The 10 Best Airbag Scan Tools to Buy 2019

Reviews

Reading airbag errors is a must for vehicle passenger safety. For this purpose, the best air scan tools can prove useful. They can read errors and properly diagnose SRS issues. This system is fitted on cars as a safety mechanism. Known as the Supplemental Restraint System, it deploys airbags in case of an accident. The airbag sensor or the ECU sensor is triggered by the SRS to release the airbag and protect the car’s passengers. Airbag scan tools look at the SRS system and at the ECU sensor which controls the airbags. The errors in the diagnose process need to be cleared before the corresponding ECU warning light can be switched off.

Features to Consider in Good Airbag Scan Tools

An airbag scan tool usually comes with added features. All of them create a scan tool which can diagnose multiple codes and systems in a car.

Design
The design of the scan tool is important. It is in direct contact with the user and it needs to facilitate menu navigation. A scan tool also needs to be durable as there are no real reasons for future updates for most home users.

Number of functions
The number of extra functions can drive the price up for a scan tool. At the same time, the number of functions is can actually replace other diagnose tools. The following airbag scan tools are a combination of a single scan feature or scan tools which can read multiple vehicle systems.

Top 10 Best Airbag Scan Tools 2019

1. Innova 3100j CanOBD2 Diagnostic Tool & ABS SRS Scan Tool

Why we like it
Packed with functions and made with an ergonomic design, these scan tools find airbag errors and other common issues such as check engine faults.

Editor’s rating:

Design features
Choosing a simple airbag scan tool is not too complicated. However, tools which are specifically made for airbags are rather rare. This is why car owners can consider versatile tools which can scan for multiple errors, which include airbag errors. The Innova 3100j is one such product.

Made with an ergonomic design, the scan tool is easy to hold and easy to use. It features a large electronic screen and it manages one of the most efficient systems to diagnose various errors. One of the best parts about the design is that also allows device updates. Users simply need to connect it to a laptop and then download the latest updates to the scan tool.

Convenient features
There are many convenient features the scan tool can offer. One of them is the repair suggestions functions. Depending on the type of error, it can make estimated repair suggestions. These suggestions can also include information on repair costs but they can also come with explanatory videos on how to deal with the errors.

There are three main functions the scan tool offers. The SRS or airbag scan function reads and deletes the codes on most modern cars as long as they are made after 1996. ABS codes are also detected following the same methods. The scan tool also detects the errors behind the check engine fault light, which can have multiple causes. All of the issues in these three main areas need to be repaired before actually deleting the errors.

Other electronic readings are also possible with the scanner. For example, it can check the battery and the alternator, which is the charging system of a vehicle. This can be specifically useful during the winter months when older batteries start to show their limits.

Verdict
With a wide range of readings and a practical design, the scan tool is one of the top choices for the home user.

Pros
  • Scans SRS airbag warning lights
  • Scans check engine warning lights
  • Shows recommended repairs
  • Allows software updates
Cons
  • Poorly-written instructions

2. Launch Creader VII+ OBD2 ABS SRS/Airbag Scanner

Why we like it
One of the main features of the Launch Creader fault scanner is its SRS airbag function.

Editor’s rating:

Design features
Made with a modern design, the scan tool is one of the complex options for drivers to consider. It might not be the most compact reader, but its functions are definitely worth the investment as it can replace multiple scan tools.

There are only a few buttons on the reader but their design is very intuitive. In fact, the button layout makes it one of the best products in its class for user experience. But the user experience also has a lot to gain from its large digital display. It is the display which allows users to clearly see all of the errors detected by the scanner.

Another design characteristic allows the scanner to connect to a computer. This is also why the manufacturer offers impressive free lifetime software upgrades. This is why the scanner can be continuously used on newer cars as well.

Convenient features
One of the main functions of the scan tool is the ABS SRS diagnosis. It allows users to read and delete these codes. In fact, drivers can check for airbag faults even if no error is seen on the dashboard. This can be the case when purchasing a second-hand car. ABS scans are also important for braking efficiency.

The onboard diagnosis function of the scan tool is useful as well. It checks all the essential mechanisms such as the emissions readiness state of the car. But the scan tool also looks at the check engine codes, which are some of the most pressing issues which require immediate attention.

An interesting function comes with the freeze frame function. It is actually known for its real-time monetarization and memorizing the errors as they happen. Since it is such a complex tool, the scanner is also useful for users who want to use it in different languages. But most importantly, the scan tool is actually suitable for a large range of vehicles.

Verdict
As one of the complex designs on the market, the scan tool replaces multiple car diagnosis devices.

