Best OBD2 Scanner Reviews 2016

The hullabaloo caused by most customers when they are trying to identify which is the best obd2 scanner this year has been of interest. The main reason could be the fact that OBD use is growing by the day and most countries are adopting this electronic method of vehicle fault detection.

LET’S TAKE A LOOK At #3 Our Pick on Amazon.com!

  1. BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android
  2. Autel AL519 Color Screen OBDII/CAN Scan Tool
  3. INNOVA 3160 Diagnostic Scan Tool with ABS/SRS and Live Data for OBD2 Vehicles

OBD scanners have stood out as the latest brand among the diverse tools made for use by motorists in detecting the diverse vehicle fault including the famous check engine light functionality. This notwithstanding, the OBD scanners are some of the most flooded areas.

Identifying which scanner is the best has therefore proven to be the nightmare of most of the customers who are in most cases presented with almost the same features to decipher. This task requires a lot of expertise, experience and good background of research.

Reviews of Top 10 Best OBD2 Scanners

With several users having diverse experiences, it is usually wise to follow through the experiences of some of the users to be able to decide whether a given OBD scanner fits the bill. Reading some of the customer reviews therefore gives an overview of what the eventual user may expect.

Some of the top 10 best obdii scanners reviews are found below:

1. Blue Driver – Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool Review

BlueDriver
4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
Bluedriver is durable because of its updatable nature. Has Phone compatibility and so using it on phone and PC is not an issue.

The OBD scan tool use is a rather professional undertaking. However, most manufacturers do not take into account the professional angle, making them only fit for novices. Most Bluetooth wireless devices are coming up with this in mind. One of such tools is the Blue Driver – Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool.

Its operations have made it one of the most talked about in the recent history by both mechanics and car dealers alike. Because it works on its sensor App, which allows it to have an extensive leverage on the codes, this is an efficient tool. You will be amazed at the level of professionalism with up to the minute repair reports.

Things We Liked

  • Because you can set your scan tool operations at the comfort of your couch, it is convenient.
  • It is also small and easy to carry.
  • The wireless nature of the tool makes it fast acting with high success rates.
  • The tool is relatively cheap especially with its professional orientation.

Things We Didn't Like

  • If you are not techno savvy, this is not for you, get a simpler tool to use.

2. Actron CP9690 Trilingual OBD I/OBD II Elite AUTOSCANNER Pro Kit Review

Actron CP9690
4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Actron CP9690 is the newer model of Actron CP9580A, by having the code connect feature, this is one of the most comprehensive tools. Beside, Free technical support from the ASE technical group which allows the motorist a worry free use.

One brand will never cease to amaze me with its superior functions. The Actron OBD scanners are always in a world of their own when it comes to provision of efficient, fast and reliable code scanning.

With all the features of a modern scan tool including the coverage of the wider coding protocols in OBD II, Actron CP9690 Trilingual OBD I/OBD II Elite AUTOSCANNER Pro Kit one is one sure tool capable of diminishing the problem of check engine light.

In addition, it’s made with the ability to provide live data as well as graphical and printable data functions to ease with data analysis. This is not to mention the fact that the scan tool has a color screen as well as access to several universal languages.

Things We Liked

  • It is fast with its use of technology.
  • It does not rely on the car battery because it comes with an alternative battery source.
  • You can be sure of having a better do it yourself (DIY) feel on car repair.

Things We Didn't Like

  • No meaningful down side has been noted though the price is a bit higher than most of the best OBD2 scan tool currently featuring in the market.

3. INNOVA 3160 Diagnostic Scan Tool review

Innova 3160
4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
Free after sales services with ASE technical services. User friendly with the exposure of the user to items like the reference guide.

It is not in doubt that the INNOVA brand by itself is worth the title of being among the best. Looking at the INNOVA 3160 Diagnostic Scan Tool, one gets a true feel of a great scanner in the market. With the ability to give live data code reading and antilock brake system (ABS) and the safety restraint system (SRS), this is what one may look for in a great OBD tool.

It is however the ability of this scan tool to diagnose diverse car brands as well as get the user to have a feel of diverse data code readings that may be making most people to look at it twice. In addition, the tool is enhanced with several rich mixes of accessories for convenience.

