5 Best Check Engine Light Readers – Your Ultimate Guide

Many components make up a car. Modern vehicle models have electronics and computer chips integrated into them. However, maintaining your car’s electrical system is equally as important as maintaining its engine, brakes, or suspension.

Using an OBD2 scanner is the simplest way to confirm that all of your car’s electronics are in good operating order.

You are looking for a car diagnostic tool that can tell you what is wrong when your dashboard lights, especially the check engine light, stays on and also clear the lights after fixing the faults. This is the right guide for you.

In this article, I have reviewed the top 5 best check engine light readers for you.

Keep reading…


5 Best Check Engine Light Readers

FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner


THINKCAR Thinkdiag


 FOXWELL NT604 Elite

Disclosure: we may get a commission from qualifying purchases made through affiliate links in this post but at no additional cost to you.

1. FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner

Foxwell NT301 is an excellent diagnostic tool that is capable of reading and clearing error codes on your car. It helps you to diagnose what is wrong with your vehicle accurately and avoid blind maintenance. If you are looking for the perfect check engine light reader, you can’t go wrong with this device.

In addition, this Foxwell NT301 code reader helps you to check seamlessly if your vehicle is ready for emissions test (smog test).


  • Reads and clears trouble codes
  • Turns off check engine lights
  • Tells you the meaning of the different error codes on your car
  • Automatically identifies your vehicle’s VIN
  • Easy to use personally and for mechanics
  • Has 1-click emission readiness check feature
  • Supports multiple languages (English as default)
  • Free software update forever
  • Can print out diagnostic report by connecting to your PC
  • Quality and durable
  • Comes with 1 year warranty


  • Only works with vehicles made from 2001 till now

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Thinkcar ThinkOBD 500 is an auto diagnostic scanner that can be used by both DIY users and mechanics.

This is a useful reader to have on hand if you want to examine what the Check Engine light is trying to notify you. Moreover, it is quite easy to use.


  • Reads and clears error codes
  • Turns off check engine light
  • Helps you get your vehicle ready for smog check (emissions test)
  • Has Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) look up feature. This helps you to analyze and interpret fault codes on your vehicle in a matter of seconds.
  • Can quickly identify your vehicle’s VIN for quick and seamless diagnosis.
  • 8 languages are supported by this code reader, which includes English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, and Polish.
  • Compatible with over 125 vehicle brands across America, Europe, and Asia.
  • Has live data feature which provides information on the vehicle’s overall performance and how to maintain it.
  • And many more…


  • Does not give full meaning of certain diagnostic acronyms.

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3. THINKCAR Thinkdiag

If you are looking for the best check engine light reader, you can’t go wrong with this Thinkcar Thinkdiag diagnostic scan tool. It is capable of reading and clearing diagnostic trouble codes on your vehicle.

One advantage this code reader has over many other scan tools is that the diagnosis is done on your phone or tablet. This device works on both Android and iOS mobile devices.

It gives you a seamless and flexible car diagnostic experience from your phone.


  • Turns off check engine light
  • Compatible with both Android and Apple mobile devices
  • Has automatic VIN recognition feature
  • Can program your vehicle’s Engine Control Unit (ECU)
  • Has bi-directional control feature
  • Covers over 115 vehicle brands
  • Supports up to 10 different languages
  • Can diagnose the entire vehicle systems (Engine, Transmission, Air conditioning, Suspension, Battery, etc.)
  • Has 15 special reset functions (ABS, Oil, Battery, Steering, etc.)
  • Full OBD2 functions (OBD2 modes)


  • After the first year, annual subscription payments are required.

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This Mucar CS2/CS90 code reader and OBD2 scanner is compatible with majority of vehicle brands across America, Asia, and Europe. It can read and clear diagnostics trouble codes on your vehicle easily and also turn off check engine light on the dashboard.

This diagnostic scan tool is quite different from other code readers of its kind. It can only diagnose the engine system. Most diagnostic scan tools can diagnose the entire systems that make up a vehicle such as transmission, steering, ABS, etc.

