Top 10 Best Automotive Oscilloscope Review 2021

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Do you need to view signals in the frequency domain? A digital oscilloscope is probably the best option.

Gone were the days when people were using the old creaky analog oscilloscope,

things have changed now and the newer versions have been upgraded to the best digital oscilloscope.

If you have the automotive oscilloscope, the anticipated resolution is always at your disposal,

whether you are attempting to fix on a weak frequency or plot a course through an electrical distortion.

An automotive oscilloscope is an indispensable device used for troubleshooting communication data stream, actuators, solenoids, sensors, primary and secondary ignitions, among others.

A dedicated automotive oscilloscope can also be referred to as motor-tester, engine analyzer or automotive lab scope.

What Is An Automotive Oscilloscope?

oscilloscope for automotive 2019

An automotive oscilloscope, earlier known and referred to as an oscillograph and unofficially referred to as a CRO, O-scope or scope (for cathode-ray oscilloscope), or DSO (for the more contemporary digital storage oscilloscope), is a kind of electronic test instrument designed to graphically display different types of signal voltages as a two-dimensional plot of one or more signals as a function of time frequently.

Tracing atypical electrical waves on a breaking down equipment will be impossible without an automotive oscilloscope.

Eventually, at some point in your undertaking, you will require only the best oscilloscope in your tool kit,

if you are an electrician or somebody who just prefers tinkering on gadgets.

The question then is; how can you know if an oscilloscope is actually the best in its category?

You will get the answer to this crucial question in the latter part of this automotive oscilloscope review.

Meanwhile, with voltage and time as the Y- and X-axis in that order on a calibrated scale, oscilloscopes show the change of an electrical signal over time.

It is possible for you to adjust the oscilloscope for repetitive signals to be experiential as an incessant shape on the screen.

Oscilloscopes are used in the telecommunications, automotive, engineering, medicine, and sciences industry.

The all-purpose oscilloscopes are used to maintain laboratory work and electronic equipment.

On the other hand, you can use the special-purpose types to exhibit the waveform of the heartbeat or for analyzing an automotive ignition system.

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Top Automotive Oscilloscope Review

When you are shopping for automotive oscilloscope, the best Oscilloscope reviews will go a long way in helping you make a smart buying decision.

HANTEK 1008C 8CH – Best Automotive PC Oscilloscope


A digital oscilloscope is a complex electronic device which stores and analyses the signal digitally and is capable of visually depicting regular changes in electrical activity.

Among the different digital oscilloscopes, Hantek Automotive Diagnostic Digital Oscilloscope is one of the best.

It is designed with vast new features and capabilities. It is one of the most cost-effective 8 channel oscilloscopes which is effectively used for vehicle testing.

Apparently, the Hantek Automotive Diagnostic Digital Oscilloscope has the potential to qualify for most of the features you are looking for.

Key Features:

  • Channel and Extraordinary Specs: It is an 8-channel oscilloscope that comes with a real-time sampling rate of 2.4MSa/sec with a 12-bit vertical resolution for spectrum analysis. It provides automatic testing functions of more than 20 types which are like interface in benchtop oscilloscopes.
  • Multiple Sensor Types: It features a lot of sensors such as the lambda sensor, crankshaft sensor, airflow meter sensor, throttle position sensor, distributor sensor, and camshaft sensor that will make the oscilloscope simple to use.
  • DAQ Card Function: This is the feature used for effective wave determination:
  • Other Features: Include a Programmable Generator to give better test outcomes and performance. The camshaft analog signals, crankshaft, and so on can easily be observed with this device. It features a play interface and USB 2.0 plug to make sure no additional power supply is required for it.

HANTEK 1008C is perfect for vehicle testing. You can also use it for the first diagnosis like the idle exhaust ignition, intake multiple vacuum, and ignition,

starting exhaust ignition, as well as petrol fumes adjusting valve vacuum and ignition.

It comes with a lot of capabilities and features, making it a powerhouse as far as automobiles are concerned.

