What's the Difference Between a Code Reader and a Code Scanner?

Schedule Brake Pad Replacement
Service Area

$125.02 - $465.01

Price range for all vehicles
Average rating from 11,934 customers who received a Brake Pads Replacement.

In order to determine why your Check Engine Light is on, a mechanic will connect a handheld device to the OBD II connector under your dash (in a vehicle made in 1996 and onward). This lets the mechanic access the trouble code stored in the computer and begin diagnosing the problem. However, there are many different devices that do similar things, and it helps to know the differences between them.

Code reader vs code scanner

You’ll find two primary categories of devices out there – code readers and scan tools. There’s a lot of blurring of the lines between these two options, but here are the main differences:

  • Code Reader: A code reader is generally the cheaper of the two options, and also the most limited in terms of functionality. They basically connect to the OBD II connection, and tell you what the code is. You can then choose to clear the code if you want. That’s where their features usually end.

  • Scan Tool: A scan tool is generally manufactured for use in an automotive shop, and provides a robust set of tools for testing, diagnostics and more. Mechanics can also access more than just the ECU – the code scanner generally provides access to codes and problems in the ABS system, traction control and other supplemental systems.

In addition to the difference in functionality, there’s also a considerable difference in price. A code reader can cost hundreds but a good scan tool might set you back thousands, depending on the software and tools included. Some of these are very high-end, with touchscreen capabilities and additional equipment that can be used to make a more accurate diagnosis, test components on the car, and even control the vehicle’s onboard software to simulate different operating conditions.


Next Step

Schedule Brake Pad Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Brake Pad Replacement. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Brake Pad Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Brake Pad Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

11,934

Rating Summary
11,399
340
70
35
90
11,399
340
70
35
90

Robert

11 years of experience
62 reviews
Robert
11 years of experience
Infiniti FX35 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Springfield, Virginia
Early arrival....great work....Thank you so much for your services...will be using and recommend you for sure to family n friends!!!! God bless you
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Derwood, Maryland
Showed up on time (actually early!l Answered any questions I had. Completed service quicker than expected! Even helped with tire that had a slow leak.

Augustine

11 years of experience
37 reviews
Augustine
11 years of experience
Hyundai Accent - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
I had an appointment to have brakes/rotors done. Augustine is a very nice guy. Personable and polite! He came 30 minutes early for the appointment, and asked me if he could come early before he came. Top quality, will use him again for rear brakes/rotors in a few weeks.
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Augustine was amazing. He was the perfect example of customer service all around. While he was working, I was recommending him to my neighbors. Next time I need work, I will be requesting Augustine specifically!!!!! Please give him a raise or bonus!!!

Chris

21 years of experience
1786 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Mission Viejo, California
Chris is outstanding in all aspects. We always select him to service our vehicles. He's always prompt, friendly, and more importantly HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING! Thanks Chris!
Lexus SC430 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Laguna Niguel, California
Chris's delivered excellent service and arrived ahead of schedule. I would want to book Chriss for my next service appointment.

Christopher

9 years of experience
20 reviews
Christopher
9 years of experience
Kia Rondo - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Houston, Texas
Christopher is very knowledgeable about diagnosing the problem, repairing it, and discussing why it is important to fix it. I appreciate him letting me know what future maintenance is necessary. Christopher is very professional while having the ability to making the customer feel at ease. I am satisfied with his work.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE