Best OBD2 Scanner 2018 | Our Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Are you scouting for the Best OBD2 Scanner? Are the many brands and models on the market leaving you confused? Is it not easy as you thought, huh? Relax! You just landed on the page that makes your quest for the ultimate OBD2 scanner easy and straightforward. We’ve combed through the market and analyzed the most sought after scanners in a bid to ensure that you have an easier time finding the unit that best serves your needs.

Never bought a scanner before? Not to worry! We’ve thrown in a buyer’s guide so that you can know what to look for whether you’re searching for an obd2 bluetooth scanner or any other type of scanner for that matter.

And, we even give you an outline of the top brands and what sets them apart from their competitors. As if that’s not enough, we’ve made a commitment to update the top models periodically to ensure that you always have access to the most recent gadgets. What are we saying? That this is the ultimate guide you’ll ever need when buying an OBD2 scanner.

And now, without further ado, come with us as we take you through the top 10 best obd2 scanners for the money.

1. BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android

The BlueDriver OBDII Scan Tool is designed to check your automobile’s performance, turn off the Check Engine Light, analyze error codes and even give you an idea if your vehicle will pass the Smog Test. And unlike most scan tools that come with an integrated LCD screen, this one supports dongle connectivity to your smartphone so you can leverage on your phone’s computing ability.

Features and Benefits

BlueDriver App and Sensor – The best obd2 bluetooth scanning tools should have no room for errors. While the sensors guarantee accurate results, the app ensures that you get the codes in an easy to interpret format. Once you’ve downloaded the app (supported by Android and iOS platforms), be sure to feed it with the correct info to eliminate the likelihood of false readings.

Note – the BlueDriver app is not compatible with Windows phones.

Advanced Mode 6 Date Readings – This unit boasts the ability to read advanced data including misfire counts. It also offers advanced codes for transmission, airbag, and ABS for all makes to give you absolute control over your automobile’s performance.

Smog Reading Test – The BlueDriver is perhaps one of the few scan tools that offer a smog readiness test. This feature works by running through all transmission systems. In essence, this saves you money and time because you will only register for emission tests when you’re sure that your vehicle will pass.

The Repair Report – Apart from reporting problems, this unit also gives a detailed report with suggestions on how to fix the said malfunctions. The BlueDriver OBDII derives its information from a massive database of more than 4 million verified repairs done by certified technicians. You can even print the report or email it to your vehicle’s tech for further analysis.

Pros
  • Easy to use even for first-time owners
  • Compact design. In fact, the BlueDriver can fit under the dashboard
  • Suggests possible repairs for your car’s problems
Cons
  • The BlueDriver app may not necessarily help you interpret your engine’s running data
2. Innova 3150e Code Reader / Scan Tool with ABS and SRS for OBD2 Vehicles

Trust us; the Innova 3150e is a premium scan tool from a company that lays emphasis on quality and precision. This is the unit to own if you want to know why you’re getting a constant warning to check your engine. And the best part is that it works for both domestic and foreign OBD2 car, light trucks, hybrids, and SUVs. Here’s what it has to offer;

Features and Benefits

A Host of Tests – The Innova 3150e offers a step by step guide on how to reset your car’s engine for optimum performance. It will also diagnose your vehicle’s ABS whether it is European, Asian or domestic. And with the ability to test and erase problems in the alternator and SRS system, you can rest assured that your automobile will remain in a good working condition.

User-Friendly Design – Unlike most obd2 scanners, the Innova 3150e features the exclusive all-in-one screen hot keys for ease of use whether you’re a professional or casual user, saving both time and money.

RepairSolutions – This scanning tool comes with the patented RepairSolutions feature, an online based service that allows users of all levels to diagnose and repair their cars accurately. The service offers verified fixes, difficulty ratings and repair costs.

You may also want know that this feature also supports a live relay system approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) which makes it easy to spot and repair any malfunctions.

High Compatibility Ratio – The 3150e is compatible with new obd2 vehicles and other older obd1 models. In essence, this means that you can use the tool on a wider range of cars, making it one of the most versatile obd2 scanners on the market.

