The Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanners

As an automotive mechanic , I am sure you would agree with me that car diagnostics goes beyond checking the engine light codes and scanning for minor issues.

What if your customer’s car has a serious issue that cannot be fixed by a standard obd2 scanner?

Would you “chicken out” and concede defeat or use a professional automotive diagnostic scanner to solve the problem?

The ideal response would be to use a more sophisticated tool to scan and fix the issue. In this case , you need the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner in your toolbox.

The Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner 2018

The top 5 best automotive diagnostic scanner 2018 :

Product ImageAutomotive ScannerPerformance RatingCheck Price
Autel Maxisys MS9069.8
Innova 3160g Code Reader/Scan Tool9.6
Autel Maxisys MS908P9.5
Foxwell NT624 PRO9.2
Autel Maxidas DS808 Automotive Scanner9.0

1) . Autel Maxisys MS906 – Top Choice Of Automotive Professionals :

Autel MS906 Maxisys Obdii Automotive Diagnostic Scanner (Upgraded Version of DS708/DS808)
236 Reviews
Autel MS906 Maxisys Obdii Automotive Diagnostic Scanner (Upgraded Version of DS708/DS808)
  • Performs full OBD2 functions, Advanced vehicle diagnostics and analysis,...
  • Smart diagnostic Scanner: the MS906 featuring the latest AutoVIN technology...
  • Online update & perfect service: automatic system and software updates with...

During our research for this article , we asked a small group of experienced professional auto mechanics to name their favourite diagnostic tool. The Autel Maxisys MS906 was an overwhelming choice mainly for the functions it offers and its compatibility with most vehicle models. Hence , it is our #1 pick for best professional automotive diagnostic scanner.

The Maxisys MS906 is an upgraded version of the Autel DS708 and DS808  , coming with more advanced features for the modern day vehicles. It is a sophisticated scanner equipped with the latest AutoVIN technology to identify , acquire vehicle info and run diagnostic tests on systems.

The MS906 does full OBD2 functions such as read codes, erase codes, live data view, actuation tests, adaptations and more dedicated services. It is loved for the fact that it supports a wide range of vehicles from over 80 different manufacturers such as Toyota, Hyundai , Lexus , Mitsubishi , Bugatti , Ford , Land Rover , and many more.

Apart from its diagnostic capabilities , one feature we love is the support for printing through PC. This is very helpful as you can easily print out the result of tests and diagnosis done on the vehicle.

Another thing we love about the this  product is its lightweight compared to other scanners on the market. At 22 pounds , the MS906 is portable and you can carry it about without worrying too much about its weight.

Now let’s talk about the cons.

There were a couple of things we didn’t like about the MS906 :

Firstly , the MS906 is a Chinese market model hence servicing and parts are not available in the USA. Should anything go wrong , you would have to ship the needed part from China but not to worry , the MS906 comes with a 1-year warranty which should get you sorted.

We also didn’t like that it dosen’t support OBD1 vehicles , so you would have to purchase a separate scanner for this function. The battery life is also not the greatest as some users complained of having to frequently re-charge their scanner.



Our Final Conclusion :

The Autel Maxisys MS906 is a solid scanner that can perform the needed functions of an Automotive mechanic. It does have a few cons but nothing serious to make us think otherwise. On top of that , it is the favourite choice of Automotive professionals ; hence a solid scanner you can trust.


  • Autel provides frequent updates for this model
  • Shows you live data for ABS system , engine & transmission
  • It works with most vehicles on the market
  • It supports full OBD2 functions
  • Comes with a solid 1-year warranty
  • It has the ability to program keys
  • Uses the latest AutoVIN technology to identify vehicles in one touch to scan ECUs
  • It has bluetooth connection , hence no need for cables
  • Maxisys MS906 is a Chinese market model hence servicing / parts are not sold in the USA
  • Battery life is not the greatest and you may need to frequently re-charge
  • Updates are free for 1year after which you have to pay for them
  • Dose not support OBD1 devices

2). Innova 3160g Code Reader/Scan Tool – The Best Option On A Budget

Innova 3160g Code Reader/Scan Tool with 3.5' Display, ABS, SRS, Bluetooth, and Live Data for OBD2 Vehicles
1,129 Reviews
Innova 3160g Code Reader/Scan Tool with 3.5" Display, ABS, SRS, Bluetooth, and Live Data for OBD2 Vehicles
  • Read and clear check engine lights on any foreign or domestic 1996 and...
  • Read and erase ABS & SRS trouble codes on most OBD2 domestic, Asian and...
  • Reset oil light on popular OBD2 vehicles
  • Reset battery maintenance light & Initialization
  • Stream and record real-time live data to review at a later time via tool...

