Best OBD2 Scanners in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 18, 2021
Using an automotive scan tool is similar to having a mini service station right on board your car. If you're searching for a decent electric device to monitor all car issues and keep control of the technical condition of your vehicle, you've come to the right page. On this list, you will find the best OBD2 scanners that work on all domestic and foreign vehicles, including trucks and SUVs, and won't cost you a fortune. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Diagnostic Features
Connection Options
Controls
Data to Display
Warranty
 
PROS

The device allows you to get extended information on the DTC (DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES) LIST, where you can study in detail the information regarding errors in electronic control units. And here it provides the function of resetting SRS-codes.

CONS

Loads a little slowly.

OUR VERDICT

The main advantage of the Autel MaxiLink ML629 is that it is compatible almost with all cars produced from 1996 and newer that support the function of OBDII scan. Not only that. It is also one of the few scanners that allow you to get VIN, CALID and CVN codes.

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features

Engine Diagnosis, Transmission diagnosis, ABS/SRS diagnoses, DTC (Diagnostics Trouble Codes) lookup, Retrieving vehicle information (VIN, CALID and CVN)

Connection Options

OBD2 port, USB, MicroSD card slot

Controls

LCD screen with control panel

Data to Display

Misfire Monitor, Fuel System Monitor, Comprehensive Component Monitor, EGR System Monitor, O2 Sensors Monitor, Catalyst Monitor, Evaporative System Monitor, O2 Sensor Heater Monitor, Secondary Air Monitor, Heated Catalyst Monitor etc.

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Thanks to the One-Click I/M Readiness Key, the device can track the condition of several monitor systems simultaneously. To ensure comfortable use, the manufacturer fitted this scanner with a bright screen and a high-quality built-in speaker.

CONS

The USB cable that you get in the set is not of the highest quality.

OUR VERDICT

The Autel AutoLink AL519 can be used for full OBD II system diagnosis without using a computer. Moreover, it works on most 1996 and newer automobiles. On top of all that, it supports online updates and can print data via PC.

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features

12V charging systems, starting systems and condition of discharged battery Diagnosis, DTC (Diagnostics Trouble Codes) lookup, Retrieving vehicle information (VIN, CVN, CIN)

Connection Options

OBD2 port, USB port

Controls

TFT colour display (320 x 240 dpi) with control panel

Data to Display

One-Click I/M Readiness Key, AVOmeter (test voltage, continuity and current), determines the cause of the Check Engine Light (MIL), Retrieves generic (P0, P2, P3, and U0), manufacturer specific (P1, P3, and U1) codes and pending codes, Turns off Check Engine Light (MIL), Displays monitor and I/M readiness status, Reads live PCM datastream, live O2 sensor test data, freeze frame data, etc

Warranty

1 year warranty and lifetime free update

PROS

The scanner has extended functionality, making it suitable both for spark ignition engines and for compression ignition engines. Also, it is distinguished by the EGR system which allows normalising the level of harmful substances emitted into the atmosphere.

CONS

Keyless remote programming is unavailable.

OUR VERDICT

This model can not only detect the error code and output it on the screen but also can show the type of malfunction. This way, detecting and fixing a problem will take you considerably less time. The menu of the device is available in 7 languages. 

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features

Engine diagnosis, Transmission diagnosis, DTC (Diagnostics Trouble Codes) lookup, Retrieving vehicle information (VIN, CVN)

Connection Options

OBD2 port, USB

Controls

LCD screen with a control panel

Data to Display

EGR System Monitor, O2 Sensors Monitor, Catalyst Monitor, Evaporative System Monitor, O2 Sensor Heater Monitor, Secondary Air Monitor, Heated Catalyst Monitor, NMHC Catalyst Monitor, NOx Aftertreatment Monitor, Boost Pressure System Monitor, Exhaust Gas Sensor Monitor, PM Filter Monitor

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The model shows whether the airbags have been used before. It has no problems displaying the I/M readiness status, reading live data, and viewing the freeze frame data. Using this device, you can identify emission-related issues.

