Top 10 Useful Automotive Diagnostic Scanners

Top 10 Useful Automotive Diagnostic Scanners

There are so many automotive diagnostic scanners in the market today. Each of them offer better features than the previous.

If you are having a brain fog about deciding the best diagnostic scan tool for your business, then you’ve got to read this complete review. We’ve analyzed each in thorough detail!

Note: We won’t put fancy affiliate links to Amazon, hoping you’ll buy. It’s a review for sake of the review. Not for sake of commissions. If you’re interested in the mentioned obd 2 scanner, search for it on Google yourself.

 

1) AutelMaxiCom MK808 Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner:

When you attend to a vehicle, you might face a time shortage and might need a quick diagnosis. AutelMaxiCOM MK808 helps you achieve this. It comes with basic level diagnostic function while also offering the advanced level depending upon the vehicles compatibility.

We have reviewed this product honestly to check if it meets the expectations.

Operating System:

Android: AutelMaxiCom MK808 runs on the Android OS and displays the same user interface as any regular android tablet. The interface with apps might come handy while performing the check of the vehicle.

The list includes a browser, calculator; the much talked MaxiCom app with all the diagnostic functions and many more.

Even with the apps running in the background, we found that this automotive scan tools runs faster.

What is good about it:

Even a beginner could use this automotive scan tools with ease. The operation is just as simple as an Android OS

All you need to have is a basic idea about the operation of a Smartphone! How simple!

As Android has proven itself in cell phones, the speed of MaxiCOM MK808 does not come as a surprise.

What is bad about it:

It might require periodical updates so as to prevents bugs

To be able to use the latest updated capabilities of automotive diagnostics, this car scanner needs constant updates.

Codes:

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It is incredible that this scan tool automotive is a fully functional tool that can read and erase the codes that are applicable for any of the available vehicle systems.

VIN makes it easy to identify a vehicle automatically. The user has to access the system to enable it to scan the engines, the transmissions, powertrains, ABS, SRS, etc.

Amazed by the features, I used this scan tool automotive in the engine of my vehicle, and the diagnostic scanner immediately found a PO700 Code.

P0700 code refers to the faults in sensors and the actuators of the transmission controls. I just had to fix the issue to clear the code.

What is good about it:

This diagnostic scan tools has a VIN technology to enable the car scanner to find the vehicle automatically.

Any onboard system of an OBD2 vehicle could be checked for problems in codes and cleared.

In any case, before you visit a garage, this obd2 scan tools helps you to know the problems of your vehicle beforehand.

What is bad about it:

Though this is a professional automotive diagnostic scanner, it is shocking to know that this scanner fails to read codes belonging to OBD1 vehicles!

Even after you purchase this obd2 scan tools, your garage would require a separate automotive scan tool to read codes in an OBD1 vehicle.

Advanced Diagnostics:

The list of functions this scan tools automotive could perform are listed below:

  1. Resetting of PDF
  2. Resetting of oil
  3. Adjustment of injector
  4. Relearning of brake pad
  5. Steering angle sensors rest
  6. Relearning of TPMS sensors
  7. Resetting of SAS
  8. Registration of battery
  9. Resetting of battery
  10. Key programming
  11. Other functions

What is good about it:

The advancement of this diagnostic scan tool is impressive as it offers much more than typical functions of reading and clearing the codes

It is one of the ideal car scanners that can be used in shops of professional auto services

What is bad about it:

If the vehicle models are produced in Asia, then this car scanner might not be of much help. Many customer reviews seems to validate this fact.

Compatibility:

All the vehicles that are manufactured since 1996 can be scanned with this OBD2 scan tools. This includes cars, SUVs, and trucks.

What is good about it:

Practically any OBD2 compliant vehicle can be scanned with this diagnostic scan tools. I mean all vehicles no matter which! However, the only criteria is it has to be OBD2 compliant.

Our team used this automotive scan tools on about 50 models including luxury cars such as Fords, Benzes to Toyotas, GMs, and Chryslers.

This scan tool automotive never failed us! It works like a miracle and its automatic detection regarding the model, make and manufacture details add to its crown.

This car scanner will ask you to access the diagnostic app to make the job easier.

However, at any point in time, you can be assured that you can access primary onboard systems, ABS, SRS, transmission, and engine with ease! That is the beauty of this diagnostic scanner.

What is bad about it:

Its inability to be used in OBD1 compliant vehicles accounts for the biggest drawback for professional auto services.

Purchasing of OBD1 diagnostics separately  adds to the cost.

Here is a video of Autelmaxicom MK808:

Pros and Cons

Pros                       

  • It is just like an ordinary tablet! It has a sleek design in the dimension of 5.9 X 1.4 X 9.4
  • Lightweight and compact! Weights just 2.42 pounds
  • Includes all the protocols and all OBD2 scan tools
  • Has full coverage of Data storage capabilities for storing diagnostic data and information.

Cons

  • The software has to be updated regularly, and the free upgrades last only for a year
  • Not compatible with OBD1 vehicles and Made in Asia vehicles.

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Who should buy this diagnostic scanner?

It is ideal for all professional mechanics but is more suited for the beginner mechanics who have just started out.

