Everyone needs a good ABS code reader to keep your anti-lock brake system running properly. Whether you have little car knowledge, work on your own car in your garage, or a professional mechanic, you need a good way to address problems when that pesky ABS light comes on.
- 1 What Is ABS And How Does It Work?
- 2 Best ABS Code Readers Review
- 2.1 1. BlueDriver Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner
- 2.2 2. OBDLink MXPlus Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner
- 2.3 3. Autel MaxiLink ML619 CAN OBD2 Code reader
- 2.4 4. ANCEL FX2000 Diagnostic OBD2 Scanner
- 2.5 5. FIXD OBD2 Professional Scanner
- 2.6 6. FOXWELL NT630 Elite Scanner and code reader for OBD2
- 2.7 7. Innova 3160g Bluetooth Code Reader and Scan Tool
- 2.8 8. Launch CRP123 OBD2 Scanner and Code Reader
- 2.9 9. Autel AP200 Bluetooth Adapter OBD2 Scanner
- 2.10 10. OBDeleven PRO Beta Edition by Voltas
- 3 The Bottom Line
What Is ABS And How Does It Work?
Your cars anti-lock brake system is there to help you stop faster. They also keep the wheels on your vehicle from locking up, so you can still steer when you have to make a sudden stop.
There are four parts to an anti-lock brake system:
1. Speed Sensors
These keep track of your speed.
The controller keeps track of the speed, looking for any extreme decreases.
3. The Hydraulic Control Valves
When there’s an extreme decrease in speed, the controller reduces the hydraulic pressure coming from these control valves. Now, your tires decelerate at the same pace as your vehicle.
The pump starts the whole process and is accessed when you press down on your brake pedal.
So if your ABS light comes on, it means there is an issue with one of these four parts. And it is also likely that your ABS system is not working properly because of whatever this issue is.
Now, here are 10 of the best ABS scanners you should consider purchasing to deal with your ABS light as well as other OBD2 functions.
Best ABS Code Readers Review
|Editor's Picks||Products||Our Rating|
|Best Overall||BlueDriver Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner||9.5/10|
|Runner Up||OBDLink MXPlus Bluetooth||9.5/10|
|Best Budget Buy||Autel MaxiLink ML619 CAN OBD2||8.5/10|
|Best Value||ANCEL FX2000 Diagnostic OBD2||8.5/10|
|Also Great||FIXD OBD2 Professional Scanner||7.5/10|
1. BlueDriver Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner
The BlueDriver holds a place as one of the best (if not the best) Bluetooth scanners on the market today. And the Bluedriver is the ABS scan tool that gives mechanics the chance to check what’s wrong with the ABS system while walking around the garage.
This OBD2 scanner reads and clears codes for your ABS system. But the Bluedriver also works with multiple systems in your car, including your check engine light, Airbag, and transmission. And after the codes are checked, the Bluedriver offers vehicle-specific repair reports from millions of fixes certified by professional mechanics.
The Bluedriver also offers live data with interactive graphing, gauges, or digital printouts. This Bluetooth scanner also comes equipped with Mode 6 testing and smog check to determine if you pass emissions.
Bluedriver is compatible with multiple models of GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Honda, Volkswagen, and Mazda (note: not all features work with every make or model).
Compatible protocols include SAE J1850 (PWM,VPW), ISO9141-2, ISO1430-4 KWP, and CAN ISO15765-4.
- Takes up little space
- Works quickly
- Free app and updates
- Mode 6 testing
- Emissions testing
- Only reads and clears ABS codes, does not perform advanced ABS features
- Users complain about live data not being user-friendly
- Not all advanced features supported as advertised
Who’s it For?
For at-home mechanics who only need to see what the problem with the ABS system is. Also for car owners who mostly rely on mechanics for repair, but would like to save money on ABS diagnostics.Check Price at Amazon
2. OBDLink MXPlus Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner
The OBDLink MxPlus works great as a Bluetooth ABS code reader for professionals.
This OBD ABS scanner reads and clears codes for your ABS system. And the MxPlus also reads and clears your check engine light, SRS codes, TPMS codes, and checks transmission temperature while creating graphs for hundreds of measurements.
