We all know there's tons of OBD2 scanners out there. We did a review on our favorite five not long ago.
But those are more for like, the average consumer.
For us professionals, we want stuff that will last years and allows us to work with virtually any car, and do any operations we might need to.
It's not just resetting the oil change light, it's about being able to work efficiently when a car with some serious issues comes along.
So, to help you find the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner for your needs and budget, let's have a look at 3 of the very best machines available and also included what's my budget choice and would also qualify as a proper "professional garage" kind of tool.
Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanner Reviews
1. Autel Maxisys Elite Diagnostic Tool
This is a truly high performance automotive diagnostic scanner with a lot to offer the driver.
They boast that the diagnostic scanner on this unit is one of the best in the industry, and there is no way that we could tell for sure without testing it against others, but we do know that it has a lot to offer. It gives you everything from OBD2 diagnostics and services to advanced ECU coding and programming.
- Diagnostic scanner that is one of the best in the industry in terms of diagnosis and analysis
- Code scanner that provides built-in, first-hand troubleshooting for bugs and errors
- Multi-tasking technology so that you can manage all of the applications and operations within your vehicle in one unit.
- Gives you one convenient place to store all of your vehicle and customer information, including the records associated with your vehicle- High-performance ECU coding and programming
- 9.7 inch high-definition retina display with capacitive touch screen technology
- OBD2 scanner diagnostics and services
- Uses a high quality SAE J2534 -1 and -2 pass thru compliant interface
- Provides automatic system updates- Automatic software updates
- Instant remote control tech support included, along with 24 hour services through Autel
- Compatibility with 80 US, Asian, and European vehicles
- Durable Design
- Rear-view 8.0 megapixel camera with a front view 2.0 megapixel camera
Most of the software functions of this diagnostic scanner are automated, including system and software updates.
This unit is totally functional with a wide variety of vehicles and include 80 makes and models across the US, Asia, and Europe.
- This diagnostic scanner boasts some of the best in accurate diagnosis and analysis of exactly what is going on within your vehicle
- The code scanner that is built into this unit gives you hands-on troubleshooting of the diagnostic bugs and errors that you can find within your vehicle
- It has one-stop multi-tasking technology so that you can easily manage all of your workshop operations within your vehicle and keep all of your customer information, data files, and your vehicle records organized in one place
- This particular model features advanced ECU coding and programming. The OBD2 scanner diagnostic services that is equipped with this unit gives you a phenomenal OE functionality diagnostic tool.
- One thing that you will really enjoy about this particular system is that many of the functionalities are automated, including an automatic OBD2 scanner system and automatic software updates. It even gives you messages via its own messaging systems, and gives you automated software updates.
- You get instant remote access to customer service at any time of the day, and the software updates customer service members at Autel, so that they can examine your vehicle
- This scanner has one of the widest applications in terms of the vehicles that it can work with, and can give you coverage over 80 different US, Asian, and European Makes and Models
- Not only does this scanner provide a wide variety of utility in terms of the software, it is also covered in a highly durable, rubberized outer shell and a heavy duty internal housing so that your device is always protected.
- In all honesty, it’s very difficult to spot a downside with this scanner, other than that you have to pay an annual fee to update it, but that’s even optional. All Autel products in this review have that same optional feature.
2. Autel Maxisys MS908
Even though this model is a step down from the MS908P in terms of features, performance, and technicality, there are few things drawbacks to this model in terms of what you get for the price.
- Works with 80 different car makes and models from the US, Asia, and Europe
- Uses live recording and playback functions so that you can easily located issues with components and sensors in your vehicle
- Gives you the ability to instantly and remotely get in contact with Autel customer support so that you can troubleshoot and adjust your scanner with the help of the experts
- Dual-band 802.11n Wi-fi connectivity- Push message notifications to give you updates on your vehicle and device, via its internet connection
- Automatic system and software updates so that you never have to worry about manually updating the system of the software on your own
- Cortex A9 quad-core processor for lightning-fast processing and loading speeds
- Uses Autels cloud service connection to safely keep all of your customer and vehicle data
- 9.7 inch LED display with multi-touch capability and IPS technology
- Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that gives you 8 hours of continuous use
Even though it doesn’t have the retina display that the pro version has, it still features the same 9.7 inch capacitive display with multi-touch technology that makes this unit really easy and enjoyable to use.
It runs on Android’s 4.0 ice cream sandwich software, and is powered by a Cortex A9 quad-core processor for lightning fast responsiveness.
This unit also features wifi connectivity so that you can access your information conveniently from anywhere, and it has a built in lithium ion battery that you can use for up to 8 hours continuously before you need to charge it again.
It also includes a 5 megapixel rear-view camera to make it a little easier to put your vehicle in reverse.
If you don’t need the bells and whistles that come with the pro version, this model would be a great way to go for a quality diagnostic scanner.
