Autel AL539 OBD2 Scanner: Specs & Ratings

Naomi O'Colman

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Autel AL539 OBD2 Scanner

OBD2 (On-Board Diagnostics 2) scanners have become indispensable tools in the world of automotive maintenance and repair.  These devices play a crucial role in diagnosing and monitoring the health of modern vehicles, ensuring they run efficiently and safely.

In today’s automotive landscape, diagnosing and maintaining vehicles has become more accessible and efficient than ever before. OBD2 scanners play a pivotal role in this process, with the Autel AL539 OBD2 scanner standing out as a versatile and user-friendly diagnostic tool.

In this article, we delve into the world of the Autel AL539, exploring its features, applications, and the myriad ways it can simplify vehicle diagnostics.

Table of Contents

What are OBD2 Scanners?

OBD2 scanners are electronic devices that connect to a vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system. The OBD system is present in all cars and light trucks manufactured after 1996 in the United States (and equivalent standards worldwide).

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It serves as the vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting system, constantly monitoring various aspects of the vehicle’s performance.

OBD2 scanners come in various forms, from basic code readers to advanced diagnostic tools with extensive capabilities. They typically connect to a vehicle’s OBD2 port, which is usually located beneath the dashboard near the driver’s seat.

Once connected, the scanner communicates with the vehicle’s onboard computer to retrieve diagnostic information and trouble codes.

These scanners can read and interpret a wide range of data, including engine and transmission performance, emissions, sensor readings, and more.

They can provide real-time data, pinpoint issues, and even clear diagnostic trouble codes, making them invaluable tools for both professional mechanics and DIY enthusiasts.

Importance of Diagnostics for Vehicle Maintenance

Early Problem Detection

OBD2 scanners allow for the early detection of potential issues within a vehicle’s systems. By identifying problems when they are minor, vehicle owners can address them before they escalate into more costly and severe malfunctions.

Improved Fuel Efficiency

Diagnostics provided by OBD2 scanners can help optimize fuel efficiency by identifying inefficiencies or malfunctions in the engine or emission control systems. This not only saves money at the pump but also reduces harmful emissions, benefiting the environment.


OBD2 scanners can detect safety-related issues, such as problems with the brakes, airbags, or other critical components. Early identification of these issues can prevent accidents and injuries.

Emissions Compliance

Many regions require vehicles to meet specific emissions standards. OBD2 scanners help ensure that a vehicle’s emissions control systems are functioning correctly, helping owners pass emissions tests and reduce their environmental impact.

Cost Savings

Regular diagnostics using OBD2 scanners can prevent unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs. Addressing issues proactively can extend the lifespan of a vehicle and reduce long-term maintenance expenses.

Data-Driven Maintenance

OBD2 scanners provide valuable data on a vehicle’s performance over time, helping owners and mechanics make informed decisions about maintenance and repairs. This data-driven approach ensures that maintenance efforts are targeted and effective.

OBD2 scanners are essential for modern vehicle maintenance tools, offering early problem detection, safety enhancements, fuel efficiency improvements, emissions compliance, cost savings, and data-driven maintenance strategies.

Whether you’re a professional mechanic or a car owner looking to take better care of your vehicle, understanding and utilizing OBD2 diagnostics is crucial for a smoother and more reliable automotive experience.

What is the Autel AL539 OBD2 scanner?

The Autel AL539 is an OBD2 scanner with additional electrical testing capabilities. It is designed to help automotive enthusiasts, mechanics, and technicians diagnose and troubleshoot various issues in vehicles, including engine problems, electrical issues, and more.

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Key Features of the Autel AL539 OBD2 Scanner

1. OBD2 Diagnostics

The Autel AL539 can read and clear diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) from a vehicle’s OBD2 system. It supports all 10 modes of OBD2 testing, allowing it to retrieve a wide range of information about the vehicle’s engine and emission systems.

2. Electrical Testing

One of the standout features of the AL539 is its electrical testing capabilities. It can test a vehicle’s electrical systems, including the battery, alternator, and starter.

  • Battery Test: It can perform a battery test to assess the state of the vehicle’s battery, providing information about its voltage, internal resistance, and overall health.
  • Alternator Test: The scanner can also test the alternator’s performance, ensuring it is charging the battery correctly.
  • Starter Test: It checks the starter’s cranking voltage and helps diagnose potential issues with the starting system.

3. Multilingual Interface

The AL539 offers a user-friendly interface with support for multiple languages, making it accessible to users around the world.

4. TFT Color Display

It features a clear and easy-to-read TFT color display, which provides real-time data and test results in a visually intuitive format.

