In this modern era, vehicles are manufactured with computers that dictate what transpires. These computers are in charge of deciding what function performs what, what every component is conducting and discovers when a component has malfunctioned. So, if you suspect your car or engine to have an issue, it is important to run a quick diagnostic test using one of the most accurate and advanced modern tools which is the obd2 scanner. So, what is the best obd2 scanner at 2017?
In this review, we are going to let you know how to use an obd2 tool to diagnose your car when you see engine light. Also, we’ve highlighted some of the best obd2 car diagnostic tools on the market.
How OBD2 Functions
Firstly, let’s begin by defining what obd2 scan tool is? The obd2 scanner is a lightweight, compact and auto diagnostic device with integrated software. It is created to progressively control a car and alert the owner of all the issues in a real time mode. OBD is an acronym for onboard diagnostics. While OBD2 is a standard in all vehicles built in 1966 or later.
OND2 Scan tools are simple to use as they follow the same standard. They fit the same connector, which is installed in all vehicles, as defined by SAE standard J1962. Normally, these connections are based under the dashboard close to the driver’s seat, depending on the make of the car. Generally, this scanner is plugged into the connector, and then the vehicle is switched on and you follow the simple menu on the display to recover any diagnostic codes saved to the on-board of the computer. These codes stay in memory until the issue is tackled or they are deliberately cleared. Professional level obd2 scan tools have greater capabilities and need some training. If you suspect your car to have a problem, let’s say engine, simply run a diagnostic scan to identify the issue.
Our Recommend 5 Best OBD2 Scanner list:
Types of OBD2 Scanners
These are cost-effective, simple gadgets that that are plugged into a car primarily for reading and clearing error codes. They don’t offer any extra data, and may not reflect a broader set of codes in use by a number of manufacturers. For instance, an obd2 car scanner meant for GM Cars, will just read only the basic codes saved to memory and extra codes for GM cars and lorries only. Extra data is normally offered online or through a reference pamphlet that lists the available codes with brief explanations for every code. There are some modern bluetooth scanners which help to monitor everything by smartphone.
These are more advanced and are available in various levels of complexity, from compact consumer versions to powerful diagnostic computers in application by commercial auto shops. Scan tools usually offer a wide range of codes, and extra explanations for each one. Sophisticated versions will include options such as both live and recorded data, customizable menus, tests, options for manufacturer-specific codes, code reads and parameters. Typically every car sensor that transmits signals to the onboard computer creates codes that can be read by obd2 scanner.
Factors to look for in an obd2 scanner
Full code definition
Verify the scanner you intend to buy. It should have a full code definition for every code. The scanner which provides you with the definitions will save you much time and annoyance. This feature is very important just as having a how to use manual.
Compatibility with your car
Another important thing to ensure is that the obd2 tool you are buying should function with the computer setup in your vehicle. Usually, there are 5 different forms of communication systems utilized in obd2 cars and not all scanners are compatible with all the five.
Ability of scanner to be upgraded
Each and every year, new car models are brought into the market. Thus, if you want your scanner to be compatible fully with new cars, you must ensure that the scan tool you are purchasing has the necessary function to be updated. Professional scan obd2 scan tool has this ability but they cost a lot for every update.
One of the unique features of professional code readers is that it offers you live data reading when the engine is running and you are on the road. Thus, if the device you use doesn’t have the ability to store the data readings it is a disadvantage for the scanner device.
What level of data are you searching for to get out of your scanner device? Many of the modern cars are setup with ABS and SRS which makes these features to be very vital in the vehicle code readers.
As you search for your next obd2 code reader for your car, it’s crucial to acquire a device that is reliable and very effective. With so many brands being offered on the market, you’ve to know which ones function exceptionally and which ones don’t. You can’t afford to spend cash on inferior products as they won’t help you accurately read the codes. Some of the notable brands include: INNOVA, Autel USA, Launch tech, Actron, and Scantool.net-llc.
It’s better to spend some few more bucks and get a device that provides you with accurate data in the long run. Low cost vehicle scanners are not as effective as the professional scanners. So, why not pay more to acquire a device that will sustain you for long and can be upgraded to?
Benefits of OBD2 scanner
- The scanner saves you some cash. Before you take your car to an auto shop for repair, you can use obd2 tool to discover the problem and then diagnose it.
- It provides you with a very important warning which is whether you should continue driving or to stop and get the services of a mechanic. The code readers are portable and allow you to carry them and check your car anywhere.
- The obd2 code reader provides an efficient, up-to-date and uniform information in different car settings as needed by a regulatory body known as EPA which was created to ensure minimal emissions.
- Before you acquire a second hand car, it is important you run a scan through it before you can buy it.
Problems that OBD2 scanner detects in your car include:
This heavily relies on the type of scanning tool you’re using. But typically, these are some of the problem detected by an obd2 reader.
- Issues that are linked to the engines combustion system. This covers the work of the fuel injectors, turbocharger, the throttle and injection pumps.
- Problems reported by the engine sensors such as carburetor, air intake, fuel pressure, exhaust and oil temperature.
- An issue with the function of the ignition and the output systems of the engine. It could be a malfunction in the ignition coil, crankshaft or the timing chain.
- Problems with the electrical system such as the wiring or fuse box.
- Issues with the emission settings, and the exhaust, like overheating.
