On-board Diagnostics Systems (OBD) scanner is a diagnostic tool for cars that allows technicians and car owners to diagnose and troubleshoot car problems effectively. It allows the technician or car owner enhanced access to the multiple mechanisms and systems in the car and informs them if any of the vehicle components are having problems.
Not to worry, this article contains 10 of the best OBD2 scanners of 2020. No matter your budget or requirement, you will find an OBD2 scanner to meet your needs on this list.
What does OBD2 scanner do?
With an OBD car scanner, you can quickly identify any issue that the car has and then fix it without searching for it physically. When connected to your vehicle, the scanner will output a series of codes that translate to different faults in your vehicle, which will tell you what is wrong, and how you can get around fixing it. Now that you know what an OBD2 scanner is.
Let’s look at how to use OBD2 Scanners?
The principle behind your creation of an OBD2 scanner is very simple. All you need to do is connect to your car to begin diagnosing. Once the diagnostics are completed, the scanner will output a series of OBD2 scanner codes. Thankfully, most of the codes are standardized, which means it doesn’t matter which kind of car you use.
Connecting the OBD2 scanner to your car used to be done with a hardline connection to your vehicle’s DLC. However, newer car models and OBD2 scanners can communicate wirelessly, either by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This allows you to receive diagnostic information from the scanner on your phone with an OBD2 scanner app.
The app will most likely contain codes for OBD2 scanners so that you can easily interpret them. One error many people see when connecting their scanner is the OBD2 scanner link error code. This simply means that the scanner is not connected correctly to the vehicle. When you see this, you can simply disconnect the scanner and reconnect it back again.
Once connected, use the OBD2 Scanner launch to start scanning your vehicle. When it comes to choosing an OBD2 scanner, there are many choices, ranging from scanners worth a few hundred dollars, to just almost over $20,000. But how do you know which ones to choose?
Best OBD Scanners list
The Autel Maxisys MS906BT OBD2 Scan Tool is a completely professional automotive diagnostic scanner, usually used in auto repair shops. It comes equipped with functionality on the OE-level, which also includes advanced ECU programming. This professional OBD2 scanner allows you to read and erase codes. It also allows you to program specific control modules. It also comes with help specific to each manufacturer.
This is an important feature, as it makes diagnostics in vehicles like Ford, VW, and Audi almost seem like customizing the vehicle. The Autel Maxisys MS906BT OBD2 Scan Tool also has an anti-theft matching, eliminating the worries about the high costs of lost keys. With this professional scanner, you can program new keys effortlessly. Other unique features of this OBD2 scanner are tire reset, injector, and ECU programming, DPR reset, and throttle matching.
Another perk of the Autel Maxisys OBD2 scan tool is that it can automatically update itself on the internet, and it stores diagnostic data, vehicle information, and customer information. The device is compatible with over 80 vehicles from the US, EU, and Asia. It is also built to be durable, due in part to the rubber casing around it to avoid damage. If you are a professional technician with a vast knowledge of vehicle repairs, then the Autel Maxisys MS906BT OBD2 Scan Tool is for you.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808BT Wireless Diagnostic Tool comes loaded with a lot of features, ranging from advanced to basic. Equipped with a large 7” touchscreen, this scanner looks like an iPad and will increase the quality of your car diagnostics. It also has a fast quad-core processor that will speed up the diagnosing time. This scanner can wirelessly connect to various devices, in addition, the vehicle, and store vital card information without using an SD card.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808BT Wireless Diagnostic Tool has so many useful features, such as the Oil reset, IMMO keys, DPF, ABS Brake Bleed, EPB, SAS, BMS, SRS., etc. it is compatible with 1996 vehicles and newer from the US, Asia, and the EU. This powerful professional OBD2 scanner allows you to do a full diagnostic test of the vehicle system.
This scanner features the latest Auto VIN Technology and Auto Scan function that identifies a vehicle’s model, make and year, and scan all the vehicle’s ECUs with a single touch. The ECU information displayed can then retrieve and display the specific information for the unit tested, including the type, version numbers, etc. If you want an OBD2 scanner meant for professionals, then the Autel MaxiCOM MK808BT Wireless Diagnostic Tool is for you.
- The design is well laid out with easy to press buttons
- The Touchscreen is highly responsive
- Displays information without being connected to a computer
- Can be easily navigated
- Displays sensor IDs from the ECU of the vehicle
- Supports various functions
- Can help register sensors to vehicles.
- Has a slow response time
- Scans relatively slowly
- No Coding features added.
