A car is a mixture of mechanical and electronic parts. And you can’t be sure when a part of the vehicle will start to fail and stop working. And you can avoid this situation by using the best professional car diagnostic scanner in 2023 which saves not only time but also money.
Automotive diagnostic scanner designs, also known as OBD scanners or OBDII scanners, are car diagnostic tools used to capture your car’s trouble codes. Automotive scan tools work like a mechanic more cost-effectively.
These tools will help you understand the problem and give you the error codes you need to lookup more details online. Most scan tools plug right into your dash and will even send you alerts if there’s a problem with your vehicle.
You will be given a summary of the problem in layman’s terms, the severity of the problem complete with the consequences of driving with it. In addition, you will receive instructions on what to do to continue to ensure your safety and that of your vehicle.
Therefore, it is worth buying car diagnostic equipment. To help you find the right professional car diagnostic scanner brand, we have analyzed and researched all the features that are suitable for your car.
And we have made a list of the best professional automotive diagnostic scanners in 2023, along with a complete buying guide and detailed review of these products.
Top Pick For Best Automotive Diagnostic Scan Tool
A good automotive scan tool will give you some details on what might be wrong with your car. So that you at least have an idea of where to start looking and what to tell your mechanic.
There are various simple and advanced diagnostic scanners for your car that come in different makes and models. With such a wide range to choose from, choosing the best diagnostic scanner can be a little tricky.
To make it easy for you, we’ve researched a lot of scanning tools and found the 8 top picks for the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner in 2023 for you to choose from. Below is a full analysis of them.
Buying Guide for the Best Diagnostic Tool For Cars
It is best to do extensive research on an item you are planning to invest in. As for automatic scanners, these devices have multiple capabilities.
However, some features should be present in any basic car scanner. Let’s take a look at the important features of diagnostic tools for cars that you should know about.
– Auto Diagnostic Tool Types
Car diagnostic tools are basically of two types: the first is a diagnostic scan tool and the second is a code reader. Although they perform the same basic function, they are very different tools. An OBD2 scanner is a multifunctional automotive diagnostic tool.
Such a scanner can do much more than just read active diagnostic trouble codes. Many of these devices allow users to monitor live data streaming from a vehicle’s many sensors. On the other hand, the capabilities of a code reader are quite limited.
In the vast majority of cases, code readers can do little more than their name suggests, other than simply read any active or stored trouble codes. You can choose one of them depending on your usage.
– Ease of Usage
Unless you are a professional and not familiar with automobile devices and equipment, it is recommended that you get a diagnostic scanner that is simple and easy to use.
Various car scanners on the market are very good but difficult to read. Buying such a scanner can be a waste of money if you don’t know how to read the results.
The way an automotive scan tool is designed and manufactured, as well as the material it is made of, are key attributes that indicate how durable it will be.
Choose the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner that can withstand wear and tear, pressure, or damage. Also, make sure it has a stylish design that will look good anywhere.
There are two types of automotive scan tools, the OBD-1 version, and the OBD-2 version. The designs of OBD2 and OBD1 scanners are also strikingly different, meaning they are intended for different types of vehicles.
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The main difference is the year: ODB refers to before 1996, while OBD2 refers to after 1996. Whichever car diagnostic tool you choose, in the end, you need to choose one that you know works: if it’s not sure, contact the manufacturer because he will be able to tell you.
– Connectivity Option
As technology advances, so does the need for advanced equipment. To make sure your diagnostic tool for cars has no connection problems, you’d better buy a scanner with Bluetooth.
The Bluetooth connection allows you to connect the scanner to other devices such as printers, mobile phones, and computers.
Another thing to consider when shopping is the price you are willing to pay for the automotive scan tools and then consider your options accordingly. The price of the device depends on how many features the device has, such as annual software updates and scanner capabilities.
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Plus, you can choose between simple and complex scanners. The simplest ones only serve to identify the problem and usually do not provide more information. These are relatively cheaper.
