You may never know the importance of having an obd ii scanner until your car develops a fault. When it happens , you would be torn between driving to a mechanic shop or troubleshooting the issue yourself.
Of course , you can easily drive to the mechanic and splash 200 or 300 bucks to get it fixed. But it may shock you to know it was a minor issue that shouldn’t have cost you half as much as you paid.
This is not to say that mechanics are rip-offs , NO. But there are some minor car issues that you can diagnose and fix by yourself without the help of a mechanic.
All you need is the best obd2 scanner.
Best OBD2 Scanner 2018 Reviews
The best obd2 scanner for the money :
OBD2 scanners are compact devices that were built to enable car owners run a diagnosis of their car. These diagnostic tools come with integrated software which reads and updates the owner in real time of any/all problems found on their vehicle.
On-board Diagnostics – OBD , has been in vogue years now since it was developed and subsequently adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It has become a set standard for all manufactured vehicles.
OBD2 and OBD1 vary in that OBD2 scanner is the standard for all vehicles produced from 1996 and beyond. The 1996 standard is supported by all existing vehicle manufacturers making one piece of an OBD2 scanner a universal diagnostic tool able to retrieve codes from vehicles manufactured from 1996 to date.
1). BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scanner – Best Smartphone OBD2 Scanner[amazon box=”B00652G4TS”]
The top choice Obd ii scanner is Bluedriver Bluetooth professional , a product developed by professional engineers in North America.
BlueDriver is simply the best obd2 scanner for smartphones and has official license to work on Android and iOs devices. It is a great personal scanner for individuals who want to troubleshoot the problems with their car but don’t have the advanced knowledge of an auto mechanic.
The Bluedriver professional scanner can read and clear all error codes as well as perform enhanced diagnostics which will display important information regarding the ABS, Airbag, Climate Control and many more.
How does it work ?
The communication mechanism of this scanner revolves around bluetooth wireless connection. Once the scanner is plugged into a car’s OBD2 port , it initiates a connection between the port and the bluedriver app on a smartphone for the to-and-fro transmission of data and instructions.
To get started , you need to purchase the bluedriver scanner from amazon . Once that is done , the next step is to download and install the official bluedriver app for Android or iOs from their respective app store. Plug the scanner to your car’s obd2 port , launch the app , run a diagnosis , fix the issues detected.
As an extra bonus , Bluedriver provides free vehicle-specific reports drawn from a database of over 6.6 million fixes done by expert automotive mechanics.
Benefits of Bluedriver Bluetooth Professional Scanner
- Access to all CEL codes of all makes with permission to read and clear (Confirmed, Pending and Permanent)
- Access to all Enhanced codes like Transmission, Airbag, ABS, etc. for such cars like Toyota, Ford, Nissan, BMW, Chrysler and 2003+ Honda.
- Access to repair reports including code definition, possible causes of problem, reported fixes (which are vehicle-specific for each DTC)
- Freeze frame
- Smog check
- Mode 6
- Live data
- Supports lots of manufacturers and brands including all GM brands, all Ford brands, all Chrysler brands, all Nissan brands, all Toyota brands, all BMW brands, all Honda brands
2). Innova 3160g OBD2 Scan Tool – Best Obd2 Scanner For DIY :[amazon box=”B06XKX2KDJ”]
Innova’s 3160g is an advanced professional automotive diagnostic scanner that has become one of the most sought-after scanners by DIY’ers. This scan tool can read and clear all error codes , check engine light , service light reset , emission readiness , ABS/SRS codes , amongst other advanced functions .
It is the most expensive tool on our list of best obd2 scanners but deserves its spot as it comes with free lifetime updates to ensure you’re covered should you purchase the latest iteration of your favorite car.
Benefits of Innova 3160g :
- Ability to read and clear check engine lights on most types of cars including domestic and foreign cars which were produced in 1996 and newer and OBD2 compatible.
- Works with both cars, hybrids, light truck and SUVs
- Ability to read and clear ABS and SRS trouble codes of most vehicles (the U.S., Asian and European made)
- Reset oil light (works with popular OBD2 vehicles)
- Streaming and live data recording to be reviewed at a later time
- Reset battery maintenance light
3). ANCEL AD310 Enhanced Universal – Best Cheap OBD2 Scanner[amazon box=”B01G5EA74I”]
The ANCEL AD310 is a best seller and our top choice cheap obd2 scanner. This tool is perfect for those looking to purchase a quality OBD2 scanner on a budget without sacrificing quality.
This scanner fully supports most 1996 US-Based vehicles as well as 2000 EU-Based and Asian vehicles, and the latest iteration of vehicles which support OBD II and CAN. It is available in diverse languages such as like Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Russian, German, Portuguese and Finnish.
The ANCEL AD310 which has a large LCD that measures 128 x 64 pixels correctly displays test results. This scanner doesn’t require any external source of power like charger and battery as it gets its power straight from the OBD2 Data link connector that is attached to the vehicle.
It supports all OBD2 protocols like KWP2000, J1850 VPW, ISO9141, CAN and J1850 PWM. The AD310 enhanced scanner comes with a three-year warranty.
