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Launch Scanners (In-Depth Review 2021)

Launch Tech, the company behind Launch scanners, has been at the forefront of OBD2 scanning technology since 1992.

Since the brand began before the OBD2 standards were implemented, the company knows everything about it and helped develop some of the coding requirements for it.

It offers both DIY diagnostic tools for the car enthusiast and professional diagnostic scanners for shop and garage owners. 

Let’s see what the brand has to offer for automotive consumers and professionals alike.

You can also read our latest researched guide on obd codes

Our Take On Their Units

As a step up from the CReader, this pro edition is much easier to use, thanks to the five-inch touchscreen.

This scanner is much more rugged and simplistic, making it an ideal choice for people who are more invested in their cars.

What also sets this scanner apart from others is that it comes with built-in apps, meaning that it operates much like a smartphone. In fact, it uses Android software to ensure that it works well in a variety of conditions.

As with other Launch Tech scanners, you can not only reset check engine lights but scan your car’s performance and see how well it’s running at any given time.

Technically speaking, OBD2 scanners are only meant to check your engine’s systems, as well as test for emissions. However, many modern varieties enable you to monitor other parts of your car, and the CRP129 is a perfect example.

In addition to check engine lights, this scanner allows you to inspect and monitor other systems like the oil, brakes, tire pressure, and airbags.

Coupled with a relatively large screen and a graphical interface, it’s never been easier to see what’s wrong with your vehicle.

The menu options are intuitive, and it covers almost all major car brands, so you shouldn’t have any compatibility issues.

This scanner model is another one that offers professional quality, making it an ideal choice for those who want to be able to diagnose and repair their vehicles at home.

First, we like that it comes with a rugged housing unit, making it tough enough for most environments.

As with other readers, this scanner can monitor additional car systems, like airbags and oil. However, what sets it apart is that you can not only live stream the data, but get insight into what could be causing the problem.

With most devices, you have to figure that out on your own, but this one makes it so much easier.

We’ve already seen some high-quality, professional-grade scanners from Launch Tech, but the X431 is one of the top models for aspiring mechanics. If you want a tool that offers a complete range of services and features, then this is definitely the one for you.

With a relatively large screen and the capability of scanning all of your car’s systems, it’s super easy to find out what’s going on beneath the hood.

What makes this device extra-professional is that you can also tap into your vehicle’s onboard computer system to spot problems and find solutions.

Overall, if you’re really serious about keeping your car in shape, this is one of the better scanners to buy.

The first thing that you’ll notice about this scanner is that it has a vertical layout and design, unlike the horizontal devices we’ve seen above.

For the most part, we prefer this style because it’s much more similar to a smartphone, which makes it easier to hold and read.

As with other Launch Tech scanners, this one allows you to monitor multiple vehicle systems, including the engine, brakes, airbags, and oil. It also comes with a vast array of makes and models and displays the information graphically so that you can see what’s going on much easier.

One extra thing we like about this scanner is that it comes with a lifetime of free, automatic updates. Thus, you never have to worry about it becoming obsolete.

If you like the layout and feel of the 9801 model, but you don’t want to pay as much, then this unit will be a better bet.

While you don’t get as much functionality with this scanner, it’s perfect for casual DIY car enthusiasts. Also, with the vertical, smartphone design, it’s much easier to diagnose problems.

This scanner has a vast library of makes and models, and it has an intuitive interface. What makes it less functional than the 9801 reader is that you can only check the engine and oil systems, and you don’t get updates.

Thus, if you’re serious about keeping your car in shape, you will lack some extra features.

However, as far as standard OBD2 scanners go, this one is still excellent and quite user-friendly.

7. LAUNCH X431 CRP123i

Bid goodbye to car start-up problems and high vehicle maintenance costs, with the professional diagnostic scanner LAUNCH X431 CRP123i. An evolutionary device designed for smart car diagnosis, this tool is unique in its wide range of vehicular support, advanced functions, and precise test result. Manufactured for OBD2-compliant vehicles, LAUNCH X431 CRP123i works with both domestic (American) and foreign (European, Asian) automobiles.

