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Best Actron Scanners [Complete Review & Buying Guide]

As a vehicle owner, you must have an Actron scanner or other vehicle code scanner. These OBD2 scan tools can help diagnose or verify vehicles’ mechanical failures, primarily used to get data and record the detected problems.

This article covers the best versions of Actron OBD2 scanner in giving insights about the health of your vehicle. Let’s get a detailed product review and information on Actron.

Best Actron Scanners: Comparison Chart

BEST OVERALL RUNNER UP GREAT PICK
Actron CP9690 Elite
Actron CP9690 Elite
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Actron CP9680 AutoScanner Plus
Actron CP9680
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Actron CP9660
Actron CP9660
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Customer Rating
4.54.5 / 5

4.44.4 / 5

4.54.5 / 5
PriceActron CP9690 EliteActron CP9680Actron CP9660
Item Weight3.6 pounds8.32 ounces8.8 ounces
Product Dimensions4 x 11 x 13.5 inches8.9 x 12 x 2.1 inches9.4 x 5.7 x 1.15 inches
SummaryThis Actron OBD II scanner is a premium tool that can read both ODB I and ODB II. It is an excellent choice for amateur and expert mechanics.This Actron code reader is essentially used to examine and diagnose trouble codes that cause the engine, ABS, and Airbag lights to illuminate.This compact and portable scanner offers extensive vehicle coverage. It is small in size but can deliver results accurately.
ProsThe CodeConnect feature enables a rapid diagnosis. It can document the engine data and playback when necessary.Easy to use because of the LCD screen. Navigate the scanner quickly.CP9660 can view the results even in poor light conditions thanks to its backlit display.
ConsThe process of software update takes a long time.The Actron CP9680 cannot test individual sensors.It has no battery system monitor.

Actron Brand Introduction

Actron Manufacturing started in 1964, which has three divisions currently. It includes Actron®, the product line that focuses on helping the do-it-yourself community. They have advanced manufacturing technology and the most experienced group of engineers in the industry of automotive diagnostics.

Actron diagnostic tools help you save money and time through preventive measures. This product line brought the highest sales volume to the company. Still, the company is looking forward to more improvements and growth.

Why Buy an Actron Scanner?

Actron scan tool links to the vehicle system to provide an analysis of code and information. Here are some reasons:

  • Beneficial for tenure technicians and DIYers.
  • Determine the cause of the vehicle’s defects: Through the help of Actron code scanners, you can verify the current troubles before it leads to a more severe problem.
  • Save money: Repairing and replacing the vehicle’s engine can be more costly rather than doing the preventive measure.
  • Lifetime support: You can update Actron diagnostic tools online through the Scanning Suite application. This way, owners can utilize the latest automotive diagnostic technology without repeating the procurement. 

Types of Actron Scanners

Actron provides a vast range of product lines that can accommodate the needs of the market. Some Actron scan tools can work with older models, while some can check the latest vehicle models.

  • Actron Autoscanner: It is a flexible Actron scan tool that offers all the features you need to analyze and interpret serious automotive diagnostics for amateur or professional technicians.
  • Actron U-scan: U-Scan offers DIYers Actron code readers that can be used through smart mobile devices. This tool performs a quick analysis of the vehicle and reads code definitions.
  • Actron Pocketscan:  Actron has a Pocketscan code reader, which has an easy-to-use tool. This type of scanner is suitable for DIY customers.

Price Range of Actron Scanners

  • Below 50$: The display is simple with necessary information but is upgradeable. This primary Actron scan tool is beginner-friendly, which demonstrates an easy way of use. However, some devices can only be utilized on OBD-II vehicles made in 1996 and later.
  • 50$-200$: Most scanners with this price can read and erase ABS codes, powertrain codes, and battery and alternator codes. These Actron scanners are excellent tools for DIYers that look for a more comprehensive tool but are still budget-friendly.
  • Above 200$: They offer a database that can give you feasible solutions upon detecting the scanner. It can record and print information to provide a physical copy, which you can review. 

Tips and Buying Guides

Key Features

There are various products under Actron, which you can use for your vehicle or business. But before procuring an Actron diagnostic tool, ensure that it meets the following requirements:

  • Usage and Compatibility: Not every Actron scan tool can analyze different vehicles. You must identify the purpose of the products. If you are building a mechanic business, you might opt to purchase an Actron code reader that offers in-depth data and probable solutions.
  • Features and Functionality: Actron diagnostic tools can look similar in design and display. However, some offer more advanced features and functions. It would be best if the tools have Special Service Functions like Oil Reset, EPB Calibration, Key Coding, ECU programming, and more. They are useful in analyzing and interpreting gathered data.
  • Setup and Method: Ensure that you are knowledgeable in setting up and in the process of data analysis of your chosen Actron scanner. A more straightforward setup and process that allows you to save time handling the tools.
  • Data Inference: One of the vital aspects that an Actron code scanner must-have is the generation and interpretation of codes. It must present the gathered data accordingly to inform the vehicle’s current status for the user or technician.

