Mercedes code reader

Mercedes code reader DEFAULT


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Fault code readers on this page are all suitable for the Mercedes range. You will need to ensure that your vehicle has 16 pin OBD2 (OBDII) diagnostic port, which is a standard port for reading vehicle information. All vehicles from 2001 onwards should have this port installed.

If your vehicle is older than 2001, you may require an adapter (manufacturer specific) to hook the tools upto your vehicle.

To our knowledge, the code readers on this shown here are suitable for the following Mercedes models: B Class, SL AMG, G Class cabriolet, SLS AMG, C Class, C class T Model, M Class, Viano, E Class AMG, E Class Coupe, A Class coupe, CL AMG, G Class Kurz, Cl Class, C Class Sport Coupe, E Class Cabriolet, E Class T Model, M Class AMG, CLS AMG, GL Class AMG, A Class, G Class AMG, SLK AMG, SL Class, G Class, GL Class, CLS Shooting Brake, C Class t Model, SLK Class, C Class coupe, R Class, E Class, E Class T model, S Class, GLK Class, R Class lang,

You may find a different selection of Mercedes code readers at Dominator Auto Diagnostics


What’s the best Mercedes diagnostic tool?

If you own or drive a Benz, chances are you ponder over that question quite a lot. And let’s face it, Mercedes mechanics tend to charge high prices for simple diagnoses and fixes.

There’s a solution though: equip yourself with the best OBD2 scanner for Mercedes. In addition to doing your own diagnostics, you’ll be able to fix minor issues that don’t need a professional mechanic. Issues that you wouldn’t know existed if you didn’t have a Mercedes OBD2 scanner.

What’s a Mercedes Benz Scanner?

Just in case you’re wondering, a Mercedes scan tool is an on-board diagnostics (OBD) device for Mercedes Benz vehicles. It diagnoses your car, identifies problems that exist in various systems and then gives you that information.

If the issue is minor (like open gas cap), you can go ahead and fix it yourself. If it’s a major issue (like busted powertrain control module (PCM)), you can seek the help of a mechanic. Either way, the scanner will save you the time and money you would’ve spent getting a diagnostics report from the shop.

Now, the only problem is that there are so many brands and makes of Mercedes scanners. How do you know which one to pick? Below is a helpful review covering 7 of the best from which you can choose one.

Side Note: if you’re short on time, simply pick the FIXD scanner; it’s the best scanner for all Benz models. Otherwise read on to find out how it stacks up against other great Mercedes scanners.

Best OBD2 Scanner For Mercedes Review

FIXD™ Scanner – Editor’s Pick

FIXD™ Mercedes Benz Scanner Diagnostic Tool

FIXD™ Mercedes Benz Scanner

4.64.6 / 5

FIXD™ is the Professional OBD2 Diagnostic Scan Tool trusted by mechanics and developed by Professional Engineers in North America.

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All the above Mercedes scanners have one thing in common: they connect to the OBD port using a cable. If you want a wireless scanner for Benz, then the FIXD™ is your best option.

Mobile compatibility. The FIXD™ scanner is an adapter, which means that you’ll need to pair it with a smartphone via Bluetooth. The best part is that it’s compatible with both Android and iOS. Simply install the FIXD™ app on your smartphone and bring diagnostics to your fingertips.

Vehicle compatibility. As far as vehicle coverage, the adapter was made for 2005 and newer models of Mercedes. If yours is older, you may experience some experience compatibility issues.

Full system diagnosis. Small as it is, the FIXD™ adapter lets you scan all the available on-board systems for problems. That includes the engine, transmission, ABS, SRS, EPB, chassis, body, EPS, SAS and every other system.

Diagnostic data. While probing the systems, the LSB2 will pull trouble codes, live data streams and freeze frame data. If you’re not sure about a code, you’ll get its full description alongside a suggested fix. And yes, you can clear codes as well.

Because of its small size and wireless transmission, this Mercedes code reader is perfect for collecting live data. Leave it plugged in your Benz as you drive and it will transmit live readings to your smartphone. You can then use the info to examine your car’s real-time health and performance. 

Emission readiness and Mode 6. Mode 6 enables the scanner to display your car’s on-board self-test results. By analyzing the results, you can determine if there are any problems in any system.

Emission readiness, on the other hand, prepares all the components of the emission system for a smog check. In other words, this test will tell you if the vehicle is ready for a smog check.