If you do not need to deal with OBD1 vehicles, or just want an obd2 scan tools, then you can go for it

It is suitable for home mechanics too such as DIY enthusiasts.

We loved this diagnostic scanner because it provides advanced functions along with basic ones.

This is one of the one sizes fits all diagnostic scan tools!

2) Bluedriver Professional Bluetooth OBD 2 Scan tool for IOS and Android:

There is an increasing demand for OBD2 adapters. Bluedriver Bluetooth OBD2 scan tool has succeeded in raising to the fame and has succeeded in capturing the crown of OBD 2 market.

You need a smartphone to operate as this diagnostic scanner works by connecting to a smartphone and converting it into an OBD2 scan tool.

Bluedriver Application:

The blue driver application works on both iOS and Android platforms. It uses Bluetooth to connect to the sensor.

However, this diagnostic scan tools cannot be used as a standalone tool and always need a smartphone to pair with.

To say in simple terms, this OBD2 scan tools Is nothing but an adapter that performs the job of the sensor to plug into the OBD2 port.

What is good about it:

It is simple to use as all the functions of this automotive scan tools could be run through using just a smartphone. As we already know about operating a smartphone the job of OBD2 scan tools becomes simplified.

The app is easy to download and install. We tried it on our iPhone as well as iPad and were astonished by its simplicity.

What is bad about it:

This scan tool automotive cannot be used individually and is always dependent on a smartphone.

If there is some hitch with my smartphone, I would not be able to use this OBD2 scan tools.

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Codes:

All you need to do is pair your device to the smartphone, and then you can quickly read and clear the pending codes.

The coverage of this OBD2 scan tools is extensive which includes ABS, engine, airbag, transmission, etc.

When I paired this device with my car, I found various errors and was able to fix them including the “Low Power Supply Voltage,” “Steering Sensor,” “Vapor Recovery System,” and “Left Rear Speed Sensor.”

Not just that even the information of last entry regarding the clearance of codes is also available. This feature offers a huge advantage while dealing with purchasing a new car.

What is good about it:

I tried this obd2 scan tools on various systems, and it worked fine with every single vehicle.

Automatic detection was done on all the vehicles I tried by using VIN.

What is bad about it:

Various reviews point out that the database of codes is incomplete. This denotes that the scanner updation is incomplete and might be unable to show all code types.

Advanced functions:

Bluedriver OBD2 scan tool offers a diverse range of advanced diagnostics such as live data, mode six tests, smog tests and other information related to the vehicle.

This list also includes maintenance schedules, recalls and VIN.

What is good about it:

This OBD2 scan tool took me by shock through its simplicity.

All the diagnostic features that are packed with this car scanner is of use. It does not come with unnecessary features in the name of advanced diagnostics.

Critical diagnostic functions such as live data, emission tests, and vehicle information are available at fingertips.

What is bad about it:

The mode six functions that this offered by this car scanner is a bit complicated to use.

It is tough to understand about the data, especially misfire counts.

A beginner might have to invest time to understand the procedure of data analysis.

Also, user reviews point out to the problems of the advanced functions not working on vehicles manufactured outside the USA.

Real-time monitoring:

This car scanners is mostly a sensor that could plug itself into an OBD2 port and get real-time diagnostic reports.

What is good about it:

Real-time logging feature is a significant improvement.

We tried this car scanner with various vehicles and found that it could practically monitor the vehicle’s performance.

It offers real-time metrics regarding engine oil temperature, boost pressure, fuel consumption, boost air temperature and atmospheric pressure. That is another significant advantage of using this OBD2 scan tools.

What is bad about it:

The connection to the OBD2 port in these car scanners are very weak.

It is not suitable for rough terrain as it can start becoming loose over a period.

Compatibility:

This OBD2 scan tool is compatible with all OBD2 vehicles that are manufactured in the USA, Europe, and Asia.

You can be sure of its compatibility with any vehicle as long as it contains an OBD2 port.

However, only those vehicles manufactured after 1996 are compatible with this car scanner.

What is good about it:

All you need to ensure is your vehicle has an OBD2 port. The diagnostic scanner tool will take care of the rest. We are saying this after trying it with a huge variety of vehicles models.

What is bad about it:

This OBD2 scan tools is not compatible with the vehicles manufactured outside the USA. Issues have been found concerning ABS and airbag diagnostics on the vehicles manufactured In EU.

Here is a video to help you check out Bluedriver diagnostic scanner:

 

Pros and Cons of Bluedriver:

Pros  

  • This OBD2 scan tool offers not just the code definitions but also suggests solutions.
  • The Bluedriver app has an excellent user interface
  • It can cater to the needs of both basic and advanced diagnostics.
  • The device is small and portable. Hence it can always remain plugged into the OBD2 port.
  • It works both with iOS and Android OS

Cons

  • Code database is lacking far behind
  • Not compatible with Windows OS

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Who should buy this scanner?

Bluedriver depends upon Bluetooth and is a professional diagnostic tool. Hence any mechanic would found it beneficial. Moreover, if you need a device that is small and portable, you should go for it.

It can be easily carried in your pockets and comes in handy. All you need to carry is the device and a smartphone! You are right to go!

