Best Budget Bi Directional Scan Tool for DIY Mechanics

Updated on March 30, 2024

Car maintenance can be a costly affair, but with the right tools, you can save a lot of money by fixing small problems yourself. A bi-directional scan tool is one such tool that can help you diagnose and fix issues with your car’s engine, transmission, and other systems. A bi-directional scan tool is a diagnostic tool that can communicate with your car’s onboard computer and retrieve information about its performance.

A bi-directional scan tool is an essential tool for car owners who want to save money on car repairs. It can help you identify problems with your car’s engine, transmission, and other systems before they become major issues. However, buying a bi-directional scan tool can be a daunting task, especially if you are on a tight budget.

When shopping for a bi-directional scan tool, the most critical thing to consider is the tool’s compatibility with your car’s make and model. You should also consider the tool’s features, such as the ability to read and clear error codes, live data streaming, and bidirectional control. Additionally, you should consider the tool’s price, as some bi-directional scan tools can be quite expensive.

We spent several hours researching and testing various budget bi-directional scan tools to identify the ones that offer the best value for money. In the next section, we will review the top five best budget bi-directional scan tools that we found.

Best Budget Bi Directional Scan Tool

We understand the importance of having a reliable scan tool for your car, especially if you’re on a tight budget. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best budget bi directional scan tools that won’t break the bank. These tools are perfect for DIYers and car enthusiasts who want to save money on diagnostic fees. Our team of experts has thoroughly tested and researched each product on this list to ensure that they are not only affordable but also efficient and accurate. Without further ado, here are our top picks for the best budget bi directional scan tools.

XTOOL D7 Bidirectional Scan Tool: 2024 Newest Automotive Scanner Diagnostic Tool with ECU Coding, Active Tests, All System Scan, 36+ Resets, Crankshaft Relearn, Android 10, 3-Year Updates

XTOOL D7 Bidirectional Scan Tool: 2024 Newest Automotive Scanner Diagnostic Tool with ECU Coding, Active Tests, All System Scan, 36+ Resets, Crankshaft Relearn, Android 10, 3-Year Updates

If you're looking for a budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool, the XTOOL D7 is definitely worth checking out. With its enhanced features and vehicle coverage, optimized battery performance, and full bi-directional controls, this scanner is a great choice for both professional auto technicians and home mechanics.

Pros:
  • The XTOOL D7 covers functions that only advanced scan tools have, such as ECU coding, bidirectional controls, key programming, advanced resets, relearns, initializations, adaptations, and more.
  • With its full bi-directional controls, the XTOOL D7 allows you to send commands to the ECUs to perform active tests, like EVAP tests, A/C clutch tests, fuel injector tests, window, door, sunroof tests, and more.
  • The XTOOL D7 can perform 36+ services and resets, relearns, calibrations, adaptations, initializations, and more, making it a comprehensive car diagnostic scanner.
Cons:
  • The XTOOL D7's special functions may not work on all cars, so it's important to check compatibility before purchasing.
  • Some users report that the XTOOL D7's user interface can be a bit confusing at first.
  • The XTOOL D7's customer support can be slow to respond at times.
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In our experience, the XTOOL D7 is a reliable and cost-effective tool that provides accurate and in-depth diagnosis over all automotive systems. With its full system diagnostics and up to 8 PIDs graphing, this scanner is a must-have tool for anyone looking to troubleshoot car issues quickly and efficiently. However, it’s important to note that the XTOOL D7’s special functions may not work on all cars, so it’s important to check compatibility before purchasing. Additionally, some users may find the user interface to be a bit confusing at first, but with a bit of practice, it becomes much easier to navigate. Overall, we would recommend the XTOOL D7 to anyone looking for a budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool that provides dealership-level diagnosis.

FOXWELL NT630 Plus OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Tool

FOXWELL NT630 Plus OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Tool, 2024 ABS Scan Tool Bleeding Brake SRS Scanner Car Code Reader Bidirectional Scanner with Airbag Light Reset SAS Oil Light EPB Service

If you're looking for a reliable and affordable bi-directional scan tool, the FOXWELL NT630 Plus OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Tool is a great choice.

