The 10 Best OBD2 Scanner & Car Code Readers: Complete Buying Guide and Review 2022

It’s hard to pick the best OBD2 scanner option for your vehicle. To find the best model for your car, there are a few key features you should prioritise over others.

Professionals everywhere know that it’s hard to find the best options for their vehicle. You have to make sure that the key features of the greatest OBD2 scanners are equipped to deal with anything, such as fault codes. In order to find the best for your car – whilst it’s true that this depends on vehicle compatibility – there are a few key features you can prioritise over To find an OB2 scanner that can reliably read and analyze your car’s data on a daily basis, have a look at our trusty buying guide.

In this article, you’ll learn exactly what you should look for in an OBD2 scanner, and we’ll walk you through the functionality, compatibility, strengths, and weaknesses, for each model.

How We Ranked Our Top OBD2 Scanners

In this review, we discuss the 10 best OBD2 scanners on the market. We’ve ranked these scanners based on key functionalities we feel make or break the quality of a scanner. 

Key factors we have examined include: 

  • Special features: We’ve considered the special features and functionalities each OBD2 scanner offers and evaluated them based on utility, price, and overall value. 
  • Compatibility: Since most OBD2 scanners do not work on all cars, we’ve selected each of these scanners for the wide-scale compatibility they offer. 
  • Strengths and weaknesses: We’ve provided a pros & cons list for each scanner for full transparency about the best and worst features of each tool.
  • User-friendliness: There’s a wide range of people who use OBD2 scanners, from professional mechanics to beginner DIY technicians. We evaluated each of these scanners based on overall ease of use and convenience. 

OBD2 Scanner Comparison Table: Top 3 Choices of 2022

This comparison chart provides an in-depth breakdown of our top 3 OBD2 scanner choices for 2022 so you can better understand each tool.

Best for DIYBest for BeginnersBest for Pros
FIXD™
FIXD™
Check Price
autel al319
Autel AL319
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autel mk808
Autel MK808
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Our Rating
4.64.6 / 5
4.64.6 / 5
4.44.4 / 5
PriceBlueDriverAutel AL319MK808
Product Dimensions1.5" x 0.5" x 1.75"63" x 17.7" x 92.5"14.7" x 11.7" x 4.8"
Item Weight 0.96oz6.2oz2lbs
Type

DIY OBD2 Scanners

Basic OBD2 Code Readers

Professional OBD2 Diagnostic Tools

Read & Clear All Codes
CEL Reset
VIN
Live Data
Freeze Frame
I/M Readiness
Engine Diagnostics
Mode 6--
Repair Reports--
ABS/SRS Diagnostics--
Transmission Diagnostics--
TPMS Reset--
Oil reset--
EPB/SAS/BMS/DPF--
Key Coding--
Compatibility

Android And Iphone.

OBD2 compliant 1996 and newer US-based models.

OBD2 and CAN

OBD2 supported 1996 US and newer models.
OBD2 supported 2000 EU based models

ConnectionBluetoothCordedBluetooth

Bonus: Best Bluetooth OBD2 Scanners Review and Comparison 2022

In-Depth Reviews & Comparisons: The 10 Best OBD2 Scanners On The Market

If you’re looking for the best OB2 diagnostic scanner to use, search no further than this section. Here we’ve got some of our favorite scanners currently on offer, which all have a wide spectrum of functionalities like diagnostic codes, repair suggestions, and more. 

We’ve tested and ranked the following OBD2 scanners: 

  • FIXD™ OBD2 Scanner
  • Autel AutoLink AL319 Cheap OBD Reader
  • Autel MaxiCOM MK808 Scan Tool
  • FOXWELL NT301 Full OBDII Scanning Tool
  • BAFX Products Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tools
  • ANCEL AD310 Cheap OBD2 Scanner
  • Foxwell NT201 Engine OBDii Reader
  • ANCEL AD410 OBDII Affordable Scanner
  • Autel MaxiLink ML619 OBD2 Scan Tool
  • LAUNCH Creader 3001 OBDii Reader

1. FIXD™ OBD2 Scanner – Editor’s Pick

FIXD™

FIXD™ OBD2 Scanner

4.4 / 5

FIXD™ is an expert problem-solving Scanner, authorized for Apple and Android devices. In this device features of a sophisticated scanner are coupled with the marvelous technology in your smartphone, giving you a unique tool to count on for a ton of reasons.