While code reading is its most basic function, this scanner is also qualified to diagnose the Check Engine Light(CEL),  otherwise known as the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL). It can pull and clear Diagnostic Trouble Codes(DTC) in all compatible OBD2 vehicles. The LAUNCH X431 CRP123i can scan the engine, transmission, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Air Bag Systems(ABS) for faults. This powerful scanner comes with a fast Vehicle Identification Number(VIN)) auto detect, displaying VIN information immediately after it is connected to a car. The CRP123i supports all 10 test modes of OBD2, few of them being powertrain, freeze frame data, emission-related DTCs, etc.

Along with battery maintenance scan, the LAUNCH X431 CRP123i can also check a vehicle's Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) readiness status. The CRP123i comes with the generic OBD mode tests of O2 Sensor Test, Enhanced Evaporative(EVAP) Test and on-board monitoring. It can record and playback data streams which is important if the user wants to review the test data later on. A user can get a printout of the data by utilising the unique key feature of this device to send all diagnostic data of a vehicle to an email. This is especially useful if you are a mechanic or professional technician as you can share your findings with a customer.

What we absolutely love about LAUNCH tools is that they come equipped with a one-click update feature to upgrade the software, including the CRP123i. The reason this is a huge deal is because the user can update the scanner to include latest car models and makes, as and when they get added to the software. In the long run, it enables its owner to diagnose and fix future vehicles too! With a five year warranty, you cannot just go wrong with this ultra-powerful gadget from LAUNCH.

8. Launch CReader HD Plus

The LAUNCH CReader HD Plus was primarily manufactured for heavy duty usage and independent truck drivers. However, it also works like a charm with any OBD II-compliant vehicle, such as light pickups, SUVs, and cars from the US, Europe, or Asia.  This Heavy Duty Onboard Diagnostics (HDOBD) truck code reader, besides having wide vehicle coverage and broad compatibility, also provides multi-system diagnosis. It can perform the basic OBD functions of read and clear fault codes on engine, transmission, brake, instrument panel, vehicle management system, fuel system, particulate control unit, and more.

The portable, user-friendly device with a comfortable 2.8 inch LCD display screen opens the doors to a world of operations, that can help in reading and clearing both live and inactive fault codes. This tool makes it easy and quick to determine the cause of the check engine light, as well as can turn off the light. It can reset the check engine and monitors. Additionally, with the CReader HD from launch, the user can read and graph live data. It also checks the performance of O2 sensors, performs Enhanced Evaporative(EVAP) tests and test Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) readiness.

The user can do in depth diagnosis of a vehicle by checking the code definition on the screen. It's easy to diagnose the live data stream and freeze frame data on the colored screen of the LAUNCH CReader HD Plus. The speed of operation of the device makes it possible to extract the Vehicle Information (VIN) in mere seconds. This scanner operates much faster than the tools in the same price range.

Deemed as one of the best heavy duty truck scanners to buy and try in 2021, it's no surprise that the LAUNCH CReader HD Plus is worth its money in gold. With lifetime free updates, this scanner is guaranteed to provide highest quality, and most professional diagnostic services, ever.

9. LAUNCH X431 Full-System CRP909

LAUNCH X431 CRP909 car diagnostic scanner is the brand new evolutionary smart solution from LAUNCH. It meets the professional requirements of technicians, mechanics, car owners alike. It is a handy tool that can perform full systems diagnosis (all OBD2 scan modes), is equipped with 15 special functions, and is compatible with more than 54 vehicle brands.

The user can read and clear Diagnostic Trouble Codes(DTC) for all major systems of the vehicle, view live data and freeze frame data, perform Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) readiness, O2 Sensor Test, perform Enhanced Evaporative(EVAP) test. Besides the generic OBD modes, you can also perform 15 special reset functions including Anti-lock Braking System(ABS), Adaptive Front-lighting System(AFS), Electric Park Brake(EPB) reset, Diesel Particulate Filter(DPF), Oil Reset Service, steering angle calibration, and more.

