As a professional technician, you must know how important the customers’ satisfaction is and that your auto repair shop cannot provide good services to your valuable customers without a reliable professional automotive diagnostic tool. Such a good tool can not only perform accurate diagnosis but also offer any special advanced service functions for a wide range of vehicles.
The most popular services that these automotive scanners can do are oil reset, DPF regeneration, SAS calibration, battery registration, ABS bleeding, bi-directional control, and even injector coding, key coding, or ECU programming, just to name a few.
We’ve spent hundreds of hours using and testing tens of professional automotive scan tools on the US market and picked out the most reliable ones for auto repair shops in 2020.
What is the best to buy?
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 3 Picks of Car Diagnostic Tools 2020
- 2 Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner
- 2.1 1. Autel MK908P WiFi OBD2 Scan Tool with J2534 ECU Programming
- 2.2 2. Autel MS906BT Professional Car Diagnostic Tool
- 2.3 3. Launch X431 V+ Full-System Automotive Scanner with ECU Coding
- 2.4 4. Autel DS808 OBD2 Scanner with ECU Coding
- 2.5 5. Autel DS808K Professional OBD2 Scanner with Key Coding
- 2.6 6. Launch X431 PRO Mini Professional Car Diagnostic Tool
- 2.7 7. Autel MK808 Automotive Scan Tool with All System Diagnosis
- 2.8 8. Launch CRP129X ENG AT Airbag ABS Code Reader
- 2.9 9. BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scanner
- 3 Recommendation
Top 3 Picks of Car Diagnostic Tools 2020
We all have different needs, budgets, and vehicles to work on every day because we have different customers and shop size. It’s important to choose a scanner that offers the most values for your business.
Best Overall: Launch X431 V+
Best Budget Buy: Bluedriver
Runner Up: Autel MK808
Bonus: If you are just looking for an OBD2 scan tool for your own car, read my Review of the Top 10 Reliable but Affordable OBD2 Scanners for Car Owners 2020 HERE
Let’s jump now!
The Top 3 Comparison
Find below the comparison chart of the top 3 professional automotive scanners:
|Best Affordable for Beginner Technicians||Perfect for Big Shops||Excellent for Medium Shops|
Launch X431 V+
4.6 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.4 / 5
|Item Weight||2.08oz||13.23lbs||1.1 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||2.2" x 1.9" x 1"||13.8" x 5.9" x 9.8"||9.45" x 1.38" x 5.91"|
|Full OBDII Functions||✔||✔||✔|
|Read & Clear All Codes||✔||✔||✔|
|Engine Diagnosis, MIL Reset||✔||✔||✔|
|O2 Sensor; Live Data||✔||✔||✔|
|Freeze Frame Data||✔||✔||✔|
|Onboard Monitoring Test||✔||✔||✔|
|ABS, SRS, Transmission Diagnosis & Data Stream||✔||✔||✔|
|Full-System Diagnosis||5 systems||✔||✔|
|Throttle Position Reset||--||✔||✔|
|IMMO/Key Fob Coding||--||✔||✔|
Check below the detailed reviews of the best automotive diagnostic tools in the market today.
Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner
1. Autel MK908P WiFi OBD2 Scan Tool with J2534 ECU Programming
J2534 Programming for Benz and BMW ECUs
Autel MaxiCOM MK908P can effectively reflash the control modules of your vehicles. As a result, you will be able to reflash and update your vehicle’s onboard computer software. Subsequently, you can choose to reprogram specific adaptive data for some components. This is particularly important after replacing some parts or after performing repairs. This diagnostic scanner also allows you to download new software. It can help you accurately reprogram the software to match your ECU system.
Stepwise Advanced Diagnosis
With on-screen diagnostic instructions, it also provides stepwise instructions. These instructions will guide you on what to do next. In addition, this Autel diagnostic tool allows you to perform oil reset and SAS calibration, TPMS programming and ABS/SRS functions. You can also perform anti-theft matching, reset procedures, DPF regeneration and turn off check engine lights. Therefore, Autel MK908P offers an all-in-one diagnostic solution for your car.
