The Best Obd2 Scanners for the Money (10 Most Tested and Compared for 2020)

Have you ever looked at your face in the mirror after paying your mechanic with a thick cheque right after every single diagnosis? I haven’t seen it, but I’m pretty much sure that I won’t be seeing any smile there.

But just imagine, what if you’ve had one of the best obd2 scanners that could’ve changed the figure of the maintenance budget on your vehicle? After all, an overall good financial gain with a small investment is never a bad idea, right?

On the basis of that concept, I thought of reviewing some of the finest OBD2 scanning tools. I believe these tools can save you from visiting your mechanic for every small issue on your ride.

10 Best OBD2 Scanners Comparison

Image

Name

Rating

Connectivity Type

Price

ANCEL AD310 OBD II Scanner

Wired

Autel Maxidas DS808 OBD2 Scanner

Bluetooth

BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scanner

Bluetooth

BAFX3127 Wireless Bluetooth OBD2 Car Scanner

Bluetooth

Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Scanner

Wired

OBDLink MX Bluetooth OBD-II Automotive Scan Tool

Bluetooth

Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner

Wired

FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner

Wired

Veepeak OBD2 Scanner

Bluetooth

Autel AutoLink AL519 OBD2 Scanner

Wired

The 10 Best OBD2 Scanners for Your Car

You’re not in a time anymore where you’ll have to depend on experts to find out each and every single thing that’s wrong with your ride. Now it’s up to you to be more in control and fix things up on your own.

To do that, what you need in the first place is the perfect obd2 scan tool, and you can choose your right one from those I’m going to review here. Let’s get started with the first one –

1. ANCEL AD310 OBD II Scanner

ANCEL AD310 OBD II Scanner
Fast scan 
Live data stream
Easily determines

When saving money on your ride matters to you the most, it’s better to find the best way to do that. For doing that, getting the right OBD2 scanner is not only important but literally mandatory here. If you’re looking for one, then I think you won’t regret checking out the ANCEL AD310.

This classic designed handheld obd2 scanner can render superb performance with faster scanning and clearing trouble codes. Doesn’t matter even if you’re new with scanning, you still can use it as it has a convenient user interface. It can read the error code and find out the exact problem within your ride just in minutes.

From the compatibility perspective, it can deal with most of the vehicles with US (1996), EU (2000), and Asian origin that supports OBDII and CAN protocols. To make it more convenient than ever, you can switch it to different languages like English, German, French, Spanish, Finnish, Dutch, Russian, and Portuguese.

For converting this tool into a highly efficient one, the manufacturer made it capable of performing tons of helpful functions. These functions include determining causes of check engine light, turning off the MIL, viewing freeze frame data, running I/M readiness test, and much more.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Compact design
  • Multilingual menu
  • Broad range of functions
  • Convenient user interface
Cons
  • Has compatibility issues with some vehicles

FAQ

Q: What is the operating voltage?

Ans: 12 Volts.

Q: What is the size and type of the display?

Ans: 128 X 64, LCD.

Q: How long is the cable?

Ans: The cable is 2.5 feet long.


2. Autel Maxidas DS808 OBD2 Scanner

Autel Maxidas DS808 OBD2 Scanner
Powerful Functions
Advanced Diagnosis
Bi-directional control

The era we’re living in is filled with smart devices, and we’ve got used to that as well. So, to keep things on that pace, Autel has brought a scanning tool named as Maxidas MP808.

With its wide variety of functions, your ride won’t have problems to deal with any kind of malfunction within. Any of those crucial and essential services that you’re going to need for your car like live data, erasing codes; all are here.

Not only the regular tests, but it can perform the advanced ones like Oil reset, EPB, BMS, DPF, SAS, IMMO, TPMS. You’ll get all of them on the tips of your finger.

To keep things a little out of the box, Smart AutoVIN, Cloud-based MaxiFix have also been included where you’ll get solutions and tips from other users too.

This Android OS 4.4.4 oriented scanner has a battery of 3200 mAh to get you a longer operation time without any interruption. Along with that, the 7” LCD display will give you a broader view of the operation.

