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Sept 21, 2022 Update: We have a new service to help you find the best OBD2 Scan Tool. Just select the features and the best matching products appear. Check it out.
When it comes to running your own diagnostics, finding a reliable Car Code Reader is of utmost importance.
After all, this is what you actually use to conduct these diagnostics.
And if your code reader isn’t up to scratch, then how can you expect the results of your diagnostic to be accurate?
They do say that misinformation is worse than having no information at all, and in the case of automotive diagnostics this is definitely true.
Being wrong about the issues your car may be facing or the overall health of your vehicle can end up costing you money and time later down the line due to a poor diagnostic.
However finding a reliable code reader can be tricky.
I mean, even just a simple search such as ‘Car Code Reader’ will pull up TONS of results, all proclaiming themselves to be the best code readers out there.
Narrowing it down to the code reader that fits your budget AND your needs can be very tough, and that’s why we put together this guide.
In this guide we bring you the BEST OF THE BEST as far as car code readers are concerned, with a product dedicated to high end, mid tier, and low end budgets.
We also have a section on the RepairSolutions2 App, our car code reader and general automotive diagnostics app that walks you through car diagnosis, providing information on what repairs are needed and how much it will cost.
We’re kicking this Car Code Reader guide off with a bang, as we present to you the Innova CarScan 5610; the most feature rich and premium quality you can get.
We recommend this tool to people looking for the very best in automotive diagnostics, with the budget to back up their desires for the very best in results.
The 5610 is the premium in code readers, but it’s price tag of $411.75 is relatively cheap given the features it has.
Let’s break down the key features on the 5610.
One of the special features that really makes this a premium range tool is it’s special reset functions.
Because of these functions, the #5610 is able to use dealership level re-learn procedures, which is incredibly useful for full on repairs or general maintenance.
This tool also has an enhanced data stream, meaning that with this tool you can view advanced systems such as ABS, SRS, Transmission, and Engine.
With this you can get closer to that all important data that can make or break a diagnostic.
But the features don’t stop there!
In fact there’s still some icing on the cake that is the #5610, and that is it’s Bi-Directional capabilities.
This is a huge plus for this code reader device, as the user can use this ability to test key functionalities such as fuel pump on/off, or to retract an electronic parking brake.
As well as these special features, the #5610 is also able to fulfil the following features:
– OBD1 Coverage
– Read Hybrid Battery Cell Voltage
– Live data streams
– Support for ALL 10 0BD2 modes
– Emissions/Smog Checks.
– All systems network scans.
– Oil Level & Oil Life monitoring.
– Battery/Charging System Testing.
– SRS Airbag Code reading.
– BMS Battery reset/initialization.
– Bi-Directional Active Tests.
– Oil Light reset.
– Top quality Bi-Directional OBD2 Software.
If you’d like to learn more about this Car Code Reader, then just check out this video we made about it.
We could talk about this high end tool all day, but here at Innova we value our customers feedback higher than our opinions of it.
You want to see what customers who have spent their hard earned money on this item think of it, and we’re gonna show you.
Just check out some reviews we received for the 5610:
“Excellent Product! You Can’t Go Wrong.”
“Excellent mid- to high-level tool in its price class.”
“This tool fills a much needed gap in the market.”
“Quick and easy to use, great results.”
“Shop quality diagnostic at home.”
All in all, the Innova 5610 is the best of the best as far as code readers go.
It’s the most feature rich tool that you can pick up, not to mention that it has rave reviews from those who have bought and used it as well as having the Innova hallmark that means it is a top of the line tool.
If you’re interested in adding the 5610 to your arsenal, then just click here, it’s that easy.
Next up in this ultimate guide to Car Code Reader’s is the Innova CarScan 5410.
This is that sweet spot between low and high budgets, and this tool is stacked with some impressive features that make it an affordable device with high end elements.
Due to it’s depth of features and it’s tiny price tag of $212.00, this is a favorite amongst DIY mechanics who are looking for shop quality diagnostics without breaking the bank and having to leave their home.
Let’s dive into some of the key features of CarScan 5410.
Firstly, this code reader has SRS functionalities, which provides the user with the power to diagnose and clear safety systems of a variety of vehicles.
This includes most 1996 and newer domestic, European, and Asian vehicles.
This device also has specialties regarding the oil contents of a vehicle.
With this tool you can reset your oil maintenance light, as well as monitor oil level and oil life; important maintenance information which is necessary for servicing any vehicle.
Perhaps one of the main strengths of this code reader is in it’s data based capabilities.
This device has a live data graph, and with this the user can compare multiple vehicle systems in real time, with easy to read data graphs, bringing you closer to the data that matters to diagnostics.
Not to mention that this is a code reader with all system network scan abilities, meaning that you can clear all ECU modules and their trouble codes.
Aside from these key features, this car code reader also has the following:
– ABS/Brake Codes: Read and Clear
– Battery Charging System Test
– Emissions/Smog Check Readiness LED indicators
– Supports all 10 OBD2 Modes
If you’re interested in learning more about this mid range device, then feel free to watch this video.
After learning about it’s features, we imagine you’re eager to learn what our customers think of this tool.