3) Foxwell NT510 Professional BMW OBD1 and OBD2 Auto Scanner:

This car scanner was specially designed keeping in mind the needs of luxury cars such as BMW, Rolls Royce, and Mini Models.

Foxwell diagnostic scan tools can perform essentially as well as the advanced functions.

Let us take a look at what Foxwell has to offer.

Setting Up the Foxwell NT510:

The first thing that you must ensure is updating this car scanner. Yes, even before the first use too!

To do this, you need to log in to their website and create a Foxwell account.

You will then be taken to the download window so that you can download the latest update and install it on the SD card that comes with your automotive scan tools.

The package consists of Foxwell diagnostic scanner, SD card, and a USB reader.

When we updated the scanner, we were ready to use it. The scan tool automotive could automatically connect to BMW, Rolls Royce or any mini vehicles that we tried.

What is good about it:

The fact that you have to update this automotive scan tools at the beginning makes sure of the latest updated software.

It covers all the diagnostic functions, all the protocol, and coverage.

What is bad about it:

We were irritated when we wanted to update the software as the manual itself was not clear about the instructions. I mean, if you want us to update the software even before trying it out once, provide the users the clear instructions, can you?

Codes:

Scanning the codes is where this car scanner plays the role of an expert.

We tried it on many onboard systems which included BMW, Mini vehicles, Rolls Royce. Never did once did this diagnostic scan tool failed us. This list includes engine, airbag, transmission, SAS, ABS, DISA, etc.

Apart from reading the codes, the car scanner also does an excellent job at clearing the codes.

This enables you to turn off any warning light you want including the check engine light!

What is good about it:

This car scanner automatically identified the vehicles using VIN. Later the machine itself asked us to choose the systems that have to be scanned. As it ensures a proper guided process, this diagnostic scan tool can be used even by the beginners.

Let me tell you my experience. I wanted to reset the warning lights of my vehicle which included the brake, caution, DSC and tire pressure. As it was my first time using the machine, I was confused. However, Voila!

The diagnostic scan tool recommended me to do a steering wheel calibration by reading the codes. I followed the advice, and to my surprise, the problem got fixed. Not that I complain about it!

What is bad about it:

I faced zero problems. However, user reviews suggest that this diagnostic scan tool does not automatically identify all BMWs. However, the information could be added manually to guide the diagnostic scanner.

Advanced functions:

Foxwell surprised us with its advanced features.Hence, we rate it highly. It is far ahead of its competitors by a great margin.

Some of the advanced features of Foxwell NT510 are:

  • Deactivation of break
  • Interval resetting of control service
  • Activation of ABS module
  • Regeneration of PDF
  • Resetting of oil light service
  • Registration of battery
  • Adjustment of the throttle body
  • Active tests, etc

What is good about it:

We tried many functions, and there were literally zero failures.

Some of the functions that we performed are: Battery registration, oil light reset, TPMS data read, SAS calibration, Brake deactivations, Door and window actual tests, etc.

The car scanner met our expectations every single time.

What is bad about it:

The menu does not have an escape function to make the navigation easier. There could have been an exit button to go back to the main menu.

Compatibility:

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This diagnostic scan tool works excellently on BMW, Rolls Royce, and the mini vehicles.

Hence it covers both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles. The car scanner supports all the vehicles manufactured after 1987.

The option is available to purchase the software that is compatible with other vehicle models such as Ford, Chrysler, GM, Toyota, etc. by paying USD 60.

What is good about it:

It worked great on all the BMW vehicles we tried it on.

We can bet that this car scanner works on all vehicles as long as the vehicle is either BMW, Rolls Royce or a mini vehicle.

What is bad about it:

The price of USD 60 to purchase software compatible with other vehicle models is unrealistic.

Here is a video concerning Foxwell NT510:

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • It can be tried on any BMW vehicles and protocols
  • The user interface is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch
  • Both the primary and advanced functions can be operated on OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles
  • Upgrade software to make it compatible with other models is available
  • Ergonomic and rugged design of the diagnostic scan tools makes it worth it.

Cons:

  • The user guide is not clear about upgrading the software.
  • The software upgrades are free only till a limited period.

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Who can go for Foxwell NT510?

Foxwell is a professional automotive scan tools for BMWs. Its coverage and additional features could be used in auto repair shops. Hence if you need a diagnostic scanner for Rolls Royce, BMW or mini vehicle, you should go for it.

You can also buy it if you are interested in DIY or home mechanics.

4) Autel Maxisys Elite High-End Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner:

Every professional mechanic would definetly know about Autel diagnostic scanners. AutelMaxisys Elite Diagnostic tool is one of them that has a 2GB RAM.

It also has external storage of 32GB. With this advantage, you can not only scan for codes but also save the results.

Don’t be astonished by just this fact; there is still more to know about AutelMaxisys Diagnostic automotive scan tools.

Some of the features we admire are:

Speed:

Oh my, the speed of this car scanner is unbeatable. Thanks to the 4.3 Jellybean version of Andriod! Do you know which processor is used in this scan tool automotive? It is 1.8HGZ NVIDIA Tegra Quad Core processor!

All you need to do is wait for only 20 seconds. The machine will boot up and scan the codes.

Also, you do not need to go through the hassle of updates anymore. This machines take care of it and scans it automatically. Hence it will always stay updated.

