Greatest OBD readers 2023 | Auto Categorical – EAST AUTO NEWS

Greatest OBD readers 2023 | Auto Categorical

The ominous glow of a warning mild is sufficient to smash any driver’s day. A puncture, blown bulb or empty washer bottle shall be a easy repair, however an engine warning mild is a good unknown. The one solution to test what has gone mistaken is to interrogate the automobile’s digital mind.

A storage will cost for this analysis, however it’s simple to test your self utilizing an On Board Diagnostics (OBD) reader, which merely plugs right into a standardised socket current in nearly each automobile remodeled the previous 25 years.

Right here, we’re testing merchandise on the DIY finish of the market. These have some limitations and might’t normally test codes for security techniques, however they might pay for themselves, even should you solely use them as soon as to test an engine fault. 

Most will even allow you to see the VIN etched into the automobile’s electronics so it may be cross-checked with the paperwork on a automobile you’re considering of shopping for.

How we examined them

Wi-fi readers are smaller and usually cheaper, however want a connection to a smartphone or pill. Wired readers are extra handy, simpler to make use of with gloves and dirty fingers, however normally present much less data. We examined each.

We plugged the readers right into a collection of vehicles of various ages, together with a 2008 Mazda 2 and 2014 Peugeot 208 with recognized faults that have been producing a warning mild. Wi-fi readers have been linked by way of Bluetooth to an iPhone utilizing the app advised by the system’s directions.


All the gadgets right here will learn and clear engine fault codes. The extra refined gadgets will have the ability to inform you way more in regards to the very important statistics of your automobile and test the VIN etched into the digital mind – which can assist spot a cloned mannequin.

For simply an occasional test, even the most affordable will do the trick – however it gained’t be as handy or simple to make use of. At beneath £14, the Scanex is hardly an enormous funding, although, should you don’t thoughts connecting by Bluetooth. In the event you use a scanner extra usually and don’t need a wi-fi connection, the Topdon is a minimize above the others. 

  1. Scanex Auto Fault Code Reader
  2. Topdon ArtiLink400
  3. Foseal Plug and Play Code Reader


Scanex Auto Fault Code Reader

  • Worth: Round £14  
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Ranking: 5/5 stars
  • Contact: amazon.co.uk

Bluetooth readers could be left connected to the port while you’re driving, permitting you to watch readings from the engine and gearbox. The Scanex makes it simple to do that, as a result of it’s smaller than the opposite gadgets right here and fewer more likely to get in the way in which in case your port is positioned in a footwell. 

The system additionally consists of an automated off perform to keep away from draining the battery if left in place. Scanex’s advised app – KonnweiLink OBD Test – is not supported, however the unit linked simply to options advised by its rivals and labored effectively.

Topdon ArtiLink400

  • Worth: Round £40  
  • Connection: Wired
  • Cable size: 130cm
  • Ranking: 5/5 stars
  • Contact: topdon.com

In contrast with the others, the Topdon is a bit dear, however should you’ll use an OBD device continuously, it’ll make the job a lot simpler. The cable is a big 130cm lengthy, so that you don’t have to kneel whereas utilizing it, and there’s an LED within the plug to light up the OBD port.

As soon as linked, the data is displayed on a 2.4-inch color display screen. It tells you the code quantity and offers particulars, together with manufacturer-specific codes, in contrast to different wired readers right here. It made its rivals look old style.

Purchase now from Topdon.com

Foseal Plug and Play Code Reader

  • Worth: Round £20  
  • Connection: Wired
  • Cable size: 76cm
  • Ranking: 4.5/5 stars
  • Contact: amazon.com

The wired winner from our final take a look at continues to impress – and the value has dropped by £4 since, so  it’s even higher worth. With six buttons, it’s faster to navigate these menus than rivals with two, and the big show permits you to view extra data directly. 

We preferred the shortcut buttons to view codes and test a automobile’s VIN with out utilizing the menus. The 76cm-long cable additionally meant we weren’t stooping within the footwell or leaning throughout the seats on vehicles with awkward OBD port places.

Purchase now from Amazon

Auto XS Automobile Fault Code Reader

  • Worth: Round £13
  • Connection: Wired
  • Cable size: 52cm
  • Ranking: 4/5 stars
  • Contact: aldi.co.uk

Aldi’s wired reader is among the most cost-effective methods we might discover of studying and clearing codes – so low cost, the truth is, that you could possibly purchase it even should you don’t have an instantaneous want for it. There are some apparent indicators of the place the price has been trimmed, with a two-button operation and a primary LCD display screen, which makes studying and clearing codes as difficult as altering the clock in your oven. 

The cable is the shortest right here too, so that you’ll be kneeling within the footwell of most vehicles whereas prodding the buttons.On the plus facet, the instruction e book is unusually complete and features a record of widespread fault codes. This Aldi unit does the job at a tempting value.

OBD2 Bluetooth 4.0 Diagnostic Scanner

  • Worth: Round £13
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Compatibility: Android and iOS
  • Ranking: 3.5/5 stars
  • Contact: amazon.co.uk

This unbranded scanner was the most affordable we might discover on Amazon that supported each Apple iOS and Android connections. The advised app – Faslink – gave an instantaneous connection and was surprisingly complete. Nevertheless, the Bluetooth did drop sometimes and crash the app. It was additionally difficult to see the LED indicators on some vehicles as a result of they have been on the facet going through away from us reasonably than on the top.

One other downside is the scale: it might be too massive to slot in a footwell of a automobile whereas driving and couldn’t be used on our Land Rover. Because of this, we’d pay the additional pound for the smaller Scanex.

Purchase now from Amazon

Streetwize Automobile Diagnostic OBD II

  • Worth: Round £30
  • Connection: Wired
  • Cable size: 57cm
  • Ranking: 3/5 stars 
  • Contact: toolstation.co.uk

Though it appears to be like completely different, the display screen on the Streetwize works in a really comparable solution to the Foseal’s, which lifts it up a notch when it comes to readability from the cheaper Auto XS. It additionally had no hassle studying any of our vehicles and clearing the codes.

However in contrast to the Foseal, it solely has two buttons, so that you’ll spend longer scrolling to get by means of the menus. It solely takes just a few extra seconds, however would possibly turn out to be an irritation in case you are utilizing it frequently. The brief cable means you could possibly additionally end up crouched down in a footwell, which is perhaps forgivable if it have been cheaper than its rivals.

Purchase now from Toolstation.com

Streetwize Wi-fi Automobile Diagnostic OBD II

  • Worth: Round £20 
  • Connection: WiFi
  • Compatibility: Android and iOS
  • Ranking: 2/5 stars
  • Contact: toolstation.co.uk

Not like the opposite wi-fi readers, the Streetwize makes use of a WiFi connection reasonably than Bluetooth. This appears to contain a much more convoluted course of to connect with our iPhone than with its rivals, insisting we disconnected from different WiFi sources first – together with the automobile’s Apple CarPlay. 

After ready a number of minutes, we have been briefly profitable in getting a connection and have been in a position to view some reside information earlier than it dropped out. We tried it on one other app, however had even much less success. On the plus facet, it’s compact, however there aren’t any indicator lights to inform you it’s working and it appears costly in contrast with the Bluetooth rivals.

Purchase now from Amazon 

Greatest OBD readers 2023 | Auto Categorical – EAST AUTO NEWS


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