To keep the processing speed faster, Autel gave it one of the finest processors, which is the Cortex-A9. Though it has an internal storage capacity of 32 GB, you still can expand the memory with a Micro SD card.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Faster processing
  • Longer battery life
  • Higher memory capacity
  • Wide vehicle compatibility range
Cons
  • Expensive than buttoned ones

FAQs

Q: What is its operating temperature level?

Ans: 0 to 55°C.

Q: Is the automatic software updating available on this one?

Ans: Yes.

Q: What’s the micro SD card support capacity?

Ans: Up to 32 GB.


3. BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scanner

BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scanner
Live data stream
Trusted by mechanics 
Notify vehicle information

Where do you get the update of your bank statement? On your phone. Where do you get your online shopping updates? On your phone. So, from now on, you can control your car scan too, on your phone, and that’s with a smart tech piece like the LSB2  from BlueDriver.

From reading and clearing error codes to checking all the vehicle systems, you can do it all with it. It can take care of all the functions like ABS, Airbag, Transmission, etc. just the way any highly efficient scanning tool could’ve.

With the BlueDriver, you don’t need to follow the “plug and play theory” like your regular scanner to get specific repair reports. Now you’ll get them simply from the database of millions of fixes. What makes it a more convincing tech is, these fixes are verified by ASE Certified Mechanics.

If you think of the handheld scan tools as a hassling one, then this OBDII scan tool will get you rid of it. Moreover, it eliminates the drawbacks like updates, portability, data saving, graphing of live data, etc., and keeps them all under your grip within your phone.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Wide vehicle range
  • Updates instantly with phone
  • Compatible with phones and tabs
Cons
  • Doesn’t support Windows phones

FAQs

Q: What are the formats of showing live data?

Ans: Graph, gauge, and digital.

Q: What is the number of fixes in the database?

Ans:  30 Million

Q: Does it have the ABS bleeder test?

Ans: Not yet.


4. BAFX3127 Wireless Bluetooth OBD2 Car Scanner

BAFX3127 Wireless Bluetooth OBD2 Car Scanner
Deeply analyze
Reliable and consistent
Compatible on most car models

Issues with car engines are nothing new, but they’re still confusing as forever. At times we stare at the blinking lights in our car with zero ideas of what has gone wrong. To end those days, Bafx Products came up with one of their finest obd2 code readers-cum-scan tools, the BAFX3127.

To ensure its acceptance among all the vehicle users, Bafx has given their tool a wide range of vehicle coverage that includes any ride from 1996 or newer. To give you an overall superior performance, it’s made with the capability to cover any of the OBD2 protocols, and that includes the J1850 and CAN too.

If you have any questions about its functions, then rest assured because it can do any of the functions that a highly efficient scanner can do in your car. These functions include reading and clearing check engine light along with finding trouble in the car before they become more complicated.

Moreover, this car code reader can get you the perfect readings on the emissions of your vehicle. When you want to have a check on the air/fuel ratio or check the O2 sensors, BAFX3127 will be there for you.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Wide vehicle coverage
  • Consistent in connectivity
  • Supports all OBD2 protocols
  • Strong Bluetooth connection
Cons
  • Not compatible with iOS devices

FAQs

Q: Is it okay to keep it plugged in?

Ans: Not if you’re going to keep it idle without driving for the next 24-48 hours.

Q: Does it support windows phone?

Ans: Yes, it does.

Q: Does it read ABS codes?

Ans: No, it doesn’t.


5. Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Scanner

Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Scanner
Easy to use
Safe & durable
Diagnose in second

If you ask me that which OBD2 scan tool that I’ll give full marks for ease of use, then it’ll be none but the Autel MS300. This code reader/scanner is so convenient that you can hold it with the grip of a single hand without putting any effort.

Doesn’t matter if your ride is of US origin, Asian or European, this handheld obd2 scanner will cover them all if it’s from 1996 or newer. So, on the compatibility part, it’s better than any regular one.

In the case of retrieving codes, it can easily go on with generic, DTC, and manufacturer-specific codes.

