Best OBD2 Scanner in 2016 Reviews

I now that there is lots of OBD2 scanners available on online stores and it may be hard to choose the right product.

But, don’t worry, to assist you to find the best OBD2 scanner for your special needs, either be it a basic or a professional model, short reviews of top 10 OBD-II scanners on the market is compiled for you to read through and spend your money on the right one.

A brief review of Top 10 best OBD2 scanners

Getting an opportunity to work with these scanners, you will clearly notice that what they have on offer is comparable to none in the market. Giving you a prelude into these ODB2 scanners may just give you the reality of what I mean. Consider the features of the following:

As a skilled technician or a keen do-it-yourself, you should purchase this HIGH TECH tool with certainty. BlueDrive’s technical features are unparalleled with many other similar products. Here is a preview of some of these features:

  • Immediate ABS and engine code reading.
  • Emission examination, making sure it passes the test
  • Ability to read live engine data and store readings at the same time for later referrals and analysis
  • Ability to display analytic charts and presentations from engine readings. This is done by making benefit of the high technology software installed on your smartphones.
  • Works with all automobiles and light trucks produced from 1996, including diesel pickups introduced into the market from 2004.
  • Certified to work with Apple iOS and Android apps

Things We Liked

  • A tiny device, transmitting all the necessary readings via Bluetooth wireless Technology to your iPhone and iPad without any connecting cable.
  • Cost free download of apps (Apple & Android)
  • Wider access to a database analysis bank
  • Ability to save readings in a Drop Box file
  • Works with all OBDII protocols inclusive of CAN

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Minor complications occur when running the apps for the first time
  • Setting procedures to ensure savings. However, the user manual takes you step by step forward

2. BAFX Products Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tool

bafx productsFirst of all, you should know why you need to buy BAFX Products instead of other cheaper versions. By paying a few dollars less you lose many of the technical features of this tool (e.g.cheaper models don’t match up with Ford automobile protocols. They use a lower quality Bluetooth technology causing hitches during code readings.)

Having said that, in my opinion there are many good reasons to buy this product:

  • It works with all vehicles sold in US after 1996.
  • Analyzes and clears DTC codes.
  • Provides engine readings, e.g. RPM.
  • Diagnoses Timing advances.
  • Reads Air consumption temperature.
  • Reads Air stream level.
  • Measures Oxygen level.

So if you have a smartphone you need to buy this device.

Note: Reading all the above data depends on the variety of sensors installed by the car manufacturers.

Things We Liked

  • The BAFX adapter works longer providing a steadier link.
  • Clears diagnosis codes and turns off the “Check Engine” light.
  • Links to your Android or windows PC system.
  • Sold with a mini- disk for downloading the software on a PC.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The BAFX does not turn off when the engine is not working, therefore you should plug it out or the battery will be discharged.
  • Not compatible with iOS devices.
  • Bluetooth sometimes is shortly delayed before connecting.
  • Does not read some specified BMW codes.

3. Actron CP9580A Enhanced AutoScanner Plus

actron cp9580aIf you need a diagnose data reader, this product from Actron Group should be high on your list if not the first.

To have this scanner in your car or garage is a bright idea; it saves you time and money. It simply locates the trouble spot and lists the repairs which should be carried out. Here are some of its exclusive features:

Actron CP9580A has been working greatly with 1996 and newer automobiles. It includes extended Asian and ABS code coverage record plus playback data stream along with on display graphing.

  • It operates with all cars and light trucks from 1996 having OBD2 and CAN protocols.
  • Reads and deletes engine live readings.
  • Code meanings are displayed on your screen.
  • Turns off the Check Engine Light.
  • Provides emission rating and live engine readings.
  • Provides data charts.
  • Saves all the necessary date, for later analysis.
  • Provides repair solutions alongside data readings. With this information in hand you have the choice of doing the repair job yourself or refer it to your auto repair shop, trimming the diagnosis charges.
  • LCD screen of 129*64 pixels.

Things We Liked

  • Comes with a comprehensive repair manual reviewed very useful by readers.
  • Linked to a database of 4.3 million confirmed repairs of faults which turn on the engine light.
  • Automatic car identification reading including the VIN serial number and engine body number.
  • Pinpointing the location of the faulty part in the engine
  • You can read live engine data as you are driving your car.
  • Three Language display reading ( English, French and Spanish)

Things We Didn’t Like

  • A pity it doesn’t come with a carrying case, although it doesn’t have many accessories.
  • Problems have been reported with the software; for example it doesn’t work with Window 8 and Mac operators.

