What Is the Best OBD2 Scanner in 2020?

The OBD stands for On-Board Diagnostics System. This tool has been regarded as among the many great fruits of contemporary science that have made one’s life easier and more convenient. 

The best OBD2 scanner provides the users or technicians with quick and improved access to different mechanisms and systems that are working within the car. The OBD will inform whether the car is not okay and having a faulty component. 

This will help a lot in detecting the problem and taking the right steps to solve it as soon as possible. You don’t need to check every corner and nook of your car, which can sometimes worsen the problem. Furthermore, it will also help in keeping your car under consistent monitoring to ensure its tiptop condition and performance.

Best OBD2 Scanners

BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android

(Best Overall)

BlueDriver has more than 50 years of integrated experience within the enormous Automotive industry. The company’s Leadership Team comes with the knowledge to innovate and navigate in this constantly developing and ever-changing industry. This particular experience, integrated with the brand’s pledge to cultivate a great corporate culture, has helped BlueDriver made its name in the industry.

The BlueDriver LSB2 proves that. This product comes with man remarkable features. One of these is the ability to read or clear the analytic trouble codes. It also enables real-time logging of the important data and engine parameter graphing, which are quite common in the high-end Bluetooth scanners. 

However, if reading DTCs, the BlueDriver LSB2 can give you a car-specific list of probable causes. It can also give a list of the most typical fixes for a specific trouble code. This might be very useful and advantageous for the ordinary backyard mechanic who can deal with a faulty component replacement but not so confident in detecting and diagnosing the issue on his own.

Key Features:Specs:
★ Code definition
★ Verified check engine codes
★ Compatible with iOS and Android tablets and handsets
★ Enhanced codes
★ Brand: BlueDriver
★ Item Model No.: LSB2
★ Weight: 2.08”

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Versatile and compatible with more devices
  • Portable

Cons

  • Expensive

Ancel BD310

(Best Value)

ANCEL is a professional automotive products manufacturer and distributor. According to the company, they focus on competitive pricing, premium quality, and customer satisfaction. ANCEL offers a multitude of products that include OBD2 code readers, jump starters, battery testers, and many more. 

When it comes to OBD2, the company’s top offer will be the BD310. According to the company, the ANCEL BD310 is as good and useful as the handheld scanner w/ a screen once you connect it to a smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth connectivity. The device can augment the vehicle’s cockpit with the supplemental display of the major engine parameters. 

The device looks lightweight and compact. It features an icon-based colored display that measures 2 inches. It’s a bit skimpy, but it will not take more time for one to learn and understand how it works, whether you want or require the I/M inspection readiness testing or the key performance details such as the coolant temperature, engine speed, and engine timing. The device may show them in graphs or numbers. 

ANCEL BD310 also a long 56-inch cable that allows hanging it through the hood in searching for any issue in the engine or when checking the car engine as you drive. However, the brand’s basic 4-key interface is making the navigation a little bit awkward for some users.

It also goes with the mode button on its side for choosing cable operation and Bluetooth connection. The company tried to make the deal more appealing by including a 3-year warranty.

Key Features:Specs:
★ 2-inch screen display
★ 3-year warranty
★ Handheld
★ Brand: ANCEL
★ Item Model No.: BD310
★ Weight: 5.24 oz. 

Pros

  • Small, lightweight, and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Basic interface

Autel Maxidas DS808 Automotive OBD2 scanner

(Premium Pick)

Autel Maxidas DS808 Automotive Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Scanner Key Bi-Directional Control Injector Coding (Same Function as MS906 and MP808)

Autel is a professional manufacturer and exporter of different automotive electric products. They are engaged in the production and sale of OBDs and automotive electronics. 

Autel Maxidas DS808 is an automotive scanner created and designed for professional mechanics. The device comes with a user-friendly interface, making it a good option for novices. It has been classified as a mid-range tool compared to other professional devices. 

This product could be an excellent choice for anyone who is searching for a high-end bi-directional automotive scanner that has more interesting features and a reasonable price tag. Autel Maxidas DS808 is full of features with a framework that is easy to navigate, which makes it convenient for every user. 

Key Features:Specs:
★ Service functions like oil reset service
★ Smart AutoVIN
★ Auto software updater
★ Brand: Autel
★ Item Model No.: DS808
★ Weight: 5.9 lbs. 

