Among the truest things one car enthusiast can say to another, is you should totally get a diagnostics tool to keep in your garage. Or, as I like to call it, an OBD2 scanner. Indeed, trying to figure out what’s wrong with your car is a deep, intricate, and perplexing rabbit hole that never gets any easier. Hence, why it’s always a good idea to have some backup or to simply make things easier on yourself.
An OBD2 scanner is exactly the magic pill you need, as it can help you pinpoint any problems in an instant. Plug and play, it’s just that seamless. This then puts you in a better position to figure out what to do now… Repair, replace, what parts you need, and so forth. But with so many great OBD2 scanners out there, which one is the best for you to have faith in? Well, we have a few ideas…
1. Top Pick, And Most Featureful – iCarsoft CR Max
iCarsoft’s CR MAX is, as the name might hint towards, maximal OBD2 goodness. It is by far and away one of the most powerful and feature-packed diagnostics tools in the market today. Although OBD2 tools are universal, it’s nonetheless impressive that the CR MAX is compatible with over 40 makes.
Behind its crisp 7.0-inch screen, there lie even more features. For example, having a comprehensive suite of relearn programmes for most components. It can scan, relearn, and diagnose anything from the engine, brakes, battery, emissions control, suspension, transmission, A/C, and so much more.
The operating system that runs up top is pretty slick, too. You can display data in any number of ways to help you better grasp what’s going on. On top of that, you could record diagnostics in real-time or use its on-screen instructions. You could even easily search for trouble codes on the device itself.
2. Runner-Up, Built For Trucks – NEXAS NexLink NL102
This won’t be relevant for most people, but to those who brave long hours at the wheel of a freighter, you’ll want the best OBD2 scanner to care for your truck. NEXAS has an answer for you, the NexLink NL102. It’s readily compatible with most of the heavy-duty trucks that you’re likely to encounter.
It’s also workable with some cars, vans, and smaller lorries. As small as it may be, the NL201 surely packs a punch. It can analyse, among others, the engine, gearbox, drivetrain, brakes, suspension, as well as the many sensors, computers, and electronics on your truck. If it exists, the NL102 can scan it.
Since most truckers will need their haulers in the best shape possible, the NL102 has some neat little tricks to keep you going. It can, for instance, read live emissions data in real-time, or display assists in the form of troubleshooting guides to help you save on time with consequential repairs.
3. Third-Place, Simple Diagnostics – Carista Adapter
But let’s say, for example, that you don’t need to know comprehensive and thorough diagnostics on what’s going on with your car. All you want is an OBD2 scanner that would, at the very least, make you be aware of any issues beforehand. Meet then, the cutesy yet capable Carista Adapter.
Yes, you might not make much of it owing to its diminutive dimensions. Moreover, it’s not as widely compatible as most other scanners. Still, you can plug it into some of the most popular carmakers. The best thing about the Carista is that it’s a set-it-and-forget-it dongle, once you’ve plugged it in.
All it needs is to be connected to your phone. Most of its functionality revolves around the most basic of car diagnosis, simply keeping you in the know. The Carista app also has a library of error codes, as it informs you of what they all mean. Once that’s repaired, you can then clear codes with ease.