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The very best OBD2 scanner and automotive code reader 2021

When your dashboard lights up, or your automotive begins working tough, any variety of issues might be incorrect. For those who’re mechanically inclined and have the suitable instruments, you possibly can save your self some huge cash by diagnosing and dealing in your automotive your self. One software that may make the analysis simpler and will not break the financial institution is an OBD2 scanner and automotive code reader. 

A scanner and automotive code reader that plugs instantly into the OBD2 port in your automotive to entry the onboard computer systems and methods. The scanner will learn the difficulty codes put out by the car that will help you diagnose the issue so you may repair it and get again on the highway. Even should you’re on a good price range, you may nonetheless get a top quality OBD2 scanner and automotive code reader, which might prevent a visit to the mechanic. These are among the finest OBD2 scanners and automotive code readers at numerous value factors and data ranges.

Greatest on a price range


The HyperTough HT309 OBD2 Scan Automotive Diagnostic Device Code Reader is an easy, easy-to-use automotive code reader for car homeowners on a price range. You should use this mannequin to learn and clear engine diagnostic bother codes in all 1996 and newer U.S., European and Asian vehicles. The backlit LCD show display screen reveals generic, manufacturer-specific and pending codes to determine why your verify engine gentle is on. This gadget may also retrieve car info just like the CIN, CIN and CVN. For those who dwell in a state with emissions necessities, you can too monitor and verify the inspection upkeep (I/M) readiness standing to see in case your car would go the check.

There aren’t any additional connectors or cables wanted with this OBD2 automotive code reader as a result of it makes use of a regular 16-pin connector. The reader additionally makes use of the automotive’s battery energy to work so that you just will not want batteries. For $20 or much less at most main retailers, the HyperTough HT309 is a superb selection for a price range card code OBD2 reader and scanner.


  • Simple to make use of

  • Cheap

  • Plug and play

  • Works with all vehicles 1996 and newer

  • No batteries, additional connectors or cables wanted



Greatest for price range information assortment


For the car proprietor on the price range who must file dwell information, the Auto AutoLink AL329 Code Reader OBDII Scanner is a step up from the HyperTough HT309. The Autel Autolink has all the identical options because the HyperTough however contains the flexibility to graph, file and replay dwell information taken out of your car. This helps diagnose particular sensors that might trigger your car to set a verify engine gentle.

Whereas the HyperTough has solely two buttons to enter or exit and scroll with a small show display screen, the Autel has a bigger show display screen for simpler viewing and comes with an extra button devoted to checking emissions standing. The LED indicator lights simply let you recognize if there’s a downside with the automotive’s engine. The purple indicator indicators an issue, and a diagnostic bother code (DTC) is current, whereas yellow reveals there could also be an issue, and inexperienced offers the all-clear.


  • In a position to graph, file and replay dwell information

  • Cheap

  • Massive show display screen

  • LED indicator lights for fast analysis


Greatest for price range smartphone accessible diagnostics


For Android and iPhone customers who do not need to cope with a separate scanner, the Actron CP9600 U-Scan Smartphone Interface Scan Device plugs instantly into the OBDII port and makes use of your smartphone to show its findings. This scan software works on all vehicles 1996 and newer with each Asian and home verify engine lights. For 1996 to 2013 makes and fashions, the Actron CP9600 additionally reads and erases anti-lock brakes (ABS), airbags (SRS) and transmission codes. 

The Actron CP9600 additionally offers real-time engine information, together with coolant temperature, RPM, sensor readings, mass air stream, oxygen sensor and extra. Merely plug within the software and obtain the app to your smartphone to get began. The car exercise log offers a historical past of the car procedures and assessments already accomplished, and the MyGarage function helps you simply entry and handle autos. With CodeConnect, fixes for the DTCs are reported and verified by Actron’s workforce of ASE-certified technicians to offer the on a regular basis driver the boldness in fixing minor repairs.


