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How to Maintain Your Car Battery

Not sure how you can maintain your car battery?

While you may be quite strict about keeping your car clean and supported from the outside, you may have been ignoring under the hood too often. 

If so, chances are you’ve been neglecting your car battery and denying the car what it needs to working properly.

After all, of what use is a sparkling, well-kept car if it doesn’t even start in the morning, making you late for work?  

Obviously, all of your effort into making sure your car remains spotless on the outside would definitely be pointless in this scenario.

 As such, making sure your battery is in tip-top shape is imperative.

Easy task

Still, it’s not like maintaining your battery is too difficult a task to complete. You only really need to check on it once every 2-3 months and perform only a few simple tasks to take care of it.

So, here are all the things you need to do to take care of your battery:

Checking the level of water every 2-3 months

Though checking for water levels is pointless if your car uses a maintenance-free battery , if you’ve got a wet-cell non-maintenance-free battery installed in your car, you’d need to check the fluid levels every 2-3 months or so.

If you want to check the fluid levels, you should unscrew/open the fluid caps and see whether the water levels are below the designated mark.

If so, carefully fill up the battery with distilled water, taking care not to overfill it. Replace the cap when you are done, and you will be good to go.

Protecting the battery from high temperatures

If you find protecting your battery from cold weather important to prevent freezing, you should just as well protect it from extremely high temperatures.

Usually,the car battery quality depreciates faster in extremely hot temperatures than in extremely cold temperatures.

Nevertheless, protecting the battery from heat isn’t really that hard of a task. All you need is some heat resistant grease to slather over the battery exterior, or even get an insulator to cover your battery.

Both of these would work just fine to form a barrier between your battery and unwanted heat to guard against damage

Cleaning off the battery terminals of battery acid corrosion

Now, dried-up acid corrosion on terminals is one of the most common battery problems you will encounter when taking care of your battery.

Ordinarily, your car battery produces hydrogen gas that reacts with the terminals to leave unwanted, disgusting bluish-white gunk on your battery terminals.

So, you need to clean this off if your battery is to perform optimally. Prepare a paste made of baking soda and water and apply it on a wire brush which you’ll use to scrape off the gunk gently.

Safety first

Be sure to don protective gear like face masks and goggles when performing this task; you don’t want to be inhaling this stuff or letting any of it brush off and fly into your eyes.

Though it does need to be said that this is one problem you can’t completely solve. You’ll have to clean this gunk off your car battery time and again.

The silver lining here though, is that you only need do so once every 6-8 months.

Checking your battery’s voltage and recharging when necessary

You can almost always tell if your battery is running low before it dies out. This is picked from indicator panels and dimming headlights.

The most effective way, however, is using a voltmeter. This way, you are sure to determine the exact power left in your battery. It just gets the guesswork out of the way, making you more aware of the state of your battery.

As long as your battery levels are close .to 12.5 or 12.6 V, you’re not in the woods yet.

Use a trickle charger

If you do need to charge your battery, however, take your car to an auto electrician or charge it from home using a trickle charger.  This allows you to avoid the additional service costs altogether.

Though taking your car to the auto shop is important at least once every 6-9 months, there are some things you can’t completely take care of on your own.

How To Maintain Your Car Battery Conclusion

Your car battery is one small component of the car. Its purpose, however, cannot be discounted. A faulty battery, just like a flat tire, can be such a thorn in your flesh. 

However, with these insights, you are sure to be a couple of steps ahead of any eventualities of a faulty car battery.

Preparations You Should Make Before Using a Catalytic Converter Cleaner

Cleaning your car’s catalytic converter using a catalytic converter cleaner is not a messy process as many people imagine.

As long as your car still runs by burning fossil fuels, it will produce pollutants like carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, and carbon monoxide gases.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas that is mainly responsible for global warming since it absorbs heat from the sun and traps it in the atmosphere. Carbon monoxide, on the other hand,  is lethal to humans when present in high levels. This makes the later more damaging to both humans and the environment immediately it leaves the tailpipe of your car.

Catalytic converters are devices that are fit onto the car’s exhaust system. They convert harmful emissions like CO and NO into to CO2 and nitrogen respectively.

When your car fails an emission test, it means that it is not emissions compliant. This is something that your OBD-II should be able to indicate. This happens because the catalytic converter is either degraded or it is dirty from carbon buildup that accumulates over time.