Instant Remote Support
Autel MK908P has three support platforms. Firstly, data logging is the platform that allows you to get repair and diagnostic services directly from the manufacturer. The second platform is the FAQ database that allows you to browse through questions. You also can check their answers. Finally, the last support platform is the training channels. This platform is designed to play videos stored within the scan tool.
You will notice that it is compatible with 80 US, EU, and Asian vehicles. It also can diagnose both OBDI and OBD2 vehicles.
- Has excellent support services
- Make a fast diagnosis
- Has stepwise on-screen instructions.
- Large colored screen
- Has a digital camera and flashlights.
- It also has an oscilloscope for deeper analysis.
- Additional cost on updates after 12 months
- It is not WiTech 2.0 capable
- Sometimes loses communication with VW and Audio.
- May gets slow when you connected to the Internet
If you’re a professional auto technician and need to perform ECU flash programming on vehicles, Autel MK908P is a powerful tool for the task.Check Price at Amazon
2. Autel MS906BT Professional Car Diagnostic Tool
This scanning product is the recent addition to the MaxiSys line of wireless diagnostic devices. This scanner is superior to Autel Maxisys MS906 as it has some functions which MS906 does not have. For example, Autel MS906BT:
- Can support oscilloscope
- Has an in-built digital camera for inspecting
- Supports ultra-long distance blue-tooth transmission
- Comes with an added USB port and HDMI port
- Is more compact in size
In addition to a powerful processor, it has an 8-inch HD touchscreen and strong wireless communication. The professional tool is based on the Android operating system featured with the best possible coverage of OE-level diagnostics. It also supports ECU coding capability and works as a professional key programmer. You will be completely overwhelmed due to the fact that it is so extensive. It can offer complete system coverage for more than 80 US domestic, Asian and European makes and models.
- 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
- It needs a long time to be recharged.
With advanced functions, Autel MS906BT is excellent for professional technicians. So, if you want a professional scanning tool to help you at your shop, this is the one.Check Price at Amazon
3. Launch X431 V+ Full-System Automotive Scanner with ECU Coding
Launch X431 V Plus offers ECU coding and works as an excellent key programmer. With this feature, you can control the engine functions by using input sensors. In addition, it offers 20 advanced service functions, full system diagnosis, and various diagnostic tests.
Some of the special service functions are:
- Oil Reset Service
- Steering Angle Calibration
- Electronic Parking Brake Reset
- Battery Register
- Battery Maintenance
- ABS Bleeding
- Electronic Throttle Position Reset / Learn
- Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Regeneration
- Tire Pressure Monitor System Reset
- Tooth Learning
- Anti-theft Matching / Key Programming
The automotive diagnostic scan tool runs on the Android 5.1 system with Bluetooth connectivity for your convenient mobility and operates with a 7000 mAh battery that lasts 6-7 hours. It also has a 5mp camera. The box of Launch X431 V Plus contains 1 tablet, 1 Bluetooth OBDII Connector Power Cable (Lighter), 1 Bluetooth OBDII Connector Power Cable (Battery), 1 User Manual, 1 DBScar II Bluetooth OBDII Connector, 1 OBDII Extension Cable, 14 OBDII Connection Adapters, 6 Non-OBD II Connection Adapters, 1 Power Cable.
This professional car diagnostic tool supports over 68 car brands and more than 220 vehicles (US, Europe, and Asian). However, the downside is that this engine diagnostic scanner is a bit complicated for beginners due to handling too many advanced car functionalities. Also, it is not a budget-friendly product.
- Anti-theft matching.
- Active Test (test car components quickly and shows results).
- Built-in camera to record videos and send them to the tech team to get support.
- Grease and water-resistant.
- 10.1-inch screen, 16GB memory, and 1.4 GHz processor.
- Free updates from WiFi but for 2 years only.
If you are a professional automotive technician who wants to take full control of advanced car functions, Launch X431 V Plus is right here for you because it offers solutions to the most complex problems in a simple way (even key programming).Check Price at Amazon
4. Autel DS808 OBD2 Scanner with ECU Coding
Autel MaxiDAS DS808 is considered to be the best automotive scanner for many reasons. You can identify complex problems, perform advanced tests, and even receive ECU information on this device. Furthermore, this one lets you perform active tests, retrieve information from the ECU, perform matching/adaptation, offers bi-directional control, ABS, SRS, SAS, DPF, EPB, TPMS, key coding, and oil reset. As operating on a cloud-based management system, it allows you to input, store, arrange, and view scanner data, codes, and reports. Also, it lets you update via WiFi. This automotive scanner can run for at least 4.5 hours on a full battery.