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5. Built-in Speaker

The scanner comes with a built-in speaker, which can provide audible feedback during certain tests and procedures.

6. Data Logging and Playback

The device allows users to record and playback data, enabling them to review and analyze past diagnostic sessions.

7. Internet Updatable

Autel frequently releases software updates to keep the scanner up-to-date with the latest vehicle models and diagnostic protocols. Users can connect the scanner to a computer for online updates.

8. Comprehensive Vehicle Coverage

The AL539 is compatible with a wide range of vehicle makes and models, both domestic and foreign, that support OBD2 protocols. It covers most vehicles manufactured after 1996 in the United States and equivalent standards worldwide.

9. Extra Features

In addition to its core functionalities, the Autel AL539 also offers other features such as freeze frame data, readiness status for emissions testing, and the ability to view live data streams from various sensors and components.

Overall, Autel AL539 OBD2 scanner is a versatile tool that combines traditional OBD2 diagnostics with electrical testing capabilities, making it useful for diagnosing a broad range of automotive issues.

Its user-friendly interface and compatibility with various vehicles make it a valuable asset for professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike.

Benefits of Using Autel AL539 OBD2 Scanner

1. Efficient Fault Code Detection and Clearing

The Autel AL539 is highly proficient at detecting and clearing diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) from a vehicle’s OBD2 system.

This efficiency in fault code handling allows users to quickly identify and address issues within the vehicle’s engine and emission systems, saving time and reducing diagnostic guesswork.

2. Battery and Charging System Testing

One of the standout features of the AL539 is its ability to test the vehicle’s electrical system, including the battery, alternator, and starter.

This comprehensive testing capability helps diagnose and resolve problems related to these critical components, ensuring the vehicle’s reliability and preventing unexpected breakdowns.

3. Real-Time Data Monitoring

The scanner provides real-time data monitoring, allowing users to access live data streams from various sensors and components within the vehicle.

This feature is invaluable for diagnosing intermittent issues and verifying the performance of different systems while the vehicle is in operation.

4. Multilingual Support for Global Users

The inclusion of multilingual support makes the Autel AL539 accessible and user-friendly for a global audience.

Users from different regions and language backgrounds can easily navigate the device’s interface and access its powerful diagnostic capabilities.

5. Enhanced Diagnostics and Troubleshooting

Beyond basic code reading and clearing, the AL539 offers advanced diagnostics and testing features for a more comprehensive vehicle assessment. This enables users to tackle a broader range of automotive issues, from engine problems to electrical malfunctions.

6. Preventative Maintenance

By regularly using the AL539 to check the vehicle’s battery and charging system, users can catch potential issues early and perform necessary maintenance or replacements, ultimately preventing unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs.

7. Readiness Status for Emissions Testing

The scanner can check the readiness status of a vehicle’s emission control systems. This feature is particularly useful for ensuring that a vehicle will pass emissions tests, which are often required for vehicle registration and compliance with environmental regulations.

8. Time and Cost Savings

The efficiency and accuracy of the Autel AL539 can lead to significant time and cost savings for both professionals and DIY users. Its ability to pinpoint issues quickly helps avoid unnecessary part replacements and reduces the downtime of vehicles in the repair process.

9. Confidence in Vehicle Health

Using the AL539 regularly provides users with confidence in their vehicle’s health and performance. Knowing that the electrical system is functioning correctly and that any potential issues are being proactively addressed contributes to peace of mind while driving.

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The Autel AL539 OBD2 scanner offers a range of benefits, including efficient fault code detection and clearing, comprehensive battery and charging system testing, real-time data monitoring, multilingual support for global users, and enhanced diagnostics.

These advantages make it a valuable tool for maintaining and troubleshooting vehicles effectively, whether for personal use or professional automotive service.

How to Use Autel AL539 OBD2 Scanner

Using the Autel AL539 OBD2 scanner involves several steps, from connecting the scanner to your vehicle to running diagnostic tests. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you use the scanner effectively:

Step 1: Prepare Your Vehicle and Scanner

  • Ensure your vehicle’s ignition is turned off.
  • Locate the OBD2 port in your vehicle. It’s typically located beneath the dashboard near the driver’s seat.
  • Prepare your Autel AL539 scanner by ensuring it’s powered on and the screen is functional.

Step 2: Connect the Scanner

  • Connect the OBD2 connector of the AL539 scanner to the OBD2 port in your vehicle. Make sure it’s securely plugged in.

Step 3: Turn on the Ignition

  • Depending on your vehicle, you may need to turn on the ignition without starting the engine. Refer to your vehicle’s manual for specific instructions.

