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Foxwell NT301 OBD2 Scanner

In our review of the best OBD2 scanners, we named the Foxwell NT301 code reader the best budget scanner. While this OBD2 code reader doesn’t have many advanced features, it’s an inexpensive way to examine your vehicle if you see a check engine light.

This article looks at some essential features of the Foxwell NT301 OBD2 scanner (sometimes written as OBDII). From this, you’ll be more equipped to decide whether the Foxwell would be a helpful tool for your home garage.

 

In this article:


Foxwell NT301 Overview And Features

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Foxwell NT301 OBD2 Scanner

Bottom Line - A compact and straightforward design for quick troubleshooting
Pros

Cons

- Good for beginners

- Offers live data and freeze frame data

- Quick results

- Emissions test capabilities

- Small screen

- Short cord

- Compatibility issues with Apple devices

 

If vehicle maintenance is a priority for you, an OBD2 scanner is an item you may want to purchase for several reasons. Whether you’re working on your personal vehicle, repairing cars as a hobbyist, or working as a professional mechanic, an OBD2 scanner is a handy tool to have at your disposal.

But suppose you’re looking to do more than service the car you own. In that case, the Foxwell NT301 is not ideal because this car diagnostic scanner does not support a broad range of features that a professional mechanic needs (such as resetting ABS and SRS lights or performing SAS calibration).

However, the Foxwell NT301 is a low-budget option worth considering if you simply want to read and clear codes on your vehicles without having to consult a mechanic.

Key Features

  • DTC lookup
  • I/M readiness testing
  • Three-stage LED test lights
  • Monitors misfires, fuel system, air conditioning, and oxygen sensors
  • Can perform on-board monitor test and reset monitors
  • USB port connection for downloadable reports
  • Includes one-year limited warranty and free updates

What’s In The Box?

The Foxwell NT301 comes with a small user manual and a USB cable that allows you to connect the scanner to your computer to transfer test data and download updates.


Foxwell NT301 Scanner Testing Process

Foxwell NT301 OBD2 Scanner

In testing the Foxwell NT301 with a 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid, we read the instruction manual, attached the device, and tried out each of the scanner’s listed functions. Our test vehicle did not display any error codes at the time, so we couldn’t test the code-clearing function.

Value: 5 Out Of 5

Priced at around $60 to $70, the Foxwell NT301 offers excellent value, but its value may depend on your car. While the manufacturer claims the device can work on any vehicle, some users have reported that it’s incompatible with their vehicles.

It’s also important to note that this OBD2 scanner does not have some of the advanced features of more expensive OBD2 scanners, so it may provide little value if you need a more advanced tool. However, it is a good option if you don't need or know how to use more complex OBDII functions.

Ease Of Use: 4 Out Of 5

Foxwell’s instruction manual is easy to follow. The interface is simple, and the device starts up faster than any other OBD2 scanner our team tested. It only takes a single button push to display a live OBD2 data stream, and the limited range of features means you will likely do less fiddling and will be able to perform an I/M check without pushing multiple buttons.

Data Collection Capabilities: 3 Out Of 5

Although the Foxwell NT301 OBDII scanner isn’t known for advanced features, it can perform the following:

  • Powertrain diagnostics
  • Emissions diagnostics
  • Oxygen (O2) sensor test
  • All nine generic OBDII system tests
  • DTC code lookup
  • DTC code clearing

What We Like About The Foxwell NT301

We’re keen on the fact that the Foxwell NT301 is simple to use and comes at a low cost. We chose this as our budget pick because it performs essential functions for a mechanical novice (namely, it can read codes and check the overall status of your engine system). You don’t need to be a professional mechanic to use the Foxwell NT301, and the code reader may save you time and money.


What We Don’t Like About The Foxwell NT301

The Foxwell has limited functionality compared to pricier OBD2 scanners. If you want to do something more complex, such as check your airbag system or reset your drive cycle, you’ll need a different device. Another downside of this scanner is its short connection cable, which requires you to bend over to view the device.


Foxwell NT301 Reviews

Amazon customers give the Foxwell NT301 an average score of 4.5 out of 5 based on more than 17,000 ratings. Eighty-nine percent of reviews give the scanner 4 or 5 stars. Our review team read through hundreds of customer reviews for this product and found most of them to be complimentary.

Positive Foxwell NT301 Reviews

Most positive reviews focus on how easy the Foxwell is to use. Many users seem to be people trying to read the error codes on their own vehicles rather than professionals or semiprofessionals.

“This analyzer totally performed to my expectations. Very simple and intuitive with minimal need for referencing the instruction book (which is pretty thorough)."
– CouchTater via Amazon
“I have two 4Runners (2003 & 2004) and a Jetta TDI (2002). The tool works on all three cars, but [be aware] that the tool has more functions available than older cars, like mine, can support. It does give me codes to determine what is wrong before I send it to my local garage or attempt to fix it myself."
– RBG via Amazon

Negative Foxwell NT301 Reviews

Some users have expressed disappointment that the Foxwell did not seem to work well with their vehicles. You may want to do some research about this scanner’s compatibility with your make and model before purchasing it.

Another issue several customers have noted is difficulty getting the device to update through a computer. The Foxwell reportedly does not pair well with Apple products, and you need to use a Windows PC for updates.

“I read Jeeps, and it did not work with my Jeep. I had to do more research than just Amazon to find a product that works."
– Eric P. via Amazon
“One thing to note: You can only update this with a Windows PC for connecting and updating with a computer. I haven't had a Windows PC in years, so I probably would have gone with another unit had I known. But it didn't need any updating to work with my 2001 Pathfinder. In terms of functionality, it works as advertised for the most part."
– B.H. via Amazon

Our Take On The Foxwell NT301: 4 Stars

It’s worth considering a purchase of the Foxwell NT301 if you want to read and clear your vehicle’s engine codes, determine why your check engine light is on, and not do too much else. This device does not have many advanced diagnostic applications that other OBDII scanners do, but you can buy it at a fraction of the cost.

Before you make a purchase, we recommend doing additional research to see if the Foxwell NT301 is compatible with your vehicle.

Overall 4
Value 5
Ease of Use 4
Customer Satisfaction 4
Data Collection Capabilities 3
 

FAQ: Foxwell NT301

Is the Foxwell NT301 worth it?

We believe the Foxwell NT301 is worth its low cost of typically no more than $70. However, this is a basic OBD2 scanner and code reader, and we don’t recommend it for the advanced or professional mechanic. It’s a good option for the non-mechanic who wants an inexpensive device to read the trouble codes on their vehicles.

How do I use my Foxwell NT301?

To use the Foxwell NT301, plug the device into your car and press the power button. You can usually find an OBDII scanner plugin port beneath the steering column. For more detailed instructions, see the Foxwell user guide located here.

What is live data on a scan tool?

Diagnostic scan tools can test and monitor status on several vehicle systems, including oxygen sensors, powertrain functions, and emissions systems. Live data on a scan tool shows some of this information in real time. For example, live data can include the car engine coolant temperature and O2 sensor data.

How do I update the Foxwell NT301?

To update the Foxwell NT301, you’ll need to plug it into your computer. According to some users, the Foxwell does not work well unless it’s connected to a Windows OS computer.