In order to improve the efficiency and durability of your catalytic converter, it is necessary that you clean between 2 to 4 times a year depending on the size of your car. This involves the use of a catalytic converter cleaner.

A catalytic converter cleaner is a chemical that strips away carbon that accumulates on the surface of the catalyst. The use of this cleaner is simple, but you need to start by making proper preparations as follows:

Find out the cause of your high emission levels

In order to extend the lifespan of your catalytic converter, it is important to clean it regularly. Clogging of the converter with carbon from the car engine minimize or block the contact between the catalyst and harmful gases for conversion.

Sometimes the cause of high emissions may not be related to the catalytic converter but a poorly maintained engine or bad tuning. However, display of OBD2 error codes like P0420 and P0430 will indicate that the problem is in the catalytic converter which needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Find out the cause of the carbon buildup

High emission level is usually caused by excessive carbon build up. Carbon build up is a process that you cannot prevent. But you can slow it by driving within the revolution limit that gives the best MPG fuel economy. Also, make sure that your tire pressure is at the right level.

The buildup is accelerated when the air-fuel ratio is less than the optimum in a situation commonly known as a ‘fuel rich’ situation.

This simply means that your car engine is not burning all the fuel as expected. For this reason, it is necessary to check the condition of your spark plugs. Replace them if necessary before you proceed to clean your catalytic converter.

Buy a good quality catalytic converter cleaner

When your emission problem stems from a clogged catalytic converter, you need to find the best cleaner to restore it. With a huge number of cleaners in the market, you will need to go through their features and reviews to settle on the right one.

The most important feature to look out for is the ability to greatly reduce CO and NO emissions as well as remove accumulated carbon and dirt from the converter and engine.

A good catalytic converter cleaner should work on all vehicles whether diesel, gasoline or hybrid. While no miracle cleaner is best in everything, you may need to try out a few products. Find the best one with time.

Prepare to clean your catalytic converter

After confirming that your converter needs cleaning and have found a good quality cleaner, it is time to prepare for the actual cleaning.

The first preparation at this stage is to ensure that your gas tank is almost empty. The next step is to pour the cleaner into the gas tank in order to blend with the remaining fuel. After this, you need to drive your car normally for at least 50 miles nonstop before filling the tank full.

It is important to ensure that the levels of dangerous emissions that your car produces are always at the minimum. Not only for compliance purpose but also to protect the health of people and the environment.

Catalytic converter cleaners do work, and it gets even better when you use a good quality brand. Clean your converter regularly and always ensure that your car is in good condition.

How to Match Wheel Locks and Your Vehicle

You have probably seen a car sitting on a set of concrete or brick blocks after the wheels and tires have been stolen. Whether you have factory wheels or aftermarket ones, owning a set of wheel locks is a low-cost opportunity that will help ensure wheels stay on your vehicle. Wheel locks replace the standard lug nuts on your wheels. They feature a specific face pattern that only works with a special key.

Fortunately, you can swap out the standard lug nuts for security wheel locks easily without taking a trip down to the dealership or auto repair shop.

The wheel locks are difficult to open if you do not have the special key. Thus, making them some sort of cheap insurance policy for your wheels and tires. However, you need to ensure that the wheel lock key is with you at all times so you can take the wheel and tire off when needed.

As you can imagine, there are many options when it comes to wheel locks on the market – with almost similar design and style. Here are five things you should look into to identify the best wheel lock for your vehicle.

Thread Size

Wheel studs are threaded bolts – or studs – that protrude through holes in your car’s wheels and onto which you thread the wheel or lug nuts. Most cars have either four or five studs for each wheel. But some SUVs, vans and trucks may have up to eight of them on each wheel.

When looking for wheel nuts, the first thing you need to consider is the thread size. You can get the measurement of the thread size using a simple thread pitch gauge. Alternatively, take one of the standard lug nuts to a local hardware store and spin into it bolts they have in store.

Thread diameter or size is the measurement of the outside diameter of your wheel stud threads. You can find them in standard (1/2” or 7/16”, and more) or metric (14mm or 12mm, and more) measurements.

The commonest thread sizes for cars are 5/8”, 9/16”, 1/2”, 7/16”, 14mm, 12mm and 10mm. You can find your vehicle’s thread sizes on its manufacturer website or owner’s manual.

