Scan tools are usually handheld devices that contain software that can work to diagnose a car’s mechanical problems. The best of these scanners can also connect to Android or Apple devices via BlueTooth or Wi-Fi. ODBLink is one of the best brands beginners can use to get to know how to use a scan tool. The best OBDLink scan tools can be used at home or by a mechanic. Some of OBDLink’s best scan tools are reviewed in detail below.
Table of Contents
Best OBDLink Scan Tools Review
Before this article discusses the best OBDLink scan tools in detail, we’ve created this chart to summarize our ratings. While all of these scan tools are great, we think this might help you a bit in making your decision.
|Editor's Picks||Products||Our Rating|
|Best Overall||OBDLink EX||9.5/10|
|Runner Up||OBDLink MX+||9.5/10|
|Great Pick||OBDLink LX||9/10|
|Best Budget Buy||OBDLink SX||9/10|
Now, let’s begin the OBDLink scanner review.
OBDLink EX OBD2 Adapter
The OBDLink EX scan tool stands apart from the rest because it is not a scanner on its own, but instead, it needs to be used in combination with another scanning program or application. This differs from the other OBDLink products, which can be used alongside other apps and programs but do not need to be used with them to work. The best app to use with the EX is FORScan.
In addition, the OBDLink EX needs to be used on a Windows computer, as it is not compatible with Android or Apple products. This is because it uses a cable, instead of Wi-Fi or BlueTooth, to work. However, this also makes it more reliable than cableless scanners, as it cannot lose service or connection. The quality that makes the OBDLink EX stand out the most from the other OBDLink tools is that the EX works primarily for Ford vehicles (and Ford affiliate brands), while most of the OBDLink products work with most vehicles except for Ford vehicles. Luckily, if someone needs to work with other vehicle models, he or she can buy an OBD2 adaptor, which allows the EX to then work with brands like GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and Toyota.
This is the perfect OBDLink scan tool for Ford (and Ford affiliate brand) owners. The OBDLink EX OBD2 Adapter is great for diagnosing and fixing basic problems. The user should also know how to use FORScan. However, it’s best that a professional mechanic who works with many car brands invest in a different OBDLink product.
- All Ford vehicles are compatible
- Free updates included for life
- The tool cannot be hacked
- All basic diagnostic tests can be completed quickly
- The system dashboard is totally customizable
- The scanner shows real-time data reports
- Other systems/apps need to be used with this
- Neither Apple nor Android products are compatible
OBDLink MX+ OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner
Next on this list is the OBDLink MX+ scan tool. This scan tool can be used as a stand-alone scan tool or is can work with other similar scanners and scan tool apps. It works as a great adaptor for AlfaOBD, BimmerCode, Carista, Dashcommand, FORScan, Torque, and other similar tools.
More important than its compatibility with other systems and apps is what the OBDLink MX+ can do when simply plugged into a smartphone or Windows PC. It can perform a wide variety of services and diagnoses. Some of the most important tasks the OBDLink MX+ can accomplish include reading and clearing manufacture codes, check fuel economy, lock and unlock the car doors (on some models), access emission levels, create real-time reports and graphs, and even start the vehicle remotely.
Not only can the OBDLink MX+ handle a large range of tasks but it also works with an even larger range of vehicles. It works with all OBD1, OBD2, and some EOBD and JOBD models. The OBDLink company claims that, for the most part, their device works well with almost all cars made in 1996 or later, excluding hybrid and electric cars. As a bonus, the OBDLink MX+ has “enhanced” OEM support for several brands, including Ford, Honda, GM, Nissan, Kia, Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, and more.
This small piece of technology packs a big punch. The OBDLink MX+ OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner is the perfect tool for those who are looking to run tests on their own car, as long as they already have a smartphone or Windows PC. The MX+ also works best when used alongside another similar system.