And we didn’t disappoint. Here’s some of our customer feedback on the 5410:
“Good tool for a good price”
“A full-featured diagnostic tool”
“Great for DIY auto work”
“This saved my son a boat load of $$!”
“Better than expected”
To conclude, the 5410 is the perfect tool for somebody who’s looking to strike the sweet spot between low and high budgets.
It’s affordable, but is still stacked in its features and with it’s small price tag it is a great tool for people looking for an affordable tool.
The reviews speak for itself, and it’s clear that people who have purchased this tool speak highly of it’s features and how the quality is really above it’s price tag.
If you’re interested in picking up this Car Code Reader, then all that you have to do is click here.
To bring this guide to OBD Code Reader’s to a close, we’ll be looking at the Innova CarScan 5210.
This is the cheapest tool on the list, with a price tag of just $117.64!
This is the PERFECT tool for somebody who’s looking to break into DIY mechanics either for the first time, or who just wants to save a dollar or two on their equipment.
This may be a cheap tool, but it does have some great features.
Let’s dive into the features of this budget friendly car code reader.
One of the interesting elements of the 5210, is it’s code severity level feature.
This informs you of the severity of the issues your vehicle is facing, definitively telling you whether your car needs a repair immediately, or if it can wait.
The 5210 also comes with a unique, patented, all in one color display with hotkeys.
This means the 5210 can accommodate over 20 pieces of information on a single screen, so you can find the problem faster instead of wasting your time scrolling through menu’s.
As far as key features go, this tool also has a ‘freeze frame’ feature that can be particularly useful.
With this feature, you are able to display all your vehicle’s information from when a trouble code was triggered.
This means you can really put your finger on what the issue is, and how to fix it.
And of course we can’t forget that this code reader also enables the user to carry out things like check engine light repair and carry out Smog checks.
Looking to learn more about this cheap code reader? Then watch this video!
We’re sure you’re aware of the value we place on customer satisfaction, so please, check out these customer reviews!
“This is an excellent tool for the DIY mechanic or layman”
“Got the job done. Great product and great price.”
“Excellent is the Word”
“This is an awesome tool…great price as well!”
“We own this reader for about 3 years now and – like others said – it paid for itself the first time we used it.”
“it saved me hundreds of dollars”
”It has already saved me some money!”
“Does what it says it will do”
“Great unit for the price”
“Good Product at a Fair Price”
These reviews really speak to the quality of the 5210. This is a cheap, budget car code reader that delivers a quality above it’s price tag.
If you’re interested in picking up this budget tool and kickstarting your vehicle diagnostics, then just click right here!
And just for good measure, we’ve included a comparison table underneath this text, to aid in your decision making.
We’ve also included a guide on how to use our FREE companion app that will walk you through the process of repairing your vehicle.
We’ve just covered an awful lot of information on Car Code Readers , so we put together this table to help illustrate the differences in each product.
This should streamline the process of comparing each one.
And underneath we have information on how to use your Car Code Readers, and how to get the most out of your tool with our exclusive RepairSolutions2.
Check Engine Light
Battery System CheckLive Data
10 OBD2 Modes
ABS Bleeding TPMS / Tire Pressure
Special Reset Functions
Enhanced Data Stream
Bi-Directional Active Test
To ensure you can get up and running with your Car Code Reader, we decided to provide some information on how you use it.
Step 1 – Firstly, plug the car code reader into your vehicle and turn the vehicle on.
This will automatically connect your tool to the vehicle and will read the CEL.
Step 2 – To access ABS related information on your tool, navigate to system status, and then to the ABS section as seen in the image below.
Step 3 – Then you should be good! The tool will display some info regarding your vehicle and it’s ABS system.
If you have any issues with getting set up after this step-by-step guide, then don’t worry.
Just get in touch with us and we’ll resolve any issues you have with our 24/7 ASE certified customer service.
One of the perks of purchasing a Car Code Reader from Innova Electronics is that you receive our companion app, RepairSolutions2, completely free!
The app helps you get more out of your tool, by displaying the needed repairs and parts of your vehicle, as well as the cost of repair for your vehicle.
The application is available on the PlayStore and AppStore, and provides an added dimension to your tool that just isn’t rivalled by anything else on the market.
It can also be particularly useful to acting upon the issues you find within your vehicle when diagnosing your car.
And it’s a lot cheaper than going to the mechanic!
Step 1 – Download the app off whatever app market you operate in.
Step 2 – Then, simply pair it with your Car Code Reader by following the instructions you’ll see in the app itself.
Step 3 – Thirdly, receive your report after the data uploads to the app.
What happens after these 3 steps is twofold depending on what occurs.
IF your SRS code has a known repair, it will tell you there’s a fix available. After this happens it will put together an SRS report element for you.
This means that the app will handily put together a report that shows what parts are needed and how much it would cost to repair.
If a fix ISN’T available then you don’t have to worry. Your code information will be inside of the Needs Attention report element.
Following this, Innova techs will begin to look into your issue to produce a solution for you. After they begin investigating your issue a fix may be available for you within just 10 business days.
That’s it for this ultimate guide to Car Code Readers.
Looking for a different type of scan tool? Then check out our guide to Bi Directional Scan Tools here!
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