What we love about this powerful scanner is its auto-detect smart diagnosis feature which gets activated as soon as the tool and vehicle come in contact. In case of failure of auto detect mode, manual diagnosis is available. The LAUNCH X431 CRP909 also supports auto Vehicle Information (VIN) which is equivalent to fingerprint of a vehicle. This gadget eases diagnostic operation by retrieving the definitions of the DTC from the abundant DTC database. Thanks to the scanner’s feature to resume from the last operated step of vehicle scan, the user doesn’t have to start all over again from the beginning. 

 This simple straightforward hassle-free tool besides being fast and compact, does more than any scanner does in its price range. The added advantages are the multi language support and one-click Wi-Fi update. Be it a car repair garage, car beauty service parlours, the bag of an auto mechanic or the shelf of a DIY car enthusiast, this LAUNCH X431 Full-System CRP909 scanner finds it right fit just about anywhere.

10. LAUNCH Creader VIII

Deemed as one of the top selling OBD scanners from LAUNCH, LAUNCH Creader VIII is a modern day comprehensive diagnostic instrument that can only be described as the perfect hybrid of perfection and accuracy. Along with showcasing full features of OBD2 modes, this competent scanner also supports advanced operations of four important vehicle systems such as - engine, automatic transmission, Anti-lock Braking System(ABS) and airbag of a wide range of car models.

Some of the key features of LAUNCH Creader VIII are  read, clear and reset Diagnostic Trouble Codes(DTC), multi-language support, display data stream in a fluid crisp graphic form, data stream storage and playback, and ability to provide special functions, such as engine oil reset, reset brake block, correct steering angle sensor, etc and more. This scanner works like a charm with all OBD2 compliant vehicles. It not only reads or clear DTCs but also goes a step further by displaying DTC help information and service information.

Important vehicle tests like oxygen sensor test and carton canister test can be performed smoothly with this tool. The service light reset function is available for multiple car models. What's more is that the update and support for this device comes with a lifetime guarantee. That establishes the credibility of the gadget for sure.

Its light, compact and handy make and model, makes it ideal for the technicians and repairmen on the move. It's wide range of versatile operations, that ensures the health of a vehicle, make it ideal for car owners working from the comforts of their garage. All in all, it's a tool befitting the needs of a car owner or a professional mechanic.

11. LAUNCH X431 CRP429C

A fairly new scanner in the market, the LAUNCH X431 CRP429C has been widely approved by the car enthusiasts -owners, dealers, and mechanics, alike. The LAUNCH X431 CRP429C can display data stream in three modes : value, graph and merged. It supports four major systems of engine, transmission, Anti-lock Braking System(ABS) and Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS). It has a built-in database of DTC definitions. It comes with a Wi-Fi module which enables a user to connect this scanner to the internet and do a DTC lookup.

The minute this powerful scanner is plugged in, the LAUNCH X431 CRP429C auto detects the vehicle, displaying it’s make, model, year, and sometimes the mileage as well. The built-in automatic scanner in the gadget scans the battery system displaying the actual voltage of a car's battery. This scanner comes equipped with 11 Reset Functions  and 10 OBD2 mode tests, making it an all system scanner. Other than the full OBD2 diagnostics, the LAUNCH X431 CRP429C also supports 11 other advanced functions, namely ABS bleeding, oil service reset, gear learning, injector coding, Battery Monitor System(BMS) reset, Throttle Position Sensor(TPS), immobilizer system, Steering and Suspension (SAS) reset, Diesel Particulate Filter(DPF) regeneration, Electronic Parking Brakes (EPB), and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) reset.

With this scanner you can easily read and erase codes from the car’s central systems, thus resetting the system's warning lights. Some of the diagnostic data functions included in this device are Electronic Control Unit(ECU), ABS, SRS, transmission, power train, body, chassis, etc. LAUNCH X431 CRP429C also runs Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) readiness and O2 sensor tests. The whooping 8GB built-in memory makes it possible to automatically save each scan session which can be used for future reference.

