What is the best Mercedes scan tool?
If you own or drive a Benz, chances are you ponder over that question quite a lot. And let’s face it, Mercedes mechanics tend to charge high prices for simple diagnoses and fixes.
A handy Mercedes Benz OBD2 scanner can be a real lifesaver.
Using it, you’ll be able to do your own diagnostics and even fix minor issues that you wouldn’t know existed if you didn’t have a Mercedes OBD2 scanner.
However, finding the correct tool for your Benz can be daunting. There are tons of options available, but only a few will provide you with the performance you want.
Having spent my fair share of life working with Mercedes Benz vehicles, I’ve come across multiple OBD2 scan tools. Which ones impressed me the most? Read on to find out and find that perfect scan tool for your Merc.
Best OBD2 Mercedes Scan Tool Comparison Chart
Before I take a deep dive into my list of the seven best Mercedes code scanners, I’d like to first give you a snapshot of my top three picks.
3. iCarsoft MB V2.0
1. FIXD™ - Editor’s Pick
2. iCarsoft MBII
4 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.3 / 5
|Recommended For||DIYers||Professionals & DIYers||Professionals & Experienced DIYers|
My other picks are:
- FOXWELL NT301
- FOXWELL NT510 Elite
- iCarsoft i980 Genuine
- iCarsoft M900 V2.0
Below is the complete list with my full customer reviews.
7 Best Mercedes Diagnostic Tools – Full Customer Reviews
1. FIXD™ Scanner – Editor’s Pick
If you read my guides, you know that the FIXD™ scan tool is one of my favorite OBD2 scanners overall. It works excellently with numerous vehicles, and Mercedes ones aren’t an exception.
If you want a wireless scanner for Benz, then the FIXD™ is, in my opinion, your best option.
Whenever I need to perform a comprehensive and fast scan, this is the tool I use. The list of its capabilities is truly astonishing, but the ones I love the most about it include:
- Mobile compatibility. The FIXD™ scanner is an adapter, which means that you’ll need to pair it with a smartphone via Bluetooth (it’s compatible with Android and iOS devices).
- Full system diagnosis. Small as it is, the FIXD™ adapter lets you scan all the available onboard systems for problems. That includes the engine, transmission, ABS, SRS, EPB, chassis, body, EPS, SAS, and every other system.
- Diagnostic data. While probing the systems, the LSB2 will pull fault codes, live data streams, and freeze frame data. If you’re not sure about a code, you’ll get its full description alongside a suggested fix. And yes, you can clear codes as well.
- Emission readiness and Mode 6. Mode 6 enables the scanner to display your car’s onboard self-test results. By analyzing the results, you can determine if there are any problems in any system.
What is more, due to its small size and wireless transmission, the FIXD™ OBD2 scanner is perfect for collecting live data.
As far as vehicle coverage, the adapter was made for 2005 and newer models of Mercedes. If yours is older, you may experience some compatibility issues.
|Dimensions||1.5 x 0.5 x 1.75 in|
|Operating System||Android, iOS|
Pros and Cons
- Affordable Mercedes scan tool
- Small size ensures it doesn’t drain car battery
- Can diagnose other car brands like Honda, Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, etc.
- Provides realistic and real-time repair estimates
- Requires paid subscription for advanced features
- Doesn’t support Windows devices
- Doesn’t support Benz cars manufactured before 2005
For me, you won’t find a better wireless Mercedes Benz OBD2 scanner than the FIXD™. I’ve lost count of how many times it saved me whenever I needed to perform a quick and comprehensive vehicle scan.
Its biggest advantage is that you can perform diagnostics as you walk around the vehicle. It doesn’t limit you to the driver’s compartment. The only problem for me is the paid subscription you require for more advanced features. Other than that, it’s a perfect all-around Mercedes scan tool.Learn More
2. iCarsoft MBII Sprinter Scan Tool
Spoiler alert! You’re going to see a good number of iCarsoft scanners on this list. There’s a simple reason for that: iCarsoft and Mercedes are a perfect match.
Almost all their scanners are made with the Benz brand in mind. And the iCarsoft MBII is the go-to option for Mercedes Sprinters.
