In the world of OBD scanners there is a brand that easily dominates all its competition in almost all price-brackets. That brand is called Foxwell. Their most successful model is a rather inexpensive one and also kind of limited in terms of its functionality but it still delivers everything you might want when it comes to engine diagnostics. In other words, this is one of the best engine fault scanners but it has a downside of not being able to read out other error codes coming from your vehicle. Some other scanners, such as the Maozua V7.7 can read ABS or airbag codes but lack in the engine department’s deeper details.
Our Verdict: The Foxwell NT301 scanner is a great tool for every car enthusiast who wants to keep track of his engine’s performance and always stay one step ahead of potential issues. We recommend it for almost every car owner and even beginner mechanics.
Now, let’s dive into the curious features of the NT301 scanner and see what makes it one of the best scanners on the market currently.
Features That Make It Stand Out
When it comes to budget OBD scanners companies cannot really afford to put premium features into a low priced model, unless they mass-produce it which is the case with the NT301. It packs features typical for far more expensive devices into a model which is easily affordable by most people. Let’s see which those are now, starting from the body of the unit and moving all the way to its core – the software.
First off, the thing that stands out the most from the body of this unit is the large colored LCD display that really is something rather rare at this price point. It provides sufficient information in a well-digestible manner making navigation through the various options plain and simple.
Below that screen there are three LED indicators colored red, yellow, and green respectively. They help you monitor the status of your vehicle’s engine and/or emissions while also warning for sudden issues during the test such as a disconnected cable or even a more serious one in the engine itself. If plugged in after the issues have been fixed it will confirm the correction and give you a green light.
Further down the unit, there are the nine buttons which all have their specific function. There is a special I/M readiness button, as well as some other helpful buttons such as:
- Navigational arrows
- Power off/on
Interestingly enough, even though it has a power button, the unit does not require any power source besides your car to operate. This means that there is no use of external batteries and also no possible way of not having power to boot it up, except in cases where your car’s battery is dead. The fact that you don’t have to deal with charging the scanner or swapping out a battery pack is a huge plus for most buyers.
Around the body of the NT301 there is a thin rubber band surrounding it from all sides. This will help protect it in cases of a mild shock or impact, like dropping it on the ground by accident when working with it.
If you want to learn more about OBD scanners in general or check our other top 5 models, head over to our Buyer’s Guide.
Now, let’s talk about the most important feature of a scanner:
It’s Scanning Capabilities
As we mentioned, this isn’t an all-in-one OBD scanner mainly due to the fact that it does not read ABS or other chassis codes and is primarily focused on your engine, emissions, and drivetrain. In fact, people buy it mostly for its emission reading options.
The emission-testing system built into this model is ideal for telling you whether your vehicle will pass or fail the emissions inspection. What is even better is that it will notify you if there are any ongoing issues with it. That way you will have a general idea of what needs to be fixed before driving your car to get inspected.
Something else that we really liked about this scanner is the DTC Lookup tab on the screen. This allows you to not only see what trouble codes you are getting but also look up their meaning. It is something not many other scanners have and we found it to be extremely useful in cases where you work on your car alone without the help of a specialist in the field.
As an addition to everything else, you get a disk from Foxwell which contains all the necessary update options for your obd scanner. You can store information and/or update the unit via the USB cable included in the box. That makes it a great future-proof investment.
Foxwell is a company that produces a wide range of automotive diagnostic devices ranging from digital pressure testers and OBD scanners to diagnostic platforms and automotive service tools. Most of their products are offered at reasonable prices, and the manufacturer seems to know what their client base wants in terms of functionality.
Their latest line of OBD scanners offer a fast and efficient way to run diagnostics on your vehicle, and all for a reasonable price.
Considering the lower price, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find many features on this Foxwell scanner that you will on scanners that are easily twice the price.
The Vehicle Doctor feature will allow you to easily detect a wide variety of common issues so you can get that check engine light turned off ASAP. This feature also provides fast access to DTC definitions, the vehicle’s emissions readiness status and includes an extensive library where you can look up pretty much any DTC code. The Vehicle Doctor will also allow you to turn off the malfunction indicator lamp and find the root cause of most problem codes.
In regard to accuracy, users can check out the results in either text or graph form. Beginners will appreciate how the information is displayed, with diagnostics that are easy to understand and laid out in an organized manner.
If your vehicle has been giving you ongoing problems for months and you feel as though you’ve tried everything, then the scanner’s data logging feature will come in handy. It can be used to help you keep track of any codes and issues found in the past, so you can keep track of what type of fixes you’ve tried and the different issues that keep popping up with each scan.
Is it Worth a Second Look?
Overall, the scanner is very beginner-friendly, making it possible for both skilled mechanics and beginners to learn exactly what’s going on with their vehicle in a matter of minutes.
If you want to save time and money that would otherwise be sent at your local mechanic’s shop getting diagnostics run by a pro, then this Foxwell scanner is just the device you’re looking for.
However, because the scanner doesn’t come with the best user’s manual, if you’re totally new to using an OBD scanner there will be a learning curve involved. Of course, you can easily go online and hit up a forum where you can get advice from experienced mechanics if you run into any issues with this scanner.
On this model there is an automatic VIN acquisition/decoding option which makes it a breeze to skim through manufacturer-specific date and codes. This also enhances the mode $06 date you extract from your vehicle.
Now, let’s see sum up some of the major pros and cons of the Foxwell NT301:
- Looks great
- Sturdy and shock-proof construction
- Many navigational buttons
- Easy-to-use colored LCD display
- DTC Lookup feature
- Detailed information about any code you get from your car
- Comes with software disks, USB cable, and an OBD cable
- No need for batteries, as it charges through your car’s OBD port
- Capable of clearing engine fault codes
- It’s fairly limited to engine fault codes only
- Learning what every button does can take some time
- There isn’t a good instruction manual included in your bundle