You might be surprised that the best Toyota scan tools don’t have to set you back hundreds of dollars. As a matter of fact, you can find a great diagnostic scanner for as little as twenty bucks or less.
The question you have to ask yourself is what kind of diagnostic information you want to see for your Toyota. Most of the time, you’ll need to pay a bit more for features like continuous monitoring, or to read codes beyond those covered by OBD2.
Want to know more? We’ve picked out our 7 favorite Toyota scan tools and reviewed them below. While they vary widely in price and functionality, you’ll be sure to find one that meets your needs. Let’s dig in!
- 1 What Is A Toyota Scan Tool?
- 2 What Is OBD2?
- 3 The 7 Best Toyota Scan Tools Review 2020
- 3.1 1. Foxwell NT301 OBD2 Toyota Scan Tool
- 3.2 2. Ancel AD410 Enhanced OBDII Toyota Scan Tool
- 3.3 3. Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Toyota Scan Tool
- 3.4 4. Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Toyota Scan Tool
- 3.5 5. OBDLink MX+ OBD2 Toyota Scan Tool
- 3.6 6. BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro OBDII Toyota Scan Tool
- 3.7 7. FIXD OBD2 Professional Toyota Bluetooth Scan Tool
- 4 Final Thoughts
What Is A Toyota Scan Tool?
A diagnostic scan tool interacts with your engine computer through the vehicle’s OBD2 port. This diagnostic protocol is mandatory on all cars, SUVs, and light pickups made in the United States from 1996 onward. When your ECU senses a problem, it triggers a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) and turns on the check engine light.
The traditional design for Toyota scan tools uses a hand-held device connected to the OBD2 port by a cable. These stand-alone devices read codes and sensors, displaying the information on the screen.
You can also find diagnostic software that turns your computer or phone into a powerful Toyota scan tool. To use this software, you’ll want a different kind of scan tool: an OBD2 adapter. These adapters enable your device to communicate directly with your engine and come in both wired and wireless models.
Not all Toyota scan tools offer the same features. The simplest designs are perhaps better described as code readers. They can read and clear any DTCs produced by the engine computer but don’t do much more than that.
Most hand-held scanners will offer some or all of the OBD2 diagnostic modes, expanding their potential over code readers. This includes graphs of sensor data at the time of the error, or live data directly from on-board sensors.
The most powerful Toyota scan tools also include enhanced codes. Some systems aren’t included in the OBD2 protocol, including most electronic systems and engine systems like the transmission. Enhanced codes give you a more complete overall picture of your vehicle’s health.
What Is OBD2?
OBD stands for “On-Board Diagnostics,” while the 2 refers to the generation (as opposed to the OBD1 protocol found on vehicles made from 1982-1995).
The diagnostics of OBD2 are divided into 10 modes. These include:
- Mode 1: Retrieve live data directly from the ECU.
- Mode 2: Retrieve raw data stored at the moment a trouble code was set (also known as Freeze Frame data).
- Mode 3: Read diagnostic trouble codes set by the ECU.
- Mode 4: Clear diagnostic trouble codes, as well as associated freeze frame data.
- Mode 5: View ECU’s oxygen sensor test results.
- Mode 6: Access results from on-board monitoring tests of select systems.
- Mode 7: Access emissions trouble codes detected during the last completed drive cycle (also known as “pending codes”).
- Mode 8: Lets you take control of on-board systems and components to run bi-directional tests.
- Mode 9: Provides vehicle identification number (VIN) and calibration numbers.
- Mode 10: Also called Mode A, this allows you to see and clear any permanent codes stored in the ECU.
All of the Toyota scan tools reviewed below offer at least Modes 3 and 4 of OBD2, and most will also include Mode 1 (live data), Mode 2 (freeze frame), and Mode 9 (VIN information).
The 7 Best Toyota Scan Tools Review 2020
1. Foxwell NT301 OBD2 Toyota Scan Tool
The Foxwell NT301 isn’t just a check engine light reader. While it can read and clear diagnostic trouble codes, it also gives you access to other OBD2 modes. You can test the oxygen sensors, run an I/M readiness test, and check your vehicle’s VIN information with the Foxwell NT301. That makes it just as useful when you’re preparing for an emissions test as it is for identifying why your check engine light is on.