Pros
  • Ability to generate codes for newer and older car models is a plus
  • Highly efficient – just fit the scanner and get live data in seconds
  • Straightforward operation
Cons
  • Does not read all SRS and ABS cars but then again, there’s no single diagnostic tool compatible with all vehicles. Be sure to read the specs before buying.
3. ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth: Professional OBD-II Scan Tool for Android & Windows

If you own a Windows smartphone, the 426101 OBDLink could as well be the best OBD2 scanner to buy. Made to accelerate your automobile’s performance over a Bluetooth link, this model is four times faster than other scanners in its category. And unlike most units, it features the patented BatterySaver Technology to ensure there’s adequate battery power even when you leave it plugged in. But the 426101 has more to offer as stipulated below;

Features and Benefits

Maximum Vehicle Coverage – This obd2 scanner is compatible will all 1996 and newer autos as well as light cars sold in the US. Its preparatory connection algorithm offers connectivity to more models, probably more than any other obd scanner. For those who may be concerned, it supports OBD II, JOBD, and EOBD as well as other international variants.

Exclusive Diagnostics Software and App – This device enables you to clear the “Check Engine Light,” read every diagnostic trouble codes and do research about them online. Through the OBDLink app, you can also check if your car is ready for an emission test, calculate instantaneous as well as the average MPG. You also get free OBDwiz software to use on your laptop or PC.

Unmatched Security Protection – This unit features 128-bid data encryption to ensure that no hacker can gain access to your automobile’s network. In comparison to universal adapters, the OBDLink MX uses a hard to guess PIN, and will never display it publicly thereby ensuring that your communication link is safe.

Advanced GM and Ford Support – This gadget comes with extra parameters to cover Ford and GM motor vehicle owners. While, you have to use third-party apps (such as DashCommand, Dash, and obdCANex) this feature adds convenience to an already remarkable device.

Pros
  • Increased throughput for better, accurate and detailed graphs
  • Overvoltage protection
  • Automatically goes to sleep when not in use
Cons
  • May not work very well with third party apps
4. ANCEL AD510 Professional OBD-II Scanner Car Engine Fault Code Reader Automotive Diagnostic Scan Tool

The ANCEL AD510 is engineered to support all the 10 modes of OBD2 tests for a comprehensive diagnosis. And just like the model reviewed above it is compatible with all 1996 models as well as newer cars. One thing that sets this device apart from its competitors and further makes it one of the best OBD2 scanners on the market it’s the ability to be upgraded and updated online. That means your gadget will always be at par with the latest technology, thereby helping you save money in the long term. We take a closer look at the unit below.

Features and Benefits

Click I/M Readiness Key – The AD510 boasts this exclusive feature that helps you tell if your car ready for State Emission tests. The Key also verifies the drive cycle. To know if your automobile is ready, be sure to check the codes on the bright LED display or listen to the audible tone.

Check Engine Light (MIL) – The ANCEL AD510 will automatically check and tell you why the engine light is on while suggesting possible remedies at the same time. It will also retrieve generic, manufacturer specific and pending codes for quick and accurate detection of malfunctions.

Troubleshooter Tips – The best diagnostic scanner not only retrieves the trouble codes but also gives suggestions on how to correct the anomaly. This unit offers tips to guide you or the technician to the cause of the problem thereby saving repair and diagnosis time.

Improved onboard Monitoring – The ANCEL AD510 promises to continuously monitor your car’s engine system and report any ongoing problems. In essence, this means that you can address the anomaly way before it happens which in turn keeps your vehicle’s performance at its optimum.

Pros
  • Comes with memory backup so that you can review data off your car
  • Supports graph data
  • Allows you to print data via PC
Cons
  • The outer casing could do with some modification
5. Autel AL519 OBD2/ EOBD Auto Diagnostic Scanner for Reading and Clearing Vehicle Trouble Codes

The Autel AL519 features groundbreaking technology and well-thought-out specs that make it a hot contender for the best OBD2 scanner 2018 spot. For starters, it supports live data and can even display, record and play back the entire stream so that you can locate the problem fast and easy. But, that’s not all it has to offer. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the unit and why it is worth your money.

