There is nothing that can get you frustrated than a problem with your car.
It is worst when your mechanic can’t find the problem.
Sometimes it is difficult to find what’s causing the problem and it could be as a result of some new installation or modification that has been done to the vehicle.
It takes knowledge and experience to find and fix some of these issues.
Many features of a car are controlled by electronic components and it is easy for any car computer to malfunction. You need the right type of tool to do diagnostics for certain cars.
There are a few different types of tools.
Cars need diagnostic tests and checks from time to time, which reveal a number of problems that can be associated with the many components of the automobile.
Car diagnostic tools from before 1996 were quite expensive, not to mention extremely challenging to use.
Professional diagnostic tools continue to have vehicle consumers pay top dollar for their services, despite the introduction of onboard diagnostics II, or the OBDII.
Code readers are very common tools. They are handheld and designed to find and fix problems that are common in cars.
There are some that can manipulate features of a car.
There are a variety of OBD scanners and readers designed for a variety of reasons.
Some of these scanners are designed to work with OBD2 compatible cars.
You can get these devices with low quality and very cheap and you can get them in profession grade quality.
These are used mainly by garages and vehicle repair entities.
The most basic of these tools will be limited to gathering PCM information.
These tools are used by technicians to read and clear DTCs quick and easily.
There are different levels to the capabilities of the devices and the higher they get the more expensive the cost. You basically pay for the features you want.
Types of diagnostic tools
Diagnostic car tool comes in 3 different types that cater to your needs and your skill level.
- Do-it-yourself diagnostic tools are designed for those who are technically inclined and enjoys doing things themselves. There are more expensive than basic coders and they provide more features. They do a deeper analysis of your vehicle and provide you with much more data. Although they do provide more features than basic coders they are still not as inclusive as the professional grade devices. Their main function is to monitor and diagnose a wider variety of issues than a basic coder would. When you are shopping you should make sure to get a DIY tool that is capable of performing the desired function on your vehicle. There are many coders and of varied capacities, the best one is the one most suitable to your needs.
- Professional grade diagnostic tools are used mostly by professional. They are able to do all the diagnostics that are required by the mechanic. You are most likely to find these types of tools in garages and professional business. It makes the flow of work easier for the mechanics.
- Basic code readers are just that, basic. They are common, cheap and easy to use. They don’t offer many features and are designed to do the basics of diagnostics. They are able to read and repair common problems with some cars. Their main function is to find the problem codes that are present and clear what they have found. It does nothing to aid in more complicated diagnostics.
DIY car diagnostic tools review
1) BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool
Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool. When the check engine light is on, the professional scan tool read trouble codes. The vehicle repair report shows code definition, probable causes, and fixed reports. The information can be sent by email as PDF.
A few codes are ABS, and Airbag and more to come. The free Blue Driver application (on Google Play and iTunes) and the Blue Driver Sensor work as a single tool. A user must buy only the Blue Driver sensor. No other fee necessary.
The Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool is easy to use and with all the capabilities of an expensive handled scanning tool. It also has the benefits of a tablet or smartphone.
The Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool allows to store data, update the applications and creates graphs using live data.
The fixes reports are drawn using a database with six million fixes. Professional auto mechanics certifies the database. Users will get the best repair solution, with Blue Driver Sensor and free Blue Driver App (for Android and iOS). Reliable fixes will save time and money.
Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool gives the best results to allow to fix the vehicle.
Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool offers complete diagnostics on many brands, such as All GM brands (GMC, Chevrolet, Buick, Saab, Cadillac, Saturn, and Hummer), all Ford brands (Mercury, Lincoln, Ford), All Chrysler brands, all BMW brands, all Nissan brands, all Toyota brands, all Honda brands, all Volkswagen brands.
A team of professional engineers works to provide updates for more brands.
Live data dashboard can be customized using sources such as Fuel pressure, Mass air flow or RPM.
The device displays data source as a gauge, graph or digital display. The colors can be customized, resized and placed in any shape. Live data can be exported by email as a file.
Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool send vehicle information such as recalls, service bulletins or vehicle specifications.
Scan tools can check the vehicle conditions for local wheatear (smog). Freeze frame data is a screen capture of the vehicle. Mode 6 shows advances test results for onboard system monitors.
- Read and clear confirmed CEL codes
- Read and clear pending codes
- Read permanent CEL codes
- Read and clear enhanced codes on Toyota, GM, Chrysler, Ford, Nissan vehicles all over the world. Support for more cars to come.