- The device cannot be hacked
- The MX+ runs faster than most similar devices
- The MX+ won’t drain a car’s battery
- All codes are defined and easy to understand
- The device is compatible with similar apps, systems, and scanners
- MX+ may drop connections with some smartphone models
- Advanced scans/diagnostic tests cost extra to run
OBDLink LX Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner
Continue on the OBDLink product list is the LX. This works much in the same way as the MX+. However, the two devices do have their differences as well. Not only does the OBDLink LX work with other systems and apps on smartphones and Windows PCs, but it works better when paired with these. The LX works with all of the same apps that the MX+ works with. Below are some more similarities and differences between the LX and MX+.
As for similarities with the MX+, the OBDLink LX also works with most all cars that were made in 1996 or later, also excluding hybrid and electric cars. The LX also uses a very low wattage and comes with a sleep mode, so drivers can be sure using it won’t drain the car’s battery. The device can send reports, graphs, and other diagnoses to the smartphone or computer through Bluetooth as well.
The similarities are great and the differences aren’t bad either. The MX+ works about 300 times faster than the average scanner, but the LX tops that by working about 400 times faster than the average scanner! There are no additional costs to use the OBDLink app. However, the LX doesn’t come with advanced features that it doesn’t work for some GM and Ford models.
The OBDLink LX Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner is another great tool for at-home diagnostics and scans. This is an especially great tool for people who already have scanner apps. All in all, it’s a great tool for beginners.
- Prevents overheating and battery drainage
- MX can read and clear both average and enhanced codes
- Ford and some GM models are compatible (unlike the LX)
- MX automatically creates screenshots of codes
- Free Android app and Windows software included
- Sometimes has difficulties working with Parameter IDs
- Windows 8 is not compatible with the OBDLink app
- Apple products are not compatible
OBDLink SX OBD-II Scan Tool
The OBDLink SX is the first OBDLink product in this list that uses a USB cord to connect to a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, rather than using BlueTooth or Wi-Fi. To use this device, simply put the large end in the car and the USB port in the tablet or computer. If you are using a smartphone, you will need a smartphone USB adaptor, as most smartphones do not include USB ports. If you are not great at using new technology, then the SX might be the best OBDLink scan tool for you.
Even though the OBDLink SX is a bit bulkier than the other OBDLink products in this article, it performs just as well as the rest of them. The OBDLink SX has about 7000 codes that are used to help diagnose a variety of issues on a similarly large variety of vehicles. These vehicles include all OBD2, EOBD, and JOBD cars made in 1996 or later, excluding hybrid and electric models. The most impressive thing about the OBDLink SX is all of the live data reports it produces. The tool can create freeze-frame coding and data information, create graphs and logs, and do over 90 other tasks related to this.
The OBDLink SX OBD-II Scan Tool is the perfect scan tool for people who are not technologically skilled and would prefer to try their hands with a simple tool. Luckily, this tool can still do many of the same things the rest of the OBDLink products can do. The SX is generally a great tool to diagnose simple and easy-to-repair problems.
- Upgrades are easy to use
- Trouble codes can be both read and erase
- Links to code definitions and fixes are included
- The diagnostic storage area contains much information
- Customers can create their own custom gauge layout screens
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are not compatible
- Apple products are not compatible
- Some Ford vehicles are not compatible
All of the best OBDLink scan tools have now been thoroughly reviewed. All of these tools have their pros and cons, but none are objectively better or worse than the other.
When it comes down to what is the best tool for a certain mechanic or car owner, it all depends on what car(s) they work on; how often they work on cars; how familiar they are with Android, Apple, and Windows; and what their budget is.
Either way, all of these OBDLink scan tools have rave reviews on Amazon, work quickly, and work quickly to pay for themselves. With OBDLink scan tools, you can’t go wrong!
2 thoughts on “Top pick OBDLink scan tools for 2023 [Review with full comparison]”
You state this device is for Ford FORScan compatible vehicles. What about other cars? Does it work as a typical OBD link for all cars PLUS doing extra FORScan functions? If it is EXCLUSIVELY for Fords, please make this clear. Thank you!
Hi there. OBDLink EX works with all 1996 & newer model year cars and light trucks sold in the U.S., including all American, European, and Asian vehicles.