CONS

The instructions are not easily digestible. 

OUR VERDICT

The LAUNCH Creader 3001 will be busy monitoring comprehensive components, misfire, air systems, AC refrigerants, oxygen sensors, exhaust gas, catalysts, and more. The scanner will let you access DTC as well as retrieve vehicle information (both VIN and CVN).

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features

Engine diagnosis, Transmission diagnosis, DTC (Diagnostics Trouble Codes) lookup, Retrieving vehicle information (VIN, CVN)

Connection Options

OBD2 port, USB port

Controls

LCD screen with a control panel

Data to Display

Misfire Monitor, Fuel System Monitor, Comprehensive Components Monitor, Catalyst Monitor, Heated Catalyst Monitor, Evaporative System Monitor, Secondary Air System Monitor, Air Conditioning Refrigerant Monitor, Oxygen Sensor Monitor, Oxygen Sensor Heater Monitor, Exhaust Gas Recirculation System Monitor 

Warranty

5 years

PROS

The heavy-duty cable measures 2.5 feet (76 centimetres) long, so you won't feel tied down (literally) when sitting and running diagnostics tests. The rubberised casing protects the internal components from impact damage and offers a non-slip grip.

CONS

The screen is difficult to read under direct sunlight. 

OUR VERDICT

The Foseal FO-01 has a separate real-time curve function. It sports the most well-thought-out design, with its large, 2.8-inch LCD screen that features ample backlighting and lets you tweak the contrast. Even better, this device features separate VIN and DTC buttons.

detailed parameters
Diagnostic Features

Engine diagnosis, Transmission diagnosis, DTC (Diagnostics Trouble Codes) lookup, Retrieving vehicle information (VIN, CVN)

Connection Options

OBD2 port

Controls

LCD screen with a control panel

Data to Display

Misfire Monitor, Fuel System Monitor, Comprehensive Components Monitor, Catalyst Monitor, Heated Catalyst Monitor, Evaporative System Monitor, Secondary Air System Monitor, Air Conditioning Refrigerant Monitor, Oxygen Sensor Monitor, Oxygen Sensor Heater Monitor, Exhaust Gas Recirculation System Monitor 

Warranty

2 years

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Autel MaxiLink (ML629)

Full Functionality

A car mechanic, in many instances, is only as good as the tools that they use. In order to diagnose and repair problems with any vehicle, any number of tools are required for this task, and of course the better the quality of the tools, the more thorough a job can be done. Any mechanic using inferior tools is sure to run into problems with being able to fully fix a vehicle they are repairing, so it is of the utmost importance to ensure that they are using the highest quality tools possible in order to ensure a quality diagnosis and repair job.

This extends to ODB2 scanners, where the quality of the device is going to directly affect the information that can be gathered and analyzed by the mechanic. The Autel MaxiLink ML629 OBD2 Scanner provides any mechanic with a great quality scanner that can be used in almost any situation. The device allows you to get extended information on the DTC (DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES) LIST, where you can study in detail the information regarding errors in electronic control units. In addition, it also provides the function of resetting SRS-codes, giving you a fully-featured device that lets you get to the root of any vehicle's problems in a quick and accurate manner.

Review of Autel MaxiLink (ML629) OBD2 Scanner for ABS/SRS/Engine and Transmission

High Compatibility

One of the main advantages of this model is that it is compatible with almost all cars of 1996 release and later, including European, Asian, and domestic vehicles, which is a much higher range of compatibility than many other competing devices. This device supports the OBDII scan function, and it is also one of the few scanners that allow you to get VIN, CALID, and CVN codes. Basically, the functionality featured in this model is superb, offering you quite a bit, especially for a device in its price range.

Unlike many other OBD2 scanners, this device is extremely easy to use, with very intuitive controls that are displayed through a color LCD screen. The different functions of the device are located in menus that are displayed as icons on the screen that can be navigated through by using the four direction control pad. As everything in the menu is laid out in a logical manner, you can quickly and easily find the functions and data that you need. The device itself is housed in a durable shell that can withstand the rigors normally associated with vehicle maintenance. With all of these features combined into a sturdy and compact unit, any mechanic who needs a fully-featured ODB2 scanner will find few faults with this model. 