- Repair reports drown from an extensive database (report fixes, code definition, probable causes)
- Frame (snapshot) when the codes are stored.
- Smog check
- Test results
- Export the log to a file or graph multiple PIDs (live data)
- Works with vehicles 1996 and newer. Supports all OBD2 protocols
- Certified for Android and Apple iOS devices.
- The Blue Driver sensor and the Blue Driver App work only together for the best quality.
- The Diagnostic Scan Tool is developed by a professional to give the expected results.
- Gives engine faults, computer faults, more useful than getting an error code on display instantly.
- Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool must not be plugged all the times because the scan tool can cause communication issues and may cause a problem when the vehicle runs.
- Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool supports only diagnostic functions, no daytime updates, for example.
- The scan tool sends alerts only for dash codes.
Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool provides a real-time feature to monitor engine oil temp, boost pressure, fuel usage and raise air temperature.
Users testify that the scan toll pays for himself. It is not only for mechanics; everyone can use it successfully.
The Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool doesn’t just read the cars codes, it also scans the computer codes and provides live data, smog checks, includes information regarding the vehicle.
Blue driver Bluetooth is a professional OBDII scanning tool connects to user’s smartphone via Bluetooth and access the internet via Wi-Fi. Gives the most repairs for a particular code.
The product is useful if the user:
- Wants to see insight before calling a mechanic;
- Can try to fix himself the problem
- Check a used car before purchasing it
Nobody buys a car before checking it first. Some codes are permanent, meaning that an issue, even resolved, is recorded. The buyer can see the car history; even the codes were reset.
The users are happy with the scan tool, with the constant updates and on a regular basis on Google Store or Apple Add Store.
The product saves time and money, sometimes lots of money. Makes the visit to the dealer easy and efficient.
The user can present precisely the problem, receive information about the repair duration and cost.
2) Innova 3040E Car Diagnostic Tool
Innova 3040E Car Diagnostic Tool is a useful tool to diagnosing check engine problems.
The tool is perfect for entry-level professionals and valuable to troubleshot issues on almost any type of vehicle. The device reads and erases “check engine” light is available on cars newest than 1996 SUV, and light truck.
The Innova 3040E Car Diagnostic Tool reset the oil service light on more modern 1996 vehicles. It also allows viewing Live Data in real time for most diagnosis.
The tool reads and erases ABS light trouble codes for Honda, Toyota, GM, and Ford cars. The device also provides test checks for battery/alternator.
Surprisingly, the Innova 3040E Car Diagnostic Tool provides extra features, such as PC software. The PC-link software allows checking for upgrades and updates for the code reader.
The software also allows to connect the reader to a PC and transfer the information obtained from your car’s computer.
- The tool is compatible with almost all OBD2 vehicles. This scanner is reliable, convenient, and economical.
- Functionality: It is a reliable tool for all DIYers, car owners, technicians and professional mechanics.
- Interface: The device comes with a colorful and well-lit LCD screen. Plus, by using this rich, unusual and intriguing interface, you can scan, clear and reset the “Check Engine” and “Service Oil” warning lights.
- Free software updates for life: The Innova 3040 E has a fantastic feature. You can install all available software updates (for free) and make sure your device is working correctly and is compatible with the latest technologies.
- Customer service: The product comes with a multilingual customer support service. So, if you encounter a problem, you can use customer support in both English and Spanish.
- Innova ASE certified technicians would strive to provide quick and prompt assistance in case of problems.
- The product has a USB port to upgrade or upload software.
- The disadvantages of the Innova 3040e: You may not use this product to detect or diagnose your OBD2 vehicle after 1996. It should work properly with all OBD2 cars built in 1996 or later.
- It takes too long to connect to a PC or laptop
- The potential buyer must check the compatibility before purchasing Innova 3040E
- Not versatile
3040th Innova Compatibility: This Innova 3040e analysis tool is compatible with many models of care manufactured in the United States, Europe, and Asia from 1996 to the latest model.
The Innova 3040E scanner supports the following protocols:
- ISO 9141
- CAN. (Controller network)
- KWP 2000 ISO 14230-4
You can connect this Innova 3040e analyzer to your mobile device using a USB cable. Devices run Windows, Android, and IOS.
3040th Innova’s Display: The coded data is displayed on a visible screen where the user views the results on a 2.8-inch color LCD.
It is a multilingual device that supports multiple languages. It gives a great variety and flexibility to all users. This Innova 3040e can receive updates from the Internet by connecting it to a computer with the Internet. The unit has a nine-key keypad with a speaker flashing to indicate the status of the engine and other components.
