When it comes to choosing an OBD2 scanner, you get what you pay for.
Looking for an affordable car code reader, but not sure which is better, FIXD vs. BAFX? While the BAFX OBD reader is around $20, it requires a third-party app that could cost more. On the other hand, the FIXD Sensor and app are a package deal and a great mix of features and value for everyday drivers and car enthusiasts. Read on to find out which is the best choice for you!
What Should I Know Before Buying An OBD2 Scanner?
Every gas-powered vehicle made since 1996 comes equipped with an OBD2 port. By accessing this port, you can read your vehicle’s Onboard Diagnostics (OBD2) System and understand why your check engine light is on without spending hundreds of dollars for repair shop diagnostics.
If you drive a gas-powered vehicle model year 1996 or newer (or diesel engine 2008 and newer), you can save time and money by diagnosing car problems at home. Even if you can’t fix them yourself, you’ll at least have an idea what the problem is when you take your car to the shop. All you need is an OBD2 scan tool that is compatible with your car.
There are numerous OBD2 scanners out there, with hundreds of options of different features and functionality. In this article, we cover two popular car scanners and OBD2 apps, FIXD vs. BAFX, so that you can make an informed decision.
Key Features To Look For In An OBD2 Scan Tool
Diagnose and Reset CEL
The fundamental purpose of any OBD2 scanner is to read most engine fault codes and reset the check engine light. This feature alone can save you $100+ by avoiding a diagnostic service fee and hard reset at the repair shop.
Know Issue Severity
Some issues are rather serious, while others are not serious at all. Some OBD2 scanners not only tell you what your check engine light means in simple terms but also how severe the issue is. That way, you know whether your car is safe to drive until you can get it checked, or if you need to park it immediately.
Real-Time Vehicle Health Monitoring
To get the most out of your scanner, look for a device that you can leave plugged in to monitor vehicle health at all times. It’s even better if your scan tool enables you to view live vehicle data, such as oxygen sensor voltage, fuel trims, vehicle speed, and more while you drive. This makes it easy to check car performance on the go.
DIY Repair Guidance
If you’re handy with a wrench, a great addition to your toolbox is a scan tool that accurately diagnoses engine problems and suggests possible fixes with helpful blogs and videos to walk you through repairs. You could save hundreds of dollars replacing the defective part yourself rather than paying a shop to do it.
Automated Maintenance Alerts
Regular maintenance is the best way to extend the life of your car. Look for a scan tool that sends automated maintenance alerts based on your specific make, model, and mileage so you never miss an important oil change or other services. This is a rare feature with OBD2 scanners, but extremely helpful in extending the lifespan of your vehicle.
Connect Wirelessly via Bluetooth
Wires have a way of always getting tangled. That’s the last thing you want to deal with when you’re stuck on the side of the road. Make sure your OBD2 scanner is wireless and connects to your iOS or Android smartphone using Bluetooth technology for the fastest and most convenient engine diagnostics.
OBD2 scanners range in price from under $50 to over $2000. Unless you’re a professional automotive technician or specialist, you don’t need an expensive professional scanner. Just be sure to find a tool that offers transparent pricing so you know exactly what you’re getting. Do your homework so you don’t pay for a subscription you may or may not need.
FIXD has sold over 2 million FIXD Sensors. The free FIXD app has more than 10,000 five-star reviews. It’s priced affordably at just $59 and delivers massive value at that price point.
Our favorite part about the FIXD OBD2 scanner is how easy it is for anyone to pick up and use right away. The data display inside the free FIXD app is much more user-friendly than other scan tools. It features a mix of text and visual data, including charts and graphs, that make it easy to understand what’s going on inside your vehicle.
It not only reads most engine codes but also translates them into plain English so that anyone can understand what they mean. Few people know what P0420 means off the top of their head, but the FIXD Sensor and free app not only explains what the problem is, it also gives you a list of possible fixes for your specific error code and links to in-depth OBD2 code descriptions and DIY repair videos to help you fix simple issues yourself.
Plus, it comes with added features that other scan tools don’t have. FIXD offers Automated Maintenance Alerts so you never forget an oil or filter change. It also provides Multi-Vehicle Health Monitoring. This feature allows you to connect multiple FIXD Sensors to every car you own and monitor their health in real-time from your smartphone, even if you’re 500 miles away. This makes it a great choice for parents who want to keep track of the whole family’s fleet of vehicles.
FIXD is an American-owned company based in Atlanta, Georgia. They stand behind their quality products with a 100% risk-free money-back guarantee.
