Controlling computer chips and car electronics have lately been a part of vehicles, and they are as crucial for a car to operate as any of the car’s mechanical components. Unlike conventional cars, many of a vehicle’s mechanical components are controlled by an increasingly complex network of electrical sensors and controlling chips.
No matter if you talk about the transmission and the engine of the car, suspension, safety features, brake controls, emissions, accessories, and even tires, anything you name it within the car’s system can be controlled through gadgets.
While this smart system helps your car become advanced more technologically however, having such an advanced, complex computer like this in your car has a downside. For example,
how would you figure out if something alarming is happening inside the car engine? In this case, an OBD2 scanner will come into play and save you from harm.
What is an OBD2 Scanner?
OBD-II or OBD2 scanner belongs to the second generation technology. The abbreviation “OBD” stands for “On-Board Automotive Diagnostics.” This kind of automotive scanner is essential for maintaining, deciphering, and repairing the latest, advanced automobiles.
In addition, an OBD2 reader’s capability to identify what to do about specific problem codes can help DIYers or the person who is in search to know what is going on inside their vehicle and eventually saves you from spending extra money.
There are computers present in a car that monitor data from many components, keeping track of how they are performing and whether or not something is there that shouldn’t be. Here if they detect any defect, a diagnostic issue code is saved in the computer,
and in response to that, the check engine light on your dashboard may illuminate. Know that every gasoline-powered vehicle built since 1996, and every diesel vehicle constructed since 2008, has an OBD2 port for accessing this data. The port’s design is consistent among manufacturers,
and it’s always within 3-feet of the driver and is accessible without tools.
Hence, adding an OBD2 diagnostic scanner to your toolkit is recommended, but finding the proper one can be difficult. For your ease, we have researched and listed down a few best professional OBD2 scanners
Launch CRP129E Scan Tool
The Launch CRP129E Scan Tool is our first pick for the best professional OBD2 scanner. You might find it expensive as it’s available for $400 on amazon, but the features it provides are worth the money paid. It comes with 1 Main Unit, 1 OBDII Diagnostic Cable, 1 DC 5V Charging cable, 1 User’s Manual, 1 Padded Carry Case and 1 EL-50448 TPMS tool.
One of the features that makes it among the best is that it has an internal battery, because of which you can utilize it without a working car. In addition, you can graph live data, reset diagnostic trouble codes (DTC), and run emissions tests.
Launch provides free lifetime upgrades if you purchase it from an authorized dealer. With data coding protocols from roughly 60 carmakers and over 1,000 models included in the Launch, CRP129E is capable of knowing all about your vehicle.
It offers 26 RESET services at competitive prices to make your maintenance or repair an easy-going process, making it more user-friendly. The following are some of these specifics: Oil Reset, EPB Reset, BMS Reset, DPF Regeneration, ABS Bleeding, Sunroof Reset/ Gearbox Reset, Throttle Adaptation, Headlamp Reset, Gear Learning and much more.
- Read a variety of codes
- Touchscreen user interface
- A lengthy connecting cable
- Easy to operate, and straightforward.
- Live data displays
- Show sensor resets
- Show only the OEM's data and functionality
- May not be compatible with all vehicles
Autel MaxiDiag MD808 Pro
This is the bestest high end OBD2 scanner having a grip of a candy-bar. This MD808 code reader is made by a reputed firm known worldwide for professional vehicle diagnostic goods and equipment that competes with other well designed, expensive scanners.
However, Autel has also made a range of OBD2 scan instruments for the general public, among which MaxiDiag MD808 is the best.
MD808 is akin to our top overall recommendation, the Innova CarScan Pro, having pro-level functionality at the best price. It includes all of the necessary OBD2 code reading, analyzing, and clearing functions, as well as bidirectional control;
allowing you to specify which systems would be evaluated and to enable or disable specific features incorporated into the manufacturer’s control programmes.
- A slim and sleek design
- Auto Vin Detection feature.
- Working quickly, saving time
- Performing both basic and complex functions.
- A 5 ft extension; user-friendly.
- Show data from the unit.
- One-year warranty.
- A smaller screen.
- Showing keys in comparison.
- Working with Windows,
Innova 5210 CarScan Advisor OBD2 scanner
This CarScan Advisor, the OBD2 scanner is based on the more valuable and pricey Innova OBD2 scanners. However, for the price of a better Bluetooth/smartphone gadget, it proves to pack the whole lot of value into a dedicated scanning tool.
