Unleash the Power of OBD2 Scanners: The Ultimate Car Diagnostic Tool!

Anyone who owns a car or works on cars needs to have an OBD2 reader. On-Board Diagnostics II, or OBD2, is a standard method that lets you get diagnostic information from your car’s computer.

This tool helps you read and understand trouble codes, which tell you about your car’s health and how well it’s running. Why would you want to own an OBD2 scanner? For starters, it gives you the power to find problems before they get worse.

With an OBD2 scanner, you can quickly figure out why your check engine light is on, which could keep you from having to pay for expensive fixes. Second, it gives you more control over the maintenance of your car, so you can keep it running smoothly and quickly.

You can fix simple problems with your car without having to call a mechanic if you have an OBD2 reader. This can save you time and money. Getting an OBD2 reader is a good idea whether you like to do things yourself or just want to know more about your car’s health.

We’ll talk about everything you need to know about using AliExpress to buy an OBD2 code reader in this guide. We’ll help you understand the different kinds of scanners, find the most important features, and stay away from common mistakes. Before you buy, let’s make sure you have all the information you need.

Post Content show


What are the Different Types of OBD2 Scanners?

When it comes to OBD2 readers, you have a few choices, and each one is good for a different set of needs and skill levels:

Basic Code Readers:

These are easy-to-use, low-cost car gadgets that can read and clear diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). They give you simple information about your car’s problems and are great for beginners. The ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner is a good example.

Professional-Grade Scanners:

These scanners have advanced features, such as the ability to stream live data, define codes more precisely, and run special tests. They’re good for both skilled DIYers and professional mechanics. The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 is a great example.

Bluetooth OBD2 Scanners:

These portable device use Bluetooth to connect your smartphone or tablet wirelessly to your car to read and understand data, they need a dedicated app. Great for tech-savvy people who like to do repairs on their phones. THINKCAR BD6 OBD2 Scan Tool is an example.

How Does an OBD2 Scanner Work?

Understanding how an OBD2 scanner works will allow you to make the most of this device:

Connection Process:

  • Locate the OBD2 port, which is normally found under the dashboard near the driver’s seat.
  • Plug the scanner into the port. To obtain reliable readings, provide a secure connection.

Read & Interpret Codes:

  • Turn your car ignition to “On” without starting the engine.
  • Follow the scanner’s instructions to read the stored fault codes.
  • Each code corresponds to a distinct concern. To interpret these codes, see the scanner handbook or an internet database.

If you understand these basic ideas, you’ll be able to use an OBD2 reader to quickly find and fix problems with your car. With this information, you can make an informed purchase choice and choose a scanner that fits your needs and level of skill the best.


What Makes AliExpress a Good Platform for Buying OBD2 Scanners?

AliExpress, one of the largest online marketplaces, offers a multitude of advantages for purchasing OBD2 scanners:

  1. Variety of Options:
    • AliExpress hosts a vast selection of OBD2 scanners, ranging from basic models to advanced professional-grade devices. This variety ensures that you can find a scanner that fits your specific needs and budget.
    • Example: From affordable basic code readers to feature-rich Bluetooth scanners, you can explore numerous brands and models in one place.
  2. Competitive Pricing:
    • The pricing on AliExpress is highly competitive, often significantly lower than other retailers. This affordability makes it an attractive option for buyers looking to get the best value for their money.
    • Example: Regular promotions, discounts, and flash sales can further reduce costs, making high-quality scanners accessible to a broader audience.
  3. User Reviews and Ratings:
    • AliExpress allows customers to leave detailed reviews and ratings for products and sellers. These reviews provide valuable insights into the performance and reliability of the scanners, helping you make an informed decision.
    • Example: Look for scanners with high ratings and positive feedback to ensure you’re purchasing a reliable product.

Are OBD2 Scanners from AliExpress Reliable?