FIXD Pros & Cons
|FIXD PROS||FIXD CONS|
|Comprehensive OBD2 scanner that’s a great value at $59||Doesn’t read ALL engine codes, such as ABS, Airbag, and some proprietary manufacturer codes|
|App is designed for anyone to easily use, even if you know nothing about cars||Only reads transmission codes in certain makes and models|
|Translates 7000+ engine codes into plain, simple terms in minutes||Doesn’t offer ability to custom encode your vehicle|
|U.S. based technology and customer support|
|Compatible with iPhone & Android|
|Sends automatic maintenance reminders so you never miss an oil change or other important service|
|Offers users the ability to connect up to 5 FIXD Sensors to one phone, so they can remotely monitor the whole family’s fleet of vehicles and know when it’s time to schedule service – even if the car is hundreds of miles away|
|Backed by 1-year warranty, plus no-risk money back guarantee|
|Transparent pricing & features: FIXD Sensor + free app is $59 or you can upgrade to access Premium features for $69/year. No surprises or hidden fees|
Everyday drivers to amateur DIYers and car enthusiasts with a “hands-on” approach to caring for their cars and saving money with at-home repairs and maintenance.
BAFX offers a wide range of products, ranging from electronics to outdoor equipment to pet supplies. The BAFX Products OBD2 Diagnostic Interface sells for just $21.99.
BAFX guarantees that its interface is compatible with all OBD2 protocols. What that means is it will communicate with any gas-powered car 1996 or newer. Some of the less expensive interfaces may only support the most common protocols, and won’t work with cars that use the less common ones. BAFX, however, will work with any car that supports OBD2.
What You See Is What You Get
What you are buying, however, is only the interface that plugs into your car, unlike the FIXD Scanner and App which provides everything you need. You will need to download third-party software, such as Torque or DashCommand, to access your car’s diagnostic information. Some configuration between the app and the interface may be required, which could be an issue for less technically inclined people.
Additionally, features such as diagnostic code descriptions, real-time monitoring, and automated maintenance alerts are entirely dependent on which third-party app you use. Some free apps exist that will give you basic information, but often you will have to spend more money to unlock more advanced features such as these if they’re even available at all.
The BAFX interface will only work with Android phones. If you’re an iPhone user, you’re out of luck. To their credit, BAFX states this limitation as clearly as possible on their websites and advertising.
BAFX Pros & Cons
|BAFX PROS||BAFX CONS|
|At $21.99, the BAFX interface is extremely affordable, and less expensive than FIXD||BAFX is an interface only, requiring third-party software to provide full functionality|
|Guaranteed to work with all OBD2 protocols||Actual cost to use may be more than $21.99 depending on the price of the third-party app|
|Compatible with numerous third-party Android apps||Android and Windows only, iPhone and Mac not supported|
Android users on a budget who are technically inclined and want to choose from a variety of third party apps to access their car’s information.
FIXD vs. BAFX Key Features at a Glance
|Price||$59, Free Shipping(includes FIXD Sensor and free app)||$21.99, Plus Shipping(includes Adapter ONLY)|
|Amazon Customer Rating||4.1/5||4.4/5|
|Technology Designed In USA||✔|
|Diagnose and Reset CEL||✔||✔|
|Know Issue Severity||✔|
|Real-Time Vehicle Health Monitoring||✔|
|DIY Repair Guidance||✔|
|Automated Maintenance Alerts||✔|
|Multi-Vehicle Remote Monitoring||✔|
|Wireless Bluetooth Connectivity||✔||✔|
|Android & iOS Compatible||✔|
FIXD vs. BAFX: Which Is Better?
Whether FIXD or BAFX is the best OBD2 scanner depends on who you are and why you need a scan tool. We’ve ranked each scan tool in the following categories to give you a better idea of which to buy:
|Budget Shopper||Everyday Driver||Amateur DIYer|
|🏆 BAFX||🏆 FIXD||🏆 FIXD|
|If a low price is your main concern, the budget shopper will still spend less to unlock basic diagnostic capabilities with the BAFX interface and a third-party app than it would cost to buy the FIXD Interface and app, as long as you have an Android. iPhone need not apply.||For everyday drivers who want to understand the check engine light without spending time and money at the repair shop, FIXD is the champ. The app looks great, is ultra-easy to use, and gives you everything you need to know about your car in plain English.||Both BAFX and FIXD make it easy to read and reset your engine light. But FIXD takes it to the next level with a list of possible fixes and DIY repair guidance. With FIXD Premium, you can even contact a FIXD Mechanic for help with at-home repairs and more.|
Best Overall Winner: FIXD
For the best overall value with transparent pricing and features all drivers can enjoy, FIXD takes the win.
Recovering autocross and track day enthusiast. Once turned a VW Jetta into a pickup truck. Lives in a van down by the river. Dream car: 2001 Subaru WRC rally car.