Top DIY Car Diagnostic Tools

Nothing is more frustrating than having a check engine light randomly come on. There’s no clear sign pointing to what is wrong.

It’s going to take time and money to find out what the light means. A car diagnostic tool can make resolving this code quick work.

A DIY scanner is user-friendly and can save car owners money. Plug the scanner into the vehicle, decipher the code, and repair. Here are our recommendations for the best DIY scanners.

Three Types of Car Diagnostic Tools

Diagnostic tools fall into three basic categories based on the user’s knowledge. A professional-grade auto diagnostic tool works best for a mechanic in a shop.

A DIY vehicle diagnostic tool will have the capability of monitoring and diagnosing complex issues. A basic car diagnostic tool will only read and clear the code presented from a fault.

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool

The BlueDriver works with Apple and Android devices to diagnose a car. The Bluetooth compatible dongle sends the information to an app on your phone.

Start by plugging the dongle into the car. Then load the free app on a phone. There are no hidden costs with the app.

Compatible Vehicles

This tool can scan any car made in 1996 or later in North America. It is compatible with European gas vehicles from 2001 and newer.

The Codes

The standard industry engine codes come pre-programmed. The manufacturer’s individualized codes or other functions also come pre-programmed.

The App

The app’s interface gives users a larger and brighter screen than what comes on traditional scanners. Each code has a description of the problem and possible solutions.

The app can save, export, and print vehicle data. There are also five special functions. Mode 6 gives access to the VIN and individual sensors.

A flashlight built into the app works great in dark locations. Live data exporting works for the user who needs the data in real time.

Social sharing lets users easily share data for outside help. Finally a gauge for both digital and voltage reading comes standard.

Innova 3040E Car Diagnostic Tool

This affordable tool can scan, read and diagnose a vehicle’s error codes. Need to clear the code? It can do that too.

Compatible Vehicles

This vehicle diagnostic tool will work on almost any vehicle built in 1996 or later. Users can check the “check engine” light and ABS light on these vehicles.

The oil service light can be reset. The battery and alternator performance data is available.


This scanner comes with a large screen built into the unit. The LCD screen is well organized and easy to navigate.

Once a user purchases the scanner, lifetime software updates are included. If users have any issues, a Customer Support center is available.

Monday through Saturday ASE certified technicians are available for assistance. Users also have access to Repair Solutions for one year after purchase.

Diagnose Your Car

The right car diagnostic tool can help a vehicle owner do minor maintenance on their own. The BlueDriver OBDII works with an app and comes with all software needed.

It is a great choice for someone who plans on working on many different cars. If this is more than needed, the Innova offers an affordable alternative.

It only works with older cars, which might be a drawback for some people. It does come with lifetime updates, which is invaluable.

Make sure you have the right tools to get started on repairing those scanner codes.

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