TOP 10: The Best Automotive Diagnostic Scanner Reviews

Now you can save a lot of money on your car repairs by getting yourself a Best Automotive Diagnostic Scanner tool. Gone are the days when a dealership or service station could rip you off by providing false OBDII data (or repair information) about your car or truck. With a good OBC II scan tool in your possession, you are in total control of your vehicle, making it super-easy to pinpoint the malfunctions in your car. If they are minor, you can even fix them on your own!

But with myriad varieties of automotive diagnostic scanners at your disposal these days, it is tough for you to pick the best OBDII scanner for your vehicle. Worry not; we have made your job easy by reviewing some of the best 10 OBD2 scanners available on the market.

Let’s check them out one by one.

Best Automotive Diagnostic Scanner Reviews

Best Automotive Diagnostic Scanner

The Top 10 Best Automotive Diagnostic Scanners



BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool- GOLD AWARD

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool

With so many satisfied customers to its credit, the BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional Automotive Scan Tool has all the reasons to decorate the top slot in this list.

  • ​This Bluetooth OBD2 scan tool is very easy-to-use
  • Has all the functionalities of an expensive automotive diagnostic scanner
  • Download the BlueDriver app on your handheld
  • These reports drawn from a massive database of 6.6 million fixes
  • Get vehicle-specific repair report absolutely free
  • View diagnostic info on your smartphone or tablet
  • ​Has all benefits of a smartphone or a tablet



Innova 3160g Code Reader / Scan Tool

Innova 3160g Code Reader / Scan Tool with 3.5" Display

This is one of the best OBD2 scan tools in the market that offers ABS (Antilock Braking System), SRS (Supplement or Safety Restraint System), and live data for OBD2 vehicles.

  • Quickly uncover the reason behind the “Check Engine” warning lights
  • Compatible on foreign or domestic OBD2 cars, SUV, light truck, and hybrids newer than 1996
  • Reads trouble codes of ABS and SRS light off of most OBD2 vehicles
  • Displays 25 critical data via all-in-one patented screen in English, Spanish, and French
  • ​Has all benefits of a smartphone or a tablet



INNOVA 3100 Diagnostic Scan Tool/Code Reader reviews

INNOVA 3100 Diagnostic Scan Tool/Code Reader

This entry-level car scanner is a perfect maintenance tool for any automobile owner. It is compatible with all cars, SUVs, light trucks, and minivans (both domestic and foreign) built during 1996 or later.

  • Provides you the reason for “Check Engine” warning lights – Quickly!
  • ABS light trouble codes can be readand erased on majority of the Ford, GM, Chrysler, andToyota vehicles
  • Has a patented all-in-one LED display and screen
  • This allows you to check State Emission Readiness and verify drive cycle


Autel AL519 AutoLink  Enhanced OBD ll Scan Tool reviews

Autel AL519 AutoLink Enhanced OBD ll Scan Tool

This automotive diagnostic scanner from Autolink empowers you to carry out a comprehensive diagnosis of your vehicle by supporting all the 10 OBD2 test modes.

  • Allows you to carry out diagnosis faster
  • Features the exclusive patented One-Click I/M Readiness Key
  • Provides the ultimate power and cost effectiveness
  • Has built-in speaker and TFT display
  • Provides thousands of troubleshooter code tips
  • These code tips help save on trouble detection and repair time
  • Has a portable compact unit that helps you carry it anywhere
  • Live sensor data is read, recorded, and played back


Innova 31603 Car Scan + ABS/SRS Scan Tool reviews

Innova 31603 Car Scan + ABS/SRS Scan Tool

This professional obd2 scanner can diagnose faults on cars, SUVs, and light trucks (Domestic, European and Asian import) built during 1996 or later.

  • ABS and SRS light trouble codes can be read and erased on majority of the Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota vehicles
  • It can display, record and play back OBD2 live data graphing
  • Displays Freeze Frame Data that shows several P.I.D. snapshot
  • Connects to all OBD2 protocols and lets you easily decipher “Check Engine” light warnings


PLX Devices Kiwi 3 Bluetooth OBD2 OBDII Diagnostic Scan Tool Reviews

PLX Devices Kiwi 3 Bluetooth OBD2 OBDII Diagnostic Scan Tool

Kiwi 3 OBD adapter is the fastest, smallest, and most all-round scan tool on the market these days.