Live Data Graphing
The Foxwell NT301 logs and graphs live data from 11 different monitors. Among them are the EVAP and EGR systems, some of the most common sources of trouble codes in many vehicles. This data can be printed or saved as you need. That’s very useful for maintaining a repair log to track on-going engine issues.
User Friendly Design
We found the 2.8” color screen on the Foxwell NT301 easy to read and navigate. The hotkeys are helpful, giving you one-button access to I/M readiness and a single button for reading or erasing codes.
Another helpful feature of the Foxwell NT301 is the inclusion of a DTC lookup. You don’t have to waste time searching for definitions of the codes that come up. It’s also helpful that it runs off of the power of your engine, with no need for a battery or other power source.
- Accurately read and clear all engine codes
- DTC lookup explains code definitions
- Check emission readiness and oxygen sensors
- Graphs, logs, and prints live data
- Easy to navigate with I/M readiness and read/erase hotkeys
- Supports 11 monitors and 5 OBD2 protocols
- Compatible with all OBD2-compliant vehicles
- Requires Windows device to update (no iOS support)
- Can’t access non-OBD systems (ABS, SRS, etc.)
Verdict: The Foxwell NT301 is an affordable way to read and clear codes on any OBD2 compliant vehicle. It gives you access to the most frequently used modes of OBD2, including VIN information and I/M readiness tests.
2. Ancel AD410 Enhanced OBDII Toyota Scan Tool
For those who just need a simple and affordable code reader, the Ancel AD410 has the features you need at a price you’ll love. It supports all OBD2 protocols, including CAN, so you can read codes on any vehicle made after 1996.
As far as what you can do with the Ancel AD410, it’s a solid code reader that includes the most useful OBD2 modes. Along with reading and clearing codes, it has a one-button I/M readiness and can check the oxygen sensors. You’ll always know if you’re ready for an emissions test with the Ancel AD410.
There’s a DTC lookup built right into the Ancel AD410 for fast, accurate diagnosis. Along with this, you’ll get helpful freeze frame data and can view live data streams both numerically and graphically. That’s a huge help when you’re trying to identify the source of any fault codes that come up.
The Ancel AD410 is one of the smallest and lightest hand-held code readers out there. While the screen is on the small side for some users, it’s the best scan tool that fits in your pocket. The interface is simple and easy to navigate, as well.
- Great value
- Read and clear all codes, including pending codes
- Displays live data stream and freeze frame data
- Shows code definitions
- Supports all OBD2 protocols and vehicles
- Runs O2 sensor and EVAP system tests
- One-button I/M readiness
- Can’t read non-OBD2 codes
- Some users have difficulty downloading updates
- Screen may be on the small side for some users
Verdict: The Ancel AD410 is the best car code reader in the under-$50 price range, providing accurate OBD diagnosis for home mechanics at a great value.
3. Autel MS300 Universal OBD2 Toyota Scan Tool
Affordable Code Reading
There’s no reason to spend a fortune on a costly scanner if you just need to read and clear DTCs. The Autel MS300 is the best code reader for Toyota owners on a budget, with the basic functionality you need to diagnose and repair engine problems. Along with reading trouble codes, the Autel MS300 can retrieve VIN info for most vehicles (2002 and later), saving you time on tracking down repair information.
Emission Test Data
Not all modes of OBD2 are supported by the Autel MS300, but it does give you useful emissions test information. It can run an I/M readiness status check, first of all. You’ll also get access to 5 monitors related to emissions: fuel system, comprehensive components, oxygen sensors, EVAP system, and misfires.
Because it cuts back on unnecessary extras, the Autel MS300 is streamlined and efficient. You can retrieve codes in seconds, and there’s no navigation confusion. Its 2-button design is both wonderfully simple and remarkably compact.
The only downside of this simplicity is that the screen is small and text-only. This means no graphing of data or extended code definitions on the scanner. Having said that, the slim, user-friendly design is perfect for keeping in your glove box to use any time, anywhere.
