Are you exhausted from taking your car to a mechanic? Or do you want to diagnose your vehicle upfront before visiting a mechanic? Worry not, as we’ve got you covered. If your vehicle was manufactured before 1996, we’ve featured some of the best car automotive obd1 scanners that you can get. If you don’t know the differences between obd1 and obd2, then check here. You may find lots of quality obd2 scanners on the market. But, finding a reliable OBD1 scanner reliable OBD1 scanner is challenging.

Hence, that’s why we’ve highlighted some of the best OBD1 scanners to simplify your work. The units that we included are easy to use, dependable, sturdy, and affordable. Ensure to choose a diagnostic scanner that matches your needs and budget.

What does OBD1 mean?

OBD1 was introduced in 1991, but this system does not support all older cars. The diagnostic system was first made for vehicles sold in California between 1991 and 1996. However, this scan tool is only compatible with one car model, meaning it is manufacturer specific. And that’s why it cannot run on two different vehicles even with the same engine problems. OBD1 scanners are also connected via an OBD port with no wireless options.

Note: An OBD2 scan tool is an advanced unit derived from the OBD1 code reader. OBD1 was improved to diagnose all vehicles with a lot of ease.

3 Best OBD1 Scanners Comparison Chart

CompareLAUNCH X431 V+Autel MaxiPRO MP808KInnova 3120e
  • ECU Online Coding
  • Injector Coding
  • OEM All System diagnoses
  • 31+ Services (ABS, BMS, SRS, BCM, TPMS, and A/C system)
  • Anti-theft IMMO
  • AutoAuth
  • Nox Sensor Reset
  • Bi-Directional Control
  • VAG Guided Functions
  • Live data
  • Freeze Frame Data and more…
  • ECU & Injector Coding
  • KEY FOB programming
  • Auto VIN
  • IMMO Keys function
  • Bi-Directional control
  • Reflash hidden functions
  • Cloud report management
  • 30+ Diagnostics Services (Oil Reset/Airbag Reset/EPB/DPF/BMS/SAS/ABS Bleed)
  • OE-level Diagnostic and more…
  • Retrieve OEM
  • Oil reset
  • ABS reset
  • Check Engine Light
  • KOEO
  • Timing Check
  • Cylinder Balance
  • Wiggle Tests and more…
Best For:Only ProfessionalsPro DIYers & MechanicsAll

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What to consider when choosing an OBD1 scanner?


One of the first things to look at when buying an OBDI diagnostic scanner is compatibility. Unlike an OBDII scan tool, OBD1 cannot work with any vehicle make or model. They only work with manufacturer-specific vehicles. Therefore, you need to ensure that the scanner you’re buying is compatible with your vehicle’s make, model, and year.


Another challenging thing about using an OBD1 scanner is accuracy. Most of the OBD1 scan tools are not very accurate, which is worrying. If you want to remove this doubt from your mind, it’s best to buy from reliable brands with a proven track record.

Features and functionalities

Before buying an OBDI scan tool, you have to know what you intend to use the tool to diagnose. If you want a simple canner to read and erase error codes, you should go for a basic scanner with a handful of functions. But if you’re a professional mechanic who deals with various cars and conducts a variety of tests, you require an advanced OBD2 diagnostic scanner. Such a scanner may be slightly costly, but it is worth investing in.

Ease of use

Like any tool on the market, some are easy to operate while others are challenging. For this reason, you need to pick a scanner that is easy to use. If you’re a beginner, choosing a sophisticated scanner may be troublesome if you don’t know how to operate it. Also, some units come with large screens, while others are tricky to read in the dark.


In most cases, the cheaper OBD1 code readers only come with basic functions. If you want an OBD1 scan tool with advanced functions and performance, you will have to dig deeper into your pockets.

8 Best OBD1 Scanner Review 2023

Here are the best OBD1 scan tools on the market:

Launch X431 V Pro Bi-Directional Full System Scanner

The Launch X431 V Pro Bi-directional full system scanner is the most advanced and best OBD1 scanner on our list. This unit performs both basic and advanced functions. These include read/clear DTCs, viewing live data, perform active tests and service functions for all systems. Other vital functions are ECU coding, matching, key fob, Auto Vin detection, Adaptation, and much more.

