Top 10 Picks
Check Engine Light Readers
Updated December 6, 2022
2
INNOVA 6030P OBD2 Scanner ABS Code Reader-Check Engine Light-Diagnostic Scan Tool Live Data with Battery & Alternator Test-Code Severity Levels-Full OBDII Modes
WarrantyManufacturer Warranty For One Year From The Date Of Purchase.
CEL & ABS FIX FOR FAMILY---Compared to other complicated scanners on the market, Innova 6030P obd2 scanner is designed for all US family at an affordable price to assist with the most common automotive warning lights issues, namely check engine light(CEL) and ABS(brake) light faults.
GET RID OF ANNOYANCE---During this difficult time, it can be annoyed when you found the warning lights on. With Code Severity Levels function of 6030P ABS scanner, you can quickly identify if your vehicle needs an immediate fix or if it can wait until you get home to fix it yourself.
DO IT YOURSELF---Not only can you read codes to diagnose your car problem directly, you can also see key information about your vehicle in real time (RPM, Oil Temp, etc.) to aid in diagnosis. And we are glad to tell that Innova 6030P has been selected to "Amazon Editorial Recommendations" as "Best OBDII Scanners" and "Amazon's Choice Code Reader". :)
BATTERY TEST TO SAVE TIME---Innova 6030P enhanced scan tool provides battery & alternator tests to check the performance of a vehicle's charging system. It does so by checking if the batteries and alternators are in line with voltage specs recommended for the vehicle. When troubleshooting a no start/hard start condition, carrying out this test really helps in knowing where to look, hence saving time.
Color
black
9.7
JunkieScore
3
OBD2 Scanner CGSULIT SC301 Car Check Engine Light Code Reader with Reset Full OBDII Functions Universal Vehicle Diagnostic Scan Tool for Smog Check, Live Data, DTC Lookup, On-Board Monitor Test, Gray
Warranty1 Year Manufacturer
【Enhanced OBDII Service Modes】SC301 OBD2 scanner enables you to turn off check engine light(CEL), locate bad O2 sensors, EVAP leak test, access emission status, reset monitors, retrieve vehicle's VIN, read/erase fault codes, etc. Plug and play, no batteries, located your car's problems in minutes. Note: For permanent fault codes, please fix the issue first, and then clear codes, otherwise, the scan tool won't clear codes successfully
【One Click I/M Readiness】+【Help Pass Smog Check】SC301 car code reader monitors the emission-related systems' status, to check if your car is ready for the smog test, such as Misfire, Fuel, CCM, CAT, EVAP System, etc. Help you pass the smog check easily, save your money for paying fine tickets. A Green-Yellow-Red light and the speaker will indicate the readiness status
【Built-in 10,000+ DTC Lookup Library】+【"?" Button Offer Accurate Advice 】SC301 car diagnostic scanner has a unique "?" button. SC301 scan tool not only shows DTC definition but also offers helpful tips to deal with DTCs by pressing the "?" button. No need to Google why your vehicle's CEL comes on and what the DTC codes mean
【Accurate Live Data Streams】+【Record/Playback/Print Data】Not only can you view the live data but you can record it during the road test to find a problem and then playback/print the data. Live data can be displayed via graphs like you can see if the vehicle is running rich or lean with a fuel trim running lean
Color
SC301 Gray
9.5
JunkieScore
22% OFF
4
NEXAS NL101 OBD2 Scanner | Car Check Engine Light Code Reader | Free Update, Free Protective Case | Reset Monitor, Live Data Stream, Retrieve VIN, Emission Test, Battery Test | 2022 Upgrade Version
Warranty24 Months
🍀【A FREE PROTECTION CASE for YOU】: In addition to getting an OBD2 Scanner, an OBD 16 PIN Diagnostic Cable, an USB cable and an User Manual, you will also get an additional Black Protective Case; normally, if you want to own a Black Protective Case, you must spend at least USD$15.98 additional money to have it, so don’t hesitate to buy it, you can have it, you deserve to have this OBD2 product.
🍀【ELITE VERSION】: 🚩🚩No need to upgrade, NL101 OBD2 Scanner is the latest software, the OBD2 protocol database is released by the SAE Automotive Engineering Association, there is no need to update the content, and at it also saves your update cost.