  • Real-time cost estimates.
  • 24/7 car health monitoring.
  • Under $100
  • Up to 50% discount available at the official website.
  • Small size ensures it doesn’t drain car battery
  • Most affordable OBD2 scanner for Mercedes
  • Built-in library provides code descriptions and suggested fixes
  • Can diagnose other car brands like Honda, Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan, BMW etc.

The FIXD™ adapter is ideal for you if you want a wireless scanner for your Mercedes. Its biggest advantage is that you can perform diagnostics as you walk around the vehicle. It doesn’t limit you to the driver’s compartment.

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iCarsoft MBII Sprinter Scan tool

iCarsoft MBII Mercedes Sprinter Scan Tool

iCarsoft MBII Mercedes Sprinter Scan tool

4.34.3 / 5

This is a diagnostic tool that would read and clear error codes. This tool will only report errors and lets you clear them.

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You’re going to see a good number of iCarsoft scanners on this list. There’s a simple reason for that: iCarsoft and Mercedes are a perfect match.

Almost all their scanners are made with the Benz brand in mind. And the iCarsoft MBII is the go-to option for Mercedes Sprinters.

Full system diagnosis. First things first, the MBII is the best Mercedes sprinter scan tool. But it works just as well on a ton of other models, including Mercedes Classes A through S, Mercedes Smart series, Maybach, Vaneo and Vito.

In each case, the scanner reads and clears codes in all available systems. It also turns off the Check Engine Light and other warning lights.

To help with your diagnosis, this Mercedes diagnostic tool pulls live data streams and freeze frame data. It also displays I/M readiness for emission testing. 

Reset oil light. There are two main reasons why your oil light is on. Either the car is due for oil change (oil service) or the oil circuit has a problem. Either way, changing the oil or fixing the circuit won’t necessarily turn off the oil light in your Benz.

And that’s where the iCarsoft MBII comes in. Hook it up to the car and it will reset the oil light for you.

Regenerate diesel particulate filter. Performing a diesel regeneration using a scan tool burns off fuel and soot from the diesel particulate filter. That, in turn, ensures that your Mercedes doesn’t pollute the environment with harmful emissions.

The process should be automatic. But vehicles don’t always do it, which then requires you to force the regeneration process with a scanner. The iCarsoft MBII does an excellent job with diesel powered Benzes like the Mercedes Sprinter.

Relearn electronic throttle and SAS. When you replace the throttle valve, you have to relearn the electronic throttle control (ETC) to make it compatible with the new valve. The same goes for SAS (steering angle sensor). Both relearns can be performed with this Mercedes OBD2 scanner.

Maintain electronic parking brake. Activate and reactivate the electronic parking brake (EPB) when you need to change/replace a component.


  • Excellent for accessing on-board systems of Mercedes
  • Works as advertised on Sprinter and Smart Benzes
  • Fairly affordable
  • Easy to navigate through menus
  • Offers all basic and some advanced diagnostic functions


  • iCarsoft doesn’t offer the best tech support for this scanner
  • Doesn’t have the latest software updates, therefore might not be compatible with some 2014 and newer models of Sprinter

The iCarsoft MBII may just be the best OBD2 scanner for Mercedes Sprinters and Smarts. If you have one of those cars, you can’t go wrong with this scanner.

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iCarsoft MB V2.0 Professional Diagnostic Tool

iCarsoft MB V2.0

iCarsoft MB V2.0 Professional Mercedes Diagnostic Tool

44 / 5

iCarsoft MB V2.0 can do it all-reads and clears trouble codes on all the systems such as engine, transmission, ABS and airbag etc.

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No matter the factors you consider, the iCarsoft MB V2.0 Professional Mercedes Diagnostic Tool blows every other Mercedes scanner out of the water. It covers a wider range of vehicles and packs the best diagnostic functions.

OBD1 and OBD2 compatibility. While it’s made for OBD2 Benzes, the MB V2.0 also works on some OBD1 models. Specifically, you can use it on any Mercedes with chassis 201, 126, 124 and 107. You will, however, need to buy the 38-pin iCarsoft conversion adapter for an OBD1 Benz.

All systems diagnostics. First, the iCarsoft MB V2.0 will automatically identify the model, year, VIN and CVN of your Mercedes Benz. Then it will read and erase generic, manufacturer and pending codes in all the available systems.