Thread Pitch

Thread pitch is the measurement of the distance between threads in millimeters in metric applications or threads per inch in non-metric applications. Using the thread pitch gauge, you can easily identify your vehicle’s thread pitch measurement. However, if your car has already been modified, it’s worth verifying the thread pitch before you purchase a lug nut wheel lock set.

Seat Type

The seat refers to area where the lug nut makes actual contact with your car’s wheel surface. The most common wheel seat types are:

  • Acorn or tapered cone seat
  • Mag seat with washer
  • Ball seat
  • Flat seat
  • Spherical or ball seat
  • Extended thread (ET)
  • Tuner style
  • Small diameter spine drive

It is critical that you match the lug nut seat to the wheel seat. Using the wrong type will likely see your wheel not seat properly, causing vibration and loosening of the lug nuts.

Length or Dimensions of Wheel Locks

It is vital that you confirm your wheel locks or lug nuts dimensions so you get the proper fit for both aesthetic and safety purposes. The measurements you need to take into account include the outside diameter and overall length.  Also, you need to determine the proper shank diameter and depth for mag style locks and nuts.

Finish or Color

The good thing is that lug nuts and locks are available in an assortment of colors and finishes. These varieties include blue, red, silver, yellow chromate, zinc, stainless steel, black chrome and chrome plated. Once you have had a chance to consider all the fitting measurements, all that remains is choosing the best wheel locks according to your preferred style.

Final Word

Most wheel locks on the market are sold in packs of four under the assumption that you install a lock on each wheel. This is sufficient for many car owner requirements. However, some companies offer wheel locks in sets of 20, allowing the total replacement of the lug nuts.

Best Fuel Injector Cleaner for Optimum Vehicle Performance

​Driving your own car makes you feel having the freedom to go anywhere you want and at any time you want. But along with owning a car is having the responsibility in taking care of it. In the case of fuel efficiency and engine performance, using the best fuel injector cleaner can make a huge difference for your vehicle.

What is a fuel injector?

A fuel injector is a valve that consists of a body that houses an electromagnetic coil and a sealing mechanism, which is kept closed by a spring. The injectors should either be fully open or fully closed. The amount of fuel that is injected determines how long the injector is open or how long the ball, disc, or pintle is removed from its seat.

This internal device is extremely important as soon as you start your vehicle up. When the fuel injector malfunctions, expect to experience several issues ranging from fast depletion of fuel to engine block noise and motor chatter.

One of the primary culprits in problems related to fuel injectors is cleanliness. No matter how oil companies promise clean fuel, there’s bound to be particulate matter than may get mixed into the fuel. Over time – and especially when the fuel line isn’t maintained – the particles may build up, thereby causing a lot of issues in your car engine.

The easiest way to address this particular issue problem is to use a fuel injector cleaner.

​What is a fuel injector cleaner?

A ​fuel injector cleaner is an additive that keeps fuel lines clean, protects the fuel injectors, and boosts fuel efficiency and mileage. When a fuel injector fluid is added to the fuel mix, particulate buildup in the fuel line and injectors will be dissolved.

Different factors may cause your fuel injectors to be clogged. Hydrocarbons and additives evaporate at different temperatures. Some amount of gasoline may be left behind the tip of the injectors each time the engine is turned off.

In addition, the volatile compound in the fuel may evaporate, leaving a residue on the injector tip. When it accumulates, it may start affecting the spray pattern and fuel distribution. As a result, the overall performance of the engine may be affected.

A fuel injector cleaner is an additive that keeps fuel lines clean, protects the fuel injectors, and boosts fuel efficiency and mileage. When a fuel injector fluid is added to the fuel mix, particulate buildup in the fuel line and injectors will be dissolved.

Choosing The Best Fuel Injector Cleaner

If you use your vehicle often, you need to check the fuel injectors from time to time as well.  A service may be required in the following instances:

  • Detonation which can lead to catastrophic engine failure
  • Failed emission
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Poor performance
  • Pollution
  • Poor idle
  • Smoke from the tailpipe
  • Surging and bucking under light throttle

The quality of gasoline may sometimes be inconsistent. This may cause build-up, and lead to inefficient ignition and poor power output.

What could make it all worse is that the high output engines are sensitive to deposits that accumulate on fuel injectors, intake valves, intake ports, and in combustion chambers. With this, it can cause an increase in fuel consumption, poor performance, and increased exhaust emissions.

The easiest and fastest way to address these issues is to use the best fuel injector cleaner to keep your vehicle in tiptop condition.