3040th Innova’s Software: Nobody will not have to be worried about using Innova 3040e anymore. The scanner is easy and fast to use to read and erase error codes.
This Innova OBD2 scanner displays live vehicle sensor data in both text and graphics and allows you to target specific areas of data that are showing signs of trouble.
It supports Android, Windows and iOS operating systems for data interpretation and online updates.
The device reads freeze frame data that helps you determine speed, temperature, fuel emissions and tank, and system status. You can connect the 3040e to your phone to read error code results. It also reads freeze frame data that helps you determine speed, temperature, fuel emissions and tank, and system status.
Emissions reader: An interesting feature on this 3040th is the emissions reader who will tell you the number of emissions emitted by your car.
This is an approved scanner from the SAE that makes its credibility as an excellent scanner Innova obd2 for your vehicle.
Backup battery: The Scan Tool uses a battery to connect your car’s computer. You can use it without connecting to the motor to power the device.
The Innova 3040 Code Reader is an easy-to-use, compact entry-level code reader.
The two code readers we discussed above are easy to use with a large screen, are affordable and will let you know why the control engine light is on. So, they are perfect for DIY enthusiasts and startup techs.
The device lets its user know if his car is safe or he needs to visit a mechanic as soon as possible. The scanner provides a valuable up-to-date to ensure minimal gas emissions. The product saves the money and the owner’s time. The driver can repair by himself the car using Innova 3040E Car Diagnostic Tool.
It saves time and brings efficiency.
3) Ancel AD410 OBD2 Automotive Scan Tool
Compatibility – the scanner is compatible with almost all car types, newest than 1996
Energy light turned off- reads and clear stored program codes, pending codes and code definitions.
Puts off the Engine Check Indicator, helps reset the values when is Smog, and also indicates what happens before the vehicle reparation. It is more anymore necessary to go to the mechanic
Exclusive diagnostics – The scanner starts the EVAP system of a vehicle testing leak tightness monitoring the status of the fuel tank system.
The O2 sensor test is used to monitor and adjust the fuel, which helps identify issues.
Display and UI – the code Reader is an excellent upgrade to the most basic diagnostic analysis tool.
It features an LCD monitor that gives a more explicit indication of the test results.
The UI design makes it easy for you to access: Configuration, diagnostics and DTC Status – Review – do not need to study book to use the product; anyone can use this device successfully.
Diagnostic reports – Click on the “Edit or Print” option. The device owner can receive software updates and upgrades.
The OBD2 port is located under the dashboard or a panel on the center console. Just plug in the car’s OBD II port and turn on the ignition to get everything ready.
The issue causing the error code to be displayed must repair first, then the code can be erased. Operates on the vehicle with 12V battery only.
- Excellent cheap car code scanner. The color of the screen is attractive, easy to read and navigate. Read all the error engine codes on my vehicles. Ideal for exams and follow-ups. It works great for me, and it was a good buy. It erases the faulty engine codes, or you can save them.
- Reads and clears engine, generic and manufacturer-specific LED indicators, resets the monitor
- Availability of I / M to test misfires, fuel system, and complete component. Shows all data flow elements or selects certain data elements in real time with a graph
- Displays the freeze frame data, displays the vehicle settings recorded by the ECU when an emission related fault occurs
- The built-in monitor test can be used to read the results of the integrated diagnostic monitoring
- The EVAP system test allows you to run a vehicle EVAP system leak test (not all vehicles support the EVAP test, depending on what the manufacturer has installed on the OBDII system).
- The unit does not read the code with the engine check light on.
- The media does not seem to exist.
- Sometimes when people connect the tool to a vehicle, the display shows “Enter the system, please wait” and freezes.
Provides a FREE software update for life to fix the latest bugs and add new settings or DTCs. The owner must download the software from ANCEL website and follow the instructions.
It’s a basic scanner, but it’s all you need. Find the code that will help you solve the problem (s), then erase the code (s). Simple. The update was easy – works with Windows 10.
The scanner itself has a long enough cord, the screen is nice, but make no mistake – it’s not a touchscreen. Overall, I would recommend this scanner. For the price, you cannot beat it. The software works with Windows 7/8/10.
It is quick to install the spare drive and erase the code from the computer. This small device records the first day. Very simple to use.
Go to the website and install the software on a computer at home.
Simple and super easy to use. This little device prevents you from traveling to your mechanic; he mainly plays the role of auto doctor, allows you to make a diagnosis at any time and know in advance the problem of the engine of the car. Saves money and time.