It is lightweight and inexpensive. This smart purchase device for any analytic test instrument is particularly appropriate for all automobile enthusiasts, small garage owners, and home garage owners, in order for different types of important analyses and tests to be carried out in-house.

You need this device because of its compatibility with several platforms.

In other words, it works well with different software such as VISTA, Windows 7, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows NT.

Autel Maxisys MS906BT OBD2 Scanner

Autel Maxisys MS906BT OBD2 Scanner

Key Features:

  • Autel Maxisys MS906BT is the upgraded version of the earlier MS 906DS auto scanner, DS708 and DS808
  • It is a scan tool by a brand called Autel
  • Supports distant Bluetooth transmission and oscilloscope
  • It is smaller in size compared to its earlier versions for portability
  • It connects to a car’s OBD system using VCI
  • Supports digital inspection camera add-ons
  • Comes with a rechargeable lithium battery for 14 hours of operation
  • Use this scan tool for all OE-level OBD2 diagnostic tasks like oil reset, erasing codes, data logging, TPMS programming and ABS bleeding.
  • Autel Maxisys MS906BT upgraded Automotive OBD2 Scanner comes with a hands-free connection Wi-Fi access
  • It supports reading/clearing codes, ECU coding, live data, adaptations and actuation tests
  • Accessories include USB port and HDMI port
  • This diagnostic tool is based on the Android operating system
  • It features an 8” capacitive HD touch screen
  • Its powerful Exynos 6-core processor has amazing multitasking abilities
  • It is compatible with many car models. Over 80 brands of EU, Asian-made cars and USA can use it.
  • Has excellent customer support from the manufacturer

Autel Maxisys MS906BT upgraded Automotive OBD2 Scanner is a powerful automotive tool with many superior features that provides comprehensive vehicle diagnostics.

Having engine trouble? No need to run to the mechanic for an engine repair. his professional OBD2 scanner will help you.

Its powerful Exynos 6-core processor offers fast speed with great multitasking capabilities. This makes it fast to run tests and boot up.

It is smaller in size compared to its earlier versions for a more convenient carrying option.

Autel is a large car diagnostic brand that has been in operation for over 15 years now.

Since it will be used mainly in workshops and garage, it has padding around it for protection against heavy impacts.


  • Has great multitasking capabilities
  • It is compatible with many car models like Subaru, Acura, and Toyota, to name a few
  • It supports digital inspection so no guessing work
  • It diagnosis complex car problems


  • It is a bit expensive but worth it

Autel MaxiSys MS906BT Bluetooth Automotive Scan Tool

Autel MaxiSys MS906BT Bluetooth Automotive Scan Tool

Key Features:

  • It is a Bi-directional scan tool that will both send and receive information
  • It is a diagnostic tool by Autel Brand
  • It comes with ECU coding function
  • It supports data transmission through USB connection or wireless BT communication
  • Its accessories include digital inspection camera, oscilloscope, and HDMI port
  • It has 21 service functions that include the following; EPB service, DPF regeneration, oil reset, ABS/SRS, SAS Calibration, to name a few.
  • Bluetooth pairing is fast and with a working distance of around 50m
  • It is based on the Android operating system

Autel MaxiSys MS906BT Bi-directional diagnostic tool is a unique scanner that both receives and sends data.

It will enable efficient diagnosis and troubleshooting of your car problems.

It has a well-sized screen and as a matter of fact, you will feel like you are using an ordinary tablet.

It is a perfect choice for the small and large workshop since it can read enhanced trouble codes.

It is a product of Autel, a renowned brand that manufactures automotive diagnostic tools.

It is committed to producing high-quality tools and accessories that will solve your car needs.

Its unique features such as data transmission through USB connection or

wireless BT communication makes it perfect for performing various functions such as EPB service,

DPF regeneration, oil reset, ABS/SRS, SAS Calibration, etc.

As a car owner, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars in order to own it.

Additionally, you will get tons of benefits with this diagnostic tool.

