14 min. read

The Best OBD2 Scanner for 2023

By identifying and fixing problems with a vehicle early on, an OBD2 scanner can help you save money on costly repairs down the road.

OBD2 Scanner

OBD2 scanners are a handy tool for anyone who wants to diagnose issues with their vehicle. They can help you save time and money by quickly identifying problems so you can get them fixed before they turn into bigger issues. OBD2 scanners are also useful for tracking the performance of your vehicle over time, which can help detect potential issues before they become a problem.

Additionally, it saves time and energy that you would use to diagnose your vehicle. All you need to do is enter the vehicle’s basic information, such as the year of manufacture and vehicle model. You will then need to connect the appliance to your vehicle and have it diagnose your vehicle within no time.

How We Picked

  • Accuracy and Speed

    The OBD2 scanner you pick should be accurate to ensure that it always gives you the correct diagnosis. It should also be fast enough to display the diagnosis within a short time to allow you to work on the issues sooner.

  • Compatibility

    There are different OBD2 scanners meant for different vehicle models. Therefore, for a scanner to work for your vehicle, ensure that it is compatible with its specific model.

  • Easy-to-Use Features

    The ideal OBD2 scanner should be easy to use. This way, you will be able to use it on your own without having to hire a mechanic.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    For an OBD2 scanner to be cost-effective, it must be reasonably priced. Its features should also match its price. An expensive scanner should be more effective than a cheaper one to give you the best value for your money.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

LAUNCH OBD2 Scanner

LAUNCH OBD2 Scanner

A large screen allows you to read data easily and accurately without straining.

This scanner displays clear code that you can clearly read and understand.

Buy Now for $31.27

LAUNCH OBD2 Scanner CR529 is compatible with vehicles manufactured after 1996. It has a bright and easily readable 2.8-inch screen. It also has clearly arranged navigation buttons that are unlikely to confuse the reader. Therefore, this scanner is convenient and easy to interpret.

Runner Up

UYYE V317 Car OBD2 Scanner

UYYE V317 Car OBD2 Scanner

The UYYE OBD2 scanner has a lookup library that helps with data interpretation.

This battery-powered scanner does not require a connection to an electric outlet.

Buy Now for $35.99

This battery-powered OBD2 scanner is handy and compact. As a result, it fits comfortably in your palm and pocket. Since it is battery-powered, you do not have to connect it to a power source to use it. Therefore, you can carry and use it wherever you go as long as it has enough charge.

Most Cost-Effective

MOTOPOWER MP69033 Car OBD2 Scanner

MOTOPOWER MP69033 Car OBD2 Scanner

The display on this scanner is crystal clear and simple to see thanks to a high-resolution screen.

You can use this scanner to check multiple features on your vehicle.

Buy Now for $25.00

The MOTOPOWER MP69033 OBD2 scanner is battery-powered and does not, therefore, require a power connection to function. It also has multiple functions that allow it to diagnose all the necessary features of your vehicle. Therefore, with this scanner, you do not need a separate scanner to check other important features. It thus saves you from having to carry multiple scanners around.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

LAUNCH OBD2 Scanner

LAUNCH OBD2 Scanner

A large screen allows you to read data easily and accurately without straining.

$31.27

Buy Now

Runner Up

UYYE V317 Car OBD2 Scanner

UYYE V317 Car OBD2 Scanner

The UYYE OBD2 scanner has a lookup library that helps with data interpretation.

$35.99

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

MOTOPOWER MP69033 Car OBD2 Scanner

MOTOPOWER MP69033 Car OBD2 Scanner

The display on this scanner is crystal clear and simple to see thanks to a high-resolution screen.

$25.00

Buy Now

Who This Is For

The OBD2 scanners listed here are ideal for mechanics and car owners. They are compatible with different car models to fit your specific vehicle.

What is an OBD2 Scanner?

An OBD2 scanner is a must-have appliance for every car owner or mechanic. It is a small, handy device that diagnoses your vehicle, identifying all mechanical and electrical faults. It also displays your vehicle data, such as VIN, speed, and engine revolutions, among others.