Technical Specifications of the Launch X431 V Pro Scan Tool

FeaturesLaunch X431 V Pro
Works:Over 68 car brands and 220 car models from America, Europe, Asia
Wifi & Bluetooth:Yes
Main Brands:Skoda, Opel, Citroen, Porsche, Rover, Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Acura, Lexus, Honda, Ford, Nissan, Lincoln, Mazda, etc
Software Update Option:Yes, 2-Years Free Update
Check Engine Light:Yes
View Live Data:Yes
Active Test:Yes
View Freeze Frame:Yes
Oil Reset Service:Yes
Tooth Learning/Anti-theft Matching:Yes
ABS, SRS, Body control module:Yes
Battery Register /Battery Maintenance:Yes
Warranty:5-year warranty
Price:Launch X431 V Pro Check Today’s Price

Apart from the variety of functions that this unit comes with, it is also beautifully designed for ease of use. Thanks to the large 8-inch display, that makes the reading of results easy. Additionally, it is fitted with the Android 7.1 operating system, which makes it fast and smart. Together with the Wi-Fi connection, this unit is very efficient in performance. The only challenge is that newbies may find it cumbersome and somewhat complicated to use. Choose one of the 24 languages to diagnose more than 150 car makes or over 1000 vehicle models.



Autel MP808K Diagnostic Scanner

Autel is famous for its high-quality and reliable diagnostic scanners. The Autel MP808K scanner is an upgraded version of the Autel MP808 and DS808 scanners. Therefore, it comes with some extra features that make this unit more advanced. The unit features 11 connectors that allow it to cover a variety of OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles. If you deal with many cars, you will be glad to learn that you can diagnose more than 80 cars from the US, Europe, and Asia, as long as they are OBD2 compliant.

Technical Specifications of the Autel MP808K – Upgraded Version

FeaturesAutel MP808
Vehicle Coverage:More than 80 US, Asian and European vehicle
Read & erase DTCs:Yes
View live data:Yes
Oil Reset:Yes
Turbo Acutator Calibration:Yes
Transmission Adaption:Yes
Throttle Adaptation:Yes
Upgraded version:Yes, of the Autel MP808 and DS808
Active Tests/Bi-Directional Control function:Yes
Reads and stores Data:Yes
Ideal for:both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles
Diagnoses all systems:Yes
Weight:14.85 pounds
Voltage:12 Volts
Update:12 Months of Free Software Updates
Warranty:12-month warranty
Price:Autel MP808KCheck Today’s Price

This diagnostic scanner’s notable functions include bi-directional control, injector coding, active tests, oil reset, BMS, SAS, and 23 services. Apart from that, it has a large screen for displaying outcomes. However, the processor is relatively slower, which is the only setback that this scan tool has.



Actron CP9690 Elite AutoScanner Kit Enhanced OBD I & OBD II Scanner

If you’ve been looking for a reliable and affordable best OBD1 scanner, the Actron CP9690 Elite automotive scanner is the perfect tool for you. Not only does this tool conduct OBD1 functions, but as well OBD2 functions. The unit reads and clears codes for three major systems: engine, ABS, and SRS. Along with that, it reads live engine data for both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles.

Technical Specifications of the Actron cp9690 trilingual OBD1

FeaturesActron CP9690
Support:OBD-I, OBD0-II
Views freeze frame data:Yes
Check Engine Light:Yes
Larger Screen:Yes
Works:ALL 1996 and later vehicles
Display:Easy-to-read color LCD screen
Powertrain and ABS Vehicle coverage:Yes
Record, playback, and graph live engine data:Yes
OBD I cables and coverage:Yes
Oil light and battery reset:Yes
Code Connect:Yes
Battery system monitor:Yes
Update option:Yes (Via the internet)
Dimensions:10.2 x 13.6 x 5.4 inches
Weight:3.8 pounds
Warranty:One year
Price:Actron CP9690 EliteCheck Today’s Price

The Actron CP9690 scanner is compatible with most 1996 and newer vehicles such as GM, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Chrysler, Hyundai, and Honda. However, it works on the following manufacturer-specific OBD1-compliant vehicles: 1984-1995 Ford & GM and 1989-1995 Toyota and Chrysler vehicles. And with the CodeConnect feature, users have 26 million experience-based fixes to look up to. Get to read all the results on the large 3.5-inch color display.



OTC 3211 OBD1 & OBD2 Scan Tool

If you’re a beginner who desires an easy-to-read and interprets OBD1 scan tool, the OTC 3211 is the ideal automotive scanner for you? This unit also doubles up as an OBD2 scanner, meaning you can utilize it to read and erase fault codes on most 1996 or later vehicles. This unit can be used on specific OBD1-compliant vehicles, including 1984 to 1995 GM and Ford and 1989 and 1995 Toyota and Chrysler vehicles.

