Best OBD2 Scanners of 2023

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Everyone knows you probably shouldn’t continue to drive your car once a warning light shows up on the dashboard, but many of us continue to anyway. If you don’t want to go running to the mechanic every time a light pops up, you should know it’s actually pretty easy to diagnose what those warning lights mean. In many cases, to do so, all you’ll need is a trusty OBD2 scanner. Nowadays, there are tons of OBD2 devices to choose from. If you’re interested in taking the diagnosis of your vehicle’s ailments into your own hands, check out our list of the best OBD2 scanners on Amazon based on user reviews. 

$22.49 at Amazon

 

Key Features

  • Quickly scans and erases trouble codes
  • “Works on most 1996 US-based, 2000 EU-based and Asian cars” as well as “newer OBD2 & CAN domestic or import vehicles”
  • Supports English, German, French, Spanish, Finnish, Dutch, Russian and Portuguese
  • Can determine the cause of your check engine light
  • Features a large LCD display with backlight and contrast adjustment
  • No batteries or charger needed – powered directly from the OBD2 data link connector in your vehicle
  • Equipped with a 2.5-foot long insulated cable

The Ancel AD310 OBD2 car scanner features a traditional design and the ability to scan and erase trouble codes. It’s meant to be easy to use for beginners and professionals alike. The scanner was made to work on most 1996 and newer U.S.-based cars and 2000 and newer EU-based and Asian vehicles. It even supports several languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Finnish, Dutch, Russian and Portuguese. The Ancel scanner has a 128 x 64 pixel LCD display with a backlight and contrast adjustment and gets its power directly from the OBD2 data link connector in your vehicle, so there are no batteries or chargers required. Last but not least, it has a 2.5-foot-long cable, to ensure ease of use while connected.

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$99.95 at Amazon

Key Features

  • Free updates allow BlueDriver to read more codes than some competitors – No subscription needed
  • Features vehicle specific Repair Reports to help you learn how to fix your problem
  • No cords needed – connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth
  • Features real-time live data viewing
  • “American owned”

The BlueDriver diagnostic tool is a Bluetooth OBD2 scanner that connects to your phone or tablet. It allows you to view live data of your vehicle in real time via a user-friendly app, with a customizable view that features various displays and colors. You can even export live data straight from the app. Unlike some OBD2 scanning devices, the BlueDriver doesn’t just show you your trouble codes, it also provides a list of possible causes and reported fixes. This scanner is completely cordless and provides users with regular free updates; no subscription costs to worry about. BlueDriver also offers 24/7 tech support for its users. 


$20 at Amazon

Key Features

  • Features built-in OBD2 DTC lookup library
  • Reads and erases trouble codes
  • “Compatible with most 1996 US-based, 2000 EU-based and Asian cars”
  • Supports English, German, Dutch, Spanish, French and Italian
  • Features LCD backlit screen
  • No battery or charger needed – pulls power directly through OBD2 Data Link Connector
  • Equipped with a 2.5-foot long insulated cable

This multi-functional OBD2 code reader by MotoPower features a built-in DTC lookup library, the ability to read and erase codes, a freeze frame view, vehicle info, data flow, vehicle speed information, engine coolant temp readings and more. It’s compatible with most 1996 or newer U.S.-based vehicles and 2000 or newer EU-based and Asian vehicles. This scanner supports six languages, has a clear LCD display with backlight and contrast adjustment, and like most, doesn’t need a battery or charger as it draws power from the OBD2 data link connector. The connection cable on the MotoPower scanner is 2.5 feet long. Be aware that this scanner can only read and clear info that’s part of the OBD2 system and doesn’t work with ABS, airbag, or oil service light systems. 

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$55 at Amazon

Key Features

  • Can read and erase trouble codes
  • The scanner “enables you to read DTCs, locate bad O2 sensors, access to emissions readiness status, turn off CEL(check engine light) or MIL, reset monitor, read live data and retrieve VIN of your vehicle”
  • Features live data graphing and logging
  • 2.8″ color screen
  • Free lifetime updates
  • No battery or charger needed – pulls power directly through OBD2 Data Link Connector

The Foxwell OBD2 scanner lets you read error codes, locate bad O2 sensors, access emissions information, turn off your check engine light, and see live data for most worldwide cars equipped with OBD2. Like most scanners, no battery is required as the device draws power from the vehicle. Unlike many scanners, though, this one features a 2.8″ color screen and comes with free lifetime updates. It even ships with a screen protector.


$36.99 at Amazon

Key Features

  • Best-selling “engine tool” on Amazon
  • “Plug and play” code-reading interface, meant for beginners and pros alike
  • This tool “supports Reading DTCs, displaying Live Data, Freeze Frame & I/M Readiness” and of course can determine the cause of your Check Engine Light
  • Compatible with 7 languages
  • Works with most post-1996 OBD2 protocol vehicles
  • Features a color display, LED indicator and built-in speaker
  • No battery or charger needed – pulls power directly through OBD2 Data Link Connector
  • Includes a 12 month warranty from the date of purchase as well as lifetime free updates

Autel’s take on the OBD2 scanner is an affordable “plug and play” solution that promises users an easy-to-use interface, even if you’re not overly familiar with car repair. The AutoLink tool supports reading codes, displaying live data, freeze frames and more. It’s compatible with seven languages and works with most post-1996 OBD2 protocol vehicles. The code reader “features a patented one-click I/M readiness key,” a color display, an LED indicator and even a built-in speaker. Autel also includes a 12-month warranty and lifetime free updates for the AutoLink tool. 

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What is an OBD 2 scanner?

OBD stands for onboard diagnostics (the second version replaced OBD1 in the 90s). You know all those pesky lights that light up in your dash warning you that something is wrong with your car? This reader will pinpoint exactly what the problem is.

Why do you need an OBD 2 scanner?

Warning lights only tell you that something is wrong, not exactly what is wrong. A scanner like this will do that, allowing you to do your own repairs or you can use it to just make sure your mechanic knows what they’re talking about. 

How do you use an OBD 2 scanner?

You plug it into the OBD 2 port in your car and the scanner will diagnose any problems.

How much does an OBD 2 scanner cost?

These scanners are priced anywhere from under $30 to over $100.

Pros and cons of using an OBD 2 scanner:

While they are an extra cost, these scanners can end up saving you money in the long run if you opt to work on your car yourself.

What OBD2 scanner do dealerships use?

 

Dealerships typically use professional-grade diagnostic scanners that are specifically designed for their brand of vehicles. These scanners are often more advanced and more expensive than consumer-grade scanners and are typically designed to read and diagnose all codes related to the vehicle’s onboard computer systems.

 

What OBD2 scanner reads all codes?

 

In terms of a consumer-grade OBD2 scanner that can read all codes, there are several options available on the market. A popular option is the Autel MaxiLink OBD2 Scanner. The Maxilink can read and clear codes on OBD2, ABS, SRS, Engine and Transmission systems. ABS, SRS, Engine and Transmission scan may not work on newer vehicles built after 2014.

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