Many people prefer to diagnose their vehicles directly at home. And it is useless to visit a mechanic store for every small issue. Besides, there are always going to be some problems on the go where you have to diagnose yourself. An ideal solution for this will be by using an OBD2 scanner.
It lets you detect issues in your vehicle by allowing you to perform an accurate diagnosis. So if you want to buy one, you should consider some important factors to ensure you are getting the best OBD2 scanner.
- Type: There are two types of OBD2 scanners available; normal and Bluetooth ones. The normal scanners are self-sustained devices, which means they have a built-in screen, buttons, and software. On the other hand, a Bluetooth OBD2 scanner connects to a smartphone where you can check the analysis and result. Naturally, they are less costly due to the absence of inbuilt screens or controls.
- Features: The more features and modes the scanner has, the easier will be the code reading and follow-up diagnosis. Availability of live data mode helps in reading data in graphical presentation for better interpretation. Advanced test features like smog test and misfire count are also quite useful.
- Vehicle Compatibility: Always see if the OED2 scanner is compatible with your vehicle. Select the one that can have universal compatibility. While buying the tool, you also need to check your vehicle’s make and model.
To make sure that you have the right purchase, you can have a look at the detailed “Buying Guide” of an OBD2 scanner at the bottom of the page.
11 Best OBD2 Scanners in 2021
|Best OBD2 Scanners||Type||Warranty||Buy Now|
|BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBD2 Scanner||Bluetooth||1 Year||Check On Amazon|
|FIXD OBD2 Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner||Bluetooth||1 Year||Check On Amazon|
|Bafx Products Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner||Bluetooth||2 Years||Check On Amazon|
|ANCEL AD310 OBD2 Scanner||Normal||3 Years||Check On Amazon|
|FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner||Normal||1 Year||Check On Amazon|
|Autel AL319 OBD2 Scanner||Normal||1 Year||Check On Amazon|
|AUTOPHIX OM126P OBD2 Scanner||Normal||1 Year||Check On Amazon|
|MOTOPOWER MP69033 OBD2 Scanner||Normal||2 Years||Check On Amazon|
|OBDScar EOBD OBD2 Scanner||Normal||1 Year||Check On Amazon|
|OxGord OBD2 Scanner||Normal||1 Year||Check On Amazon|
|LAUNCH CR3001 OBD2 Scanner||Normal||3 Years||Check On Amazon|
Best OBD2 Scanners in 2021: Reviews
BlueDriver is a brand that will let you have professional diagnostics right at your home, and the best thing about it is that it is loaded with additional features. The BlueDriver OBD2 scanner will offer you a complete solution while repairing your vehicle as it can provide unlimited reports on various repairs.
With enhanced diagnostics, no important information like Airbag, ABS will be missed out. Plus, you can perform enhanced diagnostics on different types of vehicles. The scan tool has a blend of the BlueDriver Sensor and BlueDriver App for quality and reliable results.
Thankfully, you can have access to many extra features for important vehicle information. The Live Data can show the Digital Display source, and it has complete customization. You can even have advanced test results by switching on to Mode 6. The scan tool will enable you to fix millions of repairs, and it also comes with a warranty of 1 year.
- Performs advanced tests on Mode 6
- Enhanced diagnostics on multiple models
- BlueDriver sensor for quality results
- Has easy to use code reader
- Works with Android and iOS platforms
- Digital Display source for Live Data
- Comes with powerful additional features
- Not compatible with all automobiles.
FIXD OBD2 scanner is not only affordable, but it enables you to use it with all types of gas-powered vehicles. It is an ideal option for professional applications with its feature-rich attributes.
Since it allows you to avoid rip-offs, it will let you save on your car repair. You have easy monitoring of the entire fleet. And you can check the battery voltage, schedule service appointments, and even receive notifications regarding car problems.
With this, you get instant and detailed diagnostics and know the severity of the issue. While it can perform the multi-vehicle examination, it can also maintain alerts and check engine diagnostics. The OBD2 scanner can repair estimates, and if you are on FIXD Premium, then you can have an on-call mechanic.
- Provides instant notifications on the smartphone
- Performs examinations for multiple vehicles
- Easy monitoring from a single platform
- Works by providing detailed diagnostics
- Quite a compact and handheld design
- On-call mechanic on FIXD Premium
- Compatible with all types of gas-powered models
- Setting it up can be slightly time-consuming.
Bafx OBD2 scanner will offer you maximum flexibility with the wireless design. The Bluetooth feature will enable you to use it with all types of Windows and Android devices.
Bafx is a popular brand that can work on all types of OBD2 protocols. With the diagnostic sensors, there will be real-time monitoring of fuel pressure, O2 data, and even the EVAP system.