A complete fuel system cleaner eliminates dirt and deposit from more than just the injectors. This should contain powerful ingredients and solvents to be able to thoroughly clean the whole system.

To be certain that you are purchasing the right fuel injector system for your vehicle, you need to look at a couple of factors.

Alcohol vs. polyetheramine (PEA)

Alcohol-based products are often used for old vehicles to get rid of years of deposits in the entire system. However, this is best performed by mechanics, and is already considered an obsolete practice.

For most modern running vehicles, polyetheramine will work as the best fuel injector cleaner component. This compound is a premium fuel additive known for its high fuel cleaning action on direct fuel injectors and fuel lines.

Strength

Some of the best fuel injector cleaner variants are strong enough to clean decades of solid buildup in fuel lines and injectors, while others are designed for milder approaches. Know first the status of your vehicle (i.e. if it has been in operation for quite a number of years already) before choosing a fuel injector cleaner based on strength.

New car models don’t need too strong compounds to clean the fuel injectors. Doing so may actually do more harm than good, as the strong components may affect the integrity of small moving parts inside your vehicle. In short, being too clean-conscious may end up damaging your car instead of maintaining it.

Price

Don’t be fooled by an expensive product, but don’t choose cheap ones instead. Focusing on price may not always lead you to the best fuel injector cleaner that your vehicle needs.

Having said that, ask around for a variety of the best fuel injector cleaner products in retail shops, and compare their features and prices. In the long run, you will be able to determine which fuel injector cleaner will fit best for your vehicle’s needs and your intended budget.

Frequency of use

Some fuel injector cleaners are designed for one-time use, while others need to be added each time you fuel up. These product types have varying price points, but try to estimate how much you’ll be spending with frequent usage comparing to a one-use product.

Engine suitability

Some of the most efficient fuel injector cleaners are not designed for diesel engine vehicles. Make sure to check for the compatibility of the product with your vehicle engine. Either ask the manufacturer or retailer about the product’s suitability for your car engine or do a quick online search for product specifications.

Using an incompatible fuel additive may create a lot of unwanted issues on your vehicle.

Enclosed instructions

Never buy a fuel injector cleaner that does not come with usage instructions. There’s a lot that you will probably miss out if you fail to follow instructions on how to properly use the product. Remember that while some of the best fuel injector cleaners are quite expensive, damaging your vehicle by not following usage directions will be more costly.

One significant detail that injector cleaners indicate in the label is the required fuel level before pouring the product in. Most products of this kind work optimally when you maintain a particular fuel level (as indicated by your vehicle’s fuel gauge).

Another important instruction has something to do with the right timing to start your vehicle. If you start up your car too soon, the product may not have slid down through the fuel line and injectors yet. Check the instruction manual for the recommended wait time before using your vehicle.

Top 3 Best Fuel Injector Cleaners

Find below the best fuel injector cleaners that are highly recommended by us, as well as several car manufacturers and dealers:

**Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

1. Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner - Best Fuel Injector Cleaner Overall

Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner best fuel injector cleaner products

via Amazon.com

This fuel injector cleaner from Red Line is a unique product designed for cleaning and prevention of moisture build-up, carbon deposits, and other debris. It has a polyether amine content of 30-50%, which means that you are getting the best quality of cleaning.

One of the outstanding features of Red Line Complete SI-1 is that it can handle the highest and lowest engine temperatures. It has been proven to provide positive performance results. If you are looking to thoroughly clean out your fuel system injectors and improve your vehicle’s engine performance, Red Line SI-1 is easily one of the best fuel injector cleaner products that you should consider.

Most fuel injector cleaners are intended for one purpose (i.e. for cleaning). Red Line SI-1 gives you an all-in-one product that you can use to prevent carbon deposits and other debris that can affect the performance of your vehicle.

In addition, octane requirement is reduced significantly. This means that it contributes to smoother functionality of the vehicle’s cleaning system, which in turn decreases the need for higher octane fuel and saves you money in the long-run.

On the flip side, the product may not work well for motorcycles and small vehicles that have not been used for a long time. It may be recommended to replace the fuel injectors instead. It is also likely for ethanol build-up to occur during the winter season, so it is best to warm up the vehicle for a few minutes before travel.

Overall, using this product gives you assurance that your vehicle will always be in great running condition.