  • Could be left linked to your OBD2 port always

  • Works with Android and iPhone

  • Learn real-time engine information out of your cellphone

  • Reads a number of automotive methods in newer makes and fashions


Greatest for price range Bluetooth DTC diagnostic code studying and clearing


For those who’re solely apprehensive about verify engine lights however nonetheless need the aptitude of utilizing your smartphone slightly than an OBD2 scanner, contemplate the FIXD Car Diagnostic Machine. This straightforward gadget plugs into the OBD2 port for many 1996 and newer gas-powered autos and 2008 and newer diesel autos, offering solely the diagnostic bother code with out the information.

Merely plug within the gadget, begin your car and faucet the scan button in your smartphone to get began. FIXD works with a number of autos utilizing the identical app, much like driving monitoring units provided by automotive insurance coverage corporations. For a month-to-month price of $5.83, you may get upgraded options like speaking to a mechanic, realizing how a lot a restore might price, predicting future issues and getting car historical past should you plan to purchase a used automotive sooner or later. 


  • Can join a number of units with one app

  • Maintain monitor of car upkeep

  • Gives car historical past for used vehicles (premium service required)


  • It doesn’t work for all makes and fashions

  • Solely reads and clears verify engine gentle

  • Should pay an extra price for upgraded options

Greatest Bluetooth all-system diagnostics


For those who’re a mechanic who does most of your individual repairs and desires a Bluetooth choice, the Autel MaxiAP AP 200M is the very best with out breaking your price range. Whereas the app is free to make use of, it requires an annual improve price of $19.99 to proceed diagnosing all of your automotive’s methods for one more 12 months. This multifunction scanner turns your smartphone right into a car diagnostic powerhouse and contains upkeep service options that rival a mechanics scan software.

The Autel MaxiAP AP 200M is an all-system diagnostic software that’s able to performing most of your common upkeep providers, together with:

  • Oil life

  • Throttle angle reset

  • Diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration

  • Digital parking brake (EPB)

  • Steering angle sensor (SAS)

  • Battery administration system (BMS)

  • Airbag reset/deployment loops

  • Anti-lock brake (ABS) system bleeding

With the Autel MaxiAP AP 200M, you get OE-level system diagnostics with a excessive degree of accuracy, which might prevent hundreds over visiting a mechanic for service.


  • All-system diagnostic plug-in software with a free smartphone app

  • Works with all 1996 and newer U.S, European and Asian vehicles

  • Information diagnostic information in real-time to generate restore studies

  • Cheap for the options provided


Greatest for superior DIY mechanic or new technician


With a value level beneath $200, this plug-in OBD2 scanner is a superb choice for a brand new technician simply beginning out or a seasoned DIY mechanic who is aware of their method round a automotive. The Launch CRP123X comes with a big 5″ shade show HD touchscreen for simple viewing and is rechargeable, so it is prepared everytime you want it.

The scan software works with over 57 automotive manufacturers, masking OBD2/EOBD/JOBD autos. The Launch CRP123X additionally features a battery voltage tester and automated VIN expertise that will help you determine your automotive shortly with out having to enter it manually. You may replace the software program anytime when linked to Wi-Fi with free lifetime updates with only one click on. The up to date battery is new in 2021, upgraded from 4000mAh to 6100mAh to offer an excellent longer time between expenses. The 4-in-1 dwell information graph creates a diagnostic report that may be shared with a mechanic as wanted.


  • Free lifetime updates

  • Features a battery tester

  • 5″ HD touchscreen show

  • Upgraded battery life in 2021 mannequin

  • Helps 57 automotive manufacturers


  • Solely works with Android OS or newer

  • Test to verify suitable along with your car

  • Help takes time to reply

Greatest for skilled degree performance


You probably have the price range and desire a high quality OBD2 scanner and automotive code reader that rivals dealership degree diagnostic instruments, the Innova FixAssist 5160RS is a superb selection. With bi-directional management, this scanner can check the performance of electrical motors, clutches, and actuators. It performs all reset features to finish repairs or upkeep like steering angle reset, DPF regeneration, and parking brake calliper resets for newer autos with an electrical parking brake.