Reliability is a crucial factor when purchasing an OBD2 scanner. Here’s why scanners from AliExpress can be trusted:

  1. Quality Assurance:
    • Many sellers on AliExpress offer high-quality OBD2 scanners that meet international standards. By checking product descriptions and certifications, you can ensure the scanner’s quality.
    • Example: Look for products with CE and RoHS certifications, which indicate compliance with safety and environmental standards.
  2. User Reviews and Seller Ratings:
    • Detailed reviews from other buyers provide real-world insights into the scanner’s performance and reliability. High seller ratings and positive feedback are indicators of a trustworthy seller.
    • Example: Prioritize products with numerous positive reviews and high ratings to minimize the risk of receiving a subpar scanner.
  3. Buyer Protection:
    • AliExpress offers buyer protection policies that safeguard your purchase. If the scanner doesn’t match the description or is defective, you can request a refund or replacement.
    • Example: Take advantage of AliExpress’s dispute resolution process if you encounter any issues with your purchase.

What Features Should You Consider When Buying an OBD2 Scanner?

When selecting an OBD2 scanner, it’s essential to consider various features to ensure it meets your needs. Here are the key features to look for:

  1. Compatibility with Your Vehicle:
    • Ensure the scanner is compatible with your vehicle’s make and model. Some scanners support a wide range of vehicles, while others may be more limited.
    • Example: Check if the scanner works with both OBD2 and CAN protocols, which cover most vehicles manufactured after 1996.
  2. Display and Interface:
    • A clear, easy-to-read display and user-friendly interface make the scanner more convenient to use. Look for scanners with large, backlit screens and intuitive navigation.
    • Example: Scanners with color displays and touchscreen functionality offer better readability and ease of use, especially in low-light conditions.
  3. Code Definitions and Updates:
    • The ability to provide detailed definitions for diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) is crucial. Scanners that offer regular software updates ensure you have the latest information.
    • Example: Scanners like the BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool provide comprehensive code definitions and automatic updates via a connected app.
  4. Additional Functionalities:
    • Advanced features such as real-time data monitoring, freeze frame data, and readiness tests can enhance your diagnostic capabilities. Look for scanners that offer these extra functionalities.
    • Example: The Autel MaxiCOM MK808 offers extensive features like ABS/SRS diagnostics, oil reset, and EPB service, making it a versatile tool for thorough diagnostics.
  5. Connectivity Options:
    • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity allow you to pair the scanner with your smartphone or tablet, providing greater flexibility and convenience. Some scanners also support PC connectivity for detailed analysis.
    • Example: Bluetooth scanners like FIXD OBD2 Professional Bluetooth Scan Tool enable seamless connection to your mobile device, turning it into a powerful diagnostic tool with a dedicated app.
  6. Durability and Build Quality:
    • A robust and durable build ensures the scanner can withstand regular use and rough handling. Look for scanners made from high-quality materials with sturdy connectors.
    • Example: Scanners with rugged, shock-resistant designs are ideal for use in various environments, including professional workshops.

Which Are the Best OBD2 Scanners Available on AliExpress?

Choosing the right OBD2 scanner on AliExpress can be overwhelming given the vast selection available. Here, we review some of the top-rated scanners to help you make an informed decision:

Autel MaxiCOM MK808

    • Features:
      • Comprehensive diagnostics for engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS systems.
      • Advanced functionalities like oil reset, EPB, SAS, DPF, and BMS.
      • Large 7-inch touchscreen with an intuitive interface.
    • Pros:
      • Professional-grade diagnostics suitable for both DIY enthusiasts and mechanics.
      • Frequent software updates.
      • Extensive vehicle coverage.
    • Cons:
      • Higher price point.
      • Requires regular updates for optimal performance.
    • Price Range: $400 – $600

BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool

    • Features:
      • Bluetooth connectivity with comprehensive app integration.
      • Real-time data and freeze frame capabilities.
      • Extensive database of repair reports.
    • Pros:
      • Easy to use with a smartphone.
      • Detailed and reliable diagnostic information.
      • Regularly updated app with new features and improvements.
    • Cons:
      • Dependent on a mobile device.
      • Limited to basic and intermediate diagnostics.
    • Price Range: $100 – $150

ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner

    • Features:
      • Basic code reading and clearing capabilities.
      • User-friendly interface with a large LCD display.
      • No batteries required; powered directly by the OBD2 data link connector.
    • Pros:
      • Affordable and reliable for basic diagnostics.
      • Easy to use for beginners.
      • Durable and well-built.
    • Cons:
      • Limited to basic functionalities.
      • No advanced diagnostic features.
    • Price Range: $30 – $50

Innova 3160g

    • Features:
      • All-in-one screen and easy-to-use hotkeys.
      • Comprehensive diagnostics including ABS and SRS.
      • Live data and battery/alternator tests.
    • Pros:
      • Wide range of functionalities at a mid-range price.
      • Easy-to-read screen with detailed information.
      • Extensive vehicle coverage.
    • Cons:
      • May require updates for newer vehicles.
      • Bulkier compared to other handheld models.
    • Price Range: $150 – $200

FIXD OBD2 Professional Bluetooth Scan Tool

    • Features:
      • Real-time data, live graphing, and multi-vehicle monitoring.
      • Bluetooth connectivity with app support for both iOS and Android.
      • Maintenance reminders and diagnostics for major systems.
    • Pros:
      • Compact and easy to use with a mobile app.
      • Provides maintenance alerts and detailed diagnostics.
      • Affordable with extensive features.
    • Cons:
      • Requires a smartphone for operation.
      • Limited professional-level diagnostics.
    • Price Range: $60 – $80

Each of these OBD2 scanners offers a unique set of features tailored to different user needs. Whether you are a professional mechanic or a car owner looking for a basic diagnostic tool, you can find a suitable scanner on AliExpress. Always consider your specific requirements and budget to choose the best OBD2 scanner for your needs.


What Steps Should You Follow to Purchase an OBD2 Scanner on AliExpress?

Buying an OBD2 scanner on AliExpress is straightforward if you follow these steps:

  1. Creating an AliExpress Account:
    • Go to the AliExpress website or app.
    • Click on “Join” or “Sign Up.”
    • Enter your email address and create a password, or use your social media account to sign up.
    • Verify your email address if required.
  2. Searching for OBD2 Scanners:
  3. Evaluating Sellers and Product Listings:
    • Check the seller’s rating and feedback score. Look for sellers with high ratings (90% and above).
    • Read customer reviews and look at the ratings for the specific OBD2 scanner you are interested in.
    • Compare different listings to find the best deals and product options.
  4. Understanding Shipping Options and Delivery Times:
    • Review the shipping options available for your location. AliExpress offers various shipping methods, from standard to expedited.
    • Check estimated delivery times. Note that delivery times can vary based on the shipping method and your location.
    • Look for products with “AliExpress Standard Shipping” for reliable delivery tracking.

How to Avoid Common Pitfalls When Buying on AliExpress?

To ensure a smooth purchase, be aware of common pitfalls and how to avoid them:

  1. Avoiding Counterfeit Products:
    • Stick to reputable sellers with high ratings and positive reviews.
    • Be wary of prices that seem too good to be true, as they may indicate counterfeit or low-quality products.
    • Look for certifications and detailed product descriptions.
  2. Checking Return Policies and Warranties:
    • Read the seller’s return policy carefully. Ensure you understand the conditions for returns and refunds.
    • Prefer sellers who offer warranties on their OBD2 scanners. A warranty indicates confidence in the product’s quality.
    • If possible, choose products with “Free Return” options for added peace of mind.
  3. Reviewing Product Details:
    • Carefully read the product description to ensure it meets your needs. Check for compatibility with your vehicle.
    • Look at the images provided by the seller and compare them with customer-uploaded images in reviews.
    • Contact the seller if you have any specific questions about the product before purchasing.

How Do You Use an OBD2 Scanner After Purchase?