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  • It is a Bi-directional scan tool that will both send and receive information
  • It is easy to operate
  • Supports various functions
  • Comes with various accessories such as digital inspection camera, oscilloscope, HDMI port


  • It is for specific car systems

Autel MS906TS Diagnostic System

Autel MS906TS Diagnostic System

Key Features:

  • Features an 8 inch LED display
  • It is a great diagnostic tool for professionals
  • Comes with a built-in TPMS antenna
  • It is a diagnostic tool by Autel
  • Weighs 2.42 pounds making it lightweight
  • Features a 6-core Samsung Exynos T5260 processor
  • It is based on the Android operating system
  • It is shipped as a complete package with accessories and adaptors. They include USB cable and CD.
  • Features WiFi and Bluetooth for wireless connection
  • Its functions include reading codes to ECU programming.
  • Other functions you can do with Autel MS906TS Diagnostic System include oil service reset, BMS service, TPMS reset, SAS calibration, to name a few.
  • Covers US/ Asian/ European vehicles

Autel MS906TS Diagnostic System looks like an ordinary tablet. It is a portable device that you can walk around with since it has a compact size and is lightweight.

If you are looking for a tool to read the trouble codes from your car at home, do not hesitate to buy this one.

Its functions include reading codes to ECU programming.

It will automatically give all the VIN details of the car hence be able to read and clear faulty ones.

It can be used by both professional mechanics and home users.

It is a high performing diagnostic tool with 6-core Samsung Exynos T5260 processor.

It was built with the user in mind hence it will solve all your car needs such as bi-direction tests for ABS, actuators, lamps etc.


  • Performs full OBD2 functions
  • The large and intuitive user interface makes it easy to use
  • Comes as a complete kit with accessories such as compact disc, vehicle specific adaptors, reference guide, cigarette lighter and mini USB cable


  • Not suitable for people with small budget

LAUNCH X431 V+ Full System Diagnostic Scan Tool

LAUNCH X431 V+ Full System Diagnostic Scan Tool

Key Features:

  • It’s a full diagnostic tool by a brand called Launch
  • It will perform ECU coding on Benz, read data stream, clear and read DTCs, 11 special functions and offer maintenance recommendations.
  • Supports wireless communication for a vehicle with Bluetooth and WiFi
  • It has large storage capacity and latest display technology
  • Comes with accessories such as adapters, user manual,and power cable
  • It comes with a long-lasting battery and a powerful processor
  • Uses Android 5.1
  • It is a Bi-direction diagnostic tool
  • Can be used by over 68 car brands from Europe, America and Asia

LAUNCH X431 V+ Full System Diagnostic Scan Tool is one of the best professional automotive diagnostic scanners.

It is designed to perform advanced functions such as;

  • Electronic Throttle Position Reset / Learn
  • Oil reset service
  • Anti-theft matching
  • Battery maintenance
  • Tire pressure monitor system reset
  • Steering angle calibration etc

The modern car has complex parts that work in harmony in order to deliver the ultimate driving experience. Without a diagnostic tool like this, it can be time-consuming to detect problems of your car.

Being a full System Scan Tool, it will save you money and time by eliminating guesswork and diagnosing your car problems.

With its powerful processor, it will read and interpret codes and give information on where the problem is.

It comes with an important feature of Wi-Fi.

With a Wi-Fi connection, you can download updates hence eliminating the use of an SD card.

It is crucial that you get a reliable and high-quality diagnostic tool like this one.

You will be sure that it will perform the tasks that you want plus last for a long time before developing any problems.

In the past, there were only high tech tools that could only be used by a professional.

This is not the case today. LAUNCH X431 V+ Full System Diagnostic Scan Tool is easy to use and understand.


  • It’s a full diagnostic tool
  • Can solve simple and complex car problems
  • It is grease and water resistant
  • Supports wireless communication


  • Free updates from WiFi but for 2 years only.