Advanced Functionality:

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It covers all the OBD2 scan tools functions and also supports ECU Coding. Apart from dealing with DTCs it also performs well in the relearn functions.

Some of the functions that can be done through this automotive scan tool are:

  • Matching functions to check anti-theft
  • Resetting of SAS
  • Resetting of PDF
  • Resetting of tire pressure
  • Matching throttle
  • Programming of injector
  • VIN reading

Also for Benz or BMW vehicles, these automotive scan tools offer a unique feature! The ECU programming could be used in these vehicles.

Also, the user guide covers everything and oversimplifies the procedure.

Coverage:

Here is a video about the MaxiSys Elite scanner beint tested on a Ford Escape.

This diagnostic scanner has full coverage and includes about 80 car models belonging to the USA, EU, and Asia.

This scan tool automotive covers everything so widely that it can also diagnose the vehicles compatible with OBD1.

It also works on heavy-duty commercial trucks which run on gas and even medium-duty trucks using diesel as fuel.

Wireless Connectivity:

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It gets more professional as it suits wireless connections and is compatible with both WIFI and Bluetooth. Wifi can also be used to use Maxivideo, MaxiFix, and Maxiscope.

While Maxivideo and Maxiscope could be used for advanced scanning, Maxifix enables the user to connect with DIY technicians, mechanics, and professionals to seek help in auto diagnosis and repair.

Also, this diagnostic scan tools does not require cables to connect as it can work with wireless connections.

It offers excellent mobility when the diagnostic process is ongoing.

Solid Construction:

Though the AutelMaxisys Elite has an appealing design and user interface, it also comes with the excellent performance boost and advanced functions.

In short, this car scanner is a beauty with brains.

This scan tool automotive has a dimension of 25.6 x 7.5 x 16.9 inches. It weighs about 24.9 pounds. It is highly portable and too sleek, making it easy to carry.

The display screen is of high quality which offers the display at 2058 x 1536 dpi. I do not know if any other scan tools automotive can beat this display quality.

Here is a video of AutelMaxisys Elite:

What is Good about it:

It offers great mobility along with wireless connections such as WIFI and Bluetooth

The user interface is also excellent and has clarity in resolution

It is ergonomically designed

The lithium-ion battery provides a sophisticated uninterrupted usage for about 8 hours

You can access both local as well as technical assistance which is available online.

What is bad about it:

Though the car scanner is flawless and has got an excellent reputation among the users, the only limitation stopping people from purchasing it is its price. Especially DIY technicians having small budgets might not be able to afford it.

Who should use this diagnostic scanner?

It is and affordable and a high-quality diagnostic scan tools that is suitable for all professionals.

To speak the truth, the price too is not that high when you compare it to its competitors.

Hence at this price range, I bet you can not find any other diagnostic scan tools that comes with all these features.

5) AutelMaxisys MS906BT Professional Car Diagnostic Scanner:

This diagnostic scan tool is the upgraded version of the previous AutelMaxisys MS906 diagnostic scanner.

Both of them have an OBD scanning and relatively same testing capabilities. Also, they read the codes and clear them.

Along with this other tools such as live data, ECU coding, actuation tests, adaptations are available in both these scan tools automotive.

Not just the features, but also the design of both these automotive scan tools are the same. The only difference is that MS906BT has a slightly improved performance.

This upgraded version can automatically recognize vehicles through VCI, thus presenting greater mobility.

You can add an inspection camera to this car scanner, but the camera should be purchased separately.

Some of the unique features that surprised us are:

Android Operating System:

Well, we all know how user-friendly Android is. This car scanner uses an open source Android system while consisting of an Exynos 6 core processor. If you want to multitask, go for it.

Also, it delivers impressive speed while performing the bootup and scanning for codes.

The complete package:

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This diagnostic scan tools offers a huge number of features such as:

  • Reading and erasing the codes
  • Recording the live data
  • Freeze frame data
  • Performing various active tests
  • Information on ECU
  • Matching
  • Adapting
  • Logging data

The car scanner comes with an AutoVIN technology which gives it the ability to quickly identify a car.

Vehicle Coverage:

This scan tool automotive has an extensive coverage and is compatible with a huge number of models and manufacturing countries.

It supports about 80 models that are compatible with OBD2 scan tools manufactured in the USA, EU, and Asia.

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User support:

If you purchase the Maxisys MS906BT, you will get also get a dedicated customer support and help. This makes it the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner.

It supports WIFI enabling you to browse any verified repair tips or diagnostic information.

MaxiFix community is a specialized group for Autel customers where experts share the proven fixes and recommended parts to solve a problem.

The interactive data logging features ensures you the assistance or helps you to contact the manufacturer to get help.

Solutions will be provided in the form of troubleshooting, guidance, and diagnosis to make your job easier.

Construction:

Maxisys MS906BT is a portable car scanner weighing just 19.25 pounds. Its dimensions are 25.6 x 16.7 x 7.4 inches and are practically the same as the size of a regular tablet.

It also has a 7 inch LED touchscreen, thus delivering ease.

The resolution display is of high quality ensuring a dpi of 1024 x 768.  Hence the clarity of the screen is next best to none.