Step 4: Navigate the Scanner’s Interface

  • Once connected, the AL539 will power up and display its main menu on the screen.
  • Use the arrow keys or touchscreen (if equipped) to navigate through the menu options.

Step 5: Select Diagnostics

  • Choose the “Diagnostics” or similar option from the main menu to access the vehicle diagnostics functions.

Step 6: Vehicle Selection

  • Select your vehicle’s make and model from the scanner’s menu. This step ensures that the scanner communicates with your vehicle’s specific diagnostic system.

Step 7: Perform Diagnostic Tests

Depending on the scanner and the issue you want to diagnose, there may be various diagnostic tests available. Here are some common diagnostic tests:

a. Read Codes

  • Select “Read Codes” to retrieve diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) stored in the vehicle’s computer. These codes indicate potential issues with different systems.

b. Clear Codes

  • If you’ve identified and resolved an issue, you can use the scanner to clear DTCs and reset the vehicle’s “Check Engine” or warning light.

c. Live Data

  • Access “Live Data” to monitor real-time data from various sensors and components in your vehicle. This can help you diagnose problems as they occur.

d. Battery Test

  • If you want to test the battery and charging system, select the appropriate test from the menu. Follow the on-screen prompts to perform the test.

e. Alternator and Starter Test

  • Similarly, select the appropriate test to check the alternator or starter, if needed.

Step 8: Interpret Results

  • After running tests, the scanner will provide results and data readings on the screen. Interpret the information to identify any issues or anomalies.

Step 9: Save Data (Optional)

  • Some scanners allow you to save diagnostic data or print reports. Follow the scanner’s instructions for data-saving options.

Step 10: Disconnect the Scanner

  • Once you’ve completed your diagnostic tests and obtained the information you need, safely disconnect the AL539 scanner from the OBD2 port.

Step 11: Address Issues

  • If you’ve identified any problems during the diagnostic process, consider addressing them as needed. Consult your vehicle’s repair manual or seek professional assistance for complex issues.

Step 12: Turn Off the Ignition

  • If you turned on the ignition, remember to turn it off to avoid draining the vehicle’s battery.

Autel AL539 OBD2 Scanner: Advanced Features

1. ABS and SRS System Diagnostics (if applicable):

Some versions of the Autel AL539 may have the capability to diagnose ABS (Antilock Braking System) and SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) issues. These systems are crucial for vehicle safety.

  • ABS diagnostics can help identify problems with the anti-lock brake system, such as sensor failures or hydraulic pump issues.
  • SRS diagnostics can detect problems with airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, and other safety-related components. This is essential for ensuring that the vehicle’s safety features are functioning correctly.
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2. Internet Connectivity and Software Updates

  • Many modern OBD2 scanners, including some versions of the Autel AL539, offer internet connectivity. This allows you to connect the scanner to a Wi-Fi network or a computer with internet access.
  • With internet connectivity, you can access online databases for additional diagnostic information, software updates, and troubleshooting guides.
  • Software updates are crucial for keeping the scanner’s database of vehicle makes and models, diagnostic codes, and testing procedures up-to-date. This ensures compatibility with the latest vehicles and diagnostic protocols.

3. Printing and Saving Diagnostic Data

  • The scanner may provide options for printing or saving diagnostic data. This feature is especially valuable for professionals who need to document vehicle diagnostics for customer records or insurance purposes.
  • You can typically save data to the scanner’s internal memory, an external storage device (e.g., an SD card), or transfer it to a computer for further analysis or archiving.
  • Printing diagnostic reports can be useful for providing physical records of vehicle inspections and repair recommendations.

Please note that the availability of these advanced features may vary depending on the specific version or model of the Autel AL539 scanner you have.

Additionally, software updates and internet connectivity may require an active subscription or connection to Autel’s online portal or server.

Autel AL539 OBD2 Scanner: Vehicle makes and models supported

The compatibility of the Autel AL539 OBD2 scanner can vary depending on the specific version or model of the scanner. However, in general, OBD2 scanners like the Autel AL539 are designed to work with a wide range of vehicle makes and models that are OBD2-compliant.

1. Vehicle Makes and Models Supported

  • The Autel AL539 is typically compatible with most domestic and foreign vehicles manufactured after 1996 in the United States. This is when OBD2 standards were mandated for all new cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. and are commonly followed in other regions as well.
  • The scanner should support a broad range of vehicle makes and models, including but not limited to:
    Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, and many others.
  • Autel often updates its scanner software to include compatibility with new vehicle models and diagnostic protocols. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure your scanner’s software is up-to-date to access the latest vehicle coverage.

