Best Car Diagnostic Tool

    Are you continually seeing error lights pop up on your cars dash? Orange or green lights indicating something is wrong with your engine, electrical system, ABS or airbags? A car diagnostic tool will show you exactly what is wrong and give you the power to fix it yourself and remove the error light and code.

    With a car diagnostic tool you can get peace of mind and the most important thing is, if you are getting work done on your car, it's a great idea to run the diagnostic tool on your car to see what errors are showing up, if any. This way, when you send it in to the garage for an MOT or similar check up you can be sure that there aren't any real errors.

    The great thing about this is that you wont get ripped off by your local garage and if it's not a real problem or something you can fix yourself, you can save even more money and sort it out without having to pay anyone else. Usually with just a check you can pay more than £20-£30 in the uk for a car diagnostic check. If you get one of the cheaper diagnostic tools you'll be saving money as soon as your car is checked more than once by a garage.

    These diagnostic tools are not cures for your cars problems, they merely let you know what is happening, sometimes you have an error that isn't even a problem, this is where these devices shine. You can see what it is and clear the fault and remove the light on your dash.

    Will The Diagnostic Tool Work For My Car

    Works on most Standard OBD2/EOBD protocol cars, SUVs, mini-vans(12V) .European and Asian from 2000 year, US from 1996 year, Japanese from 2008 year.

    As long as it has the obdii interface or on board diagnostic ii connector then you should be good, we have included below how to find this in your car. You can even use this link to check where the connector is on your car.

    http://www.outilsobdfacile.com/location-plug-connector-obd

    Make sure you double check your car has an OBD interface so that you can check the diagnostic tools work with your car. Another point is that OBDII is NOT for use on pre 2003 ford diesels they are OBD1 not OBD2.

    What Other Things Can You Use A Diagnostic Tool For

    As well as checking your current car, you could even use this tool on a new car you would like to purchase to check everything out and make sure there are no real problems.

    What Do All These Car Fault Acronyms Mean?

    • OBDII
    • EOBD
    • OBDI
    • DTC: Diagnostic Trouble Codes
    • I/M: Inspection and Maintenence
    • ECU: Electronic Control Unit
    • PID: Proportional-Integral-Derivative

    Something We Thought We'd Need, Batteries

    Do you need batteries for your devices? No, all of the car diagnostic devices run off of the cars power, you need to have your car powered to obviously see the error on your dash and this will also run the device you use to check errors and remove them.

     

    Comparison

    If you want to read all the code faults your car, van or truck can muster, we'd recommend nothing but the Topdon, it can read ABS and SRS Airbag fault codes as well as any engine faults and show you emission graphs too, it does it all.

    It costs a bit more than the others, but is a great piece of equipment. Just behind it comes the Torque Bluetooth OBD2 Connector that you use with the Torque Android Application that you download for your phone. An amazing little bit of kit, it doesn't do everything the Topdon does but doesn't come far behind it. Thats helped by its relatively low price of less than £20 and that you can use your phone you already own to navigate the errors or see live engine information.

    If you are working on your car quite a lot and want a dedicated OBD2 diagnostic tool and don't want to use your phon and want to work out why that engine light is showing we would recommend both the Foxwell NT200 and OM123 Mate, also known as the Intey Phinx depending on where you buy it. They have a great simple interface, not too many buttons and will have your errors showing in a matter of seconds once plugged in.

    The Foxwell NT301 is still a good device but it doesn't offer much more than the other two, it costs slightly more as well.

    Review of Topdon Elite Car Diagnostic Tool ABS & SRS Fault Reader

    A review of the Topdon Elite cat diagnostic tool which has ABS and SRS airbag code fault functionality.

    topdon elite car diagnostic tool sbs airbag and abs tool

     

    Technical Details
    Self Inflating
    No
    Fits 3 Door
    No
    Fits 5 Door
    No
    Rating
    5/5
    Price
    ££££
    Warranty
    Yes
    Warranty length
    1 year
    Vehicle
    car
    suv
    truck
    van
    Brand
    Topdon
    Number of seats
    0 seats
    Dimensions
    25 x 13.4 x 8 cm
    Weight
    699 g
    Washable
    No
    Next Day Delivery
    Yes
    Screen size
    3 inches

    Are you after an SRS Airbag or ABS code reader as well as an engine fault reader, this little device does all of that and more. Straight out of the box it seems to be the best diagnostic tool we have reviewed.

