The 5 Best OBD2 Scanners in 2023 (Diagnose Your Car Like a Pro)

Have you ever had a car problem that left you guessing and frustrated? Maybe you’re driving down the road, and suddenly your check engine light illuminates the dashboard, and you have no idea what the issue is.

Or maybe you’ve noticed that your car just isn’t running as smoothly as it used to. These faults can really get under your skin, especially if you don’t know what’s causing them. 

We all know communication is the key, but a car can’t communicate to tell you what’s wrong with it. Well, what if I tell you it can? Yes, through the use of an OBD2 scanner. 

That’s correct. Cars have come a long way since their inception. However, even with all the technological advancements, they still can’t speak to us, leaving us in the dark when something goes wrong. 

Fortunately, the introduction of On-Board Diagnostics 2 (OBD2) scanners has changed the game. This nifty tool can help you communicate directly with your car’s onboard computer to diagnose the problem quickly and easily. 

Owning an OBD2 scanner is like having a translator between you and your car, making it a must-have for any car owner or mechanic’s garage inventory. That’s why I decided to put some of the best OBD2 scanners on the market to the test. 

Based on my testing, Autel Scanner MaxiCOM MK808S excelled in its fast and accurate diagnostics, intuitive interface, and justified price point. But of course, everyone has different preferences. That’s why this article will also feature other top-rated OBD2 scanners for you to explore.

So, if you want to take the guesswork out of car repairs and save yourself some money in the process, hop in to discover the best OBD2 scanners in 2023.

The Top Three OBD2 Scanners in 2023

How I Did the Test

As a tech-savvy individual, I’ve always been interested in exploring the latest gadgets. However, last weekend, I found myself in need of an OBD2 scanner. 

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Then, I realized that I couldn’t find a comprehensive comparison of OBD2 scanners. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and put the leading OBD2 scanners to the test.

I spent countless hours researching various OBD2 scanners, from the most affordable to the high-end models. But instead of just reading about their specs and user reviews, I wanted to experience their performance firsthand. 

So, I purchased the scanners and headed to the garage, set out to put them to the test. I connected each scanner to various vehicles and ran a series of diagnostic tests to gauge their performance. 

From basic code readers to advanced diagnostic tools, I tested them all. I scanned for engine codes, checked sensor readings, and even ran live data streams to see how each scanner performed in real-time. 

Through this, I could determine which OBD2 scanners are the most reliable, user-friendly, and efficient. I also considered their pricing and customer support to determine the overall value they offer. 

After compiling all the data, I came up with a definitive list of the best OBD2 scanners in 2023.

Detailed Review of the Best OBD2 Scanners in 2023

best obd2 scanners in 2023

Autel Maxicom MK808S Scanner 

First on my list is the Autel Maxicom MK808S Scanner, which I consider the best professional OBD2 scanner. And I’m not just throwing words around; I put it to the test on my beloved Porsche, which passed with flying colors.  

This powerhouse scanner can read and clear codes and perform advanced diagnostics. It can even perform special functions like resetting oil service, SAS, EPB, DPF, BMS, IMMO, and TPMS. 

Another unique feature of the MaxiCOM MK808S is its ability to perform bi-directional control tests. It allows you to test components like the fuel pump, injectors, and more.

Its large 7-inch touchscreen display and sleek interface made the process a breeze. Overall, I was really impressed by how well it performed. 

So, if you’re also looking for a top-of-the-line OBD2 scanner, the Autel Maxicom MK808S Scanner is the one to beat.

Pros

  • Large and easy-to-read screen
  • Features Wireless connectivity
  • Advanced diagnostic features
  • Built-in Wi-Fi feature

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other scanners
best obd2 scanners in 2023

BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBD2 Scan Tool

Despite fierce competition, Autel Maxicom MK808S Scanner might have emerged as the winner with its comprehensive diagnostics and user-friendliness. Nevertheless, when it comes to Bluetooth OBD2 scanners, BlueDriver reigns supreme. 

The BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBD2 Scan Tool is a great option for those who want a portable scanner. It connects with your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth to provide real-time diagnostics and analysis of your vehicle’s performance. 

It can read and clear trouble codes, monitor fuel and perform live data monitoring from the convenience of your mobile device. One of the standout features of the BlueDriver Pro Scan Tool is its ability to provide repair reports.

This allows you to identify any issues with your car and estimate how much it will cost to fix them. 