However, as I found out, it works brilliantly with other Mercedes models, too, coming with a number of amazing features, such as:
- Full system diagnosis. The scanner reads and clears codes in all available systems. It also turns off the Check Engine Light and other warning lights. It also pulls live data streams and freeze-frame data and displays I/M readiness for emission testing.
- Reset oil light. Wherever you need to reset the oil light in your Mercedes, hooking this iCarsoft scan tool up will deal with it for you.
- Regenerate diesel particulate filter. The iCarsoft MBII does an excellent job with diesel-powered Benzes like the Mercedes Sprinter, ensuring that your Mercedes doesn’t pollute the environment with harmful emissions.
- Relearn electronic throttle and SAS. When you replace the throttle valve, you have to relearn the electronic throttle control (ETC) to make it compatible with the new valve. The same goes for SAS (steering angle sensor). Both relearns can be performed with this Mercedes OBD2 scanner.
- Maintain electronic parking brake. Activate and reactivate the electronic parking brake (EPB) when you need to change/replace a component.
The only problem I encountered was the lack of the latest software updates. As I discovered, it makes working with 2014 and newer Mercedes models a bit challenging. It also can’t perform programming functions for pre-1996 models.
|Dimensions||8 x 4.3 x 1.2 in|
Pros and Cons
- Excellent for accessing on-board systems of Mercedes
- Works as advertised on Sprinter and Smart Benzes
- Fairly affordable
- Easy to navigate through menus
- Offers all basic and some advanced diagnostic functions
- iCarsoft doesn’t offer the best tech support for this scanner
- Doesn’t have the latest software updates
- Isn’t compatible with pre-1994 models
If you drive or frequently work with Mercedes Sprinters, you won’t find a better OBD2 scan tool than iCarsoft MBII. It’s a great code scanner dedicated to Mercedes models, providing its users with everything they need to perform comprehensive and quick vehicle diagnostics.Learn More
3. iCarsoft MB V2.0 Professional Diagnostic Tool
For many, the iCarsoft MB V2.0 is the best professional Mercedes diagnostic tool out there. It covers a wider range of vehicles and packs the best diagnostic functions, and I have to admit it’s incredibly impressive.
Its features include:
- OBD1 and OBD2 compatibility. While it’s made for OBD2 Benzes, the MB V2.0 also works on some OBD1 models. Specifically, you can use it on any Mercedes with chassis 201, 126, 124, and 107. You will, however, need to buy the 38-pin iCarsoft conversion adapter for an OBD1 Benz.
- All systems diagnostics. The iCarsoft MB V2.0 can automatically identify the model, year, VIN, and CVN of your Mercedes Benz. Then it will read and erase generic, manufacturer, and pending codes in all the available systems.
- Live, freeze frame, and onboard data. In addition to trouble codes, the MB V2.0 also pulls live data and freeze frame data. Meanwhile, live data monitors the health and performance of sensors, circuits, switches, systems, and the entire vehicle. You can view and compare live graphs (PIDs).
- Service functions. This is where the iCarsoft MB V2.0 earns its spot as one of the best OBD2 scanners for Mercedes. It supports onboard monitoring for all available systems, including heated catalysts, fuel, misfires, etc. You will also be able to perform O2 sensor and EVAP systems tests, reset the oil light, perform DPF regeneration, and more!
- Special functions. The icing on the iCarsoft MB V2.0 cake is its two special functions – ABS bleeding and injector coding. ABS bleeding is the process of removing air from the ABS brake system. It makes the brake firmer and more responsive. As for injector coding, it’s the process of relearning the injector control module (FICM).
So yes, I get why many say that this is the best Mercedes OBD scanner. However, I do find using it a bit overly complicated, and I’m a pro. If you’re not a professional, this scanner might be too overwhelming to use, which is why I can’t give it the perfect note.
|Dimensions||9.45 x 5.51 x 2.36 in|
Pros and Cons
- Complete compatibility with all OBD2 Benzes and some OBD1 too
- Sleek design and easy-to-navigate menus
- Comes with TF card for saving diagnostic data
- Can print out diagnostic results
- Could use a better user manual
- Only reads engine codes on some OBD1 Benzes
- Only recommended for professionals and experienced DIYers
If you’re a professional mechanic looking for an efficient Mercedes scan tool, the iCarsoft MB V2.0 will be an excellent choice. It offers a number of advanced features any professional will love. However, if vehicle scanning isn’t your bread and butter, this is not a tool for a beginner. Even I found it slightly complex to use at times, and I’ve used my fair share of OBD2 scanners.Learn More
4. FOXWELL NT301 Code Reader
I love Foxwell scanners for two things – price and functionality.