That includes engine, ABS, SRS, transmission, EPB, SAS etc. By doing so, this Mercedes scanner allows you to turn off the Check Engine Light (CEL) and all other warning lights.

Live, freeze frame and on-board data. In addition to trouble codes, the MB V2.0 also pulls live data and freeze frame data. You need the latter to determine when (and why) a code was registered.

Meanwhile, live data monitors the health and performance of sensors, circuits, switches, systems and the entire vehicle. You can view and compare live graphs (PIDs).

Service functions. This is where the iCarsoft MB V2.0 earns its spot as the best OBD2 scanner for Mercedes. It supports on-board monitoring for all available systems, including heated catalyst, fuel, misfire etc.

And yes, you can also perform O2 sensor and EVAP system tests in addition to I/M readiness checks. To top it off, the scanner can reset the oil light, EPB, and electronic throttle. It performs DPF regeneration, EPB activation/deactivation, SAS calibration and battery maintenance. 

Special functions. The icing on the iCarsoft MB V2.0 cake is its two special functions – ABS bleeding and injector coding. ABS bleeding is the process of removing air from the ABS brake system. It makes the brake firmer and more responsive.

On the other hand, injector coding is the process of relearning the injector control module (FICM). It’s usually done after replacing the injector so that the new injector can communicate with the engine control unit (ECU).

Thinking of buying iCarsoft MB V2.0 which is the best OBD2 scanner for Mercedes Benz.


  • Complete compatibility with all OBD2 Benzes and some OBD1 too
  • Absolute best bang for the buck
  • Sleek design and easy-to-navigate menus
  • Comes with TF card for saving diagnostic data
  • Can print out diagnostic results


  • Could use a better user manual
  • Only reads engine codes on some OBD1 Benzes

The iCarsoft MB V2.0 really does deliver all the functions as advertised. As long as your Mercedes is an OBD2 model (1996 or newer), you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues. If it’s an OBD1 model (1995 or older), you may want to check with iCarsoft before completing the purchase.

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FOXWELL NT301 Code Reader

FOXWELL NT301 Mercedes Code Reader

FOXWELL NT301 Mercedes Code Reader

4.44.4 / 5

The Foxwell NT301 obd2 code scanner can read and erase codes which can also retrieve a wealth of information from the Engine Control Unit (ECU).

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The thing about Foxwell is that they have scanners of all prices and functionality. Take the NT301 for example. It’s easily the best OBD2 scanner for Mercedes because of its affordable price tag and amazing oomph.

Vehicle information. The NT301 will automatically detect the VIN, CIN and engine number of a Benz. You’ll need those numbers if you’re a dealer, buyer or seller, or if you need to purchase replacement parts.

Trouble codes. As a reliable Mercedes code reader, the Foxwell NT301 probes deep in the engine for faults. It pulls and clears engine trouble codes, which also means that it can turn off the Check Engine Light.

Live and freeze frame data. In case codes aren’t enough to pinpoint the issue, you can turn to live and freeze frame data. This scanner displays both. And it supports graphing of PIDs.

On-board monitoring. Besides codes and data, the NT301 tests various on-boar monitors. They include misfire, exhaust gas, heated catalyst, fuel system, O2 sensor etc.

I/M readiness. While the scan tool won’t perform a smog check, it will inspect the emission system prior to the test. You’ll know if your Mercedes vehicle is ready for a state or federal emission check.


  • Very affordable Mercedes scanner
  • Intuitive interface makes it easy to use
  • Provides code definitions
  • Compatible with other car brands
  • Free lifetime software updates


  • Just an engine code reader. Doesn’t scan ABS, SRS, transmission etc.
  • Offers basic diagnostics only, no special or advanced features

It may look simplistic but the Foxwell NT301 might just be the best Mercedes scan tool for the ordinary car owner. If you don’t want the complexities of high-end and mid-range scanners, then aim for this one. It will scan the engine, turn off the CEL, check emission readiness pull data (live & freeze frame) and do on-board monitoring.

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FOXWELL NT510 Elite Scan Tool

FOXWELL NT510 Elite Mercedes Scan Tool

FOXWELL NT510 Elite Mercedes Scan Tool

4.54.5 / 5

This scanner tool for Mercedes helps users to access to the vehicle systems to reset partial parameters’ status after repair and maintenance.