Top 5 best obd2 scanner reviews
If you are a DIY guy, you definitely want to have a diagnostic tool with you. These devices are available in a variety of models and brands. There are those meant for commercial use and some are for personal use. Look for one that suits your budget and has the features that you need to help you diagnose your car if you detect an issue. After a deep research, here are the top 5 best obd2 diagnostic tools that we’ve discovered on the market:
Autel AL619 AutoLink ABS/Air Bag + OBDII Scan Tool(Our Top Pick)
Autel is a notable brand with a number of quality obd2 scan models. This effective and high end diagnostic tool is easy to use and offers powerful diagnostic performance. It has an easy use push button switch and clean screen for great viewing of texts. In addition, the Autel AL619 is compatible with cars built from 1966 or later. It also covers a wide range of cars and clean codes help driver to check for problems while driving. It has option to reset data or clears the data. On purchase of the scanner, one gets easy free internet updates. Acquire this sleek diagnostic tool and detect all the problems your car might be facing. Autel AL619 one of the best OBD2 Scanner for the money.
- Complete function capability
- Remote technical support
- Very affordable price.
- Clean display monitor.
- Extensive vehicle coverage
- Easy data code look-up.
- It is easy to use
- Can be used by 50 different automotive manufacturers
- Diagnoses system codes ABS/ SRS.
- Live sensor data and live PCM data stream.
- Can be used data while driving.
- Provides powerful diagnostic performance.
- For Emission easy On board Monitor Tests
- Manufacturer provides easy internet updates
INNOVA 3160 diagnostic scan tool
INNOVA is a famous brand and has some of the best features to offer. The INNOVA 3160 diagnostic tool offers SAE enhanced live data. The code reader is compatible with most of the cars especially those constructed from 1966 and later. These include cars, light trucks, SUVs, and minivans. The obd2 code reader comes with a USB that facilitates updating of the tool through a standard windows pc. Also, the diagnostic reader diagnoses ABS and SRS of most cars such as newer GM, Toyota, Chrysler, Honda and Ford. The LED screen is large enough and displays texts and all the codes acquired from the engine light warning. Some of the advantages of this obd2 code reader is that it has a memory and backup battery.
- SAE enhanced data
- USB port
- Compatible with 1966 and newer cars, light trucks, SUVs and minivans
- Diagnoses ABS and SRS
- Displays obdII freeze frame data
- LED display
- Battery backup
- It is simple to use
- Can be utilized on a wide range of vehicles
- Has a screen display and LED display for reading of texts and outcomes
- It diagnoses ABS and SRS
- It records live data
- Manufacturer offers one year warranty on defects of material and workmanship
Autel AL519 OBD II Scan tool
The Autel AL519 is a compact unit that conducts accurate diagnostic tests on your car. It is very portable and can be easily carried in its carry case. The code reader has a TFT color screen where the data recorded is displayed. In addition, the bright color coded LEDs and built-in speaker offer both visual and audible tone for readiness verification. The scan tool has the ability to recover generic, manufacturer specific and pending codes. It has a patented one click readiness key for fast stat emissions readiness check and cycle checking. Other unique functions of the diagnostic reader are that it reads, stores and playbacks live sensor data. Get this diagnostic tool and solve your cars problems without calling a mechanic.
- Compact unit
- Patented one click I/M readiness key
- TFT color screen
- Bright color coded LEDs
- CD software
- Retrieves generic, manufacturer-specific, and pending codes
- USB cable
- Mode 6
- Carry case
- This device is very portable
- It is compact and can be easily stored in its carry case
- Has a TFT screen to display text and codes recorded
- It easily determines the problem of the check engine
- Functions on all 1966 and newer vehicles
INNOVA 3100 diagnostic scan tool for OBD2 vehicles
The INNOVA 3100 obd2 diagnostic reader has a battery backup memory that gives off-car review and analysis by the device. Also, it has patented all-in ne screen and LED display for showing the figures and texts recorded by the device. It functions efficiently as it’s able to automatically refresh after every 30 seconds. The diagnostic reader is compatible with 1966 or later cars. Light trucks and SUVs. It excellently reads and erases ABS light trouble codes for various GM, Chrysler, Honda, Ford and Toyota. With is sleek design and compatibility, this tool is worth having in your car to help you when the engine light turns on. Innova 3100 is one of the popular best obd2 scanner for all cars.
- Automatically refreshes data every 30 seconds
- Read and erase ABS light
- Battery backup memory
- Patented all-in one screen and LED display
- Compatible with 1966 and newer cars, light truck or SUVs
- It is compact for easy storage
- Has an LED display screen for simple viewing of data and codes
- It is portable and good having in your car for diagnosing
- Can work on a wide number of vehicles.
Actron CP9680 OBD II Scan tool
Tired of calling the mechanic every time your car has an issue? Acquire the Actron CP9680 obd II scanner. Actron is one of the famous brands that offer quality car diagnostic scanners. This model is perfectly designed for do-it-yourself professionals. It has a large LCD screen that displays the information recorded for you. It covers ABS and SRS airbag. The tool is able to print data to your pc and has improved vehicle coverage through 2013. With its USB port, it allows you update it and has a hands free feature that makes it convenient to use the diagnostic code reader. Use this diagnostic scan tool if you notice warning light from your engine and identify the problem.
- Compatible with 1966 or newer vehicles
- Color LCD screen
- ABS and SRS airbag coverage
- Capable of printing data to pc
- OEM specific definitions/codes
- Improved vehicle coverage through 2013
- Oil light and battery rest options
- Hands-free vehicle link
- USB port for updates
- It is very easy to use
- Has a large LED screen to display information
- Has hands free connection for convenience by user while driving
- It allows updates through its USB port
- It is compatible with 1966 or new vehicles
The moment you see an engine light or warning light coming on while driving, just know you have to make a quick diagnostic test to your car. This is more common tom people with old cars. But this doesn’t mean you’ve to call the mechanic right away as some problems can be handled easily. All you need is to have an obd2 diagnostic tool to identify the problem. Look for the best obd2 scanner that is compatible with your car and has easy to sue features for easy diagnosing of your car. Also, consider choosing from the best brands in order to read the codes accurately.