If you are a mechanic, then you know the importance of having the right tools and motor accessories for your job. One such device is an OBD2 scanner. It doesn’t only make your work more comfortable, but it will save you time and money. It also enhances your professionalism as it gives you the accurate diagnostics of the problem bedeviling a vehicle. But what is an OBD2 scanner?
What is an OBD2 Scanner?
An OBD2 scanner is an onboard diagnostic device equipped with technological features to point out a problem in your vehicle and what needs to be done to solve it. It also points out any technical issue that needs to be sorted to forestall a problem from occurring in the future. There are several scanners in the market, and picking the right one can be a challenge. You could also be on a budget, and you are worried if you will find a good scanner that won’t cost you all your savings. Don’t worry; we have taken the trouble for you. We have come up with the best affordable scanners in the market today.
Best Budget OBD2 scanners
1. Foxwell NT201
This is one of the best affordable scanners in the market today. It works really fast and accurately. A professional mechanic needs this device to carry out quick vehicle diagnostics. The scanner is ideal for a busy garage, with many customers lining up to have their issues sorted.
What is included?
This scanner comes with an adapter. You will use the adapter to plug in the scanner into your vehicle for quick diagnostics. Besides, there is also a USB cable that comes with the device. You will use the cable to connect to your pc whenever you want to update your software. The device also features an added EOBD Code Reader. You will also get free lifetime software when you buy the equipment. You will download the app from the Foxwell website and install it for instant use.
The device allows you to receive definition codes directly. You won’t need to use Google or DTC dictionary. This device will help you to fix any car problem yourself without the need to call a professional mechanic. It also features multiple operating systems. The systems are compatible for use with Windows 8, 9 windows 10, and vista. The scanner is very user-friendly. The data is presented in text and graphs to enable easy reading and analysis.
The scanner also comes with three different LED lights on the code reader. The three different colors indicate the various diagnostics of your car.
- Red color tells you that your vehicle has developed a problem and it needs urgent attention
- Yellow indicates that although your car has an issue, that issue is temporary, but it stills need to be solved
- Green means your car is in perfect working conditions
This device can be used in a variety of vehicles, including all OBDII, EOBD, and CAN compliant cars, SUVs, and trucks. Besides, this device is able to read a vehicle’s freeze frame data efficiently, and engine faults codes. It can also determine the cause of MIL in your car.
This device is equipped to read and erase codes. It also gives you a comprehensive view of vehicle data. It features a 2.4 color screen. The device is light to carry around, coming in a dimension of 4.8×2.8×0.9inches. It also weighs only 6.5 ounces. The large screen makes this device very user-friendly. With this device, you get live data and unit of measure. You will be provided with a full diagnostic report, which includes the problem, causes of the problem, and resources for repair. The device is also equipped to carry out smog checks and live data. This tool works fast and efficiently to provide solutions on time.
The device comes with a sturdy bright orange and black plastic exterior that is built to be durable. There is also a large bright screen for data display. A single purchase comes with a USB cable and an adapter. This device is very user-friendly, thanks to the quick one-click I/M button that comes with the device.
2. Kobra ELM327
This amazing scanner is compatible with any android or windows device. You will download and use the app very easily. The device can be used on all variety of vehicles from 1996 up to date.
What is included?
The device features an app that you can easily download and install on any windows system or android device. The scanner also comes in two distinct models; the Bluetooth model, which works only on windows and android, and the Wi-Fi model, which works on windows, android, and Apple operating systems.
The device is designed to quickly connect to ECU to provide you with quick diagnostic codes. It also reset the check engine lights fast. With this device, you will get both the manufacturer-specific and generic DTCs in record time. This device is also compatible for use with many applications, including the Torque app, ScanMaster Lite, and ODB Car Doctor app. You can download the applications easily to your phone or tablet from the app stores.
The device features a 16 pin connector. Once you have plugged it inside your car, you will connect the device to any application of your choice using this 16 pin connector. The device is very portable, weighing only 1.76 ounces and coming in a dimension of 4x2x1.2 inches. It is so compact it can fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Nevertheless, it works powerfully to give you the vital services needed for proper maintenance of your vehicle.
The device is designed to have a beautiful black finish. It also comes with a 16-bit adaptor. The scanner also features good ergonometric design thanks to the nonslip grips grids located on the sides of this fantastic product.
3. SeeKOne SK 860
With this scanner, you will be able to pick faults quickly and efficiently to make your life as a mechanic or car owner easy. It can be used with all the vehicles sold since 1996. It also supports all OBDII platforms. Besides, the device supports a variety of languages, including Spanish, Dutch, English, German, French, and Italian.
What is it includes?
