The Best OBD2 Scanner of 2019

The Best OBD2 Scanner of 2019


After ten weeks of research, testing and comparing
features, then consulting with a local expert diagnostic technician, we picked the BlueDriver
as the best OBD2 scanner. The BlueDriver app and adapter combo has better
compatibility with systems like ABS and airbags than anything else under $100, and unlike
some scanners you won’t have to guess about what apps and cars it will work with. Now, this review wasn’t sponsored, and we
bought all of these scanners ourselves. We set out to find the best value for a car
enthusiast who just wants to know why that warning light came on. We found three top picks: one for advanced
smartphone scanning, one for no-fuss diagnostic work and one for teaching your car new tricks. So, what is OBD2 anyway? There’s a lot going on under the hood of your
car, and an on-board diagnostic scanner can give you a look at the data from the essential
systems. Every car sold in the US after 1996 has included
an on-board diagnostic computer system that works with the OBD2 standard. If you live in a state that requires a “smog
check,” OBD2 is the system they’re plugging into to make sure your engine is running the
way it should. If the computer sees a failure in an essential
system, it records the information and turns on your dashboard’s “malfunction indicator
lamp” – the check engine light. So, an OBD scanner, even the super-cheap ones,
can show you that “fault code” to tell you what triggered a check engine light. Most scanners can even show you the “freeze
frame” of what was going on with your car’s systems when that problem popped up. More advanced scanners will also show you
readouts of your engine’s systems in real time, either numerically or as a graph. Once you get above the $100 range, scanners
start to do other stuff, too, like checking manufacturer-specific airbag and braking systems
that aren’t included in the basic OBD system. So, what’s the deal with Bluetooth scanners? The latest trend in diagnostic tools is to
skip the standalone hardware and use a bluetooth adapter to send the car’s data stream wirelessly
to a smartphone or tablet. Just make sure the adapter you buy is compatible
with your device and the app you want to use. Some smartphone apps can do cool tricks that
standalone scanners can’t, like showing a virtual dashboard or logging performance on
a map. So, we bought seven standalone plug-in scanners
and four Bluetooth adapters. Here’s a list of the best OBD-II scanners: The best Bluetooth scan adapters to get data
into your smartphone are: #1 – Lemur – Bluedriver #2 – Carista – Bluetooth OBD2 Adapter #3 – Veepeak – OBDcheck BLE #4 – BAFX – 34t5 For standalone scanners that work all by themselves
we picked: #1 – Launch – CReader V+ #2 – Foxwell – NT301 #3 – Launch – CReader 4001 #4 – Innova – 3030g2 #5 – Autel – AutoLink AL319 #6 – Ancel – AD310 #7 – Autel – MaxiScan MS300 We tracked down three specific systems we
could unplug to make our test car’s computer generate a consistent set of error codes. Then we plugged in each scanner to see if
it could read and clear that warning. First, we unplugged an O2 sensor to confuse
the emissions monitoring system and generate a generic check engine light. Next, we unplugged a braking system fuse to
throw off the ABS computer. And finally, we unplugged the weight sensor
cables under the passenger seat to get an airbag warning code. The first basic emissions code was easy for
all of the scanners to catch, it’s a system that OBD2 was built around. The other two codes are specialized systems
that use manufacturer-specific programming, and we could only reset them with the more
sophisticated BlueDriver app. This video is just a quick look at our favorites
out of the 12 scanners we tested, if you want to look at results from all of our tests and
compare some of the other models, head over to our full review on YourBestDigs.com. Our top pick overall is BlueDriver from
a little company called Lemur. We were a bit skeptical when we first started
seeing reviews of the BlueDriver, it’s unheard of for a $100 scanner to have all of these
features (you normally wouldn’t see these codes without a $2-300 scan tool). It is right at the top of the price range
for this lineup of affordable scanners, but if you need to scan ABS and Airbag systems
it’s a bargain. Now, BlueDriver can’t read every system on
every car, so make sure to check the compatibility list on their website before you buy for a
specific job, but the list of systems it will read is downright impressive. Some other scanners only list vague compatibility
ranges. We were pretty frustrated that the Innova
didn’t read our test car’s ABS codes, but the BlueDriver list was precise and accurate. The fact that BlueDriver app gets regular
updates makes it more future-proof than most other scanners. The app is free, too, so you won’t need to
pay to unlock advanced features or if you borrow the hardware from a friend. What about downsides? Sure enough, even this wonder-scanner isn’t
perfect. We loved the interface overall, but the graph
readout takes some tweaking to make it really useful. Doing a complete scan is pretty slow, too. BlueDriver’s adapter also doesn’t connect
to other apps for stuff like mapping. That’s kind of annoying, though it’s nice
to have the adapter and app working together seamlessly. OK, we know that some of you hate the idea
of relying on a smartphone or iPad to work on cars, so we also recommend the Launch – CReader
V+. We didn’t find any standalone models in our
$100 budget that could read all the extra systems that BlueDriver can, but
for less than fifty bucks the CReader reads basic OBD codes without any extra complications. The feature that really sets this scanner
apart is that it has the best real-time graph display. We like the customizability of BlueDriver’s
interface, but the CReader graph just gives you the data you need with no tweaking. The V+ also connects to a few other systems,
like mode 6 and the fuel evaporation system test. The cheaper model from Launch is nearly the
same in every other way, but for about $10 more we think it’s worth having the
extra systems. The CReader’s interface isn’t as polished
as the BlueDriver app, but there’s no doubting that it’s a reliable tool at a good price. Now if there’s nothing wrong with your car
and you’re more of a power user than a mechanic, the Carista app and adapter combo are worth
taking a look at, maybe even in addition to the CReader or BlueDriver. Carista’s app includes basic OBD2 scanning,
but mostly it gives you control of some of the programmed features of your car’s control
systems. So, for example, we can makes Cara’s windows
and sunroof open from the remote like this: Carista isn’t really a diagnostic tool as
much as a key to the hidden secrets of your car’s features. This is also probably the easiest way to reset
those pesky oil change lights on newer cars, but check for compatibility if that’s on your
wish list. We were also a fan of the Carista adapter’s
price: last year it was $40, but at the new $20 price, it’s the best way to get into specialized
Android and iOS apps. This means you can use good diagnostic apps
like OBD fusion and Torque, so it’s definitely our pick for a multi-purpose Bluetooth adapter. But then, the flaws. Apps like Carista and other diagnostic apps
have subscription or unlock fees for advanced functions, so it’s not just a $20 adapter
you’ll be paying for. If you work on a bunch of different cars BlueDriver’s
one-time purchase will probably be cheaper. (Bluedriver also had better compatibility
than those apps in our tests.) Also note, the Carista app is supposed to work
with other bluetooth hardware in addition to their own, but it only worked with one
other Android-only adapter we tested. Not a huge deal now that their adapter is $20,
but if you’ve already got a different adapter that works fine with other apps it’s a bummer. So, those are our three picks for OBD2 scanners. If you want to see more details about compatibility and pricing check out our full write-up on YourBestDigs.com. Don’t forget to like and subscribe, and sign up for our email list if you don’t want to miss out on our
newest reviews!

