Top 10 OBD II Car Diagnostic Tools

Everyone loves their car. You’ve worked hard and saved up, and you’ve finally bought something you can be proud of. But what do you do when your vehicle starts lacking in performance, or it shows that there is something wrong with it?

Don’t rush to the mechanic! There are things you can do to find out what might be wrong, and even fix yourself!

Before we list the top 10 best budget OBD2 Scanners on the market, we should establish the basics.

What is OBD, and what is OBD2?

OBD ( On-Board Diagnostics ) is a system that is placed in every single vehicle, and it reports every issue the car might have with its performance or parts.

This saves a fortune in the long run. If it is a smaller issue, you might be able to deal with it yourself! Now, OBDII is an advanced car computer reporting system that has been made mandatory in 1996.

So unless you’re driving an oldtimer, you’re guaranteed to have this system already integrated into your vehicle.

With this fantastic reporting system, you get a port in which you can insert a device for a more detailed report on what might be wrong with your car. Even though the OBD2 system is mandatory on all car models made after 1996, the placement of the data connector is not.

But if you look a little, you’re sure to find it somewhere under the dashboard. ( Or the Steering Wheel! )

Now, this might sound very exciting, but how do you use this system to your advantage? You can purchase a small scanner that connects to any device via BlueTooth or cable, to further disclose and diagnose the problem with your vehicle. This tech can get very expensive, and for a good reason.

But, here are some cheap OBD2 scanners that are guaranteed to fulfill all of your diagnostic needs! This technology is a must-have for any car enthusiast.

1

BAFX Products Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner

Bafx Products Bluetooth Obd2 Scanner

As OBDII is an advanced piece of technology, it should have a reputable source it is coming from. BAFX products are a small and local internet seller and manufacturer of all sorts of different car parts. From lights to scanners, they have a wide variety of equipment in their store.

As they have realized alongside a lot of other drivers, flashing lights on your dashboard might indicate a lot, and you might not know what the problem is. The “Check Engine” light can really apply to all sorts of issues.

This product promises to solve the problem of non-reliable OBD2 Scanners and bring professional equipment to the amateur enthusiast for a fraction of the price of the real thing. The biggest issue when it comes to OBD2 scanners is compatibility issues, as these tools mostly work on a select amount of models and manufacturers.

BAFX’s OBD2 scanner works on all sorts of models from most popular car manufacturers and gives accurate and plain readings to indicate the problem the car might be facing.

The biggest perk of this product is its sheer convenience, as it connects to your mobile device or tablet via Bluetooth. It works on both windows and android devices, which covers most of the smart device market.

The product is cheaper than most of its competition, but don’t make this small price tag fool you. It comes with a 2-year warranty, so your investment is sure to pay itself off eventually.

The software used to read this amazing product is available for free on either your PC or your smart device, and you can find the link to it in the user manual of the device, or the Amazon link provided above.

Key Features:

  • Compatibility with Android or Windows OS
  • Very compatible with numerous Vehicles
  • 2-Year warranty on the device
  • Amazing monitoring capabilities

Specifications:

Package Dimensions2.8 x 1.5 x 1 inches
Item weight2.4 oz
Item Model NumberBAFX3127
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2

BlueDriver Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool

Bluedriver Bluetooth Obdii Scan Tool

The runner up in the competition for the best amazon Bluetooth OBDII tool, Bluedriver offers something that most others can only dream of offering. Compatibility at its maximum.

Bluedriver’s LSB2 Bluetooth OBDII tool offers compatibility like no other device. It is compatible with almost all cars produced after 1996, which is the date that OBD2 was made mandatory.

It does come at a steeper price, with the range spanning up to a 100$. But don’t think about the price. This device is not an expense; it’s a much needed and welcome investment in your car and yourself!

Why would you spend thousands of dollars for a shaky diagnosis from your local mechanic? The accurate reading of this device is sure to impress all of the time, and hit the nail on the head.

Also Read: Top Must-Have Tesla Model 3 Accessories

The diagnosis of this advanced device is scarily accurate, and it helps you determine problems that have not only occurred but will likely occur in the future, saving you tonnes of money in return!

This module also connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth and is compatible with most smartphones. The reading of the diagnosis functions via the advanced BlueDriver application.

