There’s a wide array of automotive tools for mechanics and vehicle enthusiasts. These tools range from OBD2 scanners to more traditional automotive tools. Every year, both see a lot of new products with improved functionality and features.
So let’s talk about them! These are the best automotive tools for cars in 2019. After reading this article, if you’re still thirsty for more, check out OBDSolaris for more awesome automotive tools that you can use to make your work easier.
Before we get into all of the OBD2 Scanners and other automotive tools that we’re going to recommend, let’s talk about who OBD2 scanners are for and what they do.
Should I Buy An OBD2 Scanner?
OBD2 scanners are mainly for DIYers. If you’ve found yourself reading this article, you likely fall into that category. Do you want to save some money? In many cases, an OBD2 scanner will provide the same information that a mechanic will, and it will often do so at a fraction of the cost.
Taking this into account, an OBD2 scanner is a logical and practical purchase for anyone with a vehicle. Still, an OBD2 won’t do everything.
What Can’t An OBD2 Scanner Do?
OBD2 scanners vary from model to model. More expensive scanners will provide a ton of functionality, while budget scanners provide only the bare essentials.
OBD2 scanners can tweak certain aspects of a vehicle’s software, but if there’s something physically wrong with your car, it usually won’t do much.
It can, however, indicate that there’s something wrong with your vehicle before you’d notice it without one. This way, you can fix the problem before it becomes more serious.
The Three Types Of OBD2 Scanners
There are a lot of OBD2 scanners out there, and almost all of them fall into one of three categories. Let’s quickly discuss the three types of OBD2 scanners and who they’re for.
Code scanners are the lowest tier of OBD2 scanners. As the name implies, they mostly just cans codes. Additionally, they can clear codes, and some of them display the statuses of certain monitors. Code scanners are for vehicle owners on a budget that only needs the basic features.
DIY scanners are a little more advanced than code scanners, but they’re usually more expensive.
In addition to everything that a code scanner can do, DIY scanners can usually detect manufacturer-specific codes that normal code scanners can’t. Plus, it can display your vehicle’s past data if the vehicle supports the function.
DIY scanners are great for most vehicle owners, but they’re mostly intended for vehicle enthusiasts. As the middle-priced OBD2 scanners, they fall into this weird space where they don’t offer quite enough features for a lot of enthusiasts.
Enthusiasts will usually prefer a diagnostic tool. At the same time, they don’t have that many additional features compared to regular code scanners. For this reason, budget users and casual vehicle owners are more likely to go with a regular code scanner.
Before we get into diagnostic tools, I should warn that these tools are for experienced users. Sure, everyone has to start somewhere, and you can’t be experienced in anything without giving it a first try. I say all of this just to get the message across. Be very careful if you’re new to these.
Diagnostic tools offer advanced, professional functions. Among many other things, a diagnostic tool can actually read into the codes a bit more than a DIY scanner. It provides potential solutions to error codes, and those solutions are usually pretty spot on.
The Best OBD2 Scanners For Cars in 2019
Now that we’ve established what an OBD2 scanner is and how it works, let’s talk about the best OBD2 scanners and automotive tools on the market. These are tools that every mechanic and vehicle enthusiast should at least consider acquiring. Let’s start with a few OBD2 scanners.
BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro
While Bluetooth OBD2 scanners aren’t uncommon, they’re often not given as much consideration as traditional OBD2 scanners. It’s possible that buyers are scared away because they seem to complicated.
However, they’re actually very simple to use, and all you need is a cellphone or tablet with Bluetooth. The BlueDriver LSB2 offers a range of features that you’re not likely to find elsewhere at such a low price.
The LSB2 is reasonable but offers a feature set usually found in much more expensive OBD2 scanners. It offers full OBD2 functionality, which means that it’s compatible with the 10 basic OBD2 functions.
Additionally, it can read codes from automatic brake systems, airbags, and even transmissions. Plus, it has a DTC library lookup feature that provides definitions for the codes that it receives. This way, you can save yourself the time of having to look them up yourself.
The Foxwell NT301 is a more traditional OBD2 scanner, but it’s a great option for those that don’t want to use a Bluetooth scanner. It’s less expensive than the LSB2 and costs only $70. However, it is missing a few key features found in the LSB2.
Basically, it does everything that the LSB2 does with a few exceptions. For instance, it can’t read codes from airbags, brakes, or transmissions. However, it does have an I/M readiness test, and it can easily perform the 10 basic OBD2 functions.
Autel MaxiDAS MP808
This is an option for the hardcore vehicle enthusiasts and professional mechanics out there. It isn’t intended for novice users, and that’s evident in the price alone.
For $800, the Autel MaxiDAS MP808 is pricey, but it provides a lot of functionality that’ll be tough to find at a lower price. It does everything that the last two entries can, but it has a couple of valuable features that are only found in top-tier OBD2 scanners.
Primarily, long coding is an included feature that a lot of mechanics consider to be essential. Basically, the functions provided by most any OBD2 scanner are basically preset code options. With long coding, you can enter your own codes.
Long coding takes a good working knowledge of OBD2 scanners, but it opens up a world of possibilities. In addition to long coding, the Autel MaxiDAS MP808 can program key fobs, which is a very valuable option for a mechanic to have at their disposal.
The Best Automotive Tools For Cars in 2019
Let’s talk about a few of the other tools that mechanics and vehicle enthusiasts will love. For those that regularly work on vehicles, these tools will make life a lot easier.
The Bayco Nightstick is a rechargeable, magnetic light bar with 120 LED lights. With this tool, you’ll never struggle to see what you’re working on again. It has a magnetic base that allows you to attach it to virtually any part of your vehicle, shining light wherever you need it.
Pittsburgh Aluminum Floor Jack and Twin Arm Adapter
This is technically two tools, but they work together to provide mechanics and vehicle enthusiasts with a more convenient experience
The Pittsburgh Aluminum Floor Jack is an awesome tool on its own. However, the twin arm adapter from the same company allows you to prop your vehicle up in two separate locations. A lot of cars require two separate jacks, but with this tool, you’ll only need one.
These are a few of the best automotive tools that you can get your hands on in 2019. From OBD2 scanners to more traditional automotive tools, all of these devices can potentially make your life a lot easier.