8 Top Rated Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scan Tool
On-Board Diagnostic OBD2 scanners can help you figure out what’s going on under the hood so you can troubleshoot it quickly and efficiently. While they are not a magic tool that can solve your car problems in a jiffy.
However, the right type of automotive scanner tool helps you to find problems in your auto before they trouble you. And suggest what will your next task.
To help you get the most out of your work, we have compiled a list of the 8 best professional automotive diagnostic scan tools.
1. BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool
- Brand: BlueDriver
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 2.2 x 1.9 x 1 inches
- Operating System: IOS and Android
- Reads all codes
- Smog Check
- Freeze Frame
- No cords required
- View live data
- Monitor vehicle health
- Customize the information in a different way
BlueDriver is one of the top-rated, easy-to-use, affordable, and most reliable OBDII scan tools to use on any vehicle. BlueDriver OBD2 scanner offers you a one-stop solution to repair your vehicle as it can generate unlimited reports on various repairs.
With advanced diagnostics, important information like airbags or ABS is provided to you simple way. You can also perform advanced diagnostics on different types of vehicles. The scan tool features a combination of BlueDriver Sensor and BlueDriver App for quality and reliable results.
The live data option, freeze frame settings, smog check tool, and mode 6 option can further improve the accuracy of your test results and give you much more data to work with.
You can connect to your device via a Bluetooth connection, no cables are required for it to work properly. All you have to do to use this device is plug it into your car’s OBD2 port and the rest of the work can be done from your computer, phone, or tablet. BlueDriver app can run on Android and IOS devices.
2. Autel Scanner MaxiCOM MK808 OBD2 Car Diagnostic Scanner
- Brand: Autel
- Power Source: Battery Powered
- Screen Size: 7 Inches
- 25+ Service Function
- Ease of usage
- View Live Data
- Work on each part of the vehicle
- Most extensive diagnostic scanners
- Multi-language support
- Auto VIN technology
Autel is the most trusted brand that produce professional automotive diagnostic scan tools in 2023. It has extensive system coverage and can diagnose vehicles from more than 80 different manufacturers.
AUTEL OBD2 Scanner has a simple user interface that makes it ideal for beginners. You can get all the necessary information and take the appropriate action. The patented one-click button can check condition emissions and you get more flexibility with the large color TFT display.
A variety of other functions, such as an LED display and a built-in speaker, offer you maximum convenience. The device features Auto VIN technology that allows you to easily extract vehicle information from certain systems.
It can store data that may be needed for car service or repair, and you can get the data management system of the device.
If you’re looking for the most advanced auto scan tools that offer a comprehensive list of features, there might be no better options than the Autel Scanner MaxiCOM MK808.
3. LAUNCH X431V PROS Bi-Directional Full System Scanner Tool
- Brand: LAUNCH
- Power Source: Battery Powered
- Screen Size: 7 Inches
- 31 Service Function
- One-Click Generate Health Report
- Bi-Directional Function
- 26 Languages Support
- Data Record & Playback
- Practical Remote Diagnosis
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Connection
- 10000+ Car Models Compatible
LAUNCH is the most compatible bi-directional car scan tool, which can use more than 10000 car models according to manufacturers. The plug-and-play scan tool is easy to use and requires no technical experience. You can have a live data stream or display a still image with ease.
The car diagnostic tool can also identify the VIN information. Once you take care of the faulty components, you can turn on the vehicle’s ignition. You can even use it on misfires and fuel systems.
Active testing capabilities make it easy to find specific data to identify issues you may have missed. With up to nine hours of battery life, 32GB storage capacity, and fast software updates over Wi-Fi, you can keep the tool ready to go when you need it.
It can be used to perform more than 31 service functions, including steering angle reset, oil light, and electronic parking brakes. When we look at the numerous features that the device offers, we can safely say that the product is worth the money.
4. ANCEL FX2000 Premier Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner
- Brand: ANCEL
- Power Source: Battery Powered
- Screen Size: 9 Inches
- Reads live data stream
- Views freeze frame data
- EVAP leak test
- Retrieves vehicle information
- Unit of measure
- Supports multiple languages
- Classic design
- Easy-to-use diagnostic tool
The ANCEL FX2000 universal OBD2 scanner is an excellent product for diagnosing vehicle components quickly and more efficiently. ANCEL is a popular brand that has developed many professional tools.