Technical Specifications of the OTC 3211 Automotive Scanner

FeaturesOTC 3211
Works:All 1996 and newer cars and light trucks (OBD II and CAN)
ABS and Airbag/SRS coverage:For most GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, and Toyota vehicles
Global OBDII:Yes
 EVAP Leak Test:Yes, (Typical special test options include)
Airbag Diagnostic Functions:Yes
CodeConnect Top Reported Fixes:(over 26 million)
Multilingual:English, Spanish, and French
Update Option:Updated by connecting it to a computer
Live data:Yes
Oil Light Reset:Yes
Battery Reset:Yes
Battery/Alternator/Charging System Monitor:Yes
Reads and stores Data:Yes
Dual PID Graphing:Yes
ABS and Airbag lights:Yes
Weight:10.4 ounces
Price:OTC 3211 OBD1Check Today’s Price

OTC 3211 OBD1 and OBD2 scanners can be used by both professional and startup mechanics to diagnose all OBDII modes. These include the EVAP Leak test, O2 sensor test, Record/Playback of the live OBD2 data stream, and freeze frame data. Other functions that this unit tests include oil light reset, battery/charging system monitor, and battery reset.

The unit is easy to operate, with a large screen and clear buttons. In conjunction with CodeConnect’s top-reported fixes, you will have an easy time diagnosing your vehicles.



INNOVA 3140 OBD1 scanner

The INNOVA 3140 OBD1 and OBD2 diagnostic scanners offer value for money. The unit is well-built to last long and is easy to use. It has a compact design for ease of handling and storage. The large screen displays all the results, even in the dark.

Technical Features of the Innova 3140g Diagnostic Scanner

FeaturesInnova 3140
Vehicle Health Monitors for Instant Vehicle Emissions Check:Yes
Read & Erase ABS Light Trouble Codes for most GM, FORD, CHRYSLER, & TOYOTA:Yes
USB for tool Updates and Upgrades:Yes
Works:all OBD2 (1996 and newer)
Read & Erase Check Engine Light OBD1 Trouble Codes:Yes
View Live Data from your engine:Yes
Graph, Read, and Record Live data values from your engine:Yes
ABS, SRS Codes:Yes
View Live Data:Yes
LED Lighted Connector:Yes
Charging System Test:Yes
Read & Erase Check Engine Light OBD2 Trouble Codes with Battery Backup:Yes
Multilingual on-screen:English, Spanish, and French
Warranty:1 Year
Price:INNOVA 3140Check Today’s Price

You will be bewildered at the number of functions that you can execute with this scanner. It reads/erases error codes, monitors vehicle emissions, reads/erases ABS light trouble codes, and also provides SAE-enhanced live data. What’s more, you can update this unit to enable it to diagnose the latest vehicle makes and models.

With a multilingual menu and coverage of most 1996 and newer vehicles, this is a great bargain. It is also compatible with most 1981 to 1995 OBDI vehicles. You can also rely on this unit to provide you with precise results, and it comes with a 1-year warranty.



INNOVA 3145 Ford Digital OBDI Code Reader

Are you tired of seeing flashes when detecting error codes on your vehicle? Look no further, as the Innova 3145 digital OBD1 code reader is here to save you stress. This unit has a digital display that presents results in numeric trouble codes instead of flashes. So, no more counting of flashes.

Technical Features of the Innova 3145 Scan Tool

FeaturesInnova 3145
Works:Only Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln domestic vehicles and trucks manufactured from 1982 to 1995
Compatible with:MCU and the EEC-IV computer control systems
ABS/SRS Codes:Yes
Freeze Frame:Yes
Views stored codes:Yes
Memory feature stores codes:Yes
View Live Data from your engine:Yes
Comes with:Small screen for viewing results
Dimensions:10 x 2.1 x 6.25 inches
Weight:8.6 ounces
Easy-to-view digital display:Yes
Update Option:Free updates
Price:INNOVA 3145Check Today’s Price

What’s more, the INNOVA 3145 Ford digital code reader works on only Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln domestic vehicles and trucks manufactured from 1982 to 1995. It is also compatible with EEC-IV and MCU computer control systems. With its compact design, you won’t have trouble traveling with this tool as you can slide it into your pocket.

However, this unit comes with limited functions and coverage. Furthermore, it does not generate codes but only retrieves them. Nonetheless, it is easy to operate, and its memory feature can store codes even when the reader is unplugged.



INNOVA 3123 GM OBDI Code Reader

If you want an affordable best OBD1 scanner to diagnose your old car make, the INNOVA 3123 GM OBD1 code reader is the perfect tool. Despite its small size, this gadget can perform a variety of functions. You can use it to read or turn off the check engine light and diagnose ABS. Besides, it works on most GM domestic vehicles manufactured from 1982 to 1995. It will access the onboard computer of these vehicles to read ECM and ABS codes without harming them.