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Injectronic CJ4-R OBDII/CAN Automotive Diagnostic Scan tool

Injectronic CJ4-R OBDII/CAN Automotive Diagnostic Scan tool

Key Features:

  • It is an automotive diagnostic scanner by Injectronic brand
  • It is able to perform the following functions; Oil life reset, crankshaft positioning, memory reset, idle learning reset, throttle body calibration, transmission programming and much more
  • It is able to do alarm control reprogramming in some vehicles such as Polo, Nissan Sentra, GM Euro Opel, Spark Aveo etc
  • Features Bluetooth connection
  • Can be used by over 55 car brands and 28 makes
  • Can be used as an Oscilloscope too

Professionals and home users want a tool that will last years and allow them to do any operations that they want.

That is why Injectronic brand constructed Injectronic CJ4-R OBDII/CAN Automotive Diagnostic Scan tool that will work efficiently when a car with issues comes along.

This tool has a lot to offer from oil life reset to transmission programming.

Diagnostic coverages include over 55 car brands and 28 makes.

It makes use of Bluetooth wireless communication where results can be displayed on your tablet or mobile phone.

Since you will be using the tool in your garage or workshop, it comes with protective rubber holders.

You will also get a compact and durable case to safely store it when not in use. Of all the hundreds of different scanners out there,

the Injectronic CJ4-R OBDII/CAN Automotive Diagnostic Scan tool is affordable. You will not have to spend thousands of dollars with this one.

There is no need to spend days learning the button logy of this tool. The company had the users in mind hence made it simple to use.


  • It is affordable
  • It offers the user freedom by connecting to external displays such as computer or mobile phone
  • Comes with a free app
  • It is easy to use


  • no Wi-Fi feature

PicoScope PP920 Automotive Starter Kit

PicoScope PP920 Automotive Starter Kit

Key Features:

  • PicoScope PP920 Automotive Starter Kit
  • It is affordable, suitable for home owners
  • It is a lab scope by picoscope brand
  • The kit will test the following; batteries, starter motors, alternators, fuel pumps, electronic throttle control, charging circuits etc.
  • The kit will eliminate guesswork and identify a car problem
  • It kit comes complete with clips, Picoscope 4225 Oscilloscope with protective rubber boot, USB cable, software CD ROM, 10:1 attenuator and a quick start guide

Turn your computer into a diagnostic tool by use of a PicoScope PP920 Automotive Starter Kit.

It is the easiest and cheapest way to tell if your car has a problem or not. This kit will save you money and time of going to a mechanic.

A mechanic may charge you $100 just to diagnose a problem in your car.

Using this kit, you will have a faster, efficient diagnostic compared to guessing the problem of your car.

For the workshop, it will reduce the number of parts changed on guesswork plus an increasing number of customers.

It comes with software and a quick start guide. It comes with one of the advanced oscilloscope software available with tons of features.

The features include reference waveforms, maths channels, etc.

For those starting with oscilloscopes, the brand has made hardware and software that is easy to use.

Additionally, the hardware and software has more memory and is faster;

features that are sought by experienced users. It is perfect for home users and professionals because of the guided tests.

It has over 150 guided tests that are continually updated through free software updates.

The guided tests include the following; charging and testing, pressure sensors, ignition, communication networks, actuators, etc.

They are all integrated with the software and when you select one, you are guided on how to perform it.

A simple connection of the kit to your vehicle will perform compression tests.

Ignite the engine to show the relative compression of each cylinder.

The battery test will measures state of charge etc.

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  • It is affordable
  • It comes with software and a quick start guide
  • It is easy to use


  • You are required to use a computer with it

Autonerdz PicoQuad 4425 Custom PicoScope Kit

Autonerdz PicoQuad 4425 Custom PicoScope Kit

Key Features:

  • It comes with a training package
  • It’s a picoScope standard four-channel kit
  • It will test individual components hence eliminating guesswork
  • The kit comes with accessories such as Insulation Piercing Probes and Secondary Ignition Test Leads.
  • It will do the following functions; finding wiring and connector faults, finding starting and charging problems

Autonerdz PicoQuad 4425 Custom PicoScope Kit is an ideal diagnostic tool for both professional mechanics and home users.

