Top 10 Best Code Readers in 2020 Reviews

The best code readers can help to perform car diagnosis and troubleshoot common problems. Most can owners can agree that the pesky check-engine light is quite annoying. You might end up visiting a mechanic and spending a lot on a pretty small issue. Thankfully, you can detect any car problems before they get worse with a code reader. Code readers are also known as OBD II scanners and are a must-have for every car owner. These code readers are quite useful in helping you detect the cause of the check engine light and take the necessary steps to solve the problem. Moreover, most code readers are standard and work with a wide array of cars.

If you’re considering buying a code reader, then you’ve come to the right place. We are reviewing the best code readers on the market for you. Our reviews narrow down your search to leading code reader brands. These are premium quality code readers with pretty amazing features. The code readers are highly rated and come recommended for easy and quick car diagnosis and troubleshooting. Check them out below and choose one that best suits your needs today.

10. ANCEL Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner

ANCEL Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner

Check Price on Amazon

This is a classic design code reader and a universal design to start our list. The reader scans problems fast and troubleshoots. It is a simple unit suitable for beginners. You can read out any error code fast and clear it. It is a versatile scanner that works on 1996 and newer US-based, EU-based, and Asian cars. Besides, the scanner supports multiple languages for multiple uses. You can read and clear error codes in English, Spanish, German, French, etc. Overall, this is a perfect choice IBD II scanner that can detect the cause of engine light. The scanner is well-built and features a large LCD display with a white backlight. You can use and read it in low light conditions. Lastly, the scanner comes equipped with a long 2.5 feet cable for flexible use.

Pros

  • Flexible use due to a long 2.5 feet cable
  • Well-built and easy to use
  • Versatile unit hence works on most vehicle models
  • Supports multiple languages

Cons

  • Does not connects to apps

9. Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Scanner Car Code Reade

Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Scanner Car Code Reade

Check Price on Amazon

This is a compact, lightweight, and simple design OBD 2 car code reader. It is an excellent code reader to check-engine light and clear error codes. It is quite easy to use and beginners can use it like a pro and turn off the check engine light. This is a mechanic-approved code reader that works with most OBD II compliant protocols. Besides, the code reader works with a wide array of car models hence versatile. This code reader can diagnose in seconds with two easy to use buttons. In addition, the code reader features an intuitive screen display for easy reading. It is a leading choice code reader with a SMOG Check. Moreover, the code reader connects directly to the car battery system and operates without batteries.

Pros

  • Operates without batteries since it plugs into the vehicle power
  • Quick and easy diagnosis in seconds
  • Mechanic approved thus safe
  • Intuitive user display thus easy to use

Cons

  • Screen and buttons a little small

8. FOXWELL NT301 OBD 2 Scanner Professional Mechanic OBD II Scanner

FOXWELL NT301 OBD 2 Scanner Professional Mechanic OBD II Scanner

Check Price on Amazon

This is another leading code reader and one of the best-selling brands in the industry. The scanner enables you to read DTCs, locate bad O2 sensors, turn off CEL, emission readiness test, reset the monitor, and much more. It is a pretty accurate code reader with live graphing giving you the information in real-time. Moreover, this code reader works for a wide range of car models from 1996 and newer. It is a top-quality code reader highly recommended by mechanics. Overall, this is a Smog checker helper that reads and erases codes with ease. You can order with confidence as there is a 1-year seller assurance guarantee.

Pros

  • Accurate due to live graphing
  • The unique patented design thus easy to use
  • Compact and lightweight hence portable
  • Smog checker helper

Cons

  • OBD2 Cable not detachable

7. Foseal OBD2 Code Reader, OBD 2 Scanner

Foseal OBD2 Code Reader, OBD 2 Scanner

Check Price on Amazon

This is a professional choice code reader with a classic handheld design. It is a lightweight and compact design code reader easy to carry and use. You just need to plug and detect error codes. The code reader scans error fast and erases any errors. It is an intuitive design code reader that beginners can use with ease. Moreover, the code reader works with most car models from the year 1996 and newer. In addition, the code reader features a built-in large LCD display with a white backlight. You can easily read error codes even in low light conditions. The code reader screen also features contrast adjustment. You also get a long 2.5 feet cable for flexible use.

