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Our Top Picks for Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanners in 2021

No matter if you’re a professional technician or a car enthusiast, having a professional automotive diagnostic scanner will help you. With the help of our team’s research and testing, we narrowed down the list of 10 Best Professional Automotive Scanners.

These professional scan tools will help save you time, money and energy as well as easily helping with repair work. So, for your ease, here’s a list of the best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanners which we consider worth buying.

Our Top 3 Picks for Best Car Diagnostic Tools

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 some of the key features that you can find on some of these OBD2 scanners. 

In this section, include a comparison chart including information on: our rating price, product weight, bluetooth, color screen, full OBD2 test modes, airbag diagnostics, special service functions and transmission diagnostics.

Editor's ChoiceBest for Pro TechniciansRunner-up
FIXD™
FIXD™
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Launch X431 V+
Launch X431 V+
Check Price
Autel MK808BT
Autel MK808BT
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Our Rating
4.64.6 / 5
4.64.6 / 5
4.64.6 / 5
Price$60$1200$560
Product Weight0.96oz13.23 lbs2.42 lbs
Bluetooth FunctionYesYesYes
Color ScreenNoYesYes
Full OBD2 Test ModesYesYesYes
Airbag DiagnosticsYesYesYes
Special Service FunctionsTPMS ResetFullFull
Transmission DiagnosticsYesYesYes

FIXD™ OBD2 Scanner – Editor’s Pick

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.

FIXD Professional OBD2 Scanner
4.64.6 / 5
FIXD™ with its features are beyond the capabilities of any ordinary car code reader.

Key Features on 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 give you a clear insight of where the problem is occurring.

FIXD Savings

Pros

The FIXD™ OBD2 Scanner is a great product for a 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.
  • Checks 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.

Cons

Even with some of the same functionalities as the more expensive models, the FIXD™ OBD2 scanner does have some cons, including:

  • Only iPhone and Android platforms are supported by this tool
  • Sells out regularly.
Learn More

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.

Launch X431 V+ review
4.34.3 / 5
Easy to use interface that has powerful functions, quick auto scanning and vehicle diagnosis, and a touchscreen user interface that is easy to learn.

 Key Features

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, ABSSRS, 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 VAutomotive Scan Tool, you’ll be able to more accurately diagnose your car’s issues.

Launch X431 V+ Automotive Diagnostic Tool

Pros

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 pro’s 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

Cons

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.

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

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 resetSRS, IMMO Keys, DPFTPMS 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

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

Cons

Though this is a reasonably priced model with advanced key features, it does have some con’s to it as well:

  • The response time of this tool is slow.
  • Doesn’t scan very fast
  • No coding
  • Actuation is not allowed

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:

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.

What to Look for in a High Quality 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 are several things to keep in mind as you go shopping for your OBD scanner. They include the type of vehicle diagnostics tool you’re looking for, vehicle compatibility, cost, usability and upgradability.

Type of Vehicle Diagnostics Tool

Every OBD scanner falls into one of two main categories, namely diagnostic scan tools and adapters. While both types rely on a 

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 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.

Vehicle Compatibility

This is undoubtedly the most important consideration. Make sure the scanner you pick actually works on your vehicle. Manufacturers usually list all the vehicle makes and models that are covered by a particular scanner. Be sure to check that out on their website or from customer reviews.

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.

Also noteworthy is that there are scan tools for OBD2 cars, others for OBD1 cars and still some that cover both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles.

So before settling on one make sure it covers the type, make and model of your car.

Cost

Unless you are buying a diagnostic scan tool for a professional auto shop, most of these devices will not cost you an arm and a leg.

They typically cost anywhere from $50 to thousands of dollars. It all depends on the features that it brings to the table.

With that said, make sure the one you settle for is within your budget. It may sound obvious but you can’t purchase something that you don’t have the money for.

Usability

diagnostic scan tool won’t help you in any way if you can’t figure out how to use it. Virtually all of them come with a user manual to help you find your way around the menus.

That said, start by reading customer reviews to ensure that it doesn’t have complicated menus. And that the accompanying user manual can actually help.

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.

In short, check to know whether its software is upgradable, how easy it is to update and if they come with free updates. The takeaway point is that there are so many auto diagnostic tools out there.

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.

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