Autel MaxiLink (ML629) OBD2 Scanner for ABS/SRS/Engine and Transmission in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price £124.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07QK4ZZ72

 

Autel AutoLink AL519

Universal Scanner

For those looking to reduce the mechanical costs, the Autel AL519 AutoLink Enhanced OBD II Scanner may be the best choice. This model supports all 1996 vehicles, performs full OBDII diagnosis, and is easy to use, making it an ideal option for all car owners and enthusiastic DIYers.

Taking a closer look at the strengths of the Autel AL519, the thing most people love about it is how easy it is to use. In fact, there's absolutely no steep learning curve as all of the codes you'll see on the display come with translations, allowing you to understand them quickly without visiting mechanics. Adding to the ease of use is a simple tool layout featuring nothing extra but a few buttons and the screen.

The functionality of this scanner is another point of consideration. With this tool, you'll be able to not only retrieve full vehicle information (VIN, CIN, CVN, P0, P2, P3, U0 and specific codes such as P1, P3 and U1) but also update the codes, save them to replace, and clear if needed. Given a straightforward menu and handy user manual that comes supplied with the tool, navigating it will be easy.

Now, the biggest strength of the Autel AL519 is surely its compatibility. Compared to many other scanners in its class, this one is universal and can be used to fix various faults in various vehicles including most 1996 and newer cars. So with this tool, you can not only reduce the mechanical costs but actually make money by helping other car owners to diagnose problems with their vehicles.

Review of Autel AutoLink AL519 Universal OBD2 Scanner

Small Things

As for the small features, we like the fact that the Autel AutoLink AL519 comes in a bundle with a case for protection and a USB cable. This way, you can neatly store it when not in use and carry it with you without worrying that it might somehow get broken. The cable included is not of the highest quality, unfortunately, but given the fact that most people already have a good supply of USB wires at home, this should not be that big of an issue. Especially since this is the only shortcoming of the Autel AutoLink AL519.

What else is there to add? Let's also mention the fact that it has a battery for backup. This may come in handy in situations where you need to perform a quick system check but a vehicle's engine has switched off. Also, you can't but like its price, which is incredible considering all the benefits and advantages that you get with the tool.

All told, if you're in search of a universal OBD II scanner to make your jobs faster, easier and more precise, the Autel AutoLink AL519 won't disappoint.

Autel AutoLink AL519 Universal OBD2 Scanner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B074NWCKG5

 

Autel AutoLink AL319

Easy Diagnostics

ODB2 scanners have been a real godsend to mechanics. Thanks to their ability to interface with the computer in almost any car, they are able to help detect issues with the car both quickly and accurately. However, many of the top models available tend to be pretty expensive, which puts them out of the price range for those who like to work on their own cars instead of relying on a mechanic. This, in turn, tends to take away the ability to quickly and easily detect issues with a vehicle. Not all of the top models are so expensive, though, and the Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD II & CAN Scan Tool is a great example of this.

This is an affordable and easy-to-use OBD2 diagnostic scanner that works on all models and makes of car from 1996 and newer. With the Autel AutoLink AL319, you won't need to go through guesswork when troubleshooting an issue and work out what part of the whole system has gone out of order. It quickly detects all malfunctions, notifies the user about the error codes by displaying a message on the screen, and explains the issues so that it’s not necessary to look up online for further explanation. The Autel AutoLink AL319 will assist users in verifying road tests, solving basic engine problems, checking the emission monitor status, resetting monitors, displaying and clearing error codes, and viewing freeze frame data.

Review of Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Reader Car Diagnostic Scanner

Highly Portable

To have the Autel AutoLink AL319 work, make sure it’s plugged into the vehicle's OBD2 port via a cable. Due to its small size and imponderable weight, it’s extremely portable and easy-to-use. Via a USB cable, you can connect the unit to a PC or laptop and have all the data about your vehicle displayed on the screen. This is one of the most affordable and yet, universal scan tools available on the market. The ability to connect it to virtually any PC makes it an invaluable tool for helping to track issues with any vehicle.