Pros


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    ​Reduces the need for octane up to two points


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    ​Powerful yet non-abrasive


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    ​Restores fuel gauge functionality


Cons

  • ​Not designed for diesel vehicles

  • May not guarantee the elimination of sputter, particularly in motorcycles and small vehicles

Via Amazon.com

Among all the best fuel system cleaners, Chevron Techron may be the most popular. Coming from one of the leading companies when it comes to lubricants, refining fuels, and additives, Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus improves deposit control by cleaning corrosive sulfur deposits that accumulate in a fuel system. It has the ability to restore the efficiency and performance of your vehicle, and you can safely use this in all ethanol-based fuel systems.

Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus boasts of being at par with the best fuel injector cleaner products in the market. It is designed to clean carburetors, combustion chambers, fuel injectors, intake valves and ports, and gas gauge sensors. It also protects against fuel system sulfur deposits, and prevents gas gauge sensors from malfunctioning.

With its PEA composition, this fuel injector cleaner lowers emissions, reduces deposit-related engine knocking and pinging, relieves cold startup problems, and restores lost power and performance.

The best points of Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus is that despite using PEA technology, its price is budget-friendly. As a highly effective fuel system cleaning product from one of the most reputable companies in the industry, it provides the highest standard of efficiency while keeping the costs lower than its competitors.

All in all, this fuel system cleaner not only helps your vehicle maintain its good performance, but also allows you to save more due to a boost in fuel efficiency. Expect your vehicle to literally glide smoothly on the road!

Pros


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    ​Strong cleaning power using advanced PEA technology


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    ​Cost-effective


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    ​Produced by one of the most well-known automobile service companies in the U.S.


Cons


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    ​Not designed for diesel engine vehicles

3. 3 Pack BG 44k Bg44k Fuel System Cleaner Power Enhancer - Best Fuel Injector Cleaner for Increased Mileage

Via Amazon.com

BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner is made of high-quality detergents and additives that can help restore performance and gas mileage. It dissolves deposits in the intake manifolds, ports, combustion chambers, and on the valves, as it restores the flow in the fuel injectors.

With its unique combination, it does what is expected of it, in terms of eliminating carbon deposits and buildup in manifold and intakes. It can clean up the whole system efficiently when used regularly.

What we like the most about this product is that it is easy on the pocket. Even with its monstrous capabilities, you only spend a few dollars on their 11 oz. can, which is already enough to treat 20 gallons of gasoline.

The formula magically restores your vehicle’s engine performance and improves fuel efficiency.

One of the ingredients used in BG 44K is High Flash Naptha, a slow-evaporating aromatic that is used as a retarder. It acts in the improvement of the flow of other compatible chemicals.  It also deteriorates harmful carbon deposits, making it possible to easily flush them out of the engine.

You can definitely get your money’s worth with this 3-pack fuel system that comes with a free funnel to help you pour it into your fuel line easily.

Pros


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    ​One of the most affordable fuel system cleaners in the market


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    ​Easy to use


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    ​Reduces emissions


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    ​Reduces fuel consumption


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    ​Restores vehicle performance


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    ​Cleans the entire system if used regularly


Cons

  • ​May not be able to completely clean a vehicle that hasn’t been used for a long time

  • ​Need to use it several times before being assured that all deposits have been completely dissolved

Conclusion

We hope this buying guide for the best fuel injector cleaner can help you buy the right product for your specific needs. Based on this review, Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner takes the top spot for its significant impact on fuel efficiency and overall vehicle performance. Its synthetic upper cylinder lubricant component helps clean pollution control valves, intake valves, and other fuel line components.

With its fantastic features at a cost-friendly price, it’s no wonder that Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner is one of the bestselling fuel injector cleaners in the market.

Do you agree with our list of the best fuel injector cleaner additives? Feel free to share this information with your family and friends, and post your thoughts in the comments section.

[Featured image source]

Best OBD2 Scanner for Your Car

Looking for the best OBD2 scanner for your car? You might feel a bit confused to determine the best suitable scanner for you on the market, but here’s an extensive analysis of some of the best OBD2 scanners available.

This research will help save you plenty of time and effort while making it possible to make the right purchasing solution. Without further delay, here is a breakdown of the best OBD2 scanner devices.

Top 4 OBD2 Scanners

1. BlueDriver Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool – Best Overall OBD2 Scanner

Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool

Lemur is a small company based out in Canada, but their Bluetooth BlueDriver app and adapter are one of the biggest things to happen in the automotive diagnostics world. However, it’s not because the BlueDriver is a revolutionary device – after all, many other companies have Bluetooth adapters that work through specific smartphone apps.