Super little car code reader is cheap. The color of the screen is excellent, easy to read and navigate. Read all the error engine codes on my vehicles.
Ideal for exams and follow-ups. It works great for me, and it was a good buy. It erases the faulty engine codes, or you can save them.
If someone buys a used car, is vital to check the vehicle status.
The scanner role is more important in this situation. A simple maneuver can ruin or repair the car, depending on the mechanic skill.
Using a scan tool, any possibility of confusion is eliminated. AD410 is intuitive, making it easy to use and reliable. The bright monitor makes it easy to read.
Software installation is made step by step, and can be updated from the firm’s site easily. The application provides all necessary information the users need for their car.
The scanning tool reports the problems and can’t be erased until the problem is solved.
Top rated car diagnostic tools for professionals
1) Autel MaxiCOM MK808 Professional Automotive Diagnostic Tool
Autel MaxiCOM MK808 OBD2 scanner is an a very easy to use and highly capable tablet scanner.
This scanner has both basic and advanced features that one can need in a scanner. It is a perfect choice for both novice and advanced car owners.
The first advantage of Autel MaxiCOM MK808 is its speed. It runs on a fast quad-core processor and this makes it operate very smoothly and easily.
Again, the Autel MaxiCOM MK808 is very user-friendly. The android interface is made in such a way that anyone can easily and quickly use it.
Once the transponder is plugged into the OBD2 port, it sends information to the tablet and it becomes ready and easy to use.
Also, the screen offers a great advantage because it is a very responsive touch screen tablet.
It has a 7-inch touch-screen that makes navigating very easy and the reading of codes and figures easy as well. The size also helps in the display of several items on the screen of the tablet.
Customer information can equally be saved in the scanner and this makes it ready for repeat customers and educates other customers with similar characteristics.
Again, with the Autel MaxiCOM MK808, you do not need any cords or USB for updating the software. Software updates can be done over Wi-Fi
You can easily look up information on the spot while working on a vehicle and It also has quick links to your online repair manuals
Also, the information on the scanner can be printed out over Wi-Fi in the case where you need a paper cop or you need to give someone a copy.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 can check and reset basic things like your oil life and reset the light, but it can also look into more advanced things like the IMMO (anti-theft) sensor.
This can enable you to maintain an accurate servicing schedule.
It can equally check and reset the battery management system, the EPB/BMS/SAS/ DPF system which is used for the safety and efficacy of your vehicle.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 can also check your headlights and brake lights, so you won’t be driving around much without lights.
Autel MaxiCOM MK808 has a unique feature called TMPS which enables the vehicles ECU to learn new sensors.
As a result of this, it functions very well because new sensors are updated to the system.
The overall design of the Autel MaxiCOM MK808 is attractive. Apart from being easy to use, the shape and weight of the system is very appealing. It also implements the use of several colors so as to make the icons look more appealing.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 scanner also has a programming feature known as immobilization that is ant-theft. If you lose your key, the device will reprogram the new key and remotely disable the lost key.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 scanning functions are not limited to these following systems: Engine system, ABSSRS, Wipers systems, Brake pad systems, Emissions systems and Fuel systems. The device helps to determine what particular problem a system has after a diagnosis.
The findings from the diagnosis carried out by the device helps you determine if any urgent repairs are needed.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 is compatible with wide variety vehicles both US and EU based models and can be used easily to check anything you want it to check.
Autel MaxiCOM MK808 code reader works on most 1996 US-based, 2000 EU-based and newer vehicles to do the full systems diagnoses including reading/clearing codes and viewing live data to check the health status of parts.
This means most vehicles you encounter will work on it well.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 has technical support and the system comes with a 12-month warranty.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 scan tool is ideal for professionals who want to perform advanced functions such as DPF, IMMO, ABS, SRS, TPMS etc.
Compatibility is a great issue with this model because it may not work well on some vehicles. This is especially the case for people with exotic vehicles.
It is important to check the compatibility of this model to your vehicle before buying it. It is compatible mostly with vehicles manufactured in the year 1996 and above.
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 is an android tablet and as such is compatible only with android Operating System.
In terms of functionality, the Autel MaxiCOM MK808 may not function well if you have not installed the latest update onto your device.
This is especially the case with people who have newer cars. This is mainly because while the scanner sits in a box, it doesn’t get updated there.
You will therefore be required to update it for it to function well
The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 doesn’t support ECU programming and coding.