Features and Benefits

Turns of the Check Engine Light – We all dread that moment when you turn on your car and the Check Engine Light illuminates because it could mean abandoning your endeavors to look for a technician. However, with the Autel AL519 as part of your apparatus, you won’t have to worry about the engine light as it turns it off, clears the code and resets the monitors.

Smog Detector –Are you planning to take your automobile for State Emissions Test? Install this gadget into your car, and you’ll never get caught off guard! Just like the ANCEL AD510, it features the unique Readiness Key so that you can know if your vehicle will pass the smog test before you take it to one.

Integrated Notification System – Detecting if your auto can pass a smog test is one thing but telling if it is ready is entirely different. The EOBD Auto Diagnostic Scanner comes with a built-in speaker and an alert system that generates an audible tone at three minutes interval when your car gets ready.

Note – The scan tool is programmed to work with all OBD2 compliant vehicles, including those fitted with next generation protocol.

Pros
  • Works as advertised
  • Easy to use, intuitive interface
  • Relatively affordable
Cons
  • The ABS and SRS testing option does not support all cars made before 2014
6. Autel MaxiScan MS300 CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool for OBDII Vehicles

If you own a 2002 or newer car model and looking for an obd scanner that supports mode 9 the Autel MaxiScan is the gadget for you. This unit works with all most every other US, European, and Asian vehicles that are OBD2 compliant. It is important to note at this point that OBD-II is a standard on all vehicles sold in the United States post 1996. That said, what does this scanner have to offer? We take a closer look.

Features and Benefits

Easy to Use Design – The best diagnostic scanner should be easy to use. On that front, the MS 300 sports a minimalist design, with only two buttons, which makes clearing and reading trouble codes fast and easy.

Expansive Trouble Codes Catalog – This scanner boasts an impressive 7,000 catalog of trouble codes and their descriptions. You know what that means? It means that this gadget can help you detect a host of anomalies to ensure that your automobile maintains peak performance.

Intuitive Display – The scanner is equipped with an easy to read backlit LCD screen, supported by a multilingual menu and DTC definitions as well as a standard OBD2 connector to eliminate the need for using additional cables.

Ability to Retrieve a Host of Codes – The Autel MaxiScan can retrieve generic and manufacturer-based DTC (Data Trouble Codes) as well as display the code’s definitions onscreen. It also supports Controller Area Network and a variety of other OBD2 protocols. And to cap it all, this scanner can also retrieve Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in 2002 models that support Mode 9.

Pros
  • Wide range of vehicle coverage
  • User-friendly design
  • Good scanner for its price
  • Space saving design hence easy to carry around
Cons
  • Takes relatively long for the software to load but this may vary from one car model to the other
7. Launch Creader Vii Plus Automotive Code Reader OBD2 Scanner EOBD Diagnostic Scan Tool

If you’re a professional technician, this is the best obd scanner you that could probably lay your hands on at the moment. Designed by Launch, a respected company in car tool circles, this is the unit to go if your mobile device runs on the Windows platform because it supports updating exclusively via Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Here and overview of the Creader Vii, further attesting why it features in our best obd2 scanner list.

Features and Benefits

A Variety of Full-Functions – Apart from supporting OBD-II and EOBD protocols, this scanner also supports all the four function of most car models including engine, anti-lock braking system, and airbag as well as automatic transmission. It also supports reading and resetting of codes, graphic display, and multiple languages.

Data Stream Playback – While this scanner will detect and correct problems in your car, it also allows you to playback the data so you can know what the anomaly is and in the process generate data that might prove helpful in the future.

Multiple DTC Display – The Creader Vii displays useful DTC information as well as service data such as Oxygen sensor and carbon canister test. It may catch your attention to know that this scanner is compatible with other 20 car models in America, Europe, and Asia hence one of the most versatile.

Memory Card Extension – You can extend this scanner’s memory to enable it to handle more DTCs. While it does not increase the unit’s efficiency, the ability to extend memory gives you, even more, data to compare over time.