What we absolutely love about this scanner is that it also displays car part numbers of faulty components that are in need of replacement. One may as well say that this gizmo is the perfect balance of power and affordability and straight from the future.

12. LAUNCH X431 CRP129i 

The LAUNCH CRP129i is one of the most reliable tools in LAUNCH’s range of scanning devices. This diagnostic tool features four system diagnosis functions, five major reset operations and a battery voltage test. It’s well-designed interface makes it easy to read codes and reset them. The touch screen is roughly five inches, equipped with a pressure sensitive keypad. This gizmo is capable of meeting all the basic needs of a technician, mechanic and DIY professional, alike.

The LAUNCH X431 CRP129i  makes it easy to access the previous diagnostic records by storing all car health reports online in the cloud space. A user can look up the meaning of an error code directly on the built OBD II fault code lookup library, eliminating the need of a search engine. The OBD2 modes covered by the scanner are read and clear codes, live data, Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) readiness, O2 sensor test, read freeze frame, on-board monitoring test, Enhanced Evaporative(EVAP) system, and read vehicle information with auto Vehicle Identification Number(VIN) information.

The battery voltage test operation in the scanner monitors car battery, displaying the data in graphic form. All diagnostic reports can be recorded, shared and printed via email. The five kinds of resets that can be done on this scanner are  Electric Park Brake(EPB) reset, oil reset, Steering Angle Sensor(SAS) reset, Electronic Control System(ETS) reset and Tire Pressure Monitoring System(TPMS) reset.

 What makes the LAUNCH X431 CRP129i all powerful is that, it is an upgraded version of LAUNCH's best scanners CRP129 and CREADER VIII, supporting extended protocols of OBD2, European On-Board Diagnostics(EOBD) and Japanese On-Board Diagnostics(JOBD). With technical support for 57 kinds of global car brands, this gadget is truly international.

13. LAUNCH CRP469 

This intelligent car diagnostic tool not only supports all 10 modes of standard OBD2 tests but also is equipped with 11 reset functions. The high definition wide touch screen as well as pressure sensitive keypad input enables a user to easily access the features. The inbuilt A5 quad-core processor saves time by ultra quick booting and scanning.

 The OBD modes supported by the LAUNCH CRP469  are Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) readiness, freeze frame data, dynamic data stream and Vehicle Information (VIN), O2 Sensor Test, Enhanced Evaporative(EVAP) Test and on-board monitoring. The advanced diagnostic scanner also displays real-time battery voltage of the connected vehicle.  This scanner can be used to help bleed the brakes, cycling the pump and valves during the bleeding (air removal) process.

 What we love about this scanner is that LAUNCH 469 automatically saves the inspection report after the diagnostic scan is done, transfers the file to the specified binding mailbox (if any specified). This is especially helpful in situations when certain problems are beyond comprehension of a user. The user can explain the issue in detail with the saved inspection report while checking with a professional technician.

 Along with the assistance for OBD2 modes, there are 11 special service reset features included. These are namely oil lamp reset, brake pad reset, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) reset, battery matching, injector programming, throttle adaptation, Diesel Particulate Filter(DPF) reset, headlamp matching, steering angle reset, Anti-lock Braking System(ABS) brake bleeding and anti-theft matching.

 With most of the scanner devices, a user has to figure out a lot on their own, but this device makes diagnosis and detection easy and efficient. This amazing tool comes with the added advantage of one-click user friendly update.

14. LAUNCHX431 CRP479

Launch X431 CRP479 is one of the most advanced versions from Launch. It is designed for technologically advanced vehicles and is a very versatile diagnostic scanner that does not just help you diagnose your automotive system but much more. All the ten OBD modes are supported by the LAUNCH X431 CRP469, namely - ability to diagnose and reset car check engine light, read and erase trouble codes from cars, as well as view graph data in real-time for easy interpretation.

