Which Scan Tool do I need?

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 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 and ABS codes. To help you find the scanner you need, just follow the steps below.


1. Home or Professional 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?

If you are looking for a scanner which covers a range of OBDI and OBDII cars and systems(ABS,SRS etc) then you would be best to start looking in the All Tools category. These scanners will also cover ABS and SRS faults.

If you are a home user or a garage which requires just a simple Engine code reader please carry on reading.


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 car compliance would be:

American Vehicles
- 1996 onwards


European Vehicles
- 2001 onwards for Petrol
- 2004 onwards for Diesel


Australian Vehicles
- Holden from 2006 - Commodore from VZ
- AU Ford from 2006 - Falcon from BA, Ranger from 2007


Japanese vehicles
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 2006
- Nissan from 2007
- Subaru from 2003 (engine codes only - full OBD2 from 2008)
- Suzuki from 2006
- Toyota from 2006
    - Toyota Diesel from 2008


See more manufacturers on our full chart


Please note that some models will be OBD2 compliant from earlier than these dates, this is just a guide to show your what should safely be OBD2 compliant This is a helpful guide to determining if your car is OBD2 compliant but if you are still unsure please don't hesitate to contact us.


If you can see your car falls under the above category then you can choose any scanner from the OBD2 Tools section. To determine which of the OBD2 scanners would suit your needs please jump to step 4 below.


3. My Car is not OBD2 compliant.
If it is not OBD2 compliant then it will still be running it's own manufacturer specific diagnostic system. This is commonly known as an OBD1 system and your best bet for finding a scanner for your car will be under the 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 etc.


4. My Car is OBD2 compliant.
If your car is OBD2 compliant then your options are numerous. It all depends if you just want a handheld unit or something that will connect to your smartphone or pc.


Handheld Units
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.


Android Units
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.

Our first unit is the Stahlcar ELM327 which is a great little scanner. It does everything you need from an engine code reader/clearer.

Another good scanner is the ELM327 Bluetooth Tool which incorporates all the features of the previous scanner plus has the added features of an on/off switch and a compact size so you do not have to take it out when the car is not in use.


iPhone/iPad Units
The best scan tool we have for Apple products is the Elm327 Wifi. Apple products do not work with cheaper bluetooth 3.0 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.


5. I have a mix of OBD2 and OBDI cars.
If you have a mix of cars then we would recommend the Foxwell NT680 Lite or NT644 as well as 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.


6.Still unsure?
We have created a unique Product Selector Tool to help you choose your tool.
If you are still unsure what scanner to use then please don't hesitate to contact us