This scan tool supports more than 80 US, Asian, and European car models (1996 and newer).
- Supports BMW battery (Resetting as well).
- 1-year warranty and free lifetime updates.
- Auto VIN technology.
- Works with diesel models, too.
- Stores diagnostic history.
- Doesn’t have a complete OBDI adapter (buy separately).
- Key coding doesn’t work in some models such as 2012 Ford Edge.
- No Bluetooth connectivity.
If you are working at a medium shop, buy Autel MaxiDAS DS808 to solve both simple and complex issues.Check Price at Amazon
5. Autel DS808K Professional OBD2 Scanner with Key Coding
Autel MaxiDAS DS808K is a full-system and full-service automotive diagnostic scanner. It offers a vast variety of functions any auto technician would expect. Moreover, it can perform all OBDII test modes. Below are the service functions of this key programmer:
- Calibrate weight sensor
- Perform active tests
- Relearn crankshaft position
- Reset window
- Cycle the ABS system to evacuate air
- Reset/ relearn the idle TPS system
- Adjust idle/ Relearn idle
- Bleed ABS pump/ ABS bleeding brake
- Reset transmission CVIs
- Retrieve ECU information
- Bi-directional control ability
- Key programming
- Injector coding
- Power-balance test
- Leak-down test
With a Cloud-based management system, you can arrange, store and view scanner data, codes, and reports. Another good point is that this key programmer supports WiFi and printing tasks. The battery of DS808K is 3200 mAh which provides 4.5 hours of constant use.
You will be impressed by the suitcase that contains the diagnostic tool, main cable, USB cable with charging adapter, user manual and 11 OBD2 connectors for different brands. The plus point is it supports more than 80 US, Asian and European car models and also supports other electronic systems.
- Auto VIN technology.
- 1-year warranty and free lifetime updates.
- 5.1 Android system.
- 1.5 GHz processor and 32 GB memory
- Autel technical support available.
- ECU Coding feature might not work in a few models.
Autel DS808K is for professionals and technicians who want to perform many functions and services on a wide range of vehicles. Moreover, this automotive diagnostic tool can be of great help thanks to the technical support offered by the company.Check Price at Amazon
6. Launch X431 PRO Mini Professional Car Diagnostic Tool
Launch X431 PRO MINI provides a complete solution for automotive diagnosis. With this Android system tool, you can do a lot of tasks such as throttle positioning, tire pressure monitoring, resetting parking brakes, oil reset, steering wheel calibration, purge control, injector reset, SRS steering, fuel pump testing, and ABS bleeding. Other than that, it can offer DPF regeneration, IMMO, Auto Scan, Manual Scan, Data Logging, Battery Reset, Throttle Positioning, Oil Reset, and ABS Bleeding. More importantly, this Launch code scanner can cover all the electronic systems and perform full-OBD2 functions.
Not many scanners come with a camera. This one has two. The front one is a 2mp camera while the rear is a 5mp camera. Moreover, it supports USB 2.0 and there’s also a 3.5mm audio port for headphones. Also, the device can be connected via Bluetooth. Especially, the battery runs for 8 hours straight even though the operating system in the device is Android which is known to consume a lot of battery. This handheld scanner triggers an alarm if you leave the Bluetooth open. Its price might be a bit high but it’s worth it.
The Launch tool covers around 108 US, Asian, and European vehicles. It contains 14 connectors to connect the device with EU and Asian car models.
- Free updates for 2 years.
- Has an alarm feature and a camera.
- Offers advanced functionalities.
- Allows internet connectivity through WiFi.
- Does not support some car models.
If you are a shop owner, buy DS808K. This scanner offers a wide variety of advanced features that will help you provide great service to your customers.Check Price at Amazon
7. Autel MK808 Automotive Scan Tool with All System Diagnosis
Autel MaxiCOM MK808 performs most advanced functions a technician need from a professional automotive scanner including BMS, EPB, SAS, ABS, TPMS, Key Programming, DPF, and Oil Reset. The option of using a WiFi connection to download updates and transfer data eliminates the need to get an SD card or attach a cable. Also, you can do SRS test, fuel system diagnosis, emission tests, ABS light test, light systems, and all common OBD2 scanner functions.