It has four modes which are diagnostic, programming, emulator, and actuation test; which makes it possible to diagnose vehicles and perform different operations on them. It has the unique ability to connect with different vehicle-related apps on your smartphone. The Launch X431 CRP479 can read DTCs from cars' control modules and send the data to the computer for analysis. It can instantly diagnose the engine, Anti-lock Braking System(ABS), airbags, transmission, steering system, etc.

X431 CRP479 has a wide range of features that include live data, freeze frame data, on-board computer diagnosis, etc.  It has a 5 inch colour screen, so it’s easier to read the codes and data. This product is designed for technicians, but it can be used by anyone who has a basic understanding of what they are looking for. It provides detailed information about the car’s status, such as battery voltage, engine rpm, throttle position, intake air temperature (IAT) and many other parameters.

 In some models, it supports Wi-Fi technology and can send data to other devices via Wi-Fi connection. What's more, X431 CRP479 supports on screen touch that makes operation more convenient. The device also has a multi-language interface which can be switched to many languages according to different users' needs. Overall, it is an excellent product with high quality and reasonable price.

15. Launch CR529

The Launch CR529 OBD2 Scanner is a sleek tool that features the most commonly used OBD modes such as read Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs), clear DTCs, and Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) readiness. It features a sleek design with an LED backlight and high-resolution display. It is a multi-function tool that requires minimal setup and is easy to use.

It can read all vehicle models from 1996 onwards including cars, trucks, and buses. It can also work with any type of vehicle such as gasoline powered vehicles, diesel engines, hybrids, electric cars etc., so it’s ideal for any driver. It has mainly three modes - live data, erase codes, and read/erase fault codes. This gadget can read crucial vehicle information such as - Vehicle Information (VIN) and Calibration Verification Number (CVN) along with the trouble codes. This device allows you to get live data readings of engine speed, battery voltage and RPMs on your phone for free. It also provides GPS tracking and route logging for any driving trip. 

The Launch CR529 OBD2 Scanner has a built-in speaker for reading out codes and data in real time, eliminating the need for extra speakers or headphones. It also has a user-friendly app which makes reading and generating reports very easy. All information in the app is organized into categories and subcategories making the data easier to read for both experienced users and beginners. The CR529 on-board monitor is designed to work with most vehicles and will display critical information through real-time data from sensors. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

This tool is used by mechanics and service professionals, alike. A key feature of the Launch CR529 is the oxygen sensor test, which is designed to quickly and efficiently test the oxygen sensor.  The CR529 will also help you avoid paying hefty fees to a mechanic as you can easily diagnose your own problem through real-time data. The single biggest reason to buy a Launch CR529 is that it can perform all the functions of our other scanners but has a lower price point and includes a 5-year warranty!

16. Launch X431 Creader V+

Launch X431 Creader V+ PRO 4.0 is the new generation of diagnostic tools from Launch. It comes with better hardware and an enhanced software to diagnose trucks, buses, heavy-duty vehicles, etc. The scan tool is capable of performing advanced functions such as Anti-lock Braking System(ABS) bleeding, immobilizer system, injector coding, power balance, Variable-geometry turbochargers (VGT) learn, etc.

The improved hardware lets you read and decode the live data as well as the freeze frame data along with enhancing the accuracy of readings. With its wide coverage of regional vehicles, technicians can easily diagnose their vehicle without worrying about the region it was manufactured in. It has a much faster boot up time compared to its competitors in the market. The diagnostic system evaluates all data in less than 0.1 second. One of its main features is that it comes with the latest technology on board, including an Android operating system and Wi-Fi support. It supports 31+ Reset Functions including Steering and Suspension (SAS) reset, Battery Maintenance System (BMS) reset, Electronic Control System(ETS) reset, and more.

Launch X431 Creader V+ PRO 4.0 has a more streamlined user interface that makes it easier for technicians to find the information they need while diagnosing their vehicle quickly and accurately. There are two modes that a technician can use the Launch X431 V with - active test and full systems diagnosis. The former mode is used when you want to run a specific diagnostic test on a vehicle whereas the latter is used when you want to diagnose the entire vehicle's system. The bi-directional feature allows a user to send commands to many systems/components to test working status, without even using the vehicle controls.