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. Our picks for the best OBD2 scanners:

    The best overall: Lemur – BlueDriver http://geni.us/bdriver
    Best wired scanner: Launch – CReader V+ http://geni.us/creader
    Notable mention for mods and hacks: Carista http://geni.us/carista

  2. Are there any diagnostic Tech's here. And the best ones are the maxysis or snap on or launch but they're like 4 grand or more

  3. I've been watching OBD reviews all day and learned more in 2 1/2 minutes from you guys than all t others combined. Thanks!

  4. Do any of these do SRS or ABS? I have a 2004 Avalanche, and as many chevy trucks go, I need the ABS bleeder function. Looks like none of these have this… Only one I'm finding that's capable of this for less than 200$ seems to be the foxwell NT630 plus, which is about 150$ or so?

  5. I have yet to find a Bluetooth scanner out of the 3 I have tried that will work on Toyota or Subaru myself all the ones I trade are off the shelf ones that you can get from auto parts stores except for one I ordered off of Amazon it did not connect up to my Subaru at all I did not have I toiled at the time and it absolutely will loved my roommates 2004 Explorer sport trac.

  6. I bought the Launch creader and am really happy with its simple and quick performance Highly recommended as low cost scan tool

  7. If you were to go look at a used car to buy, which scanner would be the best just to check everything? I'm looking for a first car and would like to do a outside check as well as a "inside check" into the cars computer to see if anything is hiding from the naked eye

  8. No company has manufactured a scanner that reads transmission, tpms, epas codes, all in one under $100. Without those you and the regular non car guys will be dependent or even worst screwed by stealerships and dishonest mechanics.

  9. Those are code readers not scanners most shops that use snapon scanners will scan them for free… Snap-on tells the to scan for free. Not diagnose the code for free you can waste a lot of money changing parts by a code reader

  10. Will Bluedriver tool collect and diagnose issues if my smartphone doesn't have service/no cell connection? Does my phone need to be able to access Internet?

  11. I bought the Foxwell NT301 and it payed for itself the first time I plugged it in my car. A must have tool in this modern electronic world.

  12. This is how you do a review video. Dont drag it out for 10hours with random crap. Straight to the point and then some more info.

