What OBD Scanner To Buy?

Are you looking to buy an OBD scanner and want to understand more about OBD Scan Tools before you buy?You've probably found there's a huge range of OBD scanners types and prices to choose from. This guide will help you understand the different types of OBD scan tools available so you can select the best OBD scan tool to suit your need. We also recommend you to check 5 Essential Steps To Consider Before Buying an OBD Scanner as it will also help you with your OBD scan tool selection process. 

The first step in the OBD Scan Tool buying process is also the most important—determining exactly what type of OBD scan tool will best fit your needs and wants, whether for personal use, for your business or your workshop. Whether to monitor data, read and diagnose trouble codes or more advanced diagnostics and programming. Those needs and wants are typically determined by what type of car coverage, features and functions you want to be covered in a OBD scan tool for cars. 

For example, a European cars specialised mechanic can go for a professional diagnostic OBD scan tool covering only European brands! Similarly, a mobile mechanic may not require a scan tool that does all sort of ECU coding and programming if most work will be done outside fully equipped workshop. The most expensive scan tool does not always mean the best choice for you!

Before using this guide, please check if your car is OBD2 or OBD1 compatible. Having the 16Pins OBD shape port does not necessary mean your vehicle uses the standard OBDII protocol. Check our OBD2 Australia Compatibility List to see if your vehicle is on the list. Alternatively, if your car is not on the OBD2 list and is newer than 2012 model, we can assume it is OBD2 compatible.

Here are some of OBD2 Scanners types:

1- Engine OBD2 Code Readers

Engine code readers are entry-level OBDII scanners that help you diagnose Engine Only trouble codes and know why your CHECK Engine light is on. If the trouble is in the engine system the OBD2 scan tool will tell you the problem and be able to clear and reset the fault code and Check Engine dash light. You maybe able to filter your options based on price, brand and enhanced Mode6 feature. Which is the ability to test all modes including fuel and emission health check and oxygen sensor tests. 

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2- Bluetooth/WiFi OBD2 Scanners for iPhone & Android

WiFi OBD2 scanners and Bluetooth OBD2 scanners are best way to link your car’s computer data to your Android and iPhone devices wirelessly via the OBD2 diagnostic port. They vary in device compatibility, connection type, App compatibility and data transfer speed. Our products range from wifi & bluetooth OBD2 engine scanners to AFR Wideband smartphone gauges and battery smartphone testers and monitors. In general, these are good for monitoring of various diagnostics parameters and trip data. For diagnostics, most Apps will only cover engine diagnostics unless it is advertised as multi-system or bi-directional.

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3- OBD2 Gauges & Monitors

OBD2 gauges are similar to Engine Code Reader and other basic-level OBD scan tools but instead of relying on a handheld scan tool to display codes and parameters, OBD2 gauges can display the OBD2 data as real-time gauges. These OBD2 tools are popular for customers who want to keep an eye on important car parameters such as temperature and pressure sensors. OBD2 gauges can also display speed, fuel consumption, trip data and costs. Another great way to use the OBD2 data for safer and more efficient driving. 

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4- Multi-System OBD Scan Tools

Multi-system scan tools give you the ability to diagnose more systems on cars other than just the engine. This includes ABS, SRS, Body, Transmission and more. Depending on the scan tool, you maybe able to cover multiple systems, all systems, OBD2 cars only or OBD2 and OBD1 cars. You can also filter to find scan tools for Heavy Diesel vehicles. Different scan tools have additional service reset features like oil service, SAS, DPF etc. So if you'd like to have any or few of these functions, make sure to filter your options to narrow down the options. 

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5- Single-Make OBD Scan Tools

If you are looking for a professional scan tool with all features and functions but do not want to invest in a scanner to cover all cars and just want to cover 1 to 5 car brands then this is the right option for you. Single make scan tools offer an efficient and effective way to diagnose the car of choice and be able to access most systems and required service and reset functions. Best for personal or specialised workshops and dealers who want to have multi-system diagnostics capability without having to invest in an All Cars Scan Tools.

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6- Professional OBD Scan Tools

These are best scan tools for workshops and mechanics who are looking for comprehensive diagnostic capabilities, wide car coverage for the Australian market and ability to perform many advanced bi-directional coding and programming functions. Professional OBD scanners also come with different additional hardware features. Different hardware can allow for additional diagnostics capabilities. Like online search and support, client management files, automotive oscilloscope, faster scan time and more. 

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7- Service Reset OBD Scan Tools

Our service / reset scan tools are designed to allow you to perform advanced service functions on majority of cars. In addition to code reading features, these tools are able to perform other functions including Oil service and mileage interval reset, EPB, Brake Bleed, Battery replacement and programming, TPMS, Throttle body alignment, Immobiliser, DPF regeneration and many more.

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8- OBD1 to OBD2 Cable Adapters

OBD1 to OBD2 cables and adapters help you connect your OBD scanner to vehicles that use manufacturer specific OBD shape diagnostic port. While you still need a scan tool capable of reading the specific parameters these cables and adapters will help you connect to the vehicle.

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While the above can give you some idea on the different types of OBD scan tools, but it is not comprehensive. Diagnostic scan tools in each category will have different compatibility coverage, features and functions. If you have any question or require assistance on the best scan tool for your need, please contact our support team.