Bi-directional scan tools are small devices that are used to send commands to a predetermined control module. These tools can also receive feedback as well.
Below is a thorough review of some of the best bi-directional scan tools in 2020. Keep reading to find out which of these impressive tools are right for your needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Bi-Directional Scan Tools Review
- 1.1 LAUNCH X431 V PRO Bi-Directional Scan Tool
- 1.2 LAUNCH X431 V+ Bi-Directional Scan Tool
- 1.3 LAUNCH X431 PROS Mini Bi-Directional Scan Tool
- 1.4 INNOVA 5160 Pro CarScan Bi-Directional Code Reader
- 1.5 Autel MaxiPRO MP808 Bi-Directional Diagnostic Scanner
- 1.6 LAUNCH X431 DIAGUN V Bi-Directional Scan Tool
- 1.7 LAUNCH X431 Pro Bi-Directional OBD2 Scanner
- 1.8 FOXWELL GT60 Plus Bi-Directional Diagnostic Scanner
- 2 Recommendation: Top 3 Bi-directional Scan Tools
- 3 The Bottomline
Best Bi-Directional Scan Tools Review
First of all, let’s have a look at this table.
|Editor's Picks||Products||Our Rating|
|Best Overall||LAUNCH X431 V PRO||9.5/10|
|Runner Up||LAUNCH X431 V+||9.5/10|
|Best Value||LAUNCH X431 PROS Mini||9/10|
|Best Budget Buy||INNOVA 5160 Pro CarScan||8/10|
|Also Great||Autel MaxiPRO MP808||8.5/10|
Are you confused? Don’t worry, keep scrolling down to see why we believe that these bi-directional scan tools will be best suited for all your needs.
LAUNCH X431 V PRO Bi-Directional Scan Tool
A great LAUNCH bi-directional product is the LAUNCH X431 V PRO. This is one of the larger LAUNCH models, clocking in with an 8-inch screen. The full dimensions are 20 x 14 x 4 inches. It is also a bit heavier, with the total shipping weight coming in at about ten pounds. However, the tablet itself is not nearly that heavy. Included with the tablet is a carrying case with a plethora of attachments and accessories.
The technology is one of the most impressive parts of this tablet. This LAUNCH model uses a LENOVO tablet that has a 5.0 MP camera included. It also has many of the pre-installed applications most tablets have. These include calendars, calculators, email, and more. The tablet also has an extended TF card with 128 GB of space and an impressive 9-hour battery life. The battery can easily be recharged in just a few hours as well.
As with the other LAUNCH products, the LAUNCH X431 V PRO comes can work with about 10,000 car models and complete dozens of tasks that involve coding, resetting, and anything else a mechanic or car owner could want. This device can do everything a much more expensive device would be able to do.
LAUNCH X431 V PRO Bi-Directional Scan Tool is perfect for mechanics all over the country. The LAUNCH brand is famous for being able to work wonders with dozens of car brands, especially with American-made vehicles. Its technological bonuses make it almost too good to pass up.
- 99% of vehicle models covered
- 5-year warranty
- Full-system diagnosis
- Over a dozen different service functions included
- Large case and accessories included
- International versions don’t work as well as American versions
- Slow updates
LAUNCH X431 V+ Bi-Directional Scan Tool
The LAUNCH X431 V+ is the most advanced LAUNCH model in this article. As with all of the other LAUNCH models already mentioned, the X431 V+ can work with over 10,000 car models from all around the world but works best with American-made vehicles. As with most of the other LAUNCH products, the X431 V+ can complete all the same tasks (and more), has two free updates, and has a 5-year warranty.
One of the unique things that help to set the X431 V+ apart from the other LAUNCH model is that you can add an extra diagnostic tool that makes it compatible with heavy trucks. This is a must-have addition for any mechanic that frequently services semi-trucks and other large vehicles.
The technology in the LAUNCH X431 V+ is also impressive. The tablet included is a LENOVO with 48 GB of storage. Additional storage cards can be bought to increase storage up to 128G. The tablet uses Android version 7.1. The tablet also has a camera. The battery can last up to 10 hours between charges.
LAUNCH X431 V+ Bi-Directional Scan Tool is one of the best bi-directional scan tools on the market in 2020. Any mechanic, even those dealing with semi-trucks, can greatly benefit from using this. With the accuracy of a LAUNCH product and the technological prowess of a LENOVO tablet, you can’t go wrong here.
- 24 language options
- Multiple add-ons and accessories included
- Easy-to-view screen
- All tests completed quickly
- Diagnostic reports can be sent to a printer
- OBD1 models not always supported
- Very heavy
LAUNCH X431 PROS Mini Bi-Directional Scan Tool
The LAUNCH X341 PROS Mini stands out from some of the other models in this bi-directional scan tool review as it is a snap-on scanner. This, along with its lightweight and small size makes it easy to carry around.
LAUNCH X431 PROS Mini can accomplish a variety of tasks, similar to the other models in this article. It can accomplish remote diagnostic testing and feedback, data recording and playback, injector coding, key coding, and several times of resets.