2) Autel Maxisys MS906BT Professional Car Diagnostic Scanner (Upgraded version of MS906)
The Autel Maxisys MS906BT uses the Android operating system that features the best possible coverage of OE-level diagnostics and ECU coding capability.
It uses the Exynos 5260 6-core processor (1.3 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 + 1.7 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A15), an 8” capacitive HD touch screen, and long-distance wireless communication. The Maxisys MS906BT is a great tool to efficiently provides comprehensive vehicle diagnostics and analysis.
The Autel Maxisys MS906BT is superior to and has functions that the Maxisys MS906 doesn’t although they have certain features in common.
They are similar in that they both have the same OBD scanning and testing capabilities; they both support reading/clearing codes, live data, actuation tests, ECU coding and adaptations; and they are both very similar physical appearance.
Some of the unique functions and features that the Autel Maxisys MS906BT that are absent in the Maxisys MS906 include the following;
– The Autel Maxisys MS906 has the ability to connect to a car’s OBD system using VCI which is a wireless connection that allows you higher mobility. It supports ultra-long distance Bluetooth transmission
-Also, the Autel Maxisys MS906BT supports oscilloscope and digital inspection camera add-ons even though the camera is sold separately and doesn’t come with the package.
-The Autel Maxisys MS906BT equally has added USB, audio and auxiliary ports that make it easy to connect accessories.
-The Autel Maxisys MS906BT also has a Long lasting battery life that is double the battery life of an MS906. The battery is a built-in rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that can last for up to 14 hours.
-This scanner also supports 32GB of storage space.
-The Scanner has a high-quality display.
-The Autel Maxisys MS906BT software can also be automatically updated via Wi-Fi and also has real-time push message notifications.
-The Scanner comes with two languages, English and Spanish.
– The Autel MS906BT is more convenient to carry than the Ms906 because of its small size
-The scanner runs on an open-source Android operating system (OS). It also features a powerful Exynos 6-core processor with amazing multitasking abilities which makes it fast to boot up and run scans/tests.
– The Autel Maxisys MS906BT professional Car Diagnostic Scanner has extensive vehicle coverage. It is considered most extensive diagnostic scanner code reader with complete system coverage for more than 80 US domestic, Asian and European makes and models.
-It equally has an easy and intuitive navigation that makes finding what you need simple and fast
-It comes with 12-month warranty & 24-hour email service where any technical questions are answered.
– The Autel Maxisys MS906BT has 02.11b/g/n Wi-Fi to access your favorite web resources
-It uses open source Android Operating System for fast boot-up and multitasking
-It has an exceptional OE-Level functionality from comprehensive OBDII diagnostics & services to advanced ECU coding
– The Autel Maxisys MS906BT also has complete capabilities for codes, live data, active test, ECU information, adaptation, matching, coding etc.
– The Autel Maxisys MS906BT has a smart AutoVIN technology for identifying vehicle easily
-It has an Automatic system and software updates with real-time push message notifications via the internet
-It equally has Instant remote control tech support anytime, anywhere
– The Autel Maxisys MS906BT has a Cloud-based MaxiFix online community provides a vast database of diagnostic and repair tips and proven filed fixes
-It has an Interactive Data Logging sessions enable direct contact with Autel Technical Support for first-hand troubleshooting of diagnostic bugs and errors
-It has a One-stop multitasking designed for ideal management of workshop operations to keep all data files, customer info, and vehicle records well organized
– The Autel Maxisys MS906BT also has Enhanced wireless BT connectivity between the display tablet and VCI device allows greater mobility and ease at work
-It has a convenient data management system for managing internal program applications and reviewing data
-The device is based on the Android operating system featured with the best possible coverage of OE-level diagnostics and ECU coding capability. Utilizing the powerful Exynos 5260 6-core processor (1.3 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 + 1.7 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A15), an 8” capacitive HD touch screen, and long-distance wireless communication, the Maxisys MS906BT efficiently provides comprehensive vehicle diagnostics and analysis.
– The Autel Maxisys MS906BT is super easy to use as most functions are intuitive and it locates the problem quickly and more importantly, you have complete confidence that you have corrected the issue using the data logging capability.
-The Autel Maxisys MS906BT covers domestic, Asian and European vehicles that date from 1996 to the present day and it includes a 1-year update subscription.
One of the main cons of Autel Maxisys MS906BT is that while the warranty offered on purchase is comprehensive, the updates are limited. After a year will have to start paying for newer updates.
