How far have you gone in terms of maximizing the usefulness and capability of your smartphone and tablet? With the introduction of bluetooth scanners, you can now turn your tablet or smartphone into a sophisticated and reliable diagnostic scan tool.
Surely, the market is flooded with a proliferation of these tools, but based on today’s technology use and demand, when it comes to having a scan tool or an OBD-II scanner, you should consider investing in a Bluetooth scanner.
To assist you on choosing the best Bluetooth scanner for your vehicle, we have a short list of Bluetooth scanners that are surely considered as “must-haves” and “worth the buy”.
- BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android
- BAFX Products Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool for Android
- Car WIFI OBD 2 OBD2 OBDII Scan Tool Foseal Scanner Adapter Check Engine Diagnostic Tool for iOS & Android
- ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth for Android & Windows
- ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth for Android & Windows
Here is a brief review of these OBD2 bluetooth scanners.
Now, if you want to know how to go about buying an Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner to be a WIN – WIN deal both for your budget and your car engine, just scroll down.
1. BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool
The BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone, iPad & Android by Lemur Vehicle Monitors is a professional OBD-II scanner that offers that best on-board diagnostics for your vehicle, trusted by many mechanics in North America. This Bluetooth scanner is designed to have all the capabilities found in expensive scan tools and leverages the benefits of your smartphone or tablet. You also don’t have to worry about the device compatibility because the BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool is officially licensed and certified for Apple and Android devices. To deliver the best user experience, the BlueDriver Sensor and the free installable BlueDriver App are designed to exclusively work with each other in order to perform the following:
#1 Our pick
- Read and Clear Codes
- Repair Reports
- Freeze Frame
- Smog Check
- Mode 6 or Advanced Test Results
- Live Data Reporting
What we really love about the BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Toolfor iPhone, iPad & Android are the features you get at a very affordable price. For its price, this Bluetooth scanner definitely delivers more by having a free app, being compatible with both Apple and Android devices; being able to work with vehicles from 1996 onward, and those with CAN protocols; easy and convenient setup, as well as its on-board diagnostics reporting. Now, with the BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Toolfor iPhone, iPad & Android, we don’t have to worry about what the pesky little light is trying to say.
2. BAFX Products Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool
This Bluetooth scanner is also a great consideration for your vehicle’s OBD needs. What’s good about the BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool for Android Devices is that it offers a cheaper or more affordable scan tool alternative for many vehicle owners out there, with guaranteed features like compatibility with vehicles built and sold from 1996 onward, compatibility with vehicles designed on CAN protocols, durability, more stable connection, faster data reporting, and top notch support. Other features also include the following:
- OBD-II Check Engine Light Code Reading
- CEL Resetting
- Sensor Reading
- Emission Testing
The only feature that makes it different from our pick is that it can only work with Android devices. This means that if you’re an Apple-savvy or one who uses iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices, then you wouldn’t be able to use the BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool for Android Devices.
3. Car WIFI OBD 2 OBD2 OBDII Scan Tool Foseal Scanner Adapter Check Engine Diagnostic Tool for iOS & Android
This wireless auto scan tool from Foseal has a very compact and lightweight design, thus you can easily carry it with you. The bright lights it displays are also quite helpful as they are an indication that it’s doing something.
It works as advertised on both iOS and Android devices. In fact, I’m impressed at how well it performs with various apps. One app that I’ve downloaded for free and has worked perfectly on both my Android tablet and iPad was OBD Car Doctor. For the purpose of getting other advanced details about my car, I also purchased Torque Pro for about $5 and it worked great on my Android device. On the other hand, the Dash Command, which was available for about $9.99, ran smoothly on both my iPhone and Android tablet.
The scan tool is also very easy and straightforward to use, and even novice users wouldn’t have any issues using it. The setup instructions for both Android and iOS devices are direct and to the point, and are easy to follow. After downloading an app on either my Android tablet or iPad, I simply plug in the auto scan tool to the OBD2 port and then turn on the car. Once a connection to the scanner’s wifi is established, the app is ready to scan the computer. Most notably, the wireless connection is quick and easy.