Other Considerations

Learning how to use Actron diagnostic tools can be challenging but cost-effective. As an owner or DIYers, you can make better decisions by understanding the tools’ data. It can prevent mechanical failures that might lead to accidents. Instead of relying on the third person, you can solve the problems of your vehicle quickly.

Moreover, some Actron scanners need to be plugged into the port. This way, it can provide periodic updates regarding the status of the automobile. Want to consult a professional mechanic? You can give them the information from your diagnostic tool. These data can help the mechanic in creating decisions.

But if you are building a business interconnected with this, it is more efficient to purchase an expensive tool that provides more detailed information and advanced features. You can use the internet to look for codes, which you are not yet familiar with. Then find solutions by digging for more information about trouble codes.

Best Actron Scanners Reviews

Editor's PicksProductsOur Rating
Best OverallActron CP9690 Elite9.5/10
Runner UpActron CP96809/10
Great PickActron CP96609/10
Best Budget BuyActron CP9125 C8.5/10
Also GoodActron CP96708.5/10

Actron CP9690 Elite OBDI & OBDII Scan Tool

Actron CP9690 Elite
Actron CP9690 Elite OBDI & OBDII Scan Tool
4.54.5 / 5
Actron CP9690 Elite OBDI & OBDII Scan Tool is an excellent diagnostics tool that can work with ODBI and ODBII. It is an excellent investment if you are creating your own mechanic business.

This Actron scanner can work together with a vast range of vehicle models and brands. One of its highlight features is its compatibility with both OBDI and OBDII. Furthermore, it can cover various brands from 1996 up to new imports.

Additionally, Actron CP9690 Elite provides advanced features that help reboot the car engine oil light and turn off the battery light on most compatible vehicles.

The CodeConnect feature of this tool enables you to find feasible solutions for your trouble codes. Through its colossal database with proven and verified to be significant repairs, you can trust their recommendations. The Actron scanner also has a live engine data feature, which documents the information. The feature is valuable for repair shops in decision-making.

Also, CP9690 can read ABS/SRS, DTCs for various vehicles. It also offers a trilingual readout to reach more consumers.

Verdict

Actron CP9690 Elite OBDI & OBDII Scan Tool is an excellent diagnostics tool that can work with ODBI and ODBII. It is an excellent investment if you are creating your own mechanic business.

Pros

  • Compatible with ODBI and ODBII.
  • Easy-to-use design and function.
  • The CodeConnect feature provides a quick diagnosis.
  • Live data documentation for different car models.
  • It offers a trilingual nature, which is Spanish, French, and English.

Cons

  • The process of software update takes a long time.
  • It’s more expensive than others.

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Actron CP9680 OBD2 Scanner

Actron CP9680
Actron CP9680 OBD2 Scanner
4.44.4 / 5
Actron CP9680 OBD2 Scanner is easy to navigate and has CodeConnect technology. More than that, a comprehensive diagnostic capability is exceptional. Suitable for DIYers. 

This Actron ODB2 scanner provides efficient and accurate diagnostics through its Codeconnect technology, responsible for its comprehensive databases. It can also view and read ODBII vehicles developed from as early as 1994. Plus, this gadget can fix and troubleshoot vehicles specifically.

It provides live data in real-time and printed form for better decision-making. The graphical presentation of this scan tool allows the users to come up with an excellent diagnosis and analysis. More than that, you can upgrade online, upload, and download data through the USB port. Actron CP9680 is easy to navigate and has a trilingual menu.

The CP9680 can accommodate domestic and imported vehicles, even generic car models from other countries. It can connect with ODBII compliant vehicles.

Verdict

Actron CP9680 OBD2 Scanner is easy to navigate and has CodeConnect technology. More than that, a comprehensive diagnostic capability is exceptional. Suitable for DIYers.

Pros

  • The LCD is easy to read and use.
  • Support battery and alternator charging.
  • Excellent customer service for clients.
  • Read airbags and check engine light codes.

Cons

  • Cannot test individual sensors.
  • It lacks in PCM programming.

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Actron CP9660 OBD2 Scan Tool

Actron CP9660
Actron CP9660 OBD2 Scan Tool
4.54.5 / 5
Actron CP9660 OBD2 Scan Tool is suitable for people who are just starting to DIY or people who don’t need to deal with advanced issues. This is a quality-entry-level and budget-friendly scanner.

The user-friendly interface can help the new DIYers navigate this Actron diagnostic tool easily. For example, buttons and instructions are apparent in the display, but you can always check the manual if you are confused.

It can be stored and kept inside a pocket or a small compartment which is easy to transport. Although this OBDII scanner is small, it can provide an accurate and quick analysis of the vehicle’s condition. Moreover, it is compatible with a massive range of vehicle models and brands.

The backlit display helps users to view the results even in poorly lit areas. CP9660 also works with CAN and TrueLink Technology that ensures the connection of the scanner with any ODBII compliant (1996 and newer vehicles).

Verdict

Actron CP9660 OBD2 Scan Tool is suitable for people who are just starting to DIY or people who don’t need to deal with advanced issues. This is a quality-entry-level and budget-friendly scanner.