If you’re looking for the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner that is budget friendly , Innova 3160g is our top recommendation.

This scanner has an interesting design resembling that of a walkie-talkie but even so , it has several advanced features that set it apart from the ordinary walkie-talkie that you know. This is a perfect scanning tool for those who would want to receive live data.

The Innova 3106g scanner can read OBDII vehicles as well as OBD1 vehicles manufactured from the year 1981 to 1995 . With this scanning tool, you can troubleshoot problems related to the engine as well those of the ABS and SRS lights, effortlessly.

Also , the 3160g is easy to use as it provides data on the screen with large fairy buttons for easy maneuverability. Innova allows you access to live data which can be printed from your computer.

What distinguishes the 3160g scanner from other budget options is its ability to save data and other previous tests ; a feature not available on other scanners at the same price range.

Innova provides you with free system updates to keep you on par with new advancements. Its repair center provides information on fixes and repairs ,  and you are entitled to customer care support 24/7 for a lifetime.



  • Supports OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles
  • Long-lasting battery up to 8 hours
  • Works with any car foreign or domestic
  • Has a live stream view that records data in real time
  • Has a detachable cable to allow replacement in case of damage.
  • Instructions for most of its functions are not provided and you’d have to download them online
  • It cannot program vehicles

3). Autel Maxisys Pro MS908P –  High-End Functionality For Automotive Professionals

Autel Maxisys Pro MS908P Automotive Diagnostic Scanner With ECU Coding and J2534 Reprogramming (Same function as Maxisys Elite)
236 Reviews
Autel Maxisys Pro MS908P Automotive Diagnostic Scanner With ECU Coding and J2534 Reprogramming (Same function as Maxisys Elite)
  • Comprehensive OE-Level diagnostic & OBDII services, advanced ECU coding and...
  • Designed for professional technicians who demand superior tool features to...
  • Auto-Vin technology for fast and precise vehicle identification
  • Extensive OE-Level vehicle coverage for more than 80 US, Asian and European...
  • Compatible with some add-ons: Oscilloscope-MaxiScope MP408 and Digital...

Autel Maxisys Pro MS908P is for automotive professionals looking to take their game to the next level. This is truly one of the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner  and one of the top favourites of professionals.

It is a highly advanced tool with extensive system coverage and can diagnose vehicles of over 80 different manufacturers. The Maxisys MS908 Pro performs similar functions as the MS906 (our top recommendation) but goes further by being able to perform Unique ECU Programming on top vehicles like Benz and BMW.

It also has a bigger screen and longer battery life , coming with 11000mAh which lasts for 8 hours ; compared to the 6 hours battery life on the MS906.

This autel scanner is made with auto-VIN tech  which allows for easy identification and extraction of vehicle information from selected systems. Also , Its data management system enables you to retrieve past information that could be needed for repair or service.

One of the main reason why this scanner is recommended is that it provides quick fix as a result of its cloud-based support team. You can get instant access to the database containing information about repair and other overall analysis procedures.

Another impressive aspect of this scanning tool is that it has a user-friendly interface. For this reason, you do not need complex knowledge to interpret results. It does not offer room for confusion during usage as everything is self-explanatory.

The Autel Maxisys PRO MS908P also allows you to print vehicle analysis through your computer. This way , you are able to keep a hard copy for referencing. This scanner has a direct data log in periods to enable you to interact with other users across the network and technical support for fast handling of errors and bugs.

Lastly , the MS908P scanner has automatic system updates through notifications to your cell phone via internet , and you don’t need to worry about battery because this scanner has 8-hours battery life.


  • It has comprehensive OE-Level diagnostic & services, advanced ECU coding and programming for pro tools.
  • It can display DTC description and data values associated with the specific DTC at the moment it occurred.
  • Smart AutoVIN technology for fast and precise identifying vehicles in one touch to scan ECUs, acquire vehicle info and run diagnostic on selected systems.
  • Easily print data via Windows-based PC or Wi-Fi Printer
  • It can reprogram vehicles
  • This scanner is high-end and may not suitable for mechanics without advanced knowledge
  • The price is on the high side

4). Foxwell NT624 PRO Professional Automotive Scanner :

FOXWELL NT624 PRO Professional Automotive Obd2 Scanner Obdii Code Reader Car All-Systems Diagnostic Scan Tool with ABS/Oil Light Reset and EPB Service Functions CAN OBD II EOBD Scanners
133 Reviews
FOXWELL NT624 PRO Professional Automotive Obd2 Scanner Obdii Code Reader Car All-Systems Diagnostic Scan Tool with ABS/Oil Light Reset and EPB Service Functions CAN OBD II EOBD Scanners
  • Compatible with almost all OBDII cars, SUVs, minivans, light-duty trucks...
  • Fully OBD II ability, supports all OBD2 protocols and all 10 test modes...
  • Identifies the vehicle you are testing rapidly and accurately on the basis...
  • Special functions for some models, such as Oil Service reset, EPB service,...
  • LIFETIME INTERNET FREE UPDATE: With internet access, you can always have...