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Foxwell can genuinely challenge iCarsoft as the best OBD2 scanner for Mercedes. But not just any Foxwell, it has to be the FOXWELL NT510 Elite Mercedes Scan Tool. This is the upgraded 2021 version and it packs all the good attributes.

Full system diagnostics. This is one of the features that put the NT510 Elite among the best Mercedes Benz scanner diagnostic tools. It gives you unparalleled access to on-board systems like the engine, ABS, transmission, SRS, chassis, body and so on. It doesn’t matter where the problem is, this scanner will pinpoint it with utmost accuracy.

Vehicle info, codes and data. Speaking of pinpointing, the Foxwell NT510 Elite singles out problems using codes, freeze frame and live stream data. First it automatically identifies the model, year, VIN and CVN of your Mercedes Benz.

Then, it pulls trouble codes from all available systems, including the engine. You can clear the codes and turn off the Check Engine Light and other warning lights. That shouldn’t be so hard because the codes come with freeze frame data.

In case there are more issues, you can proceed to pinpoint them using live data. The NT510 Elite will show you exactly which parameters are out of the normal range. You can view that data as PIDs; which is good when you want to compare graphs. 

Reset functions. Use the Foxwell NT510 Elite to reset the CEL, ABS light, SRS light, TPMS service, oil service, CBS service, EPB light and so on. Such resets are necessary after a repair or maintenance session.

Service functions. Here you can regenerate the DPF, bleed ABS, adjust throttle body, calibrate SAS, register and maintain battery, service TPMS etc. As you may have already guessed, these are all functions that keep on-board systems in good health.

Programming and bi-directional tests. Programming is not the NT510’s strongest feature, but you can still do TPMS programming. It’s actually TPMS adaptation, which is basically making a TPMS sensor compatible with the ECU.

Bi-directional test is where this Benz scan tool comes into its own. You can activate and deactivate components as if they were being controlled by the ECU. For example, you can turn the A/C on/off, roll the windows up/down and control any other system using the scanner.


  • Good balance of basic and advanced diagnostic features
  • Compatible with all 1996 to 2017 Mercedes Benz
  • Comes with FoxAssist for downloading latest software updates
  • Multilingual menu
  • Great price considering the features
  • Durable construction


  • PC connection drops intermittently when updating
  • Compatibility issues with some Benz models made after 2017

If you’re not sold on iCarsoft then go with a Foxwell; the FOXWELL NT510 Elite to be precise. It has a good price, wide range of features and intuitive interface.

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iCarsoft i980 Genuine Scanner

iCarsoft i980 Genuine Mercedes Benz Scanner

iCarsoft i980 Genuine Mercedes Benz Scanner

4.14.1 / 5

The icarsoft i980 is a multifunction diagnostic scanner and tester which has been designed specifically for mercedes vehicles.

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Out of all Mercedes code readers and scanners, the iCarsoft MB V2.0 and iCarsoft MBII are the undoubted pack leaders. But they’ll set you back quite a lot. If you don’t have the budget for any one of them, you can go for the iCarsoft i980 Genuine Mercedes Benz Scanner.

Check Engine Light diagnostics. Use this Mercedes diagnostic tool to view and clear engine trouble codes. That includes all emission related codes. In doing so, the scanner turns off that pesky CEL.

Full system scan. Apart from the engine, you can pull and erase trouble codes from pretty much every other system. The ABS, SRS, transmission, EPB, EVAP, tire pressure system – you name it – they’re all covered. That also means you can turn off any warning light using the iCarsoft i980.

Live and freeze frame data. Alongside trouble codes, the i980 pulls live data streams and freeze frame data. If you want to know when a code was registered, you look at freeze frame data.

And if you want to see real-time performance of your vehicle and its components (sensors, circuits, systems etc.) you look at live data. You’ll be glad to know that the tool can graph and compare PIDs. 

I/M readiness. As far as emissions, this Mercedes scan tool checks whether your car’s emission-related components are ready for a smog check. It will also inspect those systems in preparation for maintenance testing of your Benz.

On-board monitoring and tests. On-boar monitoring involves scanning multiple systems to ascertain that they’re not faulty. In this case, the i980 checks pretty much every on-board system, from misfire to exhaust gas system, heated catalyst, fuel system and any other system.

The fun doesn’t end there. You can use the scanner to perform EVAP system test and O2 sensor test.