In fact, some of the other solutions offer features that are closely similar to what’s available in this model. What makes BlueDriver stand out is its simplicity and great integration.

The BlueDriver is a one-off hardware purchase, and you can install its app on as many devices as you have. Also, the adapter unlocks all functionality, vehicle-specific modes, recall databases and service bulletins.

The system utilizes Bluetooth 4.0 protocols that are compatible with Android 4.0 or iOS 7.0 and higher devices. The app and adapter connect immediately and transfer data seamlessly between each other.

Lemur also offers drivers an extensive list of what their app can and cannot discover for specific vehicles through their compatibility list. Before investing in this tool, you should have a look at the list and see what you can and cannot get.

The black plastic casing of the device measures 2.25 inches long by 1.75 inches wide, large enough to accommodate an OBD2 plug on one end. The dongle will plug into your car’s OBD2 port, which is usually located under the dashboard on the driver’s side.

The app home screen features icons for the main functions, and the stripe along the bottom, labeled Live, is the shortcut for viewing data streaming from your engine. The secondary menu screen has icons for BlueDriver customer service, manual and ordering information.

For a novice, the app features a Read Codes function for interpreting error codes generated. You can use the Clear Codes function to reset the check-engine light, but if the problem still exists, the engine will send the code again.

The app also features the capability to print a Repair Report that interprets codes, showing what could have caused it and potential fixes. The reports are like having your own experienced mechanic in your pocket!

The BlueDriver app also throws in a handy flashlight feature that uses your phone’s LED flash. Use it whenever you need to dig around your engine or look for the ever-elusive OBD2 port.

Pros

  • A convenient tool for first-time users

  • Compact design that easily fits near the car’s dashboard end

  • App offers possible repair methods


Cons

  • The device’s app does not offer sufficient information to interpret live engine data


2. Launch Creader 6001 OBD2 Scanner Code Reader – Best Wired OBD2 Scanner

Launch_Creader_6001_OBD2_Scanner_Code_Reader

The Creader 6001 OBD2 unit features a simple design that makes it easy to read and clear trouble codes fast. Also, it offers you extensive information on your car through a set of enhanced features. Below is a brief review of yet another good OBD2 scanner tool and oxygen sensor by Launch.

This unit is capable of reading generic diagnostic codes for all OBD2-compliant cars as well as some manufacturer-specific codes. You can also determine whether your vehicle is ready to go in for an emissions testing and it’ll pass based on information available on your car’s onboard computer. With the 6001, you can also:

  • Scan codes
  • Clear codes
  • Monitor vehicle operation

Some of the extended Creader features include the capability for specific tests of the evaporative emissions system, oxygen sensor, and other OBD2 supported tests. A recording feature allows for capturing of the diagnostic and operating information for review once you disconnect the reader from the car. You can upload the recorded data to your computer using a USB cable.

The Creader also features comprehensive reference information on every diagnostic code, which gives you an idea of what the source of the problem is and you can order the right parts. With the information from the scanner, you get further information on diagnostic codes on the Internet.

The Creader 6001 is compatible with vehicles made after 1996 in the United States. The unit will also work with OBD2 protocol Asian and European cars made from 2001 to date. Furthermore, the scan tool supports ISO15765-4, SAEJ1850, ISO14230-4, and ISO9141-2.

The scanner features a built-in DTC designed to enhance fast problem identification. The Launch Creader 6001 offers responsive OBD2 PIDs, which request data from a car.

Pros

  • A help button offers access to basic OBD information

  • An inexpensive tool that performs all functions as advertised

  • Free updates available via the Internet


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    Works on 12V diesel engine cars


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    Enables adequate preparation for an emission test


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    Includes live data graphing feature


Cons

  • Lacks software for reading transmission or engine trouble codes

  • Cannot diagnose Airbag (SRS) and ABS systems

  • Doesn’t come with a battery

  • Few sensor tests available don’t function with every car brand

  • The software upgrade website is usually flagged as dangerous

  • Does not support connection to Android and iOS devices


Autel AL519 AutoLink Enhanced OBD ll Scan Tool

The Autel AL519 AutoLink features all that a basic and a professional scanner would have. If you are in the market for a midrange scanner, this is the right choice. This code reader is designed to troubleshoot your vehicle effectively.