  • Consumes ultra-low power that enables you to keep it installed to your vehicle permanently
  • It can be installed in just few seconds
  • Works on all standard OBD2 protocols
  • Only 0.68 inches thick which makes it almost invisible after install
  • Firmware can be updated via Bluetooth
  • Futuristic OBD2 adapter that doesn’t require WIFI configurations or Bluetooth pairing 
  • Just launch the app by plugging it and Kiwi 3 runs on autopilot


Autel AL619 AutoLink ABS/Air Bag + OBDII Scan Tool Reviews

Autel AL619 AutoLink ABS/Air Bag + OBDII Scan Tool

This Autel OBDII scanner from Autolink is designed to quickly reveal the reasons behind “Check Engine”light, SRS, or ABS warning lights found on more than 50 vehicle brands.

  • Compatible on all vehicles (using OBD2 & CAN) built in 1996 or later
  • Easily reads and clears diagnostic codes pertaining to SRS system
  • A highly potent tool for specialty and body shops that require quick examination of SRS and ABS
  • Retrieves brand specific, pending and generic codes
  • Live PCM and sensor data is read, stored, and played back


Innova 3040d Diagnostic Code Reader / Scan Tool reviews

Innova 3040d Diagnostic Code Reader / Scan Tool

This is a perfect scan tool for any DIYer or mechanic looking for easy diagnosis and repair of their vehicles. It is easy-to-use, yet cutting-edge!

  • Reads and clears “Check Engine” warning lights from vehicles (domestic or foreign) built during 1996 or later
  • All-in-one patented screen displays 25 critical snippets of vehicle info
  • Provides real-time viewing of live data for more precise trouble detection and diagnosis
  • Checks vehicles battery and alternator performance
  • Reads and clears ABS system problem codes for majority of Ford, GM, Honda, Chrysler, and Toyota vehicles


Innova 3120e Code Reader / Scan Tool reviews

Innova 3120e Code Reader / Scan Tool

This advanced car code reader is all that a professional technician would need, but at the same time it is extremely simple-to-use for a DIYer.

  • The perfect OBD2 scanner for troubleshooting Check Engine and ABS faults in OBD2 vehicles
  • Extracts OEM-enhanced diagnostic codes and performs variety of tests on popular vehicles built from 1982 and 1995
  • Reads and clears ABS light diagnostic codes on majority of popular OBD2 brands
  • Displays 25 critical nuggets of info in English, Spanish, and French on an all-in-one patented screen


Innova 3140g Code Reader / Scan Tool with 3.5

Innova 3140g Code Reader / Scan Tool with 3.5" Display

This automotive diagnostic scanner is advanced enough for any technician, but easy-to-use for a DIYer at the same time.

  • Read and erase “Check Engine” warning lights on all vehicles (Domestic and Foreign) built in 1996 or later
  • Read and clear ABS & SRS diagnostic codes on majority of OBD2 European, Asian, and domestic vehicles
  • Oil light can be reset on all major OBD2 vehicle brands
  • Real-time live data graphing, streaming, and recording on tool or computer screen

How to choose the Best Automotive Diagnostic scanner?

With so many diagnostic tools on the market, it can be often a difficult task to choose the right OBD2 scan tool for your vehicle. But if you can take certain critical points into account; the selection process can get a whole lot easier. It will not only help you pick the best professional automotive scan tool but also save you some money in the process.

Let’s discuss some of those important points here.

1. Know the cons of a basic OBD2 scannerandpros of an advanced scan tool!

This is the very first query that you must ask yourself before starting to explore different scan tools. Do you want a basic OBD2 scanner or a high-end one? Of course, if you are planning to buy a basic scanner, the functions will be limited. However, if you are on a tight budget, there’s no choice but to settle for a less expensive scanner. But please be aware of the disadvantages of using a less costly OBD2 scanner!

Disadvantages of a basic OBD2 scan tool

· It usually displays a trouble code or a fault in your vehiclethat must be repaired (without providing clear definitions of each code)

· But it may not tell you if the problem is severe that needs urgent attention or a less serious one that can be fixed later

· Less costly ones may not be compatible with all the vehicle brands

Now let’s check out the advantages of a high-end automotive scan tool.

Advantages of an expensive OBDII scanner

The advantages aremany. Here are the major ones for your reference.

