10 Best OBD2 Scanners 2018 | Professional Automotive Diagnostic Tool

A professional automotive diagnostic scanner is the valuable tool for assessment of the problem of your car. Purchasing a car diagnostic tool will help you to get the accurate mechanical problem. So if you are good at fixing automotive issues you can fix it and save the money by knowing the exact problem with the help of an OBD2 scanner. And if you are not a mechanical person you can tell the error code to the mechanic and save the time of finding the error.

Today we will introduce you with top 10 OBD2 scanner for 2018. You will also get some important tips which can help you to select the right scanner and get a brief idea about few common error code.

Preview

Product

Dimensions

 Weight

Price

Editor's Choice

Autel Maxisys MS908

11.8 x 2 x 8.7 inches

13.8 ounces

Launch X431 PROS

15.9 x 11.9 x 4.2 inches

7.45 pounds

Autel Maxisys MS906

10 x 1.4 x 6.9 inches

22 pounds

ANCEL AD310 Classic

8.8 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches

12.3 ounces

Launch Creader 6001

11.7 x 11.7 x 1.7 inches

1.1 pounds

Actron CP9690 Trilingual

10.2 x 13.6 x 5.4 inches

3.8 pounds

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional 

2.2 x 1.9 x 1 inches

3.84 ounces

Editor's Choice

Autel Maxidas DS808

17.3 x 6.7 x 21.6 inches

2.95 pounds

FOXWELL NT624 PRO

13 x 3 x 8.7 inches

3.31 pounds

Innova 3160g Code Reader

10.2 x 8.2 x 1.5 inches

2 pounds

The Best OBD2 Scanner in 2018 - Reviews

1. Autel Maxisys MS908 Automotive Diagnostic Scanner and Analysis Tool

Autel is well known for producing most advanced car scanners in the market. Their latest launch is Maxisys Pro MS908P Automotive Diagnostic Scanner which has all the feature of previously marketed Maxisys Elite and additional features like ECU coding and reprogramming. It is a durable tablet, suitable to work in the garage or workshop and comes with 14 cable connectors to link with OBD1 and OBD2 cars.

Editor's Choice

The general features of this device are, auto VIN for better recognition of the car, graphic live data, running actuation tests, adaptations, matching and ECU information. It has wireless functions like Wifi and Bluetooth. Works wonders with Oscilloscope-MaxiScope MP408 and inspection cameras.

The features are numerous and the advantage of those feature are endless. All the users of this device are agreed to the fact that, Maxisys Pro MS908P will satisfy every need one can have from their car scanner. It is the next generation scanner suitable for professionals, car enthusiastic, mechanics and garage owners.

The device is capable to operate via Bluetooth, cable and wifi. With remote operation, better mobility is ensured. When I tested this machine, I was able to scan, read errors and fix the problems of my engine under the hood all at the same time.

It works on both OBD1 and OBD2 cars. Besides, it is compatible over 80 cars of US, EU and Asia made. Mostly it is used to read errors of expensive and latest model vehicles. The device comes with 14 cable connectors to make sure it can connect to any kind of vehicle.

Though it is a tab with touch screen display, it is a durable scanner. The device has padding on the edges to make it resistant to bumps and drops.

ECU programming is the most convenient feature of this device among the professionals. It enables them to gain access and reprogram some programs. I never used this function but i heard enough positive reviews about it to mark it as an advantage.

Connection to database of verified fixes, other mechanics and professionals makes fixing your car problems very easy. Via Maxifix cloud network, you can discuss your problems and take suggestion from others and have access to the database of fixation.

The manufacturer offers one years free software update for free. It is meant for workshop owners. With ‘Shop Manager’ feature you can record customer info, car details and other records in a organised way.

This device is the most perfect and all rounder one among other latest scanners in the market. The price is out of reach for common people, but it cannot be marked as a drawback, as the features and high tech advantages we can get from this.

Things We Liked

  • Can work via bluetooth, wifi and cable connection;
  • Compatible for 80 OBD1 and OBD2 cars;
  • Touch screen tab with padded edges;
  • Ecu, maxifix, shop manager and other impressive features along with scanning;
  • One year free software update.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons found.

2. Launch X431 PROS Mini Automotive Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Scanner

With the X431PROS scanner, manufacturer Launch became the prominent competitor of Autel. It has almost similar functions as Autel Maxisys series devices, plus wireless connectivity through Bluetooth and Wifi. It is a tablet of 6.98 inch high resolution display comes with 14 cables for different OBD1 and OBD2 cars.

