Best OBD2 Apps for Android and iOS 2019

A Bluetooth OBD2 scanner is the most convenient way to keep a close eye on vehicle health. These devices use an OBD2 Bluetooth adapter to transmit data directly on a variety of mobile devices. From there, you can rely on a number of powerful applications to display data in real time or save it for later analysis. I have explained everything in this Best OBD2 Apps for Android and iOS that you should know.

Once you have gained wireless access to all performance data and fault codes you can easily catch problems before they become costly. Or, if your vehicle has tripped a warning or entered limp modes, a Bluetooth obd2 scanner can be used to clear these codes and returning normal operation.

Once you have selected the best Bluetooth OBD2 scanner, you need to choose a suitable application controlling and displaying the data. We went ahead and tested the most popular OBD II Bluetooth applications of 2019.

Now for our top picks for iOS and Android users, paid and free:

Best Paid ODB2 App for iOS – Dash Command ($9.99)

Dash Command is the most feature rich Bluetooth OBD2 app for iOS users. With over 1000 user reviews and a 4-star average rating, many others echo our excellent experience.

Once connected with your Bluetooth OBD2 adapter, Dash Commandprovides an outstanding amount of gauges. These are split into three categories: performance, fuel economy and engine. The layout visually pleasing thanks to the simple format and use of colour. We found it especially effective when viewing real-time data on the go!

Then once you decide to make a stop, you can easily check the trip computer for statistics on maximums, averages, and percentages. We were amazed at the depth of data available, for example, average time spent in or out of gear!

There are a number of advanced features, yet the racetrack function struck us as the most useful. By mapping out a location the application can analyse exactly how you drive each lap. Logged data includes acceleration and braking patterns, a feature would help budding racers perfect their skills!

Dash Command is without a doubt, the best Bluetooth OBD2 application for iOS. Even at $10, still represents great value for money for the sheer amount of parameters and features.

Best Free ODB2 App for iOS – OBD Car Doctor (FREE)

OBD Car Doctor is a top choice if you want free access to your vehicle’s data whilst using Bluetooth OBD2.

Although it’s not as feature-filled as premium paid applications, it still provides access to real-time data, plus a good variety of speed, temperature and pressure parameters.

Even as a free application you can quickly read diagnostic trouble codes and clear them. The Pro version (under $4) grants additional features such as data recording, displaying multiple gauges, background recording, and GPS input.

If you’re curious to take a peek at your vehicle’s OBD2 system, checking for codes and clearing them, OB Car Doctor is an ideal solution for iOS devices. Purchase a quality OBD2 Bluetooth adapterand use this free application to view your vehicle data.

Best OBD2 App for Android –Torque Pro ($4.95)

Torque Pro continues to dominate the Google Play Store as the most popular OBD2 app. With over 41k reviews and an average 4.5-star rating, the people have spoken.

Not only does Torque Pro excel in the number of parameters and options available, but also with personalization. The user experience is fully customizable thanks to additional widgets and plugins. You can hand craft attractive dashboards to suit your own requirements in no time!

Along with the usual performance parameters, Torque Pro appeals to car enthusiasts with horsepower, torque, 0-60 and quarter mile times. We also loved the plug-in that applies a data overlay whilst recording video footage. We had a blast creating Motorsport inspired footage!

Torque Pro continues to guard its mighty reputation. We are happy to crown it as the best Bluetooth OBD2 application for Android. The value for money is astonishing at under $5!

Best Free OBD2 App for Android –Torque Lite (FREE)

We tirelessly tested other applications to find the best free android OBD2 application, yet Torque Lite stood head and shoulders above the others.

This free version of Torque Pro is slimmed down, offering fewer features and less customization. However, it serves as an excellent way to test your Bluetooth obd2 adapter with a taste of Torque’s power.

Admittedly, the Torque team reports their free Bluetooth obd2 application receives less support. Openly admitting bugs for certain Nissan, Chrysler and Subaru models may still remain. However, Torque Pro is fully supported and offers the widest compatibility with ECU types.

