Our editors pick the products & services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Learn more.

7 Best OBD1 Code Readers Review and Comparison 2020

The on-board diagnostic system is a blessing for car owners as it lets them find faults in the car. However, it can turn out to be a bit troublesome if you own an old car.

Vehicles built before 1996 are OBD1 compliant and are not supported by modern scan tools. You will need an OBD1 code reader to diagnose such automobiles.

OBD1 code readers might not offer complex functionalities but can perform basic tasks. A good OBD1 scan tool can check engine codes, read DTCs, freeze frame data. Some good models can also read ABS/SRS codes for selected models.

However, finding a suitable OBD1 scanner can be a bit difficult as there are so many available on the market. To help you out, we have selected the 7 best OBD1 code readers.

Actron CP9690 Elite

Best OBD1 Code Readers/Scanners Review

Editor's PicksProductsOur Rating
Best OverallActron CP9690 Elite9.5/10
Runner UpINNOVA 3145 Ford9.5/10
Great PickFOXWELL NT510 Elite9/10
Best Budget BuyINNOVA 3123 GM8.5/10
Also GoodINNOVA 3120f8.5/10

Why did we choose these 5 OBD1 scanners to make this table? You will have the answer after this review and perhaps, you can choose an OBD1 code reader that is best suited your demands.

Let’s have a look:

Actron CP9690 Elite OBDI & OBDII Scanner

Actron CP9690 Elite
Actron CP9690 Elite OBDI & OBDII Scanner
4.54.5 / 5
Actron CP9690 Elite covers a wide range of vehicles and offers some of the most useful features that a car owner looks for.

Actron CP9690 Elite tops our list for a variety of reasons. This OBD1 and OBD2 code reader can diagnose 3 car systems including the engine, ABS, and SRS.

Moreover, Actron CP9690 Elite covers a wide range of vehicles and offers some of the most useful features that a car owner looks for.

Features

ABS: There aren’t many OBD1 scanners that allow you to check for ABS codes and find problems but Actron CP9690 Elite does. It can read brake pressure, hydraulic pressure, and find problems in the sensors as well.

These readings will help you know if the condition of the ABS. Moreover, you can check sensor readings to find problem with in the sensor or wiring.

Airbag Deployment – SRS: Whether you are driving an old car or a modern one, the airbag system is a must. It plays a vital role in making your journeys safer.

With Actron CP9690 Elite, you can read SRS related codes and find faults.

Reset Battery: When you install a new battery in your old car, you are required to change the configuration and match it with the battery. This scanner will help you do that.

DTC: With Actron CP9690 Elite, you can find the meaning behind most of the codes because of its extensive DTC library containing 26 million fixes.

Every time, a code is generated, you will be able to see a detailed explanation which makes it easier to understand what and where the problem is.

Engine Codes: This OBD1 scanner can read engine light, pass a code, and help reset it after you have solved the problem.

Oil Reset: The oil light in a car comes on when the car requires an oil change. This OBD1 scan tool will help you reset the light once you change the oil.

Vehicle Coverage

Actron CP9690 Elite supports many brands that are manufactured between 1984 to 1995. These include Chrysler, GM, Toyota ,and Ford vehicles.

That’s not all, it supports modern vehicles, too, that are built between 1996 and 2013.

Verdict

Actron CP9690 Elite OBDI & OBDII Scanner is meant for enthusiasts, DIYers, and semi-professionals who want to find faults in the airbag, anti-lock braking system, and engine of a vehicle.

Pros

  • Contains a large database called CodeConnect that holds 26 million fixes.
  • Playbacks data and stores it as well.
  • Data is easier to read with the graphical form.
  • Offers more than 300 PIDs depending on the vehicle.
  • Comes with OBD1 cables for GM, FORD, Toyota, and Chrysler.

Cons

  • Works with four brands only (Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and GM).
  • The USB adapter is not included.

Check Price at Amazon
Actron CP9690 Elite
Credit: youtube.com

INNOVA 3145 Ford OBD1 Code Reader

INNOVA 3145 Ford
INNOVA 3145 Ford OBD1 Code Reader
4.54.5 / 5
This INNOVA 3145 Ford OBD1 scanner supports a wide range of old Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln vehicles.  It can read engine light codes and is capable of storing codes.

This INNOVA 3145 Ford OBD1 scanner supports a wide range of old Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln vehicles.  It can read engine light codes and is capable of storing codes.

Features

Run And Display: This OBD1 code reader can read transmission and engine codes like a pro. That’s not all, it can run self tests to help you gauge performance.

EGR: Code 33 is a common error code that occurs is many old Ford models. It indicates a faulty EGR sensor or valve. Fortunately, INNOVA 3145 OBD1 scanner can read this code.

GuideBook: INNOVA 3145 scan tool comes with a book that explains what numeric codes mean. It’s quite like a library but also contains additional details on how to use the device.

Self Memory: This OBD1 code reader can store codes once they are diagnosed. It helps in sharing the problem with a mechanic.

Vehicle Coverage

INNOVA 3145 OBD1 code reader covers most Ford models manufactured between 1982 and 1995. Ford trucks that are under one ton are also supported.