This Bluetooth scanner should be compatible with any model car. And MxPlus specifically includes free OEM data upgrades for Ford, Mazda, GM, Nissan/Infiniti, or Toyota/Lexus, Scion vehicles.
The OBDLink MxPlus comes with an app (though the OBDLink still communicates with 3rd party apps as well). Car owners can use the app to perform advanced diagnostics, gauge trips, and check smog readiness. The OBDLink won’t drain your battery thanks to its battery sleeper mode. The OBDLink MxPlus also supports most major OBDII protocols.
- 3-year warranty
- Comes with an app
- Compatible with Windows
- Free add-ons
- Defines codes
- Works quickly
- Community Forum created for submitting warranty claims
- No Key Programming
- No ABS bi-directional control
Who’s it For?
Beginners and DIYers will love the clear data the OBDLink MxPlus offers for minimal cost.Check Price at Amazon
3. Autel MaxiLink ML619 CAN OBD2 Code reader
Car owners looking for an affordable ABS code scanner that also performs basic OBD2 functions would probably like the Autel MaxiLink ML619.
This ABS scanner tool runs an ABS diagnostic test to define the issue and clear the code, turning the ABS light off. The ML619 can do the same for many other systems in your car, including the SRS. The ML619 can run a full OBD2 scan for eight of the major OBDII modes.
You can stream live data of what’s going on inside most any car. Freeze frame data works to help diagnose specific issues inside the engine. The ML619 will also record and playback a PCM data stream and sensor data, present data in graph form, and print reports from your PC.
The device fits nicely in your hand. You can check any OBD2 compliant vehicle built since 1996 with the ML619 and support most major OBD-II protocols.
- Lifetime updates
- Up-to-date right when you purchase it
- Easy to operate
- Clear screen is easy to read
- Doesn’t read transmission codes
- Poor online customer service
- Does not perform advanced ABS system functions
Who’s It For?
DIYers or professionals who do a lot of work on ABS systems and can fix most or all issues with it on their own.Check Price at Amazon
4. ANCEL FX2000 Diagnostic OBD2 Scanner
If your car was built in 2005 or later, check out the ANCEL FX2000 diagnostic scanner.
I say 2005 because the ABS features only work on those models. The FX2000 can read and erase fault codes, perform diagnostics, and make full determinations for your car’s ABS system. This ABS scan tool performs bi-directional tests on your ABS system to determine what issues are there.
Any special? Of course, yes!
The FX2000 also performs similar functions for Engine, SRS, and transmission systems. Run multiple specific functions, including I/M readiness testing for emissions, O2 Sensor testing, EVAP testing, On-Board monitor testing and more.
You can also run and graph live data for the major operating systems (including ABS) and print reports that break down the status of your car.
Cars built after 2005 work with the FX2000 and is compatible with most major OBD2 protocols.
- Lifetime Software Updates
- Full and easy to read diagnostic reports
- Allows users to view vehicle history
- Good customer service
- Easy to read graphs
- Updating software can be tricky
- Can be difficult to use and provides little to no instruction
- Requires update once you purchase it
Who’s It For?
For owners of slightly older cars (nothing past 2005) who want to save money on repairs by diagnosing and repairing issues on their own.Check Price at Amazon
5. FIXD OBD2 Professional Scanner
The FIXD OBD2 Professional Scanner reads enhanced codes for your ABS system at an affordable price. This OBD2 Scanner with ABS also reads enhanced codes for your engine, airbag, TPMS, transmission, and others.
Access definitions for problems and repair recommendations with the FIXD’s comprehensive diagnostic reports. And the FIXD communicates reminders to your phones whenever you need maintenance.
Live data in the app tracks multiple PID’s so you can be up-to-date with your car’s performance. There’s also freeze frame technology and a logbook with pending, permanent and stored codes so you can know your vehicle’s history.
The FIXD OBD-II Scan Tool works with any gas-powered car built since 1996 and is compatible with all major OBD2 protocols.