The free version lacks the performance features such as horsepower, torque figures, 0-60 and quarter mile, graphed data and boost readings. And of course, you will also have to put up with a few adverts.

We recommended starting with Torque Lite to test your obd2 Bluetooth adapter, then upgrading to Torque Pro to access more features, dials, and customization. You won’t regret it!

Still, have a question after reading this Best OBD2 Apps for Android? Comment below.

Best OBD2 Scanners for Mechanics

In the hands of a mechanic, OBD2 scanners have become modern wonder-tools. Almost any vehicles onboard ODBII system can be read within minutes, often revealing crucial fault-finding information.

With this head start, the time spent diagnosing issues is significantly reduced, and final testing can be performed with greater accuracy. Professional mechanics of all sizes are using OBD2 scanners work more efficiently and perform repairs with increased confidence.

In a search to find the best obd2 scanner for mechanics, we considered the specific demands placed on their tools:

  • Tough and grubby working environments
  • Increased use and longer working life
  • Requirement for time-saving features and functions

With these points in mind, we have tracked down 3 of the highest performing OBD2 scanners. To further assist you in making the most suitable choice, we have split them into three categories:

The Best OBD2 Scanner for Home Mechanics: Autel AutoLink AL319

Autel’s offering is an excellent choice for those who regularly work on vehicles at home. It is tougher competing products in this price range and provides more extensive diagnostic information.

The minimal design with simple buttons for control is coupled with an intuitive display. Home mechanics can rely on this OBD2 scanner to perform time and time again!


  • Live data display with freeze frame function for greater analysis.
  • Simple navigation often requires just 1-2 button pushes to initiate


  • Build quality is reasonable for the price, however, it may not stand up to daily abuse
  • Supplied instructions are not very helpful, thankfully, it doesn’t take long to get to grips with

Our Verdict:
The Autel AL319 is an excellent choice for the entry-level price bracket. It’s an affordable device that provides home mechanics with powerful diagnostic features. It’s easy to use and stands up to more punishment than cheaper scanner tools.

The Best ODB2 Scanner for Professional Mechanics: INNOVA 3150

If you need a step up in terms of features, the Innova 3150 is a sound investment. You will struggle to find a more affordable OBD2 scanner that can read ABS and SRS codes.

Live data views laid out into clear graphs and tables, with data playback and tracking also available from the display. Another handy feature is the battery backup module, allowing for further analysis away from the vehicle.


  • Automatically refreshed data makes it easy to view changes/fixes in action
  • Battery backup is especially useful in workshop environments


  • Often you have to refer to for further diagnosis of codes and a list of causes
  • You need to purchase an additional USB-Serial to output data to a PC

Our Verdict:
The Innova 3150 is a professional OBD2 scanner, well suited to mechanics that will rely on it regularly. It’s also one of the most affordable OBD2 scanners for reading and erasing SRS indicators.

Referring to the website for full diagnostic information isn’t as painful as it sounds. In fact, this valuable resource contains far more useful information than would be comfortable on the device display.

The Best ODB2 Scanner for Vehicle Tuners: Autel DS708

The Autel DS708 is not merely a powerful OBDII scanner; it’s a full automotive diagnostic and analysis system. It’s clearly engineered to replicate all functions of OEM tools with advanced feature such as ECU programming.

Best of all, functions that are often exclusive to a number of OEM tools are all neatly contained within this robust handheld unit. The tablet form also provides an unrivalled display for live OBDII data.


  • Uni-SCANTM system greatly reduces the need for extra adapters or keys
  • Touch screen is visually superior to traditional scanner tools and easier to navigate
  • Wi-Fi capability enables wireless data-logging around the workshop


  • It’s a significant investment for small garages or individuals at almost $1000
  • Navigation of the menus can feel disjointed at times. At times, it is better to search for model, and during others, for engine

Our Verdict: 
Hands down, one of the most comprehensive automotive analysis systems on the market. For engine tuners who a convenient portal, to view and modify advanced parameters, for a wide variety of models, the Autel DS708 is the ultimate choice.

