Launch X431 Pad V
Check Price
“Autel
Autel MaxiSys Ultra
Check Price
Autel Maxisys Elite
Autel MaxiSys Elite
Check Price
Customer Rating
4.6
4.8
4.4
Price rangeLaunch X431 Pad V priceAutel MaxiSys Ultra priceAutel MaxiSys Elite price
Advanced
Service
Functions
Full OBD2 FunctionsFull OBD2 FunctionsFull OBD2 Functions
Bi-directional
Controls
All systemsAll systemsAll systems
ECU coding/ programmingKey Coding
ECU Coding
ECU Programming
Key Coding
ECU Coding
ECU Programming
Key Coding
ECU Coding
ECU Programming
Supported
protocols
OBD2 protocols,
D-DPU, J2534,
RP1210, CAN FD
and DOIP
OBD2 protocols,
DOIP, D-PDU,
Mega CAN,
SAE J2534,
& RP1210
All OBD2 Protocols
Vehicle
Coverage
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks,
12V HD trucks
from 1996 and newer
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks,
12V HD trucks
from 1996 and newer
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks,
12V HD trucks
from 1996 and newer

Want to read more before buying?

Let’s go to the detailed review of the diagnostic tools!!

1. Launch X431 PAD V – Professional Automotive Scan Tool with ECU Programming

Launch X431 PAD V is a compelling OBD2 professional automotive diagnostic scanner with state-of-the-art technology and sound design. It is built to be rugged, and it is obvious just from the look of it.

Nonetheless, it was carefully designed to be easy to use despite all its advanced features – of which there are many.

Launch X431 PAD V’s intelligent diagnostic feature will accurately source all your vehicle information. It can program a wide range of car modules and offer the best in OBD2 diagnostics, system diagnostics, advanced maintenance functions, and ECU coding.

Simply put, Launch X431 PAD V is in a league of its own when it comes to professional diagnostic features.

On the outside, Launch X431 PAD V is protected by 10.1-inch Gorilla glass and a protective casing on the back. It also comes with a charging dock, so the device is fully charged whenever you need it.

Launch X431 PAD V
LAUNCH X431 PAD V Automotive Scan Tool
5
Suppose you’re an professional auto technician working in a medium to large auto repair shop and you want a tool to diagnose, code, or program almost any vehicle, you should buy the Launch X431 Pad V. It also comes with 15 OBD1 adapters for that purpose.

Launch X431 Pad V is a high-end device with high-end pricing. For the first year after purchase, you get to download updates for the device for free.

However, you pay for updates in subsequent years. It lacks the Smartlink Remote Diagnosis feature, which allows you to diagnose vehicles remotely without a Launch scanner or other tools on-site. However, it can perform Remote Diagnosis if you have a Launch device on-site. 

Related post: Autel Maxisys Ultra Vs. Elite Vs. Launch X431 PAD V: Comparison and Review


2. Autel MaxiSys Ultra – Car Scan Tools with ECU Programming

Autel MaxiSys Ultra runs on Android 7.0, is powered by an octa-core processor with 256GB of RAM, and uses a 13-inch touchscreen display.

The tool also had split-screen navigation to run multiple apps at the same time. It is one of the best professional automotive scanners, not just for gasoline vehicles but also for EV vehicles.

Autel MaxiSys Ultra has one of our highest ratings when it comes to diagnostic features because it delivers.

ECU coding, bi-directional controls, service functions, name it, this scanner is a beast of a device to own. It supports 99% of most manufactured vehicles, making it appropriate for big and small auto shops and even dealer shops.

That doesn’t mean car enthusiasts can’t enjoy Autel MaxiSys Ultra’s juicy feature collection. If you’re fairly familiar with scan tools, you can use this one just as easily.

Even if you aren’t, the scanner is equipped with enough instructions to get you started.

Autel MaxiSys Ultra
Autel MaxiSys MSUltra Automotive Diagnostic Scanner with 36+ Service Functions
4.5
We recommend the Autel MaxiSys MSUltra to professional mechanics who want OE-level functionality and advanced ECU programming in solid scanner hardware and don’t mind paying extra for more.

Autel MaxiSys Ultra is an IP-limited version, which means it won’t work in Europe. Some other Autel products have this limitation so you should check that it isn’t before buying it.

Autel’s customer service can be better, but they always respond to emails.


3. Autel MaxiSys Elite – Auto Scan Tool with ECU Programming [Editor’s Pick]

Autel MaxiSys Elite can become your personal mechanic as it can diagnose both common and advanced issues in your vehicle.