- Successfully clears check engine light on a regular basis
- Comprehensive diagnostic report-Links via Bluetooth-Helpful customer service
- Video tutorials
- Doesn’t work for all-electric or diesel cars
- Little direction when setting up
Who’s It For?
Car Owners who want an affordable tool that breaks down problems in easy to read reports to share with their mechanics.Check Price at Amazon
6. FOXWELL NT630 Elite Scanner and code reader for OBD2
For an affordable ABS scanner with bidirectional functions, check out the FOXWELL NT630 scanner.
The NT630 not only reads and clears codes for your ABS system. This bidirectional scanner supports ABS Bleeding. You can use your NT630 to bleed the braking systems of any air they’ve acquired while receiving work.
The NT630 cycles the pump and valves for you while the process is ongoing. And this Foxwell model runs multiple tests on your ABS system, including a manual controls test, a motor test, and a brake bleed preparation test among others.
What’s more impressive?
The NT630 reads and clears codes for most of the systems in your car. And it also works especially well for safety systems.
The NT630 Elite turns off lights for your SRS and SAS systems. Once the lights are off, this affordable bidirectional code reader allows you to control and activate those systems as your work through their issues.
Other tests supported include I/M readiness testing, O2 sensor testing, actuator testing, and motor testing. The NT630 also performs gear tension relief testing and retrieves ECU information using your VIN number.
Over 50 models cars work well with the NT630 Elite. That includes American models Chrysler, GM, and Ford after 1996; most Asian models after 2001; and most European models after 2003. And the NT630 is compatible with all major OBDII protocols.
- One of the most affordable models on the market
- Bleeds the ABS system
- Compact size makes it easy to carry around
- Data is fast and accurate
- Software updates are quick and easy
- Lifetime software updates and 3 and a half year warranty
- Not the easiest model to learn
- Does not read or clear transmission codes
- Tech support doesn’t work very fast
- Might not work for your model car
- Clears Check Engine Light, but does not reset it
Who’s It For?
The FOXWELL NT630 Elite is a great scanner for a car owner on a budget who wants to learn how to perform standard maintenance on their ABS system.Check Price at Amazon
7. Innova 3160g Bluetooth Code Reader and Scan Tool
Another scan tool with ABS is the Innova 3160g.
The Innova 3160g reads and clears ABS codes, along with clearing the check engine light and SRS codes for any car made after 1996. You can also perform oil resets, battery reset, and battery initialization with the 3160g.
The 3160g reads live data and stores it so you can view on a computer later on. And the scan tool saves DTC’s from the previous three vehicles it’s scanned.
The bright color screen is easy to read. Users will also love how easy the handheld device is to carry around and store.
Many SUVs, light trucks, diesel engines, and hybrids are compatible with the 3160g. And this Innova model is compatible with most major OBD2 protocols, including SO 9141, Keyword 2000, J1850 PWM, J1850 VPW, and CAN protocols
- Reads in 3 languages
- Bluetooth accessible
- Clear screen
- Easy to carry around
- Does not perform brake bleeding or read transmission codes
- Company does not frequently update software
- Poor Customer Service
Who’s It For?
At home mechanics who can fix their own ABS systems and need a tool to tell them the issue.Check Price at Amazon
8. Launch CRP123 OBD2 Scanner and Code Reader
If you want a significant amount of ABS data on a clear, easy to use screen, check out the LAUNCH CRP123 Scanner.
Read and clear ABS trouble codes and read live data for your ABS systems with OBD2 ABS scanner. That includes both generic and manufacturer specific codes. And the CRP123 presents live data in easy to read graphs that you can print.
But that’s not all…
This scan tool performs similar functions for the other major systems in your car, including engine, transmission, and SRS. Car owners can also check their emissions status with I/M readiness testing. Other tests include O2 Sensor, EVAP system, and ON-Board Monitor testing. And this scanner includes a built-in DTC lookup library and offers freeze frame data.
The CRP123 is compatible with most any car made since 2006. Models include Porsche, Renault, Alfa-Romeo, Acura, Audi, BMW, Benz, Chrysler, Citroen, Daewoo, Dacia, EU-Ford, Fiat, Ford, GM, Jeep, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Land Rover, Lancia, Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, Mini, Nissan, Infiniti, Saab, Sprinter, Skoda, Opel, Peugeot, Seat, Subaru, Vauxhall, Suzuki, Volkswagen, and Volvo. And the CRP123 covers all major OBDII protocols.