Pros

  • Portable and lightweight.
  • Backlit display that enables users to view the results even in poor lighting conditions.
  • Works with CAN and TrueLink Technology.

Cons

  • Limited functions, unlike other Actron scanners.

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Actron CP9125 C OBD2 Code Reader

Actron CP9125 C
Actron CP9125 C OBD2 Code Reader
4.74.7 / 5
Actron CP9125 C OBD2 Code Reader is suitable for DIYers who want to gather relevant and useful decision-making data. This Actron code scanner help owners check their car’s status without depending on repair shops.

The Actron CP9125 C is a simple Actron ODB2 scanner. Although the design looks plain and old school, it can do the work. The minimalist design of this scanner is easier to manage for DIYers and new technicians. Actron CP9125 C Pocketscan OBDII scanner can view and read all diagnostic trouble codes. Moreover, it indicates the number of DTC’s inside the system.

It has only two physical buttons on the device. The left button is designated to read the trouble codes and scroll down. In contrast, the right button is to erase the codes.

Actron CP9125C is compatible with all OBD-II vehicles, whether foreign, domestic, or import. While other scanners have trouble diagnosing automobiles that utilize CAN or CAN-BUS, this Actron code reader can work on that problem. True Link Technology can ensure that they can connect and communicate with all OBD II compliant vehicles.

Besides, it is lightweight and small, which can fit inside your pockets to bring this with you every day.

Verdict

Actron CP9125 C OBD2 Code Reader is suitable for DIYers who want to gather relevant and useful decision-making data. This Actron code scanner help owners check their car’s status without depending on repair shops.

Pros

  • Works along with all 1996 and newer OBD-II vehicles.
  • The True Link Technology guarantees rapid and easy communication with all OBDII compliant vehicles.
  • Light and compact, which you can carry easily.

Cons

  • Not technologically-advanced, unlike other Actron scanners.
  • Not wireless.

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Actron CP9670 OBDII Scanner

Actron CP9670
Actron CP9670 OBDII Scanner
4.54.5 / 5
Actron CP9670 OBDII Scanner is an incredible code reader with both primary and unique features to offer. It is easy to use and upgradable through an internet connection.

The Actron CP9670 provides a comprehensive analysis of your automobile’s health status. This Actron code scanner assures accurate diagnostics on your vehicle. It can find and target the engine problem, whatever that may be. After linking to the vehicle, the CP9670 scan tool can record and keep the analysis results.

This scanner also comes with an incredible colossal screen that displays every data gathered from the tests. It has an easy-to-use interface, which helps you navigate better.

Besides, this Actron code reader works with a vast range of automobiles built between 1996 and 2013. More than that, it also highlights the live data presentation and CodeConnect to provide an excellent performance to the consumers.

This Actron code scanner is sturdy, compact, and easy to use. You can even fit it in the palm of your hand. Storing this is not a hassle for you.

Verdict

Actron CP9670 OBDII Scanner is an incredible code reader with both primary and unique features to offer. It is easy to use and upgradable through an internet connection.

Pros

  • Check engine light and provide live data documentation.
  • Read and erase ABS, SRS codes, and DTCs.
  • Update option.

Cons

  • Takes a long time to update.
  • It has no battery system monitor.

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Recommendation: Top 3 Actron Scan Tools 

We recommend Actron CP9690 Elite for personal users but also for a start-up business. Since it can support both ODBI and ODBII, you can cover a wide range of vehicles. Other than that, the advanced technology provides trilingual nature.

The runner-up, Actron CP9680 is suitable for owners and technicians because of its CodeConnect technology and intuitive interface. This OBD2 scan tool is perfect for beginner and moderately experienced DIY mechanics.

Lastly, a quality entry-level scan tool that offers a vast range of beginner DIYers features. Actron CP9660 is budget-friendly and can save you money from visiting repair shops.

FAQs

How do I use my Actron CP9690?

💡 This Actron OBDII scanner has various cables to link to both OBD1 and OBD2 compatible vehicles. Upon connection, the device will explain the following steps. If you have other necessary inquiries, you may refer to the manual.

How do I update my Actron CP9690?

💡 To update your Actron scanner, you can use the device’s USB port. Follow the guidelines on Actron’s website to download the new firmware. Then, connect the scanner to your personal computer or laptop to update and verify if the process has been completed.

Will CP9670 work on the 2016 Ford escape?

💡 Yes, the Actron CP9670 is compatible with all 1996 and newer cars and trucks built for sale in the U.S.

What is inside the box of Actron CP9125 C?

💡 It includes the Actron CP9125 C Pocketscan Code Reader and manual.

How to check engine light using CP9125 C?

💡 Connect your car code reader into the Actron CP9125 C Pocketscan. Start the automobile and follow the reading procedure according to the instruction manual.

Final Thoughts

To summary, you should consider many factors before purchasing any Actron scanner: your purpose, the scanner’s technology, the design, your budget…

We hope that you can find the most suitable Actron scan tool for all your needs. The choice is yours. Good luck!

Bonus: Best INNOVA Scan Tools [Full Review and Buying Guide]

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