The technology within the LAUNCH X431 PROS Mini is impressive. It uses a LENOVO tablet that can work with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections. Like most bi-directional scan tools, it has a fully functional HD color touch screen. Even with all of the advanced technology in play, it’s quick and easy to learn how to use this tool.
As a final note, the LAUNCH X431 PROS Mini can work with an impressive number of vehicle models and types. Most all LAUNCH products can generally work with 150 car brands, totally to around 10,000 models. Since the model can cover so many vehicles, it’s a great asset to mechanics everywhere.
LAUNCH X431 PROS Mini Bi-Directional Scan Tool is perfect for mechanics in both small towns and in large cities. This is because of the large variety of vehicles it can work with. If you are looking for a professional handheld tool, then this could be perfect for your needs.
- 16G memory
- Compact and lightweight
- Unique snap-on design
- Secure hand strap
- Compatible with Wi-Fi and BlueTooth
- Incompatible with some Audi and Volkswagen models
- Paid updates after two years
INNOVA 5160 Pro CarScan Bi-Directional Code Reader
The INNOVA 5160 Pro looks and works nothing like the other bi-directional scan tools listed in this article. Rather than looking and functioning like a tablet, the INNOVA 5160 Pro looks more like a technologically advanced remote control. Even though this bi-directional tool looks much different than the others here, it can do many of the same tasks.
INNOVA 5160 Pro is much less expensive than the other models here, but that is because it does less. However, it does perform some basis– but highly important– functions. Some of its best functions include graphing ABS and SRS, performing vehicle scans, check engine, reset service lights and steering angles, and more.
The INNOVA 5160 Pro uses BlueTooth to work. It uses 3AA batteries, which come included in the purchase. However, the batteries will need to be replaced after a while. It is also compatible with both iPhone and Android devices.
INNOVA 5160 Pro CarScan Bi-Directional Code Reader is fairly inexpensive as far as bi-directional scan tools go. Yet, it can still carry about many of the same functions as some of the more expensive devices on this list. This is a great tool for anyone who loves to work on their car at home. However, it may not be the perfect fit for a professional mechanic.
- Live data reporting
- Free updates
- Mac and Windows device compatibility
- All diagnoses completed quickly
- 1-year warranty
- Updates can be slow
- Icons are small and may be difficult to read
Autel MaxiPRO MP808 Bi-Directional Diagnostic Scanner
Next up is the Autel MaxiPRO MP808 diagnostic scanner. As mentioned earlier, this is one of our favorite bi-directional scan tools. Autel bi-directional scan tools are famous among mechanics for their ease of use and the many functions they can perform. Below is a breakdown of some of the Autel model’s best features.
The software in this device supports all OBD2 functions. This helps the Autel MaxiPro do a variety of tests on dozens of vehicle types. It can also work to bleed ABS. The Autel MaxiPro MP808 is perhaps best known for its reset functions. These include ABS, EPD, SAS, oil, and other resets.
The screen of this device is of a pretty good size, around seven inches. With the case, the Autel MaxiPRO MP808’s dimensions are 14.8 x 11.6 x 5 inches. While this is not pocket-sized, it is still easily portable. Also, it only weighs about five pounds. In this way, it is not burdensome to carry around and use.
As a bonus, the Autel MaxiPRO MP808comes with a twelve-month return policy. Customers do not need to provide a reason to return their device for a refund or exchange. As far as updates go, customers can update their Autel MaxiPro for free.
All in all, Autel MaxiPRO MP808 Bi-Directional Diagnostic Scanner is perfect for people who want to do some work on their own vehicle. It’s also great for small-town mechanics. However, customers should check the Autel website to make sure that the Autel MaxiPRO MP808 is compatible with their vehicle before purchasing.
- Easy-to-use user interface
- Data service records are saved
- Quick to learn how to use
- Functional snapon graphs
- Free updates for two years
- Paid updates after two years
- Occasional connection port issues
LAUNCH X431 DIAGUN V Bi-Directional Scan Tool
If you are looking for a small handheld bi-directional system, then the LAUNCH X431 DiAGUN V bi-directional full system scan tool is for you. The screen on this device is only 5.5 inches wide, which makes it similar in size to the average smartphone. This makes it easy to keep on your person whenever you need it.
The most important feature of this device is all of the bi-direction tests it can complete. There is a variety of coding, reprogramming, and resets the device can complete. Some of the tasks this tool can complete include a gear, IMMO, BMS, oil, brake, and TPMS reset. This LAUNCH bi-directional model can also handle injector coding, ECU coding, and other vital coding features.
As far as car compatibility goes, this LAUNCH model holds up wonderfully. It works well with about 10,000 car models spanning over 90 brands from all over the world. As an additional feature, the system also works in several languages, including English, Japanese, French, Spanish, and more.
The technology in the decision comes with one free key update and an additional to years of free updates. It also comes with a five-year warranty and a 60-day “no reason” return policy. So, if you don’t like what you get with this model (which is unlikely) then you can exchange it for one of LAUNCH’s other great products.