How to know if an OBD2 Scanner is compatible with your vehicle

Different OBD2 scanners are not compatible with different vehicle makes and models. Also, not all vehicles are OBD2-compliant. If your vehicle was sold after 1994 in the United States, it should be compliant. If it was manufactured earlier than 1996, there is a likelihood that it is OBD2-compliant.

You can also check if your vehicle is compatible with an OBD2 scanner before buying one. To obtain this information, contact your car’s manufacturer or an OBD2 dealer. Most OBD2 scanner manufacturers also list the car makes and models compatible with their scanners in the manual.

How to use an OBD2 Scanner

An OBD2 scanner is simple to use and does not require any technical knowledge. All you need is basic knowledge and language competence to know how to connect and interpret the readings. An OBD2 scanner is wireless and works in conjunction with your smartphone. All you need to do is download an app to your phone, through which the data detected by the scanner will be displayed. The first step is to plug your scanner into your vehicle’s OBD port. Then turn on the engine. Lastly, turn on Bluetooth on your phone and open the app. The results will be sent to your phone for analysis.

Why You Should Trust Us

We are a marketing firm and do not manufacture any products. We do not, therefore, provide information in favor of any product or manufacturer. We do not endorse brands, and our mission is to help shoppers make the best decisions when purchasing products.

All the information we provide is also authentic and verifiable and is never based on hearsay. It takes our content production team to research the products on the market and come up with the best picks. The best picks are determined by functionality, effectiveness, cost, and other such factors.

How We Picked

We picked our top choices based on several factors that make them effective for the user. All our picks are accurate to ensure that all the results they provide are correct. Inaccurate OBD2 scanners will display incorrect results. Consequently, you will fail to identify the parts of the vehicle that require attention, which may cause the issues to escalate. On the other hand, when you get the right results, you can correct issues on time, saving the vehicle from further damage.

All our picks are fast, and they diagnose and display results within a few minutes. This way, you can work on the issues with your vehicle promptly. You also save the time that you would need to wait for results on a scanner that takes too long to display. To ensure that you get to use the scanner of your choice on your different vehicles. Therefore, we selected OBD2 scanners that are compatible with a wide range of vehicle makes and models. This way, you can use it on different vehicles and share it with your friends and different family members. Additionally, this property makes our picks ideal for mechanics and vehicle dealers who deal with different car models.

OBD2 scanners are designed to make vehicle diagnostics much easier and more manageable. Therefore, we settled on scanners that are easy to use on your own without having to involve your mechanic. All of our options include an easy-to-follow instruction manual or ease of use. They also diagnose and display results in a few steps. This way, they avoid having to do too much work to complete your diagnosis.

Different users desire different features for their OBD2 scanners. With this in mind, we picked scanners with different features to accommodate the needs of different users. Therefore, while choosing from our picks, consider their different features and pick those that suit your desires.

Since we all consider products that help us save money, all our picks are affordable. They are also cost-effective in that their quality matches their price. All our picks are sturdy and, thus, durable enough to serve you for a long time. They are also cheap to maintain and will not require you to put too much money aside to keep using them.

The diagnostics feature is available on all of our recommendations. This feature allows you to read and clear OBD codes. These are error codes related to your vehicle’s engine. Therefore, no matter the scanner you buy from our list, you will be able to monitor your engine codes and keep them in check.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - LAUNCH OBD2 Scanner

Best Pick

LAUNCH OBD2 Scanner

LAUNCH OBD2 Scanner

A large screen allows you to read data easily and accurately without straining.

This scanner displays clear code that you can clearly read and understand.

Buy Now for $31.27

Who It's For

This OBD2 scanner is ideal for all car owners and mechanics. Get it if you own or work on vehicles manufactured after 1996.

Why It's Great

Launch OBD2 Scanner CR529 has a large 2.8-inch screen. This screen is big enough to display large, easily visible codes. Therefore, you will not strain to read or miss readings after diagnosis. It also allows you to record the DTC, data streams, and freeze frames. This way, you get to store the information and review it whenever you need it. You can also print the information if you need it in hardcopy for dissemination or record-keeping. These features also allow you to share the information with a technician to get professional support even from a remote location.