The software can be updated to maintain compatibility with new models; this is a distinct advantage over OEM tools that often require new hardware (at great cost).

Why is My Check Engine Light Flashing?

The check engine light activates to draw the driver’s attention to possible vehicle engine problems. If you see this check engine light flashing, it signifies a severe issue that requires immediate attention. Whereas a steady check engine light is less urgent, indicating a need to have the car inspected.

Sadly, the check engine warning light offers little in terms of diagnosis. It’s definitely engine related, often triggered by emissions, but could be also caused by a broad range of components failing.

Yet the last thing you should do is simply ignore it. While you may not suffer immediately, an inconvenient and costly breakdown may be on the horizon.

What to Do If Check Engine Light is On

You should take prompt action to diagnose and fix your engine problem. This may involve a costly trip to the local garage, or if you’re handy with a spanner, painfully diagnosing the problem yourself.

Alternatively, you could get your hands on an OBDII scanner and plug directly into your vehicle’s onboard computer. This enables you to read specific error codes and pinpoint the source of the problem.

The check engine light is often triggered by emissions, due to problems with ignition and exhaust systems. Here are the most common causes to help you diagnose the problem yourself.

10 Common Causes of Check Engine Warning Light

1. Loose Fuel Cap

Sometimes it can be this simple! If your fuel cap is not properly fastened, your gas may slowly leak or evaporate out. This is certainly going to decrease your fuel economy. Your vehicle’s check engine light may be triggered by this directly or even as a result of relating problems.

2. Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the compressed fuel and producing power within an internal combustion engine. Spark plugs are not expensive or difficult to replace, yet a faulty one will severely affect the economy and performance of your car.

If they are underperforming, they often cause check engine light flashing. When left in this state, it can damage more costly components such as the catalytic converter.

3. Ignition Leads

These leads carry the electrical charge to the spark plugs, enabling a strong enough spark to ignite the fuel. If old or damaged leads cannot carry enough electrical current to spark plugs, their performance is hindered.

The negative impact is the same as with spark plugs, reduced fuel economy, and overall engine performance.

4.  Coil Packs

Another ignition related component, vital for providing the enough electrical charge to the spark plugs.

They can often degrade with age, especially if subjected to extreme temperatures. If damaged coil packs are left unchecked, it can soon result in further engine woes.

5. Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor ensures the correct mixture of fuel and air are being fed to your engine. It measures both the unburnt oxygen in the exhaust system and even measures the amount of fuel remaining in the tank.

A faulty oxygen sensor is going to provide incorrect readings to the vehicle’s computer. It’s likely to flag your check engine light and greatly reduce your gas mileage.

6. Mass Air Flow Sensor

Another vital engine sensor, this one controls the inlet of air to the engine. Readings by the vehicle computer to accurately calculate the fuel and air mixture.

If this sensor is defective, engine combustion can be affected significantly. It can lead to backfires, sluggish performance, and reduced economy.

7. Fuel Injectors

Fuel injectors can be one of the most difficult components to accurately diagnose. Their failure is usually a gradual process, as they become clogged and inefficient.

Low-quality fuel and debris within the fuel tank can damage injectors, eventually causing them to fail.

8. Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve

Named EGR for short, this value helps the vehicle control engine emissions and efficiency. If this value is faulty, it’s likely you will experience engine misfires, reduce performance and economy.

You’ll certainly want to fix this quickly, before causing further engine damage.

9. Thermostat

The vehicle’s thermostat manages the engine’s operating temperature by adjusting the flow of coolant. If this device fails your car may be liable to overheat, possibly even blowing the head gasket.

Thermostats can suffer from corrosion due to extreme temperatures, acidic environments or incorrect mixtures.

10. Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters are notoriously expensive, they can be up to $2000 to replace! They help reduce emissions as exhaust gasses pass through precious metals such as platinum.