You’ll find it in many auto shops as well, where its advanced functions are put to the most use. One of those functions is the much-desired ECU programming.

Autel MaxiSys Elite programs use an interface that is compliant with SAE J2534-1 and -2.

You can use also use it to access injector controls through injector programming.

If you want, you can use the IMMO feature to secure your vehicle so that it doesn’t start unless there’s a key in it. It even extends support to some OBD1 vehicles as well, which is a great feature for mechanics who might deal with older models.

Autel MaxiSys Elite weighs 2,2 lbs. and comes with 2 years of free updates when you buy. It is perfect for car professionals and enthusiasts who want a scanner they can rely on for most repair functions.

Autel MaxiSys Elite
Autel Maxisys Elite Scan Tool J2534 ECU Programming
4.4
If you’re trying to save some bucks but still want an effective ECU programming tool with support for multiple advanced service functions, buy the Autel MaxiSys Elite.

Autel MaxiSys Elite’s first drawback is that it doesn’t support ECM reprogramming for GM vehicles, although it fully supports ECU coding.

The touchscreen can sometimes be too sensitive when using the device, so it takes some getting used to. Renewals are also pricey after the first year, although that isn’t uncommon for scan tools in this category. 

Pros

  • ECU programming for BMW and Mercedes
  • Easy to use touchscreen interface
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Wide vehicle compatibility
  • Efficient diagnosis of complex vehicle issues
  • Allows performance enhancement and ECU customization
  • Includes 36+ service functions

Cons

  • Higher price point
  • $1,200 Autel subscription required to update after first 2 years


Best Universal OBD2 Car Code Readers

Price range: $30-$120

Recommended user: beginner

Are you new to diagnosing car problems on your own?

With universal OBD2 scanners, you can easily carry out checks on your vehicle’s key components.

These tools allow you to perform diagnostics on multiple vehicle brands, unlike OBD1 scanners which are usually manufacturer-specified.

Bluedriver, FOXWELL NT301, and ANCEL AD310 are the best OBD2 scanners for beginners on the market. We’ll take a look at these scanners, comparing their features and functions. 

First, let’s see which is the winner in the side-by-side comparison chart below!!

Best Universal OBD2 Code Readers Comparison Chart

BlueDriver
BlueDriver - Editor's Pick
Check Price
Foxwell Nt301
Foxwell NT301
Check Price
“Ancel
Ancel AD310
Check Price
Customer Rating
4.7
4.5
4.6
Price rangeBlueDriver priceFoxwell NT301 priceAncel AD310 price
ConnectionBluetoothCableCable
OBD2 functionsFullFullFull
Enhanced codes
(ABS, Airbag, Transmission)
YesNoNo
System
diagnostics
Full SystemEngine SystemEngine System
Reset
Functions
CEL ResetCEL ResetCEL Reset
Vehicle
Covered
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks
from 1996 and newer
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks
from 1996 and newer
Cars, SUVs,
light trucks
from 1996 and newer

Want to read more before buying?

Let’s go to the detailed review of the scan tools!!

1. BlueDriver Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool [Editor’s Pick]

If you’ve ever needed to clear your Check Engine Light, BlueDriver would have been the perfect diagnostic device for that.

Beyond that, it also has some professional features for enhanced diagnostics that many users love. It can access your car system and read codes that make your repair easier and cheaper.

However, the best part of BlueDriver is its confirmed fixes. BlueDriver has a database of over 30 million fixes from millions of vehicles worldwide.

Based on your particular repair, the device can recommend a plan for fixing your car. The repair database isn’t only based on real-world experiences; they’ve been vetted by experts for accuracy.

A device like this can mean that you stay away from the mechanic’s shop for a long time. It has extensive vehicle coverage and free lifetime updates on both Android and iOS devices.

Updates also come with more vehicle coverage, so you can use BlueDriver on newer vehicles.

BlueDriver
BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android
4.7
Beginners and enthusiasts who want professional-level system diagnosis and enhanced code reading should go for the BlueDriver.

BlueDriver doesn’t support Windows phones. If you want to use another mobile app, you might have to jump through some hoops to get it to work properly.

Although it doesn’t occur all the time, the Bluetooth connection can sometimes drop or slow down. Lastly, adding advanced features like fob reprogramming and ECU coding would make this scanner perfect, although those are only for experts. 

Pros

  • Allows continuous monitoring
  • Easy to install and use
  • Works with both Android and Apple devices
  • Repair Reports function provides verified fixes from certified mechanics
  • Customizable dashboard
  • Free and automatic updates

Cons

  • Enhanced codes only available on select vehicle models
  • No service or programming features

Related post: Never Buy BlueDriver Before Reading This Review


2. Foxwell NT301 Full OBD2 Scanner

Foxwell NT301 is very popular because it is one of the best OBD2 scanners you can buy right now.