However, one advantage this code reader has over others is that it has 28 maintenance reset functions and they are free to use forever. Most diagnostic scan tools require a yearly subscription to use these features that Mucar CS2/CS90 offers for free forever.

The maintenance reset functions this scan tool offers are:  Oil Lamp Reset, EPB Electronic Park Brake Reset, BAT battery service, DPF Diesel Particulate Filter Reset, Steering Angel Sensor Reset,

Tire Pressure Monitoring System Reset, IMMO Key Programming, ABS Bleeding, Sunroof Reset, Suspension Reset, Gearbox (Transmission ) reset, Adaptive Front lighting (headlamp) reset, Injector Coding,

Throttle Adaptation, Gear Learning, Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) reset, Air Fuel Ratio Reset, Adblue Reset, Airbag Reset, Coolant Bleeding, gearbox self-learning, Language Change, Nitrogen Oxides (Nox) reset, Odometer reset, Stop/Start Reset, Seat Calibration, Transport Mode, and Windows Calibration.


  • Reads and clears error codes
  • Turns off check engine light on the dashboard
  • Has auto VIN recognition feature
  • Can be connected to a printer for printing diagnostic report
  • Has the 10 OBD2 functions
  • Battery voltage monitoring feature
  • Supports all OBD2 protocols (16 pin)
  • 3 years warranty
  • HD touchscreen
  • Lifetime free update
  • Supports up to 13 different languages


  • It can ONLY diagnose the engine system of the car.
  • Battery can be better.

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5.  FOXWELL NT604 Elite

If you are looking for the best check engine reader, this Foxwell NT604 Elite is another auto-diagnostic tool you should consider.

Slightly different from Mucar CS2/CS90 that can only diagnose the engine system, this Foxwell NT604 Elite can diagnose four (4) systems in your vehicle.

It can diagnose the engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS (airbag) systems. This diagnostic tool can read and also clear error codes on your vehicle.

Foxwell NT604 is compatible with over 60 vehicle brands and over 1000 models across America, China, Asia, and Europe made from 1996 till now.

Moreover, this diagnostic scan tool supports multiple languages: English, Korea, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, Swedish, Japanese, German, Italian, Russian, Hungarian, and Thai.


  • Lifetime free software update
  • Reads and clears error codes
  • Turns off check engine light
  • Supports multiple languages
  • Can print diagnostic report when connected to a printer
  • Easily and quickly identifies your vehicles VIN (Automatic VIN detection)
  • Has I/M readiness function to help you pass emissions test
  • And more…


  • Auto VIN feature might not work on certain cars.

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Can a Code Reader Turn Off Check Engine Light?

Code readers can turn off check engine lights on your vehicle. However, it might turn back on if the problem with your vehicle is not fixed because the computer will discover the issue once more.

It is necessary to have your car fixed if there is a problem with it. If you don’t want to fix the problem, your only option is to get an affordable code reader that also clears codes and keep it in your car.

Should you be worried about a check engine light?

Do you need to be concerned if your check engine light is on? You will probably have this question whenever the check engine light on your vehicle dashboard comes on.

The warning lights on your car’s dashboard are color-coded, which is something you should be aware of. Any light in RED (brakes, battery, low oil pressure, etc.) is generally considered to be critical and could result in engine damage.

If one of these lights appears, pull over, and turn the engine off as soon as it is safe to do so.

Any orange light indicates a less critical situation and should be attended to swiftly but not immediately. One of these orange lights is the Check Engine light (MIL).

Take your car to your neighborhood auto repair shop if your check engine light is on all the time or use an auto diagnostic scanner to diagnose the problem yourself.

Can you still drive with check engine light on?

Don’t freak out if the check engine light comes on while you’re driving! Keep an eye out to observe if the car is driving in any unusual ways.

The performance of the vehicle and the underlying cause of the check engine light’s lighting will determine whether it is safe to continue driving. Simply remember to get your automobile checked as soon as you can when the light comes on.

You can keep driving the vehicle if nothing seems unusual. A defective oxygen sensor or a loose gas cap are just two potential causes. It can also indicate that your catalytic converter has stopped functioning.

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