The biggest one being it uses Bluetooth – so it’s in the same league as scanners such as the Bluedriver Bluetooth.

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Extensive Repair Solution:

FIXD™ scanner has around 30 million fixes in the database that provides you with an accurate and complete repair solution.

Advanced Tests:

FIXD™ can conduct a variety of advanced tests such as Fuels Test, Comprehensive Components Test, Airbag, Freeze Frame Data, ABS codes, Misfire Counts, etc.

Dashboard Customization:

FIXD™ scanner offers great customization options. You can customize the dataset you want to see such as RPMs, speed, fuels pressure, etc.

Shows Accurate Results:

FIXD™ scanner shows accurate information regarding your vehicle’s maintenance schedules, TSBs (technical service bulletins) and specifications.

Smog Checks:

Smog tests let you know if your car is producing excessive emissions.

Export Data:

A log file can be made and exported to a computer as well.

The downside of FIXD™ is that it doesn’t support camshaft timing. Also, you can’t reprogram a FOB and read transmission temperature.

Compatibility:

FIXD™ scanner complies with all Volkswagen, Chrysler, GM, BMW, Ford, and Nissan sold in North America. The software runs on both iOS and Android devices and is also free to download.

FIXD™ also complies with major OBDII formats.

Pros

  • Instant accurate data (engine temp, pressure, fuels usage, etc.)
  • Takes a snapshot when a code is stored (Freeze Frame).
  • Offers all basic and a few advanced diagnosing features.
  • Reads and clears CEL codes.
  • Up to 50% discount available at the official website

Cons

  • Sells out regularly

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2. Autel AutoLink AL319 Cheap OBD Reader

autel al319

Autel AL319 OBD Reader

4.4 / 5

The Autel AL319 is ‘Plug and play’ and very easy to use even for beginners,works on all 1996 and newer vehicles (OBD II & CAN)-domestic and import, and offers a range of language features.

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If you have a 1996 model or newer car, the AL319 is good as a plug-and-play OBD2 system operation.

AL319 diagnoses and fixes issues quickly and is a good fit for beginning users even if they don’t know anything about engine problems.

Basic Functioning:

AL319 will check engine light codes and clear them. It shows live PCM data so that you can know which parameter is wrong.

Freeze frames data tells you the reason for your car’s breakdown.

Other common functions it offers include I/M Readiness Status(emissions), Live Sensor Data, VIN, CIN, CVN, and DTC Lookup.

Print Data:

With AL319, you can print the code along with the definition. This is a good option as you can show it to any professional and ask for tips – even a Google search can be of help.

Corded:

Autolink AL319 doesn’t support Bluetooth or other wireless connectivity as it is not phone supported.

Free Updates:

This model lets you download free software updates.

Compatibility:

Used with OBD2 1996 and newer makes, CAN support vehicles, EOBD vehicles as well.

Pros

  • 1-year warranty.
  • It has P0, P2, P3, U0 and U3 within the DTC library.
  • Lets you reset A.B.S and S.R.S lights.
  • Gives updated information.

Cons

  • Short cord – won’t allow the device to come to the lap.

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3. FOXWELL NT301 Full OBDII Scanning Tool

FOXWEL NT301

FOXWELL NT301 Full OBDII Scanner

4.3 / 5

NT301 is open to global customers. It is an upgraded version from the basic car obdii diagnosing scanner with distinctive features. No batteries required, it is charged directly from the OBDII car scanner interface in your vehicle.

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FOXWELL NT301 provides some amazing functions which is why it is one of the best OBD2 scan tools we have on the list. It shows the code’s definition on the TFTs screen which is graphically superior and also erases DTC (engine fault codes).

Other than that, Foxwell NT301 performs most of the common functions such as CEL(check engine light), MIL(malfunction indicator lamp), VINs etc.

Basic Functioning:

It complies with multiple code requests including manufacturer specific, generic and pending codes.

Performs engine diagnoses such as Fuels Trim, Engine Coolant Temp, I/M Readiness, Freeze Frames, Fuels Pressure, ECT and reads live O2 Sensor as well.

An EOBD and OBD II Scanner:

FOXWELL NT301 complies with 1996 and after US-based OBD2 supported makes. Moreover, it can also support 2001 and newer petrol supported European cars with OBD diagnosis.