Pros
  • Comes with user tips so that you can detect the cause of DTC faster
  • Easy to use and extremely reliable
  • Internet upgradeable
  • Can read live PCM data stream
Cons
  • May not be the best option if you’re on a tight budget
8. Autel DS708 Automotive Diagnostic and Analysis System

The Autel DS708 is in a class of its own – quite literally. For starters, it boasts a remarkable coverage of more than 50 domestic, European and Asian makes. Without a doubt the best OBD2 scanner in its class, this unit is equipped with the groundbreaking technology to recreate the functionality of the OEM tools used by motor vehicle technicians. But there’s more to what meets the eye as outlined below;

Features and Benefits

Comprehensive Diagnostic Solution – This unit provides the ultimate solution for all your diagnostic needs including OE connectors for 1996 as well as newer makes such as Mercedes 30 Pin, BMW 20 pin, Nissan 14 pin just to mention but a few.

Extensive OBD2 Functionalities – The Autel DS708 boast unique OBD2 features and can even support all obd2 protocols as well as all 10 test modes.

Wi-Fi Capabilities – You can access this scanning tool wirelessly from any corner of your workshop thanks to its Wi-Fi internet capabilities. Besides, the gadget has an easy-to-use design complete with touch screen and automatic operation.

Large Display – One of the most important features of a diagnostic tool is the ability to generate results in an easy to understand format. The DS708 comes with a 7-inch screen and a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels to ensure that you have a better view of the graphs, test results, and web pages.

It also records and playbacks as well as live data streams to locate malfunctioning sensors and components. And just so you know, the Autel DS708 has Wi-Fi printing capability to help you print out recorded data from anywhere, at any time.

Pros
  • Swift operation
  • Extensive vehicle coverage
  • Remarkable performance
  • Supports ECU programming
Cons
  • Relatively expensive but offers value for money
9. Actron CP9580A Enhanced AutoScanner Plus

The Actron CP9580A promises to help you revolutionize the way you check for trouble codes in your automobile. The newly updated scan tool can fix over 4.3 million verified problems based on the car’s model, engine, make and model. If you’re scouting for an auto scanner that will offer value for money, this could as well be the unit to go for. Here are reasons why;

Features and Benefits

CodeConnect Technology – This scanner comes with an exclusive technology to not only check what’s causing the engine light to illuminate but also provide a solution from the CodeConnect database. That way, solving your car’s engine’s problems is seamless and fast.

Verified Fixes – Because the fixes provided by the CP9580A are verified by the Actron’s team of ASE certified technicians, you can rest assured of accurate results. Plus, this scanner will display on the screen the codes and the details available.

A Host of Capabilities – Apart from checking and fixing engine light troubles, the CP9580A can also customize vital data and display all nine modes of OBD2 protocols as well as enhance code definitions. It even has an optional battery power, a USB port for updates and the ability to transfer and print data to your laptop or PC.

Other features of the Actron CP9580A include freeze data frame, graph live data and drive cycle mode.

For those who may be concerned, this unit can read and erase ABS codes for most 1996 and newer vehicles including Honda, Nissan, and Toyota.

Pros
  • Saves you money in the long term
  • Simple design
  • Easy to navigate through the data
  • Accurate data
Cons
  • May not be compatible with some operating systems
10. INNOVA 3100 Diagnostic Scan Tool/Code Reader with ABS and Battery Backup for OBD2 Vehicles

The INNOVA 3100 is one of the most sought after scan tools on the market and there are some reasons to it. Apart from the user-friendly design, it promises to help you troubleshoot for warning lights in your car whether you’re a professional or a DIYer. What follows is a detailed overview of the gadget.

Features and Benefits

Helps Your Car’s Engine Stay in Top Shape – This tool is programmed to help you find out why the Check Engine and the ABS light are on. And, unlike most scanning devices, this one will alert you way in advance if the light will get illuminated soon.

Prepares You for the Smog Test – The INNOVA 3100 will check and notify you if your car is ready for the smog test. It will also make suggestions (and possibly fix) on what needs to be done to ensure that your automobile is ready for the test.