The app itself is gorgeous in its simplicity and design, and it makes reading your potential problems a complete breeze. It also suggests you with things you can do yourself and gives you comprehensive information about the issue.

It does not only show your problem and the possible solution when it comes to specific models (and trust us, there are a lot of them). BlueDriver gives you a lot of information about your vehicle that you might not have known beforehand. Check out this video and find out more about this fantastic tool.

Key Features:

  • Support for IOS, Android, and Windows phones
  • Remove that pesky Check Engine light
  • A full-featured app
  • Expansive repair reports
  • Smog Test check

Specifications:

Package Dimensions2.2 x 1.9 x 1 inches
Item weight2.08 oz
Item Model NumberLSB2
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3

Won Lane OBD2 Scanner

Won Lane Obd2 Scanner

Ever since people discovered that OBDII codes could be read through devices you can buy on the internet for cheap, this DIY method has exploded in popularity.

Unlike the previous two entries, this OBD scanner is the real, full-fledged thing. It doesn’t connect to your phone or PC, but its power is unmatched. It communicates with you through unique OBD codes.

But how do we understand these codes? We’re not all mechanics, and we don’t need to be. We’ll cover what these codes mean later in this article.

It’s connected to a small device via a cable you connect to your OBD2 Port. Its simplistic design does not make it any less potent of a tool, as it’s price tag makes it very affordable.

This tool is extremely compatible, and it connects to almost all cars. This is a professional tool made and manufactured for professional users, marketed to people with an amateur’s budget.

If you’re looking for a budget solution to that nasty check engine light, you’re at the right place. Reading the codes this device provides you with is pretty simple and easy, and a quick google search will save you a lot of money when buying a product like this. Using it is also simple as pie.

OxGord’s OBD2 Scanner comes with an old-school study design that will persist through anything and everything you can throw at it. It’s high quality and low price, what’s there not to love?

Key Features:

  • Simple and cheap
  • Will provide accurate code readings
  • Works on most American vehicles
  • Manual with most generic codes included

Specifications:

Package Dimensions10.1 x 1.5 x 6 inches
Item weight8 oz
Item Model NumberCRST-MS300
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4

Veepeak OBD2 Scanner

Veepeak Obd2 Scanner

https://www.veepeak.com/Veepeak OBDCheck scanner is a great device that offers standard protocol when it comes to OBD scanning.

You can find out what is wrong with your car and get rid of that pesky check engine light if you use this properly. Its price tag is also very budget-friendly, as it comes relatively cheap compared to other products of its caliber.

Another fantastic feature of this exact product is its sheer compatibility with both cars and devices. It is designed with the good old US of A in mind, so most American cars made after 1996 will fit this scanners search range.

It connects with your phone or smart device via Bluetooth, and it’s IOS friendly, which is not as common when it comes to these scanners.

This beneficial gadget not only serves as a diagnostic tool, as it can also be used for real-time monitoring of your car.

With real-time monitoring, you can get to know it a little bit better. It’s not only meant for garage, as information like fuel-economy, pressure, and voltage become available and accurate only when you’re driving.

So, if your car is guzzling a little bit more than you’ve anticipated, this scanner will tell the truth. If your car readings are blatantly untrue, this might indicate another problem that Veepeak’s OBDII checker will report.

It does not have its own application, but it is compatible with most apps that are available on the numerous app stores across all platforms. Some are free, and some are pay to use, depending on their service.

Key Features:

  • The Bluetooth connection provides a quick response time
  • Real-time monitoring
  • IOS, Android and Windows support
  • Unmatched diagnosing capabilities

Specifications:

Package Dimensions1.6 x 2 x 0.9 inches
Item weight3.2 oz
Item Model Number13
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5

Panlong Bluetooth OBDII

Panlong Bluetooth Obdii

Another great Bluetooth OBD2 scanner is Panlongs. Panlongs OBD2 scanner is the cheapest on our list, but it is this affordable for a reason.

Although there are numerous car brands and manufacturers that it can operate on, the biggest problem with this scanner is its gasoline exclusivity.

This dongle does not work on any car that does not run on gasoline, so if you’re driving a diesel car or a hybrid, you’re out of luck.