It will offer enhanced access to various systems and mechanisms working inside the car. It will test and inform if the car is having a problem or not.

This will help you to identify the problem and correct it without having to spend a lot of time guessing it.

With this kit, you will always have a healthy vehicle. A good kit needs to be something anyone can use.

That is why Autonerdz PicoQuad 4425 Custom PicoScope Kit comes with a training and support package so you can be able to use it with no problem.

If your engine has a problem, the tool will communicate with your engine’s computer and inform what needs to be fixed.

The kit can be used with many models of car. Although it cost thousands of dollars,

it is a worthy investment if your budget allows. Additional, it is ideal for mechanics that fix vehicles often.

Mechanics need a tool that can perform simple and complex diagnostic functions like this one.

Make sure to buy a kit that will cater to your needs; a kit with the features you plan on using.


  • Comes with a training and support materials
  • it will eliminate guessing work by testing individual parts
  • It is ideal for both professional and home users


  • Most home owners cannot afford it

Hantek 1008C PC USB 8CH Automotive Diagnostic Digital Oscilloscope

Here’s yet another winner from Hantek 1008C series. 8-channel HANTEK Automotive PC Oscilloscope is an adaptable unit designed for analyzing and carrying out different kinds of tests on a vehicle.

This product has been particularly designed for automobiles and it is one of the durable and robust options available for all kinds of home garage aficionados and automobile mechanics across the world.

It is a vehicle-specific tool and comes with many features helpful for carrying out numerous kinds of tests.

Key Features:

  • Lucrative option for vehicle testing. Although almost every digital oscilloscope shows the ignition waveform in one cylinder, this Automotive Diagnostic Digital Oscilloscope has the potential to show all the cylinders simultaneously.
  • It has a good exhaust gas analyzer, preferably an ignition analyzer.
  • You can enjoy working with 8 paradigms. It is designed with 8 channel program generator that will enable you to view analog signals of crankshaft, camshaft and few others.
  • 2.4MSa/s real-time sampling rate, 12bit vertical resolution
  • It has a complete data acquisition system comprises of DAQ hardware, sensors, and actuators with programmable software. This is engineered with DAQ card function, which can measure an electrical or physical phenomenon.
  • Fitted with a USB 2.0 interface plug and play which is majorly used for data and power.

PicoScope Oscilloscopes

PicoScope Oscilloscopes

A PicoScope automotive oscilloscope changes your desktop or laptop PC to a dominant diagnostic tool. It allows you to observe the changing signals within wires.

Picoscope Automotive Diagnostics Kits function with your personal computer to measure and test nearly all the electronic and electrical components and circuits in any recent vehicle such as:

Key Features:

  • MAP Sensors, ABS, Airflow and Lambda
  • Primary and Secondary Ignition
  • Starter Motors, Alternators, and Batteries
  • Fuel Pumps and Injectors
  • FlexRay, LIN Bus, and CAN Bus
  • Electronic Throttle Control
  • Starter and Charging Circuits

The Automotive Diagnostics Kits are cost-saving kits that have all you need if you use it with a PC, even though you can buy a PicoScope alone.

The product is the foremost choice for aftermarket garages and vehicle manufacturers alike across the globe.

Key Features:

