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This $17 scanner connects to your car’s computer system to diagnose problems

What do you do when the “Check Engine” light comes on in your car? A lot of people just ignore it; after all, that sensor is notorious for lighting up for no reason. On the other hand, it could indicate a real problem, so you should probably head to the nearest auto parts store and use their OBD scanner. Sounds like a hassle, right? Well, why not buy one for yourself, like this $17 pick from Motopower? While you’re clicking, get one for your dad too — after all, it makes for a superb Father’s Day gift. And, you know, Father’s Day is this Sunday.


Learn what those pesky dashboard lights mean with this easy-to-use scanner, compatible with almost all vehicles made after 1996. Don’t forget to use the promo code MP69033J to maximize your discount. 

$17 at Amazon

OBD stands for “on-board diagnostics.” It connects to your car’s computer system and can read its internal codes to diagnose its mechanical and electronic ills. It can be something as simple as you not screwing the gas cap on correctly (which does throw up a code), or something as complicated as the engine thermostat failing. In other words, it’s an important and useful tool, and buying one for yourself — or Dad — keeps you in the driver’s seat (heh) when it comes to knowing what repairs your ride might need.

It pays to have an OBD scanner — sometimes literally. Everyone has heard stories of unscrupulous mechanics, so it’s important to know what kind of issue you’re dealing with before dropping your car off for repair.

Is it really a transmission problem, or did rodents just chew through an important cable in your engine? (True story.)

The key thing to remember is that you don’t have to be a gearhead to make sense of what the OBD scanner tells you. The scanner also supports six languages, including German, Dutch and Spanish.

It’s a great value all around, but don’t just take our word for it — look at what other users have to say. With more than 28,000 perfect reviews, it’s doing something right. Plus, over than 9,000 people have bought this OBD scanner in the past month.

OBD scanner

This OBD scanner can save you a trip to the mechanic. (Amazon)

“I purchased this to save myself a time-consuming trip to my mechanic to find out why my check engine light was on when my car was running just fine. Turns out, it was just the gas cap. I took the cap off and it wasn’t dirty or damaged in any way, so I just gave it a few more clicks when turning it to put it back on. Then, I cleared the code and so far, it has not come back,” one driver said. “It’s very handy to own this device. Super easy to use. No batteries required. Just plug it into the port that is normally under the steering wheel area, to the left. and then, turn the ignition key forward to get the device to communicate with your car. No need to turn the engine on.”

“Worth every cent,” said another user. “I bought this to help address an ‘engine code’ on my 2016 Chrysler Town & Country van. It showed a ‘low voltage’ message and I was able to purchase and install a new battery, thus saving a trip to my mechanic.”

Another motorist with a series of car issues shared, “I have the infamous recurring P420 code for a catalytic converter error. It makes the check engine light come on every couple of months, but I know it is no big deal. I use this device to make sure it is that code, because I want to know if the engine light is indicating a new, more serious problem. Then I just erase the code to turn off the check engine light. Great peace of mind.”

If fans had anything negative to say, it was that it can be a little difficult to learn. “It’s a bit tricky to figure out at first but once you do it’s pretty straightforward. I would recommend this unit for basic code treading.”


More than 28,000 5-star reviews should give you the confidence to invest in this useful diagnostic doodad.

$17 at Amazon

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)


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