Things We Liked

  • Quick turnaround of data where the user gets quick solutions
  • Compatible with most OBD II vehicles as well as certification from renowned engineering bodies.
  • It has additional advanced features
  • It is easy to use.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It is Costly in comparison to most of the scanners of its range.

4. Scan Tool 426101 OBD Link MX Bluetooth Scanner Review

Scan Tool 426101
4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
It is sold with several free applications. Can be usable on phone thus conveniently turn your android based phone into a scan tool.

Nothing could be further from the truth; the wave of digital technology has caught up with the OBD scan tools as well. Scan Tool, an OBD scanner maker has cleverly exploited the use of technology top come up with the Scan Tool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth, an OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner for Android & Windows.

Because of its nature of power support, the device has all the safeguards to protect the car power from depletion as well as supporting diverse OBD protocols in the market.

This protocol part makes it quite supportive on diverse car brands including the new top of their range cars.

Things We Liked

  • Based on size, this small tool does not have to weigh the user down on the user.
  • It is one of the most efficient tools with applications and the wireless connectivity
  • With Bluetooth features, the device is assuring you of longer service.

Things We Didn't Like

  • May not work on some Windows applications

5. INNOVA 3100 Diagnostic Scan Tool/Code Reader Review

Innova 3100
4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)
Compared to the other best OBD2 scanners, this one is considered to be cheaper. Updatable allowing for better reception of newer cars which in turn gives more mileage to any given scan tool.

Simplicity is the key word most people use when referring to the tool. This is only up to the point of its use when it is seen to perform exemplarily. With quick data transmissions which are supported by the LED display and an automatic system, getting to put off the check engine light is rather a simple undertaking.

It may however be a great injustice if the power saving ability of the tool is never mentioned and its several other accompanying accessories to help in improving its plug and play functionality.

Things We Liked

  • It is Light and can be easily carried around in the course of its use.
  • Its Ease of use is enabled with some of the best do it yourself capacities
  • This tool is known for its better compatibility with diverse car models.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Suitable for beginners -in most cases, it better be used with beginners cases give the fact that it is considered a basic reader and not a scan tool parse.

6. Autel MD802 MaxiDiag Elite Scan Tool Review

Autel MD802
4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)
The 1 year warranty which the tool comes with is good for confidence purposes. Looking at the make and the size specifications, it is user friendly and worth your time, effort and use.

For those who may have European, Asian and even American car models, the need for something which can conveniently clear fault data codes may be ideal. However, efficiency and speed may be some attributes which any good meaning OBD scanner may have to posses in the current dispensation

The Autel MD802 MaxiDiag Elite Scan Tool is a tool with the attributes to serve in almost all the faculties of the car engine. With the convenience of just a one button push, using this tool may be the easiest in the market. It is however the global nature of this tool that makes it stands out with most of the codes within its reach.

Looking at it, its areas of operation goes far beyond the antilock brake system and the safety restrain t systems, which are known for personal motorist security to the more pronounced, data printing, live data reading, freeze data oxygen sensors as well as the check engine light functions.

Things We Liked

  • It is Convenient based on the manner of its action
  • This can be used in any weather given that it has an all weather casing.
  • It has a basis for user safety given the requirements for passwords

Things We Didn't Like

  • It has limited digital connectivity because the tool does not work with Apple computers.

7. Actron CP9580A Enhanced Auto Scanner Plus Review

Actron CP9580A
4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
At only 1 pound, this scan tool is among the lightest ever making it user friendly. With the ability of the Scanner Plus to be updatable, it is possible for this tool to be used over longer periods of time.

Talking of the Actron brand without talking about the Actron CP9580A Enhanced Auto Scanner Plus would be like someone living in denial.  Just like its other counterparts, the code connect is the most prominent feature which makes it work fast and efficiently.

It is the compatibility of this OBD II scanner which has left tongues wagging. This has been specifically bolstered by the fact that this tiny yet powerful tool can cover over 4.3 million data codes spanning the generic and manufacturer specific genres.

It can also work with older cars as well as several models of the new order. However, the live data feed, freeze data and the ability to get the vehicles drive cycle modes could be the more reason why it stands out.

