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10 Reasons Why Innova Scanners Are Better Than Cheap OBD2 Scanners

By Joseph Kim
Published on March 25th, 2024

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If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re shopping around for the best OBD2 scan tool. And perhaps, Innova scanners are in your radar.

Top 10 Reasons why you should buy Innova scanners

Let us tell you why our scanners beat the competition in 2024. We’ll be brutally honest on our tools and only share what’s 100% true.

We’re not America’s No.1 diagnostic tool brand for no reason.

Reason 1: Authentic OEM Data Licensor

“What’s an OEM data licensor?” you may ask. In simple terms, it means that we legally contract data from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as:

  • Ford
  • Toyota
  • Honda
  • Mercedes
  • GM
  • Chevrolet
  • Hyundai
  • And so on…

This ensures that the data we provide you is as reliable as it can get. Even the slightest mishap in diagnostic information can lead to wrong fixes, which consequently can turn into expensive mistakes.

That’s why Innova plays by the rules. We pride ourselves as an American company and only want what’s best for our users.

Other cheap diagnostic brands may or may not obtain OEM data legally. If you purchase scanners that steal OEM data, you run the risk of having your scanner bricked at any given time.

To avoid buying scanners that steal OEM data, we highly recommend that you do your own thorough research. For starters, avoid companies that have a history of being sued. A simple Google search of “scan tools sued by Ford” should give you a good idea.

Reason 2: Rich Diagnostic Data

Did you know that Innova’s one of the nation’s largest holders of automotive diagnostic data? With over 500 million vehicle scans and 50 million verified fixes, we’re one of the most reliable brands to retrieve diagnostic information from.

Access Innova's diagnostic data with our OBD2 scanners

Primary Code Retrieval

One of the best benefits we offer is our ability to differentiate the primary code that’s causing your check engine light (CEL) to illuminate. Imagine plugging in an OBD2 scanner due to a check engine light and getting bombarded with 10 different diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). That’s just plain confusing.

Most CELs illuminate not because you have 10 different issues to fix, but because a single fault code causes a domino-effect of other issues. The rest of the codes are usually side effects. You just need to treat the root cause, and the rest usually go away on their own.

It’s like treating the flu. The flu causes you to have all sorts of symptoms pop up, like a sore throat. Treating the sore throat won’t make all the symptoms go away. But if you treat the root problem (flu)? You get the point.

In the same sense, we made it easier for you. Our diagnostic scanners run through all the retrieved trouble codes and identify the root cause behind your CEL. That way, you can focus on the root problem and avoid needless repairs.

Think of our scanners as a doctor capable of professionally diagnosing your vehicle’s health, which is possible thanks to our proprietary diagnostic database. Only with proper diagnosis can you reach the right fix.

Code Severity and Definition

Not only do we give you the code definition, but we also tell you how severe the issue is. This helps save you time and gets you on the right track towards proper vehicle fix, faster.

For example, we tell you the difference between each retrieved DTC such as whether it’s pending, stored, historical, permanent, and more. “Why is this important?” you may ask. Well, unlike a stored code, a permanent DTC usually indicates higher severity levels and won’t be erased unless the underlying issue is resolved.

A lot of cheap OBD2 scanners are unable to tell the difference and just dump them all in one go. This leads to more work as you have to manually search the code definition and find out the root cause out of 10+ possible issues.

If you’d like to read more about the differences between code types, click here.

Fix Advice

Perhaps the best part of owning an Innova branded scanner is getting access to our fix advice. Here’s how we provide you the most likely fix needed for your DTC.

Why you should choose Innova OBD2 scanners

The image above perfectly visualizes how Innova walks you straight to the answer. We help:

  • Detect the primary DTC (P0452)
  • Suggest the most likely fix (Replace Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor)
  • Provide direct links to purchase the part from your favorite retailer

Remember when I said Innova holds over 50 million verified fixes? These fixes were collected from Master Techs themselves, pooling in their decades of professional experience. Then, we cross-reference them again with another team of Master Techs for the highest possible fix accuracy.

Not only that, we also provide you direct links to the exact part needed to complete your DTC repair. How convenient is that?

Please do note that this is a RS2 app-specific feature (Reason 5).

Reason 3: Coverage Checker

Innova Coverage Checker

You may already be aware, but there are no OBD2 scanners out there that support every single feature. Each feature depends on:

  • The type of tool you purchased
  • Your vehicle’s year, make, and model

This is the reason why mechanics generally own more than 1 diagnostic scan tool from different brands. Each scan tool has its own specific purpose, and only excels at certain diagnostic areas.

To prevent unhappy users, we provide a self-selection tool called the Coverage Checker. With this tool, you can see the features our scanners provide that are specific to your vehicle’s year, make, and model. As a result, you’ll know the exact functions you’re paying for. Here’s an in-depth guide on how to use our Coverage Checker.

Not a lot of diagnostic companies offer a tool that tells you the exact features you’re purchasing. And even if they do, it can be pretty hard to navigate through the provided information.

Reason 4: The Perfect DIY Tool

Innova’s scanners are the perfect balance between an entry-level and professional-grade tool. While our scan tools can’t perform advanced recalibrations like ADAS, it serves extremely well for the average DIYer.