  13. A £3 Bluetooth dongle saved me a £200 transporter bill to move my Automatic Ford Focus last year. I went into Drive too fast whilst rolling back and it seemed to "stall" and stop. It would not start. I had the Torque app on my phone and with the Bluetooth dongle read a code that said the ECM memory was FULL. Having remapped some cars I knew how to clear the ECM ,it was to kill the power, so took the negative lead off the battery. Waited 10 seconds,connected back up and it started. Phew!!!!!!

  14. My Ancel AD310 has worked on every US compliant OBD 2 protocol capable vehicle 1996 and later that Ive tried. Its like $35 USD on Amazon. 1999 Volvo S80 2.9 I6, 1996 GMC Yukon GT 5.7 Vortec V8, 2001 Buick Regal LS 3.8 V6, 2005 Saab 9-5 Aero 2.3 Turbo, 2006 Saab 9-3 Sportcombi 2.0T B207R, 2004 Volvo S40 2.4i I5, 2009 BMW 128i 3.0 I6, 2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R H6, 2007 BMW Z4 3.0 Si I6, 2015 BMW F Gen 328xi 2.0 Turbo I4, 2016 Volvo S60 T5 AWD 2.5 I5. And I think thats all this scanner has seen. Live data readout is quick and accurate, as well as precise. Optional change between metric and imperial measurements. It is very inexpensive, but almost truly universal.

  15. BUY USA MADE AND STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM FOXWELL I GOT ROBBED $260 GONE NT624 now they sell the 650 dose more for less wth is that US MADE FOR NOW ON

  16. A Actron CP9680 works on OBDII. It's well-lit! The screen is large. It reads live, record, graphing, transmission codes, oxygen sensor codes, emissions readiness test, ABS, SRS, and MORE! It has code-connect to diagnose codes. It uses 4 aaa batteries under the rear cover. EBAY has it. A Snap on scanner tests OBDI and OBDII. Get the primary and troubleshooter cartridges. Get the adaptor. Get the battery pak and cable. Get the manuals. It uses a 9volt square battery under the cover on the left. OBDII uses personality keys for the OBDII adaptor. K2A is for Ford. K13 is for G.M. EBAY has it.

  17. Hi, I have a E36 320i with ABS and DSC lights on…would this connect with my car and tell me what the problem is? Which one? Thank you very much

  18. First, get a Actron CP9690 or CP9680 and eliminate most codes. A Vantage checks EVERYTHING but it's VERY expensive! We're talking $10,000! Code-connect diagnoses codes. You can't expect a general scanner to do the work of a dealer scanner. The CP9680 or CP9690 has a large screen and is well-lit!

  19. i love the fact that people think they fixed there car because they turned off a light on the dash…thats like turning off your house light evin thow your house is on fire…..what ever makes you feel beter i guess

  20. And there lies the problem WINDOWS ios is NOT compatible with ANY scanner IOS will not connect at all WSIIROON SR850 and the wireless OBDII is a complete waste of money and not compatible with Windows even though they say it is and NO software on there Home page

  21. Autoland read obd1 obd2 program keys , reprogram air bag ,stering angle, ecu updates, electric brakes , tire presure , abs ,air bag .dsc , a/c , and much more

  22. I have a VXDAS Nexzscan in my vehicle: a 2007 Xterra.

    I was driving one afternoon when the Check Engine Light came on. My scanner determined it was my gas cap. Not only was I able to diagnose, repair, dismiss the code, VXDAS Nexzscan offers a subscription for personal use.

    It has features such as 40k DTC definition,retrieves generic,manufactures-specific and pending codes as well as vehicle information(VIN,CIN,CVN) .including the ABS/ Stabilitrak codes.and shows service intervals, what service is typically needed, average prices, and is able to find repair shops.

    VXDAS Nexzscan can show some live data as well.

    VXDAS Nexzscan cannot do a smog check nor show freezeframe data, but with my model year to fail a smog requires extreme wear in the exhaust or engine, which it has not come to.

    I’d like to see a comparison of VXDAS Nexzscan and BLUEDRIVER, along side dealer-level or shop diagnostic tools for fairness.

  23. I think you are wrong. Blue Drive don't work on my car . I have Elantra 2001. Have to return my scanner.

  24. Fox well 301 is junk, will not reboot so the screen freezes and that's the end. Trying to update is a unreliable method to kill it or fill it.

  25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWAw06PpDAo WHAT EVER YOU BUY DO NOT BUY FOXWELL ITS CRAP SAVE YOUR MONEY

  26. Bluedriver is proprietary with its own software and can't be used with other software. Did you consider obd2link mx+? I has its own software, works with open software, and cool coding apps like bimmercode. It is also Android and apple compatible…

  27. None these! All these are trash! If you cant read BCM and other non engine modules your getting ripped off. 10 weeks of research took me 1 hour of viewing the specs VCX nano and will the ability to program factory control modules why would anyone even consider the crap in the this video? I am able to program my current modern 2016 vehicles, read codes lol who cares that’s decades old now.