The NT301 model is not an exception. If you’re on the hunt for an affordable OBD2 scanner for Mercedes, this is by far the best choice around. That I can assure you.
But don’t let its low price fool you. This Foxwell is more than capable of some serious vehicle scanning. And yes, it works exceptionally well with Mercedes cars.
What can it help you with?
- Vehicle information. The NT301 will automatically detect the VIN, CIN, and engine number of a Benz. You’ll need those numbers if you’re a dealer, buyer or seller, or if you need to purchase replacement parts.
- Trouble codes. As a reliable Mercedes code reader, the Foxwell NT301 probes deep in the engine for faults. It pulls and clears engine trouble codes, which also means that it can turn off the Check Engine Light.
- Live and freeze frame data. In case codes aren’t enough to pinpoint the issue, you can turn to live and freeze frame data. This scanner displays both. And it supports graphing of PIDs.
- On-board monitoring. Besides codes and data, the NT301 tests various onboard monitors. They include misfire, exhaust gas, heated catalyst, fuel system, O2 sensor, etc.
- I/M readiness. While the scan tool won’t perform a smog check, it will inspect the emission system prior to the test. You’ll know if your Mercedes vehicle is ready for a state or federal emission check.
Long story short, this Mercedes scan tool will work great performing basic vehicle diagnostic tasks. However, don’t expect it to come with any overly advanced features.
That’s definitely the area where Foxwell falls behind the competition. It’s good for a quick basic diagnosis. Nothing else.
|Dimensions||8.66 x 3.15 x 6.69 in|
Pros and Cons
- Very affordable Mercedes scanner
- Intuitive interface makes it easy to use
- Provides code definitions
- Compatible with other car brands
- Free lifetime software updates
- Just an engine code reader. Doesn’t scan ABS, SRS, transmission etc.
- Offers basic diagnostics only, no special or advanced features
It may look simplistic, but the Foxwell NT301 might just be the best Mercedes scan tool for the ordinary car owner. If you don’t want the complexities of high-end and mid-range scanners, then trust me, aim for this one. It will scan the engine, turn off the CEL, check emission readiness pull data (live & freeze frame) and do on-board monitoring.Learn More
5. FOXWELL NT510 Elite Scan Tool
Another Foxwell on my list is the NT510 Elite model. It’s a 2021 upgraded version of the NT510 model, packed with all its attributes plus a little extra.
For me, Foxwell can genuinely challenge iCarsoft as the best OBD2 scanner for Mercedes. This model comes with a lot of fantastic features, such as:
- Full system diagnostics. This is one of the features that put the NT510 Elite among the best Mercedes Benz scanner diagnostic tools. It gives you unparalleled access to onboard systems like the engine, ABS, transmission, SRS, chassis, body, etc.
- Vehicle info, codes, and data. The Foxwell NT510 Elite singles out problems using codes, freeze frame and live stream data. First, it automatically identifies the model, year, VIN, and CVN of your Mercedes Benz. Then, it pulls trouble codes from all available systems. You can clear the codes and turn off the Check Engine Light and other warning lights.
- Reset functions. Use the Foxwell NT510 Elite to reset the CEL, ABS light, SRS light, TPMS service, oil service, CBS service, EPB light, etc. Such resets are necessary after a repair or maintenance session.
- Service functions. Here you can regenerate the DPF, bleed ABS, adjust the throttle body, calibrate SAS, register and maintain the battery, service TPMS, etc. As you may have already guessed, these are all functions that keep onboard systems in good health.
- Programming and bi-directional tests. In my opinion, programming is not the NT510’s strongest feature, but you can still do TPMS programming. It’s actually TPMS adaptation, which is basically making a TPMS sensor compatible with the ECU. The bi-directional test is where this Benz scan tool comes into its own, allowing you to easily activate and deactivate components.