It has all the features we expect from a all rounder OBD2 scanner like live data streaming, reading and clearing DTCs and so on. The additional features that make X431 special are different maintenance such as resetting electronic throttle position, TPMS, oil service, battery register and maintenance, electronic parking brake reset and several types of scanning. With this, you can fix steer angle calibration, ABS bleeding, DPF regeneration and other endless things.

Unlike other latest and expensive scanners, this device works on both OBD1 and OBD2 cars. It comes with 14 connectors for different cars to increase its compatibility and versatility.With this, I can work wirelessly with Bluetooth connection, whether I am under the hood or board. This feature makes it really handy as I turn on the bluetooth, hold this device in my hand and scan, check and fix my car meanwhile.

The operating system android 5.1 makes it usable as a tablet. Taking photos, listening music and surfing internet all can be done with this other than scanning your car. Thanks to its wifi compatibility than also makes it easier to update the device wirelessly. 

Once your device is registered, it will get free updates up to 2 years. Besides, this device is made suitable for 108 car brands from EU and Asia. X431 scanner from Launch can be the solution for your car if it is latest and you are having problem finding one suitable versatile scanner for your vehicle.

no doubt X431 is cheaper than other scanner of similar features but still the price is out of reach for many car owners. I don’t want to say its expensive, considering all the features and advantage I get from it. it is better suited to the garage owner and mechanics, who needs to deal with wide variety of cars every day. Its light weight and portability will be very useful for them as well.

Things We Liked

  • Compatible for OBD1 and OBD2 cars;
  • Bluetooth, wifi connectivity and 14 cable connectors provided;
  • Tablet with android 5.1 operating system;
  • 2 years free update.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Pricey.

3. Autel Maxisys MS906 Automotive Diagnostic Scanner Scan Tool Code Reader

Mechanics and workshop owners who are looking for a Autel scanner in a cheaper price can invest in Autel MS906 scanner. This device is similar to Maxisys Pro MS908P Automotive Diagnostic Scanner with a few bucks less price. It is compatible to 80 cars of US, EU and Asia. So, if the Maxisys Pro MS908P Automotive Diagnostic Scanner is seem expensive or not suited to your car, then you can consider MS906.

It has an 8.0” LED Multi-Touch display, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi to access internet and a efficient battery to run 6 up to hours with no pause.  In addition, it has all the features of MS908P including Maxifix to access to verified fixes and professionals, shop manager to store all the customer details perfectly and many more.

I could not point one single drawback of this miraculous device. The price is also okay considering the advanced features and durability of the device. One thing I would like to recommend is, purchase Autel scanners only from the manufacturers and make sure it is US made.  Other providers may not sell additional accessories like battery or cable on demand.

Things We Liked

  • Suitable for 80 US, EU and Asian made vehicles;
  • Free software update for one year;
  • Easy and convenient operation;
  • High tech scanner with all advanced features including ECU information, live data, system coverage and resetting for engine, ABS, SRS and many more.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons.


4. ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner

If you are looking for a simple, basic scanner for your car on a budget of less than 50 bucks, then AD 310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner is the ultimate device for you. This scanner works fast and reads and erases engine error codes effectively. It has a 128 x 64 pixel LCD display and a 2.5 ft long cable to connect with the OBD2 port of your car.

The functions are limited in this device, but we can’t expect miracles from this device within this price. It is useful for checking engine light. We ran different tests with this. It is effective for I/M monitor readiness test, read live data stream, viewing freeze frame data and reading memory, intermittent and historic codes. Showing definition is another handy feature of this device that makes it useful for new users.

Suitable to use a wide range of OBD2 and CAN cars manufactured in US, EU and Asia. But not all OBD2 cars are compatible with this device. So we recommend you to check first before you purchase.

It is a great scanner to use for a beginner. Less complicated operation makes scanning easy for everyone. Besides, AD310 classic scanner is multilingual. You can select the language from a long list of English, German, French, Spanish, Finnish, Dutch, Russian and Portuguese.

It runs on your car power, no need to charge it or put battery in it.The warranty and guarantee I got from this device is longer than the 1000 bucks scanner. I am impressed with the customer service and easy return policy, if it doesn’t work for your car.

The error codes will not be erased unless those problems are manually fixed. This issue annoyed me sometimes. It is not long lasting. If you are lucky, it will work for years for you, if not then it may give up after using 4 or 5 times.

It is only useful to diagnose your engine. Not suitable for ABS scanning. We can not blame it for this tough, the manufacturer claimed it as a engine code reader, not a multi functional device. If you want a multifunctional scanner, than this device is not for you.

Things We Liked

  • Suitable for OBD2 cars of US, EU and Asia;
  • Multilingual;
  • Good warranty and customer service.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Error can not be erased unless fixed;
  • Its function is limited, only diagnose engine.