A single purchase of this scanner comes with a lifetime free software. You can connect the device to your pc using an adapter that comes with it. You can, therefore, easily keep the records of your car on your computer for future reference. It also comes with a USB cable for connecting with other devices and a durable carry bag for carrying it around. You will use the carryback to store your device safely whenever you are traveling to work with it.
The scanner comes with a readable data stream and a CAN graph data to be used with vehicles from 1996 to date. With this device, you can get precise DTC data of your car. The device will also read and transmit your vehicle’s critical information in record time. You will get timely data on VIN, CIN, and CVN to enable you to get to the bottom of a problem and have it fixed fast. It also tests data reviews of your vehicle as well as its battery. You can also use this device to turn off MIL and reset your vehicle’s codes conveniently. This scanner is user-friendly, you will definitely love the troubleshooter code tips guide for its simplicity.
The device weighing 11.2 oz and coming with a dimension of 7.8×3.8×1.2 inches may be too heavy for a handheld device. However, it also comes with a classical 2.8 color screen and a 58-inch cord that you will find very convenient. You will also get a quick overview of your diagnostics thanks to the I/M pre-inspection readiness key that comes with the device. The device is compatible with several car manufacturers and other generic codes.
The scanner is designed to be bulky owing to the durable rubber bumpers it is made from. But it is very user-friendly thanks to the eight-button navigation system that comes with the device.
4. Autel AutoLink AL319
This easy to use scanner comes with many useful design and functionality features. The bright screen is equipped with very easy to understand navigation features. It is also equipped with a functionality that enables data comparison. You will be able to compare the old results to the new ones to gauge whether there is any improvement in the vehicle’s diagnostics. Besides, with this device, you are sure to find vehicles faults very fast. You will be able to erase them quickly to return your vehicle to an excellent working condition.
What is included?
The device comes with a USB port to enable a secure connection to your computers. The port is a rare feature to find in other scanners. Data storage and updates are very convenient, thanks to the USB port. The device also features a very easy to understand instruction manual from the manufacturer. You will also be able to use the device with different languages, including Polish, German, Dutch, Spanish, and English. This device can, therefore, be used in most parts of the world.
You will use this fantastic product to read and erase your vehicle’s codes conveniently. You will get timely vehicle data, including VIN, CIN, and CVN. The device can also perform an ignition test efficiently. Besides, you can use the tool to determine the MIL in both generic and manufacturer-specific vehicles. You won’t need a battery or electricity to power on the device; it is designed to directly tap into your vehicle’s power. It is, therefore, a very convenient tool for use anywhere, including off-grid areas.
It features a very bright LCD screen to allow you to have a better viewership. This device is also very portable, weighing 11b with a dimension size of 63x 17.7×92.5 inches.
The device comes with a bright red plastic exterior. It also comes with rubber grips notches on the side to aid better handling. The device is user-friendly thanks to the simple three-button interface I/M key. You will navigate the device easily to enable you to get quick solutions. It also comes with three distinct color display of red, yellow, and green. You will find us eth e colors to determine the overall health of your car.
5. Topdon TD309
This device comes with a compact yet robust design and functionality features. It is also among the very easiest to use the tools in the market today. With this scanner, you have all the functionalities to help you check your vehicle regularly. You will store and carry the device easily thanks to its compact stature. You will only need 6 seconds to connect the Topdon scanner to your vehicle for easy and quick diagnosis.
What is included?
This device comes in a plastic cover. The cover contains all the manufacturer instructions on how to use it. However, there is no user manual that comes with the product. But, you can log onto go to the manufacturer’s website to understand how the device can be used.
You can use this small but powerful scanner to scan your vehicle’s DTCs. You can also erase the data quickly with a click of a button. The device can read and display I/M status to allow you to view and analyze them quickly. You will also easily access essential data on your car, such as VINs, using this device. The scanner is effortless to use thanks to its single input. It is ideal for mechanics who are seeking to avoid dealing with complicated wires and adapters.
This device is tiny and light, making portability easy. It weighs 5.1oz and comes with a dimension size of 4.3×2.6×0.7 inches. It can also work with several protocols, including ISO 9141-2, ISO 15765CAN, and SAE J1850, among many others.
The device comes with a navy blue plastic exterior. It also features a huge bright LCD screen for easy viewership. You will easily navigate all options on the screen, thanks to the two-button display.
6. Innova 3040 e plus
If you are looking for a simple and affordable device to help you get an excellent diagnosis of your car, then this is the right device for you. You will understand the faulty codes easily, owing to the device’s functionalities that explain what the codes mean. You will also get essential tips on how to fix the fault codes quickly to save time.
What is included?
This device features an easy to use an app called ReapairSolution. The app will cost you nothing as it can be downloaded free of charge. The app will link you to videos that guide you on how to solve your car problems. With this device, you will also get a timely breakdown of repair costs and verified fixes.