Don’t even think about underestimating this bad boy just because it has a smaller screen. With this LCD screen, it can render you the advantage of a multilingual menu. So, even people from other countries can utilize this scanner to the fullest.

When you have an MS300, rather than looking for any additional cable, you can just go for the plug and play without attaching any cable to it. Its Standard 16-pin OBD II connector works just perfectly without involving any extra cable.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Safe and durable
  • Needs no battery
  • Wide vehicle coverage range
Cons
  • Smaller screen than most scanners

FAQs

Q: How much it actually weighs?

Ans: 11.3 Ounces.

Q: Can it retrieve VIN?

Ans: Yes, it can.

Q: Does it support CAN?

Ans: Yes, it does.


6. OBDLink MX Bluetooth OBD-II Automotive Scan Tool

OBDLink MX Bluetooth OBD-II Automotive Scan Tool
Fast & reliable
Maximum vehicle coverage
Secure 128-bit data encryption

In the earlier phase, having a scanner was another name of complications. It used to serve us, but the process was quite sophisticated. But the days have changed and so have the scanners. Now some of the top rated obd2 scanners made it all easier, and among them, the OBDLink MX is one of my favorites.

With the Bluetooth v3.0 interface, it renders stable connectivity to the vehicle. It’s a piece of cake for it to maintain equal stability to the apps and software. You’ll get the required screen updates with it faster than any of the regular code readers.

Its wide functional range is proven with its capacity to keep pace with 5 standard OBD-II protocols. Moreover, compatibility with the SW-CAN and MS-CAN protocols is something that has made it more exceptional.

Mainstream scanners eat up a lot of power. But when it comes to this scanner, its battery saver sleep mode doesn’t let your battery drain when you leave it plugged in.

The improved security mechanism of the OBDLink MX prevents any unauthorized intrusion. So, at keeping things risk-free, it scores a full mark.

Pros
  • Hacker-proof
  • Faster processing
  • Better connectivity
  • Over-voltage protection
  • Automatic sleep and wake-up function
Cons
  • Doesn’t support iOS devices

FAQs

Q: Which phone does this scanner support?

Ans: Android and Windows.

Q: What is its operating voltage?

Ans: 8-18V DC.

Q: Does it support all OBDII protocols?

Ans: Yes, it does.


7. Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner

Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner
Easy interface
Advanced diagnostic
Accurately find the root cause

When you’re a beginner with scanning vehicles, the first thing you need to grab is an OBDII scan tool. But to have the initial experience in the most comprehensible way, you need something that can keep it up to the mark. So, my suggestion for you on that will be the Autel AutoLink AL319.

The first thing that any scanner should emphasize on is the vehicle coverage range. And the good news is this scanner can cover most of the vehicles you see around with US, EU, or Asian origin from a time of 1996 and newer.

When you’re not only after the basic errors of your ride but the advanced ones too, then AL319 is a perfect pick. It can perform functions like finding the reason of MIL, clearing codes and showing I/M readiness status, etc.

Along with these, it can go for the manufacturer specific codes, including the generic ones. Moreover, it’s perfectly capable of reading the live PCM data stream and showing DTC definitions. You just name it, and it’ll do it.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Multilingual menu
  • Requires no battery
  • Sturdy construction
  • Good vehicle coverage range
Cons
  • Short OBD2 cable

FAQs

Q: What is the voltage level on this one?

Ans: 12 Volts.

Q: Which language does it contain?

Ans: Spanish, French, German, and English.

Q: Does it require any battery?

Ans: No, it doesn’t.


8. FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner

FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner
Accuracy
User-friendly design
 Insure complete diagnosis 

Choosing an efficient tool is like the stitch in time that saves nine. I believe its authenticity more when I think of it from a technological perspective. When I look at the FOXWELL NT301 Scanner, I feel in the same way as it’s the right stitch for a professional to save his/her nine.

This amazing tool can playback live sensor data, along with reading and storing data. Moreover, it covers essential functions as the ABS, SRS, Air Bag, just the way it does for clearing codes and resetting monitors.