3) Foxwell NT510 Professional Multi-System Scanner
Foxwell NT510 Professional Multi-System Scanner is considered the most cost-effective professional scan tool for enthusiasts, small garages, independent repairs, specialized garages and technicians. It delivers OE-level diagnosis on all the electronic systems.
The Foxwell NT510 scanner has both basic and advanced diagnostic functions.
Apart from basic functions like codes and live data, it carries out advanced functions such as actuation, adaptation and programming.
Also, with this scanner, you can have access to the most commonly required service features such as oil service light reset, throttle body adjustment, DPF regeneration and a lot of others.
-Foxwell NT510 is compatible with both EOBD and OBDII cars, SUVs, minivans, light-duty trucks sold worldwide.
-It also has an elegant design with a clearly arranged keypad, menu-driven operation, shortcuts and impressive 2.8-inch backlit color LCD display
-Also, you can download the latest software on the nt510 technical service timely during the 18months warranty. The free download link is provided
-Foxwell NT510 is the most cost-effective professional scan tool for enthusiasts, small garages, independent repairs, specialized garages and technicians.
-Foxwell NT510 is usually shipped with one free software that can cover up to five vehicles. You can however add more software at an extra cost if you deem it necessary.
-In addition, it lets you access the most commonly required service features such as oil service light reset, throttle body adjustment, DPF regeneration and much more
-Another great feature of NT510 is that it shows live sensors data in text and graph format.
-It can also actuate components, run system tests, program control modules.
– Foxwell NT510 also allows for the coding and programming of a replacement control module or changing previously stored incorrect coding.
-It can break deactivation, adaptation and service resets and also retrieves ECU information
-The scanner also gets access to powertrain, chassis and body systems.
-Foxwell NT510 also supports adaptations and control module coding on selected cars.
-It equally has a quick Test function to test most vehicle systems
– Foxwell NT510 also reads and clears diagnostic trouble codes and resets MIL
-This scan tool has an ideal size for mobile mechanics or to keep in the car and it can be upgraded to cover other car makes
– It also supports the most commonly required service features like brake deactivation, service resets, and transmission adaptations
-The Foxwell NT510 is a low-cost handheld scan tool that offers comprehensive coverage for a single car manufacturer – ideal for specialist garages and car enthusiasts.
-This scan tool will also read and erase engine fault codes and show live engine sensor data on EOBD compliant cars (nearly all 2001+ petrol cars and 2004+ diesel cars, from any car manufacturer).
-This scan tool reads and erases Diagnostic Trouble Codes from most electronically controlled systems, including Engine, ABS, Airbag, Automatic Transmission, Immobilizers and Climate Control
– Foxwell NT510 displays fault code definitions on-screen; displays live sensor data and live data graphs, including graph merging
-It also performs Electronic Parking Brake service functions and performs bi-directional component actuations – manually operating components on the car to test their function
-The Foxwell NT510 also offers free lifetime software updates after you have registered and this is a very attractive feature.
-You do not need any batteries to operate the Foxwell NT510. It is powered by the diagnostic ports of the car.
-It has a multilingual menu options and code definitions
– Looking at compatibility, the Foxwell NT510 is compatible with most petrol and diesel Ford cars from around 1999 up wards (with 16-pin diagnostic port). It is also Compatible with EOBD compliant cars for basic engine fault code reading (ALL* 2001+ petrol and 2004+ diesel UK-sold cars). It is also compatible with passenger cars sold new from within the EU, with fewer than 10 seats and a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 2500kg.
-The manual is not so easy to understand. If you don’t have experience with OBD tools you may find it hard to figure functionality just from the manual.
-Also, it is not compatible with all car models. As a result, you need to be sure and check that is compatible with your car model before buying it.
Top-Rated Basic Code Readers
1) BAFX Bluetooth car diagnostic tool
The BAFX code reader will deliver a professional level performance and is very easy to use. It is perfectly suited for mechanics, for diagnosis of vehicles and identifying the issues.
The BAFX Bluetooth car diagnostic tool is completely user-friendly and has the capacity to work on all types of vehicles within the US. It provides enhanced user experience and saves quite a lot of money.
The device will easily transmit the error codes to your Android device through Bluetooth.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a professional diagnosis of your vehicle, you can now purchase a BAFX Bluetooth car diagnostic tool for much less and have the additional benefits that it will provide.
The BAFX Bluetooth car diagnostic tool is one of the top-rated basic code readers and is compatible with an immense number of cars. But like everything, it also has its pros and cons.
It comes with an incredible two-year warranty, which covers all manufacturing defects. the warranty process itself is simple and hassle-free.
