Best OBD2 Scanner

Best OBD2 Scanner

They’re for the most part user-friendly, and when it comes to the top rated OBD2 scanners, they’re also easy to set-up and give you accurate results.

Introduction to the OBD2 Scanner

Owning an OBD2 scanner is a smart choice for car owners, because they allow you to quickly and easily diagnose your vehicle so that you know what’s going on at all times. They’re for the most part user-friendly, and when it comes to the top rated OBD2 scanners, they’re also easy to set-up and give you accurate results. You can purchase any one of these top rated products with confidence, but for a bit more help, we’re going to discuss features that you want to look out for in our buyer’s guide.

Best Overall OBD2 Scanner

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

This OBD2 scanner is Bluetooth activated and works with all iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, allowing you to quickly and easily diagnose your vehicle so that you know what’s going on. This is a professional diagnostic scan tool that is trusted by mechanics and developed by the Professional Engineer in North America.

It is also officially licensed and engineered for Apple and Android devices. The Bluetooth Driver app and BlueDriver sensor work with each other so that you get the utmost in quality. You get all the capabilities of an expensive handheld scan tool with the added benefits of a smartphone or tablet.

There are also free vehicle specific repair reports drawn from a database of over 4.3 million fixes verified by auto mechanics. Customers love this OBD2 because it’s so easy to use, and it also comes at an affordable price. When you want to diagnose your vehicle just like a mechanic, then owning this device is going to help you to accomplish just that.

INNOVA 3160 Diagnostic Scan Tool with ABS/SRS and Live Data for OBD2 Vehicles

This OBD2 can read ‘check engine’ light warnings on all cars from 1996 and newer, as well as light trucks and SUVs. It can also diagnose ABS and SRS codes on many makes and models of vehicle. You get enhanced live data, and this includes views, graphs, records, charts, and so much more.

The unit can do USB flash updates as well, so that you’re always working on the most recent version of the software. This also includes a scan tool, OBD2 cable, USB cable, soft pouch, and quick reference guide. Customers love this tool because it’s so easy to use, and it allows drivers to quickly and efficiently tell what is not working with their vehicle.

It’s also quite easy to read, and it always gives you accurate results that you can depend upon. When you’re ready to enhance your driving experience, then it’s smart to have a tool like this that can tell you what you need to fix, right when you need to know. INNOVA is a brand name that we all can trust, and this device proves that they’re leaders in the field for good reason.

Best Budget OBD2 Scanner

BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool for Android Devices

This OBD2 from BAFX is a bluetooth device that works with all Android devices. This scanner works on all vehicles in the USA that are from 1996 and newer. This product is guaranteed to give you incredibly accurate readings that you can depend upon. It’s also easy to set up, and it will effortlessly connect with your Android phone or tablet in no time.

The scanner will read and decipher clear diagnostic trouble codes so that you can have real time sensor information right on your phone. The device is backed by a one year manufacturer warranty against defects, and if you have a problem after one year, then you should contact the company and they can be of assistance.

Customers absolutely love this product because it’s so easy to use and it gives such accurate readings. You can be sure that when you use this you’re getting the information that you need to diagnose your vehicle, and right when you need it most. Do keep in mind that this device is just for Android users, and it will not work with iOS devices.

Top Rated OBD2 Scanners Summary

These top rated OBD2 scanners are the ones that customers love, because they’re incredibly easy to use and give you accurate readings that you can depend upon. When you’re ready to quickly diagnose your vehicle, then owning one of these scanners is the smart choice, and they give you consistent results. These are also appropriate for professional use as well, but they still come at a price that most consumers can afford. With so many options out there, it can seem overwhelming when you go to purchase a OBD2 scanner, that’s why our buyer’s guide is here to assist you in finding something that works perfectly for your vehicle. We’re going to take a look at the various features that are out there, so that you can make the most informed decision and purchase something that is truly going to work for you.

OBD2 Scanner Buying Guide

OBD2 Scanner Reviews

What is an OBD2 Scanner?

OBD2 Scanner1There are now a large number of scan tools on the market that work with vehicles from 1996 and newer, and these OBD2 scanners have a ton of features. Their price can range considerably, so if you’re looking to buy one you need to do a bit of homework so that you can find the scanner that suits your needs.

Will it work on your vehicle?

This is the most important question that you need to ask yourself, because buying a scanner that isn’t compatible with your vehicle is simply a waste of money. The tool that you purchase must support the vehicle that you’re going to be working on. Although OBD2 is the standard, there are actually five different types of hardware communications used by OBD2 vehicles. That’s why it’s so important to know before you purchase. Do your homework and ask your auto shop what is going to be the right purchase for your car. When you get something that is compatible, you’re going to enjoy how easy it is to run diagnostics on your smartphone. But some programs are only compatible with either iOS or Android devices.

