10 Top Rated Car Diagnostic Tools Review 2018

You need the best car diagnostic tool to ensure your vehicle keeps running and you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money on trips to the mechanic.

There are three major types of car diagnostic scanners available on the market. They go by many names such as OBD2 code readers, OBD2 scanners, and automotive diagnostic tools.

In fact, either car owners or professionals can use a car diagnostic tool to make their life easier. These tools help diagnose and solve car-related problems.

But, what is the best diagnostic tool to buy? You will find the right one for you in this review.

Top Rated Car Diagnostic Tools Review

We researched and tested different products on the market to pick the best car diagnostic tool for you. Let’s check the reviews:

1


Autel AutoLink AL519
Autel AL519 AutoLink Enhanced OBD ll Scan Tool with Mode 6 Fault Code Reader EOBD
(4.3 / 5)
The Autel AL519 AutoLink Enhanced OBD ll Scanner is an excellent buy to help cut on mechanic costs by almost half.

Autel Autolink AL519 is a hand-held diagnostic tool for cars that offers many functionalities and is a good for DIYers. With this Autel scan tool, you can perform component tests, O2 sensor tests etc.

Why Choose Autel Al519 auto diagnostic tool?

Autel AL519 offers reading and clearing codes, live data, I/M status, o2 monitor test, component test, displays vehicle information, freeze frame data, on-board monitor test, and module information.

Autel AL519 is an OBDII/EOBD Scanner that support all of OBD II functions
Autel AL519 makes the diagnosis easier with full of OBD II Diagnostics.
Credit: Amazon.com
Autel AL519 is one of the best OBD II scan tool that an excellent buy to help cut on mechanic costs by almost half.
Autel AL519 features the unique patented One-Click I/M Readiness Key
Credit: Amazon.com

This automobile diagnostic tool displays code along with the definition of the cause. This eliminates the need to Google the problem. Hence your time is saved, making it the best car diagnostic tool.

Compatibility

It supports almost all 1996 and newer vehicles (OBDII & CAN) vehicles.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 6 feet cord.
  • No lagging or freezing.
  • Shows real-time graph data.
  • Takes only 10 seconds to boot.

Cons

  • The rubber casing may make it difficult to connect the device.
  • Notifications stay for 3 seconds only.
  • Registration can be an issue/Doesn’t update.

Who Is It Built For?

This Autel scan tool is good for car owners who want their obd2 readers to perform quickly. It’s the best car diagnostic tool due to the ease it offers.

2


BlueDriver
BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android
(4.4 / 5)
The BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool does everything you’d expect an OBD-II scanner to do.

Bluedriver is another great DIY obd2 reader that lets you perform basic functions. You can connect the device to your phone for ease of use and enjoy what this best car diagnostic tool has to offer.

Why Choose BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional?

Not many code readers come with a database containing information on 30 million fixes but this one. It will help you diagnose a plethora of problems in a few minutes only.

Bluedriver can perform many tests such as Airbag, ABS, Misfire Counts, Fuel System Test, and Comprehensive Components Test.

You can customize the dashboard with RPMs, speed, fuel pressure, etc.

BlueDriver is a professional OBD2 Diagnostic Scan Tool trusted by mechanics and developed by Professional Engineers in North America
BlueDriver is a powerful Bluetooth car diagnostic tool that is easy-to-use.
Credit: Amazon.com
BlueDriver is one of the best OBD II scan tool which match your vehicle's make, model, year and trouble code to a specific fix from a database of over 30 million fixes
The BlueDriver app is available for iOS and Android.
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

This Bluetooth car diagnostic tool supports all 1996 and newer GM, BMW, Honda, Ford, Volkswagen, Chrysler and Nissan models sold in North America. The software runs on both iOS and Android devices and is also free to download.

Bluedriver also supports major OBDII protocols.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Real-time accurate data (engine oil temp, pressure, fuel usage, etc.)
  • Takes a snapshot when a code is stored (Freeze Frame).
  • Helps you solve problems with 6.6 million verified fixes from the scanner.
  • Works very quickly and is easy to use.

Cons

  • The app doesn’t work well with laptops (it is meant for phones only).
  • Doesn’t read transmission temperature/doesn’t support FOB
  • It doesn’t show cam and crank sensor details.
  • It cannot activate relays and switches.

Who Is It Built For?

It is a good fit for DIYers because it can conduct many tests and has fast and reliable Bluetooth connectivity. As a result, it’s the best car diagnostic tool for many.