4. Innova 3100 Diagnostic Scan Tool

innova 3100As an entry level scanner this is one of the best buys in the market. Hundreds of customer’s reviews, almost are 5 star ratings. Professionals know through experience that INNOVA products are famous for their toughness and efficiency. To assess the quality of a car engine code reader you have to examine its technical features. In this case they are abundant:

  • The scanner display works in several languages, making it easier for technicians from different nationalities.
  • It has a unique automatic update system ensuring you that the readings are final. This is done in a 30 second sequence.
  • You can use this handy tool even when the engine is off, using a good battery powered system for the OBDII protocol to run.
  • The display is eye-catching, enabling you to study live readings in the form of graphs and analytic charts.
  • The code readings encompass both general and advance data.
  • It is remarkably small in size making it more manageable.
  • By a simple USB connection you can transfer data to your PC, for storage or more in depth analysis.
  • The scanner programming is easily updated to work with new comers in the market.
  • It functions with all inland or imported 1996 and newer cars, pickups or light weight trucks.

Things We Liked

  • All INNOVA models have a fixed one year guarantee.
  • Considering all the technical features and the proven track record the cost is reasonable.
  • Displays diagnosis results in great speed.
  • Empowered by a separate battery system.
  • This brand in well known for its resilient and solidly built products.
  • In line with code reading it gives you the explanation for the malfunction, a property that cheaper scanners lack.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • There are some technical hitches when it comes to transferring data to your PC.

5. Innova 3160 Diagnostic Scan Tool with ABS/SRS and Live Data

innova 3160INNOVA 3160 has achieved 450 five stars out of 750 reviews. Considering the wide range of code reader scanners in the market finding the one which suits you best at an affordable price is sometimes an arduous job. However, if you do a more detailed search you realize that each product has its own uniqueness. Now what is distinctive about this model of INNOVA products?

  • The first feature which distinguishes the INNOVA 3160 is its ability to read ABS system (Anti-Lock Brake System) codes.
  • Also it displays code reading of the SRS system (a new safety system incorporated in the airbag).
  • Live up to date code reading, pinpointing the area where the fault should be found.
  • It weighs only three pounds and 7*3*10 inches in size, making it a convenient tool besides you.
  • By transferring the data readings through a USB connection to your PC, it can be saved or printed.
  • It has a Multi-language display system, omitting any language obstacles.
  • It has a useful battery support system allowing you to diagnose your engine without running it.

Things We Liked

  • This product is sold with the essential USB connecting cable.
  • It comes with a comprehensible reference manual.
  • It covers both old OBD1 type cars and new OBD2 vehicles. This feature has made this model very popular.
  • INNOVA manufacturers are known for their highly skilled ASE experts, at the ready to help you out on any difficulties in using the scanner.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Despite its feature in covering both OBD1 and OBD2 cars, there are some OBD1 vehicles which do not fit with this device.
  • The code reader is manufactured with specifics to operate in the framework of US and Canadian emission regulations and may not work elsewhere (e.g. South America).

6. Actron CP9680 AutoScanner Plus

actron cp9680This new production with the latest technology used in it stands as a marvel in Actron’s line up of OBD2 scanners. Actron CP9680 is modern one hand and easy to use on the other. Some of the special features of this OBD2 scanner are listed below:

  • Simple to use LCD screen screen in three languages (English, Spanish, French).
  • Special feature called,“Code Connect” linking your scanner to a huge 26 million verified fixes.
  • ABS and Airbag code reading.
  • Live data reading of your engine.
  • Storing and printing data by connecting to your PC.
  • Storing engine data at the moment of the malfunction.
  • Faulty part detector, showing you exactly where the problem is.

Things We Liked

  • Manufactured with a USB plug and battery backup system.
  • Guaranteed speed and accuracy in reading engine data.
  • Saving time and money by verifying and locating the fault.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Carrying case is not included causing inconvenience in handling and transport.
  • One of the shortcomings of this model is the absence of a complete User Manual. Only a thin brochure is provided which in no way represents the outstanding features of this tool.
  • UBS connecting cable is sold separately.

7. Actron CP9690 Trilingual OBD I/OBD II Elite AutoScanner

actron cp9690This over 4 star rated Actron product is listed among one of the most competent scanners in the market. Some drivers, who already had a scanner, ordered this model just for its special SRS code reading ability. Here are some of the features and benefits of this product which you should consider if you are looking for something reliable.

  • Color LCD screen with a Multi-language display.
  • Providing SRS and ABS code reading for most car models including Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota and GM.
  • By connecting to your PC you have the vantage point of saving, printing, running and analyzing live date from your engine.
  • Through USB plug you can update your scanner ensuring its accuracy.
  • Battery powered when not attached to the vehicle.
  • Friendly with most OBD I, OBD II and CAN car engines.

