Best obd2 readers and scanners


The computerised OBD2 reader systems started operating as early as the year 1969 on Volkswagen’s fuel-injected models. These very basic versions would illuminate a few malfunctions by indicating wherever there was any problem, however, they did not give any useful and comprehensive diagnostic information or the exact nature of the identified problem.

Later on, new OBD2 readers and scanners, using a digital communication-port that relied upon series diagnostic trouble-codes, were established by the introduction of an internet-enabled assembly line diagnostic-link (ALDL), which could identify a problem and fix it very quickly. Since then many OBD2 scanners have been manufactured including Nitro OBD2.

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How to Use an OBD2 Reader and Scanner

Using an OBD2 scanner is quite easy and it does not require much mechanical knowledge; they only identify the problems for you or a mechanic to fix. Most OBD2 readers and scanners are plugged into the OBD2 connector which is usually located beneath the car’s dashboard. The moment you have the OBD2 scanner plugged in. Simply turn the car ignition key but don’t necessarily start your engine fully. The OBD2 scanners or readers will simply figure out the issue just as any other diagnostic tool. To confirm this, try OBD2 reader Argos as an experimental device.

obd2 reader

Here are the Best OBD2 Reader and Scanners for 2018

We have listed the 10 best OBD2 scanners available on the market for you to buy, additionally, the buying guides and reviews are detailed enough for you to make an informed decision. Check the advertisement closely to ensure that you don’t end up buying imitations or fake copies of the products. Your choice may also depend on your budget, your type of car. And, also your preferred computer application that can be downloaded on your phone, tablet or PC. The descriptions given below will finally help you make a choice of the best OBD2 Scanner.

Locating the OBD2 connector can also be a daunting and difficult task; car manufacturers sometimes hide away the plug-in socket. However, OBD2 connectors are located on the driver’s side next to the centre console in the passenger’s compartment. Sometimes it’s just located next to the driver’s footwell, underneath the steering wheel. Or, behind panels within the dashboard and the area in the centre between the seat of the driver and the seat of the passenger. The links above can be accessed to show the availability, full descriptions, reviews and sellers. Search online to find out more about OBD2 pinout connectors. This is an important component since this is where the scanner is plugged in.

BAFX Products 34t5 OBD2

The BAFX 34t5 is the brand product of BAFX products. It is a high-quality OBD2 scanner operating well via an Android phone. It is accurate and dependable, however, it has few problems in clearing off diagnostic codes. BAFX 34t5 is light in weight and transmits real-time data, but its connection through Bluetooth is inconsistent. It is affordable in terms of costs and compatible with a wide variety of vehicles making this product one of the most convenient OBD2 code reader. BAFX provide after-sales service for the buyers of its products and accept returns of delivered faulty items. The shipped package comes with a clear instructions guide; pretty good for the basic idea of the initial setup.

Carista Bluetooth OBD2

Carista OBD2 Bluetooth adapter and app is versatile and can be used to diagnose, service and customise various vehicles such as Audi, Lexus, BMW, Scion, VW, Toyota, or Skoda with dealer-level technology. Adapter Carista Bluetooth OBD2 application is compatible with both Android and iOS. Third-party apps guaranteed to work with Carista app are Dash, OBD Fusion, Track addict, and Dash command on iOS and most ELM327 applications on Android. It has a Bluetooth OBD2 code reader that resets for all petrol cars manufactured after 2001 and diesel cars from 2004. Carista sellers offer a free trial period but will require some features to be paid in advance, such as manufacturer-specific diagnostics, electronic service tools, and vehicle settings personalisations.

ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2

This is a product from Elm Electronics. Elm327 OBD2 works smoothly and is compatible with several car makes including Honda, Nissan, Chrysler, Ford (but not all models), Mazda, VW, and Toyota. It reads diagnostic trouble codes for non-specific and manufacturer-specific issues, all displayed in a database of over 3000 codes alongside their meaning. Elm327 displays current sensor-data, including; calculated load-value, fuel system-status, coolant temperature, engine RPM, short-term and long-term fuel trim, vehicle speed, intake manifold pressure, intake air temperature, timing advance, air flow-rate, oxygen-sensor voltages, fuel system, absolute throttle-position, and pressure status. This highly recommended Bluetooth OBD2 does almost everything and the price unbeatable.

Panlong Bluetooth OBD2 Adapter

This OBD2 adapter is a product of Panlong. Panlong OBD2 support all 1996 and new vehicles located in the US that are compliant with OBD2. These include Volkswagen, Chevrolet, GM, Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Ford, Subaru, Peugeot, Suzuki, Citroen, BMW, Audi, Chrysler, Skoda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Kia, Opel, Daihatsu, Benz, Porsche, Isuzu, Renault, Fiat etc., but not Nissan. It is easy to operate the device as it is simply plugged into an OBD2 port and compatible Android phone and tablet. Once paired with an OBD2 Android app on your phone, the app works perfectly with few errors. It is very light and easily portable. The only limitation is that the Bluetooth can only work on Android.