Compatibility:

NT301 complies with five major OBDII formats. This OBD II scan tool is connected to the CPU of the vehicle using a diagnosing cable.

Pros

  • Charges when the ignition is on.
  • 1-year money back guarantee and lifetime free updates.
  • On-screen DTC definitions that point to the exact problem.
  • Saves data log that can also be printed.

Cons

  • High demand so limited availability.

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4. Autel MaxiCOM MK808 Scan Tool

autel maxicom mk808

Autel MaxiCOM MK808 Diagnoses Service Scan Tool

4.5 / 5

This diagnosing tool will give your car a full detection since it can read/clear DTCs and view data streams for ALL systems (A.B.S, Engine codes, etc…) 

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MK808 is one of the best automotive scanners on the market for vehicle geeks who know their way around with cars and can repair complex malfunctions, too.

It’s a diagnostics tablet with a 7-inch LCD that means scanning is a lot of fun. It works on polymer batteries which come included.

You can easily use it for 4.5 hours straight.

Advanced Feature:

Apart from offering conventional OBD2 functioning, it has specialised features in store for you to use. These include EPBs, SAS, DPF, Oil reset, BMS, A.B.S, TPMSs, and Key Programming.

Only a Professional OBD2 scanner can provide these features.

Data Manager:

MK808 lets you save, manage and print diagnostic results. It has a memory of 32GB which is enough to save the information.

Common Features:

MK808 lets you perform emission tests, A.B.S light test, fuels diagnosing, wipers, light systems and all common OBD2 scanner functioning.

Compatibility:

MK808 supports a variety of vehicles that are 1996 US-based and 2000 EU based OBD2 compliant such as Acura, Audi, AUFord, Bentley, Benz, BMW, Bugatti, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Efurd, Ford, GM, Holden, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, KIA, etc.

It covers all major PIDs and works and has a built-in Android 4.4.4.

Pros

  • A9 processor processes queries really quickly.
  • Works on Android.
  • Comes with a charger.
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t support ECU programming.

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Bonus: 7 Best OBD2 Bluetooth Scanners / Adapters 2021

5. BAFX Products Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tools

bafx products

BAFX Products Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tool

4.4 / 5

Numerous similar OBD2s CLAIM to operate on all vehicles but have issues with the J1850 & CAN protocol however….. the BAFX OBD actually DOES operate on all vehicles & ALL OBD2 protocols!

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BAFX is an OBD2 scanner that performs diagnostics on your vehicle’s engine and provides instant results. Moreover, it is among the most popular models on the market.

Displays Real-time Results:

Running a diagnosis while the vehicle is in motion can help drivers can detect malfunctions in real-time. These include engine issues, overheating issues, sensory problems etc.

BAFX shows datasets in a graphical form which is easy to read.

Smog Check:

BAFX also lets you perform smog testing to check for excess emissions in the car.

Basic Functioning:

This can check Coolant Temp, Oils Temp, CEL(check engine light), Fault Codes, Air Fuels Ratio, Fuels Pressure, DPF Temp, oxygen Sensoring, Fuels Trim, Emission Test, etc.

The downside of BAFX is that it loses connectivity on some makes.

Moreover, it doesn’t have an app of its own. You will need to download a third party app to use it. An app is a good idea for easy software display.

Compatibility:

These can be operated via a smartphone. It complies with Android and Windows phones only and is compatible with 1996 and newer, including hybrid cars. Additionally, it is also compatible with some vehicles outside of the USA – check your supplier for more information. You don’t want to find one that isn’t compatible and ultimately waste your money.

It complies with all OBDII regulations including CAN & J1850 protocols.

Pros

  • 2-year warranty
  • Quick sensoring fresh
  • Real-time data reading

Cons

  • Device compatibility – check your device

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6. ANCEL AD310 Cheap OBD2 Scanner

4.54.5 / 5

This OBD2 scanner is a great upgrade from the more basic OBD-II scanners. The major use of this scanner is detecting the Engine and configuring error codes. Connect via your OBD2 port and experience the efficiency of this model!

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This model serves as a plugged and played device and is the best for any user due to its fast speed.

Basic Functioning:

With the AD310, you can Check Engine Light, I/M Monitor Readiness Testing and Turn Off the MIL (check engine light). They’re truly innovative OBD II scanners!