  • The Advanced Digital Triggers: These are distinctive among automotive oscilloscopes. In a situation where there is a very long time gap like when an injector refuses to fire, these trigger modes let you trigger. Moreover, when a sensor signal is out of range, you can set them to trigger and sound an alarm.
  • The Hardware Frequency Measurement: The flow sensors and a number of airflow sensors output a digital frequency signal. As a matter of fact, the majority of the available automotive oscilloscopes cannot extort utilizable diagnostic information from this. However, your PicoScope can change it to a conservative analog waveform.
  • The ECU Filters: A number of signals are quite noisy when wires in the loom get hold of noise from other wires. This feature is used to filter out this noise. The selectable hardware filters of the PicoScope will get rid of this noise, in order for you to perceive what the ECU perceives.
  • The Floating Input Channels: These are exceptional latest technology that allows for safe, reduced-noise measurements even in circumstances where there are none of the inputs grounded. The floating inputs will enable a sole input to carry out voltage drop tests and measurements on non-grounded signals such as hybrid motor drives. The maximum voltage difference allowed between any two-channel grounds is 30 V as far as floating inputs are concerned.
  • The Deep Memory Buffer: Frequently setting up the scope to measure from different components and wait for the fault to happen is the best way to diagnose an intermittent fault. You need an oscilloscope that has a deep memory buffer if you want to capture more than a few injector waveforms, ignition, crank, and minutes of the cam. This will allow you to capture for long periods of time after when you can zoom in without any gaps or loss of detail. The deep memory feature lets you carry out long recordings at high speed. Even in the course of searching for intermittent faults, you capture a comprehensive test drive.
  • The Connect Detect: It is daunting to make sure you have a good connection to the signal you desire to test. But immediately a good connection is detected with Connect Detect feature enabled. In this case, lights on the scope and indicators on screen change from red to green.The on-screen icons fade, as soon as a good connection is established, in order not to obscure the waveform. On the other hand, if there is a change in status when vibration makes a probe lose, the icons will draw your attention to the change.
  • Crisp, Clear High-resolution Display: This is the feature that lets you notice little changes in signal like ignition coil oscillations and a little dip in current when you open an injector. While a deep waveform memory will provide you with a high time resolution, having a high vertical resolution is also essential.
  • Fast Sampling: This is the feature designed for capturing signals faster. Nothing will escape the scrutiny of PicoScope with the sampling rates of about 400 million samples per second.

How do you read an automotive oscilloscope?

Reading your O-scope effectively is the key to have a more proper diagnosis as well as a better shot at effective measures to treat the underlying problem that could be causing your vehicle to lag.

To start with the basics of an oscilloscope, first, we need to understand what they are used for. The purpose of an oscilloscope is to record electrical signals as graphs as they differ with time.

Most available scopes display a graph that is two dimensional, where time is displayed on the x-axis and voltage is on the y-axis.

Various controls are displayed on a scope’s screen. These controls can allow you to zoom in on a signal to get detailed information.

Other controls include trigger – which can be used to stabilize the display or to focus better on a single event.

What should I look for in an oscilloscope?

Choosing an O-scope can be a very daunting task as there are hundreds of variations available in the market. Here are a few things you could keep in mind while looking for one.

Digital or Analog

If you are tempted to purchase an analog one, your choices could be limited as very few are manufactured every year, and these oldies might also have performance limitations.

On the other hand, digital storage oscilloscopes (DSOs) offer some benefits, which include: they are small and easy to carry around, they may have the highest bandwidths, colorful displays, and their user interface is easier to use.


Whether the scope is easy to use should be given a much greater priority than it is generally granted. Oscilloscopes that are quick to use and works in the less problematic way is the one you should look out for.


An automotive oscilloscope which has a triggering capability grants a much greater control of the signal.

How do you use an automotive oscilloscope?

There is a wide range of various signals out there, which means you have to use a scope differently each time. But there still are certain steps that you can follow.

Selecting a Probe

Firstly, you will need to make a selection of a probe, and in most cases, the passive probe that comes automatically with an oscilloscope works just fine.

Setting the Scope up

The first step to take before establishing the connection is to set the attenuation on the probe, the most common one is 10x, but if you’re trying to measure a very low voltage signal, you’ll need to go with 1x.

Connecting the Probe

Then you’ll have to connect the probe to its first channel. And once turned on, it might take a while for the probe to get started.

Turning the Scope on

Once the oscilloscope is turned on, you should be able to view the display, which should be a noisy divided surface with a flat line going across the screen.

The screen also will show values for time and volts that were previously set. But for now, your focus should be turning the scope into its standard setup.