This scan tool automotive comes with a lithium polymer battery which means that the device delivers an uninterrupted performance for 14 hours.

It also has an USB port along with audio and auxiliary ports.

This upgraded version has so much to offer while compared to its predecessor or other diagnostic scanners.

A comparision chart between Autel MS906BT and MS906:

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Pros:

  • This car scanner has a storage capacity of 32 GB
  • It offers a high-quality display
  • The battery life is also excellent and lasts for 14 hours
  • The upgrades would be installed automatically through WIFI. You would be notified through real-time push messages
  • The device could be used in two languages: English and Spanish.

Cons:

  • The free updates are provided just for one year which means that you would have to pay for updates after a year of usage.

Who should buy it?

The features offered in this diagnostic scan tools are enough to mesmerize any professional.

It offers speed, database, data logging, multi-tasking, advanced features which makes it the ideal car scanner for auto repair shops

6) AutelMaxidas DS808 Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner

This automotive scan tool is the successor of AutelMaxidas DS708. This upgrades version has hell lots of things to offer.

It has an improvised processor and other functions. Here are some of them:

  • Read and clear codes
  • Live data
  • Active tests
  • Matching for anti-theft
  • Adaptation
  • Information on ECU.

Hence, this scan tool automotive is highly convenient and efficient. It can be used anywhere for any tasks from diagnosis to analysis.

We were shocked by how amazing some of the features are:

Operating System:

The simplicity of Android 4.4.4with a 1.5GHz Cortex-A9 processor, this car scanner offers the luxury of 32GB memory storage. Thanks to the OS and processor, this upgraded versionof diagnostic scan tool is super quick at multitasking without compromising its efficiency.

Hence, it provides the luxury of storing applications and files on a day to day basis. It can store the vehicle records, data about customers and all the diagnosis reports.

This automotive scan tool comes with automatic update enabled system through the help of WIFI. With this, you will be relieved of the task of updating the car scanner.

Functionality:

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This scan tools automotive is suitable to perform essential functions such as reading and clearing codes; recording live data and actual tests.

It can also be trusted with performing advanced functions. This list includes:

  • Programming of TPMS
  • Resetting of oil
  • Servicing EPB
  • SRS
  • ABS
  • Calibration of SAS
  • Registration of PDF
  • AutoVIN technology to quickly recognize the vehicles

Coverage:

This car scanner has full coverage by supporting more than 80 car models that are compatible with OBD2 scan tools.

It is compatible with vehicles manufactured in the USA, EU, and Asia. The list includes the vehicles that are manufactured after 1996.

Here is the video of AutelMaxiDas DS808 operating on a Mercedes Benz:

 

User Interface:

Should we tell you the ease Android offers? The user interface of this obd2 scan tool is easy to manage and very intuitive.

It has a display resolution of 1024 x 600 dpi that comes with a 7-inch touchscreen LED display.

It also has a built-in light sensor for automatic brightness adjustment. All these features ensure that the images are clear and of high quality.

Diagnosis functions could be easily accessed in two ways.

Auto Scan option: You need to click on the auto scan option, and that is it. The device will automatically scan the OBD systems.

Control Unit Option: If you decide to go by this option, you will be required to choose the function from available diagnostic options.  All the diagnostic options is displayed in a menu like a format, making the selection easier.

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Support:

If you need to contact support, you do not need to worry. We bet no other scan tools automotive would offer support as this diagnostic scan tool does.

It has a cloud-based Maxifix community where online repair tips and diagnosis guidance are provided.

Even after trying these, your problems remain unsolved then, you are free to contact Autel through using data logs for a complete step by step guidance.

The Package:

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AutelMaxidas DS808 diagnostic scan tool is accompanied with a USB power adapter, OBD cable, and a mini USB cable.

You will also be provided a detailed user guide as well as a quick guide.

It comes with a carry case to enable you to carry this device easily.

Here is a video of AutelMaxiDas DS808:

Pros:

  • You can connect this car scanner to a Wifi and PC.
  • It has a lithium polymer battery to deliver uninterrupted performance for 5 hours
  • Perfect clarity in display
  • Easily portable as it weighs just 2.95 pounds.
  • Very affordable diagnostic scan tools.

Cons:

  • It is disappointing that this scan tool automotive does not support Key/ECU programming and coding
  • You will be asked to pay for updates after one year of use

Who should buy this diagnostic scanner?

If you own an auto repair shop or if you are a professional mechanic you can certainly go for it.

If you need a file management system with high efficiency to store the data of your customers, this device is a great option.

With this car scanner, you can easily store the recorded data of vehicles along with their VIN and history of diagnosis.

7) Innova 3160g Professional OBD2 Car diagnostic Scanner:

Innova 3160g has an excellent reputation among many professionals and DIY technicians.

They claim that it provides a high accuracy while delivering both efficiency and simplicity.

We were surprised by their claims and decided to test it ourselves. Here is our analysis.

Codes:

The foremost task of a diagnostic scan tools is to do well the job of scanning and retrieving the codes. This is where Innova 3160g performs the job efficiently.

Innova 3160g can not only read and solve the ABS and SRS codes but also it can read and erase the standard engine codes.

We tried it on a Ford Focus and found that it managed to read and clear PO171 and P0174 codes related to leaking in a vacuum.