But if you are driving a gasoline-powered car, you are sure to enjoy the many different applications of this wonderful tool.

So far in this article, you’ve realized that you need an OBD2 Scanner in your garage in order to save yourself some money, right? So, why do you need this one?

It’s insanely low price and availability are great perks, and if you’re within the specifications that this model supports, you’re sure to have a pleasant experience.

Its speed is also a big perk. It only takes five seconds for it to report the data it has accumulated when you’re scanning your car. Plus, it also works as a real-time monitoring machine.

So, if any of your gears are broken or you think your car might be reporting some false pieces of information, this dongle is sure to provide accurate readings of real-time monitoring.

The sheer expanse of how much this cheap dongle can monitor and report is amazing. Of course, it all depends on your vehicle and the application you are using to read from this Bluetooth scanner. But, if your vehicle is completely compatible and if the app is good, you’re in for a ride.

Only around 10$ in its price, this amazing tool lets you monitor Vehicle Speed, RPM, Intake, Pressure, Temperature, Air, and numerous other aspects. It’s truly amazing how versatile this tool is.

Key Features:

  • Active customer service
  • One year warranty
  • One year money-back guarantee

Specifications:

Package Dimensions1.9 x 1 x 1.3 inches
Item weight0.64 oz
Item Model NumberPL-B02
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6

ScanTool Bluetooth OBDLink

Scantool Bluetooth Obdlink

As advertised, this ScanTool OBD2 Bluetooth device is professional-grade and designed for car mechanics in mind. But just because it’s designed for professionals, it does not mean you can’t use it as an amateur.

Using this device is fairly simple. You plug it in, connect it to your smart device, and it will automatically give you a good reading on your vehicle. If there is anything faulty about your car, this fantastic tool will report it.

Just like it’s contenders, this tool is very compatible with all sorts of car manufacturers and their respective models. It operates on most cars with OBD2 ports, but its true shine comes with its application.

The device itself comes with its unique app that works on all platforms, from Windows, Android to IOS. The app itself is free to download on all platforms and is very detailed and user-friendly.

Even though this amazing app reports all sorts of information, it might be a little bit overwhelming. It provides not only text, but graphs and charts to showcase what might be wrong with your car to the smallest possible detail.

The price tag on this tool is fair, setting you back only about 40$. It does offer a 90-day money-back guarantee, so if you are not satisfied with the product, you are free to return it at no charge!

Key Features:

  • Amazing speed
  • Exclusive application
  • High-quality design
  • Compatible with most cars
  • 3-year warranty

Specifications:

Package Dimensions1.8 x 0.9 x 2 inches
Item weight1.12 oz
Item Model NumberOBDLink
Batteries1 Lithium-ion batteries required.

7

PLX Devices: Kiwi 3 Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner

Plx Devices Kiwi3 Bluetooth Obd2 Scanner

This device might not be very budget-friendly, with its price tag being a little bit steep at about 100$, but it’s sure to impress.

This award-winning device is one of the finest in the OBD2 scanner market, and it is one of the most versatile tools around.

Not only does it allow you to monitor all the expected values of your car, but it also offers GPS tracking. Having a GPS tracker onboard is a crucial thing.

The true value of this device comes with its application. It offers you the chance to work with its own application which comes free with the product, but it also works with all other major car diagnostics apps. It works across all platforms, from IOS to Windows and everything in between.

It is compatible with almost all of the OBD2 Protocols, so it’s very hard to stumble on a vehicle that has OBD2 which is not compatible with this car, be it American, European, or Asian.

It comes with a live video capturing function, that is very useful for long trips or if you’ve been in a minor accident. This will absolutely save your tail in the courthouse!

Another amazing perk of this product is its troubleshooting. If you’ve run into any trouble with this device, you’re sure to be satisfied with the customer support. It’s available 24/7, and its service is unmatched.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with most platforms
  • High speed and small energy consumption
  • GPS tracking
  • A special application that comes included

Specifications:

Package Dimensions2 x 0.7 x 1.3 inches
Item weight0.64 oz
Item Model Numberkiwi3
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8

Autel MaxiCOM Professional OBD2 Scanner

Autel Maxicom Professional Obd2 Scanner

This tool is not for the faint of heart, as it is the best tool around. It is not amateur-friendly, so if you are a mechanic looking to employ the use of this fantastic technology, this one is for you.