Once you have purchased your OBD2 scanner, follow these steps to start using it effectively:

  1. Connecting the Scanner to Your Vehicle:
    • Locate the OBD2 Port: The port is typically found under the dashboard, near the steering column. Some vehicles may have it in the center console or near the glove box.
    • Plug in the Scanner: Insert the scanner’s connector into the OBD2 port. Ensure it’s securely attached.
  2. Turning On the Ignition:
    • Power Up Your Vehicle: Turn the ignition key to the “On” position without starting the engine. This will power the scanner and allow it to communicate with the vehicle’s onboard computer.
  3. Reading Diagnostic Codes:
    • Access the Scanner Menu: Follow the scanner’s instructions to navigate through the menu options.
    • Read Codes: Select the option to read or scan diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). The scanner will retrieve and display any stored codes.
  4. Interpreting Diagnostic Codes:
    • Refer to the Manual: Use the scanner’s manual or a reliable online database to interpret the DTCs. Each code corresponds to a specific issue in your vehicle.
    • Understand Code Definitions: Some scanners provide detailed definitions and possible causes for each code, making it easier to understand the problem.

How Can You Maximize the Benefits of Your OBD2 Scanner?

To get the most out of your OBD2 scanner, consider these additional tips:

  1. Regularly Check Your Vehicle:
    • Perform Routine Scans: Regularly scanning your vehicle for codes can help you catch potential issues early before they become major problems.
    • Monitor Performance: Use the scanner to monitor real-time data, such as engine RPM, coolant temperature, and fuel efficiency, to keep track of your vehicle’s performance.
  2. Keep the Scanner Updated:
    • Software Updates: Many scanners offer software updates to improve functionality and add new features. Ensure your scanner is always up to date by checking for and installing updates regularly.
    • App Integration: If you’re using a Bluetooth scanner with a mobile app, make sure the app is updated to the latest version for optimal performance and access to new features.
  3. Use Advanced Features:
    • Live Data Monitoring: Utilize live data monitoring to observe how your vehicle is performing in real-time. This can help diagnose intermittent issues that may not trigger a trouble code.
    • Freeze Frame Data: Some scanners can capture and display freeze frame data, which shows the conditions of the vehicle when a fault code was stored. This information can be crucial for accurate diagnosis.
    • Perform Readiness Tests: Use the readiness test feature to check if your vehicle is ready for emissions testing. This is particularly useful if you need to pass an emissions test for vehicle registration.
  4. Troubleshoot and Repair:
    • Basic Troubleshooting: Use the scanner to perform basic troubleshooting and identify the root cause of issues. This can save you time and money by pinpointing the exact problem before seeking professional help.
    • Clear Trouble Codes: After repairing any issues, use the scanner to clear the trouble codes from the vehicle’s computer. This will turn off the check engine light and reset the system.


What Common Issues Might You Face with OBD2 Scanners?

Using an OBD2 scanner can sometimes present challenges. Here are some common issues and how to address them:

  1. Connection Problems:
    • Issue: The scanner won’t connect to the vehicle’s OBD2 port.
    • Solution: Ensure the scanner is properly plugged into the port. Check the port and the scanner’s connector for any damage. Confirm that your vehicle’s ignition is in the “On” position. If using a Bluetooth scanner, verify that Bluetooth is enabled on your device and that it’s paired correctly.
  2. Reading Errors:
    • Issue: The scanner fails to read or displays incorrect codes.
    • Solution: Verify that the scanner is compatible with your vehicle’s make and model. Update the scanner’s software to the latest version. Try disconnecting and reconnecting the scanner, or restart your vehicle’s ignition.
  3. Software Updates:
    • Issue: Difficulty updating the scanner’s software.
    • Solution: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for software updates. Ensure your scanner is connected to a reliable power source and has a stable internet connection. If problems persist, contact the manufacturer’s support for assistance.

How Do You Maintain Your OBD2 Scanner for Longevity?

