OBD2 Scanners are the closest thing we have to a professional mechanic when driving too far away to access quality car-diagnostic services. Keeping one in your car is a great tool for saving money every time the check engine light pops up.
On-Board Diagnostic Scanners (OBD scanners) work by plugging into the car’s access port and scanning for possible problem through your car’s computer system. After reading through and checking for any possibility of a problem, it indicates the code. Thereafter, it shows you what needs to be done to fix the issue. From that, you can automatically determine whether you can handle it or need the help of a professional.
More-recent OBD-II scanners will also go through your car’s critical systems and read your engine and transmission for error codes. That is the basic information a mechanic reads from your car.
Here are the top 5 Best OBD2 Scanners in 2023 and a buying guide.
List of Best OBD2 Scanners – Best Code Reader for Cars
Here’s a table that compares the major specs of the Best 5 OBD-II scanners
|Product name||Image||OBD2 Modes||Using Phone||Weight Items||Rating||Check price|
|1. BlueDriver Pro OBD2||10||Yes||2.08 ounces||4.7||Click Here|
|3. FOXWELL NT301 OBD2||10||Yes||1.01 pounds||4.5||Click Here|
|4. ANCEL AD310||10||Yes||9.6 ounces||4.6||Click Here|
|5. Autel MS300||9||No||8.8 ounces||4.4||Click Here|
How to Choose the Best OBD2 Scanner?
Choosing an ideal OBD2 scanner can be hard, especially now that the market is full of them. Therefore, in the same way we take our time choosing our favorite items, we should also consider what OBD2 scanner to buy.
OBD-II scanners come in different forms and features. Therefore, which features should guide you in selecting the best OBD2 scanner?
You need to know what exactly your OBD2 scanner will be used for. For example, you just want an OBD2 scanner which can read and erase some basic codes or a scan tool with ECU programming which allows you to reprogram your vehicle.
If you need an OBD2 scanner, you need to ensure that it is compatible with the OBD2 port of your car. Let’s say, for instance, your car was manufactured in 1996 and up to date, you’d be sure the OBD-II scanner is compatible with it. For those cars made before 1996, you’ll need an OBD-I scanner.
In other instances, some OBD2 scanners only work with locally-assembled vehicles, while others only work with Asian/European cars.
Some OBD2 scanners work on light cars, while others do well in trucks. If you own both, you need to ensure your scanner supports both vehicles, so you don’t purchase two OBD2 scanners.
Connectivity to a mobile app helps save the inconvenience by displaying the error codes and the possible solutions. Some apps display a tutorial on how to handle the problem too.
Mobile apps can only connect to your car via either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The latter works well in Android devices, but Wi-Fi tends to do better with iOS.
4. Information Processing
Information Processing starts right from how the scanner gets database updates. That is important in ensuring your scanner can detect new error codes and know how to deal with them appropriately. That saves on time and money you could have used on a professional mechanic.
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Top 5 Best OBD2 Scanners: Review
The BlueDriver Pro OBD2 comes with mobile app integration, a feature that maximizes the reliability of operations. Even when the app doesn’t work in all vehicles, it has proven to be among the best OBD2 scanners in the market.
The scanner reads and clears codes, views saved reports, conducts smog checks, gives MIL status and gives you the car’s information.
Standing at almost twice as heavy as other OBD2 scanners, the BlueDriver is a less-obtrusive and easy-to-install scanner. Its sides are ribbed to allow for an easy grip. The scanner also has an LED light on the side that acts as a status indicator. BlueDriver’s Pro Scan app is easy to operate.
Setting up the scanner is hassle-free and easier with the mobile app.
The BlueDriver Pro OBD2 isn’t your typical OBD2 scanner because it uses Bluetooth technology to detect and help fix the problems you experience with your car.
- Handheld – No
- I/M Readiness Test – Yes
- of keys – None
- Display – None
- Live data – Yes
- Bluetooth – Yes
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||2.2 x 1.9 x 1 inches|
|Operating System||IOS and Android|
|Oil Service Light||✓|
|Number of keys||✗|
|I/M Readiness Test||✓|
- Compatible with a user-friendly mobile app
- The scanner shows information about charging, cooling and all engine systems.
- Offers to fix suggestions
- The app is only limited to smartphones with Bluetooth connectivity
- Large transmitter
The MOTOPOWER OBD2 is a budget option, which explains the popularity among car owners. Moreover, the MOTOPOWER MP69033 OBD2 supports six international languages.
You don’t need any charger or battery for the MOTOPOWER scanner because it uses your car’s power, allowing you to save for any other repairs. Moreover, the design is compact, and the device has a pretty easy-to-use interface that will get anyone going quickly. Again, the screen is a clear LCD that displays readable characters.
This OBD-II is I/M ready and displays a lot of extra key information from your car, like the load value and information concerning the engine coolant.