The scanner’s classic design saves you time and money by allowing you to fix the problem quickly. In doing so, it can also read intermittent and hard memory and works by providing historical codes.
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Although it comes at an affordable price, it doesn’t require any power supply. The OBD-II data link connector automatically powers the device. Simply plugging it into your vehicle will prompt you to start the ignition.
This scanner supports 46 individual vehicle brands and can access engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS data. With Anmcel FX2000 OBD2 Scanner, you can get lifetime free updates. This can save consumers hundreds of dollars during the ownership period.
5. Innova 3160g Pro OBD2 Scanner
- Brand: Innova
- Power Source: Battery Powered
- Screen Size: 9 Inches
- Check Engine Light
- Read ABS/SRS Codes
- Stream real-time live data
- Live Data Graphing
- LED Lighted Connector
- Reset battery maintenance light
If you are looking for a high-quality and reliable car diagnostic tool, then the Innova 3160g Pro OBD2 Scanner is a good choice for you. The device is very lightweight weighing only 8 ounces. It has an ergonomic design with a compact and modern appearance.
It also comes with a large full-color backlit display. The screen is simple, clear, and easy to read. This brilliant interface allows you to read or erase codes and perform various functions effortlessly and quickly.
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Despite its small size, it can record real-time readings and store them for review, either directly on the diagnostic tool screen or on a connected Windows computer. In addition to the check engine light, you can check and reset the brake, tire, steering, and oil warning lights.
This is an all-in-one system that not only allows you to check and reset these issues but also allows you to log data in real-time. It’s also well built, meaning it won’t break from mishandling.
6. FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Professional Diagnostic Scanner Tool
- Brand: FOXWELL
- Power Source: Plug and Play
- Screen Size: 2.8 Inches
- Supports multiple code requests
- Clears codes
- Reads, records live sensor data
- Reads live O2 sensor
- Specially Designed for Home DIY
- User-friendly Design
- Optional Carrying Case
FOXWELL NT301 is one of the highly rated and most affordable professional automotive diagnostic scan tools in 2023 for your car. The most important thing is that it comes with multiple features and has better prices. It easily identifies intermittent issues and ensures repairs are confirmed.
The built-in speaker can also prepare for a smog test. In addition to multiple functions, it has a wide color screen that can support data logging. The device works well with OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles manufactured between 1996 and the present.
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In addition to the scanner, the Foxwell NT301 includes a USB cable that allows you to connect the device to a computer to transfer data and download updates.
The device can be used with more than 61 different vehicle makes and models worldwide and simple styling is not a problem when using this device. For mechanics who work with different car models daily, this tool is very useful.
7. AUTOPHIX OBD2 Scanner Enhanced OM126P Vehicle Code Reader
- Brand: AUTOPHIX
- Power Source: Corded Electric
- Operating System: Windows 7
- Screen Size: 4 Inches
- On-Board Monitor Test
- O2 Sensor Test
- Review the recorded DTC
- View stream data
- Review & Print the diagnostic report
- Enhanced Data Read
AUTOPHIX OBD2 scanner is designed to quickly scan and diagnose your car and then fix your problem in seconds. It supports all data streams for compression ignition vehicles. And it displays code definitions along with onboard monitoring.
You can even identify vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency probes. More importantly, you can start a leak test for the EVAP system. Whether it’s a data stream or pending codes, the AUTOPHIX OBD2 scanner can do it all.
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Even at a relatively cheap price, the scanner can activate multiple functions. Its comfortable buttons allow you to have a different test ride experience. The durable case protects the code reader from almost all damage during use and can keep it for a long time.
All of these features make the OM126P stand out from other older auto code readers and give you a cost-effective way to scan your car parts.
