7 Best OBD2 Scanner Tools To Purchase in 2018 And Why

Back in the day, car owners relied on the service of mechanics to ensure that their cars remain in good working conditions. But today, almost all vehicles have an integrated device, known as on-board diagnostics port, to help you do this job on your own. All you need is to connect the port to an OBD2 scanner to gather information that will help you detect and troubleshoot any issues.

While you still have the option to go to a repair shop to find out what’s going on in your car, having your own OBD2 scanner is extremely beneficial. Most auto repair shops charge a minimum of $100 just for diagnosing issues. This doesn’t even include fixing the problem. If you invest in an OBD2 scanner, you’ll save significant amount in the long run.

Various OBD2 scanner tools are available on the market; and the better news is prices on these automotive devices continue to drop, making them much more affordable even for average car owners. You can have a reliable OBD2 scanner tool for less than $50. But of course, if you need a scan tool that can do more than just basic scanning, you can go for a professional model that has more features. They can be a little expensive compared to the basic ones, but your investment will quickly pay for itself.

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Below, you’ll find our top picks for the best OBD2 scanner tools available on the market today. (There are also Bluetooth OBD2 scanners, see our guide here.)

7 Best Scanner Tools in 2018

RankingOBD2 ScannerColor ScreenPriceOverall Rating

1



Autel MaxiScan MS300
No$4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)
 
View on Amazon.com

2



Autel AutoLink AL319
Yes$$4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
 
View on Amazon.com

3



Autel AutoLink AL519
Yes$$4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
 
View on Amazon.com

4



Autel AutoLink AL619

Yes$$$4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)
 
View on Amazon.com

5




Oxgord MS300 CAN
No$4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)
 
View on Amazon.com

6



Veepeak VP30
No$4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
 
View on Amazon.com

7



Autel MaxiScan MS309
No$4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)
 
View on Amazon.com
1. Autel MaxiScan MS300 CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool

If you’re looking for a reliable, simple, and affordable scanning tool for your diagnostic needs, this Autel MS300 is the perfect choice for you. Though small in size, this amazing scanner is powerful enough to provide the same information as high-end models. It can retrieve thousands of DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) on most U.S., European, and Asian vehicles that are OBD2 compliant, and display the definitions on the easy-to-read screen so no need to manually go online for further explanation.

The best thing about this Autel MS300 is it’s so simple to use. With only two-button design, it makes reading and clearing codes easy for any car user.

Best Of The Best 

Autel MaxiScan MS300 CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool

Affordability, simplicity, and functionality - these things are what make this Autel MS300 our top pick.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $18.99.

Autel MS300 key features:

  • Easy-to-use with two-button design
  • Easy-to-read backlit LCD screen with multilingual menu
  • Reads and clears codes
  • Retrieves DTCs, VIN, and supports the CAN protocols
  • Includes CD catalog of 7,000 DTC with descriptions
  • Works with most OBD2 compliant vehicles
2. Autel AutoLink AL319 OBDII and CAN Scan Tool

Another popular scan tool from Autel is this amazing Autel AL319. Just like the Autel MS300, it’s so simple to operate even by first-time users, having only three buttons to press. Also small in size, it’s a powerful scan tool that can retrieve thousands of codes, including generic, manufacturer specific, and pending codes on all vehicles with model year 1996 or newer.

But what makes this Autel AL319 stand out is its unique patented one-click I/M Readiness Key feature, which quickly lets you know if your vehicle will pass an emission test. It even comes with a built-in speaker and amazing alert system to tell you if your car gets ready. With this, there’s no need for you to rush to an automotive shop for inspection.

Popular Scan Tool

Autel AutoLink AL319 OBDII and CAN Scan Tool

With its unique patented one-click I/M Readiness Key and easy-to-use navigation, this Autel AL319 makes a great alternative for Autel MS300.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $29.98.

Autel AL319 key features:

  • Easy-to-use with three-button design
  • Bright-colored coded LEDs and built-in speaker
  • Patented one-click I/M Readiness Key
  • Retrieves generic (P0, P2, P3, U0), manufacturer specific (P1, P3, U1), and pending codes
  • Clears codes and resets monitors
  • Works with most 1996 and newer vehicles
3. Autel AutoLink AL519 Enhanced OBDII Scan Tool

If money is not an issue, then you may want to spend a little more on getting this scan tool, again from one of the most trusted and well-known manufacturers of OBD2 scanner codes, the Autel. This Autel AL519 is the second most expensive on our list, but the price is still reasonable enough when you consider what you’re getting. For its price and size, this scan tool surprisingly supports all 10 modes of OBD2 test, including reading and clearing trouble codes, viewing freeze frame data, retrieving vehicle information, and diagnosing misfires, which you’ll usually only get by using a premium scanner.

