Looking to find the differences between OBDLink LX, OBDLink MX+, and OBDLink EX? You’re in the right place!
OBDLink LX, OBDLink MX+, and OBDLink EX OBD II adapters are great tools packed with useful features for conducting comprehensive auto diagnostics like this on your own. However, choosing one of the three can be a daunting task both for DIYers and mechanics.
To help you make the best decision, we’ve carefully examined these OBD II scanners and reviewed their features, compatibility, supported protocols, differences, and more. This guide is the product of our careful examination, and it has all the info you need to choose between the OBDLink LX, OBDLink MX+, and OBDLink EX.
- 1 Table of Comparison for OBDLink LX Vs. OBDLink MX+ Vs. OBDLink EX
- 2 About OBDLink LX, OBDLink MX+, and OBDLink EX
- 3 Detailed Comparison and Review of OBDLink LX, MX+, and EX
- 4 Which Suits Me?
- 5 FAQs OBDLink LX, OBDLink MX+, and OBDLink EX
Table of Comparison for OBDLink LX Vs. OBDLink MX+ Vs. OBDLink EX
|Weight||4 oz||3 oz||3.4 oz|
|Dimensions||1.97 x 1.77 x 0.91 inches||1.97 x 1.77 x 0.91 inches||3.5 L X 1.78 W inches|
|Connection||Bluetooth v3.0||Bluetooth v3.0||USB 2.0|
|Vehicle Compatibility||All 1996 and newer model year cars and light trucks in the United States; OBD II-compliant cars outside the United States.||All 1996 and newer model year cars and light trucks in the United States; OBD II-compliant cars outside the United States.||Optimized for Ford vehicles; all 1996 and newer model year cars and light trucks in the United States; OBD II-compliant cars outside the United States.|
|OBD II Function||Read and Clear Codes, Turn Off Check Engine Light, DTC Lookup, Data Stream, I/M Readiness||Read & Clear Error Codes, I/M Readiness, Turn Off Check Engine Light, DTC Lookup, Support CAN, Data Stream||Read and Clear Error Codes, I/M Readiness, Turn Off Check Engine Light, I/M Readiness, Data Stream, DTC lookup|
|System Diagnosis||Engine||ABS, SRS, TPMS, A/C, transmission temperature, and wheel speeds||ABS, SRS, TPMS, A/C, transmission|
|Special Functions||-||MS-CAN and SW-CAN||HS-CAN, MS-CAN, and J1850 Ford networks|
|Marketed Users||Best for people who want access to the standard legislated OBD II protocols.||Users who need access to proprietary Ford & GM vehicle networks (MS-CAN and SW-CAN) in addition to the standard OBD-II protocols.||Users who want to use the Windows Forscan software to its fullness|
|Pros||-Works well with Android and Windows.|
-More affordable option compared to others.
-Allowing users to diagnose engine and emissions problems.
|- Compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows.|
- Supports additional protocols like SW-CAN and MS-CAN
- Diagnoses other systems in addition to the engine.
|- Free of possible data corruption and network interference. |
- Users can scan their vehicles 20 times faster than others with “toggle switch” adapters.
|Cons||- Sometimes be inconvenient because of requiring physical access to pair with your phone or PC’s Bluetooth|
- Can only scan and diagnose the vehicle engine and nothing else.
- Not iOS support.
|- Sometimes be inconvenient because of requiring physical access to pair with your phone or PC’s Bluetooth|
- The most expensive scanner of the trio.
|- Have to sit in your car while performing an OBD II check.|
- Not compatible with iOS devices.
About OBDLink LX, OBDLink MX+, and OBDLink EX
OBDLink LX is an affordable, hacker-proof, super-fast Bluetooth OBD II adapter that turns your smartphone or computer into a car diagnostic device. It provides results in real-time, allowing you to monitor your vehicle on the go.
LX Bluetooth is easy to install, and using it is straightforward even if you’re not an expert mechanic. It has a Bluetooth button behind it that connects the scanner to your phone or computer. Physical access is needed for Bluetooth pairing, making it difficult for hackers to hijack your connection remotely. It also uses a strong PIN, which makes it even more secure.
