A great OBD scanner will save you time, money, and energy. If you’re looking for a fully capable professional-grade OBD scan tool, look no further. Our team has researched and tested OBD scanners across the board to narrow down the list to the 3 best professional automotive diagnostic scanners in terms of functionality, quality, and overall value.
How We Evaluated Each Professional Car Diagnostic Tool
Buying an OBD scan tool isn’t as complicated as you may think. Most of them are actually plug-and-play devices that don’t require complex installation procedures.
Even so, there were several things we kept in mind as we tested and reviewed each scanner. Each scanner was judged by the following criteria:
Vehicle Compatibility – This is undoubtedly the most important consideration. You may want to know that while some scan tools are designed to cover just one or two vehicle brands, others are universal and work with a wide variety of car models. For example, while the Foxwell NT510 covers BMW, Rolls-Royce & Mini, the Ancel AD410 works on all OBD2 cars. So, we made sure to call out the compatibility of each scanner.
Cost – These devices cost anywhere from $50 to thousands of dollars, depending on the features that it brings to the table. We made sure to call out the overall value of each tool to make sure you get the most for your money.
Usability – A diagnostic scan tool won’t help you in any way if you can’t figure out how to use it. We made sure every tool on this list is convenient and user-friendly, so you don’t have to waste your time with unnecessarily complicated tech.
Upgradability – OBD scanners need to be upgradable in order to accommodate the latest diagnostic technology and newer vehicle models. If you buy one that doesn’t get software updates, it will be obsolete the moment you buy a newer car. We made sure each tool on this list has free software updates so you know you’re making a sound long-term investment in your equipment.
Professional Car Diagnostic Tool Comparison Chart: The Top 3 Choices of 2022
There are so many different car diagnostic scanners currently on the market, so it can be difficult to tell which ones are the best. Our top 3 picks for the best professional diagnostic scanners are:
Let’s break down the specific features of our 3 best car scanners for professionals.
|Editor's Choice||Best for Pro Technicians||Runner-up|
Launch X431 V+
4.6 / 5
4.6 / 5
4.6 / 5
|Product Weight||0.96oz||13.23 lbs||2.42 lbs|
|Full OBD2 Test Modes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Special Service Functions||TPMS Reset||Full||Full|
Reviews & Comparisons: The 3 Best Professional Car Diagnostic Tools of 2022
When comparing the prices with other professional-grade scan tools, the FIXD™ Professional Bluetooth OBD2 scan tool might seem inexpensive. However, even with a lower price, this tool is loaded with features that give it a well-deserving pace among the top professional scan tools. It also is the perfect starting point for car owners just starting to read their own DTCs.
Let’s take a look at some of the key features, pro’s and con’s of the FIXD™ OBD2 scanner.
Key Features of the FIXD™ OBD2 Scanner
The FIXD™ OBD2 professional scan tool comes with an application that is compatible with both Android and IOS platforms. With freeze-frame technology, the Bluetooth adapter gives clear reads from your car to your phone in seconds.
Additionally, this professional scanner can display the data speed and the engine RPMs as well.
A few features of this Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner include:
- Enhanced set of diagnostic, i.e., ABS, Climate Control, Airbag Control, etc.
- You can customize the live data with the help of data streams
- It gives information about the vehicle such as vehicle specifications, recalls, etc.
- Ensure you pass an emissions test with I/M readiness, O2 sensors, and smog tests.
- Freeze frame data gives you a clear insight of where the problem is occurring.
Pros of the FIXD™ OBD2 Scanner
The FIXD™ OBD2 Scanner is a great product for DIY home mechanics to start off with. It’s small, easy to use and inexpensive. It even has some of the same features and functionalities of some of the more expensive models.
Here are some of the other major pro’s to this FIXD™ OBD2 Scanner model:
- Capable of reading and clearing fault codes.
- Can also read and clear ABS, Transmission error codes, etc.
- Comes with a freeze frame feature.
- Check if the vehicle is ready for smog test as well.
- Real time cost estimates.
- 24/7 car health monitoring.
- Under $100
- Up to 50% discount available at the official website.
- Free updates
Cons of FIXD™ OBD2 Scanner
Even with some of the same functionalities as the more expensive models, the FIXD™ OBD2 car scanner does have some cons, including:
- Only iPhone and Android platforms are supported by this tool
- Sells out regularly.
2. Launch X431 V+ Automotive Diagnostic Scan Tool
The Launch X431 V+ Automotive Diagnostic Tool is one of the best professional OBD2 scanners with a top-notch reputation. This particular product has an extremely advanced user interface that is packed with features to help any professional mechanic.
Let’s take a look at some of the key features, pro’s and con’s to this OBD2 scanner model.