Easy To Use:

This only has four buttons. Two for scrolling, two for entering and exiting.

Smog Checks:

AD310 lets you do a smog test, but doesn’t provide advanced feature offerings such as SRS, Transmission, air bag systems, coding etc.

Compatibility:

It can’t be operated with a phone and only works on a 12V battery.

Used with 1996 and newer US makes.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty.
  • Multilingual display.
  • Charges directly from the OBD2 connectors.

Cons

  • The display stays clear sometimes and the device needs to be reset.

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7. Foxwell NT201 Engine OBDii Reader

Foxwell NT201 Engine OBD Reader with All System Diagnosis and Service Functions

FOXWELL NT201 OBDII EOBD is an essential scanner which allows mechanics or car owners to verify repairs, checks State Emission Monitor Statuses and solves basic engine issues quickly and efficiently. Its 2.4” TFT color screen, hot key for I/M readiness testing and read/clear DTCs make it deserve the money.

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NT201 is far better than many as it offers almost all the basic functioning and complies with OND2, EOBD JOBD and CAN cars including trucks, SUVs and minivans also. This cements it as the best for many.

Basic Functioning:

FOXWELL NT201 is capable of configuring and erasing codes. It offers a wide range of basic functioning including I/M Readiness Statuses test, Read & Clear DTCs, VINs, DTCs, Freeze Frames Data, oxygen sensoring, EvapTest, CID, CVN, On-board Monitor Test, Smog Test, Turn off MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lights).

LED Indicators:

There are 3 LED indicators. Green means the vehicle is in good condition. Yellow indicates there’s a fault that has been solved. Red light indicates there’s a serious problem and needs help. The green/yellow/red system is an effective way of ensuring modes are functioning as they should, according to reviews.

Ease of Use:

It’s very easy to use. Connect it to the DLC socket and you’re good to go. There’s a 2.4 TFT color display and also a built-in speaker.

Compatibility:

It complies with OBD2/EOBD/JOBD & CAN.

As for protocols, in this case it supports J1859-41.6, ISO9141, J1850-10.4, CAN, KWP2000 (ISO 14230).

It supports anything 1996 and newer.

Connects with a cable.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty.
  • Multilingual display, for ease of use.
  • Compatible with a wide range of cars.
  • Dust protection.

Cons

  • Instruction manual is printed small.

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8. ANCEL AD410 OBDII Affordable Scanner

ANCEL AD410

ANCEL AD410 OBDII Affordable Scanner

4.3 / 5

This product is a great upgrade from the more basic device, It displays real-time live data reported by the ECUs, engine temperature, oxygen sensor readings etc, and has a handy user interface with high performance. A brilliant market brand for a number of users.

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Basic Functioning:

AD410 offers Check Engine Light, I/M, Monitor Readiness Test, Turn Off the MIL (check engine light), View Freeze Frames Data, Pending Codes, such as fault code, and fixes them, too.

Advanced Features:

It offers some advanced testing, include emission and oxygen sensoring.

Easy To Use:

It has a 2.4 TFT true color display along with an innovative design. One can operate the scanner without even glancing at the manual.

Smog Checks:

With AD410, you can do a smog test as well.

Lifetime Free Software Updates:

You can have updated software for a lifetime, however, phones aren’t supported. You will need to connect the device to a PC with a cable.

Compatibility:

This can’t be operated with a phone and only works on a 12V battery.

Supports all 1996 and newer US models.

Pros

  • Has the latest OBD2 DTC Lookup libraries (updateable)
  • 262k LCD Display.
  • Meant to work with STM 32 bit CPU, hence high speed performance.
  • Supports multiple languages.

Cons

  • Used on a 12V battery only.

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9. Autel MaxiLink ML619 OBD2 Scan Tool

autel ml619

Autel MaxiLink ML619 OBD2 Scan Tool

4.4 / 5

Quickly diagnose issues with a vehicle with the Autel MaxiLink ML619 Reader. This handheld is ideal for detecting faults on ABS, supplemental restraint systems and air bag systems, and performing OBDII diagnoses

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Autel Maxilink ML619 is an OBD2 scan tool that can detect faults on anti-lock brakes ABS, SRSs, airbag systems, etc.

It can also read generic and manufacturer specific codes. It’s certainly one of the greatest for performance, especially for the money. The scanner comes with a USB cable, 16GB micro SD card, and a nylon cover.