Benefits of the ANCEL AD310 Universal Scanner
- Has a large easy to read LCD screen (with backlight)
- Retrieves vehicle information
- Views data from freeze frame
- Access logs, reads and clear (check engine light) diagnostic trouble codes including the manufacturer specific codes and generic codes
4). BAFX 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool – Best OBd2 Scanner For Android[amazon box=”B005NLQAHS”]
The Bluedriver obd2 scanner (our no 1 recommendation) is a complete scanner for Android and iOs devices , but if for some reasons you want something else for your android device , BAFX 34t5 is the best obd2 scanner for android.
This scan tool is a compact, affordable device which works best with Android smartphones or tablets and is compatible with other operating systems like Windows.
The BAFX 34t5 , unlike many other scan tools which boast of supporting all vehicles but don’t support CAN and J1850 protocols , is regarded as one of the most reliable OBD2 scanners as it supports all protocols. This gives access to a wide range of vehicles manufactured between 1996 and to date.
The setup of the BAFX 34t5 Bluetooth scanner is easy as it easily connects to your Android device. The BAFX 34t5 is not however compatible with Apple iOS devices.
Benefits of BAFX 34t5
- Enables users to read OBD2 and clear CEL (Check Engine Light) codes
- Allows users to pull several other sensor reading
- Works with several apps with varying pricing
- Real-time sensor information sent straight to your mobile phone
- Gets user ready for emission testing
- Comes with a two year warranty period
- Mobile friendly and compatible with Android and Windows devices
- Uses Bluetooth to pair with devices
5). ScanTool 427201 Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner – Best Obd2 Scanner for Windows Phone[amazon box=”B00H9S71LW”]
Windows Phone users are not left out as ScanTool’s 427201 is the best option for windows phone. This scanner , just like BAFX 34t5 , is not compatible with devices running IOS operating systems (Apple devices) but would work seamlessly with your Android or Windows phone, tablet or PC.
ScanTool 427201 is quite easy to operate with installation taking a few seconds to get done. It can also be left plugged into your car as it doesn’t drain the car battery. The scanner comes with free software for Windows and app for Android but is also compatible with other 3rd party apps like Dashcommand and the very popular Torque.
It works great with all cars manufactured from 1996 to date as well as light trucks which are sold in the U.S. (doesn’t support electric or hybrid vehicles yet).
The adapter is very compact and would not inconvenience the driver as it’s not obstructing the legroom in the car.
Benefits of the ScanTool 427201
- Offers faster response time
- Battery saver technology with sleep function
- Hacker-proof with its multilayered link security system
- Allows users to read and clear check engine light
- Compatible with Android and Windows smartphones, tablets and PCs
- Supports a vast number of cars with its support of different variants of OBD2 including JOBD, EOBD, as well as other international variants
- Comes with its free app and software but still compatible with different 3rd party apps
Buyer’s Guide – Questions You Should Ask Yourself
Before committing to purchase the best OBDii scanner, you should already bear in mind that cars which were produced before the year 1996 are not going to be compatible with any available scanner you might like since they do not have OBD2 port.
Will an OBD2 scanner work for my vehicle?
As long as your vehicle is not later than 1996, it should be fine. But you should also confirm the compatibility of the scanner and vehicle before purchase. That means you must confirm that the OBD2 scanner you plan to buy supports your vehicle.
This is because while OBD2 is the standard, OBD2 vehicles make use of five (5) different types of hardware communications. Some of the OBD2 tools utilize the all five whereas some work with a specific manufacturer(s).
Are OBDII scanners upgradeable?
Sure. There are upgradable OBD2 scanners. But this depends on the type of scan tools. Professional and high-quality scanners are updateable whereas most handheld and low-end scanners cannot be upgraded.
Scanners which can be updated do have a price tag for each update and could cost as much as $500 or more. These updates come in handy to accommodate automobile manufacturer’s revision of existing models and new releases.
What kind of built-in help does it offer?
Many OBD2 scanners compliment the Factory Service Manual, but some do better than others by providing even more detailed information to save you time, money and your sanity. You can either decide to go for a tool that displays the diagnosis trouble code (DTC) number or one that defines the trouble codes to explain what kind of problem you are experiencing.
Does the tool offer data logging?
You don’t want to purchase a diagnosis tool without this capability. A diagnostic tool which stores data while driving for safe viewing is recommended.
Types of OBDII Scanners
There are two types of OBDII scanners the code readers and the scan tools. The code readers are the cheaper and simpler devices which are usually plugged into the vehicle for the sole purpose of reading and clearing all the error codes shown.
You won’t be able to extract any more information from these devices. The scan tools, on the other hand, are sophisticated tools which come in various complexity levels from the small versions for individual car users to larger and more powerful diagnostic systems which are used in large auto shops.
An OBD2 scanner is a must have for car owners in this day and age. You don’t need to have your sent over to an auto mechanic every single time. By purchasing a high quality OBD2 scanner (our list of the best obd2 scanner is a pointer for some of the best options on the market) you can easily read and clear error codes, diagnose problems with your car and fix the less technical problems yourself.
It’s important that if you own a vehicle, you should get the best obd2 scanner which would work with your car (as long as it has an OBD2 port, you’d find several OBD2 scanners which are compatible).
Hey Guys! , I am Daniel Coleman and I LOVE CARS. I’m a computer programmer by profession but when not writing code , you’d find me researching on new cars and keeping up with the latest automotive trends.
Say hello ! , message me on [email protected]