5. Launch Creader 6001 OBD2 Scanner Code Reader

This code reader cum scanner is a device consists of a 2.8 inch graphic display and a OBD2 cord and a USB cord. It works on vehicles made in US in 1996, EU and Asia during 2001 and onwards.

It has all the features to diagnose any OBD2 vehicle.  The additional features it has are the I/M readiness test, test to check O2 sensor and EVAP system, DTC lookup to clarify and fix the trouble codes and many more! Launch Creader 6001 seemed an affordable, easy to use and perfect to own by a OBD2 vehicle owner.

At first I want to mention the affordability of this product. It does all the diagnosis I require to perform on my car in less than 50 bucks. Other OBD2 scanners may have wide range of advantages but those are out of reach for most people.

The second benefit is its compatibility. It works on any OBD2 vehicles made is USA, EU and Asia. This scanner gets its update from the internet, and the updates are free! Other devices I used had one or two years free update facility on purchase, but for Launch 6001 Creader I never had to worry about updating the software.

I used this to prepare my car for emission test. the I/M test helped me to know whether i should let my go through a emission test or not. This device has seven language setups of English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Japanese. This feature makes it convenient to use to other non-English speakers.

The ‘Hot Keys’ allowed me to go to the desired section right away. DTC, ER, I/M and Help are the Hotkeys which makes it less complicated and work faster than other scanners. It is perfect for beginners to diagnose their cars with less complicated device.

It is amazing to find and fix codes, but it is lacking some software to run diagnosis on ABS or Airbag (SRS) systems and some engine and transmission DTCs. It only works on the car when the engine is running. There is no battery in it, so it operates on your car battery. I could not keep it plugged in as i feared to drain my car battery.

The sensor tests are great feature of this device, but it will not work on your car if you are unlucky. Some of the users of this device complained about not working the sensor tests on their OBD2 cars, I never faced that trouble tough. The updating sites are unsafe for computers. My computer security always warned me to connect to those sites.

Things We Liked

  • Affordable;
  • Two years free update;
  • Multilingual;
  • Easy operation;
  • DTC, ER, I/M and ‘Help’ hot koys for convenient diagnosis.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Limited diagnosis;
  • May not work on all listed cars.

6. Actron CP9690 Trilingual OBD I/OBD II Elite Auto Scanner

This device works as an assistant for the mechanic and DIY maniacs. If you are looking for a scanner on budget that can focus on the problems of your engine, ABS and airbag, then you can consider having this one. It is lightweight, easy to operate and useful to detect problems and let you know the possible fixes.

The key functions of Actron CP9690 involves reading DTC of engine, ABS and Airbag for a wide range of OBD1, CAN and OBD2 cars of US manufacturers. This device is a module of LCD screen and OBD1 and OBD2 connectors. It takes it update from computer, and able to print data in the same manner. The menu is multilingual, you can choose within three languages. The manufacturer Actron claims this device is able to graph, record and playback live data.

The Code connector feature is the most favourite one among all the features of this device. This function lets me link up to their database of 26 million verified and professional fixes of different problems. 

Wide range of compatibility is another advantage of Actron CP9690 scanner. It is suitable for CAN certain OBD1 and most of the OBD2 cars. It mostly covers the US made cars only.

Works efficiently to read DTC of engine, ABS and airbag of the cars. Besides, recording and printing of data is also easy when Actron CP9690 is in your hand. The latest scanners are also capable of resetting oil light and battery, system monitor of battery and alternator charging, dual PID graph and code criterias.

The connector cable is really short, with this I never could work under the hood. Besides, the provider doesn’t supply any USB; you have purchase one to connect it to your computer.

This machine cannot read live data despite of the claiming of the manufacturer. Never heard it read live data among the users.

Limited function is not a problem as the manufacturers claimed it to be limited. Though they incorporated many new and fabulous features in the latest launch of this product, some users also complained about not working some of the features in their car, despite of their cars are listed as compatible to this device.

This device is helpful for DIY lovers and mechanics. It is efficient to detect the problem so that we can realize the depth of the problem and make decision whether it can be fixed at home or needs a mechanic.

Things We Liked

  • Access to database of verified fixes;
  • Suitable for CAN, OBD1 and OBD2 cars;
  • Read DTC, ABS and airbag, Record and print data, reset oil light battery and many more;

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Cannot read live data.

7. BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool

This is one of the most popular and widely used OBD-II scanners in the market. This affordable, compact and easy to use device is convenient for owners and mobile mechanics. It is made considering the ease of use of the users. BlueDriver is a simple interface which connects your car with your phone via Bluetooth. Once the connection is made, then you are ready to do any type of diagnosis in your smartphone with an application of your choice. The applications are also free and easy to download in android and apple devices.

