Airbag Scan Tools

Airbag code reading and light resetting require specific scan tools which are different from 'check engine' scanners. These scan tools work through a different computer and require unique hardware and software.
If you are unsure of which scanner to buy, please refer to our vehicle specific scan tool guide on this page:

Scanner List -Vehicle Guide

Important Information
Every scan tool provides coverage for selected vehicles depending on the software. Refer to the manufacturer information to find coverage for each tool.

Through the years, AirbagSolutions has offered code readers and scan tools for sale. But with the proliferation of different scan tool manufacturers as well as the change in requirements for so many vehicles, we no longer offer these tools for sale on our website. Code Readers and Scan Tools are available from the "tool trucks" that visit shops, online, and from providers such as Amazon, Ebay Stores and Tooltopia (among others). Many of the parts stores (AutoZone, Oreilly Auto, Advance Auto) also carry scan tools and code readers.

Here, we offer an overview of each category of tools so you can make an educated decision. Detailed information, vehicle coverage charts and support for each tool should be available from the respective manufacturer.

Scan Tools by Price & Coverage

Entry Level Code Readers

Launch Airbag Code Reader

Launch Airbag Code Reader

OTC Airbag Code Reader

OTC Airbag Code Reader

Innova Airbag Code Reader

Innova Airbag Code Reader

Each of the Code Readers above will provide you with adequate ability to read airbag codes on many vehicles. These tools range anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on which model and brand you choose.

Launch provides greater depth for Asian and European vehicles than Domestic models although it does have some Domestic coverage. Most of the tools sold by Launch have software that can be upgraded from year to year.

OTC, on the other hand provides very deep coverage for Domestic and Asian vehicles but does not cover many of the European models. Additionally, the coverage for some of the OTC less expensive tools can run 4-6 years behind current model vehicles year.

Innova is a middle of the line Code Reader and provides coverage for some Domestic, European and Asian vehicles. Once again, you will need to contact the manufacturers for a complete list of vehicles this company's tools cover.

Note: Almost every code reader or scan tool WILL require an update from the manufacturer simply because new software is contantly being released subsequent to when the code reader was produced. Make sure the code reader you decide to purchase offers a software upgrade option.

Mid Level Scan Tools

Autel Scan Tools
Autel Scan Tools

OTC Genesys Scan Tool

OTC Genesys Scan Tool

Mac Scan Tools

Mac Scan Tool

All of these Scan tools have better coverage and more options than entry level code readers, however many are still not capable of reading all vehicles or performing all tasks required for the Supplemental Restraint Systems. Once again, each of these may lag behind in coverage and/or require a software update (if available). These tools will range in price from $800 to $1500 depending on which model and brand you choose.

Autel provides a few scanners that claim to offer full coverage of Asian, Domestic and European vehicles. However, there are many reports of 'holes' in this coverage. Autel does advertise software upgrades for their tools.

OTC offers their Genesys line of scan tools that do provide bi-directional interface as well as a multitude of functions including 'Identifix' and software upgrades. Although these tools are easy to use and have great support, they too lack "complete coverage".

Mac is a branded scanner from OTC and offers the same coverage and support. Many technicians however, prefer this tool to the OTC line simply because of the access to their sales rep (the tool truck). As the software is dependant on OTC, Mac has the same lack of coverage and lag in years. This is a full graphing scan tool with SRS and ABS coverage.

Top End Scan Tools

Launch Systems
Launch Scan Tools

Snap-On Systems

Snap-On Scan Tools

Pass-Through Modules

Pass-through Systems

The scan tools shown above are just a few of the tools available that will allow you to complete almost every function required by OEMs to service the restraint systems properly. Very often, you will need to downoload software to perform these tasks (resetting OCS systems, configuring new control modules, etc.) but the scan tools themselves are capable of performing those functions. As many of the vehicles on the road today are unique, so is the software for their systems. These tools will range in price from $2000 to $4500 depending on which model and brand you choose.

Launch offers a variety of top end scan tools, from a pocket size hand-held device to a full size scanner with a built-in printer. The coverage on these full service tools is deep and comprenensive. Launch does offer software upgrades for all their tools. Be VERY aware of "pirated" Launch products. Buy Launch products ONLY from an authorized dealer.

Snap-On scan tools (Solus, Ethos, Verus) provide all the functions you will need to read and service airbag systems giving you diagnostic capability for a variety of other systems and deep coverage for most vehicles. Their support is great and upgrades are easily available.

Pass-through Systems are now becoming more prevelant for servicing airbag systems. These interface communication devices connect directly to your laptop (with the proper OEM software) and allow you to perform all the functions the dealer can. Once again, these tools require very specific software and downloads depending what task you are attempting to perform. Many of the manufacturers offer these unique tools through their parts department or online. Additionally, independant companies (like Snap-on, Launch and others) sell them as well.