  28. Does blue driver have any use without report feature ? As manufacturer said this feature is not working on Europe VINs

  29. Best of 2019, yet you uploaded this in 2018. Reminds me of the WWE videogames that are released a year prior to the year in the title. Anyway, this was an awesome review. Very straight forward and helpful. I'm glad I came across this video while looking for a scanner.

  30. Does the Blue Driver or any of them have the live transmission fluid reading ? Im looking for one so i can change my toyota sealed trannie which calls for specific temperature range in order to open the overfill plug.

  31. BY picking BlueDriver as your best, you have lost all credibility to do reviews. you should have left that for last so people would at least watch the video. now it's stop and move on after 11 seconds.

  32. What do you think about OBD scanners like Foxwell NT 301 or Creator C310+? or what can you recommend for bmw both new and old models covering all series, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 X an Zs and of course all the M//s.

  33. hi there sir/al i got vz commodore 2004 auto v6 sum1 took it they took al th computers in th car n th computer next to th motor n took all th dash dial thru every1 they got me computers in th car n al dash dials for free they al lookin for a compuer next to th motor for me they said i need tool scanner to fix al computers n speedometer in dail n fix key th tool sanner is much!!! is there a tuning software do ALL!!!??? n do other tuning hagd1 sir/al

  34. That lovely Lemur BlueDriver has problems reading non-North American vehicles. The review should have pointed this out as that includes most of the world.

  35. I see your 3 picks.There is 1 scanner out there and if you if you were lucky enough to get before they pulled it off the shelf you landed on gold.I didn't see yu guys compare it to it.$89.99 18 PIDS graph custom data freeze framing print out of new and when your car was making the problem for you to compare.Not just OBD 2 A EOBDI or OBDII E meaning european OBD1 and OBD2.IT just wouldn't erase the codes but if you wanted to advance your timing and alot more this was your tool.But a word to the wise all these are what are called 3 party scanners.Each manufacturer has their own scanner for that make.I have heard of 3rd party scanners messing up PCMS .I have never had a problem with any of them.This scanner would tell you about your transmission shifting pointsYou can't buy it anymore so to compare would be wrong but I see them on EBAY OR AMAZON sometimes.They have linked the updates to a $1,300 1 they have so you stil getl upgrades for free. have video on this Scanner so please watch.It you find one please let me know.When I mentioned 18 PIDS , that means that it would tell you of 18 things that's wrong or change.For beginners it would tell you not just the code but what was going on and the part so you wouldn't get ripped off when the mechanics told you your muffler bearings needed to be replaced.Not all Mechanics do that but they are out there use someone that's been in business a long time and your friends and family go to.The name has changed on this tool but you can still find it as the CEN-TEC 60694.Since they pulled the product the price has gone up a little but not over $100.

  36. should I buy it ? 49.95 https://www.infoyour.com/–for-android-tool-scan-pro-bluedriver-obdii-bluetooth-ym6dy8m9-iphone?zenid=bdt5bc4gjetmvljh5di8fr3r44

  37. OBDLink MX+ Professional OBD2 Scanner for about $100 has been working great for me! Works great with Android phones.

  38. I have the CreaderV+ for years now and it's a very basic reader but a reliable one. Three main features are read DTC, clear DTC and Data streaming. I'm looking forward to buy also a Vgate iCar Pro because it supports BLE 4.0, has an auto slep/wake function and has a super power saving mode (<3mA). It probably is compatible with most apps out there 🙂

  39. Ive tried expensive handheld, cheap handheld and bluetooth and Bluetooth seem more reliable and much much cheaper. Ive got a really expensive handheld and it only seems to want to work with some cars and not all. Better off with cheaper units and bluetooth with phone apps.

  40. When you take your car to the dealer, does their computer detect more things than your top mention? When I go to the dealer they make it seem like you have tomgomto them to detect certain things

  41. Hi 👋 thank you for the review I got a question ❔ which one can I use to modify the car 🚗 mileage ? Thanks in advanced

  42. Click link download below to get the item.Risoo V310 Car Diagnostic Scanner Tool Portable Handheld OBDII CAN OBD2 Erases Trouble Clear DTC Code Reader Scan Tool
    https://www.lazada.com.ph/products/risoo-v310-car-diagnostic-scanner-tool-portable-handheld-obdii-can-obd2-erases-trouble-clear-dtc-code-reader-scan-tool-i375718204-s852554038.html?spm=a2o4l.searchlist.list.5.40a1610bB7n7Ko&search=1.

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