OBDLink LX supports all cars and light trucks sold in the U.S since 1996, and it supports all OBD II, EOBD, and JOBD protocols. OBDLink LX also supports other international OBD II versions. However, a significant drawback for many people is that it doesn’t work on iOS devices.
The adapter’s strongest feature is its lightning speed that beats that of all competitors in the market. You can expect up to 4X the response time of the average OBD II adapters.
OBDLink MX+ is another reliable OBD II adapter that offers maximum vehicle coverage. In addition to supporting all OBD II protocols, it has added support for SW-CAN and MS-CAN protocols for advanced Ford and GM networks.
OBDLink MX+ is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows. It comes with free apps for all of these platforms. It is important to note that MX+ Bluetooth supports more Android, iOS, and Windows apps than any other OBD II adapters out there.
Like other OBDLink Bluetooth adapters, it provides results in real-time and operates at an incredible speed. OBDLink MX+ is easy to install, hacker-proof, and uses a difficult-to-guess PIN for security.
The MX+ has multiple international certifications, as well as certifications in North America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. Hence, you don’t have to be in the United States to become a better DIYer.
OBDLink EX is an OBD II adapter specially made for FORScan. It is fully optimized for the FORScan software on Windows, so you can use it to full capacity when diagnosing Ford CAN buses. The adapter was built from scratch to give FORScan exclusive use of the product’s OBD scan features.
OBDLink EX allows access to all of Ford’s ECUs, as well as other OBD II legislated protocols. With OBDLink EX, Ford owners can perform diagnostic functions via FORScan that even Ford dealerships can’t access, such as MS-CAN and HS-CAN.
Users can execute advanced functions such as monitoring ECUs’ parameters on different CAN networks simultaneously. With OBDLink EX, users can easily switch between any Ford networks, including MS-CAN, HS-CAN, and JI850. Users have the option for a “no switch” to prevent connecting to the wrong network.
OBDLink EX uses USB 2.0 ports, and it is compatible with Android, and Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10. It uses a USB port, so it lacks the hacker-proof security that comes with the Bluetooth-enabled LX and MX+ adapters.
Detailed Comparison and Review of OBDLink LX, MX+, and EX
Things in Common
The OBD II scanners all come with free software that allows users to turn their phones, tablets, and computers into comprehensive diagnostic tools. There’re no hidden costs in the use of the software.
The adapters have a free Android app (OBDLink) and PC software (OBDwiz) for diagnostics. So, you don’t have to spend money on third-party apps. However, there are several third-party apps you can download for your car performance monitoring and diagnostic services.
Third-party apps for OBDLink MX+ include Torque, Dash, FORScan, DashCommand, obdCANex and Harry’s Lap Timer. For OBDLink EX, you can use apps like FORScan, FORScan Lite, Bimmercode, Torque, CaristaMotoScan, and MotoScan. OBDLink LX works with apps like Torque, DashCommand, and Dash.
2. Maximum Vehicle Coverage
All three OBDLink adapters work with all cars and light trucks sold in the U.S since 1996. In addition to OBD II protocols in the United States, they also support other OBD II international variants, as well as EOBD and JOBD.
All three OBD II scanners are affordable options to perform diagnostics on your OBD II compliant vehicles. They allow you to check and clear Check Engine codes and scan the car systems. With any of these OBD II adapters, you save yourself the hassle of going to a mechanic every time.
OBDLink LX, OBDLink MX+, and OBDLink EX all have a 3-year warranty.
OBDLink LX, MX+, and EX: Key Differences Explained
1. The Adapter Design and SpecificationsCheck Price at Amazon
The OBDLink LX has a small frame, with overall dimensions of 1.97 x 1.77 x 0.91 inches. OBDLink MX+ also has a small build and the same dimensions. OBDLink EX has a dimension of 3.5 L x 1.78 W inches.
