Best OBD2 Scanners in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 14, 2020
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 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Diagnostic Features
Connection Options
Controls
Data to Display
Warranty
 
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

Measuring 22 x 20 x 14 centimetres, this device is more compact than its peers. The sizable buttons eliminate misclicking and let you use the device with one hand hassle-free. The USB port will let you transfer information onto USB-enabled devices.

CONS

The device doesn't always erase certain error codes with American cars. 

OUR VERDICT

The Thinkcar TKB01 is a great diagnostics tool that will fit beginners and seasoned drivers alike. With the logo-based menu structure, the model makes its settings more digestible so that even inexperienced drivers can figure out everything that this device can do with ease.

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

1 year

PROS

Besides standard monitoring and diagnostics tools, the model covers engine load, fuel pressure, short-/long-term fuel trim, vehicle speed, mass airflow, engine coolant temperature, RPM, and more engine parameters. The screen features backlighting. 

CONS

The provided USB cable is short. 

OUR VERDICT

The WOHOOH V309 views vehicle information as well as freeze frame data, reads and clears codes, defines diagnostic trouble codes, enables onboard monitoring, checks the O2 sensors, and lets you pass the next annual smog check with flying colours.

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

1 year

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

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

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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


VIDEO
Testing Autel AL319 AutoLink OBD2 Diagnostic Tool Powerful
 

Thinkcar TKB01

A Little More Compact

The people behind the Thinkcar TKB01 claim that the more affordable products are not quite as good as this device and the more expensive products, well, they're more expensive, and not necessarily better than what they're offering here. For the most part, we're inclined to agree with them. Of course, the model is not flawless. At times, it doesn't always erase certain error codes with American cars. That being said, more often than not, this device has no troubles reading codes, clearing codes, and erasing codes. But, before that, let's examine its footprint.

At 22 x 20 x 14 centimetres, this model is a little more space-saving than most OBD2 scanners, so you can hold and use it with one hand without feeling inconvenienced at all. This device also weighs a little above 280 grammes, which is not especially different from most scanners, but the change is welcome nonetheless.

What's even more welcome is the screen. Ditching text-based approach, this model uses visual logos, making the menu layout more digestible and the structure more accessible to beginners. The buttons below the screen are large and responsive, eliminating misclicking and making sure the system always registers the input from these buttons. Also, the menu can be set between seven languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, and Russian.

Review of Thinkcar TKB01 OBD2 Code Reader

USB Port for the Win

Of course, not unlike generic OBD scan tools, the Thinkcar TKB01 enables onboard monitoring. The model can identify problems with fuel efficiency as well as I/M readiness. It can view and retrieve freeze frame data. With this device, you'll be able to turn off the check engine light and determine the cause behind it. Besides retrieving fault codes, the model is excellent at picking up the vehicle emission status, including the O2 sensors and the EVAP system.

Removing these elements from the equation, this device monitors misfire, evaporative systems, secondary air systems, oxygen sensors, exhaust gas recirculation systems, heated catalysts, and more. But the part that most drivers will like the most is the integrated USB port. With this port, the model enables transferring information onto computers or most USB-enabled devices.

As always, the Thinkcar TKB01 is compatible with all OBD2-compliant vehicles (as long as the vehicle was not released before 1996), so there's very little chance this scanner won't work with your car. In other words, using this device, you can save some money before vehicle inspection and find out what's hidden in your car anytime you want.

Thinkcar TKB01 OBD2 Code Reader in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

WOHOOH V309

OBD2 Scanner with ABS and SRS

The WOHOOH V309 follows the common playbook deployed across most OBD2 scanners and we're not holding that against it. No, reinventing the wheel makes sense sometimes but this is not the wheel that requires reinventing, so we're fine with the device sticking with what's working. What we're more than fine with is its size.

Measuring 20 x 13.2 x 3.8 centimetres, this model commands the smallest footprint among the scanners that we've listed here, enabling comfortable one-hand operation. Plus, there are two rubberised pads on the sides, absorbing pressure and reducing hand strain over prolonged periods, so you can spend 30 minutes holding this device without experiencing cramping. The plastic that the housing is made from is pretty sturdy, so this scanner should be okay with an occasional drop or mild impact damage.

The screen is pretty small but the font is adequate, making the information on the screen plenty readable. Plus, the screen incorporates sufficient backlighting, making the values readable even in low-light conditions. There's no anti-glare coating though, so the display is not great with direct sunlight, but the same can be said about most OBD2 scanners. What you cannot say about most scanners is that they're shipped with a short USB cable, not the biggest mistake the people behind this product could make but the one we would like to see fixed next time anyway.

Review of WOHOOH V309 OBD2 Scanner Engine Fault Reader

Including Important Engine Parameters

Reviewing performance, this model is not trailing behind its more expensive competition. As per usual, its monitoring capabilities are covering fuel systems, evaporative systems, oxygen sensors, exhaust gas recirculation systems, AC refrigerant, catalyst, heated catalyst, and more. In addition to that, this device also includes important engine parameters like RPM, engine load, vehicle speed, short- and long-term fuel trim, mass airflow, fuel pressure, engine coolant temperature, and a few others.

The model can check engine-related fault codes and find out why the check engine light has turned on. Apart from that, its diagnostics tools do not exclude the I/M readiness function that checks the emission system's operation on OBD2-compliant cars.

Long story short, with the WOHOOH V309, you'll be passing annual smog checks with flying colours. The model has no problem reading and clearing codes, viewing freeze frame data, viewing overall vehicle information, defining diagnostic trouble codes, enabling onboard monitoring, and so forth.

WOHOOH V309 OBD2 Scanner Engine Fault Reader in the use

 

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

 

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


 

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. The minor flaw of a thing is limited functionality. It’s only aimed to read and stream error codes on a display. A diagnostic scanner with a connection to PC 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.

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.

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 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