Pros
  • Made with intuitive controls
  • Offers multi-language support
  • Works with a large range of vehicles
  • Made with a freeze-frame mode
Cons
  • Might need the latest update

3. Launch OBD2 Scanner Airbag Scanner

Why we like it
4 vehicle systems are checked by this versatile and modernly-designed scanner.

Editor’s rating:

Design features
Made with an attractive design, the hand-held scanner comes with an ergonomic design. It even has anti-shock protection which means it will last longer than most other scanners. It can also be used by professionals as a result of this physical protection layer.

Its buttons are easy to use as well. They represent one of the most interesting options for people seeking the simplest and most efficient way of navigating menus. Since it has so many functions, it’s clear that the airbag scan tool is complex. This is why it’s actually important to understand it manages to offer good overall performance, especially in the conditions in which many other error code scanners are actually complicated to use.

Convenient features
There are 4 main systems which are checked by the scanner. One of them is the airbag system. Ensuring all airbags are in good working order, it can diagnose the system in seconds. At the same time, it can also ensure airbags are in good working order after an accident or with an accidental warning light warning on the dashboard.

But the scanner is also useful for cars with automatic transmission. It is able to check that the system is in good working order. Since the system can offer different transmission ratios, it is important to ensure it works well, especially if the car is not new anymore.
The engine can also be checked by the scanner. There are multiple areas of the engine which can be part of this scan method. For example, the scan tool can determine the power of the engine. But it can also display fuel consumption with good accuracy. This can be useful when diagnosing the state of a certain car.

ABS readings can also be made with the scanner. These readings are specifically important for braking safety. Since the system controls braking power, it always needs to be working at optimum parameters.

Verdict
As a complex scan tool, the durable Launch device is recommended for those who read error codes on a frequent base.

Pros
  • Made with a reinforced design
  • Suitable for professionals and home users
  • Scans 4 car systems
  • Designed with an intuitive layout
Cons
  • Requires product registration for updates

4. Foxwell NT630 Plus Automotive Airbag OBD2 Scanner

Why we like it
The Foxwell automatic airbag scanner is compatible with many cars, offering readings in seconds.

Editor’s rating:

Design features
As one of the complex compact scanners, the diagnosis tool is used for multiple systems in a car. Its design is quite simple. But in many cases, the simplest design is also the most efficient. This is why car owners have the ability to quickly check various fault codes around their car. However, it is considered the good practice to scan the car from time to time, even if there is no warning light on the dashboard.

The robust design of the scan tool also means that it will last a long period of time. Most scan tools are not actually stored in the car, even if Foxwell’s product could be placed in the trunk due to its small size. But it can also be left out in the garage since it is made to work well in low temperatures as well.

Convenient features
One of the most convenient features of the scan tool is represented by its 3 function buttons. They are particularly useful to those seeking to improve the performance of their scanning and assign these buttons to whatever functions they like. Professionals can find these buttons quite appealing.

Airbag scanning functions can be programmed with one of these buttons. But two other buttons can also be assigned to either ABS quick scanning or engine check scans. Made to cover 52 car brands, a scanner is a capable tool in the right hands. Another considerable advantage of the scanner is that it works on new cars as well. Furthermore, it can also be updated to the latest software releases.
But the best part is that it actually allows airbag scanning for some of the most popular cars in the world. It is a diagnostic tool which can even be used in different countries with its multi-language support.

Verdict
With multiple functions packed into one device, the scan tool is recommended for its vast car range coverage.

Pros
  • Made to scan 52 popular car brands
  • Scans the airbag system
  • Temporarily controls the SRS system
  • Works well with sensor errors
Cons
  • Requires updates on the first run

5. Ancel FX4000 All System Automotive

Why we like it
Made to read a large number of codes, the scan tool looks apart and it even comes with a customizable function button.

Editor’s rating:

Design features
Arguably the most modern design in its class, the scan tool is one of the most interesting choices for the home and professional user. It features an ergonomic design and it also works as a solution for everyday use with its rubberized edges. Mechanics or car electricians can use it without fearing drops.

Most importantly, the compact scanner comes with left and right controls, which are activated by each hand. It might require both hands for complete readings, but at the same time, it offers a lot in return. This is why it even features a function button which can be attributed to one of its many scan modes and functions. Directional buttons are also added to make menu navigation easier. In a sense, it is designed similarly to a console controller which puts the user experience first.

Convenient features
One of the most convenient features of the scanner is the SRS airbag reader. If the warning light is activated on the dashboard, it means that the SRS airbag-controlling system sees an issue with the airbags. The scanner can be used to check for the cause of the problem. It can be any of the multiple airbags fitted in a modern car. This should be done as soon as possible as it could save lives. If the warning light is one, there is a high chance of an airbag malfunction in case of an accident.