Not only will this problem plague you with a check engine light, it will affect gas mileage and even fail an emissions test.


Whether you notice your check engine light flashing or steady, make sure you deal with the problem as soon as you can.

You could make your life a whole lot easier by plugging an OBD2 scanner. Check out our best OBD2 scanner reviews and get the best bang for your buck!

How to Easily Check Your Car is OBD II Compliant

Thinking of buying an OBD II scanner to check up on vehicle health? Well, first you better be certain your car is OBD II compatible. Also, you don’t want to make the common mistake of getting muddled up with the older OBD I.

Thankfully, there are a number of very easy ways to identify OBD II compliant cars. Once you have familiarized yourself with these, you can buy the best OBD II scanner with great confidence.

Quick Reminder: What Exactly is OBD II?

OBD stands for on-board diagnostics. It’s a standard computer-based system built into all cars manufactured since 1996, even light-duty vehicles and trucks.

The OBD monitors the performance of the engines’ major components including emission. This crucial system will flag errors and even send a warning to drivers through dashboard check engine lights, otherwise known as a malfunction indicator light.

When a user or mechanic plugs in a handy OBD II scanner, they gain access to extensive fault codes that can be used to self-diagnose vehicle problems. It can be used to gain a great insight into your car’s health, thus avoiding costly failures or repair bills in the future.

3 Simple Ways to Check Your Car is OBD II Compliant

1. OBDII Compliance By Year of Manufacture

Due to conformity with the legal requirements, all vehicles manufactured in the US since 1996 (and many late 1995 models) have OBD II systems by law.

European and Asian manufactured vehicles also had to follow suit, all gasoline vehicles were OBD II compliant since 2001. Diesel vehicles were also included by 2004. Australia and New Zealand received the same regulations for all vehicles from 2006.

Some vehicles manufactured before these dates still have ODB II, otherwise, they have the older OBD I system. These will require an older type scan tool and do not provide as much diagnostic information.

If your vehicle was not manufactured before the legal requirements, use these next methods for further verification.

2. Search For the OBD II Compliant Name Plate

To absolutely confirm your vehicle has an OBD II system, look for the sticker/nameplate that details emission control information. In almost all cases it will be located under the hood, yet its exact location varies greatly between models.

Look for the words, “OBD II Certified” or “OBD II compliant”.

3. Confirm OBD II Compatibility By Finding the Connector

Older, OBD I systems are not easily seen or accessible to drivers. Usually, the connector is buried deep within the vehicle’s dashboard.

Fortunately, OBD II systems are far easier to locate and plug into with a scan tool. OBD II connectors are typically located under the driver’s seat, ashtray area, driver’s foot well or occasionally, in the boot area. This is a great advantage when it comes to installing an OBD II scanner in an accessible area.

Otherwise, you may choose to purchase a Bluetooth OBD II scanner. Then by plugging the Bluetooth OBD II module onto the connector you will gain wireless access to the system. This is an ideal option for those who only wish to use on a single vehicle at one time.

The exact location will vary greatly depending on your vehicle make and model. If you don’t want to hunt for yourself, consult a friendly mechanic or the vehicle handbook.


Before you buy an OBD II scan tool, you need to be 100% certain your car is OBD II compliant.

Check whether it was manufactured since 1996 and use the additional methods to confirm OBD II compliance. Finally, you don’t want to miss our best OBD II scanner reviews!

BlueDriver Bluetooth Adapter – Best OBD2 Scanner Review

The BlueDriver Bluetooth OBD2 scan tool offers a perfect mix of advanced features and wireless versatility. Without a doubt, its one of the best Bluetooth OBD2 adapters available, plus it’s compatible with both Android or iOS.

Convenience- Data reading and communication is instantaneous between the adapter and your smartphone. It’s never been easier to diagnose and view real-time data on the fly!

Advanced Features– BlueDrive’s range of smart features blows other Bluetooth OBD2 adapters out of the water. It can even perform advanced tests such as emissions reading.