Fourth on the list of best automotive diagnostic scanner is one of  Foxwell’s finest scan tool , the NT624 PRO full system diagnostic tool.

If you are on the market for a standalone OBDII scanner that is lightweight and easy to use  , Foxwell NT624 PRO is your best bet. This scanner  is perfect for professionals and works well with OBD1 vehicles as well as OBD2 vehicles manufactured from 1996 to date.

Compatibility is not an issue as this tool can read protocol of over 61 different vehicle manufacturers from around the world. This is very helpful for mechanics that work with different vehicles on a regular basis.

The NT624 PRO is also heavy on functionality and does pretty much everything you want except program your car. It can turn off dashboard indicator lights, display live data , read and reset basic engine codes ,  pull ECU information , fix A/C and transmission problems , amongst other useful functionalities.

In addition to all the features above Foxwell has provided free software updates FOR LIFE. This ensures your scanner is up to date with the latest vehicle models on the market.


  • Compatible with almost all OBD II cars, SUVs, minivans, light-duty trucks sold worldwide since 1996
  • Reads/clears codes and turns off MILs of all systems (engine/abs/srs/transmission/chassis/body/air condition etc. )
  • Retrieves ECU information
  • Support all 10 OBDII test modes, such as live data, o2 sensor test, component test and more
  • Has a live stream view that records data in real time
  • Free software updates FOR LIFE
  • It cannot program vehicles

5). Autel Maxidas DS808 Automotive Scanner – Autel Scanner On A Budget

Autel Maxidas DS808(Upgraded Version of DS708) Automotive Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Scanner with Key Coding and Multi-language System (Same Function as MS906)
236 Reviews
Autel Maxidas DS808(Upgraded Version of DS708) Automotive Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Scanner with Key Coding and Multi-language System (Same Function as MS906)
  • ADVANCED DIAGNOSIS and ANALYSIS: DS808 is the upgraded version of DS708,...
  • POWERFUL FUNCTIONS: DS808 includes the most commonly performed service...
  • SPECIALIZED FUNCTIONS: The Autel DS808 includes the Smart AutoVIN,...
  • BROAD VEHICLE COVEARGE: DS808 covers for more than 80 US, Asian and...
  • AUTOMATIC SOFTWARE UPDATING: The Auto Update allows the tool to...

If you are looking for an Autel scanner that is just as powerful as the MS906 (our top recommendation) but at a more affordable price , the  Maxidas DS808 is the right choice for you. This scanner is built to perform functions such as ECU coding, Key coding, immobilizer, EPB service, ABS/SRS service ; amongst others.

The DS808 has it all ; style and functionality. It is made with diversified power options. You can use its battery, your vehicle power or even an external supply using the power adapter which is part of the scanner package.

The DS808 scanner has a great screen layout. Its icons are large enough and clear making execution of tasks much quicker. The menu contains special functions and instructions to help you  desired task fast and its smart Auto VIN technology quickens the vehicle-identifying process.

Maxidas DS808 diagnostic reports are saved to its 32GB internal memory. On WIFI use, the diagnostic details can be sent to the customer or even printed out through the windows on your laptop. All the reports are stored in the PDF form making exportation easy.

The online community offers a comprehensive database of diagnostic and repair techniques. Besides you can directly communicate live with the support team for fast problem detection and solution.


  • Complete capabilities for codes, live data, active test, ECU information, adaptation, matching, etc. Smart AutoVIN technology for identifying vehicles easily
  • Exceptional OEM manufacturer-level system coverage for all electronic systems
  • Convenient data management system for managing internal program applications and reviewing data
  • Interactive Data Logging sessions enable direct contact with Autel Technical Support for first-hand troubleshooting of diagnostic bugs and errors
  • The manufacturer manual does not provide much information beyond the basics

Our final thoughts

Getting the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner saves you time and money at the mechanic shop. Each scanner above can correctly diagnose your vehicle and point out to faults for quicker repair. There is no better way to keep your car in excellent running condition other than by acquiring one the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner reviewed above.

If you want something a little cheaper then consider getting OBD2 Scanners and also , do have a look at the benefits of having  a diagnostic tool.

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

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