· Compatible on all vehicles -An advanced scanner will be compatible on all vehicle brands

· Monitors ABS and Airbag systems - It will be capable of finding faults in ABS or Airbag system, Anti-lock braking system and various other systems and reset them if required

· Clear trouble code definitions - An expensive automotive diagnostic scanner will be designed to display the definitions of each trouble code clearly and lucidly

· Print scan results - It allows you to print the scan results if you need the hard copies

· Shows real-time data - It can keep track of the engine sensors and performance levels in real-time and displays live data - even when the vehicle is moving

· Stores scan data for later viewing – The scanned vehicle information is safely saved in the tool’s memory for later use or viewing

· Know your vehicle’s history - Expensive scanners can also reveal if your vehicle was altered or restored earlier. It can even retrieve and display your vehicle’s identification number (VIN)

2. Check if you can upgrade your OBD2 scanner?

If you want an upgradable OBD2 scan tool, you must get a high-end car code reader. Only an advanced expensive car code reader or professional automotive scan tool will let you upgrade its functionalitieslater - when required. The greatest advantage of upgrade capability? It will easily make the tool compatible on newer vehicles. But please be advised that every upgrade may cost you some money. So it’s highly recommended to enquire the cost before going ahead with an upgrade.

3. Check if your OBD2 scan tool is ACTUALLY compatible with your vehicle

Most OBD2 scanners that you find on the market make use of five fundamental signal protocols namely SAE J1850 VPW,SAE J1850 PWM, ISO14230-4 (KWP2000),ISO9141-2, and also ISO 15765-4 (CAN-BUS)/SAE J2480since 2003. Even though a manufacturer asserts that their tool is compatible with all these protocols, it’s always good to check if it’s really compatible with your vehicle before you pay.Contrary to the claims made by manufacturers, in reality, several OBD2 scanners have been found to be incompatible with vehicles.

While looking for a good OBD2 scanner, it’s also essential to have an idea about the different types of scanners available on the market.

4. Know the different types of OBDII scanners

1. PC-based scanners – These automotive diagnostic scanners come in software form, which can be installed on your PC. Once the software is installed, your PC can be connected to the Engine Control Unit port (ODB2) of the vehicle to access the vehicle’s diagnostic data.

2. OBD2 Bluetooth scanners – The Bluetooth scanners make use of the Bluetooth technology to pair up with your mobile/handheld devices or computer after it is connected to the vehicle’s OBD2 port. Once connected, your mobile/computer transforms into a high-end scan tool providing you with diagnostic and performance data even while your vehicle is on the go!

3. Handheld ODB2 scanners–The handheld versions are the most powerful and easy-to-use ODB2 scanners. They provide you with precise and reliable diagnostic data pertaining to a wide variety of systems and sub-systems on your vehicle including engine, brakes, airbags, transmission to name a few. The data is presented clearly in an easy-to-digest format thanks to its multicolor graphics. The handheld OBD2 scanners come with power and data cable, batter pack, power supply and other necessary accessories.

To sum it up you must look for the following qualities in an OBD2 scanner to call it a best OBD2 scanner.

· Quickly provides reliable diagnostic data

· Works with most vehicles, even on pre-OBD2 ones

· Even an inexperienced DIYer should be able to use

· Must be able to store and log data

· Must seamlessly connect to different mobile/handheld devices

· Must be upgradeable

· Information must be presented in an easy to read manner on a large screen with colored graphics

· Must be easy to carry it around

· Must include all the accessories and an alternate power source

· Must have the capability for wireless connectivity

· Must come with manufacturer’s warranty

Our Verdict and Recommendation

Although we have reviewed and analyzed the top 10 OBD2 scanners on the market, our vote for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards go to the first, second, and third contenders on the list.

1. Gold - BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad& Android,

2. Silver - Innova 3160g Code Reader / Scan Tool with 3.5" Display

3. Bronze - ABS, SRS, Bluetooth, and Live Data for OBD2 Vehicles

These three OBD2 scan tools are arguably the Best Automotive Diagnostic Scanners that you can get these days and are highly recommended professional automotive scan tools. Picking the best ten from the hundreds was tough let alone the best three. To reach our verdict of the top three, we hadto analyze several features of all the ten products. And thequalities that make these threescan tools distinct from the rest are their advanced scan features, ease-of-use, data presentation, accuracy, compatibility, and versatility.

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