This model has a built-in Android system (KitKat) and can work well on most 1996 and newer US-based and 2000 and newer EU based OBD2 supported vehicles. The downside of this Autel version is that it doesn’t offer ECU programming and coding.
- 1-year warranty.
- A9 processor runs and processes tests quickly.
- Technology support from Autel tech team.
- Easy to use. Plug the tablet into the OBD2 connector to use.
- Comes with a charger.
- Doesn’t support ECU programming.
- TPMS doesn’t work on Toyota Highlander, 2009 Jetta, and some other models.
- IMMO function doesn’t work on Benz.
Autel MK808 is ideal for professionals who want to perform advanced functions such as DPF, IMMO, ABS, SRS, TPMS reset, etc. Buy it if you have a shop.Check Price at Amazon
8. Launch CRP129X ENG AT Airbag ABS Code Reader
Launch CRP129X is perfect for enthusiasts, home technicians, and small shops because of its reliability. It offers 5 Special Reset functions like the TPMS Reset, Throttle Position Reset, SAS Calibration, EPB reset, and Oil Reset. Steering Angle Sensor Test is an outstanding feature that the CRP129X offers. This professional auto tool erases previous information on steering sensors when you install a new one to avoid problems. Other than that, the automotive scanner tells you why your engine, transmission, ABS, and airbag lights are on and how to fix such issues.
The device can also perform 10 OBDII test modes, which means that you can do minor tests and fix the issues. These include reading and erasing DTC codes, oxygen sensor test, carbon canister test, live data, etc. It not only supports over 63 OBDII-compliant US-based vehicles but also works on 2000 and newer European vehicles. About the design, Launch CRP129X has a 5” LCD Touch Screen display and is often used by many technicians for its speedy results.
This product is designed for semi-professionals or home technicians to perform a few advanced car diagnostic tests. Furthermore, it is also very affordable, which is why many consider as one of the best automotive scan tools.
- SD card slot to save codes.
- Graphical data stream.
- Very fast processing.
- 1-year warranty.
- Easy to update.
- The driver is needed to use it on a computer.
- It doesn’t support MAC.
- Not for older BENZ and BMW (2002 and newer only).
If you are DIYs, car enthusiasts or small shop owners who want a tool with some advanced diagnostic functions, consider buying the CRP129X.Check Price at Amazon
9. BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scanner
Bluedriver is one of the best Bluetooth adapters that can not only diagnose, read and clear DTCs but also help to perform OBDII tests including doing a component test, heated catalyst test, A/C refrigerant, evaporative system, ABS, misfire counts, etc. Another impressive feature is the Mode 6 of BlueDriver lets you test various sensors and access information in real-time. Besides, this scanning tool can read transmission and SRS codes, conduct fuel system test and check I/M readiness.
When it comes to providing fixes for problems, this OBDII Scanner is exceptional. Its DTC library contains more than 30 million repair fixes out of which 6.6 million are verified.
This tool works with vehicles made in 1996 and after (North America), 2001 and newer (gas) and 2004 and newer (diesel) European cars. It supports all major protocols:
- SAE J1850 PWM,
- ISO 9141-2,
- ISO 1430-4 KWP,
- SAE J1850 VPW,
- and ISO 15765-4 CAN.
The Bluedriver app is free and works well on both iOS and Android.
- Flashlight to use it in the dark.
- Copy or share the data with a professional to get help.
- Pull live accurate data (engine oil temp, pressure, fuel usage, etc.)
- It doesn’t run on battery.
- Free App.
- It won’t work without a phone.
- Doesn’t support advanced features such as oil reset.
Bluedriver is used by tens of thousands of DIY and car enthusiasts in North America because of its various functions, reliability, and affordable priceCheck Price at Amazon
Haven’t you got what you want?
Take Bluedriver if you need an excellent OBD2 scanner with the professional performance for cars.
If you’re a home technician, Launch CRP129X is a reliable companion built for you.
Launch X431 V+ is a perfect choice for professional technicians/mechanics.