- Read and clear DTCs faster than other models
- Can retrieve I/M readiness status
- Checks 5 sensor monitors (including fuel system, O2 sensors, and EVAP)
- Supports most OBDII protocols
- Reads all codes, including pending and manufacturer-specific
- Can retrieve VIN information on vehicles 2002 and newer
- Works with all cars, SUVs, and light trucks made after 1996
- No freeze frame or live data
- Some users report linking errors on newer vehicles
Verdict: If you just need to read and clear codes, the Autel MS300 gets the job done for less than twenty bucks, making it one of the best Toyota scan tools for buyers on a budget.
4. Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Toyota Scan Tool
Plug and Play Operation
Here’s another great option from Autel, the AutoLink AL319. Its full-color screen is easy to navigate and includes one-button I/M readiness. The LED indicators make it easier to tell when you have issues at a glance.
You can navigate menus, read codes, and run tests without wasting any time on the Autel AL319. The built-in speakers also provide audible indications, in addition to the information on the color screen.
Comprehensive Code Reader
For reading codes, the Autel AL319 is accurate and efficient. It covers vehicles made after 1996 in the United States, as well as many models from Europe and Asia. The on-board code definitions are helpful, too, letting you quickly get to the root of the problem. The Autel AL319 also clears codes so you can turn off the check engine light once you’ve made repairs.
OBDII Modes and Functions
Most modes of OBD2 are covered by the Autel AL319, including both live data and freeze frame information. When it’s time for an emissions test, you can make sure you’re ready with the I/M Readiness feature. The option to look up VIN information is another great time saver.
The only major omission on the Autel AL319 is that it can’t check the status of your oxygen sensors. However, you can read any oxygen sensor error codes, so you can still diagnose any issues they’re having.
- Simple plug and play operation
- One-button I/M readiness
- Reads DTCs and provides definitions
- Supports freeze frame and live data
- Works on most vehicles from North America, Europe, and Asia
- Affordable price
- No O2 sensor or component test capability
- Updating can be a hassle
Verdict: With a simple plug-and-play interface, the Autel AL319 is one of the best Toyota scan tools for users looking for speed and efficiency. Its comprehensive vehicle and protocol support lets it work with more vehicles than other scan tools in the price range.
5. OBDLink MX+ OBD2 Toyota Scan Tool
Efficient Space-Saving Design
The OBDLink MX+ OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter turns any device into the best professional automotive diagnostic scanner. It works with Android, Windows, or iOS operating systems. Since the MX+ communicates through Bluetooth, you won’t be limited by a cable like you are with hand-held scan tools.
Along with its diagnostic power, the OBDLink MX+ has a smart, energy-efficient design. The low-current sleep mode prevents it from draining the battery when you’re not using it. You’ll also enjoy protections against hackers and a high data processing rate. It gives you more data and does it quickly and safely.
Toyota owners can access enhanced diagnostics using the OBDLink MX+. You’ll still get the full OBD2 diagnostic power offered by other scan tools, with the option to graph and log real-time data. Along with that, you can see parameters from the transmission, TPMS, ABS, SRS, and air conditioning systems.
The features you can access using the OBDLink MX+ are pretty comprehensive. It can measure your fuel economy, for example, and you’ll get other convenient features like remote locking or starting through many apps.
Wide Software Compatibility
You’re not limited to one diagnostic program with the OBDLink MX+. It’s the recommended adapter to use with programs like Torque, AlfaOBD, Dashcommand, and Carista. No matter which software you use, you’ll get the same reliable Bluetooth connection and high data processing speed.
- Compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices
- Reliable Bluetooth connection
- Supports live parameters from non-OBD systems
- Works with a variety of diagnostic software
- Intelligent sleep mode prevents battery drain
- Hacker-proof with over-voltage protection
- Delivers more data per second than similar designs
- Instant, easy updates
- Requires diagnostic software to use
- Higher price
Verdict: The OBDLink MX+ works with more devices and software than other wireless OBD2 adapters. It also offers advanced diagnostics, making it one of the best Toyota scan tools for going beyond OBD2.
6. BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro OBDII Toyota Scan Tool
Easy to Use Software
Unlike other OBD2 adapters, the BlueDriver LSB2 comes with the BlueDriver software included. That means no extra expense before you start your diagnostics, and no time spent searching for the right program.