Who Is This BlueDriver Scan Tool For?

  • Car Owners who want to save money on costly repairs
  • Professional Mechanics who want to easily diagnose vehicle problems
  • Car Enthusiasts who wish to monitor crucial data in real time
  • Anyone who wants to keep a close eye on their vehicle’s health

Easy to Set Up and Operate

BlueDriver’s OBD2 Bluetooth scanner turns your smartphone into a powerful vehicle diagnostics tool. Both professional mechanics and car owners can quickly check up on vehicle health and diagnose problems.

If you’re after a Bluetooth OBD2 scan tool, BlueDriver is amongst the leading products available on the market. It syncs perfectly with the free BlueDriver App, or other compatible applications.

When you begin using this device, you’ll be amazed at the simplicity of the interface and range of diagnostic ability available from your mobile device!

Powerful Diagnostic Features

The BlueDriver OBD2 scan tool tracks down exact issues and provides probable causes immediately. Once you carry out a diagnostic, you will receive a detailed repair report generated from a database of over one million fixes.

The report provides you all possible causes of issues with the vehicle, including exact code definitions. With vital insight, you can repair the vehicle while avoiding costly fault finding. Features and codes include:

  • Pending CEL Codes
  • Confirmed CEL Codes
  • Permanent CEL Codes
  • Enhanced Codes – ABS, Transmission, Airbag
  • Code Definitions with Possible Causes
  • Display features – Real-time, Graphical
  • Supports all the protocols of OBD2; updates automatically and saves data to as PDF
  • Emissions testing will tell you if your vehicle will pass a smog test or not

Great Connectivity & Compatibility

Gaining access to your vehicles’ ECU is simple. Simply plug the Bluetooth OBD2 adapter into the OBD2 connector port. Next, you’ll need to install the BlueDriver app on your mobile device and sync the system.

The BlueDriver OBD2 scanner is compatible with a vast range of makes and models of vehicles, but it always pays to double-check before purchasing. The application can be run on both iOS and Android devices.

BlueDriver Scan Tool Review Conclusion

More often than not, the convenience of wireless Bluetoothtechnolo
gy comes at the expense of durability and functionality.
Yet, this is simply not the case with the BlueDriver scan tool.

The sheer variety of data available, plus pending and permanent codes is astonishing. It even reads enhanced codes such as errors in transmission, errors on the airbag and ABS.

Besides performing accurate scans on your vehicle, the BlueDriver goes further, generating comprehensive reports and exports them as PDF files.

So, if you’re looking for the best OBD2 scanner that uses the convenience of Bluetooth technology, you can’t go wrong with the BlueDriver Bluetooth Adapter!

Actron CP9580A Enhanced ODB2 Scanner Review

When searching for the best OBD2 scanner, you’re always going to come across the Actron CP9580A Enhanced. It’s easy-to-use, robust and  packed with nifty features. But as always, the best OBD2 scanner is subjective to your personal requirements. So, let’s explore exactly what this Actron scanner has to offer!

Price wise, the Actron CP9580A Enhanced is typically available for around $230, or less on Amazon. With many more expensive OBD2 scanners available on the market, how does the Actron scanner stand up against them?

As it turns out, it’s hard to beat when it comes to bang for buck! In fact, it’s one of best OBD 2 scanners in this price range. Most impressively, it boasts advanced features such as lookup library, record and playback data and real-time data graphs.

Advantages of Using the Actron CP9580A AutoScanner

Whether you’re fixing your car yourself or taking it to a mechanic, this Actron scanner will point save you time and money. You can detect issues before they become costly problems and even pinpoint the likely causes.

Advanced Code Lookup Library– This is the most useful feature of the Actron scanner. Not only can it read information to identify a code, it will diagnose the problem and return potential solutions.

Reads a Wide Variety of Codes – The Actron CP9580 is also capable of reading the notorious ABS codes (Anti-Lock Brake System). Not all OBD2 scanners can facilitate this, but it’s essential if you wish to reduce expensive ABS repairs.