🍀【OBD/EOBD 2 Modules in ONE】: NL101 OBD2 Scanner supports full 10 modes OBD2 diagnostic functions, read and erase fault codes, view I/M readiness, data stream, freeze frame data, retrieve auto vehicle information, O2 Sensor test to accurately locate bad O2 sensor, advanced on-board monitoring, and the EVAP test function which enable you initiate a leak test for the vehicle’s EVAP system.
🍀【Realtime Live Data in Graph】: NEXAS NL101 OBD2 Scanner will help you to check the car engine fault codes, displays the error code definition, finds out what caused and the result of the check engine light on, turn-off Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), provides you the solution and reduce/avoid maintenance costs. Show real-time live data in graph to diagnose your vehicle. Save Your Time and Your Money.
Color
black
9.3
JunkieScore
31% OFF
5
Autel AL519 OBD2 Scanner, Professional Mechanic OBDII & CAN Car Diagnostic Code Reader Tool for Check Engine Light, One-Click Smog Check, DTCs Lookup, Upgraded Ver. of AL319/ MS309
🔥【All 10 Modes of OBDII Tests】Autel AL519 OBDII scanner can perform all 10 modes of OBDII tests for complete OBD2 diagnosis, including read codes, erase codes, view live data, patented one-click smog check, freeze frame data, O2 monitor test, on-board monitor test, component test, view vehicle information, module present. AL519 scanner is the most complete & cost-effective OBD2 code reader.
🔥【Turn off Check Engine Light(MIL)】AL519 check engine code reader offers complete OBDII diagnostics from pulling DTCs, read live data stream of various sensors, capture freeze frame data to show how the issue happened, to even perform On-Board Monitor Test(Mode 6), O2 Monitor test, and Component Test to check misfire and fuel system to locate bad O2 sensors and figure out the root cause of the Check Engine Light (CEL).
🔥【Wide Vehicle Coverage】Autel AutoLink AL519 car diagnostic tool supports all OBD2 protocols: KWP2000, ISO2000, ISO9141, J1850 VPW, J1850 PWM and CAN and can work on almost all OBDII compliant vehicls- post 1996 for cars sold in the U.S., post 2006 for EU-based and post 2009 for Asia-based cars.
🔥【DTC Definition Lookup】Fed up with cheap code readers that you have to google the meaning of the codes? Look no further! Autel offers the AL519 auto diagnostic scanner that comes with DTC Lookup and DTC Breaker features showing you the definitions and descriptions of the DTCs in no time! No more guesswork or frowning upon the contradictory opinions on the internet!
Color
Red
9.2
JunkieScore
6
KONNWEI KW850 Professional OBD2 Scanner Auto Code Reader Diagnostic Check Engine Light Scan Tool for OBD II Cars After 1996(Original)
Warranty3 Years Manufacture
★【SAVES MONEY AND TIME】The KW850 car computer reader is a professional vehicle diagnostic tool for car owners to quickly read and erase DTC (engine fault codes) as well as a battery tester. A look-up library with over 8, 000 built-in generic code definitions allows you to accurately identify the cause of your CHECK ENGINE and perhaps fix it without going to see your dealer. It also assists you in easily passing annual emissions tests and SMOG CHECK.
★【NOT ONLY TURN OFF THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT 】Unlike other cheap car diagnostic scanners, KW850 OBDII code reader covers full OBDII/ EOBD diagnostic functions for engine system. O2 sensor test, EVAP systems test, and on-board monitoring test give you full control of your vehicle's running status, while a graphical and numeric live data stream display will help you to find out the faulty sensor readings. (Please be noticed: this function is for ENGINE System only).
★【UNIVERSAL COMPATIBILITY AND EASY TO USE 】Works on most 1996 US-based, 2003 EU-Based and Asian (OBDII & CAN) domestic and imported vehicles, including passenger cars, SUVs, light trucks, etc. Supports all OBDII protocols. Simply plug into the OBD II port on your car, turn the ignition on and you are ready to go. No battery or complicated apps install needed.
