Onboard diagnostic scanners can help you to find out what might be wrong with your vehicle. It is a standardized system that reads the codes that your car’s computer generates when something unexpected happens.
You can either use a reader or a scanner to obtain this information and then reference your manufacturer’s list of codes to know what to fix.
While automotive scan tools costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars are a worthy investment for professionals, most car owners who simply want a tool to help diagnose issues with their vehicle don’t need to spend anywhere near that.
Here are 10 of the best OBD2 scanners and code readers for those on a budget.
Top Rated OBD II Scanners for Home Mechanics
If you want something that falls outside of the standard range of tools in this category, then this Bluetooth model can help you to read and clear your check engine light and vehicle systems with ease. With the BlueDriver, you’ll receive unlimited free vehicle-specific repair reports and access to a database containing millions of repair options which have ASE verification.
It is officially licensed and certified for both Apple and Android devices. The sensor tool and the app work exclusively with each other to ensure accuracy.
Whether you want to locate a bad O2 sensor, turn off one of your warning lights, or need to review enhanced data, then this onboard diagnostic scanner will help you to get the job done. It supports a data-logging feature and an ability to review or record your log.
The Foxwell scan tool is printer-compatible as well so that you can bring a hardcopy to a mechanic if necessary. The patented design works well in the hand, making it a simple tool to use when you need information from your vehicle.
This model is a professional code reader for vehicles that is affordable enough that you can bring it home. It will check all of your engine-related fault codes with accuracy, helping you to find out what caused the lights to come on.
You’ll discover that the Nexpeak scanner is the perfect scanning tool that can help you to know right away if your vehicle requires maintenance to avoid blind repairs. There is a total of ten modes available that will help you to quickly diagnose almost any issue your car’s computer might register.
This onboard diagnostic scanner offers a classic design which helps you to scan quickly to clear any trouble codes that might be present. Even someone unfamiliar with this technology can immediately use and interpret the information this device provides.
The popular Ancel scan tool works with most U.S. vehicles manufactured in 1996 or later, as well as cars from Europe or Asia made in 2000 or later. It offers an I/M monitor readiness test, check engine light turn-off function, and keeps historic codes for reference.
This reader/scanner OBD II product works with Android devices and receives a 2-year warranty in support. It works on the challenging models that other affordable onboard diagnostic scanners do not support, including diesel and hybrid cars.
Although you’ll need to use a third-party app with the BAFX code reader to allow it to work, there are several free options available for iTunes or Google Play. You’ll find this model can be a tremendous investment opportunity with all of the features you will receive.
This universally compatible model provides a superior set of menu commands and navigation when using this device. The handheld commands are placed in a natural position, making it easier to shift between tasks.
The OBDScar code reader will also clearly show whether your emissions systems are operating correctly so that you can know if the car is ready for inspection. You can display freeze-frame data, read live PCM datastreams, and display a live O2 sensor test with this model as well.
When your car engine warning light comes on while driving, then this enhanced tool can read and erase trouble codes with relative ease. It can reset the monitor, reference a built-in DTC lookup library to understand the definitions, and even work with emission problems that can cause some warnings.
The Autophix OBD2 scanner works on all vehicles after 1996 and new vehicle models from the U.S. and around the world.
There is an excellent level of vehicle compatibility with this scanner as well. It offers the latest version of a Bluetooth code reading tool that won’t take up a lot of space on your vehicle. It gives you all of the tools that you need when trying to discover an error code while giving you lots of the information you want.
The Kitbest automotive scanner even tells you your oil temperature and the air-fuel ration. It cannot reset maintenance lights, but it will let you take the next steps forward when there could be an issue with your vehicle.
This onboard diagnostic scanner is one of the most convenient tools that you can keep in your garage or shop. Just click on the VIN and the DTC buttons to do a quick check to see what is going on with the vehicle.
With the Foseal code reader can view freeze-frame data, show definitions, and even monitor the engine coolant temperature. You don’t need an extra battery or an app to help with this work since It reads directly from the link port in your vehicle.
You will receive a quick and accurate diagnosis when using this onboard diagnostic scanner on your vehicle. It is not suitable for diesel cars, but it will work on most other cars. Japanese auto owners will need to have a 2006 model or later with this product.
The codes display on the Manfiter reader’s wide LCD screen with ease so that there is no confusion about the information provided. With the universal DTC meanings built into the device with multiple language supports, virtually anyone can use this product.
The best OBD scanners for your car can save you a trip to the local mechanic. You’ll discover what the codes mean, if your vehicle requires a repair, and save time will doing the work. That’s why you should have one of these products at home right now!