2. OBD2 Compliance

  • The Autel AL539 is specifically designed to work with vehicles that adhere to OBD2 standards. These standards are the same across most OBD2-compliant vehicles and include the use of standardized diagnostic connectors, communication protocols, and data codes.
  • OBD2 compliance ensures that the scanner can communicate effectively with the vehicle’s onboard computer to retrieve diagnostic information, read trouble codes, and perform various diagnostic tests.
  • It’s important to note that the AL539 may not be compatible with older vehicles (typically manufactured before 1996) or vehicles that use different diagnostic protocols, such as OBD1 systems, which vary by manufacturer.

Autel AL539 OBD2 Scanner: Tips for Effective Diagnostics

1. Proper Maintenance of the Scanner:

  • Keep the scanner clean and free of dirt and debris, especially around the OBD2 connector and cable.
  • Store the scanner in a protective case or pouch to prevent damage.
  • Ensure that the scanner’s battery or power source is adequately charged or replaced as needed, so it’s ready when you need it.
  • Periodically inspect the OBD2 connector and cable for any signs of wear or damage. Replace them if necessary to maintain a reliable connection.
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2. Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you encounter connection issues or errors when using the scanner, here are some common troubleshooting steps:

  • Ensure that the OBD2 connector is securely plugged into the vehicle’s OBD2 port.
  • Check for blown fuses in the vehicle’s fuse box related to the OBD2 port.
  • Verify that the vehicle’s ignition is in the correct position (usually in the “On” position) when using the scanner.
  • Confirm that the scanner is properly powered on and functional.
  • If you encounter problems with diagnostic tests or data retrieval, refer to the scanner’s user manual for troubleshooting guidance. It may offer specific solutions for common issues.

3. Keeping Software Up to Date

Regularly check for software updates provided by the scanner’s manufacturer. These updates typically include:

  • Expanded vehicle coverage: New makes and models are added as technology advances.
  • Improved diagnostic capabilities: Updates can enhance the scanner’s ability to detect and diagnose issues accurately.
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements: Software updates address known issues and improve the overall performance of the scanner.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for updating the scanner’s software. This may involve connecting it to a computer and downloading the latest software from the manufacturer’s website or using an online portal provided by the manufacturer.

Comparing Autel AL539 with Alternatives

When comparing the Autel AL539 OBD2 scanner with alternative OBD2 scanners on the market, it’s essential to consider key differences and why the Autel AL539 may stand out.

1. Electrical Testing Capability

One of the standout features of the Autel AL539 is its ability to perform electrical testing, including battery, alternator, and starter tests. Many OBD2 scanners focus solely on engine diagnostics and lack these additional capabilities.

2. ABS and SRS Diagnostics (if applicable)

Some versions of the Autel AL539 offer the ability to diagnose issues with the ABS (Antilock Braking System) and SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) in certain vehicles. These systems are crucial for safety, and not all OBD2 scanners have this capability.

3. Internet Connectivity and Updates

The Autel AL539, like many Autel scanners, typically offers internet connectivity for software updates and access to online databases. This feature ensures that the scanner remains up-to-date with the latest vehicle models and diagnostic protocols.

4. Multilingual Support

The Autel AL539 is designed to cater to a global audience with multilingual support, making it accessible to users in different regions.

5. Advanced Diagnostics and Data Logging

The scanner provides advanced diagnostic capabilities, including recording and analyzing data over time, helping users pinpoint intermittent issues and perform data-driven maintenance.

Autel AL539 OBD2 Scanner: Pros and Cons


  • Comprehensive Diagnostics: The Autel AL539 offers a wide range of diagnostic capabilities, including OBD2 diagnostics, electrical system testing, and, in some versions, ABS and SRS system diagnostics. This makes it a versatile tool for diagnosing various vehicle issues.
  • Battery, Alternator, and Starter Testing: The ability to test the vehicle’s electrical components like the battery, alternator, and starter sets the AL539 apart from many other OBD2 scanners, providing users with valuable insights into the vehicle’s overall health.
  • Internet Connectivity: The scanner typically offers internet connectivity for software updates and access to online databases. This ensures that the scanner remains up-to-date with the latest vehicle models and diagnostic protocols.
  • Multilingual Support: Multilingual support makes the scanner accessible to users worldwide, eliminating language barriers.
  • Advanced Diagnostics and Data Logging: The AL539 provides advanced diagnostic features and data logging capabilities, allowing users to record and analyze data over time for more in-depth troubleshooting.
  • Brand Reputation: Autel is a reputable brand known for producing reliable and innovative automotive diagnostic tools. Users often trust Autel products for their quality and performance.
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  • Cost: The Autel AL539, with its comprehensive features, may be pricier compared to basic OBD2 scanners. However, its value may justify the higher cost for users who require its advanced capabilities.
  • Compatibility Limitations: While the AL539 is compatible with a wide range of vehicles, it may not support some older models or vehicles with non-standard diagnostic protocols. Users should verify compatibility with their specific vehicles.
  • Learning Curve: Like many advanced diagnostic tools, the AL539 may have a steeper learning curve for users who are not familiar with automotive diagnostics. Proper understanding of the scanner’s features and functions may require some time and effort.
  • Limited ABS and SRS Support (if applicable): The ability to diagnose ABS and SRS systems is dependent on the vehicle’s make and model. Not all vehicles will be compatible with these features.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is OBD2, and why is it important?