★【BEST IN THE MARKET】KW850 code reader car diagnostic tool is coming with the user friendly diagnostic interface and optimized software algorithm, it makes diagnosis 2-3 times faster than other OBD2 scanners. Featuring 2. 8'' LCD color screen and graphical real time sensor analysis, may help you fast identify faulty readings in seconds. Extra-long (4. 5') diagnostic cable coming in the package, allows you freely diagnose your cars even outside of vehicles.
Weight
1 lbs
Color
OBD2 Scanner Auto Code Reader Car Diagnostic Tool
9.1
JunkieScore
22% OFF
7
(Upgraded NT604) FOXWELL NT614 Elite OBD2 Scanner - ABS SRS Transmission Check Engine Code Reader EPB Oil Light Reset Scan Tool, Airbag Car Diagnostic Scanner, Auto VIN, Live Data, Smog Test
Warranty12-month
✅【Upgraded of NT604 Elite/FX2000/CRP123】+【Worth the $$$$$】Only need 100+ dollars!1️⃣Covers all the functions of these auto scanner: Not only a engine scanner, abs srs code reader, obd2 scanner transmission to check & turn off warning light for 4 systems, but also do dialy maintenance: Electronic Parking Brake Tool and Oil Light Reset.2️⃣Full OBD2 Mode for all cars after 1996.3️⃣Coverage 99% vehicles, live data, AutoVIN Scan and ect. Lifetime free update and don't pay to extra.
💵【4 In 1 Diagnostic Scanner, Fit Your Needs Perfectly, Save Time & Money】Compared with 1/2/3 system scanner, NT614 Elite ob2 scanner is Engine Transmission ABS SRS scan tool, having the foxwell scanner to know why the lights of 4 system are keeping on, before taking your car to the mechanic, you can go armed with knowing the possible problems, and the range of how much you could probably spend for the repair(s). After got it fixed, reset/cleared fault codes and turned off the warning light.
👍【EPB Service Tool & Oil Light Reset, Great Value for you】Unlike other 4 system car computer code reader, nt614 elite car code reader ​will guide you through simple maintenance fixes which you can do Oil Light Reset and Electric Parking Brake(EPB) service yourself. ALL diagnostic data can be record and you can print report. Even if you are a beginner, you can do basic maintenance on your own.
👍【Scan Tool OBD2 Live Data】The obd2 scanner diagnostic tool ​merges PID graphs for easy and intuitive diagnosis. The parameter of Engine speed, reference voltage, start signal, engine load, engine running time, vehicle speed, battery voltage, electrical load switch, gas distribution, fuel injection, ignition, auxiliary, transmission temperature, engine coolant temperature, etc will be shown in live data.
Weight
2 lbs
Color
Transmission Airbag ABS Engine EPB Oil Light Tool
8.9
JunkieScore
8
AUTOPHIX OM129 Code Reader, Upgraded Graphing Battery Test, Check Engine Code Reader With Full OBD2 Function, Enhanced Code Definition Car Diagnostic Tool for All OBDII Car After 1996[Upgrade Version]
Warranty24 Months
🏆【Full OBD Service Modes Supported】 Locate bad O2 sensor, turn off check engine light, reset monitor, view freeze frame data. The car diagnostic tool can quickly read and erase DTC (engine fault codes). Access to emissions readiness status, on-screen DTC definitions, built-in DTC look up library, allow you accurately determine causes of the check engine light, and turn off the MIL(Malfunction Indicator Lamp).advanced On-Board monitoring test and retrieves vehicle information (VIN).
🏆【Professional Battery Test】 AUTOPHIX OM129 code reader support gather real-time battery voltage, analyze information automatically in no time, and display results in a graph, instead of a direct result on the screen that an ordinary code reader, which will ensure that you can access and analyze the accurate live data and determine the battery's health status or expected remaining life. Make you know your battery status in advance.
🏆【Unique "i" Button → Enhanced Fault Code Definition】 Check engine code reader has a unique "i" button, pressing the ""i"" button will directly use the fault code definition function to give you accurate repair advice instead of a bunch of technical terms you don't understand. The enhanced fault code definition function helps you fully understand the meaning of the code without any hassle which an ordinary automotive scanner can't do.