  • Free lifetime software updates
  • Compatible with most OBD-2 complaint Mercedes Benzes
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use menu
  • Well-built with a solid, durable body
  • Offers full system diagnosis
  • Supports basic and some advanced functions


  • User manual needs a massive improvement
  • Not compatible with some models, including those with chassis 463, 461, 210, 208 & 202. 

For its price, it’s a surprise that the iCarsoft i980 can do half of what it does. Remember to update the software before use. You’ll unlock a ton of features that are not available in older software versions.

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iCarsoft M900 V2.0 Diagnostic Tool

iCarsoft M900 V2.0 Mercedes-Benz Diagnostic Tool

iCarsoft M900 V2.0 Mercedes-Benz Diagnostic Tool

4.14.1 / 5

With iCarsoft M900 V2.0 you can have auto scan to check the ABS and SRS status, and turn off the warning lights after the maintenance and repair.

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The M900 V2.0 is yet another iCarsoft Mercedes Benz scanner that has it all. From reading codes to injector coding and many other things in-between.

Vehicle information. When you hook the M900 V2.0 to your Benz, it will automatically detect the model and year. The scanner will pull the car’s VIN, CVN, engine number and other handy information that you may need. They’re all important when you want to replace a part, or if you want to buy or sell a Mercedes.

Diagnostic trouble codes. As you would expect, the iCarsoft M900 V2.0 reads and clears trouble codes in all available systems. It can turn off the Check Engine Light as well as other warning lights. There’s a built-in lookup library to help you understand each code and turn off the lights.

Diagnostic data. Additionally, this Mercedes scan tool pulls freeze frame data and live data. You can print out all these sets of data (codes, live & freeze frame) for review.

System maintenance. You’ll get a whole lot of service functions with the M900 V2.0. It resets the oil light, regenerates DPF, bleeds the ABS and supports battery service. Combined with codes, these functions ensure that you can diagnose all the available systems and service them.Special functions. Finally, the scanner can do O2 sensor test, EVAP system test, activate/deactivate the EPB, relearn the throttle system, calibrate the SAS and perform injector coding. You need these special functions when testing and replacing components like injector valve, brake pads, emissions system etc.


  • Compatible with some OBD1 Benzes if you buy the 38-pin iCarsoft conversion adapter
  • Compatible with all OBD2 Benz series, including Sprinter and Smart
  • Accurate diagnostics
  • Can print out diagnostic results
  • Rugged yet sleek design and construction
  • Multilingual menu


  • Injector coding and ABS bleeding don’t work on all models
  • Might not detect codes if software isn’t updated

Like the iCarsoft MB V2.0, this model is ideal if you want to also diagnose OBD2 Benzes. You’ll get diagnostic data from over 22 on-board systems.

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Best OBD2 Scanner For Mercedes Benz Comparison Chart

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that FIXD™scanner makes the best OBD2 scanner for Mercedes. In fact, it’s the best choice for a Mercedes car owner who wants a wireless scan tool.

That said, if you want the absolute best scanner for your Benz, then look no further than the iCarsoft MB V2.0 Professional Mercedes Diagnostic Tool. The iCarsoft MBII, Foxwell NT510 Elite and iCarsoft M900 V2.0 all come close, but not enough to outrank the FIXD™ Scanner.

Read more: 5 Best FORScan Adapters to Buy 2021 [Review]

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Top 10 Best Diagnostic Scanners Mercedes-Benz

If you like to do your own auto repair, you may be asking yourself: What is the best and cheapest car diagnostic tool that works? We had the experts at Mercedes Medic list the top ten scanners based on price and functionality. Some of these scanners work only with Mercedes-Benz cars, but the majority of scanners in this list work with European, Asian, and Domestic cars.

1. TopDon ArtiDiag100

We tested the TopDon ArtiDiag100  (eBay seems to have the best price)  on one of the most sophisticated and complex vehicles on the road today, Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

We were able to access every single module on the vehicle, read and clear codes where codes existed. Keep in mind that you will only be able to clear codes that are on STORED statues. If a code show CURRENT status, you need to address the problem, fix the issue, and then come back to erase the code. When you reconnect the scanner, the code will show as STORED, and at this point, you can clear the code.

The ArtiDiag 100 will allow you to read and clear codes from any module, including Airbag, SRS, Transmission, Air Suspension, SAM, Central Gateway, Engine, etc.