Easy to Read Diagnostic Trouble Codes – Diagnosing your vehicle is one thing but interpreting the trouble codes is entirely different. This tool displays the codes in a way format that is easy to comprehend and understand (mostly in the form of graphs).

Smart Operation – The INNOVA 3100 is designed to give you ultimate control over your car’s Check Engine Light. It is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones so that you can remove codes straight from your device.

Pros
  • Comes with technical tips to help you make the most out of your device
  • Sturdy construction to guarantee years of use
  • Reliable performance
Cons
  • Some users find it hard connecting the tool to their PCs

How Does an OBD2 Scanner Work?

Now that we’ve looked at the top obd2 scanners, let’s do some background check on these devices. This information will be especially useful if you’re just joining the world of OBD2 scanners, which by extension means that this is your maiden purchase.

For starters, the primary use of OBD II scanners is to test for emissions. However, most of the gadgets available to consumers are meant to work as scan tools or code readers. While older devices are battery powered, newer models use electricity generated by the OBD connection itself.

Let’s dissect the two types of OBD II scanners, namely, code readers and scan tools.

Code Readers

These are affordable, simple devices that are programmed to read and clear codes from any automobile installed with OBD. Code readers have few intrinsic limitations because they have no manufacturer-specific codes and offer limited, or minimal access to other data.

Scan Tools

These are relatively expensive in comparison to code readers, and that’s because they come with a host of features. Scan tools provide access to manufacturer-specific codes, customize access to live and recorded data in addition to offering troubleshooting information.

Because OBD II systems are standardized, using scanners is pretty straightforward. Both (scanners and code readers) use the same connector defined by SAE J1962. To use a scanning tool, just insert a universal plug into the diagnostic connector. Some advanced scan tools come with keys or modules that augment the universal connector so as to access or interact with the OEM-specific controls or information.

An obd 2 scanner can;

  • View live and recorded data
  • Offer extensive knowledge bases
  • Provide bi-directional, checks and tests
  • Check pending or soft codes that are yet to activate the engine light
  • Provide access to readiness monitors

OBD2 Scanner Buyer’s Guide

When scouting for a scanner, you must know what look for so you can end up with a gadget that meets your car’s specifications. It gets more intricate especially if you’re looking for advanced tools such as the best obd2 bluetooth scanner. The following guide seeks to help you get acquainted with the basics so that you can buy a device that offers values for money and most importantly help you diagnose problems fast and easy. Ask yourself;

Do I Want a Basic Coder Reader or Something More?

Your quest for the perfect obd2 tool starts here. If you’re on a tight budget, you may opt for a basic gadget that read your car’s engine codes and erases them. A code reader will, in essence, help you keep the vehicle in check and detect pending troubles before they occur.

One disadvantage, though, is that cheap code readers may have compatibility issues and are primarily designed do work with conventional car models. Such gadgets are not programmed to cover all protocols from all automakers. Nonetheless, up to 98% of all code readers on the market are compatible with most cars.

Needless to say, high-end scan tools will provide better performance not to mention that they have fewer compatibility issues. Some of the benefits that come with purchasing scan tools include;

  • ABS /Airbag Compatibility – To read and reset systems such as anti-lock brake system and airbags.
  • On screen definitions – Unlike code readers, scan tools show the meaning of the codes “on screen.”
  • Ability to print results
  • You can view your car’s engine performance in real time even when driving
  • Ability to update the gadget online to ensure that it keeps up with the changes in your vehicle’s protocols
  • Integrated memory to store data for later viewing
  • Ability to retrieve the Vehicles Identification Number (VIN) which is helpful if you suspect tampering of the VIN

What is My Cars OBD2 Protocol?

Before you even spend your money on any scanning device, you need to check your car’s obd2 protocol first to avoid compatibility issues. Note that your vehicles protocol is under the hood. Here’s a checklist of how each protocol determines the connector to buy. If your car’s protocol is;

• J1850 PWM – The connector should have pins 2, 4, 5, 10, and 16.
• J1850 VPW – The connector should have pins 2, 4, 5, and 16, but not 10.
• ISO 9141-2 – The connector should have pins 4, 5, 7, and 16.
• ISO 14230-4 (KWP2000) – The connector should have pins 4, 5, 7, and 16.
• CAN-BUS (J1939 & ISO15765-4) – The connector should have pins 4, 5, 6, 14 and 16

What are Others Saying About the Tools?