8. Autel Scanner Maxisys MS906 2023 Car Diagnostic Tool
- Brand: Autel
- Power Source: Battery Powered
- Operating System: Android 4.4
- Screen Size: 8 Inches
- Fast and excellent processor
- User-friendly interface
- Easy to use
- Extensive vehicle coverage
- Provides live data
- Supports actuation tests
Autel Maxisys MS906 is a high-quality, fast, and efficient professional automotive scan tool. When used for diagnostic purposes, it can reset dozens of functions throughout the car while also gathering lots of useful information that can help you spot faults or damaged components.
The MS906 is capable of performing full OBD2 functions such as reading, clearing, and saving codes. It also offers live data view, customization, performance testing, and more. The best thing about this device is that it is compatible with a wide range of vehicles.
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You can also use the scanner to test bi-directional components such as fuel pumps, headlights, and windshield wipers. As one of the most cost-effective professional automotive diagnostic tools, it efficiently provides comprehensive vehicle diagnostics, analysis, and maintenance for mechanics and technicians.
The MS90 is a professional OBD2 scanner that covers all the basics and offers many advanced features. If you use OBD2 scanners regularly, the MS906BT is one of the best investments you can make.
Top FAQs About Best Professional OBD2 Scanner Tool
What is the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner in 2023?
In 2023, many auto brands come with high-quality advanced professional automotive diagnostic scanners to quickly fix your car problem. However, according to our car experts, the LAUNCH X431V PROS scan tool is the best car diagnostic tool you can buy. It is an easy-to-use car diagnostic tool that is packed with intuitive features.
This 5.0-inch touchscreen comes with an internal battery, so you don’t have to leave your car running to use it. You can also graph live data, reset diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), and perform emissions tests. One advantage is that Launch offers free updates for life.
What is the difference between OBD1 and OBD2?
All cars made before 1996 used OBD1 and all cars made after 1996 used OBD2. The main difference between OBD1 and OBD2 is that OBD2 systems offer better and more standardized vehicle logs and system checks.
OBD1 systems are less comprehensive, although they can still read a variety of trouble codes that help diagnose faults in multiple vehicle processes.
How do the scan tools function on your vehicle?
The basic idea of using a diagnostic scan tool is to obtain diagnostic trouble codes that your vehicle will automatically log when it detects a problem. This is the same process mechanics use when you take it to a garage, only with much fancier and more capable equipment.
Diagnostic tools download data from a vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port. This universal access port gives you access to virtually everything the vehicle detects regarding problems.
What can you do with an OBD2 scanner?
You can use an OBD2 scanner to check your car’s diagnostic codes. Turn error codes into easy-to-understand issues and actions. The scan tool that plugs into your OBD 2 port can perform a full vehicle diagnosis and send vehicle status alerts to your phone.
A quick look at your notifications and you can easily find out why the Check Engine Light is on and what to do about it.
Can I use a car scan tool with the engine running?
The engine does not have to be running to connect and read codes, but the ignition should be in the “run” position to use the car scan tool. It is still possible to scan your vehicle by leaving the scanner plugged into the OBDII port and checking for DTCs, but there are many reasons why you might want to do this.
Is the automotive scan tool worth it?
It depends on the use case. If you are a mechanic or own an auto repair shop, an automotive scan tool is definitely worth your time. You can easily run and diagnose performance, emissions, sensors, etc. on your car’s computer. But if you own a car and want to try it out, then OBD2 scanners can be expensive and may not be worth it.
How much professional automotive diagnostic scanner cost you?
Professional car diagnostic scanners offer different price ranges based on function and design. In today’s world, it is difficult to know how much a product will cost. You usually have no idea how much something costs because the price range can vary so much.
However, quality car scan tools will set you back anywhere from $150 to $1000, depending on who you buy them from and where you live.
If you have a good auto scanner, you won’t have to take your car to the mechanic every time the check engine light comes on. It will save you a lot of money and time.
It will help you check your car yourself and if you are stuck in an area where there is no auto repair shop nearby this little tool can come in handy. So we highly recommended to buy it if you passionate auto driver.