OBD2 stands for On-Board Diagnostics 2, which is a standardized system used in modern vehicles to monitor and report on various aspects of their performance.

OBD2 is essential for vehicle maintenance and repair because it allows users to diagnose issues, improve fuel efficiency, ensure safety, and comply with emissions regulations.

2. How do I connect the Autel AL539 to my vehicle?

To connect the AL539, follow these steps:

  • Locate your vehicle’s OBD2 port.
  • Plug the OBD2 connector of the AL539 into the OBD2 port.
  • Turn on your vehicle’s ignition (usually without starting the engine).
  • The scanner will power up, and you can start diagnostics.

3. Can the Autel AL539 diagnose ABS and SRS issues?

Some versions of the Autel AL539 offer the ability to diagnose ABS and SRS issues, but it depends on the specific vehicle make and model. Not all vehicles will have this capability.

4. What vehicles are compatible with the AL539?

The Autel AL539 is generally compatible with most vehicles manufactured after 1996 in the United States and equivalent standards worldwide, which adhere to OBD2 standards. This includes a wide range of domestic and foreign vehicle makes and models.

5. Is internet connectivity necessary for using the scanner?

Internet connectivity is not necessary for basic diagnostic functions. However, it can be beneficial for software updates and accessing online databases for additional diagnostic information.

6. How often should I update the scanner’s software?

It’s advisable to regularly check for software updates from the manufacturer. Updates should be applied when they become available to ensure the scanner remains compatible with the latest vehicle models and diagnostic protocols.

7. Does the scanner work with hybrid and electric vehicles?

Yes, the Autel AL539 is generally compatible with hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs and EVs) that have OBD2 ports. It can diagnose issues related to engine performance, electrical systems, and emissions, but the level of compatibility may vary depending on the specific vehicle.

8. What languages does the Autel AL539 support?

The Autel AL539 typically supports multiple languages, making it accessible to users worldwide. The available languages may include English, Spanish, French, German, and others.

9. Are there any known limitations of the scanner?

While the Autel AL539 is a versatile diagnostic tool, it may have limitations in terms of compatibility with very old vehicles (pre-1996) or vehicles with non-standard diagnostic protocols. Additionally, the ABS and SRS diagnostic capabilities may not be available for all vehicle makes and models.

10. What are the warranty and customer support options for the AL539?

The warranty and customer support options for the AL539 may vary by region and seller. It’s advisable to check the manufacturer’s website or contact their customer support for specific information regarding warranty coverage and customer support resources available in your area.

In conclusion, the Autel AL539 OBD2 scanner is a versatile and capable diagnostic tool with several standout features, including its ability to perform electrical system tests, potential ABS and SRS diagnostics (model-dependent), internet connectivity for updates, multilingual support, and advanced diagnostics capabilities. It’s well-regarded for its reliability and brand reputation.

However, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and budget when choosing an OBD2 scanner. While the Autel AL539 offers many advanced features, it comes at a higher cost compared to basic OBD2 scanners. Therefore, it may be best suited for:

  • Professional Mechanics: The AL539 is an excellent choice for professionals requiring a comprehensive diagnostic tool for various vehicles, including electrical system testing.
  • Serious DIY Enthusiasts: Enthusiasts who work on their vehicles regularly and require advanced diagnostics, including electrical system testing, will find the AL539 valuable to their toolkit.
  • Safety-Conscious Users: Users concerned about the health of their vehicle’s electrical system, battery, alternator, and starter will appreciate the AL539’s comprehensive testing capabilities.
  • Global Users: The multilingual support ensures accessibility for users worldwide.

However, you may consider more cost-effective alternatives if you have a limited budget or require only basic OBD2 diagnostics without advanced features.

Ultimately, the Autel AL539 is a reliable and feature-rich diagnostic tool that can significantly aid in vehicle maintenance and troubleshooting, making it a recommended choice for those who need its advanced capabilities and are willing to invest in a higher-end OBD2 scanner.

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