It also has a cloud storage function and can share data with other products seamlessly. It is an all-inclusive vehicle diagnostic system that provides a complete solution for professional car owners. It comes with a five years warranty and two years free update. Launch X431 V has everything you need for quick auto diagnosis at your fingertips! 

17. Launch CRP909E

The LAUNCH X431 CRP909 Pro Full System OBD2 Scanner is a multi-purpose OBD2 scanner designed for professional use. It supports up to 16 service functions that include Anti-lock Braking System(ABS), Electric Park Brake(EPB) and Steering and Suspension(SAS). It is compatible with vehicles from 1996 to the present and provides roadside assistance to drivers. It helps them identify any potential problems with their car, check the status of its system, and detect the vehicle’s electronic components. 

The LAUNCH X431 CRP909E offers a wide variety of system diagnostic functions, and can be used to view data, read codes, provide live data, run tests, and do Electronic Control Unit (ECU) programming. It is perfect for testing the power supply system  – battery voltage, alternator output voltage  – as well as engine systems such as intake air pressure (MAP), oxygen sensors (O2S), throttle position sensor (TPS), fuel injectors (FI) and more. It also features an OBD-II connector that allows you to connect it to your car's OBD-II port and read vehicle data from the onboard computer.

With support for 16 reset functions such as  Anti-lock Braking System(ABS) bleeding, Sunroof reset, Adaptive Front-lighting System(AFS) headlamp reset, Electric Park Brake(EPB) reset, Diesel Particulate Filter(DPF), Oil Reset Service, Steering Angle Calibration, and more; this is a versatile gadget. The scanner has a Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) library that contains all the information about specific DTCs and their definitions. This makes it easier for users to find the specific code they are looking for because they don't have to spend time trying to understand what each code is referencing. 

What’s more, it provides a powerful battery voltage and history function which is designed to test the car's battery voltage at any point of time. Along with that it offers detailed test results, system parameters, component information, and vehicle information. This diagnostic device for automobiles is a must-have for both car owners and technicians. 

18. Launch Reader VII Plus

The LAUNCH Creader VII+ OBD2 Scanner is the next generation scan tool for your car, truck, SUV, or other vehicle. It is easy to use and gives you all of the information you need about your car’s sensors, Anti-lock Braking System(ABS) system, Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS) system, and transmission. It's compatible with 1996 and newer vehicles in the US, and vehicles that are 1996 or newer and sold in Europe. It can read engine codes and transmission codes, as well as ABS SRS Codes. It can also diagnose several other problems such as oil change lights, airbag light, battery power, fuel pump power, battery voltage, and engine coolant temperature.

The Creader VII+ has features like a built-in lithium battery that lasts for up to three years of use, and can be used on any type of vehicle. It offers two modes: an automatic diagnostic mode and manual diagnostic mode. The first one allows it to scan for OBD2 codes and automatically read them out loud, while the second one lets you type in your own code or scan another car code if you need more information about it. Furthermore, it has an odometer correction feature that makes it easy for people who are unsure about how many miles they have actually driven their vehicle.

This powerful gadget includes ten OBD2 test modes that make it possible to diagnose all vehicles. These modes include: Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) readiness test, emissions diagnosis, on-board diagnostic reference data, Vehicle Identification Number(VIN) Programming and decoding. The LAUNCH Creader VII+ OBD2 Scanner also includes numerous built-in tests such as battery tests, component tests, emission readiness tests, and drive cycle calibration tests. The LAUNCH Creader VII+ OBD2 Scanner is equipped with a bright, backlit color display that makes it easy to read information from any angle. The scan tool also comes with an advanced security mode which encrypts all data so the user's information remains safe and secure.

This product is indispensable for anyone who wants to maintain their own car or troubleshoot problems themselves without going to a mechanic. It is an excellent tool for troubleshooting a Check Engine Light (CEL) along with other useful features. It can quickly identify why a vehicle’s CEL came on without having to take the car to a mechanic shop.