Pros:
  • The ABS auto bleed function is a game-changer in resolving ABS SRS issues.
  • The handheld sturdy carrying case provides all-round protection.
  • The lifetime update without subscription allows more newly vehicle models added in.
Cons:
  • It does not support CCD protocol of CHRYSLER vehicle.
  • It may not work on the vehicles that itself cannot do the ABS auto bleed function.
  • Only ABS/SRS modules are supported.
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We were impressed with the FOXWELL NT630 Plus OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Tool. The ABS auto bleed function is the most affordable OBD2 scanner with ABS auto bleed function you can find, and even a beginner can use it with the clear step-by-step instruction. It takes OBD diagnostics to the next level by customizing all functions for ABS and SRS systems, providing in-depth insights on error code diagnosis, wheel speed sensor live data, airbag circuits and cable connectors monitor, module activation, and more.

The handheld sturdy carrying case is easy to take and provides all-round protection, making it worth being one of your toolkits. The lifetime update without subscription allows more newly vehicle models added in, and the graph live data provides you an intuitive view of car conditions.

However, it does not support CCD protocol of CHRYSLER vehicle, and it may not work on the vehicles that itself cannot do the ABS auto bleed function. Only ABS/SRS modules are supported.

Overall, the FOXWELL NT630 Plus OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Tool is a great choice for those looking for a budget bi-directional scan tool.

TOPDON ArtiDiag900 Lite

Bidirectional Scan Tool, 2023 New ArtiDiag900 Lite Automotive Diagnostic Tool for Full System, Scanner for Car with Active Test, 8 Reset, Wireless OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Tool for All Vehicles

If you're looking for a budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool that delivers on performance, the TOPDON ArtiDiag900 Lite is a great option.

Pros:
  • The scanner has been upgraded with the latest hardware and software, including Android 11.0, a 5x faster CPU, and a 10000mAh battery that provides up to 12 hours of continuous operation.
  • The bi-directional control feature allows you to send commands to the vehicle's ECU for active testing, making it easier to locate faulty components.
  • The wireless Bluetooth diagnostic experience is stable and fast, with a range of up to 33 feet (10 meters) that allows you to diagnose without being confined to cables or tight spaces.
Cons:
  • The newly released DTC repair guide function is only compatible with Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Fiat 2010-2014, which limits its usefulness for diagnosing other vehicles.
  • The software is limited and doesn't include many brands or options for the lower-end models.
  • The manufacturer doesn't allow for updates, which could be a problem if you need to diagnose newer models in the future.
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Our experience with the TOPDON ArtiDiag900 Lite was positive overall. The upgraded hardware and software make it a powerful tool for diagnosing issues with your vehicle, while the bi-directional control and wireless Bluetooth diagnostic features make it easy to use. The scanner also offers a range of reset services, including oil resets, throttle adaptation, EPB resets, steering angle resets, DPF regeneration, ABS bleeding, BMS resets, and airbag resets.

One downside is that the newly released DTC repair guide function is only compatible with a limited number of vehicles, which could limit its usefulness for some users. Additionally, the software is somewhat limited and doesn’t include many brands or options for the lower-end models. Finally, the manufacturer doesn’t allow for updates, which could be a problem if you need to diagnose newer models in the future.

Overall, we would recommend the TOPDON ArtiDiag900 Lite to anyone looking for a budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool that delivers on performance. It’s a great option for DIY enthusiasts and professional mechanics alike, and offers a range of features that make it easy to diagnose and repair issues with your vehicle.

TOPDON AD900BT Bidirectional Scan Tool

OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Tool, TOPDON AD900BT Bidirectional Scan Tool with ECU Coding, 28+ Services, Automotive All Systems Diagnosis Scanner for Car with 2 Years Updates, Active Test

If you're looking for a budget-friendly bidirectional scan tool, the TOPDON AD900BT is a great option. We've tested it out and here's what we think:

