After considering dozens of Bluetooth Scanners for this guide, and ultimately selecting 7 for testing, the BlueDriver Scan Tool came out solidly on top. It ticks all the boxes in terms of perfomance, price and compatibility. Other adapters tick these boxes as well, but none hit them all quite as perfectly as the BlueDriver while also selling at a great price for such a professional tool.
On the other side, if you’re a beginner, you might want to try the plug-and-play OBD2 scanners first. Plug-and-play tools are easy to setup even for the first time users. Most of them have only two buttons, which are very handy to use. Their main use is to display trouble codes and reset light problems. One common basic scan tool is the Autel MaxiScan MS300. This maybe all you need if you just want to know the codes and perform basic repair. However, if you’re a little more experienced and want something that does more than just display codes, then go for a bluetooth adapter.
These tiny adapters don’t have any built-in software or display like what the traditional scanners have. Instead, they use a wireless or Bluetooth technology to read OBD2 signals and transmit them to your tablet, computer, smart phone, or other device.
With this option, you have to download an app and connect it to your scan tool. Various OBD2 apps are available for Android and Apple users. Some are paid, while others are free. For instance, the app Torque, which is popular for Android devices, offers a free version (Torque Lite) to let you monitor your car’s systems, as well as read and reset faulty codes. It also offers a paid version (Torque Pro), which supports more vehicles and offers more features, such as view map, graphing, and improved real-time information.
To help you on choosing the best tool for your device and vehicle, we created here a short list of the most popular and loved OBD2 Bluetooth Scan Tools on the market today. Check them out!
7 Best Bluetooth Adapters in 2018
|Ranking||Bluetooth Adapter||Android||Iphone||Price||Overall Rating|
|Yes+||Yes+||$$$|| (4.5 / 5)|
View on Amazon.com
|BAFX Products 34t5||+||+||$$||4.5|
|Kitbest Mini Bluetooth ||+||-||$||4.5|
|ScanTool 427201 ||+||-||$$||4.3|
1. BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android
BlueDriver Bluetooth is a professional OBD2 scanner that offers the best functionality and features you need at a price you can afford. It is popular among users and trusted by many mechanics - and that’s for a good reason. BlueDriver Bluetooth is integrated with capabilities that you can find in an expensive hand-held scanner like reading and clearing error codes, preparing repair reports, and checking your smog status. And with its included free BlueDriver app, you’re able to take advantage of its additional benefits, such as free updates, ability to capture and share live data, and online support. The BlueDriver app is designed to exclusively work together with the BlueDrive Sensor, so you can be sure that all the data-readings is accurate.
What we really love about this scan tool is that it’s compatible both for Android and Apple devices, and works with almost any vehicles from 1996 onward. It’s also extremely easy to setup - just plug it in and read the data on your device. Maybe the only discouraging about this tool is the fact that it’s not compatible with Windows devices yet.
Best Of The Best
This device makes a perfect choice for mechanics and car owners. It gives you everything you need for diagnostic procedure - from reading codes to checking your car’s performance. It works great for both Android and iOS devices.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $99.95.
BlueDriver Bluetooth key features include:
- Read and clear trouble codes
- Repair report
- Freeze frame data
- Smog readiness check
- Mode 6 (advanced test results like misfire counts)
- Live data
- Free BlueDriver app
2. BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool for Android
For Android devices, one of the most popular Bluetooth scan tools is the BAFX 34t5. It’s small in size, but rich in functionality. This tool works on all vehicles sold in the U.S. with a model year 1996 or newer, giving you the ability to read trouble codes, reset engine light, monitor your car’s health, prepare your car for emission testing, keep track of your speed, and even check live sensor data, such as engine RPM, O2, and fuel trim.
And what we like best about this Bluetooth scanner is that even with its lower price tag, it seems to be lot ahead of other Bluetooth tools in terms of performance. However, BAFX 34t5 is only compatible for Android devices. So if you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device, then this tool is not the right option for you.
Best Bang For Your Buck, But Only Android
The BAFX 34t5 is an absolute choice for your DIY diagnosis. It provides all top benefits, including fast performance and accurate data reading. Only available for Android devices.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $21.99.
BAFX 34t5 key features include:
- Read OBD2 CEL codes
- Reset the CEL
- Check emission readiness
- Monitor live sensor data, such as O2, speed, fuel trim, temperature, and throttle
3. Automatic AUT-350C Pro Gold 3G Connected Car Adapter
Automatic Pro is different from all the other Bluetooth scanners featured here as it works more than just a scan tool. Aside from reading codes, which helps you find out what is wrong, this tool also helps you keep track of your miles, and more importantly, monitor your car. This device can also be connected via 3G rather than Bluetooth alone. So whether you’re with your car or not, you’ll always know where your car is - thanks to its free unlimited 3G subscription (for 5 years).
This tool also has a CrashAlert feature, which is probably the best thing about it. This feature alerts the company’s trained responders so they can immediately send help in case an accident is detected. No matter where you are or who uses your car, you’ll feel secure that you and your family are being protected. However, this product only works in the U.S., on most cars built from 1996 onward.
Not Just An Adapter, But Also A Car Finder
More than just a scan tool - this device not only helps you troubleshoot your car, but also ensures your safety while on the road. With its safety features and 3G technology usage, it’s a must have for every car owner.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $129.99.
Automatic Pro key features include:
- Check engine light diagnostics
- Unlimited 3G subscription for 5 years
- Crash Alert service
- Free apps for Android and iPhone devices
4. ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth
If you’re looking for a small yet powerful tool for your diagnostic procedure, then this OBDLink MX is a device you can trust. To date, it’s considered the fastest Bluetooth OBD2 adapter, with a speed of up 4x faster than its closest competitor. OBDLink MX also has great features, such as the ability to read accurate codes, reset engine light, and monitor your car’s real-time performance. OBDLink MX is also capable of handling large amount of data.
