Now that we know more about how these scanners work and why you should have one let’s see what options are available. While we won’t discuss particular models, here are the top brands that we highly recommend.
TOAD stands for Total Onboard Auto Diagnostics. This company only makes one OBD2 scanner, but it’s so incredible that they don’t have to make any others.
What sets TOAD apart from the competition is that it’s designed to be the ultimate diagnostic scan tool. Not only is it compatible with almost every make and model in the world, but it offers extensive repair manuals and forums to help users fix their issues.
TOAD is definitely professional-grade, meaning that any hardcore car enthusiasts will love all of the features it provides. For example, you can tune your vehicle’s ECU to maximize your performance!
This scanner is also software-based, meaning that you have to download it from the internet. However, you can connect wirelessly to your car, making it much more convenient and easy to use.
The only downside to TOAD is that it just monitors check engine codes. Thus, if you want to pay attention to other systems like ABS, airbags, and tire pressure, you’ll have to buy another scanner to do so.
When it comes to professional-grade, app-based scanners, Autel is one of the top brands on the market. This company also makes handheld code readers, so no matter your skill level or intentions, you should be able to find a model that works for you.
If you decide on one of the more high-end models, then you can expect to get a rugged tablet that comes with a variety of proprietary apps. These programs allow you to scan your car in real-time, as well as access a database of codes and descriptions.
Founded in 2004, one nice thing about the company is that it only makes automotive diagnostic tools. Thus, with a focus on the industry and years of experience in creating high-quality products, you can be sure that you’ll enjoy any scanner that they offer.
When you look at the products lineup for Innova, you’ll see that they are almost exclusively handheld scanners. Unlike Autel that uses tablets and software to get the job done, Innova utilizes standard OBD2 technology.
Fortunately, even though their devices are all handheld, that doesn’t mean that they’re limited in scope. Many of the higher-end units offer more diagnostic tools, such as real-time scanning and data tracking.
To help you manage the information, you can usually connect your device to the computer. Overall, Innova OBD2 scanners are both convenient and easy to use, making them ideal for car enthusiasts of all skill levels.
Like Autel, this company produces both handheld code readers and app-based diagnostic scanners. Launch Tech has a lineup of rugged tablets that come with a variety of proprietary programs to help you diagnose what’s wrong with your vehicle.
Located in Ontario, CA, this company utilizes some of the most high-tech software and tools to make their products even more user-friendly. They offer both professional and consumer-grade scanners, although their price points are typically higher. However, the quality reflects the price, so keep that in mind.
If you’re looking for code readers and other mechanical diagnostic tools, then Actron is one of the best companies out there. While they also have app-based scanners that sync to your smartphone, most of their lineup includes standard handheld code readers.
Fortunately, these models will usually give you a description of what’s wrong so that you don’t have to look it up later.
Also, they offer a variety of automotive diagnostic tools, including mechanical devices that let you check various internal systems, such as oil pressure.
If you’re in the market for a new toy, you’ll definitely want to spend your money wisely. If we had only one product to recommend that would be the Total Car Diagnostics software. If your budget is a bit bigger and you are looking for a dedicated unit, the Autel Maxisys Elite is certainly the way to go, but if you just want an inexpensive a versatile solution, then the Bluedriver is what you want to buy.
I’m hoping this page helped you find the Auto Scanner Tools for your particular needs!