There will be no more mechanical issues as it can identify the problems quickly. It can read and reset the engine light with ease. The scan tool can fix faulty sensors just like a professional mechanic. Thankfully, you can have many options to choose from a huge app selection. Some apps are not OBD2 products and may require payment.
- Comes with Bluetooth functionality
- Provides real-time fuel pressure monitoring.
- Compatible with different types of apps
- Also suitable for international use
- Helps to fix a faulty sensor
- Quickly reads and resets the engine light
- Suitable for all types of OBD2 protocols
- Not compatible with iOS devices.
If you are looking for an OBD2 scanner that can be used with most types of cars, then the ANCEL universal OBD2 scanner would be a good option for you.
ANCEL is a popular brand that has come up with many professional tools. The classic design of the scanner will let you save time and money as it can fix the problem quickly. While this, you can also read intermittent and hard memory, and it works by providing historic codes.
Despite being available at an affordable value, it doesn’t need any power source. The OBD II Data Link Connector will automatically power the device. By just plugging it into your vehicle, it prompts for starting your ignition.
To add further, you can have the option to have both keyed and keyless operations. To make sure there will be quality results, it can retrieve the vehicle information on the back-lit LCD screen. Thankfully, the scanner also comes with a warranty of three-year for longer use.
- Perfect for knowing the cause of engine light
- Directly indicates the test results
- Ability to support intermittent reading
- Comes with free frame data viewing
- Works with vehicle power
- Quickly provides historic codes
- Thick insulator cable for better flexibility
- It takes time to get used to its interface.
With FOXWELL OBD2 scanner, you can read live data in both text and graph forms. Most importantly, it comes with multiple features and has better pricing.
By detecting intermittent problems, it ensures that there will be confirmed repairs. The built-in speaker can also prepare for a smog test. Along with multiple features, it has a wide color screen that can support data logging.
You can even save on the cost of car maintenance as it lets you easy home diagnostics. Simply plug it in, and it will start running all the functions. It can even erase engine codes on all types of compatible vehicles.
Thankfully, the enhanced OBD II functions will let you find easy solutions to some major problems. The arranged keypad will let you have effortless operation. It can send real-time notifications along with a DTC guide. The best thing about it is that it comes with a one-year money-back warranty.
- Comes with a built-in speaker for indicating the status
- Enhanced mode 6 for VIN acquisition
- Perfect for catching intermittent problems
- Allows printing the diagnostic data
- Comes with advanced OBDII functions
- Live sensor data for reading and recording
- Multiple code support for accurate diagnosis
- The user interface could be better.
AUTEL is a popular brand that offers easy solutions for complicated problems. From professional diagnostic tools to reliable accessories, its products are one of the most affordable in the market.
AUTEL’s OBD2 scanner has an easy user interface making it great for beginners. You can get all the necessary information and take appropriate action. The patented One-Click key can check state emissions. And you will get better flexibility with the large TFT color display. An array of other features like an LED indicator and built-in speaker will offer you maximum convenience.
Thankfully, it supports multiple languages for fast and accurate diagnosis. By turning off CFL, it can display live data as well as the freeze-frame. The freeze-frame can accurately locate the different types of malfunctions from the many sensors. It can detect any kind of potential problems, and you can use it with different types of vehicles. This is backed by a warranty of one year.
- Comes with a free lifetime update
- Prevents emissions with the one-click key
- Includes built-in speaker and LED indicator
- Multilingual design for international use
- Accurately locates the various malfunctions
- Prevents extensive menus search with I/M readiness key
- Retrieves both manufacturer and generic codes
- No manual included.
Unlike other OBD2 scanners, the AUTOPHIX scanner has a large screen display of four inches, and it is available at an unbeatable price. It not only lets you have an easy operation but can also determine the accurate type of repair.
The special functions make it great for professional applications. This can show code definitions along with on-board monitoring. You can even identify probing in relation to vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency. Most importantly, it can initiate a leak test for the EVAP system. Whether it is data steam or pending codes, the AUTOPHIX OBD2 scanner can perform all these.
Even at a relatively low price, the scanner can initiate a number of functions. It is great for Windows devices and does not require any power source to operate. You can perform a wide range of diagnoses in many different languages. The maximum compatibility scanner also comes with a warranty of 12 months.
- Perfect for initiating EVAP system leakage test
- Comes with universal compatibility
- Allows initiating EVAP leak test of the vehicle
- Provides information regarding fuel efficiency
- Enables automatic recording of car emissions
- Allows having repeated data view
- Comes with a free lifetime software update
- Very limited information is available for the novice.
With the MOTOPOWER OBD2 scanner, you will be able to perform multiple tasks as it has many features. The affordable value makes it great for having home diagnostics.