You will be provided with live data that helps in the accurate reading of the vehicle’s diagnostics. You will also get a quick clearing thanks to the fast erase code that comes with the device. What is more, the device can reset the oil service light on most 1996 vehicles and the newer models. You can also use the device to test your car battery as well as the alternator for performance diagnostics.
The device is very compatible with several platforms such as Windows XP, windows vista, windows 7, and Windows 8. It is very portable thanks to its lightweight of 8.9oz and dimension size of 6.8×3.5×1.1 inches. The device also features a 3 inch colored screen for easy and convenient viewership. The 30-inch cord will be very convenient as it allows easy movement around your workplace.
The device comes in a sturdy black plastic exterior that ensures durability. The cover is designed to keep dirt at bay.
7. Fixd OBD-II Active Car Health Monitor-2nd Generation
This is arguably one of the best scanners in the market today. With this device, you will be able to monitor your personal car and all the other family fleet using your smartphone. In case there is an issue with any of the vehicles, the app will alert you on time. You will, therefore, be able to save a lot of money by arresting the problem before it causes enormous damage. The device will also guarantee you and your family’s safety by alerting you on time whenever there is a problem with your car.
What is included?
This device comes with a powerful app that is downloadable. Once you have plugged in the scanner into your vehicle, you will download the app to your phone to give you the desired diagnosis. The scanner will read the vehicle’s information before displaying the same for you to read the diagnostics on the app. It also comes with add-ons that guide you on fixed roadside steps to take to solve the problem. You will be able to use the device anywhere with your smartphone owing to the wireless syncing capabilities that come with it.
The app is amicable to use. You will get relevant information about your car’s performance and tips on how to take care of it. You will also use the device to get the severity of the problem affecting your vehicle. The scanner also comes with easy proactive steps on how to fix the problem and the dynamic methods to forestall a similar problem from occurring in the future.
Once you power your vehicle, the device will display the problems in your car and how to solve them. Moreover, this device will monitor your vehicle continuously, and if a problem develops, you will get prompt alerts. You, therefore, get a firm control on the performance of your car. This product is also equipped with a functionality feature to alert you whenever it is time for service.
This exceptional device can be used to carry diagnosis in more than one vehicle thanks to its multi-vehicle function. You can use the device for versatile usage, including reading and clearing the engine light, getting diagnostics reports and tracking of your vehicle’s maintenance.
The scanner features a small white design. It comes without wires, screens, or buttons. However, it is compatible for use with smartphones and tablets. If you are looking for a suitable adapter that won’t disappoint, then go for Fixd OBD-II. This is arguably one of the best choices if you are on a budget.
Guide to Buying the Best Budget OBD2 Scanners
The market is full of different models of scanners. Before you invest in any scanner, get to understand the following tips:
Benefits of an OBD2 scanner
With the OBD2 scanner, you don’t need to spend a lot of cash on a professional mechanic. You can solve minor car problems on your own using the device. Some of the scanners can detect a possible problem before it causes colossal damage to your vehicle.
A number of the brands on the list above come with alert modes. It helps in the prevention of accidents or breakdowns in the middle of the road. When you know your car has a problem beforehand, you will fix it before you embark on the trip.
The scanners on the list above are very user-friendly. You don’t have to be a professional mechanic to use one. They come with easy to understand manuals and instructions. The information you get is simple to read and understand. The scanners also work in a variety of languages and thus can be used anywhere in the world.
Who is supposed to use the scanner?
These devices are ideal for use by both professional mechanics and car owners looking to spend less time and money in diagnosing and solving problems affecting their vehicles. You will be able to locate the problem in your vehicle in record time and accurately, too, if you use this device. A non-professional mechanic can easily use the device thanks to its user-friendly manual. You won’t need the assistance of your mechanic to troubleshoot the device in your car.
How the OBD2 data works
All you need to do to get a connection is to plug the OBD-II in a connector of the device to your car. You will then enter the request message displayed on the device’s screen. The relevant ECU will then reacts and send a response message through the CAN-bus.
What should you be aware of?
The device comes with a variety of parameter IDs. These IDs can be extracted from most normal cars on the road. Using a computer system, you will quickly get clear information on your car. What this means is that, for you to read the messages, you will need a system to convert the data and make it readable. The OBD2 scanner is equipped with useful technology to enable you to access timely data from your vehicle. The list we have provided today features some of the most popular brands of the scanners in the market. Getting one of them is a great way to invest your hard-earned cash.
A lot is needed to maintain vehicles and ensure they are in the right working conditions. The OBD2 scanner will help you locate and fix a problem whenever it occurs. The scanner will not only save you money but also time and any further damage a problem may have on your car. This is a perfect tool for all vehicle owners, no matter your experience, level of education, or language. The device also comes very cheap and thus is very affordable to a significant number of people. Go for one of the scanners on the list we have provided. We guarantee you will not be disappoint