Another advantage of ArtiDiag 100 over scanners such as iCarsoft MB II and Star Diagnostic is that it works on all vehicles, including Ford, Honda, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Subaru, etc.

The lowest price we could find for this scanner is on eBay.

Vehicle  Coverage: Acura, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, GM, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Lincoln, Holden, Audi, Dacia, Jaguar, Lancia, Landrover, Opel, Porsche, Romeo, Saab, Seat, Skoda, Smart, Transporter&v-class, Vauxhall, Volvo, Mini, Benz, Maybach, BMW, Rolls Royce, Citroen, Fiat, Abarth, Lancia, Romeo, Peugeot, Renault, Dacia, VW, Bingley, Bugatti, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Suzuki, Honda, Isuzu, Mazda, Nissan, Infiniti, Toyota, Lexus, Daewoo, Hyundai, KIA

2. Autel MaxiCOM Automotive Diagnostic and Analysis System

Price Range:$450-$950
Read & Erase
Works with:ALL vehicles 1996 & Newer
Details:Works with German, Asian and Domestic Cars
Read and clear codes from all the systems such as ECU, Transmission, ABS, Traction Contol, Stability Control, SRS, Air Bag, and more.
Allows you to program vehicle systems.
Test Immobilizer, Key Coding Functionality, and Activation
Sensor Initializations, ECU Adaptions, Coding & Module Set Up functionality

A must for auto repair shops and a treasure for the car owners if you can afford one, that is. It works with Domestic, Asian, and European cars. You can check any system on the car from the ECU, ABS, SRS, Transmission, and more.

It allows you to erase fault codes, stream live data but also perform programming. It can also troubleshoot immobilizers, has key programming functionality,  and it will allow you to activate and initialize sensors, ECU adaptations, coding, and perform module set up. Almost everything that the dealers can do this unit can do as well. Plus, it covers most cars and is not dedicated to one manufacturer.

While the initial price of this scanner may seem high, this is a professional diagnostic tool and one of the least expensive for this category. It is a good alternative to Snap-on Solus which is also a popular diagnostic scanner. This may be the only scan tool that an auto repair shop needs to be able to troubleshoot most cars that comes in for repair.

3. iCarsoft MB II for Mercedes-Benz / Sprinter Professional diagnostic tool scanner

Price Range:$185-$210
Read & Erase
Works with:Mercedes-Benz Only
-Engine ECU
– Transmission
-SRS Airbag
– SBC Brakes
– Steering Angle Sensor
-ABS Brake System and more

iCarsoft MB II is a powerful scanner that was released in 2015, and you will not find that many reviews on this scanner. It is designed to access all the different modules on your Mercedes-Benz.

It reads and clears trouble codes on systems such as the engine, transmission, ABS, SBC Brake System, SRS and more. It will allow you to do Read Data Stream, Full ECU Diagnosis, Oil Light/Service Reset, Support service lamp reset, steering angle sensor calibration.


Your Mercedes-Benz vehicle is your pride and joy, and naturally you want to know what’s going on with it. Maybe you have noticed a fault light and want to check the error memory, or just obtain an overall picture of your vehicle’s health. A Mercedes OBD2 scanner makes all of this and much more possible. This article will explain what OBD is, and what can be done to your Mercedes-Benz vehicle with it.

So what is OBD for Mercedes and what can you do with it? An OBD diagnostic device for Mercedes-Benz vehicles enables you to read error codes from the fault memory of your Mercedes-Benz’ complex computerized system. The fault memory contains various fault codes pertaining to different systems and areas of the vehicle. These codes indicate defects or faults in the relevant area. A distinction is made between general error codes that are the same for every make of car and manufacturer-specific codes that differ for each manufacturer. An OBD device that is specifically tailored to read Mercedes-Benz vehicles can not only read the general error codes but the manufacturer-specific ones as well. This provides a broader picture as to the overall vehicle’s health and status.

This article will explain what OBD is, what can be done with it, and the best device to use with your Mercedes-Benz vehicle.

What is OBD?

OBD stands for On-Board Diagnostics, which is a system integrated into the car’s control units. The control units permanently monitor themselves, recognize errors and store them in the fault memory. So the OBD system is of great use for maintaining cars.