Things We Liked

  • It comes with a Strong user support from the ASE technical group.
  • Diversified list of accessories includes the code look up library for fast data coding.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It is not as universal as touted and May not cover certain car brands.

8. Autel AL619 OBDII/CAN Scan Tool Review

Autel AL619
4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
This is the best do it yourself (DIY) tool which can help any motorist save money. Easy to use being a plug and play device with several instructions on the way it is to be connected and used.

One tool which took the OBD scan tool market by storm is the Autel AL619 OBDII/CAN Scan Tool. Looking closely, the play back feature of its data reading has made people run amok trying to get a piece of it.

With a befitting size that allows for ease of movement, a generic data code reading and an ability to turn off the check engine light feature at an instant, this will surely interest any motorist. However, it is the price, updatable feature and the ease of its use that has always made people to be in love with this OBD scan tool.

Things We Liked

  • It is Efficient – with wide coding and a small size.
  • It is durable based on its updatable feature.

Things We Didn't Like

  • May be a pig in a poke and the user may find the use of the Tool to be not so rosy.

9. Actron CP9575 Auto Scanner

Actron CP9575
4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)
Among the diverse benefits, the following are likely to be highly prominent; Has high compatibility because it can work with several newer car versions. Economical because it can save on your repair costs.

The search for a professional oriented OBD scanner may be such an elusive one. This can even be harder within the best OBD2 scanners which are all spread out in the market. The Actron CP9575 Auto Scanner is one professional tool worth going for.

Riding on the good brand name which is fledging in the market, the tool has live data code reading, the drive cycle readings, the freeze data as well as coverage of over thousands of data codes.

Being a hand held device, this can be easily used for accessing data with the support it has on the several universal languages.

In addition, this tool can be updatable over the internet, something special and only seen on this tool among its peers.

Things We Liked

  • It is user friendly and so stands out among most of the OBD tools.
  • It comes with Friendly support from the manufacturer making its use quite interesting.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It may pose one of the most complicated software update nightmares.

10. INNOVA 3150 Diagnostic Code Reader review

Innova 3150
4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)
It has an aesthetic touch given its well designed casing and an equally appealing look to the user. Ease of use being a plug and play device.

If there is any word I would use to describe this great scan tool, then it is “power”. However, added to its ability to give the user the antilock brake system (ABS) and the safety restraint systems at the same time, the safety aspect of the scan tool meets the aim of the brand. Made by this ever present brand name which has held then OBD world like a colossus, what better tool would you wish for?

It’s the coding that strikes the raw code when checked closely given that it covers the generic codes and manufacturer specific codes in Toto, one may not look for anything else. This tool is also known for its swift action as well as the automatic refreshing nature which allows it to give the user better data feed. Looking at its accessories, the INNOVA 3150 Diagnostic Code Reader and to a large extent the INNOVA brand has never failed with its backup power to keep the tool running.

Things We Liked

  • It has Better compatibility where It spans across all car genres even code on hybrid cars.
  • It is economical and you don’t need to visit any mechanic if you can do it yourself!
  • It is a reliable tool with superior characteristics for its size.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It may not be as universal as it is portrayed in most quarters.

 

> Ultimate Guide to Buy a Best OBD2 Scanner <

Here I will explain to you why it is beneficial to buy a Scanner and guide you to choose the best Scanner which would fit your Budget.

OBD is generally divided into two categories;

  1. Code Readers
  2. Scan Tools

An OBD Code Reader may not have much of a difference from the scanner. A reader is an electronic device which when connected on the car computer memory allows the user to have access to certain information regarding the car function. This information may not be as elaborate but quite useful in the process of car repairs.

In most cases, OBD readers are functional with other accompanying accessories which may include external connections to a PC. Not all readers are the same and the experiences seen with each differ depending on the coding scope.

OBD scanners are no different given that they are also electronically oriented to be connected to the car computer memory to help with deciphering important information.

How different are readers from scanners?

Though these two tools may seem to perform almost the same functions, the OBD code readers are considered a little bit inferior and may not give more advanced data as the code readers.