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Detailed Repair Reports
  • Easy to use with mobile devices 
  • Smog Check 

Cons

  • Limited features with older car models
best obd2 scanners in 2023

MOTOPOWER MP69033 Car OBD2 Scanner

The MOTOPOWER MP69033 OBD2 Scanner is a great and reliable option if you’re on a tight budget. Although affordable, this scanner doesn’t skimp on features. 

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This makes it an excellent choice for home mechanics on a budget. 

One of this Scanner’s distinct features is its compactness, making it easy to take with you on the go. This lightweight scanner is easy-to-operate and provides a wide range of diagnostic information. 

Apart from its ability to quickly read and erase trouble codes, it also provides real-time data and freeze-frame information. This allows you to diagnose any issues with your car swiftly.

All told, MOTOPOWER MP69033 is an optimal choice for those who want an affordable but durable OBD2 scanner.

Pros

  • Prove to be cost-effective
  • Comes with a two-year warranty 
  • Highly portable
  • Provides Live Data

Cons

  • Not as advanced as higher-end models

FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner

Following the MOTOPOWER MP69033, FOXWELL NT301 is my recommendations’ second most affordable option. It’s designed to work on almost all vehicles manufactured in the US, Europe, and Asia from 1996 onwards.

It can read and clear trouble codes, perform diagnostic functions and even provide live data stream information. What sets the FOXWELL NT301 apart from other OBD2 scanners on the market is its ability to display DTC definitions on the screen.

This means that you don’t have to go online to look up what a particular code means; the scanner will tell you right on the device.

Additionally, it can display freeze frame data, monitor O2 sensor test results, and even perform EVAP system results.

Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Integrated DTC library
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Pocket-sized unit

Cons

  • Lack of ABS and Airbag feature
best obd2 scanners in 2023

INNOVA 5610 OBD2 Bidirectional Scan Tool

The INNOVA 5610 scanner is another premium option on my list of top contenders, so I decided to place it last. However, that doesn’t make it the least.

Despite being pricier, it may be a worthwhile tool if you need extra features and are willing to pay a premium.

The INNOVA 5610 is a bidirectional scan tool that sends commands to your vehicle’s onboard computer and receives information.

This makes it ideal for advanced diagnostic and repair functions, such as programming new keys, resetting oil service lights, and DPF regeneration.

In short, the INNOVA 5610 OBD2 Bidirectional Scan Tool is an all-in-one solution that can handle virtually any diagnostic task you throw at it.

Pros

  • Variety of diagnostic features 
  • Features Bidirectional controls
  • Provides OEM live data
  • Special functions, including Calibrations & Routines

Cons

  • The price tag is scary

How to Pick the Best OBD2 Scanner — Tips to Consider When Buying

Now that the hassle of searching for a reliable OBD2 scanner has cut off, the only task left is to select the one that suit’s your needs best.

However, amidst the sea of OBD2 scanners flooding the market, how do you choose the perfect one to diagnose your car troubles?

Well, this decision shouldn’t pose a challenge, as I have outlined some key factors for you to weigh and reach a conclusion.

Compatibility

Before buying an OBD2 scanner, ensure it’s compatible with your car’s make and model. Some scanners only work with specific brands or certain years of production, so checking before purchasing is important.

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Functionality

OBD2 scanners come with a wide range of features, from basic code reading to advanced diagnostic functions. Decide which features are essential for the complexity of your vehicle repairs and choose accordingly.

Ease of Use

No one wants to spend hours figuring out how to operate their new gadget. Look for a scanner that has a user-friendly interface. A larger, high-resolution display, which makes it easier to read, would be the icing on the cake.

Price

Consider your budget and how often you’ll be using the scanner. These scanners can range from $20 to over $1000.

While the more expansive options may offer more advanced features, it doesn’t always mean better quality.

Brand and Reviews

Finally, look for a brand with a good reputation and positive reviews from customers who have used the scanner to diagnose similar issues to yours.

Final Thoughts

On a final note, choosing the right OBD2 scanner is crucial for ensuring that your vehicle is in top condition. As you sit in your car, watching the check engine light flicker on and off, you know it’s time to invest in an OBD2 scanner.

That’s why I tested several popular scanners for you, and the Autel Maxicom MK808S Scanner proved to be the best choice. Thanks to its top-notch diagnostic capabilities, user-friendly interface, and excellent value for money.

However, my suggestion doesn’t conclude with that since I have recommended several other efficient OBD2 scanners that may be more suitable for you.

Also, check out our guide on how to use an OBD2 scanner.

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