We were a little disappointed with this engine, which is mentioned below.

What is good about it?

This scan tool automotive has a built-in battery and can perform in a stand-alone mode too.

It can efficiently execute a few conditions even when the vehicle is not off.

Above everything, I loved the data analysis done on a turned off vehicle.

What is bad about it?

I was scanning the SRS code on a Ford Focus vehicle. Instead of just displaying the related codes, it showed the B1869 code out of the blue which was related to the airbag.

When I tested, I found that the airbag was functioning just fine.

I immediately Googled this issue and found that other users have experienced a similar issue where the car scanner would show a code incorrectly. However, this is not a frequent problem.

Though this shortcoming would not harm the vehicle, it would lead you to be stressed. Who loves knowing that their vehicle has a nonexisting problem?

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Advanced functions:

Apart from dealing with essential functions such as reading and fixing the codes, you will also be able to perform a range of advanced functions.

These advanced functions are related to oil light reset, test alternator, battery maintenance rest, battery test, record and view parameters concerning data.

What is good about it:

The device has an outstanding display to display graphics

This diagnostic scan tool has a slow-motion mode making it easier to read and analyze the codes while working with a vehicle.

What is bad about it:

Its usability is limited only as a code reader as it cant send commands for any onboard systems concerning a switch and circuit.

This diagnostic scan tools has limited coverage while dealing with codes. It cant read codes apart from SRS, ABS and engine. Hence it is not of much use for an auto repair shop.

Usability:

This diagnostic scan tool can not only plug to a vehicle through OBD2 cable but can also be connected to a vehicle through using Bluetooth.

The user interface is simplified as selections can be made quickly without much scrolling.

It has a 3.5-inch display screen that is bright and clear

What is good about it:

It is a simplified version and can be used with ease.

Easy navigation between menus

Beginners can also use it.

What is bad about it:

It does not come with a carry bag

It does not have great packaging which makes it less suitable to order online.

Compatibility:

This scan tools automotive has an excellent compatibility and for this fact is a great professional automotive diagnostic scanner.

It works on all the models that are OBD2 compatible. It works on vehicles manufactured in the USA, EU, and Asia. You can be sure that your vehicle will be compatible if it is manufactured after 1996.

What is good about it:

It has a great computability

I tried this automotive scan tool on many vehicles including cars, SUV, light trucks, and hybrids. It worked amazingly with all of them.

What is bad about it:

We faced a few issues for vehicles that were manufactured after 2015. As the software update is still in process, it might not work that great with Post 2015 manufactured vehicles. We feel the process is taking longer than expected.

Here is a video about Innova 3160g

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • The user interface can be scrolled with ease
  • You can use this device in English, French or Spanish
  • Navigation is a piece of cake as the screen is just 3.5 inches
  • Real-time diagnostic data and recording along with displaying and graphics
  • The ergonomic and sturdy design makes it a portable device.

Cons:

  • I feel the price is unreasonable as the scan tool automotive is restricted to SRS and ABS diagnostics
  • If you are a professional, then this might not be of much use.

Who should go for it?

If you need a car scanner only to read and clear ABS and SRS codes, go for it

If you need a less complicated and adequate device which has just the right functions to keep a vehicle healthy, this diagnostic scan tools can be considered.

It is suitable for beginners and DIYers.

8) AutelMaxisys Pro MS 908P Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner:

If you need a high quality professional automotive diagnostic scanner to perform complicated tasks, Maxisys Pro MS908P is the right choice for you. It is suitable for auto repair shops as it offers attractive advanced features.

Operating System:

OS offers the ease of Android 4.0 with a built-in processor of the efficient Cortex A9 Samsung Exynos Quad Core. Also, the Android version is ice cream OS.

This automotive scan tool is more similar to a tablet and has the tools app including the Maxisys app. The display too is mesmerizing as it is 9.7 inches LED screen.

What is good about it?

It offers the ease of Android

This car scanner has the super-efficient ability to multitask and offers a high speed

If you want to boot up, you need to wait just for 20 seconds

It is simplified and can be used by anyone.

All you need to know is about operating an Android smartphone. Because this device is that easy and straightforward.

What is bad about it:

It is expensive as compared to other car scanners. The updates would cost about USD 1300 every year.

Also, the cost of this scanner is high. Autel could consider offering a discount.

obd-2-scanner-4

Connectivity:

The package consists of a diagnostic scan tools, an user guide and OBD 2 connectors.

It could easily connect the vehicle through OBD2 port. You can also connect the vehicle through using WIFI and Bluetooth.

What is good about it?

Wifi and Bluetooth capabilities have made the device amazing as it can be connected to any mode we desire

WIFI could also be used to browse online resources concerning diagnostic scan and get suggested fixes.

Bluetooth makes it easier for data reports to be shared with other colleagues or technicians.

This was a relief to me because I would not be required to go through the hassle of sending the diagnostic report separately. Bluetooth of this scan tool automotive does the job for me.

What is bad about it:

The wifi connection seems to be a bit weak.

Though I could access the internet, it tested my patience every single time.

Codes:

The primary purpose of buying a professional automotive diagnostic scanner is reading and clearing codes. This car scanner does an excellent job at that. All you require in the OBD2 compatibility and you are good to go. The list of code includes SRS, ABS, Transmission, etc. apart from the basics.