The AL519 is easy to hold and operate with one hand. It measures 7.83 inches by 4.11 inches by 1.48 inches. The device’s TFT color measures 320 by 240 dot per inch resolution.

While the screen features vibrant colors, it’s also easy and clear to read. This is especially important if you prefer reading the information on the screen rather than feeding it to an attached laptop.

The AL519’s external power source is your car’s battery. Plus, it weighs 0.48kg with the wire included. You can use the AL519 OBD2 scanner just about anywhere without getting tied down to a workbench in your garage.

This scanner works with just about all vehicles manufactured after 1996. The array of cars include domestic and imported with OBD2 and CAN capabilities. Unfortunately, it does not cover cars before 1996.

The AutoLink’s package contains useful accessories like a long OBD2 cable, CD for software, a USB cord, and a handy case. The software is easy to install on your computer as long as you follow the instructions to the dot. You can also use the software to print all retrieved information and codes via a PC.

This Autel scanner model helps read trouble codes while providing a useful freeze data functionality from the time you first create the code. You can reset car trouble codes, and you get live views of the codes in real time.

You can record up to three sessions each about a few minutes long. This is a helpful feature that allows you to review the sessions on a PC, making it extremely convenient and easy to diagnose fairly complex problems.

The tool can retrieve lots of information very quickly and easily, including generic and manufacturer-specific codes, and pending codes, as well as vehicle CIN, CVN and VIN information.

The device also features a unique and popular I/M one-click readiness functionality. This feature helps you perform a fast state emission readiness check and cycle verification.

An integrated notification system in the gadget features a small speaker. This notification system produces audible sounds whenever your car is ready.

Pros

  • Simple, easy to use and intuitive interface

  • Improved notification

  • Comparatively affordable


Cons

  • ABS and SRS testing does not support many vehicles released before 2014

  • Software update no longer supported


4. Innova 3030g Diagnostic Code Reader/Scan Tool – Best Portable ODB2 Scanner

Innova 3030g Diagnostic Code Reader Scan Tool

The Innova 3030g is a basic essential code reader for the DIY car owner that informs you of the initial car diagnosis. The scanner features expert components that address the requirements of mechanics and professionals. Overall, it’s simple and easy to use for people just entering the car diagnostics world.

This code reader is capable of displaying all scanned data on a single screen. This feature is enhanced by its ability to display 25 scan data results at a go.

For instance, the display will show test results, and it’ll be available for scanning the mark. This means that technicians out there will home more than their requirements satisfied when using this scanner for repair purposes.

The Innova 30303g automatically refreshes the data on the screen every 30 seconds. This makes it a dependable and efficient diagnostic tool.

This OBD2 features a Rich component, which includes a USB port for allowing connections to external motors and components. Another feature that makes this scanner stand out is its ability to update via the Internet. This means you can manipulate your device to be compatible with cars that were previously not included in its range.

The plug and play component makes it easy to use, and the device’s engine scan allows technicians to verify scanned data easily. A direct feed function allows for transferring data frame freezes.

The 3030g is fitted with a backup battery that’s common in most Innova devices. This makes it easy to use the device even when you’ve turned off the ignition. Apart from this, this scanner is multilingual in the transmission of data – no more painful translation processes.

The Innova 3030g features a wide compatibility list that includes older OBD1 and newer OBD2 compliant cars. This is something largely attributable to the fact that you can update the scanner and a relationship that allows detection of generic code and specific manufacturer code.

Pros

  • Easy to use hotkeys

  • Supports all ODB2 protocol

  • Compared to ODB2 scanners in its quality range, it is the cheapest


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    Brings you unique capabilities


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    All icon monitor in one screen


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    Multilingual support for Espanola, François, and English


Cons

  • You need to purchase the website repair solutions software

  • Does not support ODB2 and SRS live data

  • Short cable

How to Choose the Best OBD2 Scanner for Your Car

By now, you may have gleaned some knowledge about the best OBD2 scanners and their functionality. The next thing you need to know is all about the different consideration you need to take into account when choosing a scanner.

Choosing the best OBD2 scanner for your car wouldn’t be as easy as it seems. When setting out to purchase one for yourself, you need to equip yourself with precise knowledge on the requirements of your vehicle.

Every car is unique and its needs ought to be treated this way, which makes choosing the best OBD2 scanner somewhat hectic. However, once you’ve installed one in your car, it becomes safer with a better driving experience compared to before. Plus, the right OBD2 scanner will help keep you confident about your car.

