Best Automotive Diagnostic Scanner 2017: 5 Reviews and Ultimate Guide

Are you always scared when the Check Engine light comes on? We get to see how having the best automotive diagnostic tool could help you out with such a problem.

It is possible that you would get issues such as light coming up on the dashboard, meaning that there is a problem with the engine. If you want to be sure what is causing the problem, then you need to use the best automotive diagnostic scanner. Several models exist on the market right now, but we get to check out some of the best models and a few tips on what you need to know about automotive diagnostic scanners.​

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**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Types of Automotive Diagnostic Scanners​

Code Readers

The code readers would come in smaller sizes that make it easy to hold them in the hand while performing the checks. The work of code readers is to detect the common issues of a car and adjust to fix the fault. Some readers have the ability to reset some systems in a car.​

Most code readers can perform checks on emissions and the common check engine light related problems. You can get such models being cheaper when you buy online. Just make sure you find the right model, as some cheap models might not have the best reliability.​

OBD Scanners​

​These are the other type of scanners you could use for detecting problems with your car. The work of such scanners is to connect your car to the laptop. The laptop will have a powerful diagnostics software for providing the best analysis about the car error codes.

​The price for the kits can also vary from one model to another. You can get them cheap or expensive. You definitely get what you pay for with such models.

Benefits of Automotive Diagnostic Scanners​


They are All Standardized

Before standardization, you would have to buy a different kit for each model of car. With the kits being expensive, standardization had to be introduced. It is the reason you can simply get one model and it will work on different types of car without any problem.​

Learn More about the Car​

​If you own a car, you do not always have to take it to the mechanic if a light shows up on the dashboard. You can check with the scanner to understand what could be the error before taking it to the mechanic. Just like that, you end up saving yourself some money and time if the problem can be fixed at home.

Most are Easy to Use

​You might be thinking that since they have to identify the errors, the scanners might be hard to use. You will be amazed just how the models are made to be easy to use. Some would just come with two buttons for handling the whole device. Of course, before you can buy one, you have to understand its usability features.

​Catch a Problem in Early Stages

​One thing that most people appreciate about the automotive diagnostic scanner should be the ability to notice issues with your car before they can get worse. Catching a problem with your engine in the early stages should make it easy for handlings it in time. Once you have identified the issue with the car, you can now take the car to your mechanic for the right repairs.

Easy to Read Interface​

Sometimes you get machines with a complex interface where the data offered might not always be important. For most of these scanners, you would find that the interfaces are easy to read. Some you just offer you the error code and the explanation of what that means.​

Video: How to Choose an Automotive Scan Tool


Top 5 Best Auto Diagnostic Scanner Reviews​ 2017

It got to the list for being one of the best among many of the scan tools tested. If you see some worrying lights on the dashboard, then you can simply check what is wrong with this model. The model is made to be suitable for different types of cars thanks to its large database.

Once the reading is done, it will easily transmit the data to the PC for analysis simply through Wi-Fi. You will not have to connect it physically for analysis. Once the device is connected to the car, it can start transmitting the possible problems with the car causing it to show the lights.

The best part is that the model works with various types of apps to help the user easily handle the whole process. These apps can even work on different phones running on Android or iPhone.

This upgraded version comes with a lot more features that you could use to handle the diagnosis of the car problems and end up with a conclusive answer.

Pros

  • It is an upgraded version with more features
  • It is easy to set up the connection
  • It works for different types of cars
  • It supports various apps

Cons

  • Some apps tend to be inaccurate with the model
  • Some car models fail to establish communication with it

On overall, the model features the best properties you could use to handle the diagnostic needs. It will easily connect to different devices for the analysis of the data. It would easily serve you with such impressive features.


Sometimes you might end up with a diagnostic scanner that is just complex to operate. For this model, it appeals to many people for having an easy design with two buttons only. You simply have to read and clear codes with the model.

​The manufacturer made it even better by making the CD catalog to contain 7000 trouble codes and their respective descriptions. With such a tool, you would always know if the car has a specific issue. There would be no more guessing, but getting to know the precise problem.