The LAUNCH CRP123 OBD2 Scanner Engine Car Diagnostic Tool features a 3.5 TFT display and supports all the ten modes of the OBD2 test to give your vehicle a complete diagnosis. It is the perfect combination of power and affordability. It can read DataStream for four systems and vehicle diagnostic reports, which allows the scanning to go even faster. With the graph, record, replay, and troubleshooting code tips, the end-user gets to save time on diagnostics and repair time.
The LAUNCH CRP123 OBD2 Scanner Engine Car Diagnostic Tool comes with extensive vehicle coverage, including the four basic systems (ENG/TCM/ABS/SRS) for most of the major Asian car models, such as Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, Infiniti, Lexus, Honda, Accura, etc. It also works for European and American models, such as Chrysler, Benz PMW, Benz, Ford, GM, Porsche, Opel, BMW, etc.
The scanner’s major function is to read and clear codes on ENG/ABS/SRS/TCM systems and support OBD2 scanner ABS SRS transmission. With this scanner, you can quickly determine the cause of Check Engine Lights malfunction, turn off MIL, clear codes, and also reset monitors. The data can be viewed in the freeze-frame while displaying monitor and I/M readiness status. For an OBD2 scanner that connects to almost all vehicles post-1996, get the LAUNCH CRP123 OBD2 Scanner Engine Car Diagnostic Tool today.
- Easy to Use
- Compatible with most car types
- Comes with a 100% Money-Back Guarantee and life-long free online updates.
- Easily retrieves vehicle information, such as VIN, CIN, and CVN.
- Automatically looks up generic and manufacturer-specific codes to directly identify problems.
- Cannot connect wirelessly
The Autel Autolink AL619 OBD2 Scanner comes with a fast-access OBD2 diagnostics option that allows you to carry out a quick test on the engine system of OBD2-compliant cars. You can read and erase codes and view live data, Freeze Frame, retrieve I/M Readiness status, test O2 sensors, test the on-board monitor and so many other tests. The scanner also has an ABS/SRS diagnostic function that can be used to retrieve and clear codes from the OBD ABS/SRS transmission systems. It also shows the definition of each code that causes the MIL to come on. This device works on all vehicles post-1996 using the OBD2 system.
- Easy-to-use Plug and Play device
- Works with US, EU, and Asian vehicles from 1996 and newer
- Performs ABS/SRS tests easily
- No Wireless connection
- No touchscreen
Are you looking to save money and time? The KONNWEI KW850 Professional OBD2 Scanner is a professional vehicle diagnostic tool that allows car owners and DIYers to quickly read and erase engine fault codes and test the battery. It comes with a library of over 8,000 generic code definitions built into it, which allows you easily identify the root cause of the check engine light (CEL) coming on and fix it without needing to see the mechanic. It also allows car owners to pass emission tests and smog checks easily.
The KONNWEI KW850 Professional OBD2 Scanner covers full OBD2/EOB diagnostic functions for engine systems, evap systems test, O2 sensor test, an on-board monitoring test to give you the full details of your vehicle’s running status. It also has a graphical and numerical live data stream display to help find out the faulty sensor readings. The scanner is built to be compatible with most 1996 US-based vehicles and newer, and 2003 and newer EU and Asia-based domestic and imported vehicles.
Using the KONNWEI KW850 Professional OBD2 Scanner easy as all you need to do is plug in the scanner to the OBD2 port on your car, then turn on the ignition, and you’re ready to go. It features an 8-inch LCD color screen and a graphical real-time sensor analysis. There is also an extra-long ( 4.5”) diagnostic cable with the package that allows you to connect to your vehicle from different places. The scanner also comes with a free storage case as well as a lifetime free software update.
- Easy to use plug-and-play setup
- Comes with 8-inch LED color screen
- Lifetime software update to fix bugs
- Compatible with most vehicles post-1996
- Does not feature a touch screen
- Cannot connect wirelessly
- Cannot be updated on a MAC
- Can only run sensor readings for engine systems
The Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner is a ‘plug and plays’ error code reader that is easy to use and comes with an easily navigated interface. This makes it perfect for end users and DIYers that aren’t trained mechanics because this scanner makes it easy to get and understand vehicle codes. It supports reading DTCs, Freeze Frame & 1/M Readiness, and displaying live data to figure out what may be causing the Check Engine Light (CEL) to come on.
It also features a patented I/M readiness key to quickly check the State Emissions readiness and the drive cycle verification. The Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner is user friendly and comes equipped with a TFT color display, which shows the DTC definitions more clearly. It also has a built-in speaker that provides an audible indication and a LED indicator.