Be sure to check the OBD2 scanner reviews before settling for a particular unit. Why? Because what others say about the tool matters! It almost goes without saying that a gadget that has attracted tons of reviews and has an impressive rating is likely to make a good buy. While checking the reviews, don’t forget to read the negative sentiments as well because they will help you know the probable shortcoming of the unit that you are about to buy.

Remember, the beauty of buyer’s reviews is that they are unbiased and reflect the real quality and performance of a product.

Is the Scanner Built to Last?

Check to see if the device is waterproof and its ability to withstand heat, humidity and other elements of weather. While scanners are typically designed to last for a long time, the material used to construct the casing ultimately determines the unit’s longevity.

I’m I Better off With a Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner?

If you choose to go this way, the best obd2 bluetooth scanner should be simple to use, easy to install and compatible with your mobile device. Batteries power Bluetooth devices, so be sure to get a power backup to ensure that the gadget is ready to for use anytime. One thing to remember, though; just like scan tools choose a Bluetooth scanner that is updatable.

Popular OBD2 Scanner Brands

Best brands attract most customers; that’s just how it is! Speaking of super brands, you may want to know some obd2 manufacturers have carved a niche for themselves with highly quality, reliable and durable devices. Over time, they have earned respect among shoppers and car owners, and it’s not surprising that their scan tools have recorded the most sales. Here’s a list of the most popular OBD2 scanner brands.

Autel

Autel has established itself a world leader in manufacturing and supplying of professional diagnostic tools and accessories. It is the company’s commitment to creating long-term value for its customers across the world that has endeared motor vehicle owners.

Autel diagnostic tools are easy to use, cost-effective and innovative. And if you had any doubt that this company is serious about churning out high-quality gadgets, it may catch your attention to know that it invests a minimum of 20% of its annual revenue toward product development. Of course, all its scan tools are in line with the international quality and environment standards such as RoHS, CE, and FCC.

Innova

The Innova 3100 diagnostic tool is one of the best-selling devices ever made with over 950,000 units sold across the globe. What does that tell you? This is a serious manufacturer that takes the time to research, design and develop its products.

Based in Irvine California, Innova has been in operation for the last decade and a half. Through this period, the company has taken the time to learn the market dynamics and needs to come up with quality automotive diagnostic tools such as the 3100. According to the company’s official website, all Innova scan tools and code readers are passed through rigorous tests to guarantee safety and quality.

Ancel

A subsidiary of JoyScan, Ancel is headquartered in the Shenzhen province of China. While the company is relatively new, it has set itself apart from its competitors by producing well-thought-out diagnostic tools that to suit protocols of modern vehicles.

Ancel seeks to create a market balance by making affordable as well as high-end scan tools. And as the company states it on its official website, its goal is to ensure that it meets its customer’s needs fully. In fact, if you’re looking for Best obd2 scanner bluetooth, the ELM327 from Ancel could be an excellent choice.

Scantool

Scantool is based in Phoenix, Arizona and has been in the business of making car diagnostic tools since 2002. The company’s motto, according to its official website is to make inexpensive, yet sophisticated scanning tools for DIYers.

Scantool offers a complete range of mobile and PC-based devices. Their gadgets are compatible with a host of apps and software and are perhaps the company’s claim to popularity. Their customer service desk is open 24/7, and according to shoppers, the response to queries and complaints is satisfactory. Scantool’s best-selling diagnostic device is the OBDLink MX Bluetooth.

Launch

Launch Tech has its headquarters in Ontario, California. The company seeks to offer innovative and cheap diagnostic solution to automobile owners with 1996 or newer OBD II enabled vehicles. As far as providing quality gadget goes, Launch has employed more than R&D engineers and has some of the most experienced and distinguished specialists in the industry.