XTRONS ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2

This is a registered product of Xtrons. It is another car diagnostic scanner-tool compatible with almost all OBD2 compliant vehicles. This tool is capable of viewing real-time car-data while driving, therefore, its efficiency is guaranteed. It is one of the latest Xtrons OBD2 Multi-Protocol Support tools and works well with the Torque app. Its price is affordable and alright for most users. The item is light and easily portable. Generally, it works great, however, as it is new in the market, it is still being reviewed and some improved functions are being added.

Torque Pro Elm 327 OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner for Android

This scanner comes from Elm Inc. It is easy to install especially on cars made within the last 20 years and are fitted with an OBD2 diagnostics port; check on the manual guide to find where to plug in. It is easy to set up the app and connect; unlike other ELM327 products just download the Torque app from Google play store into your tablet or phone and then plug in the adapter and finally enter the codes provided as they are being asked. Torque OBD2 comes with a free 1-year warranty; in case of breakages it can be returned for immediate replacement. It’s a product of great value and comes in nice packaging.

ScanTool 425801

This is a brand product from ScanTool. The scanner has a USB to plug into your laptop, tablet or PC directly but is not compatible with iOS devices. It can easily access graph logs, export data and provide free lifetime firmware and new software updates. ScanTool provides a clear instructions manual including the software and links to online help. This OBD2 reader is obviously one of the best. OBDLink SX works well with all 2001 petrol cars and 2004 diesel engines and also newer vehicles and light trucks sold all over the European Union. It is really a gem, and a must-have item while on a road trip.

Autel AL519

The Autel AL519 OBD2 reader is superb in providing emissions checks and drives cycle verification just at the click of a button. It is capable of reading and recording live O2 sensor-data, and displaying freeze-frame data and vehicle information numbers on its large Thin Film Transistor (TFT) colour display. Autel provides audible-diagnostics procedures and it can also save data reports for printing in hard copy. It usually comes in a durable storage case. Drivers enjoy free internet software upgrades and updates through the USB interface. This OBD2 reader will help you save cost in just one fix compared to a dealers diagnostic and repair procedure.

Foxwell NT301

The Foxwell NT301 is a product of Foxwell Inc. It has a tile-based layout similar to most smartphones and tablets allowing many users to find the operation and navigation of this product familiar, even though they might be newbies in using any of these devices. It works on European, American, and also Asian cars. It can check and read real-time emission status and live data-streams from the engine’s sensor. The driver can view and clear engine fault-codes and access on-screen definitions of the fault codes. However, it does not work well on heavy-duty vehicles and trucks. It is highly recommended to ordinary car owners, due to its cheap price and efficiency.

Ozzy Gear OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner

This is a brand product from Ozzy Gear. It reads diagnostic trouble codes, both manufacturer-specific and generic, and displays their meaning for easy understanding. It transforms your PC, Android phone, or tablet into a professional grade auto scan tool but it is not compatible with iOS devices. Ozzy gear clears trouble-codes and works on all 1996 vehicles and newer trucks and cars. Torque and dash commands are the popular options with Ozzy Gear. It is one of the most reliable OBD2 scanners with a lifetime warranty. There is a return option for a replacement or refund of Ozzy Gear Bluetooth-Scanner. It is highly rated by customers who bought it.

Things to consider when buying an OBD2 Reader

The reputation of the device matters; there is a wide variety OBD2 to choose from, but cautiously go for a solid, well-known and reputable manufacturer whose product has been verified by many people and proved to work efficiently on different models of cars. Generally, cheap products are expensive down the line as they can cause harm to your car.

A clear diagnostic is a factor to consider; having an OBD2 Bluetooth adapter that does not give clear information that you don’t understand can create more frustration. Data storage capabilities of OBD2 scanners is important in ensuring that a clear history of the problem is kept safe. Ensure that the OBD2 scanner is portable and can be moved around easily.

In conclusion, most of these products are only compatible with an Android app on phone, for example, BAFX OBD2 scanner, OzzyGear, and ScanTool and cannot work with Apple iOS phones. However, Carista Bluetooth OBD2 works well on both Android and Apple iOS phones. ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2 has diverse features for engine diagnosis and its price is considerably lower than other products.

In addition, it gives you a competitive value and can perfectly contribute to the overall safety of the braking system and also the airbags, maintaining them in the top-notch condition. ELM327 OBD2 is very popular and the manufacturer seems to be reputable too. Panlong Bluetooth OBD2 Adapter is compliant with many types of vehicles except Nissan. The ease of use in understanding the codes and interpreting them gives these OBD2 scanner the advantage over the others; Ozzy Gear Scanner and ELM327 OBD2 do well on this.