I have to admit that it’s a pretty comprehensive list for a Foxwell. However, it does come at a price. Compared to other Foxwell tools, I find the NT510 Elite model oddly expensive.
Another con I found is that my PC connection shut intermittently when I was updating the tool. I also experienced slight connectivity issues when dealing with models younger than 2017.
|Dimensions||9.21 x 6.65 x 3.43 in|
Pros and Cons
- Good balance of basic and advanced diagnostic features
- Compatible with all 1996 to 2017 Mercedes Benz
- Comes with FoxAssist for downloading latest software updates
- Free updates
- Multilingual menu
- Durable construction
- PC connection drops intermittently when updating
- Compatibility issues with some Benz models made after 2017
If you’re looking for a reliable and easy-to-use yet relatively advanced OBD2 scanner for your Merc, the Foxwell NT510 will do more than fine. It’s packed with amazing features, and it works brilliantly with Mercedes models manufactured between 1996 and 2017.
It is relatively expensive, in my opinion, especially for a Foxwell. Still, I did enjoy using it, and I’m sure you will too if you decide to buy it.Learn More
6. iCarsoft i980 Genuine Scanner
The two previous iCarsoft scanners are fantastic tools, easily one of my all-time favorites. However, they are relatively expensive and advanced. If you still want to benefit from the iCarsoft performance but don’t have a bigger budget or experience, I present you with the iCarsoft i980.
It might not be the most advanced Mercedes OBD2 scanner on my list, but that doesn’t mean it falls behind in terms of performance.
This scanner is full of great features, including:
- Check Engine Light diagnostics. Use this Mercedes diagnostic tool to view and clear engine trouble codes. That includes all emission-related codes. In doing so, the scanner turns off that pesky CEL.
- Full system scan. Apart from the engine, you can pull and erase trouble codes from pretty much every other system. The ABS, SRS, transmission, EPB, EVAP, tire pressure system, etc. That also means you can turn off any warning light using the iCarsoft i980.
- Live and freeze frame data. Alongside trouble codes, the i980 pulls live data streams and freeze-frame data. If you want to know when a code was registered, you look at freeze frame data. You’ll be glad to know that the tool can graph and compare PIDs.
- I/M readiness. As far as emissions, this Mercedes scan tool checks whether your car’s emission-related components are ready for a smog check. It will also inspect those systems in preparation for maintenance testing of your Benz.
- On-board monitoring and tests. On-boar monitoring involves scanning multiple systems to ascertain that they’re not faulty. In this case, the i980 checks pretty much every onboard system, from misfire to exhaust gas system, heated catalyst, fuel system, and any other system.
Overall, it’s a great Mercedes scan tool for basic diagnostics. It does come with several advanced features, too, though, making it a great choice for aspiring DIYers.
|Dimensions||9.45 x 5.59 x 2.36 in|
Pros and Cons
- Free lifetime software updates
- Compatible with most OBD-2 complaint Mercedes Benzes
- Intuitive and easy-to-use menu
- Well-built with a solid, durable body
- Offers full system diagnosis
- Supports basic and some advanced functions
- User manual needs a massive improvement
- Not compatible with some models, including those with chassis 463, 461, 210, 208 & 202.
I have to say that for its price, it’s a surprise that the iCarsoft i980 can do half of what it does. The list of its features is relatively long, and it comes with several advanced options, as well. For this price, it’s one of the better Mercedes scan tools available. Before you use it, though, remember to update the software. You’ll unlock a ton of features that are not available in older software versions.Learn More
7. iCarsoft M900 V2.0 Diagnostic Tool
Finally, the last Mercedes scan tool on my list is, what a surprise, another iCarsoft OBD2 scanner. This time it’s the MV900 V2.0 model.
I think that perfectly sums up why iCarsoft is considered the best brand for Mercedes-Benz cars. This model is not an exception.
From reading codes to injector coding, the MV900 has it all, including such features as:
- Vehicle information. When you hook the M900 V2.0 to your Benz, it will automatically detect the model and year. The scanner will pull the car’s VIN, CVN, engine number, and other handy information that you may need.