With a high price of over 400$, what can this tool offer that the competition can’t?

The answer is pretty simple. This is a professional tool that offers professional services and is meant to be used all the time.

Its main attraction comes in its design and its unprecedented quality. Its quality is unmatched, so is its versatile application in car maintenance and service.

Think of it as a regular OBD2 scanning tool that is designed to be used all of the time on all different sorts of cars. It supports numerous manufacturers and models and offers the health status of numerous car parts.

It comes with a 7’ touchscreen pad that is very high quality, so it’s meant to be used and abused to high heaven. This is a very sophisticated tool that serves as an important reminder that there is a difference between amateur tech and professional tech.

This tool is also easily modified and upgraded to the latest possible trends, so it never falls back when auto-technology is evolving. And, the auto industry is one of the quickest evolving in the market.

Key Features:

  • Professional tool
  • Advanced Full System Diagnostics
  • Wide car coverage and compatibility
  • Independent from Wifi and Bluetooth
  • Long lifespan, and active customer support

Specifications:

Package Dimensions9.4 x 1.4 x 5.9 inches
Item weight6.4 pounds
Item Model NumberMaxiCOM MK808
Batteries1 Lithium Polymer batteries required.

9

E-Tech WiFi OBD2 Scanner and Code Reader

Scanner And Code Reader

This particular OBD2 scanner is nothing out of the ordinary, and there is nothing wrong with that! It’s a handy and simple tool that is designed for DIY enthusiasts who wish to work on their cars themselves.

Unlike the previous entry on this list, this reliable tool is on the cheaper side, only setting you back 20$ or so.

Its compatibility is standard, and it works with most vehicles, and across all major smartphone and PC platforms. It does not connect to your devices through Bluetooth but uses WiFi instead.

This device also offers you a one-year money-back guarantee, if the product itself does not live up to your understandably high expectations. We’re sure you’ll love it, but if you manage to run into some problems, they have got you covered.

KOBRA, the brand behind this OBD2 scanner, prides itself on its very active customer support team. All of your problems are likely to be resolved, but if you’re still dissatisfied you can get your investment back, no questions asked!

Key Features:

  • Quick and accurate readings
  • Vast compatibility with most cars
  • Compatible with most devices across all platforms
  • Quickly resets Check Engine light

Specifications:

Package Dimensions3 x 2 x 1.2 inches
Item weight0.64 oz
Item Model NumberOBD Scanner
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10

Foseal Car WiFi OBD2 Scanner

Foseal Car Wifi Obd2 Scanner

The Foseal OBD2 scanner is a very reliable device that is sure to satisfy any customer needs. It performs very well and is an excellent tool in any garage.

It can tell you what’s wrong with your car and help you rid yourself of that pesky Check Engine light and will provide a detailed diagnosis of your vehicle.

OBD2 Scanners aren’t exclusively used when there is an existing problem with your car. You can use this amazing tool to give yourself accurate readings on the current state of your car.

Knowing what’s up is always the best thing when it comes to cars. Any kind of repair can be pretty expensive when it comes to your car, and live information and warnings are always welcome.

This is a valuable service that this device is sure to provide you with. Through apps like Torque, you can make this device a real lifesaver. The manufacturer does recommend you use Torque, a free application for OBD2 readings, but you can use a variety of apps if you desire.

Key Features:

  • Active dynamic monitoring
  • Compatible with third-party apps
  • Compatible with most cars
  • One year warranty

Specifications:

Package Dimensions1.8 x 1 x 1.3 inches
Item weight0.48 oz
Item Model Numberfo-WiFi-obd
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Reading OBD II

Now, not every single OBD II reader will provide you with an already read code for you to understand simply. The way your car communicates with your scanner is through codes, and it might sometimes only display the code.

If you aren’t a professional car mechanic that works with these codes all of the time, chances that you have no idea what they might mean are sky-high.

There are many different protocols that OBD2 systems follow, and some are exclusive to your car manufacturer. This makes a universal understanding of OBD2 codes pretty problematic.

If you can’t find what your specific code might mean or what is wrong with your car, you might want to check some of the most common codes and problems that might occur when that light starts flashing.