In the list of its regular functions, it supports viewing the freeze frame data and reading live PCM datastream as well.

To keep up with any of those finest scanning tools, it also comes with a good range of vehicle coverage. So, it doesn’t matter whether it’s from the US, EU, or Asia. If it’s from the year 1996 or later on, it can scan almost any of them.

For getting all the scanning done, it doesn’t require any batteries. You can use it just with the power of your car. Above all, with its compact design and sturdy construction, it can last longer than any of your previous scanners.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Compact design
  • Wider compatibility
  • Requires no battery
  • User-friendly interface
Cons
  • Can’t cancel the error codes

FAQs

Q: Can it print data via PC?

Ans: Yes, it can.

Q: How much does the update cost?

Ans: It’s for free.

Q: What is the size and type of the display?

Ans: 8”,  TFT color screen.


9. Veepeak OBD2 Scanner

Veepeak OBD2 Scanner
Fast & easy to use
Powerful scan tool
Real-time performance

It’s difficult to not appreciate scanners that render tons of options to have maximum ease in scanning. Veepeak OBD2 Scanner is a tool that exactly matches this criterion.

To get this one operational, all you need is a phone, and within minutes you’ll get your desired scanner with a high-performance capacity. From reading DTC to showing you the freeze frame data, it can do all of them with perfect accuracy.

Functions like resetting check engine light are not what has made it a superior-tech piece, but its capacity to view real-time sensor readings. To ease things up a bit more for you, it can create a customized dashboard along with estimating fuel economy.

Even if you’re a new user, running the device will be nothing but a piece of cake for you. All you need to get started is plugging it in. Putting all the complications aside, it keeps things easy and doesn’t block other apps from getting internet access.

Pros
  • Saves power
  • Consistent connection
  • A lot of compatible apps
  • Wide range of vehicle coverage
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
Cons
  • Doesn’t support Windows

FAQs

Q: How many apps does it support?

Ans: 14

Q: Which version of Bluetooth does it work with?

Ans: 4.0

Q: Can it work on OEBD compliant cars?

Ans: Yes, it can.


10. Autel AutoLink AL519 OBD2 Scanner

Autel AutoLink AL519 OBD2 Scanner
Check engine light
On-board monitor test
Retrieving I/M readiness status

One of the best things about Autel is they know what brings a scanner closer to perfection, and that’s where they put their efforts on. There’s no way for me to deny that when I see their finest attempts in the form of high-end scanners like the Autel AutoLink AL519.

There’re certain reasons for this scanner to make it on the top 10 obd2 scanners list. The first one there is compatibility.

Autel has always ensured a wide vehicle range in their scanners, and they did the same on the AL519 too. It can get operational with most of your vehicles from 1996 to newer models.

Now let’s jump into the functional part. What will leave you stunned on this scanner is its wide range of functions. It all starts with the basic functions like reading, storing, playing back live data, viewing freeze frame data, etc.

But at the same time, it also executes advanced functions like retrieving generic and pending codes, displaying monitor and I/M readiness status.

Pros
  • Multilingual menu
  • Easy user interface
  • Sturdy construction
  • Updatable via internet
  • Wide functional range
Cons
  • Cumbersome updating process

FAQs

Q: Does it have a carrying case?

Ans: Yes, it does.

Q: Does it run on batteries?

Ans: No, it doesn’t.

Q: What is its operating voltage?

Ans: It’s 12V.

What to Look for in an OBD2 Scanner?

I call the OBD2 scanners as the “Doctor at home” for any of the vehicles, and why shouldn’t I? It finds out the problems, helps you to take the next initiative to fix it up, and sometimes can fix them by itself too. But on the basis of that idea, picking up any random scanning tool is not what I call a wise decision.

If you want to keep it up to the mark, then you need to know how to get the best OBD2 scan tool. To be honest, that’s the easiest part, but only if you know what factors you need to put in your ‘Cross-checklist’ for buying the right OBD2 scanner. Let’s have a glance over them.