It is great at performing diagnostics on engine systems in any OBD2-equipped vehicle. NT301 is designed to be easy to use, no matter what diagnostics you’re performing.

Foxwell NT301 charges once you plug it into the 16-pin OBD2 DLC. This way, you don’t have to bother about buying batteries repeatedly.

It also has LEDs that tell you about your car emission test readiness, so you’re always prepared. At only 8.7 x 3.1 x 6.7 inches, NT301 is a portable device that will fit into any toolbox where you can store it when not in use.

It comes with a one-year warranty, so you can use it for car repairs without worrying about repairing the device itself. For the first year, Foxwell provides free updates for the scanner. Car enthusiasts and drivers will appreciate a device like this in their garage.

foxwell nt301
FOXWELL NT301 Full OBD2 Scanner
4.5
Foxwell NT301 lets you read DTCs and perform other OBD2 diagnostic functions, making it perfect for beginners who want essential OBD2 functions and some engine diagnosis.

For a beginner scanner, Foxwell NT301 should use a better and clearer instruction manual. Even its menu can get complicated at times.

Aside from that, the only thing I don’t like is its protective casing, of which there is none, save some rubber protection around the edges.

Related post: MOTOPOWER MP69033 vs. Foxwell NT201 vs. NT301: Which is the best for car owners?


3. ANCEL AD310 Cheap OBD2 Code Reader

ANCEL AD310 is an excellent device for checking the cause of your illuminated CEL dashboard lights.

It also performs other OBD2 functions like retrieving vehicle information, checking I/M readiness, and reading freeze frame data. Non-English-speaking users will also find that it supports different languages, including Spanish, German, French, etc.

It has a great list of code definitions to help you understand the code it reads from your vehicle. Speaking of codes, it reads both specific and generic codes.

You won’t need a battery to use it since it draws power from the vehicle when plugged in. Its 2.5ft cable is longer than you’ll get in most OBD2 scanners, so you can conduct your diagnostics comfortably.

Using the ANCEL A310 in the dark isn’t a bother either, as it has a backlit screen with adjustable contrast. The menu is simple, and its four navigation buttons are enough to expertly explore all that this device has to offer.

ancel ad310
ANCEL AD310 Cheap OBD2 Code Reader
4.6
ANCEL AD310 is an excellent tool for fixing ‘Check Engine Light’ problems. Its compact size, reliability, and ease of use make it easy to recommend car diagnostic beginners who only want basic functions.

ANCEL AD310 is generally suitable for only absolute beginners since it largely has only basic functions. It also lacks the feature to scan some codes like the ABS system, stability, and airbag.

It doesn’t support some Nissan and other brand models, so it may be best to contact the manufacturer before buying. Although the manual doesn’t mention it, it can connect to your computer, but it doesn’t come with the required yet outdated Mini-B USB cord.

Related post: FOXWELL NT301 vs. ANCEL AD530 vs. AD310: Which Is the Best?


Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Software

Nowadays, technology has made it easier to diagnose what’s wrong with our vehicles.

With professional diagnostic software, you can troubleshoot issues with your vehicles, clear ‘Check Engine Light,’ and improve their performance.

Some auto diagnostic software products are compatible with all PC-based or mobile-based scan tools. Others only work with specific adapters.

TOAD Pro, OBDWiz, and AutoEnginuity are some of the best automotive diagnostic software for professional mechanics. While they all boast exciting features, there are some differences you might want to know before getting one. 

First, let’s see which is the winner in the side-by-side comparison chart below!!

Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Software Comparison Chart

TOAD Pro - Editor's PickOBDWizAutoEnginuity
Operating systemsWindows® XP / Vista / Windows® 7 / 8.0 / 8.1/ 10 operating system (32 and 64 Bit)Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10Windows® XP / Vista / Windows® 7 / 8.0 / 8.1/ 10 operating system (32 and 64 Bit)
Price range$79-$119Free (when you purchase any qualifying OBDLink scan tool)$249.95 (together with AutoEnginuity scan tool)
OBD2 functions10/10*
10/1010/10
System diagnostics5/103/109/10
Advanced service functions3/106/10N/A
Coding/ Programming8/107/10N/A
Vehicle Coverage8/108/108/10
Best matched adaptertoad
TOAD Pro - Editor's Pick
Check Price
obdlink mx+
OBDLink MX+
Check Price
obdlink lx
OBDLink LX
Check Price

*Notes: Excellent: 9-10; Good: 7-8; Fair: 5-6; Poor: 3-4; Very poor: 1-2

Want to read more before buying?

