Reader Question: Scan Tool Recommends?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! 

Mooeing asks: I’m going to start a side business as a mobile mechanic. I was wondering if you had experience with any OBD2 scanners that you liked. I’m trying to keep the budget under $1,000. Thank you!

My reply: I’m going to ask my buddy who runs a shop his thoughts on this and will post an addendum once I have. But first, here are mine…

A general OBD II scan tool that will enable you to pull/decipher codes will cost you a lot less than $1,000. Mine cost me about $175. The main upside to OBD II is that the scan tools are universal. The OEMs, of course, dislike this – and some have proprietary tools which you’ll need to access/service some of their vehicles, or some of their systems.

But I think a basic/good quality scan tool will enable you to do a lot of basic service and – this is my opinion, for what it’s worth – I’d start out with as modest an investment in the start-up business as possible and build the business as your income grows.

I have numerous friends who swing by my place to have me clear codes/check “little things” – which I am happy to do, gratis, because I get paid back when I need a favor from them!

I will post more on this shortly, after I gabble with my mechanic amigo; stay tuned!

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. I am a huge fan of the BlueDriver product. Pulls more codes than any other OBD scanner I’ve owned. At hundred bucks on Amazon it’s a steal.

  2. The Innova 3100a is a good one as it will read the GM 1995 OBD 1.5 oddball setup if required.

    These were GM with an OBD 2 port but an strange not quite OBD computer.

    Just make sure it is the 3100a. The rest won’t read 1995 cars.

    SHould be around ~$150 or less.

  3. Harbor Freight has good scan tools for cheap. My recommendation would be to get one the also reads and resets ABS codes. This goes w/o saying the ability to display live data and record it too. You can get a scan tool that does this for under $200


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