LAUNCH X431 DIAGUN V Bi-Directional Scan Tool is a great compact tool for mechanics or anyone who does home car repairs and tests. The model can complete about a dozen service functions. This LAUNCH bi-directional scan tool can also run a variety of tests on thousands of vehicle models. So, whether you are an amateur looking to save some money by doing repairs at home, or a seasoned mechanic, this is a great tool to add to your arsenal.
- Easy online registration process
- Excellent tech support
- Key programming included
- Advanced ECU coding features
- Compact and durable
- Slow update speed
- Difficult to learn how to use
LAUNCH X431 Pro Bi-Directional OBD2 Scanner
The LAUNCH X431 Pro Mini has much in common with the other LAUNCH products in this list. Its size is the biggest difference between this model and the other LAUNCH models in this article. It has a very small screen. Even with the border, it only measures 16 x 12.5 x 4.5 inches. It weighs about seven pounds. This can fit in most large men’s pants or jacket pockets.
Even though the LAUNCH X431 Pro Mini is small, it still contains all of the same special functions as the other LAUNCH models in this list. Some of the special features it boasts are ABS bleeding, injector coding, gear learning, BMS, SAS, battery maintenance, and more. The LAUNCH X431 Pro Mini also has the same vehicle database for vehicle services types as the other LAUNCH products.
One of the most impressive things about the LAUNCH X431 Pro Mini is its extended warranty and return policy. It comes with a 60-day no reason return policy. It can be returned either for cash or it can be exchanged. The LAUNCH X341 Pro Mini also has a five-year warranty.
Like the other LAUNCH models in this list, the X431 Pro Mini also comes with two years of free updates and training videos. These videos are meant to teach mechanics on how to use the tool. After the first two years, customers can choose to update the device about once a year for an annual fee.
This little tool packs a big punch. Like the other LAUNCH products listed here, LAUNCH X431 Pro Bi-Directional OBD2 Scanner is the perfect handheld tool for professional mechanics. With dozens of features, this tool can run all the most common diagnostic tests a mechanic might need.
- Full systems diagnosis capability
- Over 10,000 types of vehicles covered
- Remote assistance for tech support included
- 6.9-inch large screen display
- Android version 7.1
- Product registration can be difficult
- Unregistered products cannot download software
FOXWELL GT60 Plus Bi-Directional Diagnostic Scanner
Lastly, the FOXWELL GT60 Plus brings us back to the common tablet model scanner. The tablet is similar in size to others in this list, coming in at 7-inches. The case makes it look a bit larger and adds some weight. It weighs slightly less than 12 pounds in the case. However, the actual device will be much lighter. This is because the case contains a number of add-ons and accessories.
This FOXWELL bi-directional model can do everything the LAUNCH models can do. Some of its most important functions include the oil light reset, throttle body alignment, tire pressure monitoring system programming, battery reset, diesel particulate filter, steering angle sensor, continuously variable transmission, and more.
As far as the technological side of the FOXWELL GT60 Plus bi-directional scan tool goes, the device runs on an Android system. The fast analysis has many of its diagnostic scans completed within seconds. The icons are also large, which makes it easy to read and navigate. The tablet also comes with a rechargeable lithium battery.
The FOXWELL GT60 Plus is compatible with both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles made between 1995-2019. For this reason, it is likely that this device will be compatible with most makes and models. With new updates every so often, it is also likely that newer cars will be input into the system in the future.
FOXWELL GT60 Plus Bi-Directional Diagnostic Scanner is a great tool for any professional mechanic to keep on hand. This bi-directional scanner can accomplish all of the major tasks required. It’s fast processing time and easy-to-maneuver icons make it great for both beginners and experts alike.
- “Daylight” screen mode
- Real-time data graphing
- “One-click” updates available
- All diagnoses completed quickly
- OBD1 and OBD2 compatible
- ECU scan issues
- Very expensive
Recommendation: Top 3 Bi-directional Scan Tools
With no doubt, the gold pick for the bi-directional scan tool would be LAUNCH X431 V PRO. This bi-directional scan tool offers many functions to help you solve a dozen of issues. Furthermore, it has impressive battery life.
The second place belongs to LAUNCH X431 V+ bi-directional scanner. Not only perform greatly on cars, but this bi-directional scan tool can also work on heavy-duty trucks, which is a plus point for this LAUNCH model.
Our bronze pick, also a LAUNCH product, that is the LAUNCH X431 PROS Mini. This bi-directional model can do all the functions as others can. However, the use of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to work on is impressive.
Most of these bi-directional scanners can accomplish the same tasks. What makes or breaks them comes down to whether or not the scanner is compatible with a certain car model or not. All of these bi-directional scan tools can handle most models, but some (like the LAUNCH models) can handle more than others.
Other than that, it’s important to keep in mind your technological skills, as some of these bi-directional scan tools come with a learning curve. However, if you are able to put in an hour or so to learn how to use the tool, then any one of these can help you diagnose your car’s problem so you can get on to fixing it.