- Diagnostic trouble codes. As you would expect, the iCarsoft M900 V2.0 reads and clears trouble codes in all available systems. It can turn off the Check Engine Light as well as other warning lights. There’s a built-in lookup library to help you understand each code and turn off the lights.
- Diagnostic data. Additionally, this Mercedes scan tool pulls freeze-frame data and live data. You can print out all these sets of data (codes, live & freeze frame) for review.
- System maintenance. You’ll get a whole lot of service functions with the M900 V2.0. It resets the oil light, regenerates DPF, bleeds the ABS, and supports battery service. Combined with codes, these functions ensure that you can diagnose all the available systems and service them.
- Special functions. Finally, the scanner can do the O2 sensor test, EVAP system test, activate/deactivate the EPB, relearn the throttle system, calibrate the SAS and perform injector coding. You need these special functions when testing and replacing components like injector valves, brake pads, emissions systems, etc.
Once again, iCarsoft outdid itself. However, I did experience several issues when working with this scanner.
One was that the injector coding and ABS bleeding features don’t work on all models. It also failed to detect codes if I had forgotten to update the software.
|Dimensions||9.6 x 7.4 x 2.9 in|
Pros and Cons
- Compatible with all OBD2 Benz series, including Sprinter and Smart
- Accurate diagnostics
- Can print out diagnostic results
- Rugged yet sleek design and construction
- Multilingual menu
- Injector coding and ABS bleeding don’t work on all models
- Might not detect codes if software isn’t updated
The MV900 V2.0 from iCarsoft is yet another brilliant Mercedes OBD2 scan tool. It comes with all the features a code reader should have, working great with almost all Mercedes models from 1996 onwards. It may not be as advanced and efficient as the iCarsoft MBII and MB V2.0 models, but it doesn’t fall far behind.Learn More
What’s a Mercedes Benz Scanner?
A Mercedes scan tool is an onboard diagnostics (OBD) device for Mercedes Benz vehicles. It diagnoses your car, identifies problems that exist in various systems, and then gives you that information.If the issue is minor (like an open gas cap), you can go ahead and fix it yourself. If it’s a major issue (like a busted powertrain control module – PCM), you can seek the help of a mechanic. Either way, the scanner will save you the time and money you would’ve spent getting a diagnostics report from the shop.
How Did I Evaluate These Mercedes Diagnostic Scanners?
Like with every review we do at OBDStation, it’s important that we make an accurate, fact-based recommendation to our users. To that end, I evaluated each Mercedes scanner to the following criteria.
Functionality – Each scan tool was evaluated based on the features and functionality available. All things being equal, between two scanners, I leaned on additional features to help me make a decision. For example, if one scanner had a Bluetooth connector, that might edge it over one without Bluetooth capabilities.
Reliability – I know you need an accurate, reliable scan tool to help diagnose issues with your Mercedes vehicle. Reliability means a few things to me – that the scanner produces accurate results, that it’s well-made for the long haul, and that the tech is up to the task of scanning modern vehicles.
Ease of Use – User-friendliness is incredibly important to me. At OBD Station, we know that many of our readers are amateur or DIY mechanics without major automotive experience, and this factored in when making all our recommendations, not just mine. This doesn’t mean that professional scan tools can’t be user-friendly, but it’s just a consideration I wanted to take into account. Value – One of my editorial goals is to bring value to OBD Station readers. Price was definitely a factor in reviewing these OBD2 Scanners. If you’re paying more, I want to make sure you’re getting a superior product.
Choosing Your Mercedes Scanner – My Final Take
For me, the FIXD™ scanner makes the best OBD2 scanner for Mercedes. In fact, it’s the best choice for a Mercedes car owner who wants a wireless scan tool.
I believe that it’s one of the best scan tools available, not just for Mercedes cars but for other brands as well.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that my other picks are much worse. Indeed, some may consider them even better.
One thing for certain is that they will all work brilliantly with your Benz. Be it the FIXD™, any of the iCarsoft scanners, or the two Foxwell tools.
Read more: 5 Best FORScan Adapters to Buy 2021 [Review]