Key Features of the Launch X431 V+
The Launch X431 V+ OBD2 Scanner tool is one of the highest quality OBD2 code readers on the market, but it also comes with quite a large price tag. These are some of the key features you get with this particular car diagnostic tool:
- Capable of diagnosing all vehicle systems including: transmission, engine, ABS, SRS, communication and more.
- Bluetooth connection and hands free technology
- 10 inch, LCD full color screen
- Also functions as a bi-directional scan tool that can both send and receive information from your engine
While these features are not necessary for a beginner home mechanic, they are useful for professionals. Overall, if you choose to invest in the Launch X431 V+ Automotive Scan Tool, you’ll be able to more accurately diagnose your car’s issues.
Pros of the Launch X431 V+
While the Launch X431 V+ model comes with a higher price tag, the additional key features may seem worth it to make the investment. Additionally, here are some of our biggest pros to buying this upgraded OBD2 scanner.
- Wireless diagnosis with the help of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Can read and clear engine codes effectively
- It has a durable and sturdy design.
- Waterproof and dust-resistant
- It comes with a 7000mAh battery.
- Comes with anti-theft matching feature
- Free updates
Cons of the Launch X431 V+
Even with the advanced functionalities of this model, there is still one major con.
- Not compatible with iOS
- Even though this model is one of the most advanced on the market, it is not compatible with the iOS operating system. However, we do recommend this model for mechanic repair shops and professional repairmen.
3. Autel MaxiCOM MK808 Bluetooth Scanner
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 Automotive Diagnostic Scanner is a tool that is loaded with a variety of basic and advanced features. With a large responsive touchscreen, this iPad-like scanner will improve the quality of your car diagnostics.
Let’s explore the key features, pro’s and con’s of this car diagnostic tool model.
Key Features of the Autel MaxiCOM MK808
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808BT diagnostic scanner is a great mid-range option for the more advanced home mechanic or a repair shop with a lower budget. Some of the key features you can find on this OBD2 scanner include:
- 7 inch, full color touchscreen
- Wirelessly send information to other devices, as well as store vital car information without an SD card.
- Includes useful features like: Oil reset, SRS, IMMO Keys, DPF, TPMS Relearn, ABS Brake Bleed, EPB calibration, BMS, SAS, etc.
- Protect this product with a free one year warranty
While this model is less advanced than the Launch X431 V+, it still has the advanced features needed for repair shops and has a reasonable mid-range price point. Let’s explore some of the pro’s and con’s to this model.
Pros of the Autel MaxiCOM MK808
Some of the biggest pro’s to the Autel MaxiCOM MK808BT include:
- Has a well-laid out design with easy to press buttons
- You can navigate this tool easily
- You can effectively clear codes
- Comes with a highly responsive touchscreen
- Can display information without being connected to a computer.
- Supports various functions
- Can display sensor IDs from the ECU of a vehicle
- With its help, sensors can be registered to vehicles
- Free updates
Cons of the Autel MaxiCOM MK808
Though this is a reasonably priced model with advanced key features, it does have some cons to it as well:
- The response time of this tool is slow.
- Doesn’t scan very fast
- No coding
- Actuation is not allowed
What Type Of Professional Car Diagnostics Tool Do You Need?
Every OBD scanner falls into one of two main categories, namely diagnostic scan tools and adapters.
Diagnostic scan tools are the traditional scanners. They are stand-alone devices that connect to the OBD2 port using an OBD connector.
Adapters are usually small and can be left plugged in. It makes more sense to buy one of these if you want a device that can do real-time active testing and vehicle monitoring. However, most of them are not as durable as traditional scan tools. Additionally, some apps require paid subscriptions to use.
So, ultimately your choice here not only depends on your budget but also if you’re comfortable using one over the other.
Other Automotive Diagnostic Scanners to Consider
If those three automotive diagnostic scanners don’t seem valuable for you, check out some of the other top models on the market right now including:
- Autel Maxisys Elite Automotive Scanner
- Launch CRP129X Vehicle Diagnostic Scanner for Mechanic
- Innova 3160g OBD2 Bluetooth Car Scan Tool
- Autel ML619 Car ABS SRS Diagnostic Tool
- Foxwell NT301 OBD2 Scanner
These car code readers are still top quality with advanced features, like the models we highlighted above. They will still connect directly to your car, read check engine light DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes) and provide insight into your car’s diagnostic system.
Learn More About the Best OBD2 Scanners on the Market with OBD Station
Deciding which scan tool is perfect for your workbench can be a tedious task. However, after this extensive review of the Top OBDII scan tools, you will be able to make an informed decision about the perfect pair for you.
If you want to learn more about on-board diagnostic scanners and explore more ways to help diagnose your car issues at home, OBD Station is the perfect place to do so. OBD Station is the best source for updates on OBD II Scanners, at home auto repairs, and industry updates. You can explore more of our product reviews, our blog posts and more.
4/5 (25 Reviews)