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Best OBD2 Scanner
Autel AL619 OBDII Scan Tool
We’ve become big fans of Autel scanners (and their customer service) and this model is one of the best bang for your buck diagnostic tools out there. This makes it our top pick for a fully featured auto scan tool. In addition to being able to clear out normal OBD2 fault codes, it will read/clear ABS and SRS (airbag) codes very well.
No scanner is perfect when it comes to ABS or SRS codes, but the AL619 seems a bit more consistent than others, especially when you make sure to update the software immediately after receiving the unit. In addition, the Autel automatically pulls in your VIN, displays monitor and I/M readiness (emissions), shows real-time diagnostic data, and even allows printing of data through a PC (sorry not much Mac support here). The full color monitor is clear and the buttons are simply to use.
While some may prefer a touchscreen like some other more expensive models, buttons, in my opinion are a lot more functional for a scan tool. Especially when you’re in the middle of a repair and fingers covered in oil/grease. A lot of users have noted that they couldn’t get the AL619 to read ABS or SRS codes out of the box, but in most cases, a free firmware update took care of the issue. The update may take an hour or two but it’s only a one time process. Autel support is top notch so you won’t be on your own if there’s ever an issue with your new OBD2 scanner.
If you need a bit more than just reading and clearing basic engine fault codes, a full featured OBD2 scanner is a great investment. Like other technology, prices on these automotive scan tools continue to drop making them affordable to most home mechanics. For professional mechanics, even the best OBD2 scanner will quickly pay for itself. In addition to what a basic car code reader does, these automotive scan tools offer additional features for diagnostics, testing, and access to other supplemental systems in a vehicle such as the ABS or SRS systems.
For those who want to turn their smartphone or tablet into a powerful car diagnostic tool, OBD2 Bluetooth scanners are becoming increasingly popular. Don’t have Bluetooth on your phone? There are even auto scan tools that connect via Wi-Fi.
Below you’ll find our top picks for the different categories of scan tools. We understand your time is valuable so instead of having to read dozens of long OBD2 scanner reviews, we simply give our recommendations and tell you why. If you’d rather first learn more about OBDII scanners in general, click here.
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