The BAFX Bluetooth car diagnostic tool is very simple and easy to use and is compatible with all Android devices.
You only have to sync the tool with your Android device through Bluetooth. It serves as an app, receiving and sending the diagnosis of your vehicle. You can walk 20 feet away from your car, and the device will still diagnose and display codes.
Android computer users will receive demo software with their scanner during the purchase, while Android phone and tablet users can find the apps best suited to them on Google Play Store.
The problems the device can identify and the diagnosis it can provide about your vehicle can include
- O2 sensors
- Coolant Tem
- Fuel pressure
- Fuel Trim
- Air Fuel Ratio
- Balance rates
- Engine Oil temperature
- Exhaust Gas Temperature
- Revolutions per minute
and many more.
This device works on all the vehicles in the USA made after 1996, inconsiderate of their make and model.
This tool can efficiently read real-time sensor data, allowing you to record mile times directly to your Android device, and can identify and clear the fault codes that cause the check engine light to light up.
This device can also be used for performing a pre-test for the emissions system of your vehicle to discern if it passes in a smog test. It is a small device which plugs directly into the vehicles’ OBDII data port, which makes using it easier.
The BAFX code reader is perfectly suited for beginner and average car users. It also supports all OBDII protocols like
- ISO1430-4 KWP
- SAE J1850 PWM,
- SAE J1850 VPW,
- and ISO15765-4 CAN.
This gadget also has no issues with J180 and CAN protocols. It can display more than 3,000 error codes as well, which provides a more efficient diagnostic of your vehicle beyond just a check engine light.
The device operates smoothly with third-party apps. Some of the third-party apps that can be used include Torque, Scan Master, Piston, Dash Command, Carista and many more. All these can easily be downloaded and purchased from the Google App Store, providing a wide range to users in selecting one that will be best suited to their needs.
The BAFX Bluetooth car diagnostic tool is only compatible with Android or Windows-based devices. It cannot be used with IOS devices.
Although this device works on third-party apps, the download of an app may require to pay up to 60 dollars, depending on the type of app you require.
Car consumers outside of the United States may face compatibility issues as this device is only optimized for vehicles within the US.
This BAFX device does not have the capability of performing the more advanced functions like turbo tuning, timing advance or identifying the issues with manufacturer-specific trouble codes. It does not Air Bags, ABS, TPMS, or Oil Change lights.
There are no regular updates to the device, and a user might even have to buy a new one if the adapter or device stops working.
Unlike other code scanners and diagnostic tools, the BAFX Bluetooth car diagnostic tool does not drain the car batteries.
2) Ancel AD310 Check Engine Light Car Scan Tool
Of the many available in the market, Ancel AD310 stands out as one of the market leaders and is technically very useful.
The Ancel AD310 scanning tool for car engines helps technicians to diagnose engine problems in a very simple manner. This scanner is very durable and sturdy and has many features that make it preferred over its competition.
It is easier to use and can be used by anyone without being trained personnel.
It will also save your money as you won’t be required to go to a mechanic for diagnosis of the problem. You can find out and fix the problem in your car’s engine yourself saving time and only if required a visit to the mechanic may be required.
This scanner supports many global languages so it can be used anywhere around the world.
Ancel AD310 works on all the vehicles which are manufactured after 1996. It has a large LCD display screen which displays the test results.
You don’t require any charger or battery as it draws power from the vehicle engine itself (from on-board diagnostic data link connector).
It has 2.5 feet long insulated and flexible cable for connection which is sufficient to use it conveniently.
There are up and down buttons and exit and enter buttons for navigating the menu, and since there are only four buttons, it is very user friendly. We shall discuss and enlist the strengths and limitations of the scanner.
- It is user friendly. Anyone can use it; no technical training is required. It has a large LCD screen (128 x 64 pixel) with backlight so error codes can be read in low light conditions also.
- It is a compact device. The scanner weighs 12.3 ounces and its dimensions are 8.9 x 6.9 x 1.4 inches. It can easily be stored in small spaces like dashboard or pockets. Holding it for long periods is also not uncomfortable because of the small size and light weight.
- It is made from durable material and is therefore very sturdy and will not break if dropped and will continue to operate. It has a long (2.5 feet) cable attached to it making it very comfortable to use as it can be placed on some nearby position and both hands are free for other jobs.
- Compatible to all models of vehicles made in US and Asia after1996 and cars made after 2000 in Europe.
- It is convenient to use. You don’t need to connect it to a mobile phone or any other gadget to find the lists etc. All the codes are already fed into it.
