When searching for the best OBD2 scanner for BMW, there are a plethora of obstacles that end up blocking people in their path.
In fact, for the vast majority of people, most do not even know exactly what an OBD2 scanner is.
Well, if this sounds like you, don’t worry.
We will be clearing up any and all questions you may have about OBD2 scanners throughout this article, and we will also be giving you our top choices for some of the best options out there in the market right now.
Let’s jump right into it.
The Table of Best OBD2 Scanner For BMW (2023 Updated)
What is The Best OBD2 Scanner For BMWs?
If someone were to ask us what the best diagnostic tool for BMW is, there are a near-endless list of options that come to mind.
There are some truly incredibly OBD2 scanners out there, and to disregard some of the top choices would be wasteful.
However, if we absolutely had to give our top choice for one reason or another, our usual answer would be the ANCEL AD310.
Why is ANCEL AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner The Best OBD2 Scanner For BMWs?
We believe that the best scanner for BMW is the ANCEL AD310 for a plethora of reasons, with perhaps the most notable being its general well-roundness.
This piece of equipment performs every function extremely well, and there are few other options out there that can even come close when it comes to build quality and reliability.
If you are just looking to get in and get out quick with a simple answer to what the best OBD2 scanner for BMW is, the ANCEL AD310 will more than suffice.
10 Best OBD2 Scanner For BMW Reviews & Buyer’s Guideline in 2023
As we mentioned previously, there are a ton of incredible options when it comes to great OBD2 scanners for BMWs.
In reality, different options are better suited for specific tasks, and the best scanner for one person may be the worst scanner for another.
Because of this fact, we decided to include another nine options on top of our original answer to provide you with the best chances possible of getting the perfect product for you.
Here we go.
01. ANCEL AD310 – Best Diagnostic Tool For BMW
- equipped with a 2.5-foot long cable
- Large LCD
In our opinion, the ANCEL AD310 is the best OBD2 scanner that is currently available to the general public.
With this scanner, you will be able to scan and correct the vast majority of error codes with relative ease, and it also has a plethora of nice bonus features that make it truly shine.
For example, it has a large LCD that is easy to read, has multi-language functionality, doesn’t require batteries, and is easily portable.
The only downside to the AD310 is that is unable to scan certain codes such as ABS and SRS (Airbags), whereas most other scanners on this list can.
Although, we believe this small downside is well worth putting up with for the sheer quality you get with the AD310, and if you can deal with not being able to read the aforementioned codes, then you will have an incredible scanner on your hands.
- Easily portable
- Doesn’t require batteries
- Easy to read
- Can’t read ABS, SRS(Airbag), and a few other systems fault codes
02. Autel AutoLink AL319 – Best Scanner For BMW
- Easy to use interface
- Has hard outer case
- Has a long cable
Autel AutoLink AL319 is easily one of the best OBD2 scanners out there on the market.
This scanner has an amazing interface that is easy to use, multi-language functionality, an incredibly durable case, a long cable, and also has a quick diagnostic function that makes scanning a car a joy.
This entry is truly exceptional in almost all areas, and for the vast majority of people, it is going to be a great choice.
However, there is one problem we have with AL319, and that is that it has been known to not be eligible with all the vehicles it states.
Before you purchase this one, it would be best to do a quick google search to see if it is actually eligible with your car.
- Has a specular interface design
- Gives a quick diagnostic
- Isn’t compatible with all stated vehicles
03. OBDLink MX+ – Best OBD2 Scanner For BMW
- Can be used on iPhone and PC
- Fits a variety of brands
- Over-voltage protection
- Can be left on due to intelligent sleep mode
OBDLink’s MX+ has the unique feature of having no display.
Whilst this may sound concerning at first, don’t worry.
Users are able to connect the MX+ to their phone via Bluetooth, essentially turning your phone into a makeshift OBD2 scanner.