3


ANCEL FX4000
ANCEL FX4000 All System Automotive OBD2 Car Diagnostic Tool
(4.3 / 5)
FX4000 is a code reader with a full system that is well built with a large and high-definition TFT screen, easy-to-read UI, and thousands of DTC tips. Anti-skid & gaming handheld design

If you are looking for a mutil-system diagnostic tool then your search ends here. ANCEL FX4000 lets you diagnose a variety of complex issues in the car such as brake system, ABS issues, oil service light problems, and battery controls.

Why Choose ANCEL FX4000?

Issues in the engine that cause poor performance, acceleration etc, will be addressed by this obd2 code reader. You will be able to identify problems in the engine, brake, and transmission system.

ANCEL FX 4000 auto diagnostic tool lets you find problems in the ABS, IMMO, car headlight action test, battery system diagnostics, and SRS systems as well.

There are only four buttons on the unit that makes the navigation a breeze.

ANCEL FX4000 is a top rated car diagnostic tool that is well built with a large and high-definition TFT screen
ANCEL FX4000 lets you diagnose a variety of complex issues in the car
Credit: Amazon.com
ANCEL FX4000 is an ideal diagnostic tool for professionals.
ANCEL FX4000 is a full system diagnostic tool that is well built with a large and high-definition TFT screen
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

This car diagnostic scanner works on more than 40 brands including Porsche, Chrysler, GM, Acura, Ford, Daihatsu, Mercedes Benz, ISUZU, and Audi. It supports almost all 1996 and newer OBD2 compatible American models, including some foreign models as well.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Free online lifetime updates.
  • Charging begins as you plug in the connector.
  • Works on both diesel and gasoline models.
  • Long cord.
  • Easy to use with four scrolling buttons.

Cons

  • Not ideal for beginners (no detailed definitions on codes).
  • Buggy and even freezes sometimes in the middle of a diagnosis.
  • Shows link error sometimes (resetting the device solves it).
  • Doesn’t support electric cars.

Who Is It For?

If you’re a professional and know your way around cars then this is the best car diagnostic tool in the market that you can go for. However, it may not be ideal for foreign cars as it works rather slow on them.

4

Autel Maxilink ML619
Autel Maxilink ML619 Auto Code Reader OBD II and CAN Car Code Scanner Diagnostic Scan Tool
(4.4 / 5)
This Autel Maxilink ML619 OBDII Code reader can analyze both ABS and SRS systems. Correct them and help you to read your vehicle’s data too.

AutelMaxilink ML619 is a great obd2 reader as it performs all basic functions along with a few advanced ones including ABS and SRS warning lights. Hence, it’s the best car diagnostic tool for many.

Why Choose AutelMaxilink ML619?

You can read and clear codes, see drive cycle readiness and perform freeze frame, too. Moreover, this auto diagnostic tool also performs ABS and SRS warning lights.

This obd2 reader detects fault codes and offers a complete definition that will help you recognize the problem.

Autel ML619 is one of the best OBD2 scanner that works on most 1996 and newer vehicles (OBDII & CAN)
Autel ML619 is a diagnostic tool that playbacks live data stream
Credit: Amazon.com
Autel ML619 is one of the best OBD2 code reader that DIYers should buy.
Autel ML619 is a great choice for DIYers because of basic and advanced features.
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

Autel Maxilink ML619 supports many 1996 and newer OBD II and CAN compliant vehicles including:

GM, Ford, Honda, Acura, Holden, Mitsubishi, FIAT, Rover, Audi, and Nissan.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Shows live graph data. Free updates.
  • Self-charging.
  • Shows individual wheel speed in live data.

Cons

  • To update, you must register on the website first.
  • Only supports US/Canada.
  • The 2.46 feet cord is too short.
  • No live streaming for ABS sensor signals.
  • Doesn’t support phone connectivity

Who Is It Built For?

AutelMaxilink ML619 is a good option for DIYers and as it offers many basic and a few advanced features (SRS and ABS warning lights). It’s among the best car diagnostic tools, however, the shortcode can be a problem.

5


Autel MaxiCOM MK808
Autel MaxiCOM MK808 OBD2 Vehicle Diagnostic Tool with All System and Service Functions and Key Programming
(4.3 / 5)
If you are a mechanic shop owner, The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 is great for you as you will be using it a lot.

MK808 is one of the best car diagnostic tools because it aids in identifying complex car issues.

This 7-inch diagnostic tablet works on polymer battery (4.5 hours non stop running) which comes included. All in all, it makes diagnosing fun and easy.

