It rarely ever matters whether you’re a professional or a beginner when it comes to knowing why the car’s check-engine light lit up. It all happens within seconds of unknown terror, especially when you can’t find the issue.
Ugh, how frustrating! Let’s face it — we’re all intrusive when it comes to our beloved cars, and why wouldn’t we be?
Did you know that the best automotive scan tools can help you identify and eradicate such errors?
Not only will it save you a ton of time, energy, and money, but seriously, you won’t be agitated due to your lack of problem-discovery and solving. Whew!
But wait; there are too many options of professional automotive scanners to choose from, which one will suit you best? Moreover, what if you’re not a pro? Calm down, in this article we will answer all your questions and help you discover the correct tool.
Top 7 Best Automotive Scan Tools For You:
07. Autel Diaglink OBDII Code Reader
The Autel Diaglink DIY version is considered to give its users indefinite peace of mind. Why is that? Let’s find out.
Along with enjoying full access to your car’s entire system, you can also avail multiple maintenance services — thanks to its pay for exactly what you get from the scheme. To say that you will experience the full value and more with this best automotive scan tool would be an understatement.
Its seamless design allows you to play with all existing modules that provide over 50+ module coverage. Needless to say, its mechanism will not only reach out to inform you about the basics of your car like the ABS, transmission, or engine, but it will also support powertrain diagnosis, chassis and so much more.
So, a better customer experience is promised. Yes, you’ll be surprised with its convenient perks too. However, if you’re a beginner, this piece might be too much and too soon for you.
Worry not, we have beginner-friendly scanners discussed below. Besides, you must be concerned about which car models are best suited to this bad boy.
It’s said that the newer and 1996 models like Jaguar, Hyundai, Toyota, Suzuki, and many more works with the highest compatibility. You will be amazed at how quickly it can read and eradicate EPB/SBC troubleshoot codes.
Oh, did I mention that you also receive a whopper 1-year guarantee and absolutely free software updates for a lifetime! Wow!
- Easy to use
- All users friendly interface
- Optimized technical support
- Works with most cars
- Some people complained about too many downloads
06. LAUNCH X431 DIAGUN V
Would you love to get your hands on the best reputable professional scanner? We’re here to fill you in on how to do that.
The easy-to-use interface combined with the advanced features, quick vehicle auto-scanning, and a smooth touch screen is where you’ll obtain the most bang for your buck.
If we had to name the various functions that this LAUNCH X431 DIAGUN V could master, we would have to start by highlighting the inclusions of ABS, engine, SRS, transmission, communication and so much more. The list is long enough to cover everything.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
You’ll receive prime service if you’re an advanced user who would love a jam-packed features scanner. But, this scanner has lured in most users because of its DIY-friendly features. Hop in if you’re a DIYer too.
However, much you spend on this hefty deal; it will be given back to you at the rate of accurate readings and precise diagnosis. I know, it does a heck lot. And it’s impressive, to say the least.
Moreover, its excellent diagnostic tool features can be utilized on a multitude of car models based in Europe, Asia, China, and America, with a language range of English, German, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, and French.
Other than the basics, what is even better in these scanners are the features that enable offline coding, personalization, modification, and customization. So, you’re not thrown into some boundary of what you must do. Instead, you finally get to have your go at it.
- Bang for buck
- Durable and sturdy construction
- Water and dustproof
- Compact size
- A bit hard to navigate for end-users
05. Autel ABS SRS OBD2 Scanner
Here’s a deal for you if you’re in search of high compatibility. Yes, you’ve read that right. This Autel MaxiLink OBD2 scanner model is compatible with so many car models that it’s too good to be true.
Let’s see if the entire fuss is real.
With high functionality and efficiency to diagnose ABS and SRS systems, this OBD2 scanner model especially focuses on delivering top-notch service and accurate readings on a majority of the car models manufactured in 1996 and the progressing years.
Aren’t we all in search of such compatibility? Heck, yes! Other than its basic easy to use interface, the OBD2 scanner defies all others because of its feature-stuffed program which is friendly to all skill levels.
Including p1, UO, p2, and p3, the scanner can effortlessly retrieve and detect problems in your vehicle. You will have to analyze the graphical data that will be displayed in the easy-to-use interface. Don’t forget to enjoy other external features like storage, freeze-frames, PCM data streams, and playback too.
But wait, let us disclose the banger on this deal — you can avail free data updates online. So, say goodbye to the hectic troubleshoots. Your call to wanting an all-rounder scanner has been answered.
- Extremely user-friendly
- Compatible with the majority of car models
- Easy to follow display
- No need for additional batteries
- Easy to navigate button design
Might not provide full coverage for all models
l04. thinkcar TS601 OBD2 Scanner – Best For Reasonable Price
If you’re big for comparing prices, let us save you the hassle. This mid-range priced think car scanner is the newest 2021 version that has gained over 4 stars already.