Proper maintenance of your OBD2 scanner ensures it remains in good working condition for a long time. Here’s how to care for your scanner:

  1. Proper Storage and Handling:
    • Storage: Keep your scanner in a dry, cool place when not in use. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or moisture, which can damage electronic components.
    • Handling: Handle the scanner with care. Avoid dropping or striking it against hard surfaces, which can cause internal damage.
  2. Regular Software Updates:
    • Importance of Updates: Regularly updating your scanner’s software ensures it has the latest features and can accurately diagnose newer vehicles.
    • How to Update: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for downloading and installing updates. Many scanners offer automatic updates when connected to a computer or via a mobile app.
  3. Cleaning and Care Tips:
    • Cleaning the Device: Use a soft, dry cloth to clean the scanner’s exterior. Avoid using harsh chemicals or water, which can damage the scanner.
    • Connector Maintenance: Periodically check the OBD2 connector for dust or debris. Use compressed air to clean the connector if needed.
  4. Battery Maintenance (if applicable):
    • Battery Care: If your scanner uses batteries, ensure they are charged or replaced as needed. Remove batteries if you won’t be using the scanner for an extended period to prevent corrosion.


What is an OBD2 scanner and why do I need one?

  • An OBD2 scanner is a diagnostic tool that connects to your vehicle’s OBD2 port to read and interpret diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). It’s essential for identifying and troubleshooting issues in your vehicle, saving you time and money on repairs.

Are OBD2 scanners compatible with all vehicles?

  • Most OBD2 scanners are compatible with vehicles manufactured after 1996, as they adhere to the OBD2 standard. However, always check the scanner’s compatibility with your specific vehicle model.

How do I find the OBD2 port in my vehicle?

  • The OBD2 port is typically located under the dashboard, near the steering column. It may also be found in the center console or near the glove box. Refer to your vehicle’s manual for exact location.

What are the benefits of buying an OBD2 scanner on AliExpress?

  • AliExpress offers a wide variety of OBD2 scanners at competitive prices. You can read user reviews and ratings to make an informed decision. The platform also provides buyer protection policies.

How do I ensure I’m buying a reliable OBD2 scanner on AliExpress?

  • Look for sellers with high ratings and positive feedback. Read product reviews and check for certifications like CE and RoHS. Avoid listings with prices that seem too good to be true.

What features should I look for in an OBD2 scanner?

  • Key features include compatibility with your vehicle, a clear display, code definitions, connectivity options (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi), real-time data monitoring, and additional functionalities like ABS/SRS diagnostics.

Can I use a Bluetooth OBD2 scanner with my smartphone?

  • Yes, Bluetooth OBD2 scanners are designed to pair with your smartphone or tablet. You’ll need to download a compatible app to read and interpret diagnostic data.

How do I update the software on my OBD2 scanner?

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for updating the software. This usually involves connecting the scanner to a computer or using a mobile app to download and install updates.

How do I clear trouble codes with an OBD2 scanner?

  • After diagnosing and fixing the issue, use the scanner’s menu to select the option to clear or erase trouble codes. This will reset the check engine light.

Can I drive with the OBD2 scanner plugged in?

  • Yes, you can drive with the OBD2 scanner plugged in. However, it’s generally used for stationary diagnostics. Ensure the scanner does not interfere with driving safety.

What should I do if my OBD2 scanner won’t connect to my vehicle?

  • Ensure the ignition is in the “On” position. Check the connection for any damage or debris. Verify that the scanner is compatible with your vehicle. If using Bluetooth, ensure your device’s Bluetooth is enabled and paired correctly.

How do I maintain my OBD2 scanner?

  • Store the scanner in a cool, dry place. Handle it carefully to avoid damage. Clean the device with a soft, dry cloth and keep the connectors free of dust and debris. Regularly update the software for optimal performance.

Is there a difference between basic code readers and professional-grade scanners?

  • Yes, basic code readers are simple devices that read and clear codes. Professional-grade scanners offer advanced features like live data streaming, comprehensive system diagnostics, and special test functions, making them suitable for experienced users and mechanics.

How can I check if an OBD2 scanner supports my car’s make and model?

  • Refer to the product description and specifications on AliExpress. Many listings include a compatibility chart. If unsure, contact the seller for confirmation.

Can I use an OBD2 scanner to pass an emissions test?

  • An OBD2 scanner can help you identify and fix issues that might cause your vehicle to fail an emissions test. Use the readiness test feature to check if your vehicle is ready for the test.
Was this article helpful?

Similar Posts