Car repairs can be costly (duh!), and the ominous glow of that check engine light could mean you have myriad issues that need immediate attention. However, it could also be a simple fix that you could do yourself. So why take it to the dealer or a mechanic without knowing what the problem is first? Some places will charge you substantially just for the scan. Instead, skip the headache and grab a home ODB2 scanner, download the app, and become your own second opinion. Here are some of the best OBD2 car readers for Android that you can get right now.
Channel your inner shade tree mechanic
The BAFX Products 34t5 claims to work on all vehicles in the U.S. from 1996 or later — all you need is a third-party app and an Android phone or tablet.
Panlong's OBD II scanner works with most post-1996 vehicles (sans some hybrids) and lets you read and clear trouble codes with real-time data readings.
The OBDLink LX is a pro-grade reader with its own app, which allows you to scan, read, and clear trouble codes in a broader range of vehicles.
The Akface supports all OBD II protocols and works on most cars sold after 1996 and should work with your favorite scanner app to tell you what's going on.
Some mechanics use the BlueDriver scanner, which shows you recall information and dynamic data and offers repair suggestions in its companion app.
FIXD's scanner lets you manage multiple cars within its app. You can check and clear the readings on all of your vehicles and get maintenance notifications.
Skip the trip to the mechanic
Taking your car into the shop for a simple Check Engine light can often end up costing much more than what may have been necessary. These easy-to-use Bluetooth OBD II readers can give you a picture of your car's overall "health" and put you in control of diagnosing your vehicle's issues. If you're looking for simple and inexpensive, go with the BAFX reader — it'll work with just about any non-hybrid or electric cars sold in the U.S. in or after 1996.
If you have multiple vehicles you'd like to keep tabs on, though, the FIXD Professional Scan Tool lets you keep track of all of them at once — assuming you have an OBD II reader in each one. The FIXD readers are cheaper when you buy in bulk, so cover all your vehicles at once!
Lastly, if you want the very best of the best, you should grab the BlueDriver LSB2, which offers the most in-depth information on your vehicle and even sends repair reminders to your phone through its companion app.
Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.
Get the best of Android Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Android Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.