    If you have an error, you can read your code and also a description of what this error is, it won't just give you a code number which you have to look elsewhere for, this is a really thorough diagnostic tool that will really show you whats going on.

    topdon elite car diagnostic tool abs srs airbag code reader

     

    We'll get straight to it, this tool does it and more, if you have airbag or abs problems and they're showing on your dash, you can check what is up with each error and find out in more detail what it is and then either fix it yourself or get it fixed at your local garage. Once you have checked what it is, you can easily remove it.

    If you want to check emission reports or any engine information you can do this with graphical information as well. It has a better viewing information compared to the others which just show error codes and their definition.

    topdon elite car diagnostic tool abs srs airbag code error reader eraser

     

    With the Topdon Elite you also get a micro USB lead so that you can plug it in to your laptop computer and update using the Topdon software. This means if you have any problems or there are updates you can get them free of charge through Topdons online service.

    Pros
    • Reads ABS and SRS Airbag faults as well as removing them
    • Can update using the USB and connected to a pc or laptop
    • Can read engine faults as well
    • Can show you car information, vin number and other details
    • Really professional look and feel to the product
    Cons
    • The screen is hard to read in the daylight, especially if its too bright
    • Not the cheapest out there but if you need ABS and SRS Airbag faults reading too it will do these
    Verdict

    An amazing tool that will do it all, read all your error codes and remove them for you. If you have an error that is continual the light will reappear but at least with this device it will show you whats going on with your car and if its a real problem or not.

    Review of Torque OBD2 Bluetooth Smart Phone App Diagnostic Tool

    This is a review of both the Torque OBD2 Bluetooth Device that you plug in to your car and the diagnostic tool application that you download to sync with this little device.

    torque-obd2-car-diagnostic-tool-bluetooth-app

     

    Technical Details
    Portable
    Yes
    Self Inflating
    No
    Fits 3 Door
    No
    Fits 5 Door
    No
    Rating
    4.4/5
    Price
    ££
    Cordless
    Yes
    Warranty
    Yes
    Warranty length
    1 Year
    Vehicle
    car
    suv
    truck
    van
    Brand
    Torque
    Number of seats
    0 seats
    Dimensions
    6 x 6 x 6 cm
    Weight
    61 g
    Washable
    No
    Next Day Delivery
    Yes

    Wait, what? I can plug this little bluetooth device in to my OBD2 connector in my car and then view all of my cars diagnostics using an application? yes, yes you can.

    So here is the gist of it:

    • CLEAR DASH LIGHTS - If your light pops up on your dash, you can sort it with this little device and your smart phone, magic!
    • EASY INSTALL - If your car was made in the last 20 years it should be compatible, we have included an obd2 search above to see if your car has one
    • EASY APP SETUP - Just download this application using your android phone or tablet https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.prowl.torquefree and you'll be on your way to seeing your car or vehicles details
    • SIMPLE TO CONNECT - Get the app, plug the adapter in to your OBD2 connector, put the code in to the app and you'll be flying
    • FREE 12 MONTH WARRANTY - You get a 1 year warranty on this, if you use it more than twice, you would easily have saved money compared to going to your local garage.

    Thats basically it, it's an amazing little piece of kit and if you already own a smart phone or tablet, which i'm guessing you will, just buy the adapter. You'll get a great colour info read out compared to some of the other diagnostic tools.

    It doesn't clear all the codes like the Topdon Diagnostic Tool does but it does enough and shows you vital car information that you may also want to check out.

    Do You Race Cars or Other Vehicles

    You can see real time data on your smart phone and record it, unlike other diagnostic tools, which means that as you are doing a lap, you can record this data and look at it later. You get important stats on the screen such as your rpm , air fuel ratio , shift light etc.

     

     

    Pros
    • You only need to buy the bluetooth adapter and fit it to your obd2 connector
    • It's a lot cheaper than some of the other alternatives
    • You can use your smart phone and tablet with it to read error codes and delete them, which means you can use tech you already own
    Cons
    • Doesn't read or delete all error codes, only engine faults
    • You have to download the application on your phone to use this and enable bluetooth, you get the free app with the purchase but there is also a pro version which you have to pay more for
    Verdict

    It's just a really simple gadget that does exactly what it offers and no more. Really insightful information is shown on your phone and if you have any errors you can delete these as well! It's a great little product and easier to use than most of the other car diagnostic tools because you just have to learn the user interface on your phone, rather than a whole brand new menu system built in to a separate diagnostic tool, like the others we have reviewed.

