For people who like to work on their own vehicles, anything that can help avoid a trip to the mechanic for diagnosis purposes is a blessing. But much of the equipment that is available can prove costly or unreliable.

Thankfully, there are some new products on the market that address the issues that DIY mechanics are facing — including the Topdon ArtiDiag500 (AD500), an affordable but capable tool that can help DIY types limit the amount of money spent on vehicle diagnosis.

The AD500 is compatible with vehicles dating as far back as 1996, and works by connecting to the OBDII on vehicles from 42 different vehicle brands. As more brands come on board and more features are added, the device is eligible for lifetime updates.

The AD500 features a 5-inch touch screen, an auto VIN reader for fast vehicle identification, and a vehicle battery voltage display. Its operating system is Android-based and operates via WiFi, and can diagnose in four key areas: PCM (powertrain), transmission, ABS (brakes) and SRS (airbags).

Tools like the AD500 are very practical, and will often let you skip that trip to a professional for a diagnosis. You may or may not end up fixing the problem yourself, depending on severity, but at least you aren’t burdened with towing costs and diagnosis costs at a mechanic or dealership, which can be pricey. Reports about vehicle issues generated by the AD500 can be shared via email for printing or review.

In terms of the unit itself, the overall size of the AD500 unit is 9.1 x 5.0 x 1.3 inches. It’s lightweight (under 20 ounces) and easy to use, and the device should prove popular among anyone who is handy in the garage and would like to leave outside mechanics out of the process. Past diagnostics are stored in the unit, and there is multilingual support, including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean.

The AD500 is one of Topdon’s many offerings aimed at automotive aficionados — and their overall lineup includes code readers, battery testers and chargers, thermal imagers, power supplies, and jump starters for both professional and home garages. For more information, please visit, and learn more about the AD500 here.

Leave a Reply