Pros

  • Easy to read and use due to large LCD screen
  • White backlight for reading in the dark
  • Simple to use due to a plug and play design
  • Long cable hence flexible to use

Cons

  • None

6. thinkcar THINKOBD 100 OBD2 Scanner

thinkcar THINKOBD 100 OBD2 Scanner

Check Price on Amazon

This is a full OBD 2 scanner that possesses all the OBD2 functions. The scanner can read codes, erase codes, MIL Fault Indicator Light, Live data, etc. You can be sure of performing a wide array of OBD 2 tests. It is a cost-effective code reader with a compact and lightweight design. The code reader also comes with a color TFT screen for easy data reading. Overall, this is a simple design OBD 2 cod reader with a simple plug and play design. The code reader also features an I/M readiness test to check the emission status. It is an excellent choice code reader with a 1-year warranty for confidence and worry-free buying.

Pros

  • TFT color screen hence easy to read
  • Checks emission status due to the I/M readiness test
  • Easy to use simple plug and play
  • Comes with full obd2 functions hence versatile

Cons

  • Does not reset gauges but works perfectly

5. NEXAS NL101 Full OBD2 Scanner

NEXAS NL101 Full OBD2 Scanner

Check Price on Amazon

This is another simple design OBD 2 scanner that reads and erases error codes. The code reader helps clear error codes and check engine light fault codes. It is an intuitive design code reader that reads error codes and gives definitions. The code reader is effective in helping detect errors and provide solutions in early enough. There is a further real-time car battery monitor. This code reader can read battery voltage and monitor the battery health status in real-time. It is a reliable scanner with up to 10 modes of OBD II diagnostics. There is also the I/M ready function to perform emission readiness status checks. You can order with confidence as there is a lifetime free update.

Pros

  • Enhanced full diagnostic including up to 10 modes
  • Real-time battery monitoring
  • Reads and erases error codes fast
  • Simple plug and play design hence easy to use

Cons

  • Few USB outdated issues

4. LAUNCH Code Reader CRP123X OBD2 Scanner Scan Tool

LAUNCH Code Reader CRP123X OBD2 Scanner Scan Tool

Check Price on Amazon

This is by far one of the most advanced code readers with four system diagnosis. It is a versatile design code reader that works for over 1000 car models. Besides, the code reader is pretty reliable and features all OBD II functions. There are 10 OBD II functions making this code reader reliable. It can read and erase a wide array of errors with ease. This is an excellent choice OBD 2 scanner that connects with apps on your phone via Wi-Fi. This allows for easy and convenient use on your phone. It is an excellent choice scanner tool that delivers real-live graphing. Lastly, the code reader can record data making it versatile for most professionals. It is a fast-diagnostic code reader that comes with a 5-year warranty.

Pros

  • Fast diagnostic
  • 10 OBD II functions hence reliable
  • Easy to use since it connects with phones
  • Records data

Cons

  • Long boot time

3. VXDAS OBD2 Scanner Car Diagnostic Scan Tool

VXDAS OBD2 Scanner Car Diagnostic Scan Tool

Check Price on Amazon

This is an economic diagnostic tool that reads and clears code errors. It is an excellent choice reader to check-engine light causes and troubleshoots the problems. The reader is ideal for turning off the CEL, readiness test, DTCs, and checking the freeze-frame. This is a user-friendly OBD 2 scanner with a plug and plays design. The scanner works without batteries drawing current directly from the car battery. It is an excellent code reader with a large LCD display, backlight, and contrast adjustment. You can clearly see and understand the code errors. This is a universal coverage code reader to work on a wide range of vehicle models. Moreover, the scanner features a built-in lookup library to find code error definitions.