    Review of Foxwell NT200 DIY OBD2 Scanner OBD II/EOBD Diagnostic Tool

    This is a review of the Foxwell NT200 OBD2 Diagnostic Tool and Fault Code Reader

    foxwell diy car obd2 diagnostic tool

     

    Technical Details
    User Guide & Manual File Download
    Self Inflating
    No
    Fits 3 Door
    No
    Fits 5 Door
    No
    Rating
    4.6/5
    Price
    ££
    Cordless
    No
    Hand held
    Yes
    Remote Control
    Yes
    Warranty
    Yes
    Warranty length
    3j years
    Vehicle
    car
    suv
    truck
    van
    Brand
    Foxwell
    Number of seats
    0 seats
    Dimensions
    10.2 x 2 x 7.5 cm
    Weight
    325 g
    Washable
    No
    Next Day Delivery
    Yes

    The NT200 Do It Yourself OBDII car diagnostic tool by Foxwell. If you are after a code reader for your car, this could be the diagnostic tool you need.

    Lets get what this little tool does out in to the open, if you have a light come on in your cars dash, an error is being shown, this diagnostic tool once connected will show your the code and fault and will allow you to erase them, so that the next time you start your car, there won't be any faults.

    If you get charged for your local garage to check your faults, then this little device will be able to do the same job, over and over and after a couple of faults show, it will have paid for itself.

    foxwell nt200 diy car diagnostic tool

     

    It's a really simple diagnostic tool with only two buttons, we tested the little device in our Fiat Panda and we can connect to the OBD2 connection whilst sat in the drivers seat, the cable length is great for plugging in and testing from inside your car, as long as your OBD connection and port isn't in a weird spot.

    You can find out what fault you have and if it isn't serious, you can clear your faults without any problems, that's how simple this tool is.

    foxwell diy obd diy car diagnostic tool

     

    The diagnostic tool has a USB port on the bottom which you can use to update the device through Foxwell's update tool on their site. Below we'll look at exactly what this device offers in its features.

    • Foxwell NT200 car diagnostic tool can read and erase the fault codes.
    • Show the codes definitions directly, no need look up library from Internet or the User Manual.
    • Turn off the MIL and reset monitors.
    • Displays live vehicle sensors data, freeze frame data, emission testing, monitor and I/M readiness status and PCM data stream.
    • Retrieves vehicle information (VIN,CID and CVN).

    If you wish to check your cars engine status, check what a light means on your dash and want to clear your faults, this tool will do that and more. If you wanted to double check all of the cars details, VIN number, this Foxwell NT200 will do that too.

    Pros
    • Amazing price for a great little device, it will do the basics of any diagnostic tool and save you money at the garage
    • Easy to plug in and see what error codes are showing
    • Check the exact information of the vehicle
    • Easy to use device, two buttons
    • Lifetime updates from Foxlink using the USB port to connect to a pc
    Cons
    • Its hard to think of a downside to this device
    Verdict

    A great simple little tool, if you need to read error codes, this diagnostic tool will do that in an easy manner, no fussing and will help you clear them too with a easy to use interface, just plug in and go through the menu.

    Review of OM123 Mate OBD2 Car Diagnostic Tool & Vehicle Code Reader

    A review of the OM123 Mate OBD2 code reader and eraser, a simple diagnostic tool for your cars faults and error codes.

    OM123 OBD2 Car Code Reader and Diagnostic Tool

     

    Technical Details
    Self Inflating
    No
    Fits 3 Door
    No
    Fits 5 Door
    No
    Rating
    4.5/5
    Price
    ££
    Warranty
    No
    Vehicle
    car
    suv
    truck
    van
    Brand
    Linkpower
    Number of seats
    0 seats
    Dimensions
    5 x 5 x 5 cm
    Weight
    281 g
    Washable
    No
    Next Day Delivery
    Yes

    So you have an orange dash error light on your car, showing an engine fault? This diagnostic tool by OM123/Intey should be able to tell you exactly what that fault is and let you remove the error light too. On first impressions it looks like a great little device that will do exactly what you need, check error codes and erase them for you with no fuss or hassle.

    om123 mate intey phinx obd2 car code reader diagnostic tool

     

    So what can you do with the om123 Mate diagnostic tool?