🏆【Wide Compatibility】This code readers & scan tools works on most vehicles sold in the USA with the model year of 1996 or newer, 2002 EU-Based and 2008 Asian-Based cars or newer (OBDII protocols: KWP2000, ISO9141, J1850 VPW, J1850 PWM, and CAN). 16 languages available so that no matter where are you from, it always helps you. 2.8-inch TFT color screen & 2. 5 feet long cable make your operation more convenient.
Color
BLUE
8.7
JunkieScore
11% OFF
9
INNOVA 5210 - OBD2 Diagnostic Code Scanner - Read/Erase ABS Codes, View Live Data, Battery/Charging System Test
MAINTAIN PEAK PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY ON THE ROAD - The 5210 OBD2 Scanner helps you easily find the problem and fix the problem. Use the mobile application RepairSolutions2 on Apple App Store or Google Play for real-time solutions and fixes to your automotive issues. With this app, get verified fixes, find and purchase the exact part required for repair, view maintenance schedules, buy parts, receive technical bulletins, dealer and safety recalls, and access to Innova’s best-in-class database.
PREMIUM OBD2 CODE READER WITH ENHANCED COVERAGE AND FUNCTIONALITY - This car diagnostic tool empowers home mechanics, automotive enthusiasts, and service & repair technicians with professional-level functionality. It is a vehicle code reader that reads and clears OBD engine codes and displays all vehicle information from when a trouble code was triggered. This Innova scan tool supports English, Spanish, and French.
LIVE DATA FOR MORE ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS - With the Innova 5210 obd scanner live data you can see your vehicle’s essential information like RPM, speed, and oil temperature in real-time to help identify and correct problems. You can also check and test your battery and alternator, so you know whether you need to bring your car to a technician or not.
EASY SELF-DIAGNOSIS OF EMISSION STATUS AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION - Know your smog check results before your state does. This car check engine light reader determines whether you’ll pass a state vehicle smog test. This OBD2 scan tool can also provide trip cycle procedures for completing your smog check. This engine reader includes functions for ABS (Brake) to make sure you’re always driving safely.
8.4
JunkieScore
28% OFF
10
FOXWELL Car Scanner NT604 Elite OBD2 Scanner ABS SRS Transmission, Check Engine Code Reader,Diagnostic Scan Tool with SRS Airbag Scanner,Car Diagnostic Scanner for Cars
🔔【Easy to Use--Work out of box】+【FOXWELL 2022 New Version】 FOXWELL NT604 Elite scan tool is the 2022 new version from FOXWELL, which is designed for those car owners who want to figure out the cause issue before fixing the car problem via scanning the most common systems like abs srs engine and transmission.The NT604 Elite diagnostic tool comes with latest software, which can be used out of box. No need to waste time to download the software first.
🍎【Affordable】+【Reliable Car Health Monitor】 Will you be confused what happen when the warning light of abs/srs/transmission/check engine flashes? Instead of taking your cars to dealership, this foxwell scanner will help you do a thorough scanning and detection for your lovely cars and pinpoint the problem for you, which saves time and money for you. It will turn off the warning light for you after you fix the problem, making you to know more about your cars and do your own repair.
🥑【2 in 1 Diagnostic Scanner】Compared with those auto scanners (50-100 USD), NT604 Elite code scanner not only includes their OBDII diagnosis but also it can be an abs/srs scanner, transmission and check engine code reader. When it’s an odb2 scanner, you can use it to check if your car is ready for annual emission test through I/M readiness menu. In addition, live data stream, built-in DTC library, data play back and print, all these features are a big plus for it.
🍓【Fantastic AUTOVIN】+【No extra software fee】Through the AUTOVIN menu, this NT604 Elite car scanner allows you to get your VIN and vehicle info rapidly, no need to take time to find your VIN and input one by one. What's more, the NT604 Elite abs srs scanner supports 60+ car makes from worldwide (America/Asia/Europe). You don’t need to pay extra software fee.
8.3
JunkieScore
20% OFF

