Best Car Diagnostic Tools and Scanners

om123 mate obd2 intey phinx car diagnostic engine code reader tool

Car diagnostics explained

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 scanner (or a fault reader, as they are called too), 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 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.

Another great application is that you can use it when buying a second hand car:

  1. Uncover Hidden Problems
    Many issues that can affect a car’s performance and reliability aren’t obvious during a casual inspection or even during a test drive. An OBD2 scanner can reveal problems like engine misfires, emission system malfunctions, and issues with other critical systems.
  2. Verify Mileage
    Some dishonest sellers may tamper with a car’s odometer to make it appear as though the vehicle has fewer miles than it actually does. An OBD2 scanner can access the car’s computer, which records the true mileage, enabling you to confirm the accuracy of the advertised mileage.
  3. Check Emission Status
    In many regions, a vehicle must pass an emissions test before it can be legally registered and driven. An OBD2 scanner can check the status of the car’s emissions system, indicating whether the vehicle is likely to pass an emissions test.
  4. Predictive Analysis
    OBD2 scanners can also provide a kind of predictive analysis by reporting on data like fuel trim (how much fuel the car is using) and long-term performance metrics. These data can help you get a sense of how the car will perform in the future and what kind of maintenance it may require.

What Other Things Can You Use A Diagnostic Tool For

As well as checking your current car, you could even use this scanner 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?

OBD-II is an onboard computer that monitors emissions, mileage, speed, and other data about your car. It’s connected to the Check Engine light, which illuminates when the computer detects a problem. The OBD-II onboard computer features a 16-pin port under the driver’s side dash.

Best Car Diagnostic Tools

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

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

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.

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.

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.


  • 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


  • The screen can be a bit 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


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.

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TOPDON OBD2 Scanner ArtiDiag500, Engine ABS SRS Transmission Car Diagnostic Tool for...

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Last update was on: May 21, 2024 3:09 pm

Review of BlueDriver OBD2 Bluetooth Smart Phone App Diagnostic Tool

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

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 iPhone or tablet 
  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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 might to pay for
Chris Fix’s review


It’s just a really simple to use gadget that does exactly what it promises. 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.

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BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android

& Free shipping
Last update was on: May 21, 2024 3:09 pm

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

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

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.

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.

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.


  • 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


  • Its hard to think of a downside to this device


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.

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OBD2/OBD II Car Engine Diagnostics Code Reader Auto Diagnostic Scan Tool Automotive...

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Last update was on: May 21, 2024 3:09 pm

Review of Topdon AL300 OBD2 Car Diagnostic Tool & Vehicle Code Reader

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A review of the Topdon AL300 OBD2 code reader and eraser, a simple diagnostic tool for your cars faults and error codes.

So you have an orange dash error light on your car, showing an engine fault? This diagnostic tool by Topdon 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.

So what can you do with the AL300 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.


  • 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


  • Only reads amber/orange error codes


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.

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TOPDON AL300, OBD2 Scanner Code Reader, car Auto Diagnostic Tool with Full...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: May 21, 2024 3:09 pm
£22.30 £30.99

Review of Foxwell NT301 Car Diagnostic Tool & Code Scanner

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

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.

In addition this model comes with a battery scanner that can read battery voltage, analyze battery healthy status, view charging status and detect faults and bad cells. It allows you to check battery condition of 12V 100-1100 CCA regular flooded, AGM flat plate, AGM spiral, as well as GEL batteries, and give you a test result display in about 3 seconds.

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.


  • Great looking device which will show you all your engine fault codes
  • Can clear engine fault codes using this diagnostic tool


  • 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
A review by Brandon at Extreme Daily Drivers


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.

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FOXWELL NT301 Plus OBD2 Scanner with 12V Battery Tester, 2 in 1...

Last update was on: May 21, 2024 3:09 pm

Will The Diagnostic Tool Work For My Car?

The answer is most likely yes these fault readers work 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 OBD-II 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.

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.

Where is OBD-II/OBD2 port?

The most common place to find the OBD2 port is under the dashboard on the driver’s side beneath the steering wheel column. Most vehicles have the connector under the dashboard on the driver’s side, but some can be found near the center console area or even on the passenger’s side of the car.

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.

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 BlueDriver Bluetooth OBD2 Connector that you use with the Android or BlueDriver iOS 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. That is helped by its relatively low price 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 phone 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.


What is OBD2?