    • Request powertrain frame data
    • Request emission related diagnostic trouble codes
    • Request onboard monitoring test
    • Request emission related diagnostic trouble codes detected
    • Request vehicle information
    • Built in code library
    • Multilingual and code definition
    • Adjustable contrast display
    • CE, FCC, RoHS certification

    As you can see, you can get car information and check what that orange light means on your cars dash near the dials. As well, you can check emissions and on board monitoring. Not a bad little set-up for such a small price.

    om123 mate obd2 intey phinx car diagnostic engine code reader tool

     

    Pros
    • Very easy to use device
    • Plug it in, check what that error is from the light showing on your display
    • It will show you what the error/fault is with your car
    • Erase that error code and watch the light dissapear
    • Instructions are pretty clear and we've included the pdf version to help
    • Really good price for something that will cost you the same for one trip to a car garage
    Cons
    • Only reads amber/orange error codes
    • Doesn't update via USB so the database you have is the one you live with, unlike others which can update in the future with new information
    Verdict

    An awesome little tool at a great price, you have an orange light showing on your car dash, this will tell you exactly what the problem is and you or your local garage can go ahead and fix it.

    Review of Foxwell NT301 Car Diagnostic Tool & Code Scanner

    This is a review of the Foxwell NT301 Car Engine Scanner and code reader tool.

    foxwell nt301 diy car diagnostic code scanner tool

     

    Technical Details
    Self Inflating
    No
    Fits 3 Door
    No
    Fits 5 Door
    No
    Rating
    4.3/5
    Price
    £££
    Cordless
    No
    Hand held
    Yes
    Warranty
    Yes
    Warranty length
    3 years
    Vehicle
    car
    suv
    truck
    van
    Brand
    Foxwell
    Number of seats
    0 seats
    Dimensions
    14.5 x 3.2 x 9.4 cm
    Weight
    341 g
    Washable
    No
    Next Day Delivery
    Yes
    Screen size
    3 inches

    We received this product, like the others, unboxed it and plugged it straight in to our OBDII connection in our Panda. We didn't have any warning lights on our dash but we thought we'd see what we could check with this diagnostic device.

    Here is what the product offers, we'll go through each bit in our review below mentioning how it works.

    The Foxwell NT301 is an advanced engine fault sensor it will not read faults from other parts of your car, if you have warning lights for ABS or airbags, this will not be able to see them nor remove the warnings. This is stated in the product description and we thought best to highlight this. We didn't have an ABS or airbag warning so didn't need to test for this.

    What this is perfect for is checking how your engine is running, we have a little bit of crud in the top of our engine where we add new oil, this is due to the previous owner only doing short distances and we wanted to see if anything would come up and nothing has, which is great. We've since changed oil filter, oil and do nothing but big miles in our little car now.

    foxwell nt301 diy car diagnostic code scanner tool



    Car Compatibility for Foxwell NT301
    Engine management diagnostics on ALL* 2001+ petrol and 2004+ diesel UK-sold cars
    (* - Passenger cars sold from new within the EU, with fewer than 10 seats and a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 2500kg)

    If you tick all of the above boxes, this device will work with you.

    Overall, the Foxwell NT301 is a really nice looking diagnostic tool, even with all of its buttons it is simple to use but feels a bit plasticy and not thoroughly durable, who knows what would happen if you dropped it. Saying that, you will only be using it for a few minutes at a time and then putting back away and it will more than withstand this.

    If you are after a device to check engine problems, check codes, car information and remove faults specifically for the engine, then this device will do just that.

    After that, it gets a bit difficult to use, it has a lot more buttons than others and the menu system is quite intensive. It doesn't help the instructions you get with the device don't offer much more.

    foxwell nt301 diy car diagnostic code scanner tool

     

    Pros
    • Great looking device which will show you all your engine fault codes
    • Can clear engine fault codes using this diagnostic tool
    Cons
    • Doesn't show and cant cancel error codes for everything, only engine faults
    • A lot of buttons which it may not need, some others are a lot simpler to use and do just as much
    • Instructions are poor, don't really instruct, only show you what you're already looking at
    Verdict

    A nice little device for any engine fault or check that you may want to do, you have quite a few options regards emission checks and car info but it doesn't do everything and costs a bit more than others.