OBD2 scanners and software are the most reliable and versatile way to diagnose problems with a vehicle. These tools scan your car’s system to identify existing and potential issues. As many car owners know, just taking your vehicle to a repair shop to find out why your Check Engine light has come can be incredibly expensive. The “diagnostic” fee alone can be outrageous. Hundreds of dollars just to be told that there is some minor problem that takes five minutes to fix.
Do you want to stop paying ridiculous prices just for information? Do you like to tinker with vehicle settings so that it may run better and get better mileage without sacrificing performance? Maybe you’re a mechanic that would like to save time looking up codes and deciphering what they mean?
OBD2 dongles and software communicate with your vehicle’s computer to tell you what that Check Engine light means and other diagnostic information. In addition, you can also use the software to alter your vehicle by giving it better gas mileage and more horsepower. To fix a car it’s important to have the right tools for the job. There are several scanners to choose from, here are some of the best programs on the market.
Best OBD2 Software Reviews 2021
1. TOAD PRO
There are several companies now making OBD software and scanners and it can be confusing to which one is best. The TOAD PRO OBD and ECU diagnostic tool, shortened to TOAD will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year. Even professional mechanics use this tool. The Toad Pro performs advanced OBD diagnostics, reads and clears faults, legally optimizes performance, horsepower, fuel efficiency, torque, engine longevity and power.
This diagnostic scan tool is used and trusted by customers in over 70 countries. It will show you in precise detail what’s going on inside different systems through easy-to-understand, visual and customizable graphs. Users are able to edit, tune, and reprogram car’s ECU chip data, which in human terms, is the brain that controls how the car runs. It instantly shows you existing problems and offers quick, painless, amazing solutions.
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The TOAD OBD software allows you to perform a thorough health-check on your car, diagnose common problems, ‘hack’ your car’s performance, optimize fuel efficiency, build custom dashboards, discover your car’s potential accurately, and more with comprehensive step-by-step manuals and unlimited and lifetime personal technical support.
Some reviews, with limited mechanical knowledge, found the software to be difficult to understand and confusing. However, a mechanic shop with 20-35 cars coming in daily found TOAD to be useful in 85% of cases thanks to the consistent technical support.
- Graphic interface that is easy to read and well organized
- Resets the warning lights
- Lifetime system updates
- Real-time data streaming
- Outstanding list of compatible car makes and models
- Slightly complicated programming for a novice
- Very short USB cord–wireless recommended
- On the more expensive side
The Toad Pro works on nearly every car on the road today. It can do a complete diagnostic and essentially ‘hack’ the vehicle’s software saving mountains of time and money. This is the same type of software that is usually reserved exclusively for the highest rated, registered, and acclaimed car repair shops, manufactures, servicemen, and mechanics.
If you are a novice carsman, the software may take some getting used to. Nonetheless, the expert technical support system, and detailed setup instructions can make you a pro in no time. In conclusion, TOAD has an edge over anything else on the market.
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2. AutoEnginuity’s ScanTool
AutoEnginuity’s Scan Tool is a hardware and software combination for Windows that was designed to be as easy to learn as it is powerful.The AutoEnginuity’s ScanTool is all about coverage. It’s the most important part in effective and quick service to any vehicle. With live-data and bi-directional controls, this code reader enables live data, actuate components, and run system tests. With this complete coverage, the user is able to get the job done right the first time and prevent any dreaded comeback.
The AutoEnginuity scan tool offers a customizable report format showing customers the necessary repairs and upsell optional repairs. This tool, like the power of a personal computer and their versatile interface, provides access to systems and sensors at your fingertips. Complex tools do not require complex user-interfaces!
Users can customize and arrange the user-interface to suit you and your computing device to service the vehicle. The Scan Tool comes with an automated installation process and a complete user guide.
The AutoEnginuity Scan Tool is very highly rated among its users. In fact, bad reviews are hard to come by. Professionals and hobbyists alike highly recommend this product. This scanner is well priced and saves customers thousands from the dealer.
Some found it took a bit of time to figure out how to use it and wish procedures were better explained, but once familiar found it works very well. One user, a SuperDuty mechanic even said, “This is my best tool decision ever.” Easy to install and fantastic when learned how to use.
- Quick installation with USB
- Factory scan tool options available
- The largest manufacturer specific trouble code library
- Save,print, read and clear stored codes
- Tons of optional expansion
- Requires 400MB of drive space and 100 MB of memory
- USB required
- May be difficult and confusing at first
- Not cheap
The AutoEnginuity Scan Tool is very popular amongst it’s customers. Although it may be slightly challenging to become familiar with at first, it proves easy over time. This scanner pays for itself in no time. Most users are very pleased and impressed with its functionality.
It’s simple, straightforward, and works for most models.
