Autel's AutoLink AL does something that most other OBD 2 scanners can't: It can check electrical connections with a built-in multimeter to uncover pesky electrical problems. Sadly, the multimeter is a stand-alone function that doesn't work when the AL is connected to the car as an OBD 2 scanner.
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It has a unique pull-out leg so the device can stand on its own, as well as a generous inch cable. The scanner's bright, 2.
Its pre-inspection readiness key has three lights that glow red permanent fault , yellow temporary fault or green no faults. Below are connectors for the multimeter's included test cables, to check continuity, current and voltage. The device's lithium-ion battery powers it for checking fuses, the alternator's voltage or the gas gauge.
After 9 seconds, the AL was online with my Audi Allroad, displaying the engine speed, coolant temperature and other items. It found my introduced fault and turned off the check-engine light. The AL includes a padded case, a one-year warranty and PC software. If you have electrical problems, this is the best OBD 2 scanner to get. Its large color screen, range of tasks, lifetime warranty and ease of use make the SeekOne SK a winner that stands apart from the OBD 2 crowd. Although it can feel bulky and heavy, at 7.
To ease connecting the scanner to your vehicle, it has a inch cord. It also has a bright, 2. The eight-button navigation scheme and icon-based interface make it easier to use than some budget scanners. Able to work with generic codes as well as those of 43 manufacturers, from Ford to Fiat, the SK took 5 seconds to connect with my Audi Allroad. It immediately displayed my car's vehicle identification number VIN and examined the battery.
It was able to show live data, like engine speed, oxygen sensor readings and coolant temperature. The scanner quickly found my introduced fault and turned off the check-engine light. The SK does much more than typical handheld scanners, and comes with a padded case, lifetime warranty and code updates. In other words, it's as close to a professional tool as you can get these days.
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Despite being among the most affordable OBD 2 scanners available, the Autophix Code Reader OM includes lifetime software updates, allowing it to keep up with technological and model changes. It could be the last scanner you get. At 9 ounces and 4. The unit's bumpers give the scanner a rugged look and it feels good in the hand. Its bright orange color should make it easy to find in a crowded toolbox. The OM's 2. In addition to displaying live engine parameters, like engine speed and coolant temperature, it can graph them for comparison. Able to report generic and manufacturer-specific codes, the scanner can display oxygen sensor and battery data.
The OM quickly showed that I had unplugged the oil temperature sensor on my Audi Allroad; it was able to turn off the check-engine light. Happily, the OM comes with a lifetime's worth of software. Small and light, it weighs 1. After plugging the AP into the car's OBD port and selecting it in my tablet's Bluetooth interface, the scanner connected on the first try with no passcode needed.
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The MaxiAP apps for iOS and Android are easy to install and provide a window on car performance but they were clearly written for phones with a vertical orientation and half-screen resolution. You can view the data as numbers, line graphs or realistic-looking automotive gauges. Once connected, the AP had a foot Bluetooth range.
But the device can be frustrating because the scanner takes upward of 30 seconds to compile its data and 10 seconds to change tasks. It took about 10 seconds for it to detect my introduced fault. The AP includes a 1-year warranty.
OBD-II Engine System Diagnostic Tools
But it's worth every penny, because it goes beyond basic scanners to show dynamic data, warn of recalls and offer repair suggestions. BlueDriver quickly detected my car's fault which was a disconnected oil temperature sensor , erased it and turned off the check-engine light. It can count engine misfires on many newer cars, and reports can be saved as PDFs. Its Freeze Frame feature delivers a slice of data, and the app can display speed, engine RPMs and other data as numbers or graphic gauges. I liked the helpful videos, but the computer-synthesized voice was annoying.
Don't let the DodyMPS's diminutive 2. It is a powerful and easy-to-connect car scanner that includes a lifetime warranty and software updates. After downloading, installing and firing up the app, the software looked for the scanner and connected on the first try, making it one of the easiest OBD scanners to use.
On the downside, the app runs vertically at half resolution and was designed for use with a phone. It quickly found the car's fault that I created and was able to turn off the check-engine light. The Nexpeak NX OBD 2 scanner not only does the expected car checks but with lifetime software updates, it's a keeper. With soft rubber bumpers, the NX is ruggedly built and comfortable to use. In addition to examinations of the battery and oxygen sensor, the NX interprets generic and many manufacturer-specific fault codes.
The device quickly noticed when I disconnected the oil temperature sensor on my Audi Allroad and turned off the car's check engine light. The tool's eight-key navigation make it easy to move between scanning tasks. The NX includes a padded case, lifetime software upgrades and one of the longest OBD cables at more than 5 feet. There are no arbitrary cutpoints that can be fudged one way or the other to pass or fail more or less vehicles. Everybody dances to the same tune and must meet the same standards. OBD II is also much better at detecting evaporative emissions leaks, and a drop off in converter efficiency.
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The problem may not have any noticeable effect on driveability or performance, but technically it is in violation of the standards -- and must be fixed before the MIL light will go out and say out. OBD II monitors evaporative emissions by checking for fuel vapor leaks once a drive cycle. OBD II does this by applying vacuum or pressure to the fuel tank, vapor lines and charcoal canister.
If it detects no airflow when the EVAP canister purge valve is opened, or it detects a leakage rate that is greater than that which would pass through a hole 0. If you find a P code that indicates a fuel vapor leak, finding the leak can be a challenge. The first place to start is the gas cap. A loose-fitting or damaged cap can allow enough air leakage to set a code. This means all you need is an OBD II-compliant code reader or scan tool to check readiness status, and to read and clear codes.
The state emission programs require vehicle inspection facilities to use a more sophisticated plug-in tool that also records vehicle data for record keeping purposes, but otherwise they are using the same basic scan tool technology as everybody else. The connector is usually located under the dash near the steering column. But on some vehicles, it can be hard to find. On many Hondas, the plug is located behind the ashtray.
On Volvo, the plug is next to the hand brake. On Audi, you'll find it hidden behind the rear seat ashtray. If a situation develops in any of these monitored systems that could cause a real or potential emissions problem, OBD II will watch it, set a code and eventually illuminate the MIL. OBD II may wait until it detects the same problem on two separate drive cycles before it converts a pending code into a mature code and turns on the MIL lamp.
The problem must be fixed and the MIL light must stay out before the vehicle will pass.
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But there's a catch. Consequently, the EPA currently allows up to two readiness monitors not to be set prior to testing to model year vehicles, and one readiness readiness monitor for to vehicles. When OBD II runs a self-check on a particular component or system, it lets you know by setting a readiness "flag" or indicator which can be displayed on your code reader or scan tool. The motorist must drive the vehicle and come back again, or take a tailpipe test if that is an option. If OBD II detects a fault when running a monitor, the setting of a code may prevent the remaining monitors from running.