- The scanner can read almost all globally used languages therefore reading error codes is not a problem.
- No battery is required as it uses power from the engine source. Just connect it to the car by the given cable and start finding the error.
- Very reasonably priced for the features provided.
- It can save and retrieve data for cross reference. The data can be erased only after the problem has been fixed.
- Certain cars like Nissan models are not compatible. Please check for compatibility of your car before you buy.
- This scanner cannot diagnose ABS / SRS system errors.
- The results are not as accurate as in many advanced devices. If the readings are of very detailed consequence, please verify the error readings with your mechanic before you rectify the problem.
- Complains have been lodged by consumers regarding the instruction manuals. The instruction manual has not been designed very well and sometimes a DIY user may get a little confused.
3) Foxwell Nt301 Car Code reader
The Foxwell Nt301 Car Code Reader is a worthwhile tool for drivers, which is helping to keep them updated with their vehicle’s health. However, like every other device, it too has some pros and cons.
The Foxwell Nt301 car code reader is compatible with all vehicle types made from 1996 and onwards.
It can effectively locate a faulty O2 sensor, reset the monitor, read enhanced data and turn off the check engine light. The device also permits drivers to turn off the Malfunction Indicator Lamp. It provides easy access to emissions readiness status as well.
The automatic VIN acquisition and decoding system within the device make it easier for drivers to read and identify manufacturer specific codes and enhanced mode 6 data.
Another distinctive feature of this device is its capability to function without a battery. The device will turn on automatically once you plug it into your vehicles OBD port.
The thick layer of high-quality rubber protecting the sides of the device protects it from damage and is found to be unyielding and sturdy.
A three-foot long cable comes along the device after purchase allowing the driver to access it while driving.
The multilingual menu options provided by this device is very helpful. It also provides DTC definition to help read or erase DTC or engine fault codes. It continues to provide an on-screen DTC definition, and a DTC lookup library to allow users to determine the reason as to why the check engine light has illuminated.
The device enables you to immediately identify any problems and issues with your vehicle. Unlike other OBDII devices, this one allows you to confirm repairs during a drive cycle.
The device weighs only 10 ounces and its 2.8 inch TFT color screen provides a great and easy visual to the user. Alongside the code reader comes a disk and a USB cable, which is used to connect it to your computer.
The software of the disk can be downloaded easily, working with all Windows software.
Your computer, however, needs to have an Intel PIII CPU or a newer model, and high quantity RAM, an 800x600p display monitor, hard disk space and a 16-byte true color.
It is specifically designed to support all OBDII service modes, including live data. A very comprehensive User Guide comes along the device which makes it user-friendly and helps users in learning how to operate the device, and how to understand all the error codes.
The device has the ability to record and review the log and supports a data logging feature. The device also lets users print review logs and stored codes from the unit.
A one-year money back guarantee is provided, which makes it worthwhile to buy this device. If anything turns out to be faulty, you can always return it or have it exchanged.
This device will prepare your vehicle for an emission test, testing to see if your vehicle will pass or not. If there are any problems, it will alert you so that you can take the appropriate measures.
The device is not expensive, it is available at an affordable price for the average consumer and saves a lot of money that a driver would have to spend on professional diagnosis and scanning tools. People now don’t have to go through the hassle of driving into a repair shop, or a car shop, and pay thousands of dollars for a professional diagnosis and repair.
Another amazing feature in the device is its ability to pull the VIN from the vehicle and find out the fuel type, and other information about the vehicle.
The Nt301 is a recommended necessity for your vehicle as it is an updated version from the basic car OBDII diagnostic scanner with many upgraded distinctive features.
Built-in red, yellow and green LED lights to help in indicating emission monitor status. This is also facilitated by built-in speakers. Sporadic problems are effectively identified with the device.
The device has been found to be too complicated by users. The device contains a lot of technical aspects which may confuse the users and make it challenging for them to operate it.
Many users had to take them out to watch tutorials on how to use the device, which proved to be quite time-consuming.
Another user found that the device failed to work on a Lexus model. The USB software and disk failed to be downloaded on a windows laptop, and the support website failed to solve the problem. Contact with the device manufacturers was futile too, as they did not provide any substantial assistance and help. After a few emails, they stopped responding, and the device was still not working
The user guide has failed to meet the expectations of the users. Poor instructions are provided within the guide, which fails to facilitate the drivers using the device to efficiently and effectively operate it.
The device fails to read SRS, ABS or transmission codes that are not stored in the PCM.