- Supports Mode 6 testing
- Comes updated with the latest software
- Easy to use
- Solid customer service
- Free lifetime software update
- 2-year warranty
- No advanced ABS features
- Does not update on Mac
- Does not work on older vehicles
Who’s It For?
Beginners looking to perform basic diagnostics and run standard tests on their car.Check Price at Amazon
9. Autel AP200 Bluetooth Adapter OBD2 Scanner
One of the best models for turning your phone or tablet into an ABS scanner is the Autel AP200.
This Bluetooth adapter reads and clears codes for your ABS system and gives a full diagnosis of what issues plague it. Users can also read and graph live data for the ABS systems. Also, check for compatibility to see if the AP200 performs brake bleeding for your car (many models are not compatible with this function, so be warned).
This OBD2 ABS scanner works for other systems in your car as well. Perform all the above functions for the engine, transmission, SRS, TPMS, EPB, fuel systems and more in your car. The AP200 has 19 special functions, including oil reset, IMMO service, DPF regeneration, SAS reset, BMS reset, EPB reset, and more. And check your vehicle’s history using VIN, CVN, or CIN numbers.
The AP200 is compatible with most OBD-II compliant cars built since 1996. And this ABS scan tool supports all major OBD2 protocols.
- 15 languages
- Affordable for all that it does
- Easy to use
- Generates error reports quickly
- Performs multiple tests not normally on Bluetooth scanners
- Additional costs for all information regarding specific manufacturer’s vehicles
- Bluetooth setting must be done in the app
- May not work on older phone models
Who’s It For?
DIY-ers and some professionals who want to perform multiple special functions on the vehicles they diagnose, not just ABS.Check Price at Amazon
10. OBDeleven PRO Beta Edition by Voltas
The OBDeleven PRO Edition is the perfect ABS scanner for those who own Audis or Volkswagens.
This professional OBDII scan tool with ABS can read and clear codes for your ABS system. You can also recode check ABS sensors, recode your ABS unit, and performs brake bleeding.
The OBDeleven PRO also clears trouble codes for multiple systems in your car, including engine, airbag, transmission, multimedia systems, and air conditioning.
With the Pro edition, owners can perform long coding on multiple parts of the car (Make sure you purchase the Pro edition, not the Starter Pack). The OBDeleven also looks up fault codes, tracks live data, views programming history, and offers video tutorials. And customer support is available to offer up solutions to any issue you are having.
This ABS scanner works with any Audi or VW vehicle made from 1991-2018 (though you will need an adaptor for OBD1 models made from 1991-1995. Protocols supported include KKL, CAN, and CAN-UDS.
- Multiple advanced one-click options
- Programs windows and key fobs
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t drain car battery
- Performs long coding
- Many of the one-click options cost extra
- Not available for Apple products
Who’s It For?
The OBDeleven works great for professionals who can afford to pay for the multiple advanced options this professional level scan tool offers.Check Price at Amazon
The Bottom Line
Keep in mind, when you are looking for system specifically for your ABS system, you must know what functions you are looking for the device to perform.
If you just want to know why the light is on, then most any model in this list will work as long as it is compatible with your vehicle or vehicles. But only a handful of these models perform advanced functions, like bi-directional capabilities, brake bleeding, etc.
So if you want to go beyond basic reading and code clearing, check out the Ancel FX2000: a bi-directional tool that runs multiple tests so you can see specific parts that are troubling your ABS system.
To go even further than that, check out the OBDeleven with its brake bleeding capabilities (though you need to own an Audi or Volkswagen to consider this one). And to perform the most tests on the system, check out the FOXWELL NT630.
The true bottom line is you can’t really go wrong with any of these ABS diagnostic scanners as long as you know what functions you need them for and which models are compatible with your car.
Read more: 10 Best Professional Automotive Diagnostic Scanners Review And Buying Guide 2021