While the OBDLink LX and OBDLink MX+ both have similar dimensions, OBDLink MX+ has a lighter weight at 3 oz than OBDLink LX’s 4 oz. OBDLink EX sits right in the middle when it comes to weight at 3.4 oz.
2. Operating System
OBDLink LX is only compatible with Android and Windows, while OBDLink MX+, in addition to Android and Windows, also supports iOS. OBDLink EX supports Android and Windows.
3. Supported VehiclesCheck Price at Amazon
The OBDLink LX and MX+ OBD II adapters work well with all cars and light trucks sold in the United States since 1996. Also, they are compatible with many new cars outside of the U.S. However, the OBDLink EX is a bit more specific when it comes to compatibility. Although it is compatible with 1996 and new car models in the United States, it works best with Ford vehicles.
4. Supported Protocols
While the OBDLink LX only supports all standard OBD II protocols, the MX+ takes it a step further with support for Ford & GM’s protocols, such as MS-CAN and SW-CAN. The OBDLink EX was uniquely designed with support for all Ford protocols, including MS-CAN and HS-CAN. However, it also supports almost all legislated OBD II protocols.
5. Features and Functions
OBDLink LX and OBDLink MX+ have commendable hack prevention features. First, they have a unique button at the back that only permits physical access for Bluetooth pairing. That way, a hacker would have to come very close to your car to hack into the adapter. On top of that, the units use a very difficult PIN to secure the communication link.
On the other hand, OBDLink EX lacks Bluetooth connectivity and depends on a USB to connect to the user’s smartphone, tablet, or PC. Although a hacker still needs physical access to hack the device, there’s no security PIN to restrict their access.
6. ConnectionCheck Price at Amazon
Both OBDLink LX and MX+ have a Class 2 Bluetooth v3.0. The connection is ultra-secure with 128-bit data encryption. However, OBDLink EX uses a USB 2.0 to connect to smartphones or computers.
LX costs $59.95, while MX+ goes for $99.95, which is the most expensive of the bunch although it offers the most features. OBDLink EX is the most affordable option at only $49.95. All three products are under $100, but the EX and LX are reasonably-priced for their features and performance, while the MX+ is a bit on the high side.
Which Suits Me?
OBDLink LX is a great fit if you don’t work on Ford and GM vehicle networks. Like the MX+, its Bluetooth connectivity ensures that hackers don’t gain easy access. So, you can attach the device to your car with peace of mind.
OBDLink MX+ will be the perfect choice if you need an OBD II adapter that supports all OBD II protocols and allows you access to advanced Ford and GM networks. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, giving you the same protection you would get with LX. Another stand-out feature is that MX+ supports dozens of third-part apps – more than its closest rival.
If you have a Ford vehicle, then OBDLink EX is your best bet. The OBD II adapter was designed specifically for the diagnostics of Ford vehicles through FORSCan. However, it also allows you to scan and monitor the performance of other car brands.
FAQs OBDLink LX, OBDLink MX+, and OBDLink EX
- Will OBDLink LX work on my iPad?
OBDLink LX Bluetooth adapter will not work on an iPad or any Apple device. The adapter only supports Android and Windows and has no support iOS-enabled devices. To connect an OBDLink to your iPad, you’ll need to get the Wi-Fi version that works on iOS devices.
- Can I use FORScan on my Android device?
The full version of the software is only compatible with Windows. However, there’s a version optimized for mobile devices, known as FORScan Lite. You can download the Lite version for use on your Android and iOS devices.
- Will the OBDLink LX, MX+, and EX work with any vehicle older than 1996?
The LX, MX+, and EX are OBD II adapters, which allows them only support vehicles with the model year 1996 or newer. An OBD-I car adapter will be your best option for older vehicle models.
- Do I need to update my OBDLink software?
OBDLink regularly updates the software for their products. However, the updates are free for life.
- Will the OBDLink LX, MX+, and EX let me read and clear trouble codes?
The OBDLink scanners will allow you to read trouble codes from your vehicle. With the OBDWiz software and other OBD II software, you can check and clear the CEL/MIL alert. Some apps let you perform the readiness monitor test to check if all systems are working well.
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