Another important function comes with the oil reset deleted light mode. Oil reset intervals are regular. Depending on the car, they can even be made a couple of times per year. Short life oil and long life engine oil have different servicing intervals. But changing the oil should always be done on time. In some cases, the oil light can also be activated if the oil level is too high, which happens in engines where the owner adds too much oil between service intervals. This is where the scan tool can prove useful.
Transmission checks are also performed by the scanner. They are particularly useful to those seeking the ultimate level of freedom when it comes to the state of their automatic transmission. It is known that the repair cost of an automatic gearbox can sometimes exceed the value of the car. This is why keeping it in good condition is essential.

Verdict
With a simple profile, customization options, and a design which is made for the first-time user, the scan tool is a worthy investment for any car owner.

Pros
  • Made with a sleek design
  • Offers button customization
  • Reads automatic transmission errors
  • Suitable for SRS airbag control
Cons
  • Might require operation with both hands

6. Autel Maxidas DS808

Why we like it
As a tool for professionals, the advanced diagnosis scanner is one of the top tools for advanced vehicle issues.

Editor’s rating:

Design features
Designed for car mechanics, this scan tool has plenty of extra features compared to a basic scan tool. Most importantly, it is designed in a way in which it allows users total freedom and the ability to find their own way around the menus with touchscreen navigation.

Made with 32GB of internal memory, this scanner actually runs Android. It means it supports as many updates as it needs and that it can be set up for a large number of cars, just as mechanics need. PC connectivity is made via USB, just as with a smartphone. Furthermore, the scanner also offers WiFi connectivity for quick data transfer.

Of course, such an effective design is also easy to use. It even comes with its own batteries so that it can be easily as mobile as it needs to be. But even if it features a large electronic screen, it is still built with reinforced edges for extra durability.

Convenient features
The most important characteristic of the scan tool remains its capacity to look for airbag errors as this is why users are looking for. But it also comes with other crucial functions and modes of operation which recommend it for professional use.
For example, it allows TPMS service scanning. This looks at the vehicles ECU computer and functions. All changes in this area should only be made by professionals. EPB service is also a distinct function offered by the scanner. It can put the throttle to its default state.

Another interesting function is the SAS service. This is suitable for steering angle adjustments and it should also be only done by licensed professionals. DPF filter clearing is also supported by the scanner. This is mainly suitable for diesel engines which are notorious for the issue.

Verdict
With a long list of advanced scanning functions, the scanner is mainly suitable for professionals.

Pros
  • Made with a large screen
  • Connects via USB and WiFi
  • Allows DPF filter clearing
  • Works with SAS and TPMS service scans
Cons
  • Too many functions for the home user

7. Autel Scanner MD802

Why we like it
This simple scanner is one of the thinnest design in its class, recommending it for one-hand operation.

Editor’s rating:

Design features
Made with a compact size, the scanner is actually easy to use. It is very straightforward in all of its setup and menus, making it one of the top choices for first-time users. It even represents one of the interesting choices for fans of on-board screens. The days of laptop-connected airbag scan tools for data display are long gone.

There are a few navigation buttons under the screen. They allow for quick menu navigation, even if the scanner is not as feature-packed as other devices in its class. However, its rubberized construction means that it is actually built to last.

Convenient features
Made with essential features, the scanner is able to look at a few areas of vehicle performance. Apart from airbag scans, it can also perform a wide range of other scans. One of them is the electronic park brake scans. Engine and transmission checks are also performed by the device. They are particularly useful to those seeking improved vehicle care, as these are essential parts which are also expensive to replace.

Other smaller checks can also be made with the scanner. They include service interval warning light deletions. But the best part about the scanner is its wide range of vehicle compatibility. Practically, it works with most American, European and Asian cars made from 1996 to the present day.

Verdict
Made to be operated in seconds, the scanner is a top choice for wide vehicle compatibility and extras such as parking brake scans.

Pros
  • Designed with an electronic screen
  • Connects to computers
  • Scans parking break faults
  • Suitable for SRS airbag scans
Cons
  • Small screen for some users

8. U281 OBD2 OBDII CAN Auto Scanner

Why we like it
The simple scanner is recommended for quick readings for cars in the VW group.

Editor’s rating:

Design features
With a minimalistic design, the scanner is one of the simplest solutions in its class. Even if it is made for just a few codes, it represents one of the simplest solutions drivers can use at home.