Why Choose AutelMaxicom MK808?

Besides reading simple problems, this Autel scan tool offers many advanced features, too. These include Oil reset, BMS, EPB, SAS, DPF, ABS, TPMS, and Key Programming.

Autel MK808 allows you to manage, save, print and send data easily because of its 32 GB memory.

With this obd2 scanner, you can perform SRS test, fuel system diagnosis, wiper system, light systems, emission tests, and ABS light test.

Autel MK808 is a highly capable tablet scanner that is easy to use.
Autel MK808 is one of the best Diagnostic scanners because it has a variety of super practical functions which make it
Credit: Amazon.com
Autel MK808 is an OBD II diagnostic tool that save you so much time and make your job easier
Autel MK808 can diagnose All Systems of your vehicles, perform All-Service Functions and offers full-OBD2 Modes.
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

Supports 1996 US-based and 2000 EU based obd2 compliant vehicles including Audi, Benz, Efurd, Acura, AUFord, Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Chrysler, Ford, Chevrolet, Holden, GM, Honda, Isuzu, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, and KIA.

It supports all major PIDs and works and works on Android 4.4.4.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fast processing with the A9 processor.
  • Technology support from Autel tech team.
  • Comes with a charger.
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t support ECU programming.
  • Updates have to be bought after the first 12 months.
  • IMMO function doesn’t work on Benz.

Who Is It Built For?

Autel MK808 is one of the best car diagnostic tools on the market and can be used by not just DIY lovers but professionals as well as it covers a wide range of functions and supports all major cars.

6


ANCEL FX4000
AutelMaxiDAS DS808 Automotive Diagnostic Scan Tool with Key Coding
(4.3 / 5)
The Best OBD Scanner for Deeper Scans and Advanced Diagnostics

AutelMaxiDAS DS808 is considered to be the best car diagnostic tool for many reasons. You can identify complex problems, perform advanced tests, and even receive ECU information on this device.

Why Choose MaxiDAS DS808?

This car diagnostic scanner 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.

AutelMaxiDAS 808 operates on a cloud-based management system on which you can input, store, arrange, and view scanner data, codes, and reports.

This professional car diagnostic tool also lets you update via WiFi. The scanner can run for at least 4.5 hours on full battery.

Autel Maxidas DS808 is considered to be the best car diagnostic tool for many reasons
Autel Maxidas DS808 includes the most commonly performed service functions, such as: Oil Reset Service, TPMS Programming Service, EPB Service, etc.
Credit: Amazon.com
Autel Maxidas DS808 is one of the best OBD2 scan tool that covers for more than 80 US, Asian and European vehicles from the year 1996 to 2017
Autel Maxidas DS808 offers several connectivity options including Wi-Fi and PC connections.
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

Supports more than 80 US, Asian, and European car models (1996 and newer) that are obd2 compliant and also supports other electronic systems.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Supports BMW battery (Resetting as well).
  • 1-year warranty and free lifetime updates.
  • Auto VIN technology.
  • Works with diesel models, too.
  • Stores diagnostic history.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a complete OBDI adapter (buy separately).
  • Batteries are not reliable.
  • Key coding doesn’t work in some models such as 2012 Ford Edge.
  • No Bluetooth connectivity.

Who Is It Built For?

Autel MaxyDAS DS808 is the best professional car diagnostic tool in the list. Professionals and mechanics can use this professional car diagnostic scanner to solve both simple and complex issues. However, this diagnostic tool is a little expensive.

7


BAFX Products
BAFX Products Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader/Scanner for Android Devices
(4.4 / 5)
Work on all OBD2 vehicles model 1996 and newer, include J1850 and CAN protocols, BAFX Products 34t5 is the best Bluetooth OBDII scanner for Android

BAFX is a Bluetooth car diagnostic tool that will diagnose problems in your vehicle’s engine and display results quickly. Moreover, due to its ability to connect via Bluetooth, it is considered one of the best car diagnostic tools available on the market.

Why Choose BAFX OBDII Scanner?

Out of the many car diagnostic tools we reviewed, this one is quite fast in both connectivity and functionality. Moreover, it can diagnose problems such as overheating, engine issues, and sensor problems in real-time.

BAFX displays data in a graphics mode which is easy to comprehend.

This OBD2 scanner will allow you perform many basic features including air-fuel ratio, fuel pressure, coolant temp, oil temp, CEL fault codes, DPF, emission test, O2 sensors, fuel trim, etc.