Decoding, reading, and clearing the check your engine light issue codes; battery testing and evaluation of smog test; testing of ABS codes through system diagnostics on majority of the cars;
and also Freeze Frame data, this captures what was happening inside when you see an error code. All this is covered by this one, CarScan Advisor code reader.
When a vehicle is running, it displays various Live Data, such as fluid temperatures, RPM and data of fuel injection, which can help with troubleshooting in any situation.
- A large screen which makes the data clear and visible.
- The internet-connected Repair Solutions 2 software
- Affordable price
- Not working hybrid vehicles.
- Disconnect from the vehicle's ECU at any time.
Ancel BD310 Bluetooth Handheld OBD2 Scanner
Ancel manufactures a comprehensive range of vehicle diagnostic tools. This BD310 OBD2 scanner is among its best professional OBD2 Scanners and most jam-packed gadgets, with important features available at a very low price. In addition, this OBD2 scanner comes with a cable that is to be connected to a vehicle’s OBD2 port.
Its “hybrid” thing comes into play when you connect the BD310 scanning tool to your smartphone through Bluetooth. Through this, you can use Ancel’s app very easily with your smartphone.
THANKS TO YOUR SMARTPHONE’S GRAPHICS POWER. The BD delivers much more data, that too, in numerous presenting forms, including graphs and gauges. Moreover, it tracks everyday trip-computer tasks such as time, average speed, and fuel usage.
A single device combines the benefits of dedicated Bluetooth dongles and OBD2 scanners.
- Providing the essential capabilities
- Bluetooth gadget
- A convenient dash-vent attachment
- Trip management
- Capable of displaying a variety of live operational data
- Not work with units manufactured prior to 2001.
- The cable takes up additional room.
FIXD OBD2 Professional Bluetooth Scan Tool & Code Reader
FIXD little wireless OBD2 scanner dongle that is meant to stay in a vehicle’s OBD2 port at all times. Unlike other scanners, you don’t have to connect every other day.
Once installed in the car, it keeps on sending push notifications to your Android or Apple smartphone’s related OBD app. It assists DIY novices so that you can better understand and give proper vehicle maintenance. It also gives important comparison data.
- Link up to 5 FIXD Sensors
- Diagnostics in "simple English"
- Showing how to repairing issues
- Maintenance alerts
- User friendly.
- Auto upgrading to a membership,
- It is not compatible with diesel or all-electric vehicles.
- It doesn't offer all the bells and whistles
- Advanced features (Confirmed Fix & Cost and Emissions Pre-Check) are only available with a FIXD Premium subscription, which also provides on-call support from the FIXD Mechanic Hotline.
BlueDriver OBD2 Bluetooth Scan Tool
Bluedriver is said to be the best Bluetooth OBD2 scanner for smartphones. BlueDriver connects to a car’s OBD2 port and then to the BlueDriver app on a smartphone through Bluetooth. For the price of a simple, dedicated OBD2 corded scanner, this diagnostic scanner offers nearly all of the functions seen in higher-end reliable devices.
BlueDriver provides an easy-to-understand description of the issue rather than an alphanumeric identification that must be looked up. Moreover, this scanner can save or print reports that detail issues, possible causes, and solutions.
These things are what set BlueDriver apart from the rest of the Bluetooth OBD2 scanner pack. This adapter connects to Identifix, a database used by auto repair companies that has millions of potential fixes and doesn’t require any kind of subscription, and rates the likely problems that caused the trouble code in the first place. It also assigns a ranking to suggested repairs.
The phone app boasts simple, easy-to-use visuals, and the bundle includes phone, email, and live chat help direct from the United States manufacturers.
When you weigh the cost of the scanner against its features and capabilities, the BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBD2 scanner can be the best deal.
- It is a highly versatile code reader which reads more complex data than just analyzing the engine codes such as ABS, airbags, etc.
- It has Enhanced Diagnostics, making it perfect for experienced DIYers.
- You can get a free confirmed fix and smog check in the app.
- Display real-time data from the engine and chassis as the vehicle is driven.
- Produces repair reports that are simple to share with your mechanic.
- Enhanced Diagnostics (ABS, SRS, etc.) are not available for all vehicles.
- Only one car is monitored at a time.
- It is not possible to keep track of routine maintenance and wear items.