The BlueDriver app works on both iOS and Android devices and is designed to be easy for non-experts to use. Data can be viewed as a gauge or graph, whatever’s easier for you. The customizable dashboard shows the information you need clearly and quickly.
Full OBD2 Modes
You can do more than reading and clearing codes with BlueDriver. It supports all 10 modes of the OBD2 diagnostics, including Mode 6 for advanced test results from on-board monitors. The smog check function is helpful for emissions tests and you can see the VIN information and freeze frame data for any codes that trigger.
BlueDriver also lets you do more with the data you read than other scan tools. Saving data is easy since it works through your phone or tablet. You’ll also get the option to log and export any live data readings, letting you share that information with mechanics if you can’t make the repair yourself.
With enhanced diagnostics, you can see the information that doesn’t activate the check engine light. This means BlueDriver can help you fix problems with the transmission, airbags, or anti-lock brakes. You can even see data from the climate control system, something that many scan tools neglect.
- Diagnostic software comes included
- Works with Android and iOS systems
- Customizable dash shows data as graphs or gauges
- Free instant updates
- Enhanced codes (ABS, SRS, transmission) available for Toyota
- Supports all 10 OBD2 modes, including Mode 6
- Can’t be used with 3rd-party software
- Some features require a paid subscription
Verdict: BlueDriver is the best professional automotive scan tool for home garages. Toyota drivers will get access to diagnostic data from 4 major systems, as well as the full OBD2 diagnostic information.
7. FIXD OBD2 Professional Toyota Bluetooth Scan Tool
Like BlueDriver, the FIXD OBD2 Professional Bluetooth Scan Tool comes with the software included. The FIXD app is built to make repairs easy. It doesn’t just give you the trouble codes, freeze frame, and live data. The FIXD repair suggestions give you more information on how to fix the problem, provided by actual ASE certified experts.
Setting up FIXD is easy, too. It syncs to your device automatically and can be left in the OBD port full-time with no power drain. The app interface is clean and easy to navigate, too, and tells you when serious problems need immediate attention.
The diagnostics on FIXD start with the same OBD2 codes and data you’ll get from other scanners. This includes over 10,000 trouble codes and freeze frame data. Live data can be displayed in charts, graphs, or gauges, with the option to view multiple sensors simultaneously.
FIXD goes beyond OBD2, as well. This is the main reason it’s among the best Toyota scan tools. You can check on the tire pressure and see trouble codes for systems like airbags, anti-lock brakes, and transmission. No matter where the problem is, you’ll get it explained in clear language, with helpful suggestions for the repairs.
One advantage of an adapter system like FIXD is that you can track your engine’s operation. Continuous monitoring means you’ll know as soon as a problem comes up. It also tracks your mileage, with a helpful Maintenance Timeline feature that reminds you when it’s time for a tune-up.
- Offers repair advice from ASE certified mechanics
- Maintenance Timeline provides service reminders
- Enhanced codes include transmission, ABS, SRS, and TPMS
- Compatible with all gas vehicles 1996 and later
- Continuous monitoring with no energy drain
- Can display multiple PIDs on screen at once
- Syncs automatically via Bluetooth
- Doesn’t work with diesel or electric vehicles
- Not compatible with 3rd-party diagnostic software
Verdict: With continuous monitoring as well as multi-system diagnostics, FIXD is the best automotive diagnostic scanner for Toyota drivers who want complete control over their engine’s health.
If you have space in your budget, investing in a wireless OBD2 adapter is the best choice for most Toyota owners. First, they allow you to access more diagnostic information, including systems not covered under OBD2. Second, they offer helpful features like a customizable dashboard and continuous monitoring that make it easier to keep your engine in good shape.
The truth is, most OBD2 scanners will pay for themselves in short order. Getting a diagnostic run at a mechanic costs more than most of the scanners on this list. Even if you don’t know how to make engine repairs, some trouble codes can be cleared by simply tightening the gas cap, for example—something you don’t need to pay a repairman to do.
The best Toyota scan tools let you take control of your vehicle’s health. If you want that peace of mind (and the associated savings), you should get your hands on one of these scan tools today! It’s an investment you’ll be glad you made the next time the check engine light comes on.