Innova 3100 OBD2 Scanner Review

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Review of: Innova 3100

Category: OBD2 Scanner

Things I like

  • Easy to read interface
  • User-friendly codes
  • Allows you to erase code when finished
  • See info in color or black and white
  • Excellent customer support
  • Checks emission levels

Thinks I don’t like

  • Comprehensive repair reports cost extra
  • Doesn’t support some exotic import brands.
  • Sometimes the display behaves weirdly

Innova 3100 Review

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For most people, when the check engine light comes on in their cars, they panic.

Part of the reason for that is because it can mean all kinds of things. Will my car need repairs? How much will it cost? Can I even drive right now?

Those are the questions that may run through your mind once the light appears, but the fact is that you shouldn’t be panicking until you know more about what’s going on.

Fortunately, it has never been easier to diagnose your car’s problems, thanks to a device called an OBD2 scanner.

With this handy machine, you can figure out what’s going on under the hood without taking it to a mechanic. In many cases, it could be something simple that you can fix yourself, meaning that you can save time and money with this gadget.

Today we’ll be looking at the Innova 3100 OBD2 Scanner and how it can make your life easier.

Scan Tool vs. Code Reader

To figure out what is wrong with your car, you need to find the codes that correspond to the different components. If you are comfortable doing that kind of legwork on your own, then a code reader is a great way to go.

These devices are limited in what they can do, which means that they are only useful for looking up codes and resetting your check engine light.

If you want something more comprehensive, however, then a scan tool is the best way to go. Usually, these will offer other solutions such as checking your battery, airbags (SRS), or anti-lock brake system (ABS).

Also, scan tools usually allow you to troubleshoot your problem by providing access to online resources. In some cases, you can even stream the data and record it for later viewing.

With that in mind, the Innova 3100 is both a scan tool and a code reader, meaning that you get the best of both worlds. It delivers fast results while also enabling you to find out more information about your problem once you have the code.

The Innova Difference

While many different companies make OBD2 devices, none are quite as renowned as Innova. Since 1990, the brand has been synonymous with diagnostic tools and equipment to help you maintain your car in peak condition.

Innova is dedicated to providing as many high-quality products to help you keep your vehicle running smoothly, and the 3100 Scanner is a testament to that commitment to excellence.

Black & White or Color Screen

When looking at different scanners, you’ll notice that some are in black and white while others are in color.

As far as performance goes, some people prefer color screens because they are easier to read, while others opt for black and white because it’s more cost effective.

In this case, you have the option to go with color or without, meaning that you can decide based on your preference rather than being stuck with whatever’s available.

Black and white or color

Read and Erase ABS Codes

As we mentioned, code readers are only good for checking your engine light. Innova, however, makes sure that each scanner is both a scan tool and a code reader, meaning that the 3100 also allows you to check your ABS to see if there are any issues.

While this additional feature may not work on all makes and models, it should provide answers if your car is relatively new.

Check Emission Levels

Because OBD2 is related to emission standards, that means that you can check your vehicle to ensure that it will pass local smog checks or DEQ requirements.

If you’re unsure about whether your car will pass, this device can help you figure out what to do if it will fail.

This way you can be prepared for the worst instead of having to take it to a check station to see what happens.

Emissions Levels

Refreshes Every 30 Seconds

The other primary function of an OBD2 Scanner is to reset your check engine light once the problem has been remedied. You don’t want to keep seeing the light after you make repairs, which is why this device allows you to clear your codes and reset the system.

To make it even easier, it refreshes every thirty seconds. Once the problem has been corrected, the device will automatically reset the light once it refreshes.

Battery Backup Memory

If you’re checking your codes and suddenly the battery dies, then you don’t want to have to go through and find them all again after the fact.

Fortunately, this device comes with internal memory storage so that if you lose power, you won’t have to start from scratch. All of your codes will be saved and ready to access once you get the batteries back online.

Compatible With All OBD2 Vehicles

The reason that 1996 is the cutoff date for OBD2 systems is that that was the first year that emissions standards were required on all new vehicles.

So, that means that any car, truck, or SUV built after that year should have an OBD2 compatible system.

That also means that no matter what kind of car you drive you should be able to diagnose your check engine light and fix the problem.

Repair Solutions Program

One way that Innova separates itself from the competition is that the company has the best customer service.

Part of that service is providing you with comprehensive reports on how to fix your car. This way you can determine if you need to take it to a shop or if you can repair it yourself for much less money.

Best of all, basic repair reports come included. If you want something more detailed, however, you do have to pay a nominal fee.

Final Thoughts

Overall, if you want a handy way to check your car’s internal systems, the Innova 3100 is a fantastic way to go. While it’s not as flashy as other models offered by the company, it provides excellent results, and it’s built to last. What more could you ask for in a handheld device?

The Good

  • Easy to read interface
  • Plugs in quickly
  • Automatically detects issues
  • User-friendly codesRefreshes automatically
  • Allows you to erase code when finished
  • Battery operated to ensure proper results
  • Works on almost all newer vehicles
  • See info in color or black and white
  • Get repair solutions from Innova
  • Excellent customer support
  • Durable construction
  • Long lasting device
  • Checks emission levels
  • Connect to the computer to get upgrades
  • Multilingual options
  • One-year limited warranty

The Bad

  • Comprehensive repair reports cost extra
  • May not work on all car brands or models
  • In rare cases, the display may not function correctly

Innova 3100 FAQs

How do I know what each code means when it displays them?

You can either buy a book of codes from any auto parts store, or you can look them up online.

How do I access the repair report from Innova?

You have to go online to their website to get the reports. A basic option is free, but if you want a detailed inspection and repair diagnostic, you will have to pay a fee.

Does this unit offer results if the check engine light is not on?

It depends. On some newer vehicles it may still be able to provide diagnostics, but for the most part, it is built to read check engine lights and tell you what is wrong. Thus, if the light is not on it probably won’t work.

If I have a Mac computer, can I still access the repair reports?

Yes, but you won’t be able to connect the device directly to the computer. Instead, you will have to enter the codes manually. The USB port only works with PCs, not Macs.

Tips and Tricks

Once you get your scanner, you may be wondering how to maximize your potential when using it. Here are some things that you can do to make sure that you don’t have a bad experience.

Know your codes ahead of time

Fortunately, there are only so many things that can be wrong with your car, meaning that it shouldn’t take too much effort to learn or memorize the codes. This way you can identify your issue and figure out a solution without having to go online and do some extra research.

Learn how to fix common issues

The biggest reason to buy an OBD2 Scanner is so that you can do more repairs on your own instead of taking it to a shop. As such, you will want to learn how to fix the most common issues that come up. If you don’t know how to do so, then you aren’t saving much in the way of time or money.

Don’t clear codes until the problem has been fixed

If you ever feel tempted to reset the light just because it’s bothering you rather than when the issue is fixed, don’t do that. The system will reboot, and the light will turn back on eventually, so do yourself a favor and fix the issue before resetting.