Extensive Advanced Features

The Actron CP9580 comes with an abundance of features, especially compared to other scanners in this bracket. Features include:

  • Drive cycle mode
  • Freeze frame data
  • Print data support
  • State OBD check
  • Trouble codes memory
  • Live data graph
  • Record and play back data
  • CodeConnect

You may not immediately have a use for all these features, but it’s incredibly handy to have them all within a single device. You’ll be ready to handle these jobs at any given time.

Considerations Before You Buy an Actron CP9580A Enhanced AutoScanner

Always check your vehicle’s compatibility before purchasing, not all features work on all cars. Cars are continually evolving and adding new. As a result, OBD2 scan tools can’t always keep up.

If you want to use the ABS feature, make sure you research compatibility with your vehicle. It usually works fine for almost all cars from 1996 to 2010 for Ford, GM and Chrysler vehicles. Then from 1996 to 2009 for Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and Nissan vehicles.

Furthermore, you may need to ask yourself if you will need all the advanced features on offer.

Otherwise, it may be wiser to choose a more affordable option. Ask yourself, how often will you use the data export features? Will you ever need to record data and replay it?

Actron CP9580A Review Conclusion

The Actron Enhanced scanner makes an ideal choice for car enthusiasts or anyone who needs an easy-to-use scan tool with advanced features. Its price is very well justified by the multitude of functions and all out performance.

Most notably, the advanced code library is essential for diagnosing issues efficiently. The outstanding versatility of this scan tool makes it worthy of your toolbox! Want extraordinary features for an ordinary price? Get the Actron CP9580A Enhanced.

Best OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter Reviews 2019

While traditional handheld OBD2 scanners still serve us well, but the inception of OBD2 Bluetooth adapters offers a more convenient way to monitor vehicle health. Bluetooth OBD2 scanners grant users wireless access to vehicle onboard computers through their existing mobile devices.

The OBD2 scan tool market is now flooded with Bluetooth devices, many of which are both cost-effective and come with powerful features. The best OBD2 Bluetooth adapters can monitor your vehicle’s sensors, speed, RPM, power input, power output, transmission and other fluids, engine temperatures, and fault codes. Moreover, they allow for quick scans for rapid diagnostics.

Once you’ve bought a Bluetooth adapter, installing the best Bluetooth OBD2 applications turns your mobile device into a powerful vehicle scanner. To ensure you make the right choice, we’ve collected the 5 best OBD2 Bluetooth adapters available today.

1. BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tool Review

To date, the BAFX Product’s 34t5 is the best-selling OBD2 Bluetooth adapter module available – and for good reason! It can scan for trouble codes, real-time monitor your vehicle’s internal health and even look at performance stats like ¼, ½, and 0-60 times.

Low Price Point – The 34t5 offers unbelievable value for money. Even at under $25, this scan tool can still perform a number of useful functions.

Great Reliability – Affordability is not always linked to reliability. The 34t5 has proved to be a very robust OBD2 Bluetooth adapter. There’s even a 2-year warranty behind it!

Compatibility – Android only

BAFX Products 34t5 offers unbeatable value, the performance for this price point is unrivaled!

2. Panlong Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Adapter Review

Another suburb OBD2 Bluetooth adapter that has been selling like hot cakes. The Panlong OBD2 adapter is a sub $20 scan tool that’s ideal for beginners. While it may not be as feature rich as the others, the price presents outstanding value for money.

1-Year Warranty – It’s not often you’ll find a one year warranty on an electronic device under $20!

Affordable Price – The cheapest OBD2 Bluetooth adapter that still provides decent performance.

Compatibility- Bluetooth model Android only, Wi-Fi model Android and iOS

On a tight budget but still curious to delve into your OBD2 system? Panlong offers this excellent affordable option.

3. ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth Review

At just under $80, the ScanTool 426101 MX cranks up the power for mechanics. The device is small, durable and maintains a stronger Bluetooth connection than most. It’s packed with smart features including an Auto-shut off, preventing battery drain while the device is not in use.

Exceptional Quality – It’s clear that the price premium over cheaper devices has been put to good use. This OBD2 Bluetooth adapter is tough as nails!

Strong Bluetooth – When you are monitoring live data the last thing you want to deal with is delays and data drops.
Thankfully, ScanTool’s 426101 is both fast
and accurate.

Compatibility – Android Only

For those looking for increased durability, advanced features and reliability, you’ll love the ScanTool 426101 MX!

4. BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool Review

We were so blown away by the performance of the BlueDriver Bluetooth OBD2 adapter, we dedicated an entire review to it! At just under $100 it’s the most costly of the bunch, but the quality is deserving of the price.

Powerful Diagnostics – Detailed repair reports are generated using this tool. It even accesses a database of over one million potential fixes to accurately pinpoint vehicle problems.

Fast and Accurate – No issues with connectivity, minimal delay or  interference during testing.

Compatibly – iOS and Android

If you’re after the best Bluetooth OBD2 adapter in terms of performance, this is it!

5. ScanTool OBDLink LX Bluetooth Adapter Review

The ScanTool OBDLink LX is a great Bluetooth adapter for a car enthusiast. At under $50, it offers unparalleled features and performance at this price point. Durability is significantly increased when compared to lower cost devices.

Status Indication – Four lights at the front for the host, power, Bluetooth, and OBD status

Smart Advanced Features – Even at this price point, ScanTool’s LX Bluetooth adapter offers auto-switch off for battery saving and overvoltage protection for increased safety.

Capability – Android and Windows only

Perfect balance of
performance vs. affordability. If you’re on a $50 budget, ScanTool’s LX is hard to beat!

How to Reset Check Engine Light Using 2 Easy Methods

reset-check-engine-lightWhen the check engine light starts rears its ugly head, it’s crucial you act upon this distress signal. However, even once you’ve diagnosed the cause and rectified the problem, the check engine light often remains. Even more annoyingly, turning off the check engine light is not as simple as you would like.

Usually, we are forced to return the vehicle to a garage or manufacturer to extinguish it. However, there are two basic methods for resetting a check engine light. If you already own an OBD2 scanner, you can easily read and clear error codes. Or if you are without, you can try disconnecting the battery, erasing the error data.

It’s worth knowing that using an OBD2 scanner is a greatly preferred method. It’s easier, more reliable and the same method used by vehicle manufacturer’s and professional mechanics- often at great cost to the customer!

Also, disconnecting the battery is not always guaranteed to remove all the error codes. To help you make an informed decision and finally turn off check engine light, we’ve explored both methods in greater detail:

How to Reset Check Engine Light By Disconnecting Your Battery

Reset Check Engine Light

Only attempt this method if you are relatively confident with DIY vehicle repairs. Disconnecting the battery from the car will require a small selection of tools and basic electrical safety knowledge.

Once you disconnect the battery terminals, you will still need to run down the remaining electrical charge in the system. This can be achieved by running the lights and finally using the horn.

Once the electric charge has been disputed, the ECU should lose the troubles codes stored in the temporary memory. This will often turn off the engine check light on older vehicles. However, it’s less likely to work with newer cars, plus it may lead to the undesirable loss of numerous settings.

Also, be aware that prolonged horn can overheat the circuits. Make sure you allow for periodic breaks.

For these reasons, this is not a recommended method for newer vehicles.

How to Turn Off Check Engine Light With an OBD2 Scanner

How to Turn Off Check Engine Light

Using an OBD2 scanner is by far the safest and easier option, as long as your vehicle is OBD2 compliant. You don’t even need to be an experienced mechanic to use one!

They offer a whole host of additional features for diagnosing vehicle health. They are easily affordable and could even save you $1000s in the long run!