OBD2 stands for On-Board Diagnostics version 2. It’s a standardized system in cars and trucks for self-diagnostics and reporting.

What does an OBD2 scanner do?

An OBD2 scanner is a diagnostic tool that connects to the OBD2 port in a vehicle. It can read and clear error codes that the vehicle’s computer system generates when there’s a problem.

How do I use an OBD2 scanner?

To use an OBD2 scanner, you plug the device into the OBD2 port in your vehicle (usually located under the dashboard). Once connected, the device can read diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) from your vehicle’s computer.

Can an OBD2 scanner detect all problems in my car?

No, an OBD2 scanner cannot detect all problems. It’s designed to monitor emissions-related systems and components, but it can also detect issues in the engine and transmission. However, it can’t identify problems in areas like the suspension or brakes.

Is it worth buying an OBD2 scanner?

Yes, for many people, it’s worth buying an OBD2 scanner. It can help you understand why your check engine light is on, potentially saving you money on diagnostics at a repair shop. However, the value depends on your comfort with car maintenance and repairs.

Are all OBD2 scanners the same?

No, not all OBD2 scanners are the same. They can vary in features, compatibility, data reading capabilities, and price. Some are basic code readers, while others offer advanced diagnostic capabilities.

Can I use my smartphone with an OBD2 scanner?

Yes, there are OBD2 scanners available that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFi. They work with specific apps that allow you to read and clear codes, view real-time data, and more.

What is a DTC in the context of OBD2?

DTC stands for Diagnostic Trouble Code. These are codes that your vehicle’s computer generates when it detects a problem. An OBD2 scanner can read these codes, helping you identify potential issues with your vehicle.

What does the “Check Engine” light mean and how does it relate to OBD2?

The “Check Engine” light is a warning light that illuminates when your vehicle’s computer detects a problem that affects the emissions system. This can be anything from a loose gas cap to a serious engine problem. An OBD2 scanner can read the specific error codes related to this warning light.

Where is the OBD2 port located in my car?

The OBD2 port is typically located under the dashboard on the driver’s side, but the exact location can vary by vehicle make and model.

How do I know if my car is OBD2 compliant?

All cars and light trucks model year 1996 and newer sold in the United States are required to be OBD2 compliant. For other regions, the implementation year varies but most vehicles from the late 1990s and onward are likely to be OBD2 compliant.

Can an OBD2 scanner harm my car?

Using an OBD2 scanner is generally safe and shouldn’t harm your car. It’s a passive device designed to read information, not alter your vehicle’s operation.

What should I do if my OBD2 scanner doesn’t connect or read any codes?

If your OBD2 scanner doesn’t connect or read codes, make sure the device is properly plugged into the OBD2 port and that your vehicle is in the “on” position (you usually don’t need to start the engine). If you’re still having trouble, it could be a problem with the scanner or the vehicle’s OBD2 system.

Can I leave my OBD2 scanner plugged in all the time?

While it’s generally safe to leave your OBD2 scanner plugged in, it’s not usually necessary. Some devices might drain your vehicle’s battery if left plugged in while the vehicle is off.

Can I use an OBD2 scanner on multiple cars?

Yes, OBD2 scanners are typically universal and can be used on any OBD2 compliant vehicle.

What’s the difference between OBD1 and OBD2?

OBD1 and OBD2 refer to the first and second generation of On-Board Diagnostics. OBD2, implemented in all U.S. cars and light trucks since 1996, is more advanced and standardized than OBD1.

Are OBD2 codes the same for all cars?

Yes, OBD2 codes are standardized, meaning a particular code will indicate the same type of problem across different makes and models. However, some manufacturers use additional, proprietary codes.

Can an OBD2 scanner clear a ‘Check Engine’ light?

Yes, an OBD2 scanner can clear a ‘Check Engine’ light if the issue causing the light has been addressed. However, if the problem persists, the light will come back on.

What’s the difference between a cheap OBD2 scanner and a more expensive one?

The main difference between cheap and expensive OBD2 scanners is the features they offer. More expensive models may provide live data streaming, extensive code definitions, ABS/SRS capabilities, and other advanced features.

Can an OBD2 scanner tell me why my car won’t start?

An OBD2 scanner can help diagnose problems that might prevent a car from starting, such as issues with the ignition system or fuel system. However, it won’t be able to diagnose all possible problems. It’s best to use it as a starting point for further troubleshooting.

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