Performance-wise, it does a good job of clearing trouble codes on various cars I’ve had. With the app I’ve downloaded and installed, I was able to perform real-time diagnostics and get information about my gas mileage which I really find very useful.
If there’s one complaint I’d want to make, it’s with the CD that came along with the scan tool. For my case, the CD could not be read, so I had to read several forums to check if this is a common problem. I found out that some other customers have actually experienced worse issues than mine, as they ended up having their computer infected by some malwares.
Other than this, everything’s fine with this scan tool.
4. ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth Scanner
The ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner for Android & Windows offers a professional-grade scan tool for your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics. What makes this Bluetooth scanner stand out among its competitors is that it is referred as the world’s smallest OBD adapter that can work up to four times faster in user experience (via Android app and PC software). The ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner for Android & Windows also supports SW CAN and MS CAN protocols found on proprietary GM and Ford networks, in addition to the 5 standard OBD-II protocols. Other features of this Bluetooth scanner include:
- BatterySaver Technology
- Check Engine Light Reading and Clearing
- Android, PC, and Symbian Compatible
- Free Diagnostic Software
- Compatibility with Third Party Apps and Softwares
The ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner for Android & Window offers flexible features for an affordable price. Although this Bluetooth scanner offers great features, similar to the BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool, this Bluetooth scanner is not compatible with Apple iOS devices.
5. ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth Scanner
Last on the list is the ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner for Android & Windows. This Bluetooth scanner features an inexpensive, hacker-proof, user-friendly, and lightning-fast scan tool for your vehicle.
Similar to its other version, the OBDLink MX, the OBDLink LX offers great features and performance. This Bluetooth scanner is also designed to work four times faster than many of its competitors, delivers accurate and detailed user experience (via Android app and PC software), and provides sophisticated and real-time performance monitoring that any vehicle owner would want to achieve during OBD. In addition, the ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner supports all legislated OBD-II protocols, EOBD, JOBD, and other international OBD-II variants.
This Bluetooth scanner is also a great consideration for you if you’re planning to have a tool to help you out with your on-board diagnostics. The ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner is definitely designed to be very portable and eye-catching with its color and shape. In addition, we were really impressed with its fast performance and data reporting thus really providing us with real-time and convenient information about our vehicle’s status. But one thing you should take note is that, similar to its other version (OBDLink MX), this Bluetooth scanner only works with Android devices and PC. If you own an Apple device, then we suggest you having our pick, the BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool.
Why Bluetooth Scanners?
Do you really need a Bluetooth scanner? Why Bluetooth scanners? Of course you need one! If you own a vehicle and may either be on the road on business trips or just simply driving your children to school, a Bluetooth scanner is a must tool that every vehicle-owner should have.
You should also be investing in a Bluetooth scanner because of the many features it offers to you as a vehicle-owner. A Bluetooth scanner is a handy tool that you should have, especially nowadays. Surely, this on-board diagnostic tool will not be a waste for your money.
Know more why you should be having a Bluetooth scanner:
- Very portable: This is one reason why a Bluetooth scanner should be with you: it is portable. Although many on-board diagnostic tools are also designed to be perfect for “on-the-go”, a Bluetooth scanner still stands out among them because of its many “on-the-go” features like its compact size, “no bulky cord” or wireless design, and of course, a better performance based on the capabilities of your smartphone or tablet, the devices that are always with you.
- Compatible with today’s devices: As mentioned, a Bluetooth scanner performs well with the strengths of today’s modern smartphone and tablets. Since Bluetooth is supported as a connection protocol to these devices, having a Bluetooth scanner will not have a compatibility problem with your Android devices or your iPhone and iPad. This, in turn, gives you additional features such as free app updates, saving data, live data interaction, and many more.