To do so, turn the channel 1 on and set it to DC coupling. The trigger source should be set to channel 1 as well.

Trigger type should be a rising edge, and the mode should be auto. Also, make sure that the attenuation on both your scope and probe is the same.

How do you use Hantek 1008c?

Hantek is one of the most prestigious brands out there, which makes very efficient automotive tools to help you with your diagnostic and getting accurate test results.

Their products are available almost anywhere, online and offline, and can be purchased even with a modest budget.

Here, we will show you how to get started with a Hantek scope. It’s the very basic information you need to know if you’re new to this.

Step 1: Connecting the Scope to Your Device

To get started with this scope, you need to have your tools ready. Then you need to plug the scope in and get it connected to your device. After that, you need to connect the Hantek lead as well.

Step 2: Calibration

The next step is calibration. Once the software is installed in your device, you’ll have to do the calibration, it is a simple thing to do, and you’ll find the option in the utility setting in the display. You can disconnect all the other channels you are not using as well.

Step 3: Connecting the Attenuator to Channel 1

The next thing to do is connect the attenuator to channel 1 in your scope. Then you can start changing the oscilloscope setting as per your requirement depending on which waveform you are trying to analyze.

Step 4: Installing

The next thing on the list is to take the scope to your vehicle and set it up. Then you’ll need to attach a T-pin to one of the wires, the one that is different in all the connectors.

Then from the lead, connect the red cable to the T-pin and the other black one to a bolt nearby.

Now, if the car is ignited, you will see the waveform on the display screen. You can modify the trigger settings to get a proper view.

How To Choose The Quality Automotive Oscilloscope?

The first thing while choosing a digital oscilloscope is not by looking at the adverts or scope specifications rather you need to think where will you use and how will you use it?

  • Determine the purpose of the oscilloscope, where will you use either at the bench, customer site or under the hood of the car
  • How many signals would you require
  • Do you need to view the signals both with frequency domain and time domain or either one of them?

Choosing automotive oscilloscope can be a difficult task for a lot of engineers because there are more than a few different models and brands to choose from with widely varying specifications and costs and specifications.

There are quite a lot of features to consider when you are actually shopping for matchless automotive oscilloscopes on the market in order not to make a costly mistake at the end.

Investing some time ruminating about where and what you want to use the automotive oscilloscope for is the first step to selecting an oscilloscope and not just to search for scope specifications or adverts.

Discussed here are some of the factors you need to look for:

Ease of Use

In order to make sure the device is easy to use, a number of scopes provide some memorized setup configurations or a single-touch automatic setup.

Others have incorporated help system to save you from referring to manual all the time.

On the other hand, a number of scopes dispense with devoted user-friendly rotary knobs and substitute them with cheaper buttons for frequently-used adjustments like trigger level, trace position, time-base speed, and vertical sensitivity.

Downloading the manual of the device from the website of the vendor will provide you with the clue about how sensitive it will be to maneuver the oscilloscope as you concentrate on your circuit under test.

An easy to use automotive oscilloscope can save you a lot of frustration in the long run.

The Probes and Input Ranges

Consider a manufacturer that provides a whole set of accessories you can use to extend the application device and input ranges when shopping for an automotive oscilloscope.

You need to extend the input range of the oscilloscope with an appropriate input probe if you want to carry out current signals or high voltage measurements like injectors, primary and secondary ignitions among others.

10:1 and 20:1 attenuator, current clamps, capacitive and inductive pick-up clamps, AC coupling adapters and lots more are available.

It is of great importance that the input probes should at least equivalent to, if not surpass, the bandwidth of the scope.

The Number of Channels

As a matter of fact, automotive oscilloscopes feature a channel, two channels, four channels, and up to ten channels.

When thinking of the one to choose, think about the he number of signals to be displayed.

However, single-channel oscilloscope is enough, if you want to carry out a quick diagnosis to establish the existence of a signal and whether it is in the standard range.