In addition, the standard practice adopted in the making of the OBD scanners make them more universal tools rather than the readers which were rather manufacturer specific.

Readers or scanners, the purchase dilemma!

The decision of not to buy or top buy usually rests with the user.

Though code readers are relatively cheap, the scanners are usually considered better by most motorists given their scope of action. Buying a reader may limit the level of fault codes to be read.

If you ask me, the scanners are the best for any car owner because of the standard coding nature and so may be used over several; car brands.

Why buy OBD scanner?

check engine light

Turn Off the Annoying Check Engine Light. Image via tomsguide.com

Most people have read so much about the on board diagnostic tools and may have wondered what they do. In almost all modern vehicles, OBD scan tools are fitted to help with the cases of reducing emissions.

There are two categories of OBD commonly known in the market. These are;

  • OBD I
  • OBD II

Knowing which OBD to buy may just be the perfect opportunity if you are a motorist with an eye for safety. Though this may be important, most people may be quite oblivious of the diverse reasons why one needs this device fitted on the car engine.

Among the few places where one is able to find that information is from our site which has been the best place to get anything to do with OBD.

Welcome and read on!

What is the driving force for purchase?

To the chagrin of many motorists, OBD scan tool use has become part and parcel of their car use on a daily basis. Some of the major reasons why the OBD is purchased for fitting on vehicles may range from the following depending on where you are;

  • Avoidance of huge repair and time costs – in the past, the lack of something to detect when the car engine was having some fault would leads to enormous engine break downs. This would then be taken to the mechanic where the cost of repair alone would be skyrocketing.

In addition, motorists who visited these yards agree that the pay per hour method in most yards favored the mechanics that would spend hours on end, on something which would be done by the motorist. The OBD scan tool has solved this problem by alerting and giving the driver the specific information on the fault. Because of the do it yourself (DIY) approach of OBD, this problem can be solved by the driver or be taken to the mechanics.

  • Environmental protection – in countries like the United States and other European countries, it is the norm which has strong legal backing that these tools be fitted to reduce cases of dangerous fumes coming from faulty vehicle engines going into the environment. Buying this instrument is an act of conservation as well as patriotism.
  • Urgent cases arising from breaks of the former tools – as a motorist, it is imperative to check on the OBD scan tool and see if it is still in order. When that is not the case, having anew OBD tool may not be an option but a necessity.
  • Class and economic factors – rising cases of opulence and class society may drive one into a buying spree for particular vehicle parts and accessories. This is also due to the changing tastes which come with change in status.

These facts alone may not be the main reason for one to choose any given OBD scan tool. There are other functional reasons which make people choose particular tools. These are;

  • Efficiency – some OBD scan tools are known to cover diverse fault coding areas which can in turn make them desirable to the users. The ability of particular tool to give quick results for instance is usually on major driver to purchases.
  • Preferences – the choice and taste of the clients on the several tools in the market determine the urge to buy. One person may develop an attachment to a particular scan tool making it the best choice to purchase.
  • Nature of action – some OBD scan tools work through the remote basis which may be loved by a person and make him buy that tool.
  • Peer referrals – many are the times when one can end up buying an OBD scan tool merely due to the good word a friend threw fore it. In other instances, reviews may also drive one into buying a particular OBD scan tool.

Types of OBD scan tools

obd2 scan tool requirements

Basic OBD II Scan Tool Requirements. Image via aa1car.com

On board diagnostic scan tools have been coming in all shades and color since inception. While the advent of technology has always been at the epicenter, most of these are geared to help in the easy detection of the vehicle fault. The known OBD scan tools in use are;

1. The manual plug and play devices – they are in most cases specific in the user scope. They require an OBD user cable to plug to the DLC port to work more efficiently. They are hard to update and therefore quite rigid in accepting new car brands. The new versions have the ones with updatability through USB.
2. The wirelesses Bluetooth OBD scan tools – these are always internet based devices and work without the need to plug to the DLC. They connect to the car DLC port remotely when prodded and are quite fast. In most cases, they are updatable via the internet and may be used on diverse car brands. In some cases, these can also be in the form of mere applications.