Pros

  • Multiple language support
  • Large LCD display hence easy reading and understanding
  • Lookup library for code error definitions
  • User-friendly design

Cons

  • Code descriptions not detailed

2. VIDENT Ieasy 200 OBD II/EOBD CAN Engine Light Scan Tool

VIDENT Ieasy 200 OBD II/EOBD CAN Engine Light Scan Tool

Check Price on Amazon

This is a compact unit code reader that works for most car models from the year 1996 and newer. This is a new compliant OBD2 scanner for cars, light-duty trucks, SUVs, minivans, and hybrid. The scanner also comes with I/M readiness hotkeys for easy use. This is a reliable choice code reader with a quick display for all statuses of tests on a single screen. It is a compact and lightweight design code reader easy to carry and use anywhere. In addition, the code reader features view on-screen fault code definitions for easy understanding. There are thousands of definitions stored within for easy use. The code reader also provides real-time live data streams. This, coupled with a lifetime warranty makes the code reader an excellent buy.

Pros

  • Reads real-time live data streams
  • The versatile design thus works with most car models
  • I/M readiness test
  • View-on screen fault code definitions

Cons

  • None

1. OBD2 Scanner TOPDON AL500 Code Reader

OBD2 Scanner TOPDON AL500 Code Reader

Check Price on Amazon

This is our final best code reader and an excellent choice on the list to consider buying. It is an excellent choice code reader to turn off engine light. This is a versatile choice code reader for inspecting emission-related issues. It is a simple design code reader easy to use by all persons. The code reader also prepares for the smog test with an I/M readiness test. The code reader is an effective tool for proper car diagnosis. It is an effective choice code reader to detect the O2 sensor test. Lastly, the code reader comes with a built-in DTC library for easy lookup of error meanings.

Pros

  • Easy code definition meaning due to built-in library
  • Effective car status analysis
  • Turns off check engine light
  • Simple plug and play design

Cons

  • Not a wide array of features

Features to consider when buying the best code readers

There are a number of crucial factors to consider when choosing the best OBD II readers. This is important especially for new buyers. However, even experts need to brush their knowledge before making a purchase decision. The features below help determine the quality and effectiveness of the code readers. Make sure you read them before deciding on one code reader.

Brand

The brand of the code reader is an important factor to consider before making any purchase. You need to buy code readers from reputable brands known for quality. Consider top brands like Launch Tech, Lemur Motor, ScanTool, Actron, Autel USA, BAFX, etc. These are brands with proven track records and one that guarantee you quality and durability. Buying from any of the leading brands ensures you have a quality code reader that will serve you for a long.

On-Screen Information

The kind of information displayed on the screen goes a long way to determine the efficiency of the code reader. Make sure you consider code readers with a bright and easy to read screen display. The ideal code reader must show the error code and its definitions. However, we have models where you have to manually goggle the code meaning. Code readers with definitions of the error code are useful and convenient to use.

Live feed

Code readers with live feeds are by far among the best giving you real-time error readings. Consider code readers that provide you with a live feed. This is where information is provided in real-time and in a simple way that is easy to understand. Besides, the information provided should be accurate to get to the root of the problem.

Data storage

Code readers with an option for data storage are considered the best. This is the case especially for professionals that handle a wide range of cars in a day. The data should be organized in a clear way for easy reading and understanding.

Compatibility

Lastly, make sure you consider compatible code readers that work with most OBD II ports of cars. This way, you can be sure the code reader will work on your car.

Final verdict

In conclusion, these are the best code readers on the market this year. They are premium quality code readers with pretty exciting features. The code readers are a must-have for every car owner to help detect any problem early enough. Don’t be trouble by the check engine light when you can easily detect the problem and turn it off. Choose one of these code readers above and order with confidence today.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *