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ODB II reader

My husband wants an ODB II reader for Christmas. I am clueless about such things. What brands/type should I look for. If it makes a difference, we have a 2001 Toyota Camry.

For the money and features, this would probably serve him well.


Is he mechanically bent, or, does he just want a casual relationship? If it’s, only to get the codes when the check engine light comes on, then a “code reader” is what he wants. If he has aspirations to a deeper, more meaningful, relationship, then, he wants a “scan tool”.
Walmart and auto parts stores have both types. I think that the different brands are nearly equivalent.

I Have Used My Actron OBD II Pocket Scan Code Reader For About 2 Years Now

My wife gave it to me (was on a sale for $50 at Advance).

It works great! The latest model of these is available at autoparts stores like Advance for about $70. It will read codes, erase codes, and comes with a little book for looking up and translating them. I believe it is made by the same folks that make the one that Tester referred you to. That one for $213 is a code scanner, not just a code reader, which gives more information.

I guess it depends on how often hubby is a “mechanic” (pretty regular or occasional), how much you want to spend, and how elaborate you want it to be.

Example: My wife came home with the “check engine” light “on” Thursday. I read a code PO133 with the Pocket Scan. That translated to an oxygen sensor, Bank 1, Sensor 1 (location of sensor, since there are 4 oxygen sensors). I replaced that sensor and turned off the “check engine” light.

Tester has given good advice. Your husband would be happy with that scanner. If you are on a tighter budget, he would be happy with the Pocket Scan Reader.

By the way, some sort of a service manual (specific to a particular car make, model) would go along nicely, if he doesn’t have one.

He needs a gift card; just ask him which store he wants it for. Then he can pick it out by himself. Or you can go there with him now. He will survive if it isn’t gift wrapped or if it arrives tomorrow.