This is incredibly useful, as it means the actual size of the OBDLink MX+ only has to be half the size of a normal scanner.
Apart from just being easily portable, this scanner also has another innovative feature called “intelligent sleep mode”.
In practical terms, this means that you can leave this scanner on almost all of the time, and this can lead you to being able to diagnose and fix any issues as soon as they arise.
However, this scanner does come with one setback; it requires Bluetooth.
This can quickly become a burden, and if this is something you are not ready to deal with, it may be better to look elsewhere.
- Can turn your phone into a diagnostic tool
- Incredibly innovative
- Easily portable
- Needs Bluetooth
04. AUTOPHIX Enhanced
- Has a strong outer case
- Easy to read
- Covers a wide range of issues
- Great display
The AUTOPHIX Enhanced has a terrific display, covers a wide range of issues, is incredibly easy to read, and is durable.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of this scanner is the fact that it is marketed as having a “drop-proof” case, and while this might not be completely true, it certainly has one of the most robust cases on this list.
There is one common problem that a huge number of people have found with the AUTOPHIX Enhanced, and that is that it is not capable of being able to read as many codes as it claims.
That’s not to say it cannot read a vast number of codes; it can.
Although, many people have found it not being able to read some BMW-specific codes, and this is going to be a put-off for many.
- Drop-proof case
- Can read and erase a wide range of codes
- Large icons
- Known too not read all BMW functions
05. FOXWELL NT510
- Made for BMWs
- Can read all major system codes
- Has a very protective outer case
- Looks great
When it comes to which option best fits the bill for a heavy-duty OBD2 scanner, the FOXWELL NT510 is just the natural choice.
This scanner has perhaps the most protective outer case out of any of the other scanners on this list, and there is no doubt that it could easily withstand a drop or two throughout its lifetime.
Speaking of lifetime; it also has an impressive lifespan, with people citing this scanner to last for years on end.
One thing that is important to mention when talking about the NT510 is its extreme size, and whilst this may be a great positive for some, it may be a negative for others.
If space isn’t a concern for you and you’re just looking for a powerhouse of an OBD2 scanner, you couldn’t ask for much better than this.
- long service life
- Large LCD
- Reads a variety of different codes
06. ANCEL BM700
- Durable outer case
- Made for BMWs
- Reads most major codes
- Works with other vehicles besides BMWs
If you are just looking for a reliable workhorse of an OBD2 scanner and are not concerned with being able to read every code imaginable, then the ANCEL BM700 may just be the right fit for you.
This scanner is incredibly durable, reads most major codes, is widely compatible, and is easy to use.
It is true that the BM700 was made with BMWs in mind.
However, it is also able to read most major codes from other brands – making it perfect for those that primarily drive a BMW but want a widely-compatible scanner as well.
The only issue we have with this one is that we found that it doesn’t read as many codes as it claims to, and there are a plethora of reports stating the same thing.
Although, if you are only interested in reading and correcting the most notable codes, then this will not be an issue at all.
- Large icons
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t read as many codes as it claims too
07. Veepeak OBDCheck
- Can be used on iPhone & Android
- Not likely to break if dropped
- Universal vehicle compatibility
- Reads a wide range of codes
The OBDCheck by Veepeak is one of the few entries on this list that uses your mobile device as the main operating device.
In turn, this can essentially turn your phone into an OBD2 scanner, and this means that it makes full use of the high-quality display and screen size on your phone.
Although, this also comes with the setback of requiring Bluetooth at all times in order to use this scanner.
This can be an annoyance at times, and if you are looking to get a scanner in the case of an emergency situation, then an option like this would not be a good choice.
However, if you just want to get a small and reliable scanner that you can carry around with you at all times, then this would be a perfect fit.
- Incredibly portable
- Requires Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
08. INNOVA 5210
- Designed to fit in your hand
- Has hotkeys for quick navigation
- Easy to use
- Checks for a wide range of issues
INNOVA’s 5210 has a few innovative features that set it apart from most OBD2 scanners.
