What’s The Best OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner for Your Cars?
In order to figure out what’s the best OBD2 diagnostic scanner for you cars, first you need to understand what’s an OBD2 diagnostic scanner.
OBD-II or Onboard Diagnostics 2 is a protocol that helps reveal the state of your car using a diagnostic scanner. But this is just one of the many useful functions this technology enables.
The OBD-II standardized system helps maintain the overall health of your car by sending commands to various systems and can also self-correct anomalies in the vehicle’s ignition and fuel mixture.
Auto technicians and owners use an OBD-II scanner device to understand the data the system gathers. .
There are two different types of OBD2 scanners currently on the market: Code readers and Scan tools.
OBD2 Code Readers
Code readers are an inexpensive no-frills and hand-held device that can read and clear codes from your car. While this device may be cheap, it does have limitations. First of all, it can’t access certain types of data and secondly, it does not contain all the information for specific manufacturer codes.
OBD2 Scan Tools
Scan tools cost more than code readers, however, these gadgets are equipped with a variety of features that code readers don’t have. They provide comprehensive access to live and recorded data, can facilitate advanced troubleshooting options and are able to read manufacturer-specific codes.
It’s truth that OBD2 system does have a few self-correct functions, but it won’t be able to solve all the issues of your car, which is where the diagnostic scanners comes in. These devices give you more detailed information about what is actually wrong with your vehicle beyond a simple code.
Now after wandering around all kinds of websites and stores, you would find that there are tons of diagnostic scanners in the present market, you would probably feel confused, not sure how to choose and what kind of scanners you should buy for your cars or your business, especially when you are a beginner in this. Code readers? Or Scan tools? Why? How?
No worries. we’ll break down everything you need to know to find the perfect scan tool for your vehicles.
Not everyone needs the most comprehensive scan tool available. Whether you’re a DIY mechanic or looking to troubleshoot a few vehicles to make a few bucks on the side, basic diagnostic scan tools are quite enough for you such as Autel MK808BT, Autel MS906BT, Autel MK906BT and Autel MK908, pricing from $500 to $1599. If you have enough budget and especially when you need one for business, i would highly recommend the last three scanners for their more advanced functions. The MK808BT does not have bidirectional control, but if you just need a scan tool in your garage, i believe that will be fine. However, if you have much more budget, i would still recommend the last three scanners.
Under what circumstance do you need a more advanced and comprehensive scan tool? Let’s say you are running a professional repair shop or you are a DIY mechanic who is trying to go for a high level, then you would like to choose a more comprehensive scan tool like Autel MS908Spro, Autel Elite II and even Autel Ultra. All of these three scan tools can do ECU programming which is sometimes quite important for professional repair shops. Because it helps replace the existing software & firmware and program new ECUs.
In the end, let’s talk about the code readers. Although they are normally inexpensive but you get what you pay for. I personally don’t recommend beginners to buy code readers because they basically just read and clear fault codes, or turn off the engine light. However, as a beginner, you have no idea what these codes mean because you probably do not have any knowledge in this.
Even if they don’t really know what to do with a code reader, many car owners enjoy having one as they think the car’s computer should be able to handle any anomaly without anyone having to do anything. Unfortunately that’s not how it works.
However, scan tools can give you a more detailed and comprehensive diagnosis report to help you understand what exactly is going on with your cars.
I believe that you already had a clue about choosing after reading this post, and whatever you choose, just keep in mind what do you expect from the OBD2 scan tool and you will find the answer.