But one of the things that probably makes this product really stand out is its utilization of unique security mechanism, which eliminates the risks of unauthorized access. This device also uses a BatterySaver Technology, which automatically turns itself off when the car is at rest to save battery life. However, like the BAFX 34t5, this tool is also not compatible for iOS devices.
A small yet powerful tool that can deliver all your diagnostic needs. It’s four times faster than its closest competitors, making it a perfect scanner choice.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $79.95.
OBDLink MX key features include:
- Read and clear CEL
- Fastest bluetooth adapter
- BatterySaver Technology
- Free windows and android app
5. Kitbest Mini Bluetooth OBD2 OBDII Scanner Scan Tool
If you want the cheapest option for getting an OBD2 Bluetooth adapter, then Kitbest Mini Bluetooth is worth a try. For only $11, you’ll have this awesome tool that has an excellent compatibility with all 1996 or newer vehicles and trucks. It’s extremely easy-to-use even for first time users - just plug the device into your OBD2 port, turn on your car, run your Bluetooth, and start the OBD2 app of your choice.
Kitbest Mini Bluetooth is compatible with many different Android and Windows app, but it works best with Torque Lite/Pro, DashCommand, and OBD Car Doctor. This device gives you the ability to read and clear trouble codes, as well as gather real-time status of your vehicle at an affordable price. However, we’ve read reviews of some users that their Kitbest Bluetooth unit does not reset check engine light. But there’s no need to worry as the product comes with a 5-year replacement warranty; so if you’re getting trouble with the unit, you can return it and have it replaced.
Compact and affordable - this is what this Kitbest is all about. But despite its size and price, this awesome device offers a surprising performance. A must-have for every car owners.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $10.99.
Kitbest Mini Bluetooth key features include:
- Read and clear trouble codes
- Read real-time engine sensor data, such as engine RPM, fuel system status, coolant temperature, vehicle speed, and fuel trim
- Hassle-free 5-year replacement warranty
- Professional customer service
6. ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth
OBDLink LX is another Bluetooth scan tool that is worth to purchase. Just like its other version, the OBDLink MX, the OBDLink LX is a user-friendly, affordable, fast, and secured OBD2 Bluetooth adapter.
It also works 4x faster than the competition and provides unparalleled performance when it comes to detecting check engine light problems and monitoring real-time readings. Its ultra-fast response lets you enjoy doing your own auto work, which is boring otherwise. But one of the major selling points of this Bluetooth adapter is its hacker-proof wireless security that prevents potential hackers from accessing your device. However, just like the OBDLink MX, this tool only works for Android and Windows devices.
The OBDLink LX provides unparalleled performance that you’ll never see in other Bluetooth scanners. It’s ultra-fast, making auto work a fun one. Only available for Android and Windows devices.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $49.95.
OBDLink LX key features:
- Read and clear CEL
- Fastest bluetooth adapter
- BatterySaver Technology
- Free windows and android app
7. KOBRA Wireless OBD2 Car Code Reader Scan Tool
This OBD2 scan tool is different from all the products mentioned above as this one uses a wireless connection instead of a Bluetooth technology. Currently, it’s one of the top-selling and most popular wireless car code readers, allowing you to perform your own diagnostic check easily and efficiently. You just need a Wi-fi connection and you’ll be able to check any car problems, as well as monitor your car’s performance.
It’s small in size, but the Kobra Wireless delivers great performance and wonderful features that any car owners would appreciate. It’s compatible with various free and paid apps, such as Torque Lite/Pro, OBD Fusion, and DashCommand. It also connects to any iOS, Android, or Windows device, and works with all 1996 or newer vehicles sold in the U.S. What we just don’t like about it is that you need to have a stable Wi-Fi connection to use it effectively.
A small, affordable wireless tool that provides all the necessary data you need for diagnosis. Whether you’re using an Android, iOS, or Windows device, you’ll be happy with this choice.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $19.99.
Kobra Wireless key features include:
- Read generic and manufacturer-specific codes
- Database has over 3,000 code definitions
- Compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices
- Real-time data streaming
- 1-year money back guarantee
We know that there’s countless of things that can either go wrong while driving. Sure, some things can happen that are out of our own control; but there are also some things that are largely within our control. And it’s up to us if we want to let those things happen or prevent them.
If you want to ensure your and your family’s safety, you have to strictly follow traffic rules and safety road regulations. It’s also important to know more about your vehicle and educate yourself of what to do in case an emergency happens. Installing a Bluetooth scanner is one of our best recommendations as it helps you detect problems while on the road. While it’s primarily designed for emission regulations, a Bluetooth scan tool can now also be used to identify codes and solve your car’s problem.
What is OBD2?
If you own a car that was built after 1996, chances are it has an OBD2 system installed. All vehicles with a model year equal to or later than 1996 are required to comply with the OBD2 standards mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But what is OBD2?
On-board Diagnostics 2 (OBD2) is a standard system designed for modern vehicles to allow you monitor your car’s performance and detect potential problems. It’s connected to a signal light, called as a Check Engine Light (or Malfunction Indicator Lamp), which flashes when an issue is detected.
The thing is that the warning light can be confusing, and there’s no way it can tell you what exactly is causing the problem unless you connect it to a scan tool. Mechanics have different scan tools and they can help you pull out the code for you to determine the cause of the problem. But this option is expensive, which could run about $100 or more. The good news is, you now have the option to do-it-yourself the diagnosis. All you need is a little technical knowledge and the right equipment for the task.