Before purchasing an OBD2 scanner, here are a few considerations you ought to take care of.

1. Expected Level of Functionality

The first thing you need to do is settle on what kind of tool you want; whether a high-end or basic model. The basic scanner offers limited functionality. It’s capable of a couple of things that are geared towards notifying you about issues that require a diagnosis.

The basic scanner is the best option if you’re working with a limited budget. The biggest disadvantage of such models is that they may not be compatible with some car models. However, they can be life-saving tools.

On the flipside, there’re the high-end models that feature advanced features and inspire greater confidence. These models are great for extended use and bring you functionalities like:

  • On-screen information for a better user experience
  • Live feed from sensors
  • ABS and airbag control
  • Printable codes and scanning results
  • Storage and data logging for future reference

2. Upgrade Capability

Cheaper OBD2 systems don’t usually have functionalities to upgrade their performance. While the high-end models are a bit more expensive, in the end, they are an acceptable bargain, especially if you can upgrade yours in the future.

A smartphone lets you update apps for better features and usability. The same way, upgradable scanner systems bring you more features that work with newer car models. Unfortunately, the updates might not be free, so it’s advisable you enquire about costs before making the purchase.

3. Compatibility with Your Car

The best OBD2 scanners feature five different signal processing procedures. This means you need to ensure that you are not faced with compatibility issues while installing one of these types of scanners. Some products are advertised as 100 percent compatible, but it’s always better to play safe before buying.

4. Type of OBD2 Scanner

As mentioned above, there are five different types of OBD2 scanners on the market, these are:

  • PC-based scanners – They draw power from a PC to work, and they are effective for diagnosing and troubleshooting car issues.
  • Bluetooth scanners – Such systems work via your smartphone and tablet through Bluetooth connectivity. These scanners can also work with computers and are usually advanced tools that detect, notify and troubleshoot sensor or engine issues.
  • Hand-held scanners – The devices you usually see used by mechanics and professionals to diagnose and detect engine, brake or transmission system problems. They are sturdy, advanced devices with more informative displays for data. Hand-helds often come in a package that consists of a power cable, power supply, an extra battery pack, and more.

5. Brand

When it comes to choosing products like an OBD2 scanner, the brand is a critical component that you should factor into your decision. The market is flooded with many quality brands that offer quality service for years. So, the choice is not limited, even when you only look at the top brands on the market.

Some brand names you should consider include Launch Tech USA, BlueDriver, Innova, and Autel. Fortunately, the review covers all these brands. Each of the brands offers car users a large variety of device ranges, which result in an extensive collection of products to choose from.

Characteristics of the Best OBD2 Scanner for your car

It’s possible to come up with a short list of basic characteristics you should be on the lookout for when purchasing the best OBD2 scanner:

  • The delay between reading and producing results should be as small as possible for greater accuracy
  • The system should be compatible with most car models and makes
  • Easy to use and understand
  • Capability to store data and information for future reference
  • Capable of running on all available platforms with errors or glitches
  • The scanner should have a database or software that’s upgradable to support new features
  • Display screen should be vibrant and large enough to offer great readability and categorization of necessary information
  • The scanner should feature alternative power sources
  • Attachments and adapters should be in the package and easy to replace in case of damage
  • The product should be well worth the money you are spending
  • The scanner should have wireless connectivity capability and modern amenities included
  • Lookout for a direct manufacturer’s warranty

Conclusion

If you’ve driven your car long enough, you will see a check engine light. When this inevitable scenario occurs, most people choose to call a mechanic.

On the other hand, some people would rather know what the problem is. Such people want to make sure that the issue is truly something that can only be handled by a professional. The latter category of people is the one that needs an OBD2 scanner.

The best OBD2 scanner offers you enhanced access to your car’s various mechanisms and systems and informs you if any of the components are failing. The information derived can then help you take remedial steps without searching every nook and cranny of the car. Moreover, the OBD2 scanners above are an excellent way of ensuring that your car is in a healthy condition all through its life.

Editor’s Pick

The feature list for the Lemur BlueDriver OBD2 LSB2 Scan Tool is truly impressive, making it the easy winner of the best OBD2 scanner title. As long as your car is among the long list of supported vehicles, this device will show you even the most difficult to remember trouble codes and reset them. The BlueDriver’s report sharing and live display functions make it the best unit in its class.

So, what do you think? Have you decided which is the best OBD2 scanner for your car?