Vehicles including Mercury and Lincoln are also covered by the scanner.

Verdict

INNOVA 3145 Ford OBD1 Code Reader can be an excellent pick for Ford owners. It can solve engine problems and is easy to use.

Pros

  • Helps turn off MIL.
  • Transportable due to the compact size and a weight of 1.2 pounds only.
  • Can find cylinder related issues.
  • Runs self tests and shows car performance.

Cons

  • The cord is short (extensions available)

Check Price at Amazon

FOXWELL NT510 Elite OBD1 OBD2 Scanner

FOXWELL NT510 Elite
FOXWELL NT510 Elite OBD1 OBD2 Scanner
4.14.1 / 5
NT510 Elite OBD1 scanner offers many advanced functionalities and will keep your car well maintained.

People looking for an advanced BMW OBD1 scanner can get the FOXWELL NT510 Elite scan tool. NT510 Elite OBD1 scanner offers many advanced functionalities and will keep your car well maintained.

Features

SAS: This OBD1 scanner allows you to calibrate steering angle sensor and adjust it properly. Moreover, you can also find problems in the SAS with this scan tool.

DPF: Reading and clearing DPF related issues such as excessive soot is possible with this beauty. You will be able to find and solve problems in the exhaust systems.

Electronic Parking Brakes: FOXWELL NT510 Elite can read and clear EPB codes and ensure that your car remains stationary when parked.

TPMS: This OBD1 diagnostic tool can monitor tire pressure in vehicles including BMW.

ABS/SRS: It can read and clear ABS/SRS light by letting you find out the problem so you can fix it.

Oil Reset: The OBD1 scanner can read and clear oil reset light.

Engine/AT codes: FOXWELL NT510 Elite reads both engine and transmission trouble codes in your BMW.

Vehicle Coverage

FOXWELL NT510 Elite covers many brands such as BMW, Ford, Land Rover, GM, Honda, Lancia, Hyundai, Kia, etc.

The OBD1 scanner covers a few VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda models as well.

Verdict

FOXWELL NT510 Elite OBD1 OBD2 Scanner can be a good pick for BMW owners. It offers a bunch of advanced features making it a good pick for professionals as well.

Pros

  • Can be used in any other brand for an additional $60.
  • Performs bi-directional tests such as relays, actuation, switching, etc.
  • Free updates for life.
  • 2-year guarantee.

Cons

  • May not work if not upgraded.
  • Some features may not work well in some models.

Check Price at Amazon

INNOVA 3123 GM OBD1 Code Reader

INNOVA 3123 GM
INNOVA 3123 GM OBD1 Code Reader
4.14.1 / 5
This OBD1 code reader is capable of reading ABS codes, engine light codes, and comes with a guidebook to look up for code explanations.

If you are in search of a reliable GM OBD1 scanner, then INNOVA 3123 GM can be a viable choice. This OBD1 code reader is capable of reading ABS codes, engine light codes, and comes with a guidebook to look up for code explanations.

Features

Engine Codes: It will read CEL and help you reset it once the problem is fixed.

Guidebook: INNOVA 3123 GM comes with a guidebook that contains explanations to the codes. Hence, you won’t have to Google for solutions.

ABS Codes: With this OBD1 scanner, you can read ABS codes and find related faults. It will tell you if the problem is in one of the sensors or wires.

Vehicle Coverage

INNOVA 3123 GM is known as a GM OBD1 scanner because it supports most older GM vehicles and trucks manufactured between 1982 and 1995.

Moreover, Ford and Bronco II vehicles built between 1992 to 1995 are also supported.

Verdict

INNOVA 3123 GM OBD1 Code Reader can be a good option for users who own GM vehicles. Even professionals who deal with GM vehicles can give it a try.

Pros

  • Suitable for beginners thanks to the simple to understand interface.
  • The guidebook is in simple words and easy to use.
  • Pocket friendly size and very lightweight.
  • It can read the engine temperature and ECM codes as well.

Cons

  • The metal prong is of poor quality.

Check Price at Amazon

INNOVA 3120f OBD1 Code Reader

INNOVA 3120f
INNOVA 3120f OBD1 Code Reader
4.54.5 / 5
INNOVA 3120f is a quality Honda OBD1 scanner that can read and reset engine codes. It can find basic problems in your car and save you a trip to the mechanic.

INNOVA 3120f is a quality Honda OBD1 scanner that can read and reset engine codes. It can find basic problems in your car and save you a trip to the mechanic. Plus, it supports OBD2 vehicles as well.

Features

Read And Reset CEL: This OBD1 OBD2 scanner is able to read the illuminating engine light and pass a code on the screen. You can reset this light once you have resolved the problem.

ABS Codes: There can be many reasons for the ABS light to illuminate. It could be a bad sensor, damaged wires or a malfunctioned hydraulic pump. All of the problems will illuminate the ABS light.

You can use the tool to find the cause and reset the light after solving the problem.

Freeze Frame: The INNOVA 3120f OBD1 scan tool can screenshot problems and store them for later use.