First, you must connect a trusted OBD2 scanner to the vehicle’s OBD2 connector port. You can find the OBD2 close to the steering column on the bottom side of the dash panel.

Turn the key to ignition and select the read codes function to run a full diagnostic scan. This should provide instantaneous identification of error codes. Depending on the functionality of your device, it may even provide potential causes.

Once you have made a note of trouble codes and addressed the problems, press the erase code button to reset the check engine light. Finally, you should take your vehicle for a test drive before re-diagnosing the system.

If the fault codes do not return, it signifies you have fixed the problem. If it does return, problems still remain! You’ll need to investigate further or relay the details to a professional mechanic.

This is a general procedure, but exact guidance will be provided by your model specific instructions. Make sure you do your research before purchasing, they come in a range of prices and functionality. Check out our best OBD2 scanners reviews for guidance!

Buyer’s guide to diagnostic tools

Even as a full-time mechanic, deciding on the right scan tool could be challenging since there are a variety of options out there, which ranges from the low-cost, straightforward trouble code reader to the thorough, stand-alone diagnostic device which can set you back tens of thousands of dollars. Buying one comes right down to several important aspects: functions necessary within the scan tool to establish information on how in-depth the vehicle repairs will probably be, precisely how many various motor vehicles will be diagnosed, and how realistic the cost will be.

The actual functions within the scan tool actually rely on the details that’s going to be required to carry out the diagnostics, as well as your level of comfort with all the vehicle repairs to be carried out. Any low-priced, basic trouble code reader displays most of the diagnostic trouble codes which have been set and will direct someone to the potential location associated with the problem. Often times though, this actually only shows the info at a fairly generic level. Usually, additional diagnostics tend to be needed to determine what triggered the trouble code to end up being set to begin with. Trouble code readers are usually helpful with regard to viewing just what DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) are set, yet may well not properly identify the cause of the problem.

In order to properly identify a problem as well as symptom, a lot more information has to be gleaned via the system. Generic, effective scan tools deal with almost all of the trouble codes as well as diagnostic capabilities to be able to repair most commonly encountered sensor difficulties, misfire troubles, as well as performance issues. These types of vehicle repairs can be easily carried out the home garage area and may also be sorted out along with parts sold at a good number of nearby auto parts outlets. As a result, this kind of scanner should certainly help approximately 90% of the problems that take place.

Whenever complications happen in manufacturer-specific vehicles, i.e. FordGMToyota and so on, professional-level scan tools are usually needed. They are required to identify problems in control modules such as anti-lock braking systems, drive-by-wire modules, climate modules, and so forth. These types of enhanced functions within the professional scan tool certainly are a must when attempting to correct these systems, However, as a result of the complexity of the many of such systems, as well as the lack of replacement parts at the nearby auto parts store, a number of these repairs would be better left to specialist repair shops.

Manufacturer-specific codes in the mix!

In picking a scan tool, it is important that it not only supports every one of the generic PIDs (Parameter IDs), yet it ought to support the manufacturer-specific PIDs for motor vehicles which are to be diagnosed. It is important to be able to support this kind of extended manufacturer data in order to precisely determine any sort of problem.

Price range of scan tools

Scan  tools  (alongside  with  trouble  code  readers)  can certainly  differ in  cost  from  as inexpensive  as $15  all  the  way  to  exceeding beyond $10,000. Quite a few auto parts stores read codes free of charge, which usually can be  an  excellent  starting  point  when  starting out  to  identify  OBD-II issues.  Budget  usually  drives  capabilities, however  at  a  bare minimum, in order to correctly as well as instantly identify issues, the subsequent features are highly recommended in a scan tool:

  • Is capable of supporting generic as well as manufacturer-specific PIDS
  • Scans and also clears diagnostic trouble codes
  • Scans freeze-frame data
  • Records real-time data
  • Queries status of system monitors
  • Features Internet based assistance for DTCs and PIDs
  • Offers upgradable software for new makes, models, and years
  • Comes with good sized display and is also easily readable in daylight conditions