On the other hand, for reading signals from sensors, crankshaft/camshaft correlation, watching thermistor voltage outputs, looking at coil waveforms and injector, as well as looking at throttle position sensor outputs among others, two channels are sufficient.

Automotive oscilloscopes having four separately isolated channels are normally used when dealing with a typical crank no start condition or instantaneous view of the ignition circuit is required.

Analogue against Digital Storage Oscilloscopes

Digital Storage Oscilloscopes (DSOs) represent almost all the new oscilloscopes bought nowadays.

In other words, digital storage oscilloscope is the best choice as a lot of users buying oscilloscopes now are changing analogue to digital.

But you have a limited choice if you are tempted to buy the analogue scope.


This is the utmost frequency of the signal that can pass through the front-end amplifiers.

As a result, the analogue bandwidth of your scope must be superior to the highest frequency that you desire to measure.

Only the bandwidth is adequate to make sure a DSO can capture a high-frequency signal accurately.

Make sure you understand the bandwidth specification you want when you are shopping for an automotive oscilloscope.

The bandwidth should always be five times superior on top of the signal’s utmost frequency that necessitates measuring. This should make certain the waveform’s accurate representation.

ISO Certified Vendor

Consider buying your automotive oscilloscope from an ISO accredited vendor to guarantee the quality and reliability of the automotive oscilloscope.

ISO/IEC 17025:2005 is fast turning out to be the standard used all over the world by calibration and testing laboratories, according to a foremost test equipment rental organization.

ISO 17025 incorporates an ingredient of suitable skill to the entire concept, despite the fact that there are a lot of resemblances with the former ISO 9001:2008 standard.

For this reason, it is always a smart and good idea to patronize a certified and notable vendor for its quality.

PC Interference

Be careful about the interference of your PC. Get ready concerning interference that may occur as a result of power and circuit supply in a situation where a low-level signal analysis is required.

PC components build up electromagnetic noise and they meddle with low-level signals in many cases.

You must keep a process of measurement free of any such interference in order to have a high precision in the course of working with low-level signals.

Choose Functional Triggering

Opt for an automotive oscilloscope with functional triggering because it aids in managing the signal display that can be viewed by the bare eye, to make it more snug and precise for viewing.

While shopping for a certain oscilloscope, it is imperative to select the one that offers incredible visibility and wider boundary to ensure a better triggering response.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a universal oscilloscope?

This is electronic measuring gadget used for observing electrical voltage through time alone.

What is the purpose of oscilloscopes in auto diagnostics?

The purpose of the oscilloscope in auto diagnostics is to assist in locating the problem faster and easier.

An automotive oscilloscope is a tool which diagnosis abnormalities in the automobile quicker and easier, with the increase of wiring diagrams, actuators, and sensors, built in the latest automobiles.

What is the difference between a lab scope and a motor tester?

The motor tester is a dedicated oscilloscope used for auto diagnostics.
The major difference between a universal oscilloscope and a motor tester is of the fact that the motor tester can visualize short-timed processes such as the ignition spark process.

The motor tester reveals all the cylinders at the same time and gives room for detailed observation of the time period.

What are the computer prerequisites for a CarScope program?

The requirements include a computer (a desktop, tablet, netbook or laptop PC) running Microsoft Windows.

The operating Systems requirements are Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 8.1 or 10; 32-bit / 64-bit. CarScope program needs less than 200 MB hard disk space.

What is oscilloscope resolution?

Oscilloscope resolution is the capability of an oscilloscope to resolve small voltages.

How can I keep already saved waveforms if I upgraded CarScope program with the latest version?

All you need is to go to the installation folder and back up the Saved Waveforms folder in another place.

Can I use oscilloscope to measure current?

Yes, by making use of extra optional current clamps.


​In this article, we reviewed some of the top Automotive Oscilloscopes which you can strongly consider if you are looking to buy a decent automotive oscilloscope that falls within an average budget.

To guide you during purchase, we discussed the factors that you must keep in mind to get the best one.

We hope you make the best buy!

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