The company understands that technology evolves as days by and as such has invested resources to ensure that its scan tools meet the demands of the ever-changing market. In fact, the Launch Creader Vii code reader is hailed as one of the most efficient and accurate diagnostics on the market by customers and technicians alike.

OxGord

If the sales its diagnostic tools have recorded are anything to go by, then OxGord is without a doubt one of the most popular obd 2 brands. For starters, this company was founded in 1987 although its scan tools section started much later.

Since inception, OxGord is known to manufacture and distribute high-quality accessories and auto parts and its diagnostic tools are no different. Their CAN OBD II Scanner Tool is one of the most reviewed and highly rated devices in its class, further cementing the position that Oxgord is a brand to reckon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

While OBD-II is not a new phenomenon, some questions will pop up now and then even for those who have used the devices. Here are the most commonly asked questions, mostly by first timer users.

How do I know if my vehicle is obd2 compliant?

All vehicles manufactured and sold in the United Stated from 1996 are compliant. If your automobile is made outside the US, you need to confirm its compliance status with your technician.

Will the diagnostic tool drain the battery once I’ve plugged it in?

No. Most, if not all, scan tools come with BatterySaver Technology that works by ensuring the device “goes to sleep” whenever it is not in use thereby eliminating the risk of a dead car battery.

How do I know if my tool is working?

Once you’ve plugged in the scanner into the connector, just press the scan button, and the device will start reading the engine codes. The surest way to know if your device working is the flashing of the Check Engine light when you turn on the ignition switch. After you remove the codes, the light shouldn’t illuminate, even when you’re driving unless the same problem occurs in real time.

Do I need a technician to install my obd2 tool?

No. Most scanners on the market are easy to use and come with a user manual just in case you get stuck with the installation. Besides, if the device malfunctions, you don’t have to go to the dealer to have it fixed. Most shops have appropriately trained specialists capable of repairing your automobile OBD-II system.

How do I troubleshoot my scan tool?

Again, be sure to check the user’s manual for guidance on how to troubleshoot your device. You may also use a CD-ROM included in the gadget’s original package. In case of any difficulties, consider calling the manufacturer so that you can speak to a technician. It is important to note that you have to periodically update your scanner to not only ensure that it compatible with the most recent protocols but also keep it in its top working condition.

When the check engine light is on, what does it say about my emission controls?

Even though malfunctions that cause your car’s Check Engine Light to illuminate may also affect emissions or and the efficiency of the OBD system, they can also interfere with the fuel economy. Extensive problems may even affect steering or reduce the car’s overall performance. Generally speaking, manufacturers optimize their vehicles for performance, emissions and fuel economy. In essence, this means that any malfunctioning component may interfere with the cars running condition, making it less optimal.

How Does My Scanner Affect the Smog Test?

Depending on where you reside, technicians are required to carry out an obd2 check (functional and visual) during a Smog Check inspection. In particular, the tech visually checks to ensure that the warning light is working. The Smog Check test equipment then passes data to the onboard computer for fault information. If an error is detected, the malfunctioning component has to be repaired so that your vehicle can pass the Smog Test.

Note – Smog Tests for 2000 as well as newer vehicles are now based on the inspection of the OBD II system across all states in the US.

Do obd2 scan tools work for diesel vehicles?

Yes. A diagnostic tool will work for any car irrespective of fuel type as long as the said automobile is obd2 compliant.

Conclusion

The importance of installing an OBD2 scanner in your vehicle needs no emphasis. You certainly want your car’s performance at its optimum, and a scanning tool is one of the best ways to guarantee that. Besides, you also want to know if your vehicle will pass a smog test before hand, and a diagnostic tool will help you do that as well.

That said, our mission is simple; to provide you with the best OBD2 Scanner reviews so that you can end up with the device that helps you achieve the above with relative ease. And like promised earlier on, we are on the lookout for the changes in technology so you can rest assured that we will keep you updated on what’s ongoing on the market and most importantly which devices will make it into our best OBD2 scanner 2018 list.

Be sure to check out our top 10 obd2 scanner picks and choose what serves you best. Stay tuned because we have more goodies and helpful information coming up soon!

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