Supported Parameters

Not all scanners are the same, and in fact, some are incredibly different from one another. Per the OBD2 standard, the US Environmental Protection Agency mandated that the basic set of emissions that are related to readings should be supported on all OBD2 vehicles. These legislation parameters are defined by the SAE specification that they created. You’ll find that low-end tools only support these emissions related readings, and they give you access to only a dozen or so truly helpful parameters; and this is clearly not enough. Although this is going to give you some basic information about your vehicle, this is small in terms of the amount of information that OBD2 scanners are capable of. You want to purchase a scanner that is going to give you as much information as possible, and that could mean investing your money in a scanner that is a bit more expensive to get the results that you crave.

Is it Upgradeable?

Every year, manufacturers of vehicles release new models and they revise existing models, and that’s why for a scanner to fully support new vehicles, it needs to be updated all the time. When you have a professional quality scanner it’s going to be updated on a frequent basis. But keep in mind that a scanner that does this is going to be expensive. Lower end tools are not updateable, and this means that they’re basically useless in the long haul. You definitely want to find a tool that updates itself, as this will ensure that it is useful for years to come.

Built in Help

OBD2 Scanner2If you’re going to be working on your own vehicle, then you definitely want to make sure that you have the Factory Service Manual. However, the scanner itself might be able to provide you with helpful information as well. When there is a DTC set, you want to check whether the scanner displays the DTC number or whether it gives you the full information. When the tool displays the full definition it’s going to save you a lot of time and frustration. You also want to check to see if the tool offers you any information on typical readings to explain what the reading is. With a simple sentence or two of explanation you’re going to save a lot of trips to the shop manual. See how much information your scanner is going to give you on the display, as the more high quality scanners are going to tell you more.

Data Logging or Storage

There’s nothing safe about watching the scanner while doing a road test. That’s why you want a tool that stores data to allow for safe viewing while you’re back at the garage. You need to make sure that the scanner that you buy has this capability.

Other Considerations

It’s of the utmost importance that your scanner is made from durable materials. If it’s going to stand the test of time, then it needs to be made for quality and performance. When it comes to the longevity of your scanner, it’s smart to spend a little extra money on something that is going to last. A good way to figure this out is to read what other customers have to say about the scanner, and how long it has lasted them. To ensure that it’s going to be useful through the years, you want to find something that is constantly upgrading itself, because this ensures that it’s going to work with newer makes and models of vehicles. You also want to check for readability. A screen that is difficult to decipher or read is not going to serve you in the long run, and that’s why it’s important to find something that is user-friendly and features a clear screen that you can quickly and easily read.

If you’re not a car buff, then you want to find a scanner that is going to do most of the work for you, so that you get clear results that you can understand. That means finding a tool that is intuitive, and speaks in the language that the average driver can get a hold of. Also, a lightweight, efficient design is going to ensure that the scanner is easy to install and use. You want a tool that doesn’t have a lengthy and complicated set-up process, as this can be quite frustrating and it makes you just want to give up on the device. With technology getting better each and every year, the latest scanners represent the very best in terms of ease of use and fast setup times. The higher end models are going to cost you more, but they can diagnose so much more than other scanners can, and that’s why they’re worth the added expense.

Where to Buy

You can easily find an OBD2 scanner online or at any automotive store. If you’re unsure about the purchase, then it’s best to go into a store and talk to a professional. But if you have a handle on what it is that you’re looking for, you can find some great deals on the internet, and this will make your purchase easier. Going online is also great because it allows you to read customer reviews so that you know what scanners are favored by most customers. You want to keep your eye out for reviews that state that the scanner is easy to use and read, and those that say that setup is quite easy. Not all scanners are alike, and that’s why it’s important to see what people really think, so that you’re not just relying upon the claims of the manufacturers.

OBD2 Scanner3When it comes to setup, you should be able to do it yourself, but if you’re having trouble then you can call the manufacturer or visit your local auto professional to give you a hand. No matter what scanner you buy, you’re going to love how easy it is to diagnose your vehicle, so that you can get it fixed and up and running in no time.

Conclusion

Owning a OBD2 scanner is a wonderful way to diagnose your vehicle without having to consult a mechanic, and it gives you real time results that add to your peace of mind on the road. There’s nothing more frustrating than not knowing what is going on with your car, and your OBD2 literally puts you in the driver’s seat in terms of getting to the bottom of what’s going on. There are tons of OBD2 scanners on the market, and that’s why it can be daunting when it comes time to make a purchase. Our buyer’s guide is intended to help you to decipher what you need to look out for when you go to buy a scanner, because knowledge is power. When you make an informed purchase you’re much more likely to find a product that is truly going to work for you. You need to understand the kinds of scanners that are out there, as this will help you to find something that is compatible with your vehicle. You can purchase the top rated OBD2 scanners with confidence, but if you want to continue your search, you can find plenty of devices online that are going to suit your needs.

Resources

  1. http://www.lemurmonitors.com
  2. http://innova.com/en-US/Product/Detail/3160d
  3. http://www.bafxpro.com/obdreader/