The Emergence of OBD

In the past, each automobile manufacturer created their own standards for reading errors, known as OBD or OBD1. The origins of OBD1 in the US can be traced back to California at the end of the 1980s, as it was developed to monitor and control the levels of emissions from automobiles that were a major contributor towards pollution, particularly in car-heavy cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Stricter emissions limits were introduced as well as the requirement for vehicles to self-monitor their emission control systems. Other US states adopted these regulations in the mid-1990s. While OBD1 was largely manufacturer-specific, OBD2 came into force at the turn of the 21st century aiming to offer a unified interface and protocol. All new vehicles produced since 2001 (petrol/gasoline) and 2004 (diesel) use the OBD2 standard.

The Tasks of OBD

The OBD records and reports all significant increases in emissions during regular operation of the vehicle, thus ensuring low exhaust emissions at all times. It continuously monitors all components relevant to emissions and protects components of the vehicle through warning of minor conditions that, if left unchecked, could cause major damage, and necessitate costly repairs. The OBD system is responsible for illuminating the engine control lamp in the instrument cluster to warn of any issues. It saves the data in the event of errors and provides an interface for reading them out.

Does My Car Require a Mercedes OBD2 Scanner?

If you’re wondering if a Mercedes OBD2 scanner will work on your three-pointed star, if it’s been made in the last 20 years, chances are it will. Since 1996, All vehicles in the USA have been equipped with OBD2. In the EU, it became mandatory for petrol (gasoline) vehicles to be equipped with it since 2001, and diesel vehicles from 2004. American vehicles with OBD2 will have a note stating ‘OBD II compliant’, whilst EU vehicles should carry at least emission class of Euro 3 in their vehicle papers.

Where Can I Find the Mercedes OBD2 Scanner Connection in My Car?

A Mercedes OBD2 scanner port should be sited within one metre of the driver’s seat. In most cars, the port can be found underneath the dashboard, below the steering column or between the steering column and driver’s door. It might also be between the steering column and the center console. On Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the port is usually found on the left side, between the steering column and the driver’s door. Consult your vehicle manual or the internet if unsure.

What Does the Plug Look Like?

The connector has a total of 16 pins. Pin 2 stands for J1850 Bus +, pin 4 for vehicle ground, pin 5 for signal ground. Other pins are also assigned: pin 6 with CAN high (J-2284), pin 7 with ISO 9141-2 K output, pin 10 with J1850 bus, pin 14 with CAN low (J-2284), pin 15 with ISO 9141 -2 L output and ultimately pin 16 with the battery (+) voltage. So not all pins are assigned according to OBD2/EOBD. All free pins can be assigned by the manufacturers to their preference.

How OBD Works

There are two monitoring systems for OBD. Permanently monitored factors include those pertaining to exhaust gas-related systems, engine misfires, fuel injection, and lambda probe. Other systems are monitored on a driving cycle basis, such as catalytic converter or tank ventilation system. If an error occurs under two or more consecutive driving cycles, it is recorded in the fault memory and the warning light comes on. If the error no longer occurs after 40 cycles of consecutive error-free driving, the light goes out and it is cleared from the fault memory.

What Do the OBD Error Codes Stand For?

When OBD2 was standardized, each manufacturer’s individual error codes were replaced by universal error codes. The first letter indicates the area in which the error occurred. For example, “P” stands for Powertrain. The second digit can be a “0”. In the case of “1” or other digits, these are manufacturer-specific codes. The third digit indicates the assembly in which the error occurred. For example, the “4” stands for exhaust gas cleaning systems. The last two digits stand for the component and the type of error.

What Do the Different OBD Modes Stand For?

The range of functions is divided into ten different modes. “Mode 01” allows current diagnostic data to be queried. It grants access to the data values and can query and display sensor data and other parameters in real-time. Furthermore, the so-called “Readiness Code” can also be displayed via “Mode 01”. This is displayed in two rows of numbers in a twelve-digit binary code.