What is good about it:

It is a complete package to the extent that any warning lights or codes could be cleared in no time.

With this, I could be assured that my customers are delighted and all their problems are solved.

What is bad about it:

Even after thinking hard, I can not find anything that I did not dislike. It does an excellent job at reading and clearing the codes. It uses VIN technology to identify any vehicle and automatically retrieves the code.

The codes of this obd2 scan tools also contain a description to provide more clarity.

Advanced Functions:

This machine is a pro at its work. It includes all OE level diagnostics, ECU coding of the advanced level and programming.

It does an excellent job at actuation tests, adaptations, matching for anti-theft, reading ECU data.

Also, the machine has a built-in camera which compensates for its high cost. This is useful in capturing the diagnostic images and could also be shared with others through the help of Bluetooth.

What is good about it:

This car scanner is a complete package

I tried recalibration of air suspension. I also used it on the Honda Accord to try the reprogram keys. It worked like a miracle!

What is bad about it:

Nome! It is a great steal, go for it blindly.

Compatibility:

This obd2 scan tool works great with any OBD2 compatible vehicle which includes the vehicles manufactured in the USA, EU, and Asia. If your vehicle is manufactured after 1996, you can be sure that it would work.

What is good about it:

It inis compatible for all the OBD2 compliant vehicles

It worked great on all the models I tried it on.

What is bad about it:

It is one step away from being a complete package. It does not include OBD1 vehicles. It would have been better if it did.

The connectors are useless. They take their permanent space in the carry bag without being of any use.

Here is a video of Autel MS908P

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • This diagnostic scan tools has a portable design similar to a regular tablet
  • It is quick to boot up that it takes just 20 seconds to do so
  • It has a 3.5-inch screen offering excellent clarity.
  • The navigation too can be done with ease
  • This automotive scan tool includes WIFI and Bluetooth to make the job easier
  • It comes with a carry bag, and the packaging too is excellent

Cons:

  • It is expensive
  • Not suitable for a layman

Who should go for it?

The advanced functions, the complete package, the high upgrade cost all point out to one thing. It is suitable only for professionals.

Hence any person having an auto repair shop should go fir this scan tools automotive.

Even a DIY technician could consider it

It covers all OBD2 vehicles and is a complete package. You would love it.

9) Launch CRP129 Professional OBD2 Scanner:

Car scanner users would surely know the brand Launch for its reputation. CRP129 is its breakthrough product making it one of the best professional automotive diagnostic scanners.

We tested the device and decided to write a review about the findings.

Here is a video regarding the same:

Set Up:

Even before using the diagnostic scan tool, you will be required to set up the software by installing the latest available updates. After doing this, you are good to go.

What is good about it:

Updates do not require any payments and are free.

All you need to do is go to their website and download the updates

If you are still facing issues, you can email the company and request them to send you the latest updates

Installing the downloaded updates is a piece of cake.

What is bad about it:

Downloading the software is not as easy as it seems. At least for me, it was not! No matter how many times I tried, it failed always. Finally, I had to add it as an exception in my antivirus list to make it work.

Though the mistake was not of the company, I ended up wasting my time.

They could have considered providing a CD with software updates, just in case, the updates could not get downloaded, it would have come handy.

Code:

Launch CRP 129 does an excellent job at reading and erasing the codes. It primarily deals with the most critical onboard system scans such as Engine, Airbag, ABS, and transmissions.

What is good about it:

The user interface is fantastic and user-friendly.

It is very quick and efficient in reading and clearing codes

I tried this scan tool automotive on a Volkswagen Jetta, and it just blew my mind.

What is bad about it:

When I google about this car scanner, I found that many users had complained about airbag diagnosis.

Also, the automotive scan tool could not be used to deal with SRS codes in a few models such as Hyundai Santa and Escalade. It is an epic failure if you have to deal with these vehicles on a frequent basis.

Data:

PID is clearly shown along with graphical data. This would allow any professional to analyze the data and monitor it.

What is good about it:

The clarity of PID is a testimony to its 4 inch TFT LCD

The SD slot of this car scanner enables the technician to store all diagnostic data so that it can be analyzed in the free time.

Real-time data changes that might occur as a result of the diagnostic process could be monitored, thanks to the PIDs.

What is bad about it:

While I was browsing, I noticed a drop in the speed of the automotive scan tools.

Though it might not be a concern at all, I did not find any other disappointments.

Advanced Functions:

Not just the codes, Launch CRP 129 works fantastic in supporting the functions related to resetting of oils service light, EPB, and SAS. The device could also perform a carbon canister test and oxygen sensor test

What is good about it:

This obd2 scan tool performs much more functions than just being a code reader and meets all the expectations.

I tried it on vehicles and could reset oil change sensors along with brake sensors at literally my first attempt itself. Cool right?

What is bad about it:

I feel it cannot meet all the requirements of an auto service shop such as adaptations, reprogramming, and actuation.

Compatibility:

obd-2-scanner-5

This diagnostic scan tool is compatible with both OBD2 and EOBD compatible vehicles. It works on vehicles manufactured in the USA after 1996 and EU after 2000.