What a stunner, right?
With full OBD2 scanner functionality, you will get to experience full-blown features like erasing fault codes, live streaming, shutting down warning lights, and other onboard monitoring services like EVAP tests and I/M readiness.
At this point, it really is a no-brainer that you will most definitely get the perks of free updates for a lifetime, playback and store data, and 4 in 1 live stream. These features include distinct displays and graphics, dynamic playback and store data streaming, 4 parameter checks in one go, quicker analysis, and diagnosis.
The scanning tool has the convenience of delivering 8+ languages and is mostly compatible with SUVs, OBD2 cars, and light-duty trucks. So, if you do not fall into these categories of car owners, this model is a big no-no for you.
But then again, we’re all still probably stuck with this model supporting a lifetime of free updates. I mean, this alone is just the cherry on top.
You see, the trick is right off the bat after you purchase this model, it will click with you and your car fairly easily. That’s the best catch. Not only does it come off as the easiest to use; but, if paired with the recommended vehicle, it can do wonders.
Correction: it can serve beyond its expected value and wonders when compared to the money spent. A great bargain, to be honest.
- High value for money
- Easy to use interface and design
- ASE Certified
- A quick scan and diagnose
- Free lifetime updates
- Not compatible with a majority of cars
03. LAUNCH X431 V PRO – Best For Advanced
The very first reason as to why all advanced users summon this tool is because of its exquisite Bluetooth function that can display DTC readings, update live streaming data, and also signal users with codes about the power and fuel systems.
But, you would be kidding yourself if you thought that this was all that this professional tool was good at. Its endless superior functionality makes it furthermore vital in this market, and we’re here to give you all the details.
Let’s begin with what basic coverage this product gives. You will get updates on SRS, ABS, TPMS, body control module, key programming, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. Another added bonus is its capacity to acknowledge and display data in over 24 languages for over 10000+ cars.
Seriously, we’re not exaggerating.
The reason why it’s unconditionally compatible with advanced users is that, unlike beginners, they don’t mind spending the big bucks on a worthy product like this one, that covers all the hard work to assist the user.
On the contrary, for this price, you attain the entire value due to its updateable features which evidently prove to be highly compatible with multiple car models and makes. To be very specific, if your vehicle runs on 12V engines, this is your ultimate jackpot.
However, don’t get ahead of yourself and think that this LAUNCH model will assist Ferrari or a Maserati user because, let’s face it, — it can’t. Thus, choose wisely and according to the restrictions.
Make sure you register this model online to get a head-start. The scanner has praise-worthy smooth and fast operating services that quickly diagnose and alert you about troubleshoots. But remember, registering this model is a must, so as to discourage counterfeit products in the market.
- Great Bluetooth connectivity
- Quick and reliable
- Easy to interpret
- Adapts over 10000+ car model and 24 languages
- Needs to be registered
02. Autel MaxiCOM MK808BT Automotive Diagnostic Scan Tool – Best For Intermediate
Come; take a load of this full-proof scanner tool that’s perfect for users who crave a variety of features, both within the span of advanced and basic genres. Why?
Because they simply want the best of both worlds!
This Autel Maxicom scanner features a large display touch screen that mimics the style of an iPad. This Autel Maxicom should give you a better idea of what you’re splurging on. This hefty screen along with its first-class scanner elevates the car’s diagnostic functions qualities giving you apt information of what’s really going on.
Other than the very first eye-catchy detail which is the 7-inch touch screen, you will also experience what’s beyond this squeaky display which is a quad-core processor embedded for the quickest diagnostic time.
Needless to say, any intermediate user is just that — they like to be at a neutral point where they can reach out their arms in either direction, with no restrictions, whatsoever. Are you such an enthusiast? Hop onto this bandwagon, then!
Fortunately, you can also transmit wireless information to multiple devices and store information too. But here’s the catch. You can store any car information without an SD card. It sounds just like stepping out of a dream, doesn’t it?
You will also benefit from its basic feature diagnoses that involve checking and directing information about the SRS, DPF, BMS, EPB, SAS, oil reset, IMMO keys, ABS, TPMS relearn and so much more!
When it comes to compatibility, this best automotive scan tool can adjust to 2000 EU-based, 1996 US-based, and newer car models. So, you get a full diagnosis along with a protective barrier for your investment with its year-long warranty plan.
Sign me up, please!
- Easy to navigate tools
- Easy to press the design of buttons
- Highly responsive, 7-inch touch screen
- No SD cards needed
- No need of connecting it to a computer
- Scanning is a tad slow
- Actuation not allowed
01. Autel Autolink AL619 OBD2 Scanner – Best For Beginner
Last but not the least, we have saved the best automotive scan tool for the newcomers who are just stepping into the initial stage and are excited to begin this voyage in this new world of four-wheelers.