In addition, this powerful scan tool features a patented one-click I/M Readiness Key with a built-in speaker to help you easily monitor your emission status. It also comes with a TFT color display to allow you clearly read all DTC definitions on the screen. And finally, this product is internet updatable, which means you’ll always get detailed and current analysis all the time.

AutoLink AL519 is truly the ultimate in power and affordability

Autel AutoLink AL519 Enhanced OBDII Scan Tool

With its patented one-click I/M Readiness Key and other premium features, this Autel AL519 makes a solid choice for your diagnostic needs.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $54.98.

Autel AL519 key features:

  • Patented one-click I/M Readiness Key
  • Retrieves generic (P0, P2, P3, U0), manufacturer specific (P1, P3, U1), and pending codes
  • Retrieves VIN, CIN, and CVN
  • Clears codes and resets monitors
  • Views freeze frame data
  • Enhanced OBDII Mode 6
  • Works with most 1996 and newer vehicles, domestic and import
  • Internet updatable
4. Autel AutoLink AL619 ABS/SRS + CAN OBDII Scan Tool

Again, another amazing scan tool from one of the giants in the diagnostic tool industry is this Autel AL619. If you want a more powerful scan tool with more features, this gadget is for you. In addition to being able to read and clear faulty codes, this Autel AL619 can also diagnose ABS and SRS system codes on over 50 different vehicle manufacturers with model year 1996 or newer, such as Audi, Hyundai, Ford, BMW, Toyota, and Porsche.

It also features an I/M Readiness to help you know if your vehicle will pass an emission test, and comes with an LCD screen to show you the code definitions, as well as read and playback live data. Perhaps, the only drawback about this scan tool is the price. In fact, it’s the highest on our list, offered at about $100. But with its high-grade specs, we can say it’s a great value for money.

Autel AutoLink AL619 ABS/SRS + CAN OBDII Scan Tool

A slightly higher in price, but a worth purchase for any DIYers who want to do more than just a basic scan and repair.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $117.95.

Autel Al619 key features:

  • Retrieves generic (P0, P2, P3, U0), manufacturer specific (P1, P3, U1), and pending codes, as well as vehicle information (VIN, CIN, and CVN)
  • Diagnoses ABS (anti-lock brake) and SRS (airbag) system codes
  • Reads, stores, and playbacks live sensor and PCM data
  • Clears and resets faulty codes
  • Turns off Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL)
  • Displays I/M readiness status
  • Internet updatable
  • Works with most 1996 and newer vehicles
5. Oxgord MS300 CAN OBDII Scanner Tool

If you’re in the search for another simple and affordable device for diagnosing trouble codes, this Oxgord MS300 is a great option. This scan tool is lightweight and small in size, so you can easily take it anywhere and store if not required. The two-button design makes this tool a great choice for beginners as it eliminates the hassle of navigating complex menus. This Oxgord MS300 does only the basic job of reading and clearing codes, which is probably all you need if diagnosing trouble codes is just your concern.

What we like about this scan tool is that for only $13, you got yourself an amazing tool that you can carry anywhere you like (thanks for its compact design), and most importantly will help you troubleshoot your basic car’s issues in no time.

Small and lightweight. A perfect scan tool for people on-the-go.

Oxgord MS300 CAN OBDII Scanner Tool

*At the time of publishing, the price was $13.95.

Oxgord MS300 key features:

  • Easy-to-use with two-button design
  • Small and lightweight
  • Reads and clears trouble codes
  • Turns off check engine light
6. Veepeak VP30 OBDII Scanner Automotive Diagnostic Scan Tool

Another OBD2 scanner for sale at a very reasonable price is this Veepeak VP30. It offers the same basic features as the Oxgord MS300 and Autel MS300, having two-button design that is simple to use. And just like the models mentioned above, this Veepak VP30 is able to read and clear thousands of diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), including generic, manufacturer specific, and pending codes. In addition, it is able to turn off check engine light (CEL), view engine sensor readings, and retrieve vehicle identification number (VIN).

If you’re a budget driver looking for a cost-effective solution for your specific car, then this Veepeak VP30 is a smart choice. This scan tool works well with most vehicles that are OBD2 compliant, both domestic and imported. And the best thing? It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as a 12-month hassle-free replacement with friendly customer support, so you can purchase with confidence.

Veepeak VP30 OBDII Scanner Automotive Diagnostic Scan Tool

Easy-to-use and extremely affordable, a great choice for DIY car owners who are on a budget.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $15.99.