Pros

  • Quick response time
  • Compact
  • Bi-directional Technology

Cons

  • Expensive

Autel AutoLink AL539

Autel AutoLink AL539 is an electric tester that can diagnose starting systems, 12-volt charging systems, and the condition of a discharged battery. Autel claims this model is the upgrade of AL519. The device has all the necessary OBD2 functions. These include reading analytic trouble codes, live data stream, car information, freeze frame data. O2 sensor test, I/M readiness, component test, and onboard monitor test. 

Aside from having all the needed functions of an OBD2 scanner, Autel AutoLink AL539 also supports the DTC lookup for the DTC printing and definitions through PC. This will bring convenience in getting the needed information to help you in facilitating repair work.

The device is also equipped with I/M hotkey that will let you quickly enter the I/M readiness interface for easy public emission readiness monitoring & drive cycle confirmation. It also includes a built-in speaker and bright color-coded LED lights that give both the audible and visual tone for the readiness confirmation. Autel said AL539 is more cost-effective compared to other code readers designed for obtaining the electric test function. 

Key Features:Specs:
★ Built-in speaker
★ Bright color-coded LED lights
★ Drive cycle confirmation
★ Brand: Autel
★ Item Model No.: AL539
★ Weight: 2.3 lbs. 

Pros

  • User-friendly design
  • More OBD2 functions
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive

SeekOne SK860

SeekOne is a manufacturer of electronic and automotive tools and everyday accessories like the OBD2 scanner, binoculars, and heat gun. The company focuses on cheap pricing, customer satisfaction, and good product quality. 

The SK860 can gather, read, and delete codes easily and quickly. It specializes in the ECU data that causes the checking engine light in cars due to various issues. This OBD2 scanner is highly compatible with most US-based cars and vehicles crafted in and even after 1996. The device also complies with the OBD2 protocols. Plus, it supports more languages such as English, French. German, Dutch, and Italian. 

The SK860 has a range of OBD2 functions, such as the ability to read and delete DTCs, turn off the CELS, reset the monitors, & live streaming texts, numbers, and graphs. Moreover, SeekOne provides this product with a lifetime guarantee for software updates that are 100% free. Also, it goes with a 3-year warranty. 

It features the 1-click button system, a TFT display measuring 2.8”, and a 5 feet diagnostic wire. All these features make this device easy and quick to use. SK860 is a handheld scanner that includes an anti-shock feature and a 15-foot drop. It also features a triple LED indicator for diagnostics and alerts. This product is well-designed and versatile. 

Key Features:Specs:
★ Multi-language support
★ 3-year warranty
★ Lifetime software updates
★ Brand: SeekOne
★ Item Model No.: SK860
★ Weight: 1.65 lbs. 

Pros

  • OBD2 protocols compliant
  • Supports more languages
  • Good to use for both 199 car models and newer models
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Can’t be used with iOS devices

Innova 3150e Code Reader cum Scan Tool

Innova is an American brand of auto CBD2 scanners. The company has been around with dedication to provide high-quality services and products. 

Innova claims the 3150 is a powerful and sturdy OBD2 tool. It can reveal the “check engine” light indications on the cars released in 1996 and beyond. It can also be suitable for SUVs and light trucks. Innova 3150 can diagnose both the SRS and ABS codes on the 1996 models and modern GM, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, and Toyota cars. 

It can also retrieve the OBD2 DTCs, involving the generic codes like P0, P2, P3, & U0) and the manufacturer’s specific codes such as P1, P3, & U1. The scanner will automatically refresh the data every 30 seconds when it is connected to a vehicle. That will help a lot in ensuring and verifying the repair completion. The battery backup memory is giving off-car review & evaluation. 

Key Features:Specs: 
★ Diagnoses SRS and ABS codes
★ Good to use for cars released in 1996 and beyond
★ Battery backup memory
★ Brand: Innova
★ Specs: 3150
★ Weight: 1.8 lbs.

