What is an OBD1 Scanner?

OBD1 scanners were introduced in the 1900s and is the first generation of Onboard Diagnostics that is compatible with vehicles produced before 1996.

What are OBD1 Scanners?

OBD means Onboard Diagnostics. An OBD1 scanner is a device that makes use of interface technology to detect issues that your vehicle may have.

Many of the OBD1 scanners are designed to operate on only specific models of vehicles. This is because every manufacturer has their OBD1 jacks and plugs.

These scanners are code readers. That is, they display only codes on its screen. They blink light that you must count instead of revealing code numbers.

Connecting OBD1 has to be through a console to diagnose issues and read data.

How to Know the OBD Type of Your Car

Aside from the OBD1, there is a newer version of the OBD scanners called the OBD2. To know the type that your car carries, check under the hood of your car.

There should be a sticker there showing the type of OBD it has.

More reliably, to properly ascertain your OBD type, simply check the manufacture year of your car. This is because OBD1 production was phased out in 1996. 

As a result, any car produced from 1996, is not an OBD1 type of car.

OBD1 Scanner Review

To further broaden the scope of OBD1 scanners, we will review some of the devices, giving you detailed features to look out for in the scanners.

Innova 3123 GM OBD1 Scanner

Innova OBD1 scanners

The Innova 3123 GM OBD1 Scanner is very accurate in diagnosing issues with your car. Manufactured mainly for GM’s vehicles, this scanner will accurately retrieve trouble codes upon diagnostics. 

If your car fails to start, trust this scanner to detect the cause. Also, if your car’s check engine light is on, this scanner will do a nice job of turning it off. 

Its connection is through your car’s computer self-test connector for diagnostics. Besides, it is sure not to harm your vehicle’s computer system.

Other performance issues like the inability to read its fuel reduction rate accurately and oil leakage issues will adequately be diagnosed by this scanner.

Does your car have issues with its ABS, faulty wheel lock? Use this scanner to know if your brake and wheel sensors are working.

For much easier diagnostics, this OBD1 scanner comes with a handbook that defines all possible Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC).

The good news is that with this DTC’s you can achieve a DIY repair. As a result, you do not always need to take your car to the mechanic.

Note that this scanner is compatible with cars produced before 1996.


  • It is compact and easily stored.
  • The device comes with a DTC handbook.
  • It is multilingual (English, French, and Spanish).
  • Quite easy to use.
  • It is affordable.

Actron CP9690

Actron OBD1 scanners

What more can you ask for in an OBD scanner? The Actron CP9690 is a scanner with a difference. It has many enhanced DIY features that make onboard diagnostics easier. It has both OBD1 and OBD2 diagnostic capabilities. 

Some of its enhanced features include graph engine data, the ability to read manufacturer’s DTCs, the ability to record, store and playback stored vehicle information, and the ability to print the information through a PC.

Also, this scanner features CodeConnect, a database of over 26 million confirmed solutions for the issues associated with ABS, airbags, and your engine.

At the touch of the CodeConnect button, you will instantly be given access to these solutions. This takes the ease of DIY to a whole new level.

In this device, there is real-time data that lets you view, record, and playback vehicle sensors switches and relay inputs while the engine is running.

There are more than 300 possible data Parameter IDs (PIDs) available. This depends on the car being diagnosed.

Other highlights of this scanner include a colour LCD screen, oil light, and battery reset options, GM DTC status, code criteria, dual PID graph, battery and alternator charging system monitor, and handsfree vehicle link.

Also, this device is field updatable using its USB port. It also has the option of using battery power.


  • Actron is equipped with CodeConnect that has over 26 million car solutions.
  • Its colour screen makes reading easier.
  • There is a function for recording, storing, and playing back vehicle information.
  • This device is easy to use.
  • It also shows graphical data.

Launch CRP423 OBD Scanner

Launch OBD1 scanners

The Launch CRP423 OBD scanner is highly recommended by users. It is a professional car diagnostic tool for your car’s ABS/SRS/Engine/Transmission systems.

To read data more quickly, it makes use of an A5 quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and an 8GB ROM. It also has a 5-inch touch screen and is compatible with any USB supported android or iOS devices.

This scanner helps users to read, clear codes, and to view live data during diagnostics. It also provides you with solutions to diagnosed problems.

With over 3000 generic error code definitions, you can easily get the solution to the diagnosed issue. This saves time as well as money.

Also, not only does this scanner support the English language, but there is also the functionality for French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Japanese language.

This OBD scanner is functional for both OBD1 and OBD2 scanners. You, however, have to purchase and prepare its OBD1 cable for use on OBD1 cars.

With support for over 10,000 types of cars, you do not need to register. Just use it directly. For an upgrade, simply connect it to a wifi network and upgrade online.

What more? You can read diagnostic codes, get a comprehensive report, and print them online via a PC.


  • It is OBD1 and OBD2 compatible.
  • This device has an intelligent and responsive touchscreen.
  • It is USB compatible.
  • There is a large database of verified car fixes.
  • It supports many languages.
  • Very easy to use.


OBD1 scanners will be with us for a long time. Having known much about it, do well to pick any of our choices when purchasing. You are guaranteed to get the right fit.

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