There are no batteries required to power the airbag scan tool. It actually charges at the car’s port. Most importantly, the compact scan tool is one of the simplest and most efficient products when it comes to quick scans. It will not replace a professional scanner, but it does represent a solution for quick diagnosis.

Convenient features
Checking the airbags are in good condition is one of the functions supported by the scanner. But it also works with other functions such as the check engine light scans. This is useful as the warning light can be rooted in different areas of the engine.

Pending codes and automatic transmission scans are also available with the small scanner. But the good news is that the scanner is quick to use. In some cases, having the ability to make a quick diagnosis can save drivers from expensive repairs. Since it has such a small size, it can be carried in the car at all times to make the quick scans anytime needed.

Verdict
Perfect for quick scans, the scan tool is one of the fastest performers in its class.

Pros
  • Doesn’t require batteries
  • Works with check engine lights
  • Checks airbag status
  • Scans pending codes
Cons
  • Only suitable for VoZlkswagen, Audi, and Skoda cars

9. Autophix ES610 SRS ABS Code Reader

Why we like it
Suitable for Volvo cars made up to 2008, this compact scan tool is fast to use.

Editor’s rating:

Design features
Made for Volvo cars, this scan tool actually has one of the best designs in its class. It comes with a compact size and an ergonomic grip. This means it can be considered a handheld device given its size.

But the buttons on the scan tool are also very easy to use and very intuitive for the first-time user. Above the buttons, the manufacturer placed a large simple backlit screen. So even if reading airbag fault codes in low light, it still offers a good solution for those who want answers as soon as possible.

Convenient features
The scan tool is recommended to read and clear fault codes. Two of the most important systems in the spotlight are the airbag system and the braking system. The airbag or the SRS system is easily diagnosed. In case airbags are replaced, the scan tool can also permanently erase the fault code. The braking system is also analyzed. ABS or the electronically-assisted braking regulates the power of braking. This is important as braking too hard can actually block the wheels or simply negatively impact the vehicle’s movement during braking.

Freeze frame data can also be saved with the airbag scan tool. One of the best parts is that users can save liven information and possible errors as they happen. But this compact scan tool can also test the readiness of the car. One of the systems in this category is the emissions system, which can even make some cars fail their regular inspection interval. Since the scanner also works with older Volvo cars, it can be used as a safety precaution to ensure the car passes all emissions tests.
Oil reset functions are also available on the scanner. Since these intervals might only be reset from a scanner, it is recommended to use such a tool whenever the oil in the engine has been changed. In some cases, this can be done directly from the car. But there are vehicles in which oil reset is only made with a diagnostic scanner.

Verdict
This compact device is one of the best solutions for Volvo drivers who want to ensure the safety of their vehicle.

Pros
  • Made with an elegant design
  • Suitable for quick fault scans
  • Reads airbag, ABS and engine codes
  • Resets oil intervals
Cons
  • Not suitable for new Volvo cars

10. KKmoon AC808 Auto Car Airbag Diagnostic Scan Tool

Why we like it
Suitable for BMW cars, the airbag only scans tool can be one of the quickest methods of fault diagnosing.

Editor’s rating:

Design features
Since there is only one function which the scan tool can perform, its size is considerably reduced compared to other scan tools. It features a simple digital display which can detect all SRS errors. With such a compact profile, it can be one of the scan tools stored in the car at all times.

The scan tool doesn’t have an ergonomic design but it doesn’t need one since it comes with such a compact size. Compared to other scan tools, it is only focused on airbag errors but this doesn’t mean it can’t actually be used for commercial purposes as well.

Convenient features
Made to detect all types of airbag SRS errors on BMW cars, the scan tool is easy to use. It can also delete these codes easily, without asking of the user to go through too many steps. But the scan tool displays all SRS error codes. It can reset all of these warning lights. However, the warning lights will reaper if the actual problem is not fixed by a professional.

At the moment, the scan tool doesn’t come with PC connectivity and this means updates are not available. Users will also need to know that if they own new BMW cars, this scan tool will not detect all fault codes.

Verdict
With a compact profile, the scan tool is a handy solution for some older generation BMW vehicle.s

Pros
  • Made with a compact design
  • Reads all SRS error codes
  • Deletes all airbag codes
  • Ships with instructions
Cons
  • Not suitable for new BMW cars

FAQ

Do I need an airbag scan tool?
Most drivers don’t need an airbag scan tool. However, having one can make a difference since airbags are considered a matter of driving safety.

Does my car make matter?
Not all scanner can work on all cars. Before making a purchase, drivers should actually look at their car’s compatibility with their desired airbag scan tool.

