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Determining which Scan Tool is the one for you can be a little daunting when you first start out. This is why we have made this little guide to help you find the scanner which will suit your needs. Reading and clearing Engine Fault codes is what we extensively deal with, so we will have the scanner for you. We also stock scanners which will get deeper into you car by reading and clearing Airbag, ABS and other systems codes. To help you find the scanner you need, just follow the steps below.
1. For what use?
First of all, are you looking at buying a scanner for use at home on your cars or are you a professional garage which needs a scanner which will cover a greater range of vehicles? Do you need just a simple Engine Fault Code reader/clearer or do you want to get a bit more deeper into your car and do other systems such as Transmission, Airbags, Body Systems, Service Systems and more? If this is what you're looking for then we suggest you start looking in the All Makes Tools category.
If you are after just a simple Engine Code Reader then you will need to check if your car is OBD2 Compliant.
2. Is your car OBD2 compliant?
While it is hard to say that all cars are OBD2 compliant from a certain date, a good guideline for OBD2 compliance would be:
- 1996 onwards
- 2001 onwards for Petrol
- 2004 onwards for Diesel
- Holden from 2006 - Commodore from VZ
- AU Ford from 2006 - Falcon from BA, Ranger from 2007
These vary by manufacturer and even model but all are OBD2 from 2008
- Honda from 2001
- Hyundai from 2001
- Kia from 2006
- Mazda from 2001
- Mitsubishi from 2007
- Nissan from 2007
- Subaru from 2003 (engine codes only - full OBD2 from 2008)
- Suzuki from 2006
- Toyota from 2006
- Toyota Diesel from 2008
See all the manufacturers on our full chart. If your car is OBD2 Compliant then you can choose any scanner from the OBD2 Tools section.
3. My Car is OBD2 compliant and I just want an Engine Code Reader.
If your car is OBD2 compliant and you just want to read/clear Engine Fault codes then we have penty of options. It all depends if you just want a handheld unit or something that will connect to your smartphone or pc.
Great units which are standalong and run off the car battery so all you do is plug in to your car and scan away. If you are after a scanner which will just read and clear engine fault codes then the Foxwell NT204 is you best choice. If you want to get a little deeper and also read live data coming from your engine sensors then the Foxwell NT301 is also a good tool.
We have a few scanners which will connect to your Android smartphone via bluetooth. The best app for this units is an app called 'Torque'. They will all read and clear engine fault codes as well as provide live data from your engine sensors.
We would recommend either the Stahlcar ELM327 or the ELM327 Bluetooth Tool.
The best scan tool we have for Apple products is the Elm327 Wifi. Apple products do not work with most bluetooth units so this wifi unit has been built to work with them. The best app for this unit is called 'Obd Car Doctor'. It will provide both live data and engine code reading and clearing.
4. I want more systems than just Engine or my car is not OBD2 compliant.
If your car is not OBD2 Compliant OR you want to get more deeper than just Engine fault codes then we have plenty of options for this.We call these tools Manufacturer Specific tools as they will cover all systems for each manufacturer. This doesn't matter if they are OBD2 or not. Check out our Single Make Tools or the All Makes Tools section. Both these sections will include tools which get just that little bit deeper into your car - Airbags, ABS, Transmission, Body etc.
5. I have a mix of OBD2 and OBDI cars or I want All Systems Coverage.
If you have a mix of cars then we would recommend the Foxwell NT680 Lite, ThinkCar ThinkDiag or the iCarsoft CR Pro. These units cover a huge range of vehicles and systems. They are very good scanners and have the same features as scanners worth thousands but are very easy to use. We are an official distributor so offer great warranties and support.