Pros:
  • The AD900BT has a powerful 4-core 1.8Ghz CPU and a 6300mAh battery that provides up to 11 hours of battery life, making it efficient and reliable.
  • With 28 advanced service functions, including bi-directional control, ECU coding online, oil reset, ABS bleed, and more, this scanner tool is equipped to diagnose any car problem.
  • The personalized concealed VIC interface storage design allows for easier storage, and the 3 LED indicators quickly show you the status of your connection.
Cons:
  • While the AD900BT is compatible with 130+ car brands and supports 18 languages, the availability of advanced features may vary depending on your specific car model.
  • The 7-inch screen may be too small for some users, and the scanner tool is a bit heavy at 3.7 pounds.
  • The customer service may not be as responsive as some users would like.
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In our experience, the TOPDON AD900BT is a reliable and efficient bidirectional scan tool that is perfect for those on a budget. The 28 advanced service functions and ECU coding online make it easy to diagnose and fix any car problem. The personalized concealed VIC interface storage design is also a great feature that makes it easy to store and use. However, the availability of advanced features may vary depending on your specific car model, and the customer service may not be as responsive as some users would like. Overall, we highly recommend the TOPDON AD900BT for those looking for a budget-friendly bidirectional scan tool.

Autel Scanner MaxiCheck MX808 OBD2 All System Diagnostic Scanner

Autel Scanner MaxiCheck MX808 OBD2 All System Diagnostic Scanner, 2024 Bi-Directional Scan Tool, 2 Years Free Update, 28+ Services, FCA Autoauth, Same as MaxiCOM MK808, Work with MV105 MV108

If you're looking for a budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool, the Autel Scanner MaxiCheck MX808 is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The 7-inch LCD touch screen provides high-quality display for easy reading and navigation.
  • The bi-directional control/active test capability allows you to send commands to the vehicle's ECU to drive the actuators to work, helping you quickly find out problem parts and pinpoint faulty issues.
  • The MX808 can perform full diagnostics on all available electronic systems, making it a nice choice for home mechanics and people starting a repair business.
Cons:
  • The Auto VIN feature does not work on all cars, so it's important to send your VIN to [email protected] to check before purchase.
  • The MX808 is more suitable for foreign cars and may not be the best option for domestic vehicles like Ford, Dodge, Chevy, and Ram.
  • The scanner is not the fastest, but it gets the job done.
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We’ve had a chance to use the Autel Scanner MaxiCheck MX808 and were impressed with its functionality. The intuitive user interface and big screen make it easy to use and navigate. The bi-directional control/active test capability is a standout feature that helps you quickly identify problem parts.

Additionally, the MX808 can perform full diagnostics on all available electronic systems, including Engine, ABS, SRS, Trans, EPB, Chassis, Steering, TPMS, Fuel, Light System, A/C system, Body, and more. This makes it a nice choice for home mechanics and people starting a repair business.

While the Auto VIN feature does not work on all cars, it’s easy to check before purchase by sending your VIN to [email protected]. The MX808 is more suitable for foreign cars and may not be the best option for domestic vehicles like Ford, Dodge, Chevy, and Ram. However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool with great functionality, the Autel Scanner MaxiCheck MX808 is definitely worth considering.

Plus, with 2 years of free updates and great after-sale service, you can purchase with confidence.

Autel Scanner MaxiCheck MX808S

Autel Scanner MaxiCheck MX808S, 2024 US Ver of MaxiCOM MK808S/ MK808Z, Functions as MX900, Full Bidirectional Control Scan Tool, 3000+ Active Test, 28+ Service, OE All System, Android 11, FCA AutoAuth

If you're looking for a budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool, the Autel Scanner MaxiCheck MX808S is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • Ultra-fast top hardware for fast boot-up and multitasking
  • Full bi-directional control for various systems and components of the vehicle
  • 28+ service functions including Oil Reset, EPB, SAS Reset, DPF Regeneration, Throttle Reset, ABS Bleed, Battery Registration, Injector Coding, WIN DR Roof, Key Fob Programming, Cylinder, Headlamp, and more
Cons:
  • All service functions do not work on all cars
  • Auto VIN feature does NOT work on all cars
  • No software available for motorcycles
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We’ve had a chance to test out the Autel Scanner MaxiCheck MX808S and we were impressed with its performance. The ultra-fast top hardware allows for fast boot-up and multitasking, making diagnostics a breeze. The full bi-directional control feature is a huge plus, allowing us to control various systems and components of the vehicle such as Injector tests, turn on/off headlamps/fuel pump, cycle the A/C, clutch on/off, Oil Pressure Test, Vehicle level position calibration, Brake Vacuum Pump, Inlet & Outlet Valve tests, door, and more.

