Code Readers & Scan Tools

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Find a Code Reader and Scan Tool that perfectly fits your needs and pocket in 2020 from the reviews below.

The products listed in the reviews were tested and reviewed by Tim Miller, an automotive mechanic, and blogger in Denver, Colorado.


FOR CAR BRANDS:

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* BY FUNCTIONALITY:
Best OBD1 SCANNERS 
Best OBD2 Scanners 
Best OBD2 BLUETOOTH Scanners 
Best OBD2 Scanners with ABS SRS 

Best BI-DIRECTIONAL Scan Tools 
Best ELM327 Adapters 
Best Heavy-Duty TRUCK Scanners 
Best Transmission Code Readers/Scanners 

Best PROFESSIONAL Automotive Diagnostic Scanners 

Best FORScan Adapters

Best Live Data Scan Tools


SCAN TOOL BRANDS:

Actron logoBluedriver logo
Autel logoBAFX OBD2 logo
FOXWELL logoInnova scan tool logo
Launch scan tool logoVEEPEAK logo
OBDLink logo


Cannot find what you want? Send an email to timmiller.obdscanner@gmail.com, tell us about your needs and we will recommend the best choice for you.

Code Readers & Scan Tools

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Is a Good Scan Tool?

That is a hard question to answer, as good scanners come in a variety of prices, with some being more affordable than others. A good scanner can cost less than $100, but it can also cost well over a thousand dollars.

There are certain things that will affect how much a scan tool costs – for example, whether the scan tool has Bluetooth functionality, how many vehicles it can be used on, as well as how many additional features it has.

What is scan tool or code reader?

A scan tool is a car diagnostic device that has a number of features. It usually includes a code reader, has the ability to read and sort live data, and contains some kind of knowledge base.

A professional scan tool includes more or less the same things, the difference being that the knowledge base is a lot more extensive, and they often include some other diagnostics tool, such as a built-in scope or milimeter.

What can scan tools do?

Scan tools perform a variety of tasks, with their main function being reading and clearing codes. You can plug a scan tool into an OBD1 or OBD2 socket.

Some of the things they do include storing and playing back live data, presenting data in a graph form, reading both generic and specific for a manufacturer code, providing definitions of trouble codes, as well as providing you with troubleshooting procedures and tips.

A good can help you identify issues with your vehicle by providing you with data from different sensors. Once you test drive your vehicle, you will be able to go back to a recording from it and focus on the one you need to find out what the problem is.

What scan tool is the best?

There isn’t one answer to that, as what scan tool will be the best for a person depends on several factors, with the most important one being the brand of your vehicle and what you need your scan tool to do.

There are also some other things that you need to take into consideration – for example, if you want it to have Bluetooth functionality or if you want your scan tool to be more versatile and work on a variety of vehicles manufactured in different years.

What scan tools do mechanics use?

Every mechanic will have a scan tool that they like to use, so picking out just one or two would be hard. However, there are a few that we consider to be the best for professional use. Those are:

  • FIXD™ Professional Bluetooth OBD2 scan tool – while it’s inexpensive, it has a wide range of features that will be great for both professional and amateur use, such as information about a vehicle (specifications, recalls, etc.).
  • Launch X431 V+ Automotive Diagnostic Tool – this one is more on the pricey side, but it is definitely worth the price tag, as it, for example, has a very advanced interface and can diagnose issues with all systems.
  • Autel MaxiCOM MK808 Automotive Diagnostic Scanner – this scan tool is in-between the two we mentioned above – not only in terms of the price, but also features. It can, for example, wirelessly send information to other devices.

In the end, however, which scan tools a professional will use depends solely on their personal preferences.

Is it worth buying an OBD2 scanner?

That depends. If you do your own mechanic work, then it is definitely worth it, as it makes it easier to know what is wrong with your vehicle. Keep in mind, though, that the basic scan tools usually display only the engine codes, while the more advanced models show issues with all the systems in your car.

Do all OBD2 scanners clear codes?

Yes, all OBD2 scanners can both read and clear codes. It is very easy to do, and here is how you can do it:

  • Hook your scanner to your vehicle’s diagnostic port. It is most likely located on the driver’s side, close to the steering wheel.
  • Turn the scanner and the car on.
  • Wait until the code appears on the scanner’s screen and click the “clear” button to clear the code.

6 Best Ford Scan Tools Review

There are a lot of different scan tools on the market today, but not every scan tool is compatible with every vehicle. If you own or specialize in Ford cars, you need to buy an OBD2 scanner dedicated to your specific needs.  And if you’re looking for a scan tool dedicated to Ford vehicles, you’ve …

6 Best Ford Scan Tools Review Read More »

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