Pros

  • Sturdy and powerful
  • Easy to use
  • Small and portable

Cons

  • Expensive

Autel AL519 OBD2 Scanner

Autel AutoLink AL519 OBD2 Scanner Enhanced Mode 6 Automotive Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool, Upgraded Ver. of AL319

AL519 is using cutting-edge technology. It also provides a multitude of interesting features. It turns off the check engine light. With the AL519 unit, you don’t need to worry regarding the check engine light’s illumination. The device will automatically turn off the light, clear the related code, and retune the display.

Like other OBD2 scanners, the Autel AL519 also has the ability to foretell if your car will pass the smog test or not even before you bring it to the test center. Likewise, this product features an alert system that goes with a tiny speaker. You will receive audible notifications through the speaker, telling you that your car is ready. 

Key Features:Specs:
★ Smog detector
★ Integrated notification
★ Brand: Autel
★ Item Model No.: AL519
★ Weight: 2.05 lbs. 

Pros

  • Simple, intuitive user interface
  • Upgraded notification system
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Can’t do ABS and SRS tests on cars launched before 2014.

Actron CP9580A OBD2 Scanner

Actron CP9580A Enhanced AutoScanner Plus

Actron is a well-known brand of mechanical testers, electrical testers, parts, and accessories. One of the brand’s top-selling product is the Actron CP9580A. It’s among the few scanners that aim to offer the best value for your money and can resolve the problem in no time. 

Actron CP9580A has remarkable features. One of these is the CodeConnect Technology. This technology is helping to solve the problem of your car engine in a faster and efficient way. It fetches the solution with the help of the CodeConnect database. Then, the given solution will undergo the verification process with the company’s group of technicians who have certificates from the ASE. Hence, you have no reason to worry regarding its accuracy.

Other useful features that you can enjoy from Actron CP9580A include the drive cycle mode, data frame check, live graph details, data printing with PC, battery backup, and many more. 

Key Features:Specs:
★ CodeConnect Technology
★ CodeConnect database
★ Extra advanced features
★ Brand: Actron
★ Item Model No.: CP9580A
★ Weight: 1 lb. 

Pros

  • Simple design
  • Quick data navigation
  • The excellent data accuracy level

Cons

  • Incompatibility issues

Autel MaxiScan MS 300 CAN

Autel MaxiScan MS 300 is another efficient and useful OBD2 scanner featuring a range of impressive features and advantages. One of these is the wide-ranging trouble code index. This OBD2 scanner comes with a wide and long list of more than 7,000 trouble codes coupled with the comprehensive and understandable descriptions to make sure your vehicle will run smoothly every day. 

You will also love how simple its design is. Autel is claiming this OBD2 scanner is easy and quick to operate. Aside from having a simple design, the unit also goes with more buttons that make the device is easy to read. Clearing the codes is also fast and hassle-free. 

On top of that, the device has a backlit LED screen that is legible and easy to view in every outdoor and indoor scenario. The display provides a more convenient and easy-to-navigate multilingual menu. 

Key Features:Specs: 
★ Wide-ranging trouble code index
★ Simple but nice design
★ Brilliant display
★ Brand: Autel
★ Item Model No.: MS300
★ Weight: 8.8 oz. 

Pros

  • Space-friendly design
  • Good for a wide array of vehicles
  • Intuitive interface

Cons

  • Lengthy software loading time

Innova 3100 OBD2 Scanner

Innova 3100i Diagnostic Code Reader / Scan Tool with ABS for OBD2 Vehicles

Innova 3100 is among the most famous OBD2 scanners. This product goes with incredible features. It features readable trouble codes that will help you detect the issue with 100% accuracy. That is one of the great things that Innova claims this product can offer. The unit will also show the codes in a good format. The codes are readable and easy to understand. For that, Innova claims this product is suitable even for inexperienced users. 

The operation stays smooth and smart. This OBD2 scanner has been smartly designed, giving users the ultimate control over the check engine lighting. Innova said the device is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Innova 3100 can also check and tell if your car is in tiptop condition and will pass the smog test.

Key Features:Specs:
★ Easy-to-read trouble codes
★ Smog test notifications
★ Smart and convenient operation
★ Brand: Innova
★ Item Model No.: 3100
★ Weight: 1.14 lbs. 