How do I charge an airbag scan tool?
Charging might not be required on scan tools. Some devices can simply work with minimum power from the car. Others might need charging.

Do I need a scan tool if I haven’t been in an accident?
Airbag scans are performed all the time, but especially after accidents. It is best to ensure that airbags can be deployed in the case of an accident.

How do I update my airbag scan tool?
Some scanner cannot be updated. But most of those which can be connected to a PC can be automatically updated for the latest software and error codes.

Guide to Buying the Best Airbag Scan Tools

An airbag scan tool rarely comes only with the possibility to scan airbags. The devices come with different types of features which actually replace the need to own multiple scan tools. This is why it can be important to look at the product as a whole and in what it can actually offer for most users. Since there are thousands of options to consider, the following characteristics are a good source of inspiration for those making their first purchase.

Design
The design of the airbag scan tool is more important than people actually think. It can make the lives of the users easier or it can make them very difficult. One of the best principles in scan tool designs is simplicity. Users should clearly see what they need to do in a certain menu or configuration.

But for many devices, efficient design is not easy to achieve. This is why it can be important to visualize how the device is going to be used. If most scans are going to be performed in a poorly-lit garage, then a device with a backlit screen is important. If users need to be able to configure their own quick scan functions, having configurable buttons is important as well.

But most importantly, the scan tool should also be easy to hold, as most of them are actually quite small in size. Some bonus points can be attributed to the airbag scan tools which are actually made with extra rubber protections.

Extra functions
Airbag scanning is a simple feature. This is why sole products for it are becoming increasingly rare. Scanners which look at the engine or ABS errors might be a better alternative. For most users, it is also important to understand that some of the features of the scan tools can also save them money in the long term.

For the average user, it might not be worth investing in a professional-grade scanner. But having access to check engine codes and ABS codes can be important as well. This is why so many products place these functions on top of their list of priorities. On this list, users might also find features such as oil change scans. They allow users to reset the oil change interval, which can sometimes be changed only from the scanner and not directly from the car.

Connectivity options
In the age of quick data transfer, connectivity becomes crucial. This is why some of the best products now offer laptop connectivity as standard. Another more sophisticated scanner even offer WiFi connectivity. However, connectivity is very important when it comes to software updates. Simply connecting the device to a laptop with internet access is enough to start making the updates.

Other connectivity options can include USB ports and even internal or external memory cards. However, the average home user simply needs one connectivity option to ensure software updates on a regular basis.

Software updates
One of the most pressing issues of airbag scan tools comes with software updates. Not all users are able to ensure them, but the good news is many devices immediately prompt users for updates when there are switched on for the first time.

This is also the time of the longest update in many cases. However, there is no way around software updates and it is actually in the interest of the car and its owner to always have the latest definitions updated on the scan tool.

Vehicle compatibility
An important aspect to consider comes with vehicle compatibility. Some of the most versatile scan tools are able to work with multiple cars makes. However, others are specifically targeting a single car manufacturer.

There is no clear winner as most users only need the scanner for one personal car. However, those who own multiple cars or those who want to use the airbag scanner for commercial purpose will need to invest in the most versatile airbag scanner.

Car compatibility is one of the most important issues to remember when it comes to making a purchase. In some cases, even if the scanner is made for a particular brand, it might not be compatible with certain years. This is why it’s important to check the scanners which can cover the make and the manufacturing year before having a deeper look at other features or design characteristics.

Final considerations

One of the best parts about having a personal airbag scan tool is simply having the ability to quickly check any possible problems of the airbags. Often referred to as the SRS scan feature, it allows car owners to see if and what problem the scan tool has.

The best airbag scan tools are always the ones which are easy to use. This is one of the issues which rarely gets talked about with car scan tools. Even if a scan tool comes with all professional features, it might be complicated to use. This is why it is essential to find the right solution for the owners who are not going to use all of the scan features of the device.

Another important aspect comes with customer support. Many brands offer good products but whenever there is a problem, customers find it difficult to get answers. This is why it’s actually important to look at things such as product warranty and customer service. In many cases, it is important to understand that users might not actually have the opportunity to purchase extended warranty policies with most airbag scan tools.

Another important aspect remains the post-purchase use of the scanner. All users are responsible to keep their devices updated. Regular updates are not usually seen on airbag scan tools. However, new updates are released from time to time. They can even come with more codes, added language support or improved device speed. The good news is that most of these updates are also favoring users, which means their scan tools can get better. At the same time, some scan tools also offer lifetime customer support. If there is any problem with future software updates, they can be dealt with in a timely manner.