The nine-protocol compatibility along with six language support will offer you convenience. With no battery or charger required, the scanner will further enable you to save on repair costs. It features a compact design, along with six buttons and a clear LCD screen, which ensures easy reading.
The practical design of the OBD2 scanner makes it I/M ready. It provides you all the information regarding the vehicle, and it features an engine coolant. In addition to this, it can even calculate the load value.
Thankfully, the accessory’s availability will reduce the cost of buying anything extra. To offer value for money, it even comes with a warranty of two years.
- Ability to read and erase faulty codes
- Comes with a MIL fault light indicator
- The feature of the O2 sensor test
- Quick retrieval with the I/M ready design
- Comes with nine protocols compatibility
- Allows knowing vehicle speed information
- Option to adjust contrast and backlight
- There could be a compatibility issue.
OBDScar OB2 scanner is a blend of performance and affordability. You can use it with most types of vehicles as it comes with maximum compatibility.
The OBD2 scanner can support all OBDII protocols, and it eliminates the need for any battery. By supporting multiple languages, the scanner will offer you better convenience. It comes with a 7-button panel, which will let you have an effortless operation.
One great thing is that you can maintain better safety as it can also perform a smog check. You can use it for maintenance testing and it also features an onboard monitor test. With the EVAP system test, you can even initiate a leak test.
- Smog check ability for better safety
- Comes with the feature of onboard monitor test
- Allows initiating a leak test
- Live data stream to check the vehicle status
- Comes with a DTC lookup
- Quick access with the Help button
- Prevents battery drain with the plug-and-play design
- The directions are not very clear.
With the best in class and price, this OBD2 scanner is available would be a good option for everyone. OxGord is a popular brand that has consistently come up with reliable tools.
By connecting it to a 16-pin connector, you can easily turn on the ignition. The two buttons will allow you to have an easy operation. And it supports all OBD2 protocols on different types of vehicles.
The LCD screen can display more than 3000 error code definitions, and it can also clear the trouble codes. You don’t have to worry about any hassle as it comes in a handheld design. This model will eliminate the need for having anything extra, as it does not require any batteries.
- OBD2 protocol is compatible for multiple types of vehicles
- Comes with a prompt for ignition start
- The simple design for having easy scanning
- Includes a large LCD with over 3000 codes
- Consistent performance without any batteries
- Two simple buttons for having easy controls
- Ability to retrieve vehicle identification number
- There is no battery backup.
Backed with fault code definition, LAUNCH OBD2 scanner works with most types of vehicles. The plug-and-play scan tool is easy to use and does not require any technical experience. You can have a live data stream or view freeze frame very conveniently. The automotive diagnostic tool can also identify VIN information. Once you are done with the faulty components, it can turn the vehicle ignition. You can even use it for misfire and fuel systems.
It comes with an EVAP test function that helps to prevent fuel evaporation. You can choose from multiple modes and have the right diagnosis. The best thing about the brand is that it comes with a warranty of three years.
- Supports live data streaming
- Ability to identify vehicle information
- Comes with the feature of EVAP test function
- The feature of on-board monitor test
- Can be used on all types of OBD2 modes
- Resets monitors by clearing codes
- View freeze frame data to check the vehicle condition
- The build quality is not quite sturdy.
Buying Guide for the Best OBD2 Scanners
There are ample factors that you need to consider while buying an OBD2 scanner. You can find the ones that have varying features and modes, which will fulfill all your requirements. For this, you can have a look at the complete buying guide of OBD2 scanners:
We have stated earlier that there are two types of OBD2 scanners available.
Normal Scanner – These are self-containing scanners. This means they have a screen for reading the results, buttons to operate, and inbuilt software. These are dedicated hand-held devices, and they are sizable due to the presence of a screen. They are also costlier but more popular as there is no requirement of anything else for its operation.
Bluetooth Scanner – These scanners do not have a screen as you have to connect it to your smartphone, where you can check the readings. The company offers a compatible app where you can check the results. They are quite compact, and they have a lower price range than normal scanners. While buying, you have to check for your smartphone OS compatibility.
OBD2 scanners don’t work with all types of vehicles. For this, you need to see if it comes with maximum or universal compatibility. Always check your car model number and brand before making your purchase. There is also device compatibility. Some OBD2 scanners can be used with Android devices while some are compatible with iOS and Windows.
This factor is applicable for the Bluetooth OBD2 scanner as you have to connect to your smartphone or tablet for analysis result and diagnosis. Therefore, apart from compatibility with your vehicle model, it should also be compatible with your smartphone OS.
Complete OBD Support
With enhanced OBD support, you can use the scanner for professional applications. It lets you have an efficient diagnosis of the trouble in a quick time. Complete OBD support enables you to request pending DTCs from the continuously monitored systems.