Compatibility

This is the one point you can’t take a step ahead without while buying an OBD2 scanner. Every scanner has a compatibility range. So, it’s important to choose a scanner that is compatible with most of the vehicles. A scanner is useless if it can’t diagnose your car or any other car that might come to you for a diagnosis.

Variety of Functions

There’re tons of issues that a vehicle can face, and a scanner can track. But if the scanner doesn’t have a good variety of required functions, it won’t be able to detect all the problems in your ride. So, before you make the purchase, check out the function list to understand if it’s worth spending money on.

Convenient Setup

Setting up a scanner can give you a hard time. So, it’s better to grab one that will eat up less of your time and effort to start working on your ride.

There’ll be situations where you’ll need a quick scan on your car to get an overall idea over the vehicle’s condition. So, having a quick setup is something that you can’t compromise on.

User Interface

The problem with a complicated user interface is, it takes too much time and practice to have a grip over its operation. So, if you’re not a professional in the automobile maintenance sector and looking for a scanner for personal use, then you better get one with an easy user interface.

Accuracy Level

Not so fond of faulty data? Then focus on the accuracy level. An OBD2 scanner is mainly designed to get you the data and results of a scan over your car. This means you’re going to take the required initiative to fix up if there’s any problem. So, for obvious reason, you can never compromise on the device’s accuracy level.

Data Storage

When you’re a professional, there might be dozens of cars to scan. But you can’t do that with limited storage, right? So, you’ll need to check out the data storage capacity of your scanner too. To keep the data organized, it’s better to have a higher storage capacity in a scanner.

Range

The days of keeping strings attached are getting over for OBD2 scanners too. If you like them wireless too, then I guess you already know how the wireless one works. To keep it smooth and convenient, make sure the scanner has a better range in case you need to move here and there with your scanner.

Update

If you’re not running your phone un-updated, then why would you do that to your scanner? Like the phones, OBD2 scanners have their own operational software that requires updates from time to time. So, to cover more problems with the vehicle, you better choose a scanner that comes with updates on a regular basis.

Warranty

Having a warranty makes any product more reliable and safe. As you can’t avoid that fact in case of OBD2 scanners too, you need to have a proper warranty for a good period of time for the tool.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why it’s considered a major advantage for the professionals to have a micro SD card option in an OBD2 Scanner?

Ans: Unlike you and me, professionals have to take care of dozens of cars in a day. The more car they diagnose, the more data gets stored in the scanner.

But with the limited storage capacity, at times, it might not be sufficient to keep them all in there. So, having a Micro SD card option allows them to have extra storage to keep those data secured.

Q: What is the major advantage of wired scanners?

Ans: There’s a lot of them, but the one that makes them more acceptable among the professionals is the stability in connections. In wireless one, the connection might drop under certain circumstances, but there’s nothing like that in case of a wired one.

Q: Why is it good to choose a wireless one for personal use?

Ans: In simple words, it gets you rid of the wired hassles. When you’re in a hurry and need to scan the ride ASAP, you can’t look for the wire to connect it as it’s kind of time-consuming. But with the wireless one, you can get an instant connection with the shortest amount of time.

Q: Is it more convenient to use Bluetooth scanners with smartphone apps?

Ans: To a certain extent, yes, it is. It eliminates problems related to updating and data storage. But professionals prefer old school more. 

Q: Why the scanner requires a sturdy construction?

Ans: OBD2 scanners are mostly used by Automobile professionals. Their workplaces are full of elements that can be harmful to any regular electronic devices around them. So to keep a scanner safe from some major external hazards, it’s important to have a sturdy construction.

Watch the Video | How to Use an OBD-II Scan Tool

Final Words

Running every now and then to the mechanic for the minor issues on vehicles is nothing one would like, and there’s no reason for that either. But grabbing one of the best obd2 scanners might just save you from those tons of hazards.

I hope you’ll find my reviews on the mentioned scanning tools convincing enough for you to understand the importance of grabbing the right one.

Important Tools for Your Vehicles

Brian Hazel (Automotive Enthusiast)

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