- Provides better, faster data: Unlike the traditional scan tools like the code readers, a Bluetooth scanner is more efficient in providing live data to its users. By having this tool, identification and transmission of data is better and faster. It will be able to perform much better at reading generic and manufacturer trouble codes, providing trouble code definitions, and providing instant troubleshooting procedures and tips.
Who should consider buying Bluetooth Scanners?
A Bluetooth scanner is an important tool in facilitating the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) process. It does not only perform according to its specifications but a Bluetooth scanner also provides a better, much efficient scanning, diagnosis, and reporting to all vehicle-owners.
Bluetooth scanners can be used personally or commercially. A vehicle-owner, like you, should consider buying one of these best Bluetooth scanners because it will surely help you maintain your vehicle at its best, at an instant, and whenever it needs some on-the-spot diagnosis. If you travel a lot in your vehicle, be it for your business purposes or for your family needs, a Bluetooth scanner should always be with you. Who knows when that pesky little light may alert you in the middle of the road, right?
Companies that specialize in automotive repair should also consider buying Bluetooth scanners. A Bluetooth scanner is a good addition to every shop’s set of automotive tools because it provides more features and works more efficiently, both of which a repair shop can take advantage of.
Which vehicles does it work with?
Before having to make your decision to invest in a new Bluetooth scanner, it is very important to know which vehicles it works with.
If you have a newly purchased vehicle (which was also built in the same year), then don’t worry because a Bluetooth scanner is surely compatible with it. BUT if you have a vehicle that was built and sold before the year 1996, then you will need much more reading to do.
A Bluetooth scanner, and OBD-II scanners in general, only work with all vehicles (cars and light trucks) that were built and sold in the United States after January 1, 1996. This means that all cars and light trucks after this date were required to be OBD-II equipped.sfd
How about for vehicles built and sold before the January 1, 1996? Below is a list provided by the California Air Resources Board on the Certified OBD-II Complying Engine Families and Models.
|ENGINE FAMILY||MANUFACTURER||MODEL(S)||FULLY COMPLIANT?|
|1994 Model Year Certifications|
|RMB3.2VJGCEK||Mercedes-Benz||C 280, S 320, SL 320||No|
|RTY2.42HGEEK||Toyota||Previa, Previa All-Trac||No|
|1995 Model Year Certifications|
|SCR2.0VJGFEK||Chrysler||Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon||No|
|SCR122VJG2EK||Chrysler||Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon||No|
|SCR2.0VJG2GK||Chrysler||Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon|
|SCR2.0VJGFEL||Chrysler||Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon||No|
|SDS2.0VJGFEK||Diamond Star||Eagle Talon, Mitsubishi||No|
|Eclipse, Chrysler Sebring,|
|SFM4.6V8G1GK||Ford||Grand Marquis, Town Car,||No|
|S3G4.319GFEJ||GM||S10 Pick-Up, Jimmy, Blazer||No|
|SHN2.7VJG1EK||Honda||Accord LX, EX (V6)||Yes|
|SHN2.7VJGFEK||Honda||Accord LX, EX (V6)||Yes|
|SMB3.6VJGFEK||Mercedes Benz||S 320, C 280, SL 320||Yes|
|SMT1.8VJG2EK||Mitsubishi||Summit, & Summit Wagon,||No|
|Mirage, Expo, LRV|
|SMT2.4VJG2EK||Mitsubishi||Summit Wagon, Expo, LRV||No|
|SLR4.0H8GOEK||Rover||Range Rover New Model||No|
|SFJ2.2VJGFEK||Subaru||Legacy||Yes (A/T models only)|
|STY3.42JG1GK||Toyota||T100 2WD & 4WD||Yes|
|STY3.0VJGFEK||Toyota||Camry, Camry Wagon,||Yes|
|STY2.42HGJEK||Toyota||Previa, Previa All-trac||No|
|SVV2.3VJGFEK||Volvo (TC)||850 Turbo Sedan/Wagon||No|
You should take note that in terms of the Certified OBD-II Complying Engine Families and Models, the California Air Resources Board only recognizes the engine family instead of the vehicle models. This means that the engine is the deciding factor for compliance.