Memory Backup: It can store diagnosed codes in the memory. You can use this information to compare performance.

Vehicle Coverage

This OBD1 scanner covers Mercury, Lincoln, and Ford models that were made between 1983 and 1995. It also supports Toyota and Lexus cars made between 1991 – 1995. Lastly, it also works with Jeeps and GM cars built between 1982 – 1995.

As for modern OBD2 vehicles, it supports all brands made in 1996 and after.

Verdict

INNOVA 3120f OBD1 Code Reader is for people who want to find faults in the ABS, engine and transmission system of their cars.

Pros

  • Data is accessible even when the ignition is off.
  • Can be upgraded by plugging into the computer.
  • Shows code definitions in multiple languages.
  • Supports transmission codes, too.

Cons

  • Doesn’t support SRS code reading.

Check Price at Amazon

INNOVA 3140g OBD1 Scan Tool

INNOVA 3140g
INNOVA 3140g OBD1 Scan Tool
4.24.2 / 5
INNOVA 3140g scanner can read trouble codes in a wide array of OBD1 vehicles. It will read both manufacturers specific and generic codes.

INNOVA 3140g scanner can read trouble codes in a wide array of OBD1 vehicles. It will read both manufacturers specific and generic codes.

The best part is that it is a Bluetooth scanner and offers wireless connectivity.

Features

CEL: With INNOVA 3140g, you can read engine lights on both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles. Moreover, it also supports the live data feature and shows parameters as you drive the vehicle.

ABS/SRS: You will be able to read and clear both ABS and SRS lights.

Oil Reset: The scanner can read and reset the oil light. Moreover, it also reads oil pressure and checks oil levels to ensure everything is working smoothly.

Battery Maintenance: With this OBD1 code reader, you can reset battery configuration after installing a new one.

Vehicle Coverage

The scan tool reads trouble codes in OBD1 cars that are manufactured between 1982 to 1995. These include Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Chevy, Honda, and Lexus. However, not all vehicles may support all the features.

Verdict

INNOVA 3140g OBD1 Scan Tool can be a good pick for users who want a durable unit. It offers a variety of features and is easy to use thanks to no wires.

Pros

  • Displays 20 PIDs at once.
  • Supports web-service (repair solution) to see verified fixes.
  • Quick refresh rate (30-seconds)
  • Streams, records, playbacks and shows data in graphical form.

Cons

  • The screen is a bit small and so is the text displayed.

Check Price at Amazon

LAUNCH CRP423 OBD1 OBD2 Scan Tool

LAUNCH CRP423
LAUNCH CRP423 OBD1 OBD2 Scan Tool
2.42.4 / 5
This one is both an OBD1 and OBD2 scanner. It can read codes from four car systems including the engine, ABS, SRS, and transmission.

This one is both an OBD1 and OBD2 scanner. It can read codes from four car systems including the engine, ABS, SRS, and transmission.

LAUNCH CRP 423 supports all 10 OBD modes and offers many functionalities.

Features

ABS/SRS: This is a versatile scan tool that is able to read both ABS and SRS codes. It can identify bad sensors, damaged wires, and problems associated with ABS/SRS.

You can reset lights once the problem is resolved.

10 Modes Of Diagnostics: LAUNCH CRP 423 supports all 10 OBD modes. It offers various functionalities such as auto-VIN, MIL status, I/M readiness, O2 and EVAP testing, freeze frame, etc.

DTC: This feature helps explain a numeric code in simple language.

Diagnosis: Most scanners are unable to fully diagnose an older car but this scan tool can. CRP423 allows users to conduct a manual diagnosis from the menu.

There is an automatic function available for OBD2 cars.

Vehicle Coverage

This LAUNCH scanner supports a wide range of vehicles including minivans, SUVs, 12v light-duty truck, hybrids, and OBD1 compliant cars.

However, it doesn’t support 24v heavy trucks.

Verdict

LAUNCH CRP423 OBD1 OBD2 Scan Tool can be a good pick for professionals. It’s a bit on the expensive side but is worth the price thanks to its amazing features.

Pros

  • Large 5” screen makes it easy to read the text.
  • The built-in A5 processor works very quickly.
  • Updateable with one click option over WiFi.
  • Takes screenshots, prepares diagnostic reports and prints information.
  • 5-year warranty.

Cons

  • You will have to buy the OBD1 cable separately.

Check Price at Amazon

Recommendation: Top 3 OBD1 Scanners

If you want to buy the best OBD1 code reader, we’d suggest Actron CP9690 Elite because it covers many brands such as Chrysler, GM, Toyota and Ford. It can read ABS/SRS codes, reset a battery, and perform many other features in OBD1 vehicles.

Next, our silver pick would be INNOVA 3145 Ford. Not only budget-friendly, but this OBD1 scanner is also compatible with MCU & EEC-IV for computer control systems.

The last product deserves in our top 3 is FOXWELL NT510 Elite as it is also compatible with many models and can perform both basic and advanced functions such as EPB, SAS, SRS.

The Bottomline

These were some of the best OBD1 code readers you can get for your OBD1 compliant vehicle. Make sure to pick one that has the features you want.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top