Advanced Functioning:

Autel Maxilink ML619 offers some useful advanced features including ABS Warning Lights. This provides the power to the user, giving you a choice of high quality experience.

Common Functioning:

With Autel Maxilink ML619, you read and clear codes that are pending, check and clear CEL codes, and display drive cycle readiness as well.

Code And Cause:

You won’t be only seeing a trouble code on the screen but a full explanation. For example, if something’s wrong in the intake valve, it will show P1135 = ‘Intake Valve Timing Control Bank 2’.

Autel Maxilink ML619 does tell you about the functioning in the ABS but doesn’t stream live ABS sensor signals.

Compatibility:

Autel Maxilink ML619 supports a wide range of cars including:

Ford, GM, Honda, Holden, Mitsubishi, Rover, Acura, FIAT, Audi, Nissan and all the cars that are 1996 and newer (OBD2 and CAN) models.

Autel Maxilink ML619 is one of the best obd2 readers which is a corded device.

Pros

  • Live graph data.
  • Updates are free.
  • Can be used on multiple cars.

Cons

  • 46 feet of cord can be too short for some people.

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10. LAUNCH Creader 3001 OBDii Reader

Creader 3001

LAUNCH Creader 3001 OBD2 Reader

5 / 5

This supports OBDII/EOBD protocols, Works on MOST 1996 US-Based, 2000 EU-Based and Asian cars, and any newer OBD II & CAN domestic or import car. Supports English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Portuguese.

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You won’t find a better OBD2 code reader than Creader 3001. It offers almost everything except for advanced functioning. This is why many consider it to be the best car code reader for basic functioning.

Basic Functioning:

It offers a wide range of basic functioning including I/M Readiness statuses test, DTCs, VINs Information, Freeze Frames Data, Dataset Stream, oxygen Sensor, Evap System Test, On-board Monitor Testings, Smog Test, Turn off MIL(Malfunction Indicator Lights)

DTC Lookup Library:

See trouble code explanations.

Compatibility

This OBD2 is compatible with all US 1996 and newer, and supports both OBD II & CAN vehicles.

Connects with a 2.5 feet cable, however, can’t be controlled with a phone/ mobile interface.

Pros

  • 2-year warranty – premium coverage for your car diagnostics.
  • Insulator cable.
  • Supports multiple languages.
  • Dust cap design – protection against dust.

Cons

  • No instructional manual.

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How To Choose The Best OBDII Scanner

The best OBD2 diagnostic tool for you is one that fits your needs and skill level. If you’re just looking to save time and money at the mechanic, a scanner with basic functionality to read codes is typically enough. If you’re a professional mechanic, or a DIY mechanic with a desire to gain in-depth knowledge of your vehicle information, then a more advanced scanner would be best. 

Here’s a breakdown of basic vs. advanced functionalities: 

Basic features of OB2 scanners include:

  • Check engine light reset, RPM, speed, fuel, pressure, CEL
  • Coolant and oils temperatures, and air fuel
  • Live map and freeze framed data
  • Fuel pressure, DPF temp, smog, and oxygen sensors

Advanced features of OBD2 scanners include:

  • Comprehensive repair reporting
  • ABS (anti-brake lock system), SRS, oils change, and misfire counts
  • Weather, mileage, and initialization
  • BMC coding, oils reset, key coding, ECU coding and programming

It is also important to consider other features as well like bluetooth capabilities, free  lifetime updates, and warranty. These features ultimately impact the overall convenience and value of your scanner.

Best OBD2 Scanner FAQs:

How Does OBD-II Work?

These handy devices link up the computer database within your vehicle to diagnose all systems. Every tool is unique, but each will provide the capability of detecting DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes).These identify and locate potential problem areas containing trouble codes.

Today’s vehicles are a lot smarter and have the capability to self-correct issues. However, some issues need our external assistance. If the check engine or malfunction light turns on, this means the PCM (power control module) can’t decode your error.

Is An OBD2 Scanner Worth It?

Yes, owning an OBD2 diagnostic scan tool will save you both time and money at the mechanic in the long run. Even the most simple OBD2 model will pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with your vehicle, and you can take on basic repairs yourself.

Bonus: The Complete List of Professional OBD2 Scanners Review & Comparison 2021

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