Let’s go to the detailed review of the software!!

1. TOAD Pro – Professional Automotive Diagnostic Software

The graphical interface is a key consideration when it comes to diagnostic software, and this is one of the reasons Toad Pro is so great.

It also has useful features like optimal parameters that show you when parts like the battery voltage of your vehicles have exceeded or do not meet the right range of parameters.

Toad Pro is an ELM327 device with full OBD features, system diagnostics, some service functions, and good coding capabilities.

However, I should mention that Toad Pro requires some familiarity with diagnostic software to get the best out of it. If you’re new to it though, you can follow the step-by-step instructions in the app, or you can contact customer support for assistance.

It works on almost all available vehicle models as long as it supports OBD2. You can install Toad Pro on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. If you have a tablet like the Surface Pro, you can use it on that as well.

Toad Pro

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TOAD Pro doesn’t work with other OS apart from Windows, including Android, iOS, Linux, or macOS. Also, the connected adapter has to be an ELM327 adapter for it to work.

To make a connection, you can use a USB cord or wireless setup. But the USB cord that comes with it is quite short, so you might have to use wireless more often.

Related post: TOAD Pro: Perfect OBD2 Programming Software For Laptop

2. OBDWiz – Professional OBD2 Software

Made by OBDLink, OBDWiz is a great product to help you access repair data from your vehicle’s computer. It displays real-time data as you prefer it, whether text or graphs.

You can also use it to access your VIN and calibration ID. It is also one of the best diagnostic software to monitor your engine’s fuel economy.

Its data collection extends to over 90 sensors, and all that data can be recorded, played back, and saved to be viewed on other software like MS Excel.

It is indeed a great tool for maintaining your car’s health while saving yourself steep repair costs and dealing with mechanics constantly.

Apart from those functions, OBDWiz also has several reset functions as well as good coding and programming functions. OBDWiz isn’t free, though, but you get it for free when you buy a qualifying adapter from OBDLink such as OBDLink MX+ and OBDLink LX.

Finally, the software is easy to install and use, and you get free updates from OBDLink.

OBDWiz has limited system diagnosis functionalities. It can only read codes from the engine system; it doesn’t support the diagnosis of other vehicle systems like ABS, transmission, TPMS, etc.

OBDWiz also has limited advanced maintenance options. Although it can be great for tuning your car, it can’t program your ECU. It also only works with Windows.

3. AutoEnginuity – Professional OBD2 Software

AutoEnginuity can be purchased with its proprietary scanner at an affordable price. With the two, you can begin to keep track of your vehicle’s OBD2 system and other vehicle components in other systems.

I’d say that the AutoEnginuity package offers one of the best values in a software plus scan tool combo.

You can pull DTCs, display decoded mode, and record live data, all from the application. If you ever run into a problem while using it, you can email customer support; they are known for their swift and helpful responses.

First-time connections can sometimes be slow, but the amount of data and codes it retrieves on the first scan makes it all worth it. Small shop owners and even car owners are bound to enjoy using the software to improve their repairs.

AutoEnginuity can extend coverage for some diesel-engine cars if you pay for a special support package. Generally, software updates are free for a year.

The best OBD2 adapter for Autoeniunity is OBDLink LX.

AutoEnginuity can be difficult to use for beginners, and its help section isn’t so great. 

On features, it can perform all OBD2 tests and scan multiple systems, but it doesn’t have any maintenance/reset functions, not even CEL. Besides that, it can’t code or program an ECU.

TOAD Pro | OBDWiz | AutoEnginuity


Final thoughts

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast, home mechanic, or professional automotive technician, there’s a scan tool built just for you. 

These vehicle scanners are essential for reading and clearing diagnostic trouble codes and other advanced diagnostics on your vehicle.

Choosing the right scanner can be problematic, especially when you’re not sure which one fits your skill level, and that’s why we put together this guide. 

Below, you’ll find a brief recap of the scanners we’ve handpicked for the very varied needs of pros and beginners car repairers:

Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner: Launch X431 V+ PRO Elite 4.0

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Best Professional OBD2 Scanner: Autel MK808

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Best Universal OBD2 Scanners: BlueDriver

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Best ECU Programming Tool: Launch X431 PAD V

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Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Software [for pros]: TOAD Pro

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So, go get the OBD2 scanner that fits your needs and start diagnosing car problems without stress. 

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5 thoughts on “8 Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanners 2022 [Comparison & Review]”

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