The diversification in OBD can also be seen with some being seen to rely on the car engine for power and so are dependent devices. Most OBD I code readers are dependent on car battery.

While others are seen to be non reliant on the battery power and can work even when the engine is off. These are standalone devices, as is the case with most OBD II scanners.

The OBD scan tool generations OBD I and OBD II

The distinction in onboard diagnostics has been always in the form of generations.  There are two generations spanning the entire OBD period. Let’s look at them at a glance;

A). 1st generation readers, the OBD I

While the OBD I is known to be the older generation tool and was the precursor of the whole diagnostic system, its use has been dwindling with time because of the following;

  • It was generally manufacturer specific, covered few fault areas and so not industry friendly.
  • Some of the OBD I making companies were developing bad production practices to eliminate competition.
  • Most of the broken down tools would be hard to refuse or dump, causing a catastrophe on the environment, which was being avoided.

B). 2nd generation scanners, the OBD II

The OBD II has been the latest in the generation of scan tools and is in most cases referred to as the second generation scan. It has been a result of the most widespread industry consultation and regulation on the production of a standardized tool. Most of them are;

  • Not manufacturer specific, cover wider car fault areas and may work across the board
  • Made with the overall motoring industry in mind.
  • Most are made with updatable features and so used for longer.

Old vs. new – the two sides of OBD scans tools

OBD scan tools in the market span the OBD I and OBD II. Most of the OBD I tools are used in areas where the strict industry regulations have not been enforced. The most striking balance is that there has been a steady rise in the number of companies producing OBD scan tools, with most following the regulations set by the environmental protection agency (EPA) in the area in question.

Because of their meager coverage, they have been replaced with the OBD II devices over time. With the developments in the internet, the Bluetooth OBD scanners are taking over as the most preferred mode of vehicle engine fault scanning.

How to buy the best OBD scan tool

Because of the diversified nature, buying your best OBD scan tool cannot be that hard if you have the relevant information. In most cases, the information on the scan tools is in great supply on the several websites where they are stocked. It only requires one to compare the features and see if they fit with the needs of the vehicle.

Considering on the cost, online purchases can give you some of the best bargains because most of the shops do not charge for the rent spaces, which may not be with the brick and motor stores. In addition, the delivery period in most of these shops is quite fast

What to look for when buying OBD scan tools

There are certain things buyers look for when buying OBD scan tools, like in the choice one has to make on OBD readers and scanners, some of the most notable facts may be enumerated as follows;

  • The OBD brand – most people are in most cases attached to specific brands and that is what determiners their purchase decision. The manufacturer can also determine the warranty and the after sales services you are likely to enjoy.
  • Price – depending on the budget, it is imperative to choose an OBD scan tool which fits within your budget.
  • Design and quality – while some OBD scanners may just be too bulky, the choice of the right design may be the ice breaker. these are usually seen in the various feature it possess based on the user manual

Other factors to consider when buying OBD scan tools

With the former considerations, other likely factors to consider may be the following;

  • The car in question – while this may not be so much a factor in the current generation, it was previously with manufacturer specific OBD scan tools. The knowledge whether it was compliant used to play a vital role.
  • Durability – buying a scan tool which can serve for long ids the dream of any OBD scan tool user, looking at the material used in making the casing and whether it is weather proof may help in this area.
  • Presence of other relevant supporting accessories – buying an OBD with better supporting accessories like the user guide and the code translation manual may also help the user in a great way.

While all these considerations may be golden, the most important consideration is the use of your own discretion when making any OBD purchase decision.

Conclusion

The search for the best OBD2 scan tools may in most cases seem to be an elusive one. This is additionally made worse with the tendency of buyers to fall for gadgets without having taken time to look at how they work on the user manual.

Depending on which tool appeals to you, these top 10 best OBD2 scanners for 2016 will be your best catch. There are however others which may not make this cut yet so efficient, cheaper and may need your scrutiny.

My name is Tim- an auto mechanic from Colorado.I don’t know why I do love cars and always want to discover them. With what I know, I think I should share with everyone .I am a contributor on Zentiz.com and writing about automotive. Besides, I am also writing a personal blog about OBD2 Scanner name OBD Advisor. Hope it's useful for all you guys.

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