Things We Liked

  • Comprehensive scan- by using the code connect feature you are able to do a complete repair job on your car.
  • Cost free technical backing from ASE qualified technicians.
  • Powered by an independent battery source.
  • Guidelines provided are comprehensive and easy to follow; making it an Ideal tool for do-it-yourself drivers.
  • Prompt and quick delivery of the product by the manufacturer.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Problems do occur when reading SRS codes.
  • The technical backing has had its shortcomings in providing speedy help to customers.

8. Scan Tool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth Scan Tool

Scan Tool 426101Scan Tool 426101 is known for its awesome abilities and remarkable consumer backup system. One of the many features of this device which is a favorite with car owners is its automatic turnoff ability. You can leave it installed on your car and it shuts down when you turn the engine off. On starting the car the code reader turns on again. However to buy this tool you should consider all its features in detail:

  • It matches with nearly all vehicles with OBD2 protocol. In addition it complies with SW-CAN for Ford manufactured cars.
  • Using Bluetooth technology by the OBDlink MAX, it is super-fast in reading data outmatching other competitors in the market.
  • It is completely independent from the car battery for its operation.
  • The small size of 1.8*2*0.9 inches and the light weight of only 1 pound makes it convenient to use.
  • It is sold with a number of useful USB connecting cables.
  • The device can be updated using the wireless connection.

Things We Liked

  • The producer of this tool has set a 90 day money return guarantee, and 3 year guarantee for repair or replacement.
  • Parallel to the data readings you are provided with the solutions to the malfunction.
  • The tool is safeguarded against hackers when connected to the internet.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • It has problem working with third party applications.
  • The varied range of data readings provided, makes it rather complicated for a beginner.

9. Autel AL519 AutoLink Enhanced OBD ll Scan Tool

autel al519If you are searching for a multi-purpose device with advanced options and wide ranging features, you should contemplate the Autel Al519. This 4.5 rated tool is reckoned as a medium price scan tool in the market. Now to answer why buying this tool is a good investment let us go through some of its features:

  • It works with all 10 protocols of data reading modes including advance Mode No.6 readings.
  • Autel Al519 has a remarkable feature called I/M reading, where by a single click you can get instantaneous engine reading from your car. Confronted with emission checkups, this provision gives you up to the minute status of your engine.
  • By connecting to your computer you can print your data for more in-depth analysis.
  • An interesting alarm sound system which tells you when the car is ready to be driven off. This signal repeats itself every 3 minutes.

Things We Liked

  • Provides basic data readings for beginners and advanced data required by professionals.
  • It is manufactured in a firm style assuring its resilience for long term use.
  • Appealing color monitor making data analyze more interesting.
  • As it works with numerous protocols, car owners should rest assured that this tool will work on their cars too.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Unlike other professional scanners this model does not read ABS and SRS codes. However not all cars need such data.

10. Autel DS708 Automotive Diagnostic and Analysis System

autel ds708The answer to this question is simple. It has all the necessary features without a high bill tag attached to it. But the features by far out match the price. Certainly it is a popular scanner in 82 reviews, 60 of them gave 5 stars for it.

  • The tool carries with it an ECU certification, generating confidence in Europe and Asia.
  • It covers most of the OBD1 and OBD2 type cars.
  • It comes with a beautiful and firmly made case.
  • Ability to isolate the area where the fault is.
  • Live data reading coupled with functions such as graphic presentation and data play back for detailed analysis of the readings.
  • Independent rechargeable lithium battery standby system.
  • Easy to install due to its relatively small size ( 3*6.7*21.6 inches)
  • Live technical help from Maxidas skilled technicians.

Things We Liked

  • Beneficial both for professional and armature users.
  • Extensive OBDII scan reading covering over 50 vehicle types.
  • Update function by connecting to the internet.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The display menu is not set in an organized style.
  • It’s relatively slow in connecting and updating.
  • Hefty technical terminology, making it difficult for new comers.The same goes for the user manual as well.

Final Conclusion

Having read all the brief reviews of 10 best OBD scanners in the market, choosing the right one to buy is a real challenge. First you should decide on the nature of your work, whether you need a Basic scanner, a Professional one or a mobile connecting device.

However, when coming to buy a particular scanner there are certain indicators which you should be vigilant about:

  • Scanners which offer a detailed manual and have a good technical support system.
  • Good quality LCD screen display.
  • Making sure that the OBD2 scanner matches your vehicle’s protocol.
  • Extra features such as live data reading, data recording and airbag readings are strongly recommended for a HQ scanner.
  • Ability to be able to update the scanner is essential.
  • Capability of storing data for later analysis.

You can find these features in most of the scanner manufactured by top brands such as: AUTEL, INNOVA and ACTRON.