BAFX Products is one of the best OBD reader that is built to last for years
BAFX Products works on ALL OBDII protocols, including J1850 & CAN
Credit: Amazon.com
BAFX Products is a Bluetooth Diagnostic OBD II scanner that allows you perform many basic features
BAFX Products can be operated using a smartphone (via Bluetooth)
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

This obd2 code reader can be operated using a smartphone (via Bluetooth). However, it only supports Android and Windows phones.

BAFX will work on 1996 and newer models including hybrid cars.

Moreover, it is also compatible with some vehicles outside of the US including:

  • Australia – All vehicles, 2006 & Newer
  • India – All vehicles, 2013 & Newer
  • EU (Petrol) – All vehicles, 2001 & Newer
  • Mexico – All vehicles, 2006 & Newer
  • Brazil – All vehicles, 2008 & Newer
  • Canada – All vehicles, 1998 & Newer
  • EU (Diesel) – All vehicles, 2004 & Newer
  • Israel – All vehicles, 2003 & Newer
  • Japan – All vehicles, 2010 & Newer

It supports all OBDII protocols including CAN & J1850 protocols.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 2-year warranty.
  • The sensor fresh is quick.
  • Works perfectly up to 20 ft range.
  • Can read real-time data.

Cons

  • Doesn’t stay connected for long.
  • No advanced functions such as coding and airbag.
  • Doesn’t support Apple devices, a dedicated app and has a large size.

Who Is It Built For?

For car owners who want to perform basic functionalities using their phone.

8


Autel AutoLink AL319
Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner Automotive Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Scan Tool
(4.4 / 5)
Autel AutoLink AL329 code reader will help you to retrieve the stored emission diagnostic trouble codes.If you are a DIY you can resolve the underlying issues or take your vehicle to a mechanic.

Autel AL319 may not be the best car diagnostic tool as it doesn’t offer many advanced features, however, it’s a good OBD2 code scanner for beginners. It’s a corded plug and play device that’s easy to use.

Why Choose Autel AL319?

This Autel scan tool lets you perform features such as CEL, Freeze Frame Data, Monitor and I/M Readiness Status (emissions), read live data, display VIN, CIN and CVN.

Autel AL319 lets you reset ABS and SRS lights.

Autel AL319 is an OBD2 code scanner is ‘Plug and play’ and very easy to use even for beginners
Autel AL319 is an OBD2 Code Reader that supports multiple languages.
Credit: Amazon.com
Autel AL319 is a great OBD2 code reader for beginners
Autel AL319 supports demonstrating DTC definitions on its clear TFT color screen.
Credit: Amazon.com

If you do not like the fact that this obd2 code scanner doesn’t support phone connectivity, you can use the code hearing option. It speaks out the problem code and makes it easy for you. This ease one of the main reasons why it is the best car diagnostic tool for many.

Compatibility

This OBD2 code reader supports 1996 and newer OBD2 and CAN vehicles.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 1-year warranty.
  • Free updates for lifetime.
  • Supports many languages – English, French, German, and Spanish.
  • Bright TFT color screen offers good display.

Cons

  • Short cord.
  • Might need a TF card reader to update.
  • Does not support Bluetooth connectivity, advanced features, and electric cars.

Who Is It Built For?

Autel AL319 is a good basic diagnostic tool for cars that any beginner would love to have.

9

BAFX Products
ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner Car Engine Fault Code Reader
(4.5 / 5)
While the jury is out on the efficiency of the ANCEL AD310 scanner, it may only be useful to those with fewer repairs to do. As it turns out, the tool fits the need of those with the necessity of a tool to only read and erase error codes.

ANCEL AD310 is the best obd2 diagnostic tool for money as it’s cheap. However, it has its downsides, too. It’s a plug and play device that is easy to operate. But, it works very fast.

Why Choose ANCEL AD310?

ANCEL AD310 lets you read and clear CEL, view freeze frame data, perform I/M Readiness test, and smog test as well.

You won’t find the unit very complex as there are only four buttons. Two for entering and exiting, and two for navigation.

ANCEL AD310 is one of the best obdOBD2 scanner for money as it’s cheap
With ANCEL AD310, you don’t need to search online! This OBD2 scanner will show the code and what the code means directly.
Credit: Amazon.com
ANCEL AD310 is a great upgrade from the more basic diagnostic Code Reader.
The major function of this scannerANCEL AD310 is detecting the Engine System, read and clear the error codes.
Credit: Amazon.com

Compatibility

This obd2 code reader runs on 1996 and newer US models.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Self-charges when plugged in the OBD2 connector.
  • 5 feet insulated cable (long enough to put on the seat).
  • 3-year warranty.
  • Multiple languages supported.

