Having a good OBD2 scanner tool is a must have to troubleshoot a vehicle engine and pull computer codes.
After reading a code it will show what the problem a car or truck is having and narrow down what to do to fix it.
With the many OBDII scan tools for sale it can be a bit of a question what the best one is.
There are many good units available with some of our favorite picks below.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, here, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks for The Best OBD2 Scanner 2021
- INNOVA 6030P
- CReader 4001
- Autel AutoLink AL319
- LAUNCH Creader123i
- ELM 327
- Autel MaxiScan MS300
- MAOZUA VS600
- INNOVA 3100
- Actron CP9690
INNOVA 6030P Code Reader ABS/Check Engine Light OBD2 Scanner Live Data Diagnostic Scan Tool with Battery & Alternator Test/Code Severity Levels/Full OBDII Modes
The INNOVA 6030P is an OBDII scan-tool with many added features such as built-in Bluetooth, ABS, and battery test.
Since it has Bluetooth built-in it is also a wireless scan-tool that works with an app making it a standalone unit or work with a smartphone.
INNOVA has a dedicated app called Repair-Solutions 2 that is available in the Google Play or the App Store.
This makes it a good unit for those who want a stand-alone unit as well as a wireless unit that can send data to a smartphone.
LAUNCH Creader 4001 OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Scan Tool Car Code Reader for Turning Off Check Engine Light Reads and Clears Engine Fault Codes
The Launch CReader 4001 is a good low cost scanner with a lot of features.
It has a lot of options including reading codes, erasing codes, I/M readiness, data stream, On-Board monitoring, and vehicle information.
It also erases emission related error codes which is nice option, of course the code will likely come back if the problem is not fixed.
When it comes to cost verse build quality and features the Launch CReader 4001 is a good unit to get.
Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner Automotive Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Scan Tool
The Autel AutoLink AL319 is a low cost OBDII engine scan-tool that has a lot of features.
The LAUNCH Creader123i OBD2 scan tool is the latest version of the 123 series from LAUNCH.
It is a professional OBDII scan tool with many nice features such as reading SRS and ABS codes, a touchscreen for easy use, WiFi, and much more.
The Creader123i has a lot to like about it, and it is for the advanced DIY mechanic or a professional.
CREACLE V2.1 Super MINI ELM327 Bluetooth OBD/OBD2 ELM 327 Multi-Language 12Kinds Works ON Android Torque/PC
The ELM 327 is a well known micro-controller that is built specifically to translate OBD2 signals to other interfaces such as USB or Bluetooth.
This means the the ELM 327 controller shows up in a variety of devices sold to convert OBD2 signals.
The devices include Bluetooth, USB, and handheld tools, which can vary in price from very cheap to expensive.
It will require a smartphone or laptop to display the data via a app or program.
There are many programs that can show the output of the ELM327 and do many other things such as clearing codes or even a full display of oil pressure, temperature and so on.
If you need a small quick low-cost OBD2 scanner tool a small ELM 327 device is a good option.
Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Scanner Car Code Reader, Turn Off Check Engine Light, Read & Erase Fault Codes, Check Emission Monitor Status CAN Vehicles Diagnostic Scan Tool
The Autel MaxiScan MS300 is handheld self contained scanner.
It has a simple to use menu system that is managed by two buttons, scroll and enter.
This is a good low cost budget option that is a stand alone OBD2 tool.
MAOZUA VS600 Diagnostic Scan Tool Advanced OBDII/EOBD Scanner Live Data Car Code Reader 1996 Later US, European Asian OBD2 Protocol Vehicle
The VS600 Vgate is a nice mid-range scan tool and comes with everything needed to troubleshoot a vehicle computer codes.
The features are too numerous to list from the basic clearing of codes to graphs that show data.
This is unit may have more options than is needed for the everyday backyard mechanic. If you do want more options than this is a good unit.
Innova 3100 Diagnostic Scan Tool Code Reader with ABS and Battery Backup for OBD2 Vehicles
The INNOVA 3100 is a mid-range OBD2 standalone code reader for those who need more than a cheap tool.
A nice feature about the INNOVA 3100 is its ability to read ABS codes which many tools dont do.
It can also clear codes and show pending codes.
Actron CP9690 Elite AutoScanner Kit Enhanced OBD I and OBD II Scan Tool for all 1996 and newer and select 1984-95 vehicles, CHROME
The Actron CP9690 is a high end OBD2 scan tool that has features most will never use.
The CP9690 is likely over kill for most but if you want scan tool that can do it all this is a good one to look at.
Buying the best OBDII scan tool like any device takes reading and understanding what is needed to fix the job you have on hand.
If you only need to troubleshoot one car a small cheap low cost OBD2 unit will likley be best.
For working on multiple cars a better built unit with more features is likely the better option.
Most any tool will give the codes for any car 1996 and newer since the interface have been standardized on these models.
Once a code is given software is usually included to give more information about the code. While this is OK it is always best to simply Google the code and read through the many forums about the problem, which will give more clarity to the problem and how to fix it.
More expensive units will have more information built into them to give more details about a code without looking it up.
Whichever unit is bought as always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure it does what you need it to do.