The 28+ service functions are also a great feature, including Oil Reset, EPB, SAS Reset, DPF Regeneration, Throttle Reset, ABS Bleed, Battery Registration, Injector Coding, WIN DR Roof, Key Fob Programming, Cylinder, Headlamp, and more. However, it’s important to note that all service functions do not work on all cars, so be sure to send the VIN number to check compatibility before purchasing.

Overall, the Autel Scanner MaxiCheck MX808S is a great budget-friendly option for those in need of a bi-directional scan tool. With its top hardware, full bi-directional control, and 28+ service functions, it’s definitely worth considering.

OTOFIX D1 Lite Bidirectional Scan Tool

OTOFIX D1 Lite Bidirectional Scan Tool with 2-Year Updates, 2024 Newest All System Automotive Diagnostic Scanner, 38+ Reset Services, FCA AutoAuth, Key Programming, Active Test, CANFD&DOIP, Auto V...

If you're looking for a budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool, the OTOFIX D1 Lite is a great option that offers a lot of features for the price.

Pros:
  • The upgraded hardware configuration and car coverage make it a reliable diagnostic tool.
  • The bi-directional control feature is a mechanic's favorite as it helps identify repair status and reduce diagnostic costs.
  • The 38+ reset hot functions and OE-level diagnosis of all systems make it a comprehensive diagnostic tool.
Cons:
  • The device takes a bit of time to set up and download all the diag software for what you need.
  • The loading time from screen to screen is slow.
  • Some features may not work with certain vehicle models.
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We’ve used the OTOFIX D1 Lite and found it to be a reliable and efficient diagnostic tool. The upgraded hardware configuration and car coverage make it a great option for daily maintenance needs. The bi-directional control feature is the most beloved feature among mechanics, as it helps identify repair status and reduce diagnostic costs. The 38+ reset hot functions and OE-level diagnosis of all systems make it a comprehensive diagnostic tool that provides various solutions for all module repairs.

The OTOFIX D1 Lite is compatible with over 99% of worldwide vehicles from diverse brands, even some luxury brands like Maserati, Ferrari, and Mercedes. It supports compatibility with GM Cavalier, Trax Encore & Volvo after 2018, LanRover/Jaguar after 2017, and more.

However, the device takes a bit of time to set up and download all the diag software for what you need. The loading time from screen to screen is slow, which can be frustrating at times. Also, some features may not work with certain vehicle models.

In conclusion, the OTOFIX D1 Lite is a great budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool that offers a lot of features for the price. If you’re looking for a reliable and comprehensive diagnostic tool, the OTOFIX D1 Lite is definitely worth considering.

TOPDON ArtiDiag Pro OBD2 Scanner

TOPDON Bidirectional Scan Tool, ArtiDiag Pro OBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Tool with ECU Coding, 2-Year Update/FCA Autoauth/31+ Services/All System Diagnosis

If you're looking for a budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool that delivers efficient diagnostics with bidirectional control, you might want to check out the TOPDON ArtiDiag Pro OBD2 Scanner.

Pros:
  • Advanced online ECU coding
  • Efficient diagnostics with bidirectional control
  • 31+ services resolve 90% of repair challenges
Cons:
  • Not compatible with SCN coding for BENZ
  • FCA AUTOAUTH is not available
  • A fee of 249 bucks will apply for software updates after two years
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We’ve been using the TOPDON ArtiDiag Pro OBD2 Scanner for a while now, and we’re impressed with its performance. The scan tool is seamlessly compatible with renowned models such as VW, AUDI, SKODA, SEAT, BENZ, and more, empowering you to uncover hidden features, deactivate annoying functions, and code retrofitted components for peak performance.

The bidirectional scan tool exceeds expectations, enabling targeted tests on individual actuators to swiftly identify and resolve issues. Covering lights, door locks, fuel and coolant systems, windows, wipers, EVAP, and more in vehicle components, the ArtiDiag Pro is an efficient diagnostic tool that saves you valuable time.

The ArtiDiag Pro scan tool offers full system diagnostics for 100+ brands, ensuring you have a complete spectrum of information to maintain your vehicle’s optimal performance. Beyond diagnostics, ArtiDiag Pro excels in key programming, facilitating tasks such as adding new keys, all key lost, and remote control learning.