Diagnostics can be made as soon as you connect it to the OBD2 port.

What is good about it:

This obd2 scan tool has a full coverage and could be used on any OBD2 vehicles

Hence, it is best to confirm your vehicle year and the model from their list.

What is bad about it?

I was disappointed as it could not work on 12V diesel vehicles. This means that I have to shell out more money to purchase another car scanner that supports diesel engines.

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • It is bundled with many functions
  • This scan tool automotive has a great user interface
  • Has a wide computability
  • Updating the product is free
  • It has a one year warranty period.

Cons:

  • PID streams display comes at the cost of making the device performance slower
  • I tried to update my device, but it failed many times.

Who should go for it?

Though it appears to be a professional automotive diagnostic scanner, it has a limited array of functions.

Hence car owners and people with intermediate repair skills could go for it.

The coverage of functions could have been better and could have included diesel vehicle.

 

10) Actron CP9690 Professional OBDI/ OBDII Auto Scanner:

Actron CP9690 has a database of about 26 million verified fixes. When this is the case how can we not mention Actron?

This automotive scan tools can be handled even by a beginner and can read and explicit code functions.

Here is my honest review:

Usability:

As soon as I unpacked this car scanner, I had to download and install the CP9690 and update the software.

Later, I connected it to the OBD port of a Buick LeSabre which was manufactured in 2003.

The car scanner comes with various connectors and OBD2 cable to fit CAN, GM, Toyota, Ford, and Chrysler.

The User interface also is quick to navigate.

The diagnostic scan tool has eight buttons where four are used for navigation; one is used as a code connect key while the other is used as a power button to switching on or off the device.

Code connect key has a unique feature that allows connecting to a database that consists of millions of tested fixes. Also, it can be viewed on an LCD screen.

What is good about it:

The LCD screen is made up of high quality and offers excellent clarity. The user interfaces too can be navigated with ease.

This scan tool automotive is suitable for a DIY technician or any professional auto repair shop as it suggests many fixes to solve your errors.

What is bad about it:

No complaints here! I mean literally, the operation was ease. Updation was smooth, and the connection was a piece of cake on all the vehicles that I tried.

obd-2-scanner-6

Codes:

Actron scanner knows its job as far as reading and clearing the codes are concerned. It reads and erases the codes related to engines, ABS and also airbags.

Other functions such as resetting of check engine light, ABS warning light, and Airbag warning light could be fixed using this car scanner.

What is good about it:

This diagnostic scan tool can clear codes like a pro.

I tried it on Buick LeSabre and the car scanner showed the code of P0420 which denotes inefficient catalyst. I just had to fix it.

Car owners can sleep in peace as they would know the problem with their car beforehand or before going to the shop.

What is bad about it:

I researched about this automotive scan tools, and few reviews pointed out that this car scanner could not read ABS codes in all models.

They had trouble with vehicles models of 20017 Expedition, 1986 Bronco and 2002 Maxima.

Though I have not faced any problems, it would be disappointing if you buy this scan tools automotive and find that your vehicle is not supported.

Data:

This automotive diagnostic scanner has a feature to playback, graph and record the live data of the engine.

Apart from that, you can also have a print of diagnostic reports on your PC so that you can analyze it further.

What is good about it:

The data presentation of this car scanner is excellent.

You can either view all PIDs together or customize it as per your preference

It offers great flexibility.

What is bad about it:

It does not come with an USB adapter, and you might have to purchase it separately by shelling out additional USD 3. As the car scanner supports USB connection, they might have considered packing it.

Compatibility:

obd-2-scanner-7

The car scanner is compatible with OBD2 devices manufactured after 1996 but before 2013. It is compatible with both local and imported vehicles.  It works on 1984 to 1995 models of Ford, Chrysler, GM, and Toyota.

What is good about it:

You can set high expectations, as the car scanner meets more expectations than expected of it.

To give you an idea, the list on their website does not mention Subaru, but this device worked perfectly fine with it.

What is bad about it:

It is made considering the USA vehicles and might not be suitable for the models that are not meant for or not sold in the USA market.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • It has an excellent coverage that includes both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles
  • It is a bundle of everything that are required
  • The software can be updated easily
  • Affordable as compared to other scanners
  • Durable and rugged design

Cons:

  • Not suitable for diesel engines
  • Reviews point out to the SRS code problems in some models.

 

Here is an video of Actron CP9690:

Who should buy it?

It is a little portable car scanner that can be used by both professionals and beginners.

It is a perfect fit for both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles. I am sure you will be impressed with its diagnostic accuracy.

I do not want to admit it, But I was impressed by both these features.

 

Conclusion:

The choice of the scanner depends on the features you need.

For instance, if you need a complete package that deals with not just coding, but also advanced functions such as actuations, you might want to cinsider Autel Maxisys Elite Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner.

But if you need just a basic scanner, then Bluedriver Bluetooth professional OBDII Scan Tool or Autel MaxiCOM MK808 Full System Automotive Diagnostic Tool could be a best bet.

Not only are they affordable, but are also efficient.

The bottomline is that different scanners offer different range of functions. It ultimately boils down to your needs. Go through this review again and make a final decision.

Top 10 Useful Automotive Diagnostic Scanners
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