Pros

  • With useful, practical tips
  • Reliable performance
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Connecting the device to a PC can be difficult

Buying Guide and FAQs

Guide to Finding and Buying the Best OBD2 Scanner

As you can see, the market offers a multitude of brilliant and worth-considering choices when it comes to OBD2 scanners. However, you can’t just settle for the very first product that catches your attention. What you need is the best – the one that can offer the best value for your money. 

The latest OBD2 scanners have become future-proof, which means they can endure the test of time and last for a long time. A lot of them receive updates to discourage you from buying a newer model. The following are the most important features that you should check out when searching for the best OBD2 scanner. 

Ease of Use

One of the major concerns of novices is the ease of use. No questions. Most of the OBD2 scanners are easy to operate. All you have to do is follow the provided instructions in the manual. From the simple, easy-to-press buttons to those programmable controls, users must find these tools easy to use and helpful when dealing with car codes. 

The older your vehicle, the more complicated the diagnostic tests can be. You will need more tests to run in dealing with different problems that may come along the way. It ranges from the check engine warriors to ABS mistakes. 

Connectivity Choices

The connectivity choices can be wireless or wired when the OBD2 scanner is designed to send data to the PC or mobile phone. A few of the latest scanners feature Bluetooth connection that allows the drivers to set their preferred standards in terms of data transfer. 

It’s best seen if the data has been interpreted with an application that drivers preferred to use. Most of the OBD2 scanners are well-suited with many mobile apps. 

Kinds of Codes

The OBD2 scanners are capable of reading various kinds of codes. A few can be general codes like the Check Engine codes or anything specific to other vehicles. More specific codes may apply from one car model to another. So, you have to search for the best OBD2 scanner that will match your car, and you need to consider the kinds of codes that apply to your vehicle. A universal OBD2 scanner must be enough if the drivers don’t have specific requirements. 

Smartphone and Car Compatibility

Some of the OBD2 scanners are already compatible with mobile phones. Both iOS and Android devices come with corresponding scanners. Likewise, most of the scanners are crafted to work on different cars. If they now recognize a particular kind of car, one simple update will suffice to fix the issue. However, the hottest OBD2 scanners can recognize and diagnose most European, American, and Asian car models.

Looking at the list of the features that the modern scan tools come with will be enough to provide a much better respective on the compatibility probabilities. An accurate and efficient scanner may be required when the Bluetooth connection is a must because the wireless data transfer is not yet available as a standard feature on various scanners. 

Another crucial element to consider will be your personal preference. In certain cases, the drivers choose the models equipped with the built-in screen that eliminates their need for a smartphone that can also make the entire process more complicated. In such cases, it’s best to find a good unit with a nice display.

Options for Customization

The customization choices are extremely limited on the OBD2 scanners. Many of them are user-friendly and not primarily intended for professionals. Those users who can get technical and with a hands-on approach to devices are frequently the ones who will give their best in terms of customization. However, additional customization is often incorporated in the premium products that are more ideal for mechanics. 

FAQs

What is the difference between the OBD1 and OBD2?

Drivers were using the OBD1 scanners until 1995. A year after, the OBD2 system has been introduced. The OBD1 and OBD2 may have similar underlying principles. However, they tend to differ from each other when it comes to functionality.

Where can I find the OBD dock inside my vehicle?

Most vehicles have their OBD ports underneath the dashboard, just underneath your steering wheel. However, in some cars, the OBD port can be seen below the gearbox, on top of the pedals, or inside the passenger compartment. The case will always be different from one car to another. 

What is the Check Engine Light?

It is the warning light that will signify the malfunction within the ECU (engine control unit) or ECM (engine control module).

What Is the ABS?

The acronym ABS stands for the anti-locking braking system. This is the one that prevents the wheels of a vehicle from locking up if you touch the brake. The ABS plays a crucial role when it comes to your car’s efficient control and security.

What is SRS?

The extra restraint system is the one responsible for controlling the airbag. 

What is an EVAP system?

The evaporative emission control system or EVAP prevents the gas from leaks and escape to the air. It guarantees minimal pollution.

Does one OBD2 scanner work for more cars?

Yes, you can use just one OBD2 scanner, but only if all your vehicles are compatible with the scanner.

Conclusion

The best OBD2 scanner is so important and a quite expensive tool. So, you have to invest in one that can satisfy you at every angle. Hopefully, this buying guide helps you come up with a good decision.