You buy your car with a huge sum of money from your savings. Either it is a sports car, a family car or bigger vehicle like a bus or truck; they need maintenance and attention. No one wants a big part of their hard earned money to go to waste. Neither, does anyone want to have frequent visits to the auto workshops to fix their vehicle. According to a study by AAA motors pothole damage has cost U.S. drivers $15 billion in vehicle repairs over the last five years, so if you don’t want to be among those drivers, you must take care of your vehicle. To facilitate the maintenance and analyze the upcoming issues in your vehicle, there are different tools and scanners available in the market. All of these devices have the capability to let the owner know if there is any problem with their vehicle. Not only this, but they will also tell you the ways to fix those problems.
And yes sometimes you can also face some auto mechanic like him.
One of the preferable scanners is the OBD2 scanner. If you are among the people who have bought their cars after 1996, then there are high chances that it has an OBD2 port. United States Federal Law made a law in 1996, where every car manufacturer was asked to install an OBD-II port for OBD scanners in the vehicles. OBD2 scanners use a communication protocol, connectors, and code designations from one car manufacturer to the other.
In the later parts of this review, we are going to discuss preferable OBD2 scanners. The ranking is according to the customer reviews and performance of the devices.
Top 10 OBD2 Scanners 2017
Here is the list of the top 10 OBD2 scanners along with the detail of their features, pros, and cons.
1. BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBD-II Scan Tool
This device works for all the vehicles that are in the USA. There are some people who go for the cheaper scanners first, but later on end up buying BAFX OBD-II scanner. It has the capability to connect to all Android devices and laptops using a 3rd party application as this is not compatible with iOS. This scanner works on all protocols, unlike any other scanner. There are five protocols for OBD-II.
These scanners last longer and have a stable connection. According to the customers’ feedback, this scanner by BAFX gives fast data rates and reliable results. In case if you have an issue with the working of the scanner or are facing difficulty understanding the operation then the company representatives are just a call away. They welcome all queries and respond to them quickly. They can guide you over the phone and also come over if you need any help understanding the device.
- It gives the best results among all the OBD-II scanners.
- It gives readable OBD-II check engine light codes.
- Has graph sensor readings.
- There is also an option to reset the cell.
- It is not compatible with iOS but requires paid software to work for iOS. Once you have the paid software, then you can connect it to iOS as well.
- Q: Does this scanner pick up ABS codes?
- A: This is an OBD2 scanner, so it does not include picking up ABS, SRS or regular maintenance lights.
- Q: Will this work with my Windows 8 phone?
- A: Yes, it is compatible with Windows phones.
- Q: Does this scanner drains battery power when the car is switched off?
- A: Yes, it may drain a small amount of battery power while it is turned off, however only the LED works not the communication.
2. Actron CP9580A Auto Scanner
Actron is one of the biggest manufacturers of OBD-II scanners, but they are still working on bringing out something extraordinary. All of their scanners including CP9580 are of moderate price which is why people prefer buying it for basic use. This one is said to be their best creation. It has an amazing precision level, with a unique capacity to pinpoint faulty areas in the car. It just takes seconds for the scanner to get all the trouble codes and mention them on the screen.
The main reason of its compatibility is that it has a wide range of manufacturer specific codes and general codes. This coding range means that no issue in your car can be left unknown. It also has unique graphic presentation along with OBD-II drive cycle mode and ABS code coverage. It lets you detect the exact faulty areas in your vehicle so you can get going with getting them fixed rather than wasting time in finding out the fault. All of these features state that it has amazing data code processing.
- It is a simple to use the scanner with lots of buttons on the device for easy handling.
- It is cost effective.
- It has a wider scope which makes it usable for some.
- It consumes a lot of battery.
- Q: What is the difference between this one and the CP9580?
- A: This one contains all the features of CP9580 and additional features as in text description, automatic retrieval, engine live data and much more.
- Q: Will this scanner work for dodge Dakota?
- A: If the vehicle is newer than 1996 this should work for it.
- Q: Is there a hard case with the scanner?
- A: Yes, it has a protective hard cover which safeguards the scanner.
3. BlueDriver OBD-II Bluetooth professional scanner
This scanner is one of the best OBD-II scanners easily available on the market. You can also find it online on different shopping websites. This scanner can be used professionally to work for some devices as well as for basic use at your personal garage. It is a small device with a compact design. This scanner can provide live and frozen engine data, along with analyzing error ratings. The compact design of the device makes it easier to carry it and handle it. You can also take a smog test with this scanner.
The smog check is an important part of the state to improve the air we breathe in. Smog inspection is designed to check the vehicles for excess emissions so that the repairs can be made. Since this scanner can analyze the emission, it is now possible to reduce the air pollution. It offers Bluetooth technology to connect with all kinds of electronic devices. There are no tools required to install this compact device, which makes it a preferable choice for all.
- It is easy to connect.
- It is easy to install.
- You can save all the data on your phone or PC.
- It provides repair and diagnosis results.
- You can also take smog test with this scanner.
- It does not give in-depth data readings.
- Q: Does it drain battery when plugged in?
