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Innova CarScan Inspector 5310 OBD-II scanner review

The Innova CarScan Inspector 5310 diagnostic scanner is cheap, easy to use and offers repair suggestions

Innova CarScan Inspector 5310
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Innova)

Our Verdict

Innova's CarScan Inspector 5310 OBD-II diagnostic scanner shows you what's going on under the hood and recommends repairs and parts. It offers an excellent balance between abilities and price tag and should fit into any amateur mechanic's toolbox.

For

  • Great value
  • Resets oil light
  • Offers repair instructions and part pricing

Against

  • Interface can be confusing
  • Lacks high-end features that more expensive scanners have
Innova CarScan Inspector 5310: Specs

Size: 6.9 x 3.4 x 1.2 inches
Weight: 10 ounces
Live data: Yes
Display type and size: Color, 2.8 inches
Number of keys: 9
Bluetooth & app: Yes
Handheld: Yes
Warranty: 1 year

Innova's CarScan Inspector 5310 OBD-II automotive diagnostic scanner improves on its predecessor, the Innova CarScan Advisor 5210, by adding the ability to reset the oil-maintenance light but keeps the ability to connect via Bluetooth as well as a cable.

The Innova's phone and tablet apps, repair suggestions and access to part pricing set it apart from the rest of the OBD-II scanner crowd.

The Innova CarScan Inspector 5310 may not have it all, but this $140 scanner should satisfy most weekend mechanics short on time. It's one of our two Editor's Choices among the best OBD-II scanners.

Read on for the rest of our Innova CarScan Inspector 5310 review.

Innova CarScan Inspector 5310: Pricing and availability

At $140, the Innova CarScan Inspector 5310 is an excellent value because it has all the major features you would want in an amateur mechanic's OBD-II scanner. By contrast, the $100 Innova CarScan Advisor 5210 lacks the ability to turn off the oil light while the $330 Innova CarScan Pro 5610 adds high-end items like resetting the battery indicator and monitoring the transmission temperature.

Innova CarScan Inspector 5310: Design

At 6.9 x 3.4 x 1.2 inches and 10 ounces, the black CarScan 5310 should easily fit inside a car's glove compartment. It's 38% smaller and 60% lighter than the SeekOne SK860. Unfortunately, it lacks the SK860's rugged design, ribbed hand grips and carrying case.

The CarScan 5310's 2.8-inch color screen and visually oriented operating software combine to display everything from live data to fault codes to a pre-inspection check. Between the screen and the 9-button interface, the scanner's three LEDs show a permanent fault (red), intermittent fault (yellow) or a clean sweep (green).

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As good as it is, the CarScan Inspector 5310 takes some getting used to. The interface uses odd abbreviations for its buttons, like LD for Live Data and M for the Main Menu. Still, using the CarScan 5310 is efficient once you get the hang of it.

(Image credit: Innova)

A handheld scanner at heart, the Car Scan 5310 also has built-in Bluetooth communications to link it with a phone or tablet and integrate online material. It links to the Innova RepairSolutions 2 app on your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. 

The app provides manufacturers' technical service bulletins, maintenance schedules and even predictive failure warnings to prevent a major component from breaking.

Innova CarScan Inspector 5310: Performance

The CarScan 5310 correctly identified the years and models of both of my cars, but I needed to manually enter each car's mileage. I easily found their vehicle identification numbers (VINs). 

The scanner was able to run cylinder-pressure and balance tests, as well as a charging-system test that can help provide peace of mind to an owner of an older car.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The 5310 goes a step further than most other OBD-II scanners for drivers who want to change their own oil. The scanner can turn off the oil-maintenance light, a task that many other scanners can't do.

The CarScan 5310 showed its abilities when I linked it to my Samsung Galaxy Note 20 smartphone. The RepairSolutions 2 app not only merges instructional videos to show you how to fix what's wrong with the vehicle but provides links to buy the parts you'll need. My favorite feature was the Predictive Repair section, which gives odds on what might break next, along with a repair estimate.

(Image credit: Innova)

The Innova found the oil-temperature fault I manually introduced on my 2014 Audi A4 AllRoad, then explained which part was causing the problem and gave the fault a severity factor. The scanner was also able to turn off the Check Engine light.

Innova CarScan Inspector 5310: Setup

After I plugged the CarScan 5310 into my car's OBD-II port, it linked with my car's computer in less than 10 seconds. The 62-inch cable is long enough to reach into the car's engine bay and is permanently connected to the scanner. There's also a microUSB port for updating the scanner's firmware.

However, unlike Topdon's ArtiDiag 500 scanner, the CarScan 5310 lacks a battery to run on its own power, so you'll have to keep it plugged into the OBD-II port.

The CarScan 5310 comes with a startup booklet that has a QR code for grabbing the phone and tablet apps. Innova also has a detailed manual available online that explains the ins and outs of the device. The scanner comes with a 1-year warranty.

Innova CarScan Inspector 5310 review: Bottom line

A crossover between handheld and Bluetooth OBD-II scanners, the $140 Innova CarScan Inspector 5310 is a great value for amateur mechanics. The scanner has the ability to diagnose the basics but also turn off the oil light, and the companion app includes repair hints and provides access to parts.

In other words, the Innova CarScan Inspector 5310 can help any backyard mechanic for far less than what a professional scanner might cost. 

Brian Nadel

Brian Nadel is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in technology reporting and reviewing. He works out of the suburban New York City area and has covered topics from nuclear power plants and Wi-Fi routers to cars and tablets. The former editor-in-chief of Mobile Computing and Communications, Nadel is the recipient of the TransPacific Writing Award.