Veepeak VP30 key features:

  • Reads and clears faulty codes
  • Turns off CEL and review I/M readiness monitors
  • Retrieves VIN (Vehicle Identification No.)
  • Lightweight and simple to use - no app/software and batteries required
  • Works with vehicles that are OBD2 compliant
  • Includes 1 user manual with DTC definitions
7. Autel MaxiScan MS309 CAN OBDII Diagnostic Code Scanner

Here’s another simple and affordable yet amazing scan tool made by Autel, the Autel MS309. This device is small but it’s capable of delivering efficient solutions for your diagnostic needs. It is designed to determine the cause of your check engine light, clear faulty codes and reset monitors, retrieve vehicle information, and view freeze frame data. Its large backlit LCD screen displays error code definitions, eliminating the hassle of manually searching information online.

What’s best about this product is its minimalist design. The same with other basic scanners, this Autel MS309 has only two-buttons to press, making it easy to use even by technically-challenged drivers. And since it’s a product made by Autel, you’re guaranteed that it’s durable, reliable, and it offers the best value for your money.

Autel MaxiScan MS309 CAN OBDII Diagnostic Code Scanner

Simple, affordable, and compact, this Autel MS309 is for anyone looking for an easy way to do-it-yourself their car diagnosis.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $19.99.

Autel MS309 key features:

  • Retrieves codes, both generic and manufacturer specific
  • Clears and resets trouble codes
  • Turns off CEL and displays I/M readiness status
  • Views freeze frame data
  • Works with all 1996 or later OBD2 compliant vehicles

How we picked

Because of their ability to help you diagnose your car problems and troubleshoot them if needed, OBD2 scan tools are considered an essential car item these days. However, with their increasing popularity, more and more brands and models with more features are becoming available in the market, making it hard to choose the best one that suits your needs.

So we surveyed people and read reviews online to determine what kind of products best appeal to the users, and we found out that most people still prefer basic products than those items loaded with fancy features. While having tools with advanced features is greatly beneficial for the users, sometimes, getting a basic item that does the job is enough for them. Affordability is also another big factor that most people consider when buying products. With those factors in mind, we searched the internet and found these 7 best products in this class.

Why trust us

We’ve been writing about cars and technology for many years; and we use our knowledge and expertise in the field to give you reliable information that could help you in your buying journey. We’ve spent serious amount of time researching online, surveying users, and reading reviews even from the experts to give you unbiased and honest buying advice.

For this guide, we reviewed over 20 products and spent hours working with them, comparing each to the others, until we’ve come up with our top 7 choices. We rated our recommendations in terms of price, reliability, and ease-of-use.

Who this guide is for

An OBD2 scanner tool is extremely beneficial for both personal and commercial use, so not only companies that offer auto repairs should invest in one. If you’re a vehicle owner, it’s important to also consider buying a scan tool. This is specially true if you travel a lot. In fact, your scan tool can be your best diagnostic investment. What if you stuck in a middle of nowhere and no one around to call?

In addition to being able to scan codes, having your own scan tool can also help you repair basic car problems and avoid further issues. Even a basic scanner can alert you when something wrong is going on in your car. And most of them have built-in software that displays the definitions of faulty codes on the screen (or comes with a code manual), so you’ll know where to begin troubleshooting. Not only does this save you costly trips to the mechanic, but also save you a lot of headache in the long run.

Our pick

The Autel MS300 is super basic in terms of features, but it impressed us with its quality performance. Even though it’s small in size and basic in design, we can say it beats other basic scan tools offered at twice the price. It’s smartly designed to make it easy for a total newbie to use it, with only two-buttons to press. But despite its simple construction, it surprisingly delivers great results as high-end models.

Best Of The Best 

Autel MaxiScan MS300 CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool

Affordability, simplicity, and functionality - these things are what make this Autel MS300 our top pick.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $18.99.

The Autel MS300 is capable of retrieving generic and manufacturer specific DTCs and displaying their definitions on the easy-to-read backlit LCD screen. It can also retrieve vehicle information on 2002 or newer vehicles that support Mode 9, and work with most OBD2 compliant vehicles, both domestic and import.

What we also like about this product is it comes with a very affordable price. For only $16, you’ll have a reliable tool that you can use for your do-it-yourself diagnosis. But the best thing about this product is it’s pretty simple to use. Even if you’re not a car geek, you can easily learn to use this Autel MS300. Just plug the 16-pin OBD2 connector to your car’s OBD2 port and you’re all set.

If you’re looking for a basic scanning tool, then this MS300 is definitely what we recommend. And knowing that the product comes from one of the giants in the diagnostic tool industry, then you can guarantee that your purchase is well worth it.

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