Potential Flaws

Although this device has a free lifetime update, previous users complained about this feature. It does not work without the update, which may delay some instances.

Other Features

Despite costing a little more than our other picks, it is better in terms of effectiveness and user friendliness. It is easy to use and beginner-friendly. You do not need to take an automotive course to read and interpret the data displayed by this scanner. It features a DTC lookup that you can use to get an interpretation of the displayed code. This way, you do not need to extract the data and look it up on the internet. You also do not have to involve a professional to interpret the data for you. The "help" shortcut allows you to access detailed tips for diagnostics quickly and easily. It is not battery-powered, nor does it require a connection to an electrical outlet to work. It is a plug-and-play device that is powered directly by the vehicle once you plug it in. You, therefore, do not need to include batteries in your maintenance budget.

Product Specifications:

Brand: ‎LAUNCH
Model: ‎LAUNCH Creader CR529
Power Source: USB MINI Cable
Item Weight: 1.01 pounds
Product Dimensions: 6.46 x 3.84 x 1.18 inches
Item model number: LEO-SSCANNER
Batteries: 1 Lithium Ion batteries required.
Manufacturer Part Number: CR529

Runner Up - UYYE V317 Car OBD2 Scanner

Runner Up

UYYE V317 Car OBD2 Scanner

UYYE V317 Car OBD2 Scanner

The UYYE OBD2 scanner has a lookup library that helps with data interpretation.

This battery-powered scanner does not require a connection to an electric outlet.

Buy Now for $35.99

Who It's For

This OBD2 scanner is ideal for users and owners of OBD2 and EOBD protocol cars. Get this if you frequently need to perform detailed diagnostics on your vehicle in order to keep all of its properties in check.

Why It's Great

The 2.8-inch display is big enough to show results clearly. This screen displays all the required codes clearly and in a large font for easy visibility. It is battery-powered, allowing you to use it on the go. You do not need to be in a place with an electric connection to use this scanner. Therefore, you can use it anywhere, including during camps or hikes. A fast detection system diagnoses and displays results within a few seconds. This way, it saves you time and allows you to correct any issues promptly.

Potential Flaws

Despite having all these impressive features, some previous customers expressed disgruntlement with them. They noted that it does diagnose oxygen sensors, which are one part you will need to check from time to time. This scanner only shows error codes, which you will then have to look up what they mean.

Other Features

The UYYE V317 Car OBD2 Scanner is moderately priced yet effective and durable. It is easy to use and can be used even by a beginner. You can use it to scan for issues and vehicle data as well as erase stored codes. With a wide range of compatibility, this scanner is usable on different vehicle makes and models, including sedans, SUVs, trucks, and more. By graphing live vehicle sensors, this scanner allows you to identify and focus on suspicious data and trends. A built-in DTC lookup library allows the user to look up the meaning of the codes displayed on the scanner. For the library, you will understand the cause of the engine light. It also guides you through erasing codes and viewing and understanding vehicle information.

Product Specifications:

Brand: ‎UYYE
Item Weight: ‎9.6 ounces
Package Dimensions ‎7.99 x 5.24 x 1.73 inches
Power Source: Battery Powered
Screen Size: 2.8 Inches

Most Cost-Effective - MOTOPOWER MP69033 Car OBD2 Scanner

Most Cost-Effective

MOTOPOWER MP69033 Car OBD2 Scanner

MOTOPOWER MP69033 Car OBD2 Scanner

The display on this scanner is crystal clear and simple to see thanks to a high-resolution screen.

You can use this scanner to check multiple features on your vehicle.

Buy Now for $25.00

Who It's For

This OBD2 scanner will suit you if you own or work with vehicles manufactured in 1996 or later. Get this if you love to keep your vehicle in check everywhere you go.