Technical Features of the Innova 3123 OBD1 Scanner

FeaturesInnova 3123
Works:Most General Motors domestic cars and trucks from 1982 to 1995
Display:2.8-Inch all-in-one color display
Read & Erase Check Engine Light OBD1, OBD2 :Yes
Read & Erase ABS Light:Yes
Simple to use:Yes
Weight:11.2 ounces
Multilingual:English, French, and Spanish
Dimension:10 x 2 x 6 inches
Price:INNOVA 3123Check Today’s Price

Surprisingly, the code reader also comes in multiple languages: English, French, and Spanish. The OBD1 code reader will not diagnose the problem but tell you what the problem is and to visit the mechanic with full knowledge. What’s more, it is user-friendly and comes with a guide that pinpoints the problem.



Innova 3120e Code Reader with ABS for OBD2 Vehicles

The Innova 3120e is among the budget OBD1/OBD2 scan tools on the market. Made by one of the top diagnostic scan tool brands on the market, the Innova 3120e code reader can be relied on to deliver accurate results. This unit comes with a large color screen for a clear display of results, even in the dark. And with the multilingual menu, users have the option of selecting a language that they understand best.

Technical specifications of the Innova 3120e diagnostic scan tools

FeaturesInnova 3120e
Battery/Alternator Test:Yes
Update option:Yes (Via the internet)
Works:ALL 1996 and newer vehicles
Freeze Frame:Yes
 Multilingual menu:Yes
Read & Erase Check Engine Light OBD1, OBD2 Trouble CodesYes
Live Data:Yes
Battery Backup:Yes
DTC Severity:Yes
Emissions Readiness:Yes
Fix Assist:Yes
EVAP Codes:Yes
Repair Solutions:Yes
Weight:3.54 pounds

The Innova 3120e automotive scanner is compatible with most foreign and domestic 1996 and newer OBD2 cars, SUVs, light trucks, and even Hybrids. It can also retrieve OEM-enhanced and transmission diagnostic trouble codes on famous 1982 to 1985 OBD1 vehicles. It can also read/erase ABS light on most OBDII-compliant Honda, Ford, Toyota, GM, and Chrysler vehicles. Innova 3120e is the best obd1 scanner for the money.




If you’re looking for a dependable and quality OBD1 scanner, you can select from our list above. OBD1 scanners diagnose most vehicles manufactured between 1982 and 1995. Unlike OBD2 scanners, these diagnostic scan tools are cheaper and easy to use. Make sure the car code reader you pick is compatible with the vehicle’s make and model. Also, it should perform the functions that you want it to. We hope you have found a quality and excellent OBD1 scan for your needs from this Best OBD1 Scanner Review article.


How do I tell if my car is OBD1 or OBD2?

When your car’s check engine light comes on, you should be able to diagnose it using a scanner. But how do you tell whether to use an OBD1 or OBD2 scanner? To start with, OBD1 supports only manufacturer-specific vehicles, while OBD2 is universal. OBD1 scanners work on cars made before 1996, while OBD2 work on cars made after 1996. OBD1 scan tools can only be connected via an OBD port, while OBD2 scanners can be connected via an OBD port and wireless connection. In terms of accuracy, OBD2 scanners are more accurate than OBD1 scan tools.

OBD1 vs. OBD2: What are the differences?

ComparisonOBD1 OBD2
Diagnosing Time:SlowFast
Supported Car Models:1991-19961996-Present
User Interface:Manufacturer-SpecificUniversal
Connection Type:Via cableWired/Bluetooth/Wifi
Professional Use:NoYes
Advanced Features:NoYes

Can I use OBD1 on even the latest vehicle makes and models?

No, you can’t. As stated earlier, OBD1 scanners worked on most vehicles manufactured between 1991 and 1995. Therefore, if your car is ancient or made after 1996, this tool cannot read or erase errors in your vehicle. Nonetheless, some scanners come with both OBD1 and OBD2 functions. The challenge is that you will only apply OBD1 to diagnose specific cars, while the OBD2 feature can be used for all vehicles as long as they are compatible.

Hi, I am Henry, the owner of this website. If you are a DIY car enthusiast like me and are looking for an all-purpose OBD2 scanner, you’ve come to the right place. With 5+ years of experience in the automobile industry, I have in-depth knowledge about most of the OBD2 scanners regarding their software versions, firmware, features, updates, and compatibility. I love reviewing these gadgets after using and testing them personally. As a result, I always try to provide my honest opinion on the overall product quality.

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