The computer is an important part of your vehicle. It can monitor all the systems and warn you when something isn’t working right. This warning normally comes with a check engine light, and that is why you connect a code reader or scanner to your OBD2 port, but this warning is only as good as the OBD2 scanner you are using. That is why it is important to have a good one.
There are a lot of different OBD2 scanners on the market though, so sometimes finding a reliable one can be a challenge. Luckily for you, you are in the right place. Continue reading this article to learn about some of the best OBD2 scanners on the market.
There are a lot of different OBD2 scanners on the market. Sometimes these devices are also called code readers. They do pretty much the same thing, however. If you do not have time, just check my choice for best obd2 scanner on the market right now:
- BLUEDRIVER BLUETOOTH PROFESSIONAL OBDII SCAN TOOL FOR IPHONE, IPAD & ANDROID Editor's Choice
- AUTEL AUTOLINK AL319 OBD2 SCANNER AUTOMOTIVE ENGINE FAULT CODE READER CAN SCAN TOOL
- SCANTOOL OBDLINK LX BLUETOOTH: PROFESSIONAL GRADE OBD-II AUTOMOTIVE SCAN TOOL FOR WINDOWS AND ANDROID – DIY CAR AND TRUCK DATA AND DIAGNOSTICS
- ACTRON CP9125 C POCKETSCAN CODE READER
- INNOVA 3160G CODE READER/SCAN TOOL WITH 3.5" DISPLAY, ABS, SRS, BLUETOOTH, AND LIVE DATA FOR OBD2 VEHICLES
You can jump straight to a specific scanner below if you have heard about it and wanted to learn more or the name catches your eye, or you can read about all of the different options and figure out which is the best scanner for you and your needs after knowing about them all.
1. BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android
The next scan tool we will look at is the BlueDriver Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tool. This scan tool is small and compact making it easy to use. It is only 2.2 inches x 1.9 inches x 1 inch and weighs only 2.08 ounces. The reason that this scanner can be so small is that it works with Bluetooth and uses your device as the screen. You can use this with Android phones, iPhones, Android tablets, or iPads. All you have to do is install the app.
The fact that you can use this device with any of those devices is nice because that means you can carry the scanner in your glove box or leave it plugged in for constant data monitoring. It can monitor all the systems of the car and read all the codes. It works with anything with an OBD2 port from GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Honda, and Volkswagen. If you have a different brand, then you should check compatibility first. It also has free updates to keep it working right.
People love the BlueDriver OBD2 scanner and how easy the app is to use. The customer service is also good from them. The only thing to watch out for is if you have a diesel because this scanner doesn’t work on some of them even if they are from the stated manufacturers. That is just something to keep in mind if choosing this scanner, but overall this is a great all in one OBD2 scanner that can do anything that you need it to do.
2. Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner Automotive Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Scan Tool
Now, we will move onto another great OBD2 scanner from Autel. The reader we are going to look at from them is the AutoLink AL319. This code reader is a comfortable size which makes it easy to hold and use. It is 6.3 inches x 17.7 inches x 9.25 inches and weighs 6.2 ounces making it extra light for holding. The screen on this reader is a bright TFT color screen, and it has built-in speakers, so you can hear the readings audible as well. The speaker is a nice touch for if you are having trouble seeing the screen. It also has color-coded LEDs which make it easy to use and hit the right button even if it is dark.
The 16 pin connector cord is long and light, so you can take this reader with you if you need too. The cord powers the reader, so you don’t have to worry about the batteries dying on you. This OBD2 scanner is great for beginners and easy to use. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some scanners, but it gets the job done and in a good reliable way. This scanner can read generic (P0, P2, P3, and U0), manufacturer specific (P1, P3, and U1) codes, and pending codes. It can also provide freeze frame data and check live PCM (Power-train Control Module) data stream.
Users like the ease of use of this reader and how reliable it is to work on their vehicle. It can be used on all autos 1996 or newer. Autel also has great customer service that people like. The last thing about the AutoLink AL319 that people enjoy is that it is easy to look up the meanings of the codes. It has definitions built in, so you don’t have to use the internet to find the answer. If you are looking for an introduction to the middle of the road OBD2 scanner, then the Autel AutoLink AL319 is a great option. It is compact, has a strong shell, and can give you the answers you need no matter where you are at. It can even reset lights, and clear codes once read.
3. ScanTool OBDLink LX Bluetooth: Professional Grade OBD-II Automotive Scan Tool for Windows and Android – DIY Car and Truck Data and Diagnostics
Moving along we now have the OBDLink LX from ScanTool. ScanTool is another reliable brand, and the OBDLink LX from them is another top OBD2 scanner. It is another Bluetooth scanner that is made to work with Android phones or Windows computers. The fact that you use an external device for the screen allows the scanner itself to be small and you can leave it plugged in. The device is only 1.8 inches x 0.9inches x 2 inches and weighs only 1.12 ounces. That means if you wanted you could carry it around with you in your pocket.