Why It's Great

MOTOPOWER MP69033 OBD2 Scanner measures 6.02 x 2.75 x 0.91 inches. It is thus small enough to fit in your palm. It can easily fit in your pocket and backpack for easy portability. Additionally, it is lightweight and will not weigh you down. This scanner is also battery-powered, allowing you to use it in any environment. With a large 2.7-inch screen, this scanner displays large and easily legible figures and codes. The LCD has a high resolution of 128x64 pixels for clarity. It also allows contrast adjustment and produces a white backlight to further improve visibility. This way, you get to copy the codes correctly for interpretation, if you choose to use the internet.

Potential Flaws

This scanner is compatible with multiple vehicles. However, previous users were unsatisfied with its adapter compatibility. Unlike other OBD2 scanners, it is incompatible with OBD1 adapters. Therefore, once you get this scanner, you also have to purchase an OBD2 adapter.

Other Features

This is our most effective pick for multiple reasons. It is not only inexpensive to purchase and maintain, but it is also extremely effective for the price. It has multiple functions that allow you to use it for different purposes. You can use it to read and erase codes, determine the reason for an engine light, and derive vehicle information, among other functions. As a result, once you have this scanner, you can check your entire vehicle. It has a wide range of capabilities and supports nine protocols. As a result, it is usable with most 1996 US-based, 2000 EU-based, and later vehicles. It supports six different languages to accommodate most users in the world. The supported languages are English, German, Dutch, Spanish, French, and Italian.

Product Specifications:

Brand: MOTOPOWER
Model: ‎MP69033
Item Weight: ‎9.9 ounces
Product Dimensions: ‎6.02 x 2.75 x 0.91 inches
Country of Origin: China
Item model number: MP69033
Batteries: One lithium-ion battery is required. (included)
Power Source: Battery Powered
Screen Size: 2.7 Inches
Display resolution: 128 x 64

Almost Made The Cut - ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner

Almost Made The Cut

ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner

ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner

This is a plug-and-play OND2 scanner that requires no batteries or electricity.

Measuring only 1.4 inches, this scanner is small and easily portable. It weighs only 9.6 ounces and does not add extra weight to your trunk. Its cable measures 2.5 feet and can easily reach the connection port in your vehicle. This cable is also very thick, allowing for flexible insulation.

Buy Now for $29.99

Who It's For

This OBD2 scanner is ideal for mechanics and car owners who love to keep their vehicle's parts and features in the best condition. Get this if you own or use a compatible 1996 US-based, 2000 EU-based, or Asian vehicle.

Why It's Great

The ANCEL AD310 OBD II Scanner is accurate and, therefore, produces the correct results. It is also easy to use and ideal for beginners. It does not take long to identify faults in your car because it scans and displays results quickly. This scanner does not use a battery to function. It is powered by your vehicle once you plug it in. As a result, it saves you money on electricity and battery purchases. The buttons on the front side of the scanner are large and well-labeled. They are, therefore, easy to use without guidance.

Potential Flaws

This scanner has numerous impressive properties but also has its fair share of unsatisfactory features, as reported by previous users. It does not identify actual faults in your vehicle. Although it is easy to use, it may not be of any use if you intend to use it to diagnose actual vehicle issues. Additionally, it does not do an EVAP scan, even on vehicles, it is compatible with. It displays an error every time you try to scan your vehicle on the EVAP selection.

Product Specifications:

Brand: ANCEL
Power Source: Battery Powered
Screen Size: 1.4 Inches
Item Weight: 9.6 ounces
Package Dimensions: ‎9.17 x 6.34 x 1.42 inches
Item model number: ‎AD310
Batteries: One lithium-ion battery is required.
Manufacturer Part Number: AD310
Special Features: check engine
Voltage: 12 Volts

Care and Maintenance

To use an OBD2 scanner effectively, you must know how to check the results. The results are displayed on the screen and should be easy to read. The results are displayed in percentages, with the optimal reading being between 5 and 10%. It should be alarming if the results are above 10% or below -10%.

Once the diagnostics and results have been returned, if the results are alarming, work towards correcting the issues. Clear the reading once you’ve worked through or recorded all of the issues. This way, the scanner will be ready for the next diagnosis.