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REVIEW: Topdon ArtiDiag500 is a helpful diagnosis tool for DIY mechanics

Posted On Friday, 02 July 2021 18:24 Written by
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For diagnosis purposes, the Topdon ArtiDiag500's touchscreen is extremely easy to use regardless of your level of automotive expertise. For diagnosis purposes, the Topdon ArtiDiag500's touchscreen is extremely easy to use regardless of your level of automotive expertise. Photo courtesy of Topdon

One of the biggest headaches from vehicle owners is the dreaded warning lights that let you know something is wrong, but not exactly what is wrong. That usually leads to a trip to the mechanic, paying an inspection fee, and then what it costs to repair the offending system.

However, there are tools available to help people who do not want to rely on an outside opinion, and have the savvy to do some repairs themselves.

One concern has generally been the high cost of such diagnostic equipment, but there are some products that are emerging which have a much more reasonable cost. 

One such product that DIY mechanics can pick up is the Topdon ArtiDiag500 (AD500), which I recently had the chance to test out. With a price under $200, this item can pay for itself very quickly by removing the step of getting to a mechanic and seeking outside diagnosis.

With rare exceptions, the AD500 will work on your vehicle, going back as far as 1996 models and covering dozens of vehicle brands worldwide. After a simple setup to connect the AD500 to your Wifi connection, the AD500 works by physically connecting it to the OBDII port on your vehicle for diagnosis. 

This device offers a 5-inch touchscreen, and its automatic VIN reader function provides almost instant vehicle identification. The operating system is Android-base, and diagnoses are offered in four main areas: PCM (powertrain), transmission, ABS (brakes) and SRS (airbags). Reports about vehicle issues generated by the AD500 can be shared via email for printing or review.

Using it is about as simple as can be. Just plug in and follow some very basic prompts to get the info you need. Anyone young or old, mechanical or not mechanical, can figure it out.

After diagnosis, depending on the severity of what you find, you may or may not be able to fix the problem yourself, but at least you aren’t burdened with any towing costs and diagnosis costs at a mechanic or dealership, which can quickly become expensive. The AD500 also allows you to turn off the Check Engine Light once the issue is resolved, and lets you test O2 sensors.

In terms of the physical unit, the AD500 is very portable at 9.1 x 5.0 x 1.3 inches, and lightweight at under 20 ounces). It also offers multilingual support, in languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean, giving it a global reach.

Compared to other options in this category, Topdon’s AD500 is a strong choice that I would recommend to DIY mechanics looking for an affordable option. To learn more, visit, or learn more about the AD500 here.

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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