The best engine code readers of 2024

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It’s certainly not an uncommon or unfair reaction to freak out a bit when the check engine light in your car comes on, but believe it or not, it doesn’t always have to be a day-ruiner. While it’s true that some instances of the dreaded check engine light appearing could point to big issues, sometimes it’s just signifying smaller non-emergency issues that don’t necessarily need to be taken care of ASAP. You could head to a mechanic to figure out which one it is, or you could find out yourself with a handy engine code reader. Engine code readers span a wide range of usability and complexity, so we’ve listed a few for everyone from beginners to mechanics. Here are the best engine code readers currently available on Amazon.

$99.95 at Amazon

Key Features

  • Pro OBD2 Scanner
  • Shows live data
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • No subscription fees or add-ons
  • 24/7 technical support

This BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone and Android is an ODB2 scanner that connects to your smartphone and shows live data and updates. This scanner shows fault codes and lists potential causes and solutions. There are no subscription fees or add-ons and there is 24/7 technical support available if needed.

BlcTek 420 Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Tool

$39.99 at Amazon

Key Features

  • Compatible with cars made after 1996
  • Read and clear trouble codes
  • Emissions readiness check
  • Battery/charging system tests
  • Corded electric power source

This BlckTec 420 Bluetooth Scanner Diagnostic Tool is compatible with cars made from 1996 and up. This device can read and clear trouble codes, do emissions readiness checks and run battery and charging systems tests. This scanner used the Repair Solutions 2 app which is available on iOS and Android.

Ancel FX2000 Car Scanner

$125.99 at Amazon

Key Features

  • 3 steps to connect and use
  • 4 systems diagnostic tool
  • Full OBD-level diagnostics
  • Battery powered
  • Works with most modern vehicles

This Ancel FX2000 Car Scanner supports vehicles made after 1996 from America, Europe and Asia and can be displayed in eight different languages. This scanner is a 4 systems diagnostic tool that can diagnose the engine and airbags, scan ABS and run transmission tests.

Innova 5610 OBD2 Bidirectional Scan Tool

$345.09 at Amazon

Key Features

  • Advanced features
  • Access OEM Live Data and OBD2
  • Bidirectional controls
  • Special reset function
  • No subscription fees 
  • User-friendly interface and color screen

This Innova Bidirectional Scan Tool can access OEM live data along with OBD2 data in real-time. The enhanced data stream lets you view live data for engine, ABS, SRS airbags and transmission information. 

BossComm IF742 Car Scanner

$188.98 at Amazon

Key Features

  • 4-system diagnostic tool
  • 7” TFT screen
  • 6 hot special function
  • Works for 10,000+ vehicle models
  • 2-year warranty

This BossCom IF742 Car Scanner has a bright 7” LCD screen. The scanner has the ability to do the six most commonly used maintenance services that cars receive. A 2-year warranty is included with the purchase of this scanner

Are engine code readers and OBD2 readers the same?

OBD2 brings up error codes for engine and electrical components. Engine readers mostly bring up only engine codes. The names are used interchangeably in product listings, so the differences normally get forgotten over time. On most occasions, OBD2 scanners are inexpensive while engine code readers can cost anywhere near $50 up to hundreds of dollars.

How to use an engine code reader

Most engine code readers are easy to use, but make sure you go over the instructions first. Plug in the device into the OBD2 port and then turn it on. Then the device will start to diagnose any issues it finds.

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