Best OBD2 Scanner with ABS and SRS Functions for Quick Diagnostics

For Beginners
LAUNCH Creader VII+ OBD2 Scanner
LAUNCH Creader VII+ OBD2 Scanner
  • Ensures easy and quick access to engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS systems
  • Displays various live data stream as text or graphics
  • OBD2 test modes allow users to focus on symptom-specific data parameters
  • Easy to understand explanations of DTC error meanings
  • Full diagnostic functions available for vehicles that use OBD2 and CAN protocols
  • Supports 8 different languages
For weekend DIYers
BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool
BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool
  • Uses a Bluetooth adapter and a corresponding smartphone app
  • The adapter and application work exclusively with each other to ensure the best results
  • Allows access to all vehicle modules and offers advanced test results and live data
  • Gives repair reports, which include cost estimates for each possible cause
  • Smog check that evaluates vehicles readiness for an emissions test
For Professionals
LAUNCH CRP909X Diagnostic Scanner
LAUNCH CRP909X Diagnostic Scanner
  • Large 7.0’’ touchscreen paired to Android 7.1 systems ensure a smooth operation
  • Gives access to all vehicle systems at a level that matches dealer equipment
  • Offers a wide range of advanced diagnostic procedures
  • Supports 15 maintenance services, including injector coding and DPF regeneration
  • Automatically retrieves VIN information to ensure complete system coverage

If you know your way around cars, you must already know how useful a good OBD2 scanner can be, right? But did you know that some scan tools come with additional diagnostic functions, such as ABS or SRS? These are more elaborate devices whose diagnostic capabilities are not limited only to engine running parameters and corresponding DTC codes. Thanks to this, they give valuable insight that will help when troubleshooting and repairing any of these safety systems.

With so many models available on the market, finding the right one should be pretty straightforward. But is it? Despite their similar features, there might be considerable differences between various scanners and their capabilities. As a result, choosing among different models might be more challenging than one might imagine. To help you find the right model for you, we reviewed some of the best OBD2 scanners with ABS and SRS functions currently on the market and divided into three separate sections, based on different skill levels.

OBD2 Scanners for Beginners – Simple and Affordable Devices

Autel Maxilink ML619 OBD2 Scanner

Autel is a reputable diagnostic equipment manufacturer, and this device is one of its more powerful entry models. Unlike more basic variants that focus on engine and transmission only, Maxilink ML619 offers some additional troubleshooting capabilities.

For instance, it can access, read and erase both ABS and SRS system stored error codes. Besides, when working with newer Ford, GM, and Chrysler vehicles, it may even retrieve manufacturer-specific powertrain codes. And as an additional upside, this scanner can also perform voltage tests when dealing with charging system issues (if your scanner doesn’t have this function, you’ll need a separate battery tester for that).

However, all entry-level devices have certain limitations, and the Maxilink ML619 is no exception. Besides giving only a basic level of insight into system operation, it also has limited diagnostic capabilities. Still, this will be more than enough for most beginners.

Key Features

  • Works with almost all 1996 and newer vehicles that are OBDII and CAN compatible
  • Gives access to engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS
  • Capable of reading Ford, GM and Chrysler enhanced powertrain codes
  • Can perform voltage tests and help troubleshoot charging system issues
  • Durable and robust, thanks to its sturdy housing

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a 12 months warranty insurance

Cons

  • Explanations of DTC meanings are limited

2. LAUNCH Creader VII+ OBD2 Scanner

LAUNCH Creader VII+ OBD2 Scanner

When looking at basic features, this OBD2 scanner from Launch may appear similar to its Autel counterpart in many aspects. They both have a user interface that uses simple buttons and gives access to the same vehicle systems. Moreover, even the retail price is almost identical.

Still, there are several key differences, as Launch Creader offers better diagnostic insight and more troubleshooting options. For instance, it allows users to perform specific test procedures and focus on specific data parameters that may reveal potential problems.

The only real downside with this scanner, at least when considering entry-level devices, is its unusual shape and extensive width. It also requires users to operate it with both hands, which can be inconvenient in some situations.

Features

  • Ensures easy and quick access to engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS systems
  • Displays various live data stream as text or graphics
  • OBD2 test modes allow users to focus on symptom-specific data parameters
  • Easy to understand explanations of DTC error meanings
  • Full diagnostic functions available for vehicles that use OBD2 and CAN protocols
  • Supports 8 different languages

Pros

  • Advanced testing options that can help detect potential problems
  • Elaborate DTC explanations
  • Shows live data streams and also offers a freeze-frame option

Cons

  • Wide shape requires two-hand operation

OBD2 Scanners For Weekend DIYers – More Features and Options

3. BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool

BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool

This seemingly simple device from BlueDriver is becoming a go-to option for many younger automotive enthusiasts and weekend mechanics. Unlike other scanners on the list, which are standalone units, this one uses a mobile phone as an interface. By utilizing smartphones’ powerful hardware and software, BlueDriver can offer improved features while keeping the cost down.