The first row of numbers shows what is installed in the car. Each position has its own meaning. The “0” indicates that the part is not available, a “1” means that it is available. The second row of numbers also uses 1s and 0s to indicate whether a diagnosis has been carried out (“0”) or not yet (“1”). However, no error detection is displayed. “Mode 02” allows the freeze frame data to be queried, ie those that were saved when an engine error code occurred. “Mode 03” makes the confirmed emission-relevant error codes available to the external diagnostic device. Most automakers also put their own proprietary fault codes there. “Mode 04” can use an external diagnostic device to command the control unit to delete all emission-related data. This includes all error codes including the freeze frame data and other data. Manufacturer-specific data can also be deleted in individual cases. “Mode 05” is responsible for querying the lambda probe monitoring test results. The interrogation of the systems that are not continuously monitored takes place via “Mode 06”. “Mode 07” is responsible for reading out data that failed during a work cycle but were not sufficient to generate an error code. “Mode 08” is generally not used in Europe. In contrast, “Mode 09” is responsible for accessing special vehicle information, such as the chassis number (VIN). There is also “Mode 0A”, which enables the diagnostic devices to read out all error codes with the status “permanent DTC”. The error codes are then retained in the memory of the control unit until it is determined that the error is no longer present.

What Is Stored in the Error Memory?

In modern vehicles, including those that use a Mercedes OBD2 scanner with an OBD interface, the fault memory is part of the control unit. This interface can keep records of malfunctions that can be accessed later. For this purpose, the control unit checks, for example, whether the measured values received are correct for the proper operating of the vehicle.

The errors detected during this process are stored in a non-volatile manner. Most of them use an EEPROM for this purpose. Each control unit only stores its own faults, so that there are actually many independent fault memories in the vehicle, and all must be checked for a comprehensive diagnosis.

Are All Error Codes Bad?

A common misconception is that all error codes are doom and gloom. A vehicle having an error code is not a bad thing, as long as it is properly read, and the underlying conditions understood and rectified depending on severity. Some error codes might require immediate attention, for example, while others might be random errors, or can be fixed later. Properly understanding error codes can save you panic and expensive workshop visits.

How Can You Read Out the Error Memory?

Workshops can use diagnostic devices to read fault codes from the fault memory, along with the data recorder and vehicle diagnostic system. Depending on the vehicle, all control units may be automatically checked, or individually checked manually. After errors have been read and the reasons fixed, the error memory can be cleared.

However, you no longer need to rush to a workshop each time the warning light comes on. Let us introduce you to Carly. Carly is a diagnostic app that allows you to directly read the fault memory from your smartphone. You just need to plug the Carly Universal OBD Scanner into your car’s OBD2 port, and it subsequently connects to the Carly app on your phone via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). With the tap of a button, all error codes are read and presented in a few minutes.

What Does It Cost to Read Out the Fault Memory?

If its at a workshop, it can easily cost €25 to €60 or more for a scan. If an error is detected and needs immediate correction, those costs can easily skyrocket. Your final bill will therefore be much higher. Authorized workshops may read the fault memory for free, with the caveat that any repairs must be undertaken at their facility. Workshops use professional-level diagnostic equipment that costs thousands of euros, which are not suitable or cost-effective for the average vehicle owner.

How much does Carly cost? The Carly Universal OBD Scanner is a one-time purchase that costs €59.90 (plus shipping). Carly requires this particular scanner, as it ensures a seamless and trouble-free experience. You can install the Carly app from the Apple or Android app stores and evaluate some of its functions. If Carly works for you, consider subscribing to the full Carly app. You can purchase a license for a single vehicle brand, or all vehicle brands and costs vary depending on your choice.

Carly for Mercedes

If you’re looking for a Mercedes OBD2 scanner, a single-brand license on Carly for Mercedes-Benz currently costs €2.42 per month and includes other features in addition to the normal functions of on-board diagnostics and error readout.

Carly also offers the Carly Used Car Check which is used to check the mileage across all on-board control units and compare, therefore providing you an invaluable tool to check whether the mileage has been tampered with on a used vehicle that you are planning to purchase. Tampered mileage vehicles are often sold, and it is estimated that up to a third of used vehicles have been tampered with. The resulting repair costs can be significant.

The Carly Health check function uses a traffic light system to show you the status of the vehicle. Following a comprehensive analysis by Carly, you will be presented with three colors. Red means your vehicle is in a bad state and must go to a workshop immediately. Yellow signifies some minor issues that you should have investigated by a workshop at a convenient time. Green means all is well, you can relax.


For many vehicle users, OBD is a mysterious thing that seemingly works through black magic. You watch the workshop employee plug in this serious-looking device and read some indecipherable codes before telling you what is wrong, what needs to be fixed, and subsequently clearing the codes. After reading this article, you can see that it’s not so mysterious after all. With your own Mercedes OBD2 scanner, you can check and decipher the codes yourself, determine the state of your car’s systems and even check for mileage tampering — all thanks to Carly.


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