For one, the unique shape of the 5210 makes it extremely comfortable to hold, and while this may not be a massive feature, it’s still a nice bonus to have.
Secondly, this scanner also has a number of hotkeys to allow users to navigate through the device much easier, and this innovative design truly makes using the 5210 a breeze.
As well as both of the previously mentioned features, this scanner is also highly capable when it comes to detecting and fixing error codes.
However, there is one aspect of design that truly puts the 5210 down a few marks, and that is that you have to pay extra to use it on more than one vehicle.
This is not seen on the vast majority of other scanners, and in reality, it just comes off a little malicious.
- Easy to read
- Comfortable to hold
- Have to pay extra to use on other vehicles
09. Vgate iCar Pro
- Easily portable
- Can be used on a phone
The Vgate iCar Pro offers something that is not offered by most of the other scanners on this list, that being its incredibly small size.
This scanner would be perfect for those of you who just want to have a scanner in the case that you may need it, but just want to be able to throw it in a bag or draw until that day arrives.
Moreover, something that may be seen as a possible or a negative depending on the person is the fact that this scanner works through your phone, meaning that your phone will essentially be converted into an OBD2 scanner whilst this is connected.
However, this also means that you will have to connect this scanner to your phone’s Bluetooth whenever you want to use it – something which may not be possible in an emergency situation.
- Can throw it in a bag and forget about it
- Requires Bluetooth
10. Creator C310
- Made especially for BMWs
- Reads a wide range of codes
- Has a large screen
At first, you may think the Creator C310 to be a complete pushover due to the fact it is so far down on this list.
Although, if this is the case, we would urge you to give it a chance.
The Creator C310 offers a surprising amount for an entry so far down on this list, and in reality, it could have easily been placed a few spots higher than its current position.
Unlike most of the other scanners on this list, the C310 was specifically made for BMWs, making it much more capable of reading some of the more brand-specific error codes that may pop up.
On top of this, this scanner also has an incredibly strong case that is unlikely to break in the event of a drop, can read a wide range of codes, and is also extremely durable.
The only drawback for this entry is that its cable is almost laughably short, and for that design failure alone, we decided to put it so far down on this list.
- Has large icons
- Can read codes most other scanners don’t
- Has an incredibly strong case
- Cable is extremely short
The Purchasing Factors of Best OBD2 Scanner For BMW
When looking to buy an OBD2 scanner for a BMW, as well as any car for that matter, there are a few essential factors you need to take into consideration if you want to make the best decision possible.
The vast majority of people who have an incline to get an OBD2 usually go with the first option they come across, and while this may be fine in some cases, it will normally end up being a terrible decision.
This is even more so the case for people who are not too knowledgeable about OBD2 scanners, and you may not even realise if you are getting a bad deal even if it is evident.
Factoring in all the information above, I’m sure that we can all come to the common consensus that knowing what to look for when buying an OBD2 scanner is an essential part of the buying process, and if you neglect to take care on this front, you are almost guaranteed to not be happy with your purchase.
Let’s dive straight into it.
Despite the fact that language is immediately evident as one of the most important factors you need to look out for, this doesn’t stop vast numbers of people from going out and purchasing an OBD2 scanner that they cannot understand.
Although, if you happen to speak English, this likely will not be an issue for you.
The only time an English-speaking person would need to look out for language is if they would like the option of having multiple other potential languages on offer in the case that a friend or family may use it, or in extreme scenarios, an OBD2 scanner may not even have English as an option.
The latter example is incredibly unlikely to happen, as almost all OBD2 scanners have English as a primary language. However, it’s always best to check just in case.
If you don’t happen to speak English, then what are you doing reading this article?
Jokes aside, operating language is always going to be something you need to double-check before purchasing an OBD2 scanner, and if you would like additional languages to be included, then this is something you are going to have to look out for.