Blue Driver has amazing features which enables to read the diagnosed reports, verify the findings and problems against vehicle-specific 6 million verified fixes from their database and suggest you probable solutions from another database of 30 million verified fixes.

In a word, when this device is connected to your car, you will get several solutions to fix one new found problem within minutes! And you can choose to prioritize the problems and choose the most suitable solution for your car by yourself! This one device is enough to save your mechanic bill, time and maintenance cost and let you take care of your own car.

With ‘Enhanced Diagnosis’ option you will get information about the ABS, Airbag, Climate Control and many other things .Other features will enable you to run smog check, save and customize live data, view and clear codes, save and export reports and many more. The advantage you get with this device is endless.

The most surprising matter of this device is, it is not compatible with windows devices. You must own a android or apple device to run it.

Another problem we realize is, this device is useless once the Bluetooth starts troubling to connect.  At first it will work fine, but over the time, once the Bluetooth stops working, then it will not work anymore, time to buy another one.

The manufacturer Lemur Vehicle Monitors claims it to be suitable for cars only made in US and EU. Besides, some or all of the features may not work on selected vehicles; such as Volvo, Volkswagen Golf, BMW, Hyundai and so on. No doubt BlueDriver would reach to more customers if the manufacturer could make it more compatible.

Things We Liked

  • Detects problem from database of 6 million verified fixes;
  • Works with apple and android devices;
  • Connects car with device via Bluetooth;
  • Advanced and basic diagnosis;
  • Affordable.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Cannot work with windows devices;
  • May not work on all listed cars;
  • Useless once the bluetooth wires off.

8. Autel Maxidas DS808- The Best Car Diagnostic Tool for Professionals

Autel Maxidas DS808 is an upgraded version of Maxidas DS708. It has same functions as MS906. The difference is, it is more affordable and smaller in size. Affordability makes it popular among other newly launched Autel scanners.

Like Autel Maxidas MS906, it has high tech facilities for advanced level diagnosis and analysis which includes live data, ECU information, active test and many more. It is also useful for services like resetting oil service, EPB service, TPMS programming, DPF regeneration, ABS service, SRS service and SAS calibration.

Editor's Choice

Auto VIN, Maxifix, Shop manager etc upgraded functions are also incorporated in this device.

It is a State of the art scanner for OBD2 vehicles. The best feature for me is its price. it is more affordable hence it is widely used in workshops. Free software update for a year and wireless operation makes this device as convenient as other high priced Autel devices.

This device seemed perfect to me. Mechanics who are using this for years also recommend this for everyone.

Things We Liked

  • All advanced features of other Autel scanners;
  • Less pricey.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons.

9. FOXWELL NT624 PRO Professional Automotive Scanner

It is a device under 300 bucks which can operate all 10 modules for OBD2 cars. It is suitable for 62 US, EU and Asian made vehicles.

Most attractive feature is, with the one key Auto Scan this device efficiently reads codes of almost everything including engine, Electronic Parking Brake, ABS, EPS, heating/air conditioning control, Transmission, etc. it also Shows live data in text and graph. This helps to focus on any unusual deviation. You can also perform Oil Service reset, EPB service and ABS light reset with NT624 scanner from Foxwell. It cannot do any kind of programming in any system of any vehicle.

There are some functions that may not work on listed vehicles. It is compatible for a wide range of OBD2 vehicles but some advanced functions are limited to latest cars of some brand. We recommend contacting the customer service before investing in it.

Some complained it often hangs while working, but i never faced this problem. This device ran smoothly in all the vehicles i tested. Unlike any other latest scanner today ruling in the market, this scanner comes with lifetime free software update facility. This makes it more convenient to use for a long term compared to other scanners.

Things We Liked

  • Lifetime software update;
  • Lightweight and portable;
  • Multilingual;
  • Compatible to OBD2 vehicles;
  • Reads codes, reset different services.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The error codes the device shows must be manually fixed to remove.

10. Innova 3160g Code Reader/Scan Tool

Innova is a renowned name in the field of car monitoring tools for many years. Their latest launch is 3160g code reader scan tool. This device has amazing compatibility and versatile connectivity. 3160g scanner and code reader comes with a 3.5 inch monitor and OBD2 cable. The menu is designed straight forward and hassle free to use.

This device can read and erase codes of the ABS, SRS and engine of vehicles from 1996 up to 2015. The advanced feature enables to reset oil and battery maintenance light, test and record live data and test the battery and alternator as well. 