The scanner is very versatile, as it is compatible with all post-1996 OBD2 protocol vehicles. It also does not need a battery, as it draws power directly from the DLC from the vehicle. The 2.5 feet-long cable also allows you to use it conveniently, no matter where the car is packed. With the Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner, you get 12 months warranty and lifetime free updates to the tool. If you are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use solution, then Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner is for you.
- “Plug and Play” setup that is easy to use
- Comes in several languages such as English, German, French, and Spanish
- Also has a TFT color screen
- Patented One-Click I/M Readiness Key
- Cannot connect wirelessly
The ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner is perfect for beginners, car owners, and DIY-ers to scan their cars, find out the problem, and fix it, saving money and time. This scanner works on most 1996 and newer US models, and 2000 and newer EU and Asian models. It also has multi-language support, supporting English, French, Spanish, German. This scanner can easily detect the cause of Check Engine Light and then fix it.
- Easy to use Plug and Play scanner
- Compatible most vehicles that are 1996 and newer
- Multi-language support
- 5 feet long cable allows you to move the scanner around conveniently.
- Relatively affordable
- No wireless connection
- No touchscreen
The OHP ELMconfig FORScan OBD2 USB Adapter is a car scanner and diagnostic scan tool. It allows you to scan and fix problems in your car that is keeping your CEL on. This car scanner can work for many car models but is best for Ford automobiles. It has been flawless on scanning, detecting, and fixing Ford automobiles’ issues from 1996 up till 2019. The scanner works best with the FORScan app on Windows and allows you to fix issues quickly and easily. If you own a Ford automobile, then the OHP ELMconfig FORScan OBD2 USB Adapter is perfect for you.
- Allows easy scanning and fixing of problems
- Works best on Ford Automobiles
- Wireless connection
- Might not work well with Non-Ford automobiles
If you have been having issues with the Check Engine light of your vehicle, the Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Scanner can help you fix it easily. It can help you figure out why the Check Engine Light (CEL) is on, and turn it off after the proper repairs have been made. The scanner works with most vehicles that run on OBD2-compliant protocols, which include almost all US vehicles post-1996, and EU and Asian vehicles post-2000. The scanner has two easy-to-use buttons that are easy to read and clear DTCs that make it easy to diagnose the car quickly.
It is very easy to use and diagnoses car problems quickly. The Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Scanner also retrieves I/M readiness status in order to check the status of systems related to emissions such as the misfire monitor, fuel system monitor, 02 sensors, evap sensor, and comprehensive components monitor to help your vehicle get ready to pass the annual smog check. The Scanner connects directly to your car and, as such, does not use a battery. To switch it on, you simply need to follow this process. Turn the engine off, plug in the scanner, then turn the ignition on.
This OBD2 scanner can retrieve VIN on 2002 and newer vehicles that support Mode 9 to quickly identify the vehicle and cut down the time spent locating why the CEL is on. You also get a 30 Day Refund or Replacement on the scanner and 12 months US seller support. If you are a car owner or DIY-er, the Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Scanner is a must-have for you. It allows you to scan your car and fix the minor issues causing the CEL to remain on.
- Easy-to-use Plug and Play Device
- Compatible with most modern vehicles
- Helps pass emission tests
- Quick Diagnosis
- Very Affordable
- No Battery
- No wireless connection
The Foseal OBD2 Car Scanner WiFi Adapter is an OBD2 Car scanner that is EMC, ROHS, and FCC certified. It allows you to scan your vehicle and retrieve data such as Engine RPS, Short and Long Fuel Trim, Fuel System Status, Timing Lights, and Advance, etc. The scanner works with all OBD2 compliant scanners, which includes vehicles post-1996. The Foseal OBD2 Car Scanner WiFi Adapter is plugged into your car and connects wirelessly to your phone via an OBD2 car scanner app. It works with both android and iOS. inCarDoc & OBD Fusion are the recommended apps for iOS, and Torque Pro for Android. If you want an affordable, easy to use and versatile OBD2 scanner, get the Foseal OBD2 Car Scanner WiFi Adapter.
- Wireless connection
- Certified by ROHS, FCC, and EMC
- Works for all vehicles post-1996
- Easy to use for car owners and DIY-ers
- Needs to connect to a paid third-party app to work
Whether you are a car owner or DIY-er or a professional mechanic, this list covers OBD scanners that will match your needs. If you have any thoughts on these scanners, perhaps there’s a great scanner that we haven’t mentioned, let us know in the comments.