Furthermore, this is one of the few devices in this range that offers access to all vehicle systems at levels that match OEM equipment. Besides, both the Bluetooth adapter and mobile app were designed in-house, ensuring improved performance.

With a Bluetooth adapter as the only extra piece of equipment, this setup is extremely portable, although there are some drawbacks. One of the biggest is that smartphones are fragile, which is not ideal when working under a hood. In addition, their screens can be quite sensitive, and using them with gloves or dirty hands can be somewhat tricky. Still, if you want a portable device that you can keep in your toolbox, this is the one!

Features

  • Uses a Bluetooth adapter and a corresponding smartphone app
  • The adapter and application work exclusively with each other to ensure the best results
  • Allows access to all vehicle modules and offers advanced test results and live data
  • Gives repair reports, which include cost estimates for each possible cause
  • Smog check that evaluates vehicles readiness for an emissions test

Pros

  • Gives in-depth access to all vehicle systems
  • Simple and portable
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Using a smartphone as an interface can be awkward in some situations

4. INNOVA 3160RS Pro OBD2 Scanner

INNOVA 3160RS Pro OBD2 Scanner

This OBD2 scanner from Innova offers various features that users might expect from a device within this range. Things like in-depth access to various vehicle systems and an emission readiness test are just some of those usual capabilities.

However, its ability to perform several unique and quite helpful tests and calibrations set it apart. For example, it has advanced brake system options that allow users to initiate ABS bleeding and perform electronic handbrake calibrations. Moreover, it can give transmission temperature readings as an additional upside, which makes troubleshooting and fluid changes easier. In the end, it also allows access to the TPMS system and can run battery system diagnosis on hybrid vehicles.

Nonetheless, some users may consider its 3.5-inch display a bit too small and not sharp enough. Another potential downside is the fact that it requires batteries to operate when the engine is not running. But despite these minor flaws, this OBD2 scanner can tackle almost any troubleshooting challenge.

Features

  • Offers in-depth scanning features for engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS system
  • Capable of performing advanced ABS and parking brake calibrations
  • Allows access to TPMS and helps diagnose tire pressure related issues
  • Gives transmission temperature read-outs in real-time
  • Offers diagnostic solutions for battery and charging issues on hybrid vehicles

Pros

  • Gives access to all usual vehicle systems
  • Can perform ABS pump bleeding and parking brake calibration
  • Gives access to TPMS, transmission temperature, and hybrid battery systems

Cons

  • LED display can be too small for some users
  • Requires batteries when the engine is off

OBD2 Scanners for Professional Auto Mechanics – Elaborate Diagnostic Options

5. LAUNCH CRP129X OBD2 Scanner

LAUNCH CRP129X OBD2 Scanne

The Launch CRP129X is one of the most affordable ways into the world of professional diagnostic equipment. Compared to previous models on this list, it offers several noticeable upsides, with the large 5″ touchscreen being one of them. Your hands are all greasy? No worries! The handy keypad makes it easy to use all sorts of real-life environments.

In addition, this scan tool can gain access to most vehicle systems and pull both manufacturer-specific and generic DTC codes. It is especially important when working with modern vehicles, whose complex infrastructure surpasses the capabilities of the OBD2 coding system.

But despite having OE-level capabilities when it comes to system scans and service resets, this device doesn’t offer comparable diagnostic features. For instance, it can’t activate and deactivate various components, which is necessary when troubleshooting complex automotive systems. Still, with no other noticeable shortcomings, this is a powerful scan tool that gives excellent value for money.

Features

  • Durable 5” touchscreen with keypad ensure an easy operation in all environments
  • In-depth coverage of engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS systems
  • Additional battery voltage test helps isolate charging system issues
  • Offers OIL/EPB/SAS/TPMS service reset functions and allows throttle adaptation
  • Free Wi-Fi updates and extensive multilingual support

Pros

  • Easy and comfortable usage, thanks to a large screen and handy keypad
  • Gives access to almost all automotive systems
  • Has the ability to read both manufacturer-specific and generic DTC error codes
  • Allows service resets and throttle adaptation

Cons

  • Lacks the ability to perform special diagnostic tests

6. LAUNCH CRP909X Diagnostic Scanner

LAUNCH CRP909X Diagnostic Scanner

The Launch CRP909X scanner aims at full-fledged professionals. Similar to other Launch models on the list, it has a large LED touchscreen with an easy-to-use keypad. It goes without saying that this diagnostic scanner also incorporates all basic functions and features while also adding some new ones.

Moreover, it offers access to all vehicle systems at levels comparable to authorized dealers’ equipment; the range of available service and maintenance functions expands to injector coding and DPF regeneration.