- A: If it is plugged in and not in use, then it won’t suck your battery.
- Q: Can we get the details of long term or short term fuel trim?
- A: You may get the details for certain vehicles only.
- Q: Can this scanner read Camshaft position sensor live?
- A: Camshaft position data is not a part of OBD2 data, and it not supported by BlueDriver
4. Autel MaxiScan MS300 OBD-II scanner
This amazing scanner comes with a handbook of trouble codes so that people who are new to the use of OBD-II scanner they can learn the codes and understand the problem with their vehicle. It is an easy to handle the device with two buttons to read and clear the codes. It can retrieve generic and manufacturer specific trouble codes. It has a back-lit LCD screen with a multilingual menu.
So, if you do not understand English, you can choose a preferable language. You do not need any additional cables to install this scanner, which makes it easy to install. It has a metallic finish with lithium ion batteries which last longer than any other battery. It supports controller area network protocols and all other OBD-II protocols.
- It has a back-lit LCD screen.
- It comes with a handbook of codes to facilitate easy learning.
- It can retrieve all the codes.
- You can save all the codes with Bluetooth.
- Ion batteries can be expensive.
5. Veepeak OBD-II scanner
This OBD2 scanner comes with Wi-Fi. There are other scanners with Wi-Fi but this one is the best by far. It builds a connection to all the devices. The customers have given this scanner the status of being reliable and giving a stable performance. This scanner consumes lesser power on the batteries, which means the battery can go for long hours.
It is also compatible with OBD-II compliant cars and small trucks. It supports all the five protocols of OBD-II. You can view the codes clearly on the screen. There is also an option of turning off the check engine light and view the real-time sensor readings through your phone or tablet. It supports both Android and Apple device, which is why it is somehow trustworthy.
- It supports all five protocols of OBD-II.
- It is compatible with Apple and Android devices.
- It has Wi-Fi.
- It might have connectivity issues in some areas, so before you buy it, you will have to check its results in your area.
6. Performance Tool W2977 CAN OBD-II Scanner tool
This scanner was one of the firsts that were made in 1996. It was the time when OBD-II was made mandatory for all vehicles. It is compatible with all the vehicles that came after 1996. “W2977 CAN” can support all OBD-II protocols including the latest controller area network protocol as well. It has the option where it reads out your diagnostic trouble codes for identification. It erases all the trouble codes and resets the scanner every time it is turned on.
- It reads out loud the trouble codes.
- It supports all OBD-II protocols.
- It does not work with 2007 Chevy.
7. Autel AL519 AutoLink OBD-II Scanner
This scan tool has the features of both a basic and the professional scanner, which means you can go for it if you are going to use in your personal garage and also if you are a professional car technician. It is not much expensive, which makes it a preferable choice for the home users. It comes with a handy casing along with a USB cord; long hookup OBD-II cable and a CD to download the software. It also has a user manual along which makes it easier to learn the installation and to set up of the device. It is compatible with most of the vehicles. The handbook is very useful for understanding the device. It has a wonderful combination of audio and visual verification which is something fancy.
- The packaging includes all the essential cables and a pouch for the device.
- It is for both basic and professional use.
- It is easy to install.
- The company is still working on the software, which is why there is a problem connecting the scanner with older GM vehicles.
8. Innova 3160 Scan tool
This scanner holds good feedback from the customers due to its supplement restraint system. It also has an anti-lock brake system. It works for basic and professional users. This scanner is known for its efficiency along with recording the live data feed. You can get this scanner to work on all OBD-II type vehicles and the older versions of OBD-I. However, it shows some connectivity issue in some parts of the country which is why it has lesser sales ratio.
- It is less labor intensive, promoting easy installation.
- It is compatible with both the older and new OBD vehicles.
- It has serious connectivity issues.
- It does not have Bluetooth.
9. Innova 3140e code reader
This scanner by Innova is the code reader type scanner which is one of the types of OBD-II scanners. It comes with all in one screen display with language options between English, French, and Spanish. It can stream and record real time live data to review later. This scanner by Innova is compatible with only a few OBD-II vehicles, which is why it is better to use it for basic requirements only and not for professional use.
- It has a quick responsive system.
- It can record real-time
- It does not support Bluetooth.
- It does not work with Wi-Fi.
- It is not advisable for professional use.
10. Launch Tech 301050116 CRP 123
This scanner is a design of Launch Tech. If you are looking for something interesting to look at; this must be your choice. You will like the aesthetic look of the device. Other than being pretty, it is durable. It is compatible with most of the OBD-II vehicles, but people avoid buying it because it is too much expensive. They say that there are other scanners which are highly compatible with most of the OBD-II vehicles, so they are not willing to spend a big sum of money just because it looks pretty. However, it is better for professional use.
- It looks like a tablet.
- It is durable.
- It is too much expensive.
- It is only for professional use.
We hope our reviews will help you make your buying decision. Make sure you talk to the company representative before you pick up the device. Try to learn the features, benefits and the limitations of the device before you bring it home. Taking care of your car is your responsibility. If you look after your car in the right way, then you can reduce the depreciation rate and get a better price of your car while reselling it in the market.