Innova OBD2 scanner perfect DIY tool

For example, the Innova 5610 comes with the capability to scan all systems, which allows you to diagnose all available modules such as the brakes, transmission, radio, windows, and so on. It also comes with bi-directional controls which allow you to turn on/off modules remotely…all without having to tear open your engine. Here are a few more benefits of the 5610:

  • Super long detachable OBD2 cable
  • Optional battery input for remote usage
  • Large, responsive buttons
  • Bright LCD colored screen
  • Extremely fast connection
  • Durable - drop tested at 6 feet

If you’d like to read more on the Innova 5610, you can do so here.

Reason 5: RepairSolutions2

If you purchased any of our OBD2 scanners recently, you’re automatically given free premium access to our repair app - RepairSolutions2.

Innova and RepairSolutions2 app

It’s currently the highest rated repair app in the United States! And once again, it’s not the highest rated app for no reason.

We do not charge subscription fees. The app is 100% free to use.

Diagnostic Information

As mentioned previously, Innova provides fix recommendations for your DTCs. This is possible by utilizing our proprietary cloud database which contains millions of verified fixes.

Not only that, we provide you a ton of other useful information, such as:

  • Direct links to fix parts
  • Emissions readiness status
  • Layman’s definition of DTC
  • Severity of DTC
  • Pending/permanent DTCs
  • And so on

Unlimited Scan Saves

You can save all vehicle scans directly to your phone, which is accessible anytime, anywhere. This comes in handy as you no longer have to write down notes on what issues your car had. It’s all saved in your account.

Export Scans

If you’re a mechanic and serve customers, you can easily export a vehicle scan as a PDF file and send it directly to your customer’s email.

Or, if you’re a DIYer that handles your family’s vehicles, it can be a super handy app to keep record of each vehicle’s maintenance.

RepairSolutions2 app report

No Tool? No Problem!

If you’d like a taste of what the repair app can do for you, try out our lite version. The lite version is available to anyone who doesn’t own a compatible tool.

Here are some of the features you can enjoy:

  • Upcoming maintenance
  • Predicted repairs
  • VIN decode
  • Technical service bulletins (TSBs)
  • Warranty information
  • Vehicle ownership cost
  • And so on

To start, simply go to the App Store or Google Play Store and search “Repairsolutions2”.

Reason 6: No Internet Connection Required

Our handheld / tablet based diagnostic scanners do not require internet connection. This makes our tools an excellent choice for those that don’t have steady internet or for those that go on road trips often.

OBD2 scanners that doesn't require internet connection

Some scanners suffer from connectivity issues. But for our handheld OBD2 scanners? It has never been an issue. All of our diagnostic data has been downloaded locally inside the scanners themselves.

That said, there are a few exceptions where internet connection is required (optional):

  • If you want to update the scanner
  • If you want to use our optional RS2 repair app
  • If you own one of our dongle-based OBD2 scanners

Reason 7: Free Updates & No Subscription

Unlike some scan tools, we do not charge users fees to update their firmware for the latest vehicle coverage. Innova provides all updates for free.

Innova OBD2 scanners no update fees

Some OBD2 scanners have hidden fees, where you can only access their premium features if you pay a subscription. Or, they lock you out from diagnosing the latest vehicles unless you pay for their update packages.

Did you know that some updates can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year?

Reason 8: No Batteries Required

You can store our scanners in your glove box for several years and as long as there is no physical damage, it should work perfectly fine!

Our OBD2 scanners are powered by your vehicle’s accessory fuses, which makes it a great option for road trip enthusiasts. It’s also a great investment for those looking for a long-lasting diagnostic tool. We have several users who bought our tools in the early 2000s and it still works in great condition to this day (March 2024).

Reason 9: American Support

Innova isn’t a small company. We’re based in Irvine, Southern California and employ American engineers and customer support teams. We speak fluent English & Spanish and actually answer our phones/emails.

Innova Electronics Company

Innova’s test workshop

We have a strong support system proven by the years we've been in business. Some diagnostic companies fail to provide product support/updates after just 1-2 years, like it was for this person. But Innova stands proud and offers real support with real people.

So if you have any questions, please do not hold back and contact us! We’re happy to answer any questions you have. It’s our job to ensure that you have all the information you need and provide assistance in any way possible.

We are available by phone, email, or live chat Monday ~ Friday 6AM - 6PM PST.

Reason 10: 30+ Years of Innovation and Engineering

Innova Electronics is an industry leader when it comes to providing diagnostic tools to the automotive aftermarket.

Since the year of 1990, we’ve been going strong at researching, developing, and designing high quality diagnostic products. With the help and leadership of our in-house Master ASE technicians, our team of engineers continually strives to push the boundaries of innovation and develop diagnostic tools that meet the ever-evolving needs of the automotive industry.

Furthermore, Innova boasts ownership of over 65 patents in automotive diagnostics, duly recognized and approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). These patents underscore our position as pioneers in advancing diagnostic technologies within the automotive community.

Nationally recognized and awarded by industry giants like Autozone and NAPA, Innova is here to make your diagnostics easier.

Bonus: A Community Spirit

We listen to our users and actively work on improving our products.

For example, we have a community section where we encourage users to submit their ideas & requests. We forward these ideas to our engineers and have them seriously consider the suggestions. In fact, we’ve already implemented a few of them!

We also regularly host surprise events, giving out awesome rewards. Some win thousands of dollars in cash.


Hope this article was helpful! It’s my goal to spread knowledge about the benefits that Innova offers. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact our customer support team or leave a question on our community board.

If you’re interested in learning about the downsides of our tools, check out our article on the top 5 reasons why you shouldn’t buy the Innova 5610. Our goal is to build trust within the DIY community and we’re actively aiming to do so by being transparent.

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