Still, the most important upside that comes with this device is the ability to perform all sorts of diagnostic tests. This feature is especially helpful with issues for which stored DTC codes don’t reveal the cause right away. In such situations, users can shut down or adjust various systems and components as a part of the elimination process. Overall, this device has no real downside, apart from the slightly higher price tag.

Features

  • Large 7.0’’ touchscreen paired to Android 7.1 systems ensure a smooth operation
  • Gives access to all vehicle systems at a level that matches dealer equipment
  • Offers a wide range of advanced diagnostic procedures
  • Supports 15 maintenance services, including injector coding and DPF regeneration
  • Automatically retrieves VIN information to ensure complete system coverage

Pros

  • Dealer-level access to all vehicle systems and stored codes
  • Expanded range of maintenance and service functions
  • Ability to perform sophisticated diagnostic tests

Cons

  • Slightly higher price

7. Launch X431 Bidirectional Diagnostic Scanner

Launch X431 Bidirectional Diagnostic Scanner

This high-end diagnostic tool is a powerful and capable device with features aiming at the most demanding applications. Following the pattern set by the previous models, it has the widest range of functions among the OBD2 scanners on this list. Superb DTC code scanning and active testing options are just the starting point here, as the Launch X431 has so much more to offer. One of the most important is the ‘learning’ function, allowing users to adjust control units against new sensors. Other advanced features include ECU coding, key programming, and things like AdBlue reset and transmission adaptation.

With a diagnostic tool like this one, experienced mechanics will solve any issue reliably and efficiently. Because of that, even the higher price tag shouldn’t be a problem for professionals who will use its upsides to the fullest.

Features

  • OE-level diagnostic, coding, and personalization features for most vehicles
  • Gives access to all vehicle systems and allows users to perform active tests and resets
  • Comes with 31 service resets, including AdBlue reset and transmission adaptation
  • Offers a bidirectional control, with ECU coding and key programming capabilities
  • Continuous software upgrades make it up-to-date with current automotive trends

Pros

  • Capable of performing any imaginable diagnostic procedure
  • Offers the widest range of service and maintenance functions
  • Allows ECU coding and key programming
  • Superb software and customer support

Cons

  • Exploiting all the benefits requires experience and knowledge
  • Most expensive OBD2 scanner on the list

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does OBD2 mean?

OBD stands for On-Board-Diagnosis, a self-sustained system that uses a series of sensors to monitor vehicle running parameters. If any of these values goes out of a predetermined range, the system will alert the driver by triggering a warning light. In its earliest versions, the monitoring process was limited to engine-related components, such as fuel injection and emission-control systems. Any issues here would cause an illuminated check engine light. However, the current OBD2 version has a much wider oversight. Indeed, it covers all drivetrain-related systems and components that are not a part of the powertrain, such as ABS and airbags. Almost all cars that are in production from the mid-90s onward use this system.

How can the OBD2 scanner help solve car problems?

When the OBD2 system detects a potential drivetrain issue, it will do more than just triggering an appropriate warning light on the dashboard. To make troubleshooting easier, it will store an error code and information about corresponding running conditions inside its memory. The data will prove its value when tracking down the issue and trying to repair it.

However, accessing these codes and additional information on most vehicles is something that requires special equipment. While dealers use proprietary diagnostic tools for this purpose, their price and complexity are less suitable for DIY-ers. Hence, just like many professional mechanics, automotive enthusiasts may find a versatile OBD2 scanner to be the best option.

Scan tools vs. diagnostic tools – what is the difference?

There is a wide range of devices that can access various vehicle systems and read error codes stored within. However, several important differences set them apart, with features and price the most obvious ones.

Still, all these devices fall into two major categories. The first one is scan tools, which are simpler and can only read codes and other stored data. Thus, they are more suitable for amateur and DIY users.

Meanwhile, diagnostic tools are more capable and versatile devices that aim at professional mechanics. Besides offering basic insight into vehicle systems, they allow users to perform various active tests and adjust running parameters.

Verdict

As we have explained in this article, scan tools come in several major categories. The simpler ones will only give access to stored error codes and basic running parameters, making them suitable for beginners. Meanwhile, more elaborate units will allow users to perform more elaborate tests and calibrations. Finally, high-end diagnostic tools ensure unlimited access that matches the equipment that dealers use.

In all cases, make sure to correctly evaluate your needs and budget before committing to a specific one. It’s not use to buy a cheaper model that won’t do what you need it to do and nothing is worst than shelling out your hard-earned money on a tool that you won’t use to the full-extent either.

Jean-Claude is an Editor at GarageSpot.com and webmaster of TheMechanicDoctor.com. He has been a certified auto mechanic for the last 15 years, working for various car dealers and specialized repair shops. He turned towards blogging about cars and EVs in the hope of helping and inspiring the next generation of automotive technicians. He also loves cats, Johnny Cash and Subarus.

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