Cons

  • Display issues (resetting the device corrects it).
  • Connection error in brands like Nissan, VW, Ford, and Subaru.
  • Operates only on 16 PIN OBD II protocol.
  • Doesn’t support Bluetooth connectivity, therefore, no phone connectivity.

Who Is It Built For?

ANCEL AD310 is a good obd2 code reader for beginner level car owners. It offers simple functionality but there’s no phone connectivity.

10


FOXWELL NT301
FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner Professional Enhanced OBDII Diagnostic Code Reader
(4.3 / 5)
With this FOXWELL NT301 accessing your vehicle’s information (identification number and calibration numbers) will be straightforward. Thanks to that, you can find out all about your car without hassle.

Foxwell NT301 is an engine diagnostic tool that lets you perform many basic OBD2 features such as check engine light, malfunction indicator lamp, check and erase engine fault codes, VIN, etc.

Why Choose FOXWELL NT301?

 You can perform a variety of basic functionalities from this OBD2 diagnostic tool including fuel pressure, fuel trim, I/M readiness, freeze frame,  engine coolant temp, and RPM, O2 sensor, air conditioning refrigerant monitor, and exhaust gas recirculation system monitor test.

FOXWELL NT301 is an OBDII diagnostic scan tool that supports data logging feature and the ability to record and review log.
Foxwell NT301 accurately identify car problems, avoiding blind maintenance
Credit: Amazon.com
Foxwell NT301 OBD2 Scanner is indeed a valuable DIY scanner
Foxwell NT301 plays a role of the early warning systems. keep the car in good condition.
Credit: Amazon.com

Foxwell NT301 lets you retrieve information from the ECU. It will help you diagnose problems in the gas cap, oxygen sensor, air-fuel ratio sensor, mass air flow sensor, etc.

Compatibility

Supports all US and European brands (1996 and newer).

Supports all five major protocols as well.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Extensive DTC definitions.
  • Internet updateable.
  • Lifetime free updates
  • Printer compatible.
  • 1-year money back guarantee and lifetime free updates.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have advanced functions such as the airbag system, battery check.Only updates on Windows.
  • No Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity.

Who Is It Built For?

Only for car owners and DIYers because it doesn’t offer advanced options. However, the guarantee is one of its biggest assets, making it one of the best car diagnostic tools for many.

Recommendation

From the car diagnostic tool reviews, what is the best diagnostic tool to buy?

Now, have a look at the comparison chart below for the top 3 picks of car diagnostic tools recommended in 2018.

Autel AL519
Autel AL519
BlueDriver
BlueDriver
ANCEL FX4000
ANCEL FX4000
Customer Rating (4.3 / 5) (4.4 / 5) (4.3 / 5)
Priceautel al519 pricebluedriver priceancel fx4000 price
Weight2.05 pounds2.08 ounces3.19 pounds
Dimensions7.8 x 4.1 x 1.5 inches2.2 x 1.9 x 1 inches9.4 x 6.7 x 2 inches
Full-OBDII ModesYesYesYes
Check ABS and SRSNoYesYes
Check Other SystemsNoNoAll System Diagnostics
I/M Readiness Status YesYesYes
Live Data and Freeze Frame DataYesYesYes
Mode 6YesYesYes
Reset FunctionsNoNoOil
BluetoothNoYes (for iOS, Android)No
Bottom LineThis Autel scan tool is a great choice for car owners who want their obd2 readers to perform quicklyBlueDriver is the best car diagnostic tool for DIYers and car owners.For professionals, ANCEL FX4000 is among the best car diagnostic tools

Conclusion

Besides offering basic functionalities, some of the car diagnostic tools mentioned above may also help you perform advanced functions such as ABS, SRS, ECU coding &  Programming, DPF, EPB, oil reset, steering angle sensor test, battery reset, BMS, SAS, injector programming, IMMO, TPMS, air conditioner module controlling, and throttle matching.

All the car scan tools mentioned in this review are great. Why don’t you pick one?

Bonus: Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanners Review 2018

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4 thoughts on “10 Top Rated Car Diagnostic Tools Review 2018

  1. Sure this is a great product, but my question is can it show me the location of the damaged part inside the vehicle, for instance maybe your car can’t select gears and the components for fear selection is bad, can maxiSYS MS906 highlight the damaged part.

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