Essential considerations when buying a Bluetooth Scanner
Instead of going directly to the store and choosing your own Bluetooth scanner, you should consider some important things first. Of course, you wouldn’t want to have one without knowing what you’re buying right? In choosing between a number of OBD-II scanners and other scan tools, it is essential to be familiar with the following:
- Variety: If you go to a retailer or land on an online store, you will surely be surprised at all the options available. The truth is, there are a lot of tools for your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics, as in a LOT. So, you should be able to know the different kinds of tools that will facilitate OBD. As introduced above, a scan tool and an OBD-II scanner are the most common tools that will help you find out the information that the little light is trying to communicate to you. Specifically, there are the code readers and the Bluetooth scanners that are chosen by many vehicle owners, do-it-yourself mechanics, and automotive repair companies. But if you want the best for yourself and for your vehicle (when it comes to features, price, compatibility, portability, and mostly value), the tools that we recommend are the Bluetooth scanners.
- Features: When you are trying to buy something for yourself, you should always look for the features or specifications. When it comes to Bluetooth scanners, features are actually developed and added to provide further assistance to your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics. Instead of just identifying and reading trouble codes, other important automotive-related features are also added to Bluetooth scanners, such as: bluetooth capabilities, screen size, on-board memory, power source, battery life, and others.
- Vehicle Compatibility: Before buying a Bluetooth scanner, you should also know the vehicle it will be working with. Vehicles (all cars and light trucks) that are built and sold after January 1, 1996 are required to be OBD-II equipped. So if you have a vehicle that you just purchased recently, then you’re good to go to buy your vehicle a Bluetooth scanner.
- Device Compatibility: Since you are going to work with a wireless-capable OBD-II scanner, it is a must to have a device that is going to be compatible with it. Since nowadays Bluetooth is connected with smartphones and tablets, it is essential to have these devices so you can easily and successfully work with your Bluetooth scanner. Also, you should take note that some Bluetooth scanners work only with some specific devices or operating systems, usually with Android devices, Apple devices, both, and/or others.
- Price: Just because you need to know why the little light on your vehicle’s dashboard is flashing in from of you, you don’t need to purchase a thousand dollar OBD-II scanner or scan tool. We suggest you look for a Bluetooth scanner that is offered at a reasonable price. If you find a Bluetooth scanner that is priced beyond what you expect, and does not have the best features, then it’s a no-brainer for you to look for better ones.
How does a Bluetooth Scan Tool work?
Once the check engine light starts to illuminate, it has something important to tell you, surely related to its system. Ito know what the message is, you need to have a scan tool or OBD-II scanner on hand.
The functionality of a Bluetooth Scan Tool relies on its components, from the OBD-II adapter to its connected device, a smartphone, tablet, or PC. Its functionality starts from the basic ability to read and clear codes. Since a Bluetooth Scan Tool is dependent on an application or software that is installed on a mobile device or computer, there are various features that are added to it making on-board diagnostics more effective and convenient. They include storing and playing back live data, graphing data, reading generic and manufacturer-specified trouble codes, displaying pending codes, providing trouble code definitions, providing troubleshooting procedures and tips, as well as miscellaneous functions like battery saving, sensor reading, and emission testing.
It is a sign of trouble whenever that pesky little engine light blinks or illuminates in the dashboard, especially if you are in the middle of the road. Since that light is only triggered when there is an abnormal condition, malfunction or problem in your vehicle, you need to have a tool that will help you find out what it really is. The only way to identify the problem is by using a scan tool, an OBD-II scanner, or to be specific, a Bluetooth scanner.
A Bluetooth scanner is one of the best recommendations as a tool to assist you with your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics. It provides faster, more convenient, and efficient way of reading and clearing codes, providing live data, identifying trouble code definitions, and even helping you solve the problem by sending you troubleshooting procedures and tips instantly.
A Bluetooth scanner provides real value value to vehicle owners, do-it-yourself mechanics, and all automotive repair companies.
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