Similarly to language, compatibility is also a vital feature that most people tend to forget about when shopping for an OBD2 scanner.
Because of the fact that different cars have different error codes as well as different instruments for measuring them, not all OBD2 scanners will work on all cars.
Moreover, even if an OBD2 scanner claims to be compatible with your car, if it isn’t the right year or is some sort of special edition, this same point also applies.
You always need to triple check whether or not a specific OBD2 scanner is compatible with your year and model of car, and if you don’t, you could end up outright wasting your money.
Luckily enough, this issue is easily fixable.
As long as you take care to ensure that the OBD2 scanner you get is fully-compatible with your car, you cannot go wrong.
03. Scanning Capabilities
Scanning precision means, in practical terms, how competent a scanner is at detecting and correcting issues.
An OBD2 scanner that is not very capable will have a hard time detecting even the most basic errors, and you might as well forget about trying to correct anything a little more advanced.
On the other hand, if you happen to get an OBD2 scanner that is highly competent and able to detect a wide range of complex issues, then you will be able to diagnose your car with near-absolute certainty.
Of course, there is a trade-off between the two previously mentioned scenarios.
If you opt to get an inexpensive OBD2 scanner that costs less money up front, you will save some money in the short term. However, in the long run, you will have to take your car to a mechanic much more often, meaning you will end up paying way more in service fees.
It’s always better to go with a more precise instrument in the long run, and this way, you can at least guarantee that you will never doubt the quality of your scanner.
The display of a scanner is a factor that often gets overlooked.
In fact, when it comes to the day-to-day use of a scanner, the display is perhaps the most important aspect.
There are a variety of reasons as to why this is the case, with the most notable being simple ease-of-use.
If you find it hard to accurately read your scanner or have trouble reading what it is trying to display, this is going to be incredibly frustrating, and the chances of you going out to get another option are extremely high.
Another situation where the display is of extreme importance is when/if you have difficulties with sight.
If a scanner has writing that is too small or a font that you have trouble seeing/icons that are unreadable to you, then that is quickly going to lead you to become dissatisfied.
You should always make sure that you are happy with every aspect of a scanners display before purchasing, and this way, you will never run into any issues relating to the interface.
Scanners come in various shapes and sizes, and depending on your specific tastes and situation, this may become something that is incredibly important.
For example, if you want a scanner that you can just put in a bag and forget about until the time comes when you need it, you are not going to want something that is huge.
Another situation where size comes into play is if you have very little space in your car.
Having an OBD2 scanner laying around all time because you have no room to house it is going to get old quickly, and you will soon come to resent your purchase.
Alternatively, if you happen to have ample space in your car and size is of little to no concern, then you could opt to get a bigger model that is much easier to use and see.
There are positives and negatives to both sides of the coin, and in reality, you just have to figure out which would be the best option for you.
Aesthetics Is the only factor out of our buying considerations that can be considered non-essential.
To some people, the aesthetics of a scanner will not matter at all and said people will more than likely be more interested in pure utility.
Although, for others, getting an OBD2 scanner that you like to look at is going to be integral to ensure that you are happy with your purchase, and neglecting to purchase based upon looks can easily make you regret your purchase.
There is a wide range of different OBD2 scanners out there, all having their own looks and styles.
Finding one that you are happy with is always a good decision.
In fact, even if you don’t think that look will be that big of a factor for you, it is still a good idea to go with something you like the look of just to ensure you are happy in the long run.
If you still haven’t been able to decide which scanner is right for you after reading this article, don’t worry.
There is no rush to make a decision, and in fact, the longer you leave it, the more likely it will be that you will make the right choice.
Saying this, there is no “right” choice.
Just because one scanner may be the best for someone else doesn’t mean it will be for you, and understanding this and taking it to heart is going to allow you to make a much better decision overall.
As long as you pick what option is best for you, you can’t go wrong.