Comparison of the Best OBD2 Scanners in 2022
Pro Tips to consider while buying an OBD2 scanner
Since now, you have known about the Best Professional OBD2 Scanners and how and how not they will benefit you. You’ll be able to judge accordingly and decide which one you must go for. Hence, despite having all this information, you would need to look out for some things before you buy one for yourself. Consider the following tips while buying an OBD2 scanner to ensure that you have opted for the right one:
- The great majority of OBD2 scanners on the market now will work with virtually all vehicles manufactured after 1996. But keep in mind that there are still certain exceptions to this universal application assumption for unknown reasons. Many can be found on the websites of most reputable scan tool makers. Hence, we would suggest you double-check whether it will operate on the vehicles you are planning to use on.
- The OBD2 scanner control apps are adapted to the tablet, phone or PC operating system through which you will run them. Apps for Apple and Android are available from some manufacturers, but not for other operating systems such as Windows. Therefore, check whether an app is available for your device before you buy.
- Some OBD2 scanner capabilities or commands might not work on every vehicle. This is due in great part to how automakers design their control operating and architecture operating software. Some scanners allow bidirectional controlling or changing in the control software of the vehicle. Hence, using the checker application on manufacturer websites might be instructive, or you can generally get the operation handbook for an OBD2 scanner online, which will aid you in this concern.
- When purchasing a OBD2 scanner, never overlook the importance of product support. Remember, even if we consider the most confidential ones, they will also have reservations about the code reader’s report about the system or anything that is not working properly. Besides the limitations, note that the scanner’s manufacturers must be in sound to react to your questions quickly. Remember, product support includes software updates. Reputable brands keeps updating their OBD2 scanner software timely, atleast once a year. In addition, go for the installing updates, whether from a computer or over the air, if they are simple. It’s always better to do your research before making a decision.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is It Worth It To Purchase An OBD2 Scanner?
Having an OBD2 scanner can save you money as you will have little to no trips to the mechanic or dealership. However, certain big businesses provide you with free OBD2 scans. While some even allow you to take a scanner out in the parking to do it yourself. Hence, it’s always a good idea to make a realistic evaluation of how often you will use any tool.
What Does An OBD2 Scanner Enable You To Do?
The simplest ones can accomplish two things which are to determine what caused a “check engine” light to illuminate and turn it off. However, more expensive models may also examine dozens of car functions. For instance, they can do dry smog tests and offer repairs and replacements depending on the codes discovered via apps.
Are flash programmers and OBD2 scanners the same?
People usually confuse an OBD2 scanner with a flash programmer, but they are not the same. Flash programmers enable the change of the carmaker’s control code to get more horsepower or different transmission shift points. Hence, flash programmers do exist, but they’re entirely different, and they’re usually brand-specific.
Are OBD2 Scanners Compatible With All Vehicles?
They are expected to work on any automobile or light truck built in the vehicles after 1996; that’s probably when the OBD2 standard was implemented. However, there are still a few exceptions. A few automobiles produced before 1996 have OBD2 systems as well, but if you’re unsure, it’s wise to verify with the manufacturer before purchasing a scanner.
Is It Safe To Leave OBD2 Scanners Connected?
Scanners use a little amount of electricity; thus, keeping one connected to a car’s port that isn’t running won’t drain the battery. However, at least one manufacturer advises against leaving the OBD2 port plugged in. Therefore, first, do your research.
How durable are OBD2 Scanners?
The scanners, for the most part, are extremely precise. However, issues can emerge when deciphering the codes. Scanners with more features, either natively or through smartphone and tablet apps, can do this.
Environmental conditions these days have enhanced the need to check your vehicle’s engine on a frequent basis. Therefore, it would be great if you have access to OBD 2 Scanners so that you can keep a check on your vehicle’s engine regularly.
OBD2 are available for a wide range of vehicles and can assist in determining whether or not a vehicle meets emission regulations; however, not all scanners are accurate. Hence, take the list of best professional OBD2 Scanners we have suggested for your consideration.
The basic goal of an OBD2 scanner is to figure out what’s wrong with an automobile and then aid in its repair. It can reset particular parameters once the repairs are finished. Scanners with greater capabilities can fine-tune various car systems.
Hence, having your own OBD2 scanner would only do good to you, no harm. In fact, it will save you a lot of time and money as no trips to the mechanic would then be required.
However, in addition to completing routine maintenance, one must take extra actions to keep their automobiles operating well throughout their lifespan, such as changing the oil and repairing components as needed.