The menu is very simple and clear-cut and multilingual. You can choose from English, French and Spanish based on your convenience. Hence, I found it easier to use compared to other latest devices in the market. Besides, wire and Bluetooth connectivity make it versatile. Because of the built- in battery, this machine never drained my car battery. I also used it to run some tests even when the car is off.

The second most popular feature of Innova 3160g is the compatibility. Amazingly, this device is suitable for over 40 cars made in USA, EU and Asia. I haven’t found any OBD 2 car yet, that this device could not diagnose.

This expense is high regarding to the features it contains. After using for a month I realized, it is mostly useful to read codes of ABS and SRS diagnosis but cannot read codes from other systems. Besides, as per the manufacturer claimed, it is only a scanner, is not capable to command the system for problem solving.

Other thing, that the manufacturer doesn’t claim is, the updates you got on this device works on fixing bugs only. It is not suitable for cars 2015 onwards, they are working to update the device accordingly for over a year now.

Things We Liked

  • Simple and straightforward menu;
  • Multilingual;
  • Easy to operate;
  • Built-in battery;
  • Compatible to 40 cars;
  • Wire and bluetooth connectivity.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive;
  • Updating only fix bugs;
  • Limited functions.

On-Board Diagnostics or OBD System: 

The On-Board Diagnostic system is an embedded on- board computer in your car and collaborate with other systems. The initial function of an OBD is:

  • Monitor the performance of the ignition system.
  • Keep checking on the efficiency of the car’s emission system, including your car’s engine performance & transmission operation.

An OBD confirms that your vehicle system is working smoothly by incorporating specific reaction from various sensors that are installed in your car. It can also detect problems or any other issues with the help of the information sent by the sensors.

Buying Guide: 

You can find a number of car error code scanning tools in the market. But which one will be perfect for you can be determined according to what type of performance you want from the tool. After researching over 50+ Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanners, we found that if you consider following features for purchasing a quality OBD2 it will give you efficient and effective performance.

1. Power Source: 

While buying an OBD2 scanner, you must check and identify that is the tool is powered by the tool or it has its own internal power supply. Also, consider that is the tool is going to perform for the day or not.

2. Size of Screen: 

The next feature you need to check for a quality scanner is ‘Screen Size’. Because you must want a scanner which will display the reading clearly on a large screen.

3. Wireless Connectivity: 

An wireless connected device can make your job easier. This type of tool will increase your mobility and portability.

4. Platform: 

You also have to choose a platform on which you want to work with from a tablet device or traditional handheld tool. You can also get software which can convert a laptop into a scanner. All you need to select the best one for you.

5. Compatibility: 

Some automotive diagnostic tools are compatible with few device or software. Generally, these tools are comfortable with Android, iOS or windows. So make sure that the tool you are going to purchase is compatible with your device.

6. Ease of Use: 

If you are going to use the ODB2 for commercial use, make sure that your worker doesn’t need any special training to operate the tool. Moreover, an easy to use scanner will also ensure that you can serve your client very quickly.

7. Full Code Definition: 

Before buying a scanning tool, you must check that the device gives you the full code definition for each code. This type of scanner can save your precious time and help you serve better.

8. Storage Facility: 

A professional scanner must have the facility to store the data for future use. So before buying, you must check the tool has expandable memory capability.

9. Upgrades: 

You must prefer an automotive scanner which allows being upgraded.

10. Warranty: 

You must consider the warranty period of the tool before buying. Because, the cost of a quality tool may be high, so if you get one with warranty it may cover defects.

OBD2 Error Codes: A professional diagnostic scanner read trouble codes created by your vehicle and let you know what is wrong with your it. Those codes consists 5 characters and each digit represents the following problems-

Automotive Diagnostic Scanner

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The first character represents the system related to the problem.

B= Body

C= Chassis

P= Powertrain

U= Undefined

The second digit lets you know whether the code is generic or enhanced

0= Generic

1= Enhanced

The third digit identifies the subsystem that the code pertains to.

1= Emission Management (air or fuel)

2= Injector Circuit (air or fuel)

3= Misfire or Ignition

4= Emission Control

5= Idle Control & Vehicle Speed

6= Output Circuit & Computer

7= Transmission

8= Transmission

9= SAE Reserved

0= SAE Reserved

The fourth and fifth digits are variable and related to precise problems.

Conclusion: 

Hope you have get the idea about which professional automotive diagnostic scanner or OBD2 scanner tool you need for your car. With the help of the proper tool, you can detect the source or the reason for the problem of your car easily. And once you detect the problem, you will be able to solve it more quickly.

But remember before buying to go for the best brand. It will serve your purpose and will save your time and money.

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