- This reliable and powerful diagnostic scanner provides a wide coverage and can interface with 80 different makes and models of cars in the US, Asia, and Europe
- This particular model of scanner has complete function and capability for codes, actuation tests, live data, coding, and adaptations
- Features instant remote control tech support so that you can get a hold of Autel customer service team members any time that you are having an issue with your diagnostic scanner
- You have enhanced wireless connectivity between your tablet and your VCI device which gives you a lot more mobility and makes it easy to work with your scanner from anywhere
- This unit gives you push message notifications via the internet access that this model gives you, and it will automatically update the system and the software when it connects to the internet
- Runs on a Cortex A9 quad-core processor for fast performance and ease of use
- Has a 9.7 inch multi-touch LED backlit display with IPS technology
- It has a built-in lithium ion battery that gives you the ability to use your unit for up to 8 hours of use on a single charge
- Dual-band 802.11n Wi-fi to access your favorite web resources
- Displays all of your vehicle’s data in text, charts, and graphs that make it really easy to review and analyze your vehicle
- Uses a cloud based data service to save all of your customer and vehicle information
- Uses recording and the playback of live data from your vehicle to make it easier to pinpoint issues with sensors and components
- The software can be a little clunky at times
- The memory card that comes with the scanner isn’t big enough for its software updates, so you are going to need to buy a bigger memory card so that it can update properly
3. Autel MaxiDAS DS808
The Autel MaxiDAS DS808 is a step down from the MS908, and provides another more affordable option for quality diagnostic automotive scanning.
- High-performance Android operating system
- Cortex A9 quad-core processor for fast processing speeds and load times- Built in rechargeable battery
- Complete capabilities for live data, codes, ECU information, active tests, matching, adaptation and more
- Automatic system and software updates via internet connection and wifi access
- Remote tech support from Autel experts 24/7 from anywhere
- High resolution LCD touch display that is really easy to read and use- Cloud-based data management that provides an easy way to backup, store, and transfer any information about you or your vehicle
- Displays easy to read graphs, charts, and text so that you can monitor the status of your vehicle
- Gives you the ability to print out reports on your car via wifi connection to a printer
- Free software updates for the first year
It gives you everything that you need in a quality scanner on a slightly smaller display.
You still get the fast quad-core processor and the Android operating system, without a retina display or higher definition LCD display.
The great thing about this scanner is that you still get all of the great data gathering capabilities and display technology that conveys your car’s information in easily readable charts, graphs, text, and reports.
Your customer information and your car’s information is still backed up to the cloud, and you get the same great remote customer service from the experts at Autel.
- This Autel model is also equipped with easy touch screen operation on a high resolution LCD display
- Gives you a really easy and convenient way to analyze and diagnose your vehicle with graphs, charts, test data, and reports and helpcenter webpages and forums built into the unit
- This model also features a built in rechargeable battery so that you can use it wirelessly, or you can plug it up inside of your vehicle
- This unit also uses an Android operating system and a quad-core processor for lightning fast loading and processing speeds
- Gives you extensive coverage of OE level diagnostics to give you the maximum amount of efficiency for getting readings and stats on your vehicle, while using deep diagnostic scans of your vehicle as well as when you are using the car trouble analysis
- What’s really nice about this Autel unit and the other higher level models that this company manufactures, is the integrated cloud technology that comes with them. This model stores all of your customer information, vehicle information, scanner data, and technicians notes in Autel’s cloud computing service.
- With the purchase of this scanner you also get remote access to technical support from the experts at Autel.
- This model also gives you the ability to connect to your printer via wifi, so that you can print out any current and relevant readings and reports from your vehicle.
- Records live data from your vehicle so that you can better locate and identify issues and errors in sensors and components in your car
- Offers free software updates during the first year that you have your diagnostic scanner
- Slightly smaller screen than the other, more advanced Autel models
- Lower Screen resolution and fewer added features
4. Innova 3160e
After giving you an overview of some of the highest performing diagnostic scanners, we wanted to make sure that we gave you a look inside a budget option as well.
- Displays 25 metrics on the screen at one time
- Works with most cars, trucks, and OBD2 vehicles from 1996 to now
- Gets readings on ABS and SRS light issues- Has an oil and battery life reset feature
- Data recording and livestreaming capabilities
- Compatible with windows computers for reading and printing reports and data
- Can immediately identify the source of the problem when your check engine light comes on
This basic scanner from Innova is great if you just need a basic personal diagnostic scanner that is going to tell you exactly what is going on with your car in terms of issues and performance.
- One of the best features of this affordable scanner option is that it immediately tells you the source of the problem when your check engine light comes on
- Works on all 1996 and newer OBD2 cars, light trucks, hybrids, and SUVs
- If you are having ABS or SRS light issues, you can easily erase those light trouble codes on many OBD2 vehicles
- It has an oil and battery reset feature that is also compatible with most 1996 and newer OBD2 vehicles
- It has a compact all-in-one screen display that provides 25 critical pieces of information about your car, and has the ability to relay that information in English, French, or Spanish
- This scanner also gives you the power to record and stream real-time data and review it on your windows computer or tool screen
- Provides remote support from experts at ASE, that you have access to 6 days a week
- The company doesn’t provide 24/7 customer support, so depending on when you may need assistance, you may be left to find a solution on your own
- This model does provide a lot of data, but is fairly basic compared to the Autel models that we have reviewed throughout this piece
So out of all of these quality scanners, which one do you think is the best choice for you?
If you are a professional mechanic and are looking for the perfect diagnostic tool for providing quality service, we believe that the Autel Maxisys Elite Diagnostic Tool is going to be the best choice by far.
In terms of performance, speed, features, technical aspects, and versatility this diagnostic scanner is unmatched by the other scanners in this review.
If you are professional mechanic, providing the best service possible comes with your experience, and having the right tools for the job.