We are amazed at the value of the scan tool considering its very affordable price. Not only does this diagnostic device have a color LED screen, it’s also equipped with a built-in speaker, both aimed to provide a full (visual and audible) indication of car issues. By just the single push of a button, you’ll be able to quickly get all the required information of your vehicle's health right on the screen - the stored and pending codes, freeze frame data, the status of monitors, the status of MIL, manufacturer and generic specific codes and more. It’s one of those rare cases when you don’t really need to pay a fortune to get a quality device that will work just as expected.

In short, those who are on a budget will certainly appreciate the convenience and ease of use of this ODB2 scanner.

Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Reader Car Diagnostic Scanner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price £35.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B007XE8C74

VIDEO
Testing Autel AL319 AutoLink OBD2 Diagnostic Tool Powerful
 

LAUNCH Creader (3001)

Military-Like Profile

The LAUNCH Creader 3001 is a peculiar one. First things first, this device looks like a handheld tank. We're not saying that we have something against its military-esque casing though, not at all. While we're not quite sure how tough it is, at the very least, its appearance instils confidence. The corrugated sides with multiple grooves are a nice touch as well, offering an unbeatable grip so that you can hold this device even with wet/sweaty hands without worrying about dropping it.

Generally speaking, the model's form factor does not disappoint, but the screen leaves mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is quite bright, and you can always adjust its brightness, making sure that you can use the device even when there's no ambient lighting. On the other hand, the screen is pretty small and so is the font, meaning that people with vision issues will have to put the display a few centimetres before the eyes to make out the information on it.

The thing is, whilst the model is not necessarily bulky, measuring ~23.9 x 14 x 3 centimetres, it is also not that petite, so the issue here is not the size but the screen-to-body ratio. To be more precise, the black edges around the screen that we would like to see removed next time, making the screen bigger without making the scanner less compact. Also, now that we're on the subject of things that we'd like to see improved with the next version, the instructions manual that comes with this device is confusing, which means that inexperienced drivers might find it difficult to digest.

Review of LAUNCH Creader (3001) OBD2 Scanner

All the Diagnostics Tools

Though we've extended ample criticism towards this device above, it all comes from a good place. In other words, we're not criticising this scanner because it is bad, we're criticising it because it is pretty good and, with a few adjustments, could have been quite great. Even without these adjustments though, the model offers engine and transmission diagnosis. With its help, you'll be able to look up diagnostics trouble codes and retrieve vehicle information, including both VIN and CVN.

The model displays the I/M readiness status, reads live data, and can view the freeze frame data. Aside from these, this device will let you figure out emission-related problems as well as issues with the fuel system, misfire, oxygen sensors, exhaust gas recirculation system, evaporative system, catalysts, AC refrigerants, and more.

In short, assuming you don't mind the small screen, the LAUNCH Creader 3001 should fit your bill just fine.

LAUNCH Creader (3001) OBD2 Scanner in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £25.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07CKS9XVX

 

Foseal (FO-01)

Separate VIN and DTC Buttons

The Foseal FO-01 covers a little more than its contemporaries, solidifying its spot on this list. To start with, the 2.8-inch LCD screen is quite large, making the on-screen information readable even without staring at the screen from <10 centimetres. The font is reasonable, fitting ample information at a time but also making sure that you can read that information without much trouble. What's more, the screen is backlit, so you'll be able to read the information on the screen even at night without turning on the lights. Also, you can adjust the contrast, preventing the display from turning excessively bright. It seems like the screen also features some anti-glare treatment but it is not sufficient at all, so you'll still have to shield the display from the sun when using the device on sunny days.

