Looking for a mid-range OBD2 scan tool leaves you with several options, but how do you pick between the various models? With the Actron 9680 vs. Actron 9690, it only takes a short comparison to figure out which model is the best OBD2 scanner for your home garage or shop.
Let’s evaluate the two scan tools by some vital features to see which one should be a part of your arsenal.
Actron 9680 or Actron 9690: Which One is Best?
While both the Actron 9680 and the 9690 have many benefits for any do it yourself mechanic, there’s one model that’s a clear winner in the long run. The Actron CP9690 is the best scanner out of the two. It has more features and functionality with both OBD1 and OBD2 compliant vehicles, unlike the other model.
Of course, you will have to pay more to receive these additional features and compatibility. If the Actron CP9680 has everything you might need and you want to save money, then it’s still a valid option to consider.
Actron 9680 Overview
The Actron 9680 code scanner comes complete with CodeConnect plus ABS and Airbag display. This allows you to diagnose your vehicle quickly and accurately. It’s the ideal scan tool for someone that wants to spend a minimal amount of money but still have access to numerous useful features.
This durable scanner can read the Check Engine Light and ESP plus it has a code library and the information can be exported to a computer. This code scanner works with most OBD2 compliant vehicles from 1996 and later. This includes GM, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and Nissan. It isn’t compliant with OBD1.
Another perk to this setup is that there’s a USB port for connectivity. You also have the option to use battery power for maximum portability while you record, playback and graph live engine data. Overall, it’s a reliable, accurate and quick scanner when you need to troubleshoot codes.
Actron 9690 Overview
At first glance, you might think that the Actron 9690 is the same machine as the 9680, but there are some significant differences between the two. First, the Actron CP9690 works with both OBD1 and OBD2 compliant vehicles. This allows you to work on cars dating back to 1984.
Mechanics and home repair enthusiasts enjoy the user-friendly design of this code scanner. It’s lightweight, easy to use and features a familiar design. Use this tool to reset the oil light or battery light. You can also read SRS, ABS and ESP codes. This machine reads and displays freeze frame data as well as engine and transmission codes too.
Because the 9690 features the ability to send information to a computer, you can save the data for another time. The CodeConnect gives you accessibility to a database of over 26 million fixes for diagnostic trouble codes. With this feature, you gain access to the best fixes for whatever problem you face.
Still, this model doesn’t cost much more than the 9680. For the additional features and compatibility, it’s worth the extra expense, especially if you plan to work on numerous vehicles.
Comparison of the Key Features Between an Actron 9680 & Actron 9690
To get a better picture of which Actron model is right for you, let’s take a closer look at some key considerations.
The most significant difference between the 9680 and 9690 is the compatibility. The Actron 9680 works with all 1996 and newer domestic and import OBD II and CAN vehicles. It also works with 1994-95 OBD2 compliant cars. The higher-end 9690 code scanner works with all 1996 and newer domestic and import OBD2 and CAN vehicles, 1994-95 OBD2 compliant vehicles plus 1984-1995 GM, Toyota, Chrysler and Ford OBD1 vehicles as well.
The Actron CP9690 does cost slightly more than the 9680. It’s not a considerable price difference and won’t matter much if you require the additional capability offered by the 9690. If you plan to work on multiple makes and models of vehicles, especially older ones, you will want the flexibility it provides.
Both code scanners are well designed and fit in the hand perfectly. They are lightweight and come complete with a storage case. When you need maximum portability, either model will suit your needs.
Neither the Actron 9680 nor the Actron 9690 come with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. If you want something that offers these functions, you will have to upgrade to a different model within the Actron lineup.
Both Actron code scanners feature the option to utilize three languages. Adjust the unit’s language between English, Spanish or French as needed. They both also read Check Engine Light codes as well as ESP, ABS and SRS airbag. With the option to record, playback and graph live data, you have maximum versatility to diagnose a multitude of problems.
Final Verdict: Actron 9680 or 9690?
While both OBD2 code scanners are versatile and functional, the Actron 9690 is the clear winner in this comparison. It works on more vehicles than the 9680, so it features more adaptability. This is important, especially if you plan to work on numerous cars and trucks that span many years.
As a home repairman, you may not need this additional versatility and therefore wouldn’t want to pay extra for it. Considering the two units are similar in nature aside from how many cars it diagnoses, it would make sense to save the money, when possible and go with the 9680 instead.