MechanMagic MD698 Scan Tool Test and Review by Tim Miller


MechanMagic MD698 – Read this before buying

Cars are very important for us; however, they can present problems we don’t always see immediately, and that is where the MechanMagic MD698 comes in. No matter the type of vehicle you have, the MD698 will pull through: it supports diagnostics for almost all American, European, Asian, and Chinese makes and models.


Diagnostic code readers are very useful for mechanics, professional or otherwise.  They are essentially a window into the inner workings of a car and the problems that present themselves there.  Modern cars have many electrical systems in addition to mechanical systems, making diagnostic scanners just as crucial as toolboxes.


As a former mechanic, I love that the MD698 is designed for use by casual mechanics or people who do not work on automobiles for a living but occasionally need to run a diagnostic scan on a vehicle.  In summary, the MechanMagic MD698 is a professional-grade diagnostics code reader that is designed to be for everyone.

MechanMagic MD698: Features


Software & Usability

The MechanMagic MD698 comes with all features enabled out of the box; plug it into the OBDII port of the vehicle you are working on and get to work.  No laptop, software, or apps needed here, just plug in and go.  Fortunately for me and other mechanics, the MD698 comes preloaded with all the diagnostic software we need; no downloading more apps or activating accounts for me.  Now, I get my hands quite dirty when working on cars, and as luck would have it, the MechanMagic MD698 has a rubberized covering on the back and sides to keep the grease off; the same goes for the buttons.


I had no problems with setting up the MD698. You do need to plug it into a computer to set it up initially, but that is no issue with the included USB cable.  You will need to download the software to activate it or update it from MechanMagic’s website. From there, install it on the scanner, and get to work.  It is as easy as that; even I can do it.  Also, the MD698 supports 9 different languages: English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish.  Not only can it work on nearly any car, but it supports many languages to make it even more versatile.



 As for usability, the MD698 is about the size of an iPad, although much heavier.  The weight is reassuring, as I know I’m not going to break the device by accidentally bumping it into something. Additionally, every app or function is outlined with big, colorful icons, to make it as easy as possible. 

Software & Updates

Despite being very familiar with modern technology and its app-based updates, I do not like firing up my devices only to discover that I need to pay for an update to run it again. The same goes for getting system support in a pinch; these two problems really put a damper in my day when powering through a big job.


Fortunately, support and updates are fully bolstered with the MechanMagic MD698.  I don’t need to worry about system support or system updates being canceled suddenly, because I got free updates and support for the duration of my ownership. Brilliant. To make it even easier; you can do updates via USB, but can not do updates via WI-FI directly.  That means I can leave the shop or shed, do something else and come back to a fully installed update, ready to go. While I want to hold off on the final thoughts, I already think this is great.


Updates are straightforward; all I had to do was download the free update from MechanMagic’s website, then plug the MD698 into my computer to install the update.  From there, I filled out the update registry form, to make sure it is the same person operating the scanner, and I was good to go.

Vehicle Coverage

In keeping with having to stay on top of system support and system updates, I do not like having to purchase multiple models of something just to work on different makes and models.  Lucky for us, the MechanMagic MD698 is OBDII compatible with nearly all American, European, Asian and Chinese makes and models.  Scanners are valuable tools, but I like to have a few of them as possible, to eliminate problems with updates and support across multiple devices.


Vehicle coverage is near-universal, so it is very cost-effective and means I can pretty much work on any car that comes my way without needing to call the IT department.  It is worth noting that MechanMagic does not mention whether the MD698 can work on larger trucks.  However, I found no difficulty when using it on a pickup truck.  A dump truck might be a very different story. 


Regardless of whether it is being used on a pickup truck or Smart car, the MechanMagic MD698 performed flawlessly.  I can use it to read live stream data from the 02 sensors, reset steering angle sensors or even test cycle a fuel pump.  I found it was especially useful when working on a car with electric brake calipers.  The MD698 came in handy, to put the car in service mode, which allowed me to retract the caliper pistons using the electric motors and so replace pads and rotors. 


Target Customer Base 

The MechanMagic MD698 is marketed at professional technicians, show owners and shop teachers.  That is who it is marketed to, but that doesn’t mean you or I as shade-tree mechanics cannot buy and use it, thanks to the preloaded software and lifetime support offered at purchase.  The best part is that it’s intuitive, thanks to app icons you can see from space and the fact that it was made from the outset to be simplistic.  Additionally, those lifetime free software updates will and do come in handy, especially when I forget to update it regularly.   

Advanced Features


The MechanMagic MD698, unfortunately, does not seem to have any advanced features.  Now, I do not think that is a bad thing, because with modern electronics, sometimes the emphasis is placed on being the flashiest and loudest, rather than most functional.  I like that it is a scanner made for professionals, especially as I am no rocket scientist.

Pros & Cons

With any tool, no matter how good or useful it may seem, there are good and bad things about it.  The MechanMagic MD698 is no different.  It is still a great machine, but not without faults.


       Relatively cheap at around $399 on eBay

       Simple layout means diagnosis will be quicker

       Rubberized backing for protection against grease and spills

       Free software updates for life

       Covers almost all makes and models

       Supports OBDII vehicles

       Great for DIY mechanics

       9 languages support



                    No advanced features availableno online programming

       Relatively new, so expect some issues





1.     What types of codes can this scanner read?

 The MD698 can read any type of trouble code from the vehicle it is attached to.  Additionally, it can read a live data stream from the ECU, so you can drive with the OBDII cable attached and read data.


2.     Is this good for a non-professional mechanic?

 Overall, this will serve any function you need a scanner for as a non-professional mechanic.  It is much more expensive than an OBDII code reader you might find at an auto parts store, but the ability to read live data and the overall compatibility make it a solid choice.


3.     Do I have to pay for software updates and how long does support last?

 When you buy a MechanMagic MD698, you receive free software updates and customer support, for the duration of your ownership.


4.     Can this scanner clear and reset codes?

 Yes.  The MechanMagic can also clear and reset airbag lights and other codes such as TPS sensor problems, so it is a very versatile unit. 


5.     Can this aid in brake bleeding on cars with electric brake caliper motors?

 Yes, it can.  The MD698 has the ability to put the electric calipers in “service mode” which spins the motors in the calipers and allows you to service them properly.


6.     Does this scanner work on trucks?

 I had no issues using it on a pickup truck.  However, I have never used it on larger commercial vehicles, so something like a semi-truck would be out of the capability range for the MD698.


Final Thoughts

 In an increasingly complicated digital universe, the MechanMagic MD698 is refreshingly simple.  It features large, colorful icons to make it easier to use, and it is relatively cheap.  Best of all, it features software updates, and customer support is free for the time you own it.  To me, this puts it near the top of my list, because it is designed to be easy to use, intuitive, and comes with free updates.  It really is one of those tools that you or I will buy and never need to replace because it is great from the very beginning.


       My name is Tim Miller. I come from Denver, Colorado. I’m the Founder and Chief writer of 

 and Obdadvisor.comI have been working as an automotive mechanic and blogger for over 10 years writing articles to   share my experiences and expertise. Cars are everything to me and they drive me to discover more and more.


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