The MOTOPOWER MP69033 reads and erases codes, checks the MIL Fault Indicator light, retrieves live data, runs EVAP System and On-Board Monitor tests, conducts the IM readiness and O2 sensor, runs the view freeze frame and conducts the DTC Code lookup.
- 128×64 p screen
- Compact Design
- Wide capability
|Item Weight||9.9 ounces|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||6.02 x 2.75 x 0.91 inches|
|Display Resolution||128 x 64 pixels|
|Screen Protecting Film||✓|
|Oil Service Light||✗|
- Compatible with nine protocols
- You can adjust the device’s backlight and contrast
- Fetches extra information on your vehicle’s current state
- The scanner is not compatible with all vehicle models.
The FOXWELL is arguably one of the best OBD2 scanners with a great display. From it, you can read your car’s information in a text or graphical form. What’s important is that the scanner brings value to the table at a competitive price. The screen allows for data logging along with other numerous specs.
The scanner also ensures confirmed repairs as it detects the available car problems, then shows you how to solve the problem, plus a few tips to save money while making repairs.
The FOXWELL NT301 is compatible with a range of automobiles. It resets monitors, locates bad O2 Sensors, checks emissions readiness status, retrieves VIN and Live Data, reads DTCs, and is responsible for turning off CEL.
The device comes with a well-arranged keyboard for easy operation.
- Has an inbuilt speaker to help with the connectivity.
- Always prints the necessary diagnostic data.
- Can acquire VIN information via Enhanced mode 6.
- The OBD2 scanner is best for intermittent problems.
|Item Weight||1.01 pounds|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||8.66 x 3.15 x 6.69 inches|
|Display Screen||2.8 inch|
|Screen Protecting Film||✓|
|Oil Service Light||✗|
- Has an inbuilt speaker to indicate the status.
- The scanner allows you to print diagnostic data
- Great for detecting intermittent car problems.
- Gives accurate diagnosis by supporting multiple codes.
- User unfriendly interface.
4. ANCEL AD310
If you’re looking for a moderately-priced OBD2 scanner that gets the work done and doesn’t want to settle on cheaper options, the Ancel AD310 is the go-to. From the first glimpse at the scanner, you’ll notice its simplicity.
A large colored LCD screen displays every piece of information that’ll pop up. The Ancel AD310 scanner reads and erases error codes, retrieves live data, views freeze frame, conducts I/M Readiness and checks your vehicle’s information. Even when lower-priced scanners can detect only a few error codes, the Ancel AD310 can detect even manufacturer-specific error codes.
Above all, you have numerous supported languages, which you can customize to your liking. On the downside, the scanner only works with cars with 12V batteries.
- Directly shows the diagnosis results
- Supports intermittent reading
- The scanner is good at detecting the cause of the engine light
- Free-frame data viewing
|Item Weight||9.6 ounces|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||8.31 x 6.34 x 1.38 inches|
|Display Resolution||128 x 64 pixel|
|Screen Protecting Film||Yes|
|Oil Service Light||✗|
- Doesn’t need a power source
- The scanner provides historic codes
- The thick insulator cable ensures flexibility of the scanner
- User unfriendly interface.
5. Autel MS300
The Maxiscan MS300 is among the best-corded scanners in the market. You can’t tell how much information you’ll receive on the screen at a button press. Its size is also small enough to carry around.
The ease of use of the MS300 is one feature that takes drivers and mechanics by storm. At the push of a button, you’ll get all the error codes in your engine and tips on how to diagnose them. Moreover, the two-button design makes navigating, reading, and clearing error codes easy for you. The Autel MS300 will automatically connect to your OBD2 port. The scan tool can communicate with most Asian, European and US vehicles with the OBD2 port.
- Doesn’t require batteries.
- Supports CAN protocols
- Uses a standard 16-pin OBD2 connector
- Easy to read backlit display
- Multilingual menu
|Item Weight||8.8 ounces|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||6.3 x 1.97 x 9.06 inches|
|Screen Protecting Film||No|
|Oil Service Light||Yes|
- The scanner is relatively inexpensive
- Clears error codes
- Compatible with numerous vehicle models
- Easy DTC lookup
- The scanner doesn’t have an inbuilt library.
- No printing or software updates.
- No real-time monitoring
There you have them; the top 5 Best OBD2 Scanners in 2023. You can see that they come with different features, and you have to decide to leave the rest behind for one.
We’ve made the selection easy by giving you a list of the best 5 OBD-II Scanners, highlighting their specifications and Pros and cons. The BlueDriver is the perfect OBD-II scanner if you need numerous functions under one device, but the Autel MS300 is the perfect budget option.
An important piece of advice is that you shouldn’t underestimate the reliability of the customer support offered by these scanners’ companies. Even the most professional mechanics will occasionally ask a question here and there.