On the bright side (pardon the pun), what the experts at Foseal call a grab design makes this device plenty comfortable. While the screen is large, the bottom half thins out, making the model more practical and comfortable to hold. As it is almost always the case, the sides are rubberised, preventing the scanner from slipping away and protecting its internal components from shock damage upon impact. The plastic behind the rubberised casing is not fragile as well, so there's a pretty good chance that this device will last. Even the 2.5-feet (76-centimetre) cable is pretty sturdy, so you can sit with comfort when running diagnostics tests.

As much as we like the screen, the controls sell this scanner even more than the display. To go with standard Scroll Up, Scroll Down, Escape, and Okay buttons, this device adds VIN and DTC buttons. With the former, you'll be able to check the vehicle ID number with one click. The latter, on the other hand, will let you access the trouble codes with one click as well.

Review of Foseal (FO-01) OBD2 Scanner Plug and Play Code Reader

Separate Real-Time Curve

Looking at its functions, this OBD2 scanner is not introducing anything new to the game besides the separate real-time curve option. Setting this option aside, the model will let you read vehicle information, check the I/M readiness status, view freeze frame data, read and erase codes, check the engine coolant temperature, as well as monitor misfire, the fuel system, the catalysts, the air systems, the usual drill.

In closing, provided you want something that is equally functional and practical, the Foseal FO-01 will not let you down. Plus, the model will let you choose between six languages.

Foseal (FO-01) OBD2 Scanner Plug and Play Code Reader in the use
Last updated price £25.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07RQCP5PY

 

What Is an OBD2 Scanner?

An OBD2 auto scanner is a lightweight, compact size and comparatively inexpensive auto diagnostic tool with built-in software, designed to continuously control a vehicle and inform its owner about all malfunctions in a real-time mode. This is a perfect device for both professional and custom diagnostics in service stations. Most customers give preference to using OBD2 scanners over other similar tools due to their price, compact size and simplicity of use.

Portable OBD2 scanners are commonly used for diagnostics of electronic engine management systems and other systems found in most modern cars. As they don’t require connection to a PC, they are handy to keep in a glove compartment and easily accessible to run a quick scan of a vehicle.

One other device that will certainly go no amiss is a jump starter. If you have not got one yet or look for an upgrade, make sure to take a look at our review of jump starters. With a jump starter at your disposal, a depleted battery won't be an issue for you whatsoever, no matter how far from your home you land.

What Features to Compare

Diagnostic Features

The first thing to consider when searching through a plethora of OBD2 scanners available is its diagnostic features. This is prime information that is gonna tell you whether (or not) a certain device will go with your car make. The cars manufactured before 1996 will not be compatible with any of the scanners on the market for the reason they’re not equipped with an OBD2 port, so, be aware. All scanners provide some built-in programming diagnostic software or a CD so a user doesn’t need to buy any special hardware. Diagnostic features vary a lot depending on the model of a device and a manufacturer (though, the plan is to extend functionality for more vehicles). However, there are certain things that are common for all - most OBD2 scanners are capable of updating their software and extending functional with micro-programs via the Internet and PC. These programs are usually easily found on the official websites of manufacturers and available for free download. 

The minor flaw of these devices is limited functionality. They're only aimed to read and stream error codes on a display. As such, diagnostic scanners that can be paired with computers may be a more beneficial purchase in this sense. Within the same price range, it offers much more functionality. On using a stationary PC or laptop, it’d be possible to access way more programming capabilities of such a scanner.

Connection Options

In order to update the software or stream data on a display, a scanner should be connected to the storage source via USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi. This is where you may want to consider the available connection options of a chosen model and make sure that it will work for you as expected. Portable scanners are usually charged either via a battery or onboard power. Which one to choose will depend on what features you’d like your scanner to provide. For example, with OBD readers that provide printouts, it may be a good idea to buy a battery-operated model. When compared to an onboard analog, it will provide an owner with more mobility options so that he can disconnect it and print out all the needed information on a car in any copy center.

Data to Display

The information on a car can be streamed right on a display of a scanner, smartphone, or PC, depending on what option is supported by a device. Consider data to display feature and check what kind of information is gonna be displayed on your device - a short error code or a code with a definition. 

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Publish Date: 2020-10-14 16:59:53