With apt precision comes a relevant diagnosis of the problem; thus, you get to quickly usher the issues out of the scene. If we had to utter one scanner product that could do both simultaneously, it had to be this Autel piece that was built to deliver accurate diagnosis and functionality.
Its top-notch functions involve retrieving and clearing the ABS and SRS code problems. Not only that, but it also gives input on the definition of each of the displayed codes which rapidly leads you to the reason why the MIL turned on in the first.
Let’s get real. Beginners or not, we all love to hit the bull-eye with the best automotive scan tool that can provide easy to use support and functionality without breaking the bank. And this Autel model is just that – if not better.
Other than that, its other basic diagnostic functions involve quick testing and follow-ups of live data, reading codes, O2 monitor testing, erasing codes, freeze frame, component testing and so much more. To attain real-time benefits, just invest in this model and pair it with any 1996 or newer car models.
And, voila, you’re all set!
This quick testing scanner also comes with free software lifetime updates. So, you can download the newest version anywhere at any time.
What more could a beginner want? It will serve primitive users with all the nitty-gritty that they would want while giving them the chance of learning and enhancing their expertise skills.
- Bang for the buck
- Easy to use
- Easily adaptable to beginners
- Great technical functionality
- High accuracy
- Must update software before using
- No airbag function
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How to use an auto diagnostic scanner?
Follow these steps to use an auto diagnostic scanner:
- Plug the tool into your car’s OBD II port and download the vehicle’s data.
- Read the car’s codes and provide special care to this part as, if there’s an existing issue in the system, the scanner will detect it and communicate it to you via codes.
- Interpret the issue.
- Fix the issue
Are OBD scanners worth it?
Unless you’re bound to checking your card codes daily, these scanners may not be highly productive for the cash spent. Especially, as vital auto-part chains can do the same work for free. Moreover, local auto-part chains will even let you loan the tools, if necessary. It is also said that the error codes that are displayed on the OBD2 scanner are rather more authentic and generic.
Can check-engine lights go off by themselves?
A check engine light will shut on its own only if the issue has been eradicated. Usually, such a scenario occurs when the converter is marginal and during your drive, you commit a couple of stop-and-go practices. This will create a steep demand in the converter which might eventually shut off the check engine light.
How long do car computers need to reset themselves?
The time range generally varies with each car and type. Whereas some cars might take around 100 miles for the computers to reset, other models might take longer and even lesser time.
What is the difference between OBD and OBD II scanners?
Usually, if you already have an OBD scanner system in your vehicle, the high-tech system will inform you or the mechanic after self-diagnosing the issue. You can take the needed course from there to eliminate the problems. On the other hand, OBD II scanners are a much more viable and upgraded option as they have better message formats and protocols for signaling the user in times of crisis.
What makes a scan tool the best?
The best automotive scan tool must consist of a few properties. Most of these are usually a junction of the design or the feature. And as a safe tactic, follow these to ensure you’re packing a good deal.
- The tool: OBD scanner can be of two categories, adapters, and diagnostic scanners. Whereas diagnostic scanning tools are the generic and traditional kind, adapters are more like dongles that work with great compatibility with mobile phones. Adapters are compact in size and more real-time user friendly but these are not as durable as the traditional ones. Diagnostic tool are easier to use with pretty straightforward instructions for even a beginner to jump-start. So, decide whether you’re comfortable with an adapter or a diagnostic tool and start from there.
- Compatibility: Will the scan tool you picked actually be compatible with your car? Pay the highest attention to what the manufacturers have to say in this. Normally, the list of car models and make are highlighted in the scanner. Check the websites or consumer reviews to get the latest updates and if it would really work out for you. What’s the point of purchasing a scanner if it doesn’t compliment your vehicle, anyway?
- Functionality: At the very least any professional or beginner would want is for their scanner to aptly display the error codes which it must pick up from the engine. You must be able to read and clear out the error codes and issues which will eventually lead to the check engine light turning off. Some of the basic tests that an average scanner must pull off are BMS, SRS, EPB, TPMS, oil resets, and so on. Is the scanner that you’ve been eyeing capable of these?
- Cost: Is your anticipated scanner costing you an arm and a leg? Well, it shouldn’t! Did you know that the lowest price range on average of a scanner starts from $50? I know, it’s mind-boggling but true. It all boils down to what specification the particular scanner brings to your table and if you’re up for that and nothing more. Settle on a specific budget to get the ball rolling. There are tons of pricing and features to choose from.
Everything that we jibber-jabbered about, would be rendered pointless if you do not pose the highest comfort and compatibility with your current possession. Take our word for it, and toss it in the trash before you give up entirely.
But, hey, there’s still hope. In all the best automotive scan tools that we’ve reviewed above, there’s got to be something for everyone. A beginner would never feel satisfied with a pro tool and vice versa. So, skim through this article, and help yourself to divulge the best automotive scan tool that will be easy to use, multi-purpose friendly, convenient, and, of course, will not burn up your savings.