Simple OBD2 Scanner Buying Guide

Author Ann M
Published on October 19, 2022
by Ann M

This guide will cover Onboard Diagnostic Scanners (OBD2) and why this affordable and invaluable tool should be as ubiquitous as a spare tire for nearly all vehicle owners. Every domestic or imported vehicle manufactured since 1996 is mandated to be equipped with a data port located near the driver’s seat. In the years prior to 1996, domestically sold vehicles weren’t required to feature these data ports. If you own a Ford, GM, Chrysler, or Toyota from the 1980s-1995, there is a scanner that is adaptable to OBD1 technology. More on that later.

Most drivers, when the inevitable check engine or oil change light pops-up, will race towards the nearest mechanic shop or dealer service center and begrudgingly shell-out $249 for a vehicle diagnostic check.

The price of OBD scanners has dropped precipitously in recent years, which means that they are no longer cost-prohibitive. Even if you are a neophyte to car repairs, you can’t afford to not feature one of these devices in your arsenal. It should be noted that major auto parts retailers will OBD scan your vehicle and provide you with codes free of charge, or let you borrow their scanner.

Next, I will outline the benefits of owning an OBD scanner, even if you aren’t mechanically inclined.

Benefits of Owning an OBD2 Scanner

- At a typical cost starting at $30, these devices are affordable, and will pay for themselves if they save you even one trip to the shop.
- Erase error codes and turn off oil change lights in your driveway.
- In-depth diagnostic information of all major systems of your vehicle, including predictive repairs.
- Spot-check the integrity and honesty of your mechanic.
- Avoid costly, unnecessary repairs.
- Diagnose and repair basic issues yourself without the need for expensive technicians.

Like most consumer electronics, selecting the right make and model can be a daunting task. In the next section, I will cover the basic differences between the types of OBD scanners and the features you should focus on.

Types & Features of OBD2 Scanners

Entry-level, or handheld scanners are hardwired, which means that you attach a cable adapter to the data port in your vehicle which transmits a wired signal to the device. The information they provide is basic, like typical error codes. You will be relegated to cross-referencing these codes to Google. Their scope is more narrow than the more expensive OBDs. Most of the entry-level models will not facilitate the removal of error lights, and provide only the most basic of diagnostic information.

Inexpensive OBDs are simply code readers, and more elaborate ones are scan tools. For the typical car owner seeking to audit their mechanic or assess and address a basic issue, a code reader is likely adequate. For more advanced diagnostics and car repairs, a scan tool is probably the answer. All scan tools are code readers, but not all code readers are scan tools.

Also available at the entry price level are dongle-style tools that plug into your data port and transmit all pertinent vehicle data to a number of different apps. They do not have wires, a keyboard, or a screen like handheld units.

At the top of the price range are the wireless OBDs, which transmit their data on-screen or via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to a customized app. These devices provide the most in-depth diagnostics, parts recommendations, service updates (like recalls), thorough vehicular systems evaluations, and repair instructions. They will also turn your check engine or oil change light off. They can even evaluate the health of your battery, and offer predictive information if a system is bound for maintenance or repair. They have the traditional keyboard and screen, but also work through diagnostic apps.

It’s important to cross-reference your vehicle with the model of scanner you are considering purchasing. Not all devices work with every make and model of cars.

If you are simply wanting to diagnose your check engine light, the less-expensive code readers will suffice. If you plan on tackling a portion of your ongoing maintenance and repairs and are fairly mechanically-adept, spring for one of the more elaborate scanning models.

The differences in scanners can be subtle, so scour the reviews to make an informed buying decision. In the next section, I’ll provide you with a few of the top-rated devices, their prices, and key features.

Affiliate Disclosure

PriceJunkie is compensated when click on our links and make a purchase at no extra cost to you. While the compensation does not in any way affect our review process, it may impact the location, prominence, and order in which these products or services appear. The products/services featured on our site does not represent the full extent of the products/services available on the market. We do our best to ensure you get the highest quality and best ranked.


Amazon Associates Disclosure

PriceJunkie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.