If you’ve ever searched for an obd2 device online, you’ve probably come across Autel. Autel is an international company that focuses on manufacturing a variety of automotive electronic gadgets, including obd2 scanners.
There’s literally dozens of OBD2 scanners they produce, two of which I want to dive deep into. The Autel AL519 and AL619.
While these two look almost identical and are rather affordable, what I’ll do below is break down each one with the pro’s, con’s and overall verdict. From there, we can compare them and see which one is actually better.
Right off the bat, you can tell this is the AL519 due to the model number on the top right of the device. In addition to that, unlike with the AL619, theres three indicator lights colored green, yellow and red, lighting up after a scan is complete, letting you know if there’s something worth looking into.
The scanner comes with all the basic necessities, including a nylon zip bag, the OBD2 hard wire connection and the scanner itself feels quite solid, surrounded with thick exterior coating.
When it comes to the buttons, they are properly sealed and can handle rough environment for a while. Once you connect this device to an OBD2 or an EOBD port, you’ll be presented with a screen that presents 4 main options. The first one is the OBD2/EOBD option where you can link directly to the vehicle.
This model can perform all 10 modes of OBD2 tests, including: reading of codes, erasing of codes, LIVE data viewing, smog check, freeze frame data, O2 monitoring, on-board monitoring, and more.
This model can turn off check engine lights. You can connect the device to your vehicle and read live data that allows you to see exactly where the problems might be occurring. This includes O2 monitoring and component testing to check misfire and fuel system problems.
A nice bonus for this scanner is the DTC definition lookup. This is a great option that allows you to reference to codes that you might be getting after a scan and fully understanding what you are dealing with.
Fast emissions and smog checking. With this scanner, you can press one button and get a quick reading with some general information that can help you know if you’ll pass or fail a small/emissions test.
Mini USB allows you to connect your device to a computer and print-off what the scanner found. This is great if you need a physical, hard copy of the scan results.
At around $60 at the time of this writing (used), it is a good value scanner that should work with most automobiles on the market today.
- Cost: 9/10
- Features: 7/10
- Durability: 8/10
Yet another DIY’er scanner that is highly popular among the automotive enthusiast and mechanic crowd. This scan tool comes in a similar package as the Al519 and all the necessary accessories to get started. The big difference right away you’ll notice with this scanner is the button layout. The three lights that indicated status on the AL519 are no longer there, instead they are replaced with three custom function buttons that allow you to pre-set them to do different things.
The remaining buttons are the same, until you go on the side of the scanner where the mini USB input is and you’ll notice a micro-sd card slot. This micro SD slot allows you to use any SD card for storage of information you found.
The follow are the main aspects of the AL619 that make it a good scanner.
- It can diagnose ABS and SRS Systems
- You can look up different types of codes with DTC Look (just like the AL519)
- Read & Erase Codes (such as Check Engine Light)
- See Live Data
- Freeze Frame Live Data
- I/M Readiness Status
- Monitor O2 and Emissions System
- View Vehicle Information That Go Beyond Live Data
This scanner at the moment is almost double the price at around 100 dollars (subject to change). Though still in the affordable category, this unit does have extras that make it worth the extra price.
AL519 vs AL619 Differences?
Being so similar but at the same time having enough differences to justify the $40 price difference, what are we looking at when comparing the two?
PRO AL519: If you want more visual indicators that tell you whether something needs attention or not, the AL519 has three lights the turn green, yellow and orange.
PRO AL619: However, if you want extra buttons with extra functionalities and features, the AL619 would be a better pick. The three function buttons let you execute commands more accurately while using this tool.
PRO AL619: The extra price hike gives this scanner a micro sd card that allows you to store all data, codes and scans, that way you can transfer everything over to a computer for printing or whatever else you need the codes for.
PRO AL619: This scanner allows you to diagnose and scan safety systems such as ABS and SRS. This is obviously a more complex scanner and for the extra bit of money, you’ll have a more capable scanner.
BOTH: The print data function allows printing out diagnostic data recorded by the scan tool is compatible with window-based PC or laptops.
BOTH: These scanners come by default in Spanish, however if you want access to 13 other languages, including Spanish, you’ll need to do the following:
Get in touch with the company and provide device serial number (12 digits, at the back of the device). You can learn more here on their website.
Autel AL619 is the better pick
After researching and playing with these two scanners, I’ve come to the conclusion that the AL619 is the one to buy, even though it costs more money. My reasoning behind this decision is based on the fact that both scanners cost at or less than 100 dollars. These prices are quite insignificant in the grans scheme of things, especially when you start looking at the higher end INNOVA, LAUNCH and even some other Autel models that cost upwards of $500.
While you are at it, if you made up your decision, consider looking at finding the best OBD2 software for diagnostics and performance monitoring. I wrote a post showing you which ones are worth looking into.