3. Touch Scan
Touch scan OBD software is a user-friendly, powerful tool for diagnosing problems in vehicles. It works great with laptops, tablets, desktop and car PC’s.TouchScan provides dealer-level diagnostics for a fraction of the price. You can read trouble codes, clear your check engine light, and monitor sensors in real-time. Sensor data can be displayed on customizable dashboards, graphs, in a grid, or logged to file.
It can calculate vehicle fuel economy or tell you if it’s time for emissions testing so you’re never caught off guard. The touch scan includes a ton of features right out of the box. Real-time sensors, clear diagnostic codes, and over 90 supported sensors.
The TouchScan has a professional module and well organized interface. The software program had problems maintaining vitality with all the ELMScan 5 USB tools. Connection speeds are inadequate. Development with communications needs improvement.
- Multiple language functionality
- Free software updates
- USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth
- 1996 and newer cars and trucks
- Runs system test as well as OBD2 scanning
- No refund
- May not be compatible with your vehicle
- Slower software
TouchScan offers various features for monitoring vehicle data and diagnosing problems in modern vehicles. It is designed for touchscreen use but also works with laptops and standard PCs.
TouchScan is an easy to use, a touchscreen-friendly software package for automotive monitoring and diagnostics. It can calculate fuel economy, clear trouble codes, log data, and much more.
The OBDWiz works with scan tools for vehicles by creating a communication channel between it and a personal computer, then running multiple types of OBD-II diagnostics. The OBDwiz software program helps users diagnose their car and detect and fix mechanical problems. It’s a smart software if you want to keep your car’s condition at a high standard while saving a fortune.
It’s easy to install and packed with features. It is touchscreen-friendly and can be used as a digital dashboard.
The OBDWiz has over 7000 codes and a wide functional feature with the ability to read live data. Free feature is nice. Compatible with most car models. Easy installation.
- Provides assistance for trouble codes
- Fuel economy calculator
- Real time data
- Free unlimited updates
- Customizable dashboard
- Compatible with ALL PC-based scan tools
- Button lag
- Consistent price
Same features as TouchScan but will only work with OBDLink Scan tools. Very effective and succesful software.
The PCMScan is downloadable onto Apple or Android phones and enables users to diagnose remotely if necessary, although the service via computer makes reading data and navigating menus even faster. With wireless readings you’re able to check up on your vehicle whenever you like, at any time and any place. In addition to the wireless function, the PCMScan is easy to read, works on most models, resets check engine lights, runs speed tests and tests emission data with real-time scanning.
Some users found the layout of the PCMScan to not be as intuitive as other models. There was some frustration with the list of codes not being comprehensive, and complications when adjusting the vehicle’s ECU system which is not supported.
Some low reviewers were frustrated with the additional scanner requirement, although it is a relatively straightforward system. Downloading and setting it up is easy and ready to go in minutes. The PCMScan is one of the simplest options but in some cases, the layout can be unfamiliar for new users.
Overall, users were fond of this product, with the exception of many who had difficulty setting up. Some reviewers needed several tries and customer support to get everything working properly. Once the program was connected it worked like a charm. Additionally, the program requires a rare serial port, but it can be replaced with a serial-to-USB converter.
The program has an incredibly flexible interface, but users were frustrated with the laptop requirement. Some users found the performance to be slow, and were aggravated at the lack of phone support..
- Works on both computer and mobile device
- Wireless capabilities
- Easy to read backlit screen
- Contains all Honda’s codes – including manufacturer – specific ones
- Rugged rubber housing
- May not work on all vehicles
- Requires a separate scanner
- Some complicated readings
Once the user overcomes the initial setup hurdles, the PCMScan offers great flexibility to the user in display and test data, although it does require a laptop. Expect a slowish performance and difficulty with support. If you can look past all of that, the PCMScan is simple and user friendly.
6. OBD Auto Doctor
The ODB Auto Doctor is a very simple and straightforward program that almost anyone can use. It’s compatible across all devices. The wireless function allows for the monitoring and scanning with this system to be very versatile and reliable.
For some it’s enough to check OBD2 codes whenever the check engine light appears. However, if you want to make sure that your vehicle is operating perfectly, additional tests are required. The OBD Auto Doctor software requires an additional generic OBD2 scanner. Finding a compatible system is easy and then from there the software is easy and efficient.
Mechanics and enthusiasts alike were happy with the updated version and money they’ve saved.
- Compatible with computer, tablet, smartphone
- User friendly design
- Compatible with most ODB2 scanners
- Real time data
- Requires generic OBD2 scanner
- Doesn’t monitor ECU systems
- Not compatible with all makes and models
Whether you’re a small repair shop, a modern DIY mechanic, or an auto enthusiast, you’ll be satisfied with the OBS Auto Doctor. From monitoring the engine coolant or fuel pressure, to identifying minor problems before they come major problems, you can save a lot of money and trouble at a rather low cost.
OBD2 Auto Doctor is an excellent tool for people who are interested in understanding more their cars. If one wants to monitor vehicle data in the present period of time or turn off the check engine indicator, this can be very gear.
If you want to identify issues with your car, get to know your car better, and ultimately save money, the OBS Auto Doctor is the tool for you.
This OBD2 software has the ability to read the newest sensor data to accommodate ever increasing vehicle technology advancements and sensors. ProScan is easily one of most user-friendly Windows OBD2 software on the market. It’s biggest strength is consistent stability and development based on thorough know-how of automotive protocols and sensors.
One of the best features in ProScan that’s somewhat lacking in others – is timing performance. Or at least one of the most accurate implementations of this feature. Meaning you can conduct live accurate measurements of speed and torque gains after adjusting it’s ECU parameters.
The fuel economy tool helps adapt the driving behavior to lower the fuel consumption. The analysis is available after a quick drive. The vehicle connection manager is an interface seen when launching the program. It shows the connection status and reports if failure happens.
Freeze frame data allows monitoring ant data and any period by saving all the previous information. It also shows detected problems and their solutions.
Oxygen sensor tests displays of all the tests from the car’s individual oxygen sensors. If the car has a problem this tool will help to determine if the oxygen sensors have failed and detect which specific sensor.
Diagnostic report generator allows a diagnostic report for the car. When a check engine light appears the vehicle will save a code that recognizes the problem detected and the tool will provide a list of what’s saved so the user can detect the issue.
- Fuel Economy adjustments
- User friendly interface
- Convert between English and metric units
- Calculate performance statistics
- Test vehicle’s oxygen sensors
- Slow updates
- Trouble with O2 function
Most users are very satisfied with this system. This product is the real deal, with no delay, works every time. Users find the product very reliable. ProScan holds up even with the modern auto industry changes. Users are overwhelmingly satisfied. Worth every cent.
The EOBD (European on-board diagnostics system) is required in all petrol vehicles since 2001 and in all diesel cars since 2004. These systems are more advanced than the original OBD systems, but are much the same as the OBD2.
Users can make a diagnostics of a vehicle using Mac OS and find out the reason for engine indicators without the manufacturer’s pack. The connection is simple, and the user can diagnose and see the results in real-time. Users are able to make a diagnostic of their car using their phone/ipad and discover a multitude of information about their vehicle. From viewing engine and gearbox fault codes and displaying their meaning, to clearing the malfunction indicator light. Users can see car speed, engine speed, engine temperature, spark timing, inlet air quantity, torque and more. Users are able to find this information, record, save and improve.
One review found that EOBD Facile did exactly what is said in the description. When used in conjunction with Total Car Diagnostics ELM327 wifi. It worked fine and detected engine management faults and allowed them to clear the MIL successfully.
Another review tried EOBD-Facile, but found TOAD PRO a lot more professional and user friendly.
One user found EOBD very inexpensive and serves its purpose on MacBook air, although it doesn’t function correctly on Dodge vehicles.
- Clear check engine light
- View issue with engine codes
- Monitor manufacturer error codes
- Backlog of records of GPS data
- Make recordings of trips and save
- Not as user friendly as other softwares
- Not as professional as other softwares
- Doesn’t work on Dodge vehicles
Although it may work for some and serve its purpose as described, most users find other systems better. It is inexpensive compared to other OBDIIs but TOAD might be the safest bet for the best results.
9. Movi and Movi Pro
Movi/ Movi Pro has the ability to read information from the vehicle’s engine control module (ECM) – without complicated setup on your Mac computer. So you’re after simplicity while still needing absolute reliability on pulling car faults with precise-live PID parameter reports – then this is the ideal OBD app for you. We think it’s easier to grasp and less overwhelming than tProhe above OBD II Auto Doctor.
Their free version is sufficient for most regular car owners. However only the paid version can clear the DTC faults codes.
Software can extract every historical failure (DTC) of a vehicle. It can also clear the ‘check engine light’ off as it extracts problematic trouble codes.
Every failure (DTC) of a vehicle is saved in the engine control module (ECM). Reading this information can help professionals to identify the problem and fix a car. Movi™ car diagnostic software helps to see these trouble codes, extract the car’s freeze-frame information, and clear it so that it can turn your check engine light off.
Reviews of the application are upset that there has been no update in years. They spent good money ($50-$80+) and they are very disappointed. Some say the free Movi software on MAC is super as all they needed was to reset emission on a car to get it ready for inspection.
- Read/clear DTCs
- View/clear freeze frame data
- View fuel consumption and fuel economy
- Monitor virtual horsepower and torque
- Make graph up to 4 engine indicators at the same time
- Real time data
- Hard to use
- Weird hookup via BlueTooth
- Hasn’t updated in years
Movi Pro makes it easy to graph, record, and even listen to your vehicle’s engine data, all in real-time. But users are frustrated with the lack of update and support. Movi Pro hasn’t updated in years and it’s overpriced. Avoid the waste of money. Their free version will suffice for most regular car owners. However, only the paid version can clear the DTC faults codes.
Read more: 7 Best Volvo Scan Tools Review 2021