On high of scanning and clearing all methods, the FixAssist 5160RS may also:

  • Check hybrid battery cell voltage

  • Bleed the ABS system

  • Test and recalibrate TPMS/tire strain

  • Relearn throttle physique

  • Check for compression

  • Check cylinder stability

  • Relearn cam crank place

With an optionally available adapter, this mannequin may also work on OBD1 autos from 1981 to 1995 Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota. For those who’re uncertain in case your specific automotive is roofed, you may enter your car info or VIN on the Innova web site to verify it’ll work earlier than buy.


  • Full performance of all car methods

  • Elective OBD1 protection with further adapter

  • Carry out dealership degree relearn procedures

  • Can carry out digital parking brake service and ABS brake bleeding for newer vehicles

  • It may be paired with diagnostic app RepairSolutions2 for smartphone entry


How did we select these merchandise?

The standards used to decide on these merchandise embrace the price of the software, practical options, smartphone entry skills, system utilization and skill to make use of with a number of makes and fashions. I additionally spoke with a number of mechanics in my native space who work at dealerships and unbiased retailers to get their suggestions on manufacturers and options they use and have had optimistic experiences with. The very best OBD2 scanners and automotive code readers listed above come at numerous value factors with completely different options and vary from primary automotive data to skilled wants. 

Which is the suitable one for you?

When looking for the very best OBD2 scanner and automotive code reader, contemplate what you want the software to do. For those who solely need the flexibility for checking an engine gentle, then one of many price range fashions could also be sufficient. Nevertheless, should you do your individual mechanical work and wish a sophisticated mannequin much like what a dealership has, contemplate the upper finish scanners with extra functionality. As soon as you’ve got narrowed down your decisions, ensure that to verify that the OBD2 scanner and automotive code reader will work along with your specific make and mannequin. 

With restricted inventory in new and barely used vehicles, the common used automotive purchaser is taking a look at vehicles seven or extra mannequin years outdated. Whilst you could get an amazing buy value, the probability of an issue is bigger with an older mannequin car. Shopping for the very best OBD2 scanner and automotive code reader to your make and mannequin might help you save much more by diagnosing and fixing your automotive your self.

Do OBD2 readers work on all vehicles?

Most OBD2 scanners and automotive code readers don’t work on all vehicles. In case you are searching for an OBD2 scanner or automotive code reader, it’s best to verify if it really works along with your specific make and mannequin earlier than shopping for it.

Is it value shopping for an OBD2 scanner?

It might be value shopping for an OBD2 scanner if you are able to do your individual mechanical work and wish a software to scan your malfunctioning lights. Among the extra superior fashions can verify all of the automotive’s methods, whereas the essential fashions solely learn verify engine gentle codes. Performing your individual diagnostics and repairs might prevent hundreds by not having to pay a mechanic to do the work you are able to do your self.

Is it OK to depart OBD2 plugged in?

Sure, it’s okay to depart the OBD2 scanner, and automotive code reader plugged in. Whereas it will not injury your automotive, it attracts small quantities of energy, so over time, it might drain and kill your battery if you don’t drive your automotive recurrently.

Are there alternate options value contemplating?

There are literally thousands of OBD2 scanners and automotive code readers to select from. Take into account your wants for a scanner or automotive code reader and your price range when researching the out there choices. Although the OBD2 scanners and automotive code readers talked about are among the finest, there are nonetheless alternate options value contemplating:

  • Cen-Tech OBDII Code Reader: You probably have a Harbor Freight shut by, this code reader is barely dearer than the HyperTough, however it has all the identical options and should have a extra sturdy case.

  • Launch CRP123: The subsequent step down from the Launch CRP123X, this mannequin is cheaper however doesn’t include the tire strain monitoring reset software.


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