It features the easiest to read LCD screen. Since it is even backlit, the screen should still be visible in the bright light or poor light conditions. The multilingual menu is important so that you pick the language you want. Since it is a new model, it comes with all the current OBDII protocols important for retrieving the information about the car.​

Pros

  • It is easy to operate
  • It features numerous trouble codes
  • It has an easy to read LCD screen
  • It is highly compatible

Cons

  • It often shows a link error for Ford and Chrysler cars
  • It is made of cheap plastic

The model is simple enough to get most people liking it even more. You are only to use two buttons to operate it making it favorable to most. Its compatibility also makes the model better than others in its range.


One thing you will definitely love about this model is that compatibility. It is made to be compatible for cars manufactured as from 1996 onwards. This means that you get to use it on a lot more cars all the time. It works with the American, European and the Asian vehicles with ease.

It is made to have the smart scanning feature where it can read and clear the error codes. It can still collect a lot more information about the car you own. It can show sensor data, engine RPM, coolant temperature, fuel system status and a lot more.

The model will easily work with Android phones for the analysis of data to understand what the error code is all about. A number of apps are available that could work with the model and they include Torque Pro, DashCommand, Torque Lite and many others. Just make sure to get the recommended app so that you have no inconsistencies.

Pros

  • It offers smart scanning
  • It is highly compatible
  • It works great for its Bluetooth range
  • It is easy to setup the connection

Cons

  • It only works for Android devices
  • Some of the compatible apps are hard to use

The model is compact and easy to use. These are two things most people would be looking in such a device. It is also made to be great with connecting via Bluetooth to your Android device. It could have been better if it worked with iOS devices.


The model is designed to be great when it comes to the number of vehicles it can cover. It works well with all the OBD-II and EOBD cars and the light trucks too. Once you get to use it, you will notice there are endless applications with the model.

Before you can visit the mechanic next time, you can now easily fix the problems with your car. It can tell you about the problems with the car and clear the codes. If you always had trouble with the check engine light, it can easily be dealt with.

It is a cost efficient method of dealing with the car problems. It is cheaper and delivers the same results as compared to the expensive scanners. With the regular inspections, you should be in a position to keep the engine in great working condition and performance.

The model is simple to use so that you end up with an easy time identifying the problem. You do not even need additional software to operate the model.

Pros

  • It is simple to use
  • It supports many vehicle models
  • No need for additional software
  • It is an affordable model

Cons

  • It has less trouble codes as compared to rival models
  • It does not fit on most Volkswagens

The model is very simple to use as compared to some models with more buttons. Since it does not need additional software, you can be sure using it is not going to be a problem.


This top handheld tool will save you some time and money when it comes to repairs. Sometimes you take your car to the mechanic when the problem could easily be resolved by using such a scanner. You can now have a piece of mind knowing that the car maintenance is well taken care of.

​The model will easily read and clear the trouble codes such as the generic and pending codes. It is also important for reading the specific codes from the manufacturer and their meanings. It will display the data on the screen so that you get to learn more about the codes and how they can be fixed.

It is a matter of just plug and play with this model. It does not need any special software for it to work. It also comes with an easy to read LCD screen. You should have no problem reading even poor light conditions. With its convenient size, you should find more people loving it.​

Pros

  • It is the right size for convenience
  • No need of batteries to power it
  • It is highly reliable
  • Its interface is easy to read

Cons

  • It is an expensive model
  • Issues with the manufacturer customer service

It is a model you would enjoy using thanks to the easy to read interface. It displays the important data so that you do not end up being confused. It also does not need any additional battery to operate it.

Conclusion

​As you can see, the various options that you have when it comes to using the best automotive diagnostic scanner are numerous. From the models above, you should have an idea of which is the best model to pick.

​On overall, the KOBRA wireless OBD2 model seems to be the best with its numerous features. One thing that makes it stand out should be its compatibility. It can work on different types of cars so that you can check the errors and clear them. With its database of 3000 error codes, you should easily find one that matches to the car trouble. If you like it, go ahead and get one for yourself.

Anthony Ebden
 

He's an auto blogger. He worked as an auto mechanic for more than 5 years and his mission is to provide our readers with the best car maintenance tips, DIY guides and the most updated trends in the automotive industry.

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