At TOPDON, your satisfaction is their unwavering commitment. The ArtiDiag Pro OBD2 scanner comes with professional customer support and a lifetime of expert assistance. If you encounter any challenges, reach out to them at 833-629-4832.

In conclusion, the TOPDON ArtiDiag Pro OBD2 Scanner is an excellent budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool that delivers efficient diagnostics with bidirectional control. It’s packed with features and offers professional customer support, making it a reliable choice for home technicians.

XTOOL Anyscan A30M Wireless OBD2 Scanner

Wireless OBD2 Scanner for Android & iPhone, XTOOL Anyscan A30M 2024 Newest Bidirectional Scan Tool with Free Updates, All System Diagnostics, 21 Resets, ABS Bleed, Oil Reset, Upgraded Ver. of A30

If you're looking for a reliable and budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool, the XTOOL Anyscan A30M is a great option. We highly recommend this product for home car owners and DIYers who want to perform comprehensive diagnostics and repairs on their vehicles.

Pros:
  • Enjoy lifetime free updates with a one-time payment, making it the ultimate cost-effective OBD2 diagnostic scanner.
  • Shorten troubleshooting and repair time with full bi-directional control/active tests, including EVAP test, fuel pump, fuel injector, A/C Clutch, window, door, sunroof, and more.
  • Experience comprehensive insights into your vehicle's health with full system diagnostics and 8-IN-1 live data stream.
Cons:
  • Some services may not work on all vehicles, so it's important to check compatibility before purchase.
  • The product may have some cons, but it's worth dealing with them for what you get in return.
  • The device may not allow the user to do a brake bleed, as the function may be unavailable.
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The XTOOL Anyscan A30M is a portable car service tool with 21 resets, including Oil Reset, EPB Reset, SAS, ABS Brake Bleeding, Throttle Relearn, and Injector Coding. The scheduled vehicle maintenance can keep your vehicle in peak condition and save big on dealership trips.

The wireless diagnostic scanner is compatible with 85+ American, European, and Asian car makes, providing an abundance of diagnostic options through BT connectivity with your smartphone. The fast and stable wireless diagnosis ensures mobility up to 33 feet, making it the perfect compact diagnostic scanner for those who prefer wireless diagnostics.

If you encounter any issues with the product, XTOOL Anyscan A30M wireless car diagnostic scanner comes with a solid 2-Year US Warranty, lifetime free updates, and round-the-clock tech support. Our responsive team at xtoolofficial @ hotmail . com is ready to provide fast responses and technical assistance.

In conclusion, the XTOOL Anyscan A30M is a reliable and budget-friendly bi-directional scan tool that provides comprehensive insights into your vehicle’s health. We highly recommend this product for home car owners and DIYers who want to perform comprehensive diagnostics and repairs on their vehicles.

Buying Guide

When it comes to buying a budget bi-directional scan tool, there are several features that you should consider to make sure you get the best product for your needs. Below, we have outlined some of the key factors to keep in mind when making your purchase.

Compatibility

The first thing to consider is compatibility. Make sure that the scan tool you choose is compatible with your vehicle’s make and model. You can usually find this information in the product description or on the manufacturer’s website. It’s also important to ensure that the scan tool is compatible with the operating system of your computer or mobile device if you plan to use it with a companion app.

Functions

Next, consider the functions that the scan tool offers. Look for a tool that can read and clear diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), as well as provide real-time data on your vehicle’s performance. Some scan tools may also offer advanced functions like bi-directional control, which allows you to activate certain components of your vehicle, such as the fuel pump or the cooling fan.

Display

The display is another important factor to consider. Look for a scan tool with a clear and easy-to-read display that provides all the information you need at a glance. Some scan tools may also offer customizable displays that allow you to choose which data points are displayed.

Price

Finally, consider the price of the scan tool. While you want to get the best value for your money, it’s important to remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best. Look for a scan tool that offers the features you need at a price point that fits your budget.

Overall, choosing the right budget bi-directional scan tool requires careful consideration of several factors. By keeping these key features in mind, you can find a tool that meets your needs and helps you keep your vehicle running smoothly.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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