This OBD2 scanner works on most 1996 or newer vehicles that have an OBD2 port, but like all scanners, you should make sure it works with your particular vehicle before buying it. Also, you should make sure the app will work on the device that you have since this scanner does not have a screen. The scanner itself can read all kinds of codes and also reset them. It can also do live engine monitoring and system monitoring. The scanner has sleep mode when not in use to save your car battery and also the app is set up to drain as little battery as possible.
The only complaint about this scanner is that its range isn’t good. You have to be really near it with your device to get it to connect and sometimes users have to try multiple times to get it to connect. Outside of the connection flaw through the OBDLink LX from ScanTool is a great OBD2 scanner. On top of the scanning features it is hack proof which means your car’s information will be safe and it has a 90-day money back guarantee, so if you don’t like it or run into problems, you can get your money back no questions asked within the first 90 days. After that time though this scanner has a three-year warranty, so that will assure you that it will work for a long time or you can get a new one. If you are looking for a small OBD2 scanner that you can take with you and have an Android phone or Windows computer, then this is a great easy to use option.
4. Actron CP9125 C PocketScan Code Reader
The last OBD2 scanner we will look at is a basic, but a good one. It is the CP9125 from Actron. This little scanner is easy to hold and use. It only weighs 2.3 pounds and has a long cord that it uses to get its power from and also connects to the OBD2 port. The cord is long enough you can use this scanner comfortably. The scanner itself is 10.3 inches x 6.3 inches x 2.3 inches and has a small screen that is where the codes are displayed and are easy to read. This scanner is easy to use and only has to buttons. A read and scroll button and then an erase button.
This OBD2 code reader can only read the codes and can not give you any information on them. It also can not read many other systems but can give you emission information. While the PocketScan cannot give you repair advice, when you buy this scanner it does give you access to an online site where you can look up the important information. The site can give you the best repair information based only our code and vehicle. The scanner is also updatable to keep it compatible with newer vehicles. This OBD2 scanner works with most 1996 or newer vehicles.
Users like how easy it is to use the Actron CP9125 and that it has a one year warranty, so you know Actron stands behind their product some. If you are looking for a really basic code reader, then this PocketScan is perfect for you. It can read the codes and erase them, but that is pretty much all it does.
5. Innova 3160g Code Reader/Scan Tool with 3.5" Display, ABS, SRS, Bluetooth, and Live Data for OBD2 Vehicles
The first scanner we will look at is the Innova 3160g. This scanner can do pretty much everything in the palm of your hand. It measures 10.2 inches x 8.2 inches x 1.5 inches making it comfortable for most people to hold and use. It also weighs a light 1.35 pounds, so your arm won’t get tired holding it. The screen on this OBD2 scanner is nice and bright and also large. The screen is an LCD which makes it easy to view at any angle and measures 3.5 inches, so the information is large and easy to read.
The 3160g is a reliable scanner that comes with free updates which ensures that it will work properly. It is also packed with all the features you could ever want. IT has ABS codes, SRS codes, ABS European codes, check engine light, freeze frame, and so much more. This code reader even comes with a repair solution function that you can access on your phone or a computer which makes troubleshooting the code easy. The code reader connects to your OBD2 port with a long lighted cord. The light helps make it easy to plug in, and the cord is long enough that you can use the scanner easy and comfortable. It can also send information to your phone or another device thru Bluetooth, which makes getting the information where you need it easy.
The only downside to the Innova 3160g is that it might not work with your vehicle. While it should work with all vehicles 1996 or newer with OBD2 ports, it doesn’t always. Some vehicles are not listed in the scanner or if they are the newer model years are not. Also, the SRS and ABS don’t work on all vehicles. Before getting this scanner to try to confirm that your vehicle is compatible. Also, there have been a lot of complaints on the customer service from Innova, so consider that if choosing this OBD2 scanner. The scanner itself is great and can do everything if your vehicle is compatible, but if it isn’t you might run into issues and not get answers you were wanting.
Which one to get?
So, now you still might be wondering which one to get. Well, if you want something small that can be left plugged in all the time, then you can choose between the BlueDriver or OBDLink LX. Both are code all in one scan tools with easy to use apps, but if you have an apple device, then you will have to go with the BlueDriver. If you are looking for the most basic scan tool, then the Actron CP9125 PocketScan is the one for you. Finally, if you are looking for a standard handheld scan tool that you don’t need an app or device to use and that can do everything, then the Innova 3160g or Autel AutoLink AL319 are your best options.
The thing to remember is that all the OBD2 scanners listed here are great, but before buying any you need to make sure it works with your vehicle. All of these work with most 1996 or newer vehicles, but it is important to make sure the one you choose works with your car. Also, it is important to remember that the scanner might work with your vehicle for reading codes, but it might not have all the advertised functions for all cars. That is why you should research your specific car with each scanner first before buying.
Now that you have read this you know some of the best OBD2 scanners that are on the market. You know the features they have and how they work. You also know that it is important to check the compatibility of any scanner with your vehicle before buying it. Now you are on your way through to having a good OBD2 scanner and being able to read your vehicle codes at home with your code reader. With a scanner, you can check your vehicle’s codes any time you need too, especially if you go with a small compact reader that you can carry with you. After reading this, you are now more informed on which OBD2 scanners are the best.