Car Diagnostic Scanner

Finding A Suitable Scanner

Car diagnostic scanners are very useful tools if you own a CBD 2 / CAN compliant vehicle. This type of scanner is useful for both expert mechanics as well as for car owners who like to tinker with their vehicles.  You can use this scanner to assess what is wrong with your vehicle when faced with certain problems.  These scanners are quite easy to use—you just have to plug one into the information port provided in your vehicle and the scanner will access and decode the information provided by the on-board diagnostic system.

Post 1995, all the vehicles were installed with software to help  owners as well as car mechanics monitor each vehicle’s system.  There are a variety of car diagnostic scanners available on the market, but they are all quite different.  Some of advanced scanners have certain features not available in other scanners, which are designed to only read diagnostic trouble codes.  In this article, we go through some of the highly reviewed car diagnostic scanners on the market.

Big Banana BB600 Reset Check Engine Light CAN Car Auto Scanner Diagnostic OBDII Scan Tool Code Reader

Big Banana BB600 Reset Check Engine Light CAN Car Auto Scanner Diagnostic OBDII Scan Tool Code Reader

This portable and standalone scanner is very easy to use. It accesses the on-board computer of your vehicle and reads and comprehends the DTC codes. The Big Banana BB600 scanner is compatible with all OBD 2 compliant vehicles.  You can use this diagnostic scanner to retrieve, watch and clear generic as well as manufacturer-specific trouble codes.  You can also use this scanner to read full on-screen descriptions of the problem; to run live data parameters in real time; to check oxygen sensor data, as well as many other functions. It comes fitted with four navigational buttons and a large LCD screen for ease of handling and viewing.  The Big Banana BB600 scanner does not require any type of software loading or special communication device for its usage.  You just plug it into the information port of your vehicle and it is ready to use.  The Big Banana BB600 Reset Check Engine Light CAN Car Auto Scanner Diagnostic OBDII Scan Tool Code Reader is currently available for $56.99.

Pros:

  • Compatible with all post 1995 CAN and OBD 2 compliant vehicles.
  • Checks the cause of “MIL” warnings and resets the warning light if required.
  • Provides live engine data, freeze frame data and inspection/maintenance data.
  • Reads vehicle data, such as VIN, Calibration ID and Calibration Verification numbers.
  • Does not require extra batteries for power.

Cons:

  • Some users have found the cord supplied in the package is a little short,  making collecting live data while driving somewhat difficult.

The Big Banana BB600 scanner is a good bargain.  This scanner does exactly what it is required to do and at its current price, it is a better option compared to other expensive scanners available.

Excelvan U480 Car Auto Diagnostic Scanner OBD2 OBDII CAN-BUS Code Reader Memoscanner

Excelvan U480 Car Auto Diagnostic Scanner OBD2 OBDII CAN-BUS Code Reader Memoscanner

This is one of the cheapest models of card diagnostic scanners available.  This code reader is compatible with all vehicles with OBD ii protocol, including Controller Area Network Protocol.  This scanner is quite small in size and still has the capacity to perform all the functions available in other expensive products of the same category.  You can use this code reader to check the emission readiness status of OBD monitors as well as diagnose the malfunction indicator lamp status.  The Excelvan U480 Car Auto Diagnostic Scanner is currently available for $16.28.

Pros:

  • Retrieves generic and manufacturer specific DTC codes, which can be checked with the user’s manual.
  • Fitted with easy-to-read backlit LCD screen.
  • Checks VIN for post 2002 vehicle models or vehicles that support Mode 9.
  • Very reliable and accurate.
  • Portable and does not require any additional computer to operate.
  • Diagnoses and switches off Malfunction Indicator Lamp.

Cons:

  • Some users have found the manual provided in the package lacking in  information.

At the current price, the Excelvan U480 Car Auto Diagnostic Scanner is a good buy as it provides you with the basic scans and readings related with OBD ii complaint vehicles.  It can also help you to save a lot of money in the long run.

Actron CP9550 PocketScan Plus

Actron CP9550 PocketScan Plus

With this small-sized scanner, you can instantly access the generic OBD 2 codes generated by your vehicle.  These generic codes can be easily interpreted with the one-touch technology incorporated in this scanner.   Read and erase buttons check normal parameters as well as the MIL event to diagnose the problem and switch of the indicators.

The Actron CP9550 PocketScan Plus is designed in such a way that it is not only CAN compliant, but also utilizes a 16-pin OBD connector, permanently connected via a cable with the scanner.  This scanner can interact with different diagnostic subsystems of your vehicle and as it has standard pin layout and permanent cable attached to it so you can use it any time, even while on the move. Actron CP9550 PocketScan Plus is currently available for $65.92.

Pros:

  • Compatible with all OBD 2 and CAN compliant vehicles.
  • Provides fast diagnostics by automatically accessing the DTCs.
  • Reads and erases DTCs.
  • Shows all OBD 2 generic code definitions.
  • No manual required with the on-screen diagnostic code descriptions and definitions.
  • Provides freeze frame data of the vehicle, which is a snapshot of engine conditions at the time of emission-related fault.
  • Checking vehicle ID numbers.
  • No extra batteries required as it is powered by car battery when attached.

Cons:

  • The wiring of this car diagnostic scanner contains lead.

The Actron CP9550 PocketScan Plus has a rugged construction and it is quite small in size, making  it very portable.  You can easily store it in the glove compartment of your car.   This small device has lots of functionality irrespective of its size.

SingPad New U480 CAN-BUS OBDII Car Diagnostic Check Engine Auto Scanner Trouble Code Reader

SingPad New U480 CAN-BUS OBDII Car Diagnostic Check Engine Auto Scanner Trouble Code Reader

This scanner is specially designed for car owners who are meticulous in the proper care of their vehicles.  You can use this car diagnostic tool to check the status of the electronically controlled system of your vehicle.  It is quite easy to use—simply connect it to the onboard diagnostic system.  It is compatible with all post 1995 vehicle models that are OBD 2 compliant.

You can use this scanner to identify, locate and repair the problems related with your vehicle by viewing the generic and manufacturer specific DTCs or referring to the manual provided in the package.  The SingPad New U480 CAN-BUS OBDII Car Diagnostic Check Engine Auto Scanner Trouble Code Reader currently sells for $16.45.

Pros:

  • Supports generic codes, pending codes and manufacturer’s specific codes.
  • Retrieves Vehicle Identification Number.
  • Fitted with crystal-clear backlit LED display screen.
  • No additional computer or laptop required to operate.
  • Diagnoses MIL status and switches it off if required.
  • Single plug in makes it easy to use.
  • No extra batteries required.

Cons:

  • Some users of this car diagnostic scanner have difficulty with the instruction translations of the code manual provided in the package.

The SingPad New U480 CAN-BUS OBDII Car Diagnostic Check Engine Auto Scanner is not a very sophisticated piece of machinery, but it works perfectly well with OBD 2 compliant vehicles.  It is worth the price.

Conclusion

Car diagnostic scanners are very useful tools for assessing vehicle problems everyone faces from time to time.  Some of these problems can be easy enough to fix, but some serious issues can arise, too.  If you own a scanner, you can easily diagnose the problem and make an informed decision as to whether you should have your vehicle towed to a service station to save your vehicle from further damage.

All of the car diagnostic scanners discussed above have their own unique features and are available at different price ranges, but one thing is for sure: these scanners can save you money instead of paying for mechanics to run diagnostics on your vehicle.

Leave a Reply