It can display freeze frame data and can even clear free frame data and DTCs. If you are looking to initiate your vehicle’s EVAP leak test, then the canner must include an EVAP test function. However, most OBD2 tools do not support this function.
O2 Sensor Test
When an O2 sensor test is conducted, there will be an automatic recording of the emissions. It allows you to have advance checking of the emissions even before the smog test. You can have your vehicle get checked at any time you want and some can even give feedback on your problems.
Always check the warranty before buying an OBD2 scanner. The warranty period can vary from model to model depending upon the brand. For better longevity, you can see if it has a minimum warranty of one year.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have OBD1 or OBD2?
OBD1 and OBD2 are car’s on-board diagnostic that monitors for any malfunctions in your car. But how do I know if I have OBD1 or OBD2? If you purchased your car fairly recently, then chances are you have OBD2 in your car. To be precise, if your is manufactured after 1996 (including), then it will definitely have OBD2. Another way to identify OBD1 and OBD2 is by looking at the interface. OBD2 has a standard 16-pin connector and if the connector looks different then it is an OBD1 interface.
Is an OBD2 Scanner worth it?
It depends on the use case. If you are a mechanic or if you have an auto workshop, then OBD2 Scanner is definitely worth it. You can easily diagnose and run tests on your car’s computer for performance, emissions, sensors etc. But if you are car owner and wants to test your car, then OBD2 Scanners can be expensive and may not be worth it.
What is the difference between OBD1 and OBD2?
All the car that are manufactured before 1996 used OBD1 and all the cars manufactured after 1996 used OBD2. The main difference between OBD1 and OBD2 is standardization of the interface. In OBD1, the interface is specific to manufacturer. So, a scanner for one car cannot work on a car from a different manufacturer. With OBD2, the interface became a standard across all car manufacturers so you can use one scanner across multiple cars from different manufacturers. The functionalities of OBD1 Scanners are very limited such as sensors, actuators, open and shorts. OBD2 Scanner can perform complex analysis and diagnostics such as emissions, performance, smog test, battery etc.
Does car need to be on for OBD2?
To run the basic scan, you need to put your car in ignition. But to get real time data from your car, you have to start your car and keep the engine running.
Can OBD2 scanner damaged ECU?
Technically, it is possible for an OBD2 scanner to damage ECU. An OBD2 Scanner can not only read data from ECU but also writes data. If you use your OBD2 Scanner to just read and clear codes, then you won’t do any damage. But if you try to write data (ECU reprogramming) to ECU and if the data is corrupt, then there is a chance that will damage your ECU.
What can you do with an OBD2 scanner?
Using an OBD2 Scanner, you can check your car’s diagnostic codes. You can also get the basic information such as car’s VIN number, coolant temperature, engine RPM, car speed, fuel efficiency etc.
How much does an OBD cost?
Simple OBD2 Readers (based on ELM327) are very cheap and costs around $10. Slightly advanced OBD2 Scanners costs more and are usually available in the price range of $20 to $250. Complex OBD2 Diagnostic tools that can reprogram ECU costs over $2,000.
Can I leave OBD2 plugged in?
If it is a wireless (Bluetooth) type OBD2 scanner and if you leave it plugged in, the it will drain the battery. If the OBD2 scanner comes with an ON/OFF switch, then you can leave it plugged in by turning it off.
Can I start my car with OBD2?
For normal parameters such as VIN Number, Manufacturer etc., you don’t have to start the car but simply put it in ignition. But if you want real time data from your car’s ECU, then you have to start your car.
You can see from the above list that OBD2 scanners vary a lot in terms of features and specifications. There are too many options available online, and some of them are not worth purchasing. That is why our team has filtered out the best OBD2 scanners so that you do not end up with a low-quality product. If you do not want to waste your time researching. You can use the buying guide to your advantage to select the perfect product with your own assessment.
If you are still not confident of picking the correct OBD2 scanner for your vehicle, we are listing down the best picks for your quick consideration.
- If you are looking for a compact and affordable OBD2 scanner, you have to opt for a Bluetooth OBD2 scanner. You should buy BlueDriver OBDII Scanner as it is feature-rich and compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. There are six modes available for easy diagnosis.
- If you are looking for a professional OBD2 scanner, ANCEL Classic OBD II Scanner is the best option. It comes with a 3-year warranty, which increases the trust factor. It is also a universal scanner, and therefore, it is compatible with most vehicles. The scanning is faster, and it diagnoses issues with great accuracy.
- If you are not an experienced user, you should buy LAUNCH Creader OBD2 Scanner. It is easy to operate without prior knowledge, thanks to the plug-and-play system. It has a live data stream facility, and you can use it for misfire and fuel systems. There are many modes available to choose from. Most importantly, it offers three years warranty.