CarMD Review | Is a SCAM?

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Do you get to know when the catalytic converter or gas cap of your car is experiencing problems? How do you keep your car safe and on the road? When you go for repairs, how do you know that you are not getting ripped off? You need a personal doctor for your car. CarMD is the only system to provide you with the tools and real world knowledge from thousands of trusted and skilled ASE Certified Technicians. Let CarMD give you the peace of mind that comes from never paying for overpriced auto repair bills again!


How does CarMD Vehicle Diagnostic Unit work?
CarMD is the all new high tech device that communicates with your car’s on- board computer to tell you exactly what’s wrong with your car and even the exact cost required to fix it, before you even set foot inside a repair shop! CarMD is easy to use and can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars! All you have to do is plug your CarMD in.

All cars that are 1996 models or even newer are CarMD ready. The green, yellow and red lights will give you an instant read on your car’s condition. Simply connect the CarMD device to your computer and it will give you a full report on your car, in plain and simple language; it will report about the car’s most sophisticated systems like the anti-lock brakes, electronics, transmission, engine. It will even tell you about your car’s safety system condition.

Now, you know that your car’s truly safe to drive with the ones you love. If you experience any problems, you can contact ehe toll-free helpline, where CarMD specialists are standing by to answer your questions. Be a professional and diagnose with the CarMD health system! CarMD makes a great gift too!

How to Use CarMD

  • Step 1 Plug it in – Use it from the safety and comfort of your front seat. Works on all 1996 and newer cars, light trucks, SUVs and Minivans.
  • Step 2 Connect to PC/MAC – CarMD makes it easy to quickly identify your vehicle’s health. GREEN – OK, YELLOW – Possible Problem, RED – SERVICE REQUIRED
  • Step 3 Get a Detailed Report – provides you with empowering information. Walk into any repair shop knowing what needs to be fixed.

Official website:




What do I get?

  • CarMD® Handheld Unit
  • USB Cable
  • PC/Mac Software
  • Storage Pouch
  • Batteries
  • Free Access to CarMD’s Unprecedented Diagnostic Web Database.


CarMD Vehicle Diagnostic Unit Video


54 thoughts on “CarMD Review | Is a SCAM?

  1. I have owned my car MD for 5 years now, and it works every time I use it. I have plugged this thing into fords chevys dodge nissans suvs etc etc. I never use the CarMd web site as it is a joke. The web site is there main selling feature popping out fixit information and estimated costs. They can keep it. The MD is nothing more than a code reader as many here say…………….. It can be used on as many different cars as you wish 96 and up and will hold the codes till you use it on another car then the next cars codes will appear and the last ones are deleted from the reader.

    The main problem I have with the reader is that every car I have used it on the lights and screen are facing the floor board. You have to crawl around on the cars floor mat to see the lights. There are adapters that allow you to hold it in your hand but I don’t have one. Again this is an over priced code reader, the come on (sucker) is there web site. With any computer you can look up and print out a complete list of codes for free. I get a code I go on line and research the codes meaning and possible causes. The MD is a helpful tool I use to follow and decide my next step on a possible problem and its repair. Any code reader under 50 bucks will do the same. Some are better and have more options. My Car MD was given to me for free so I am not out the 120 or so they charge. For the price they charge you can get a Code Reader 10xs better than the MD. Maybe if they turn the plug around on this thing people could actually see what it is doing? You think? Would not in anyway buy one of these at there price………… Save your money. And by the way some cars and trucks will flash you any trouble codes. Check your owners manual or ask your dealer how. Just my opinion folks.

  2. It seems to me that some consumers purchase this product thinking it is going to make repairs. FALSE. And, by reading at of the reviews, it was made by a mechanic. Then you have those reviews and after you read it, you are scratching your head wondering what they were trying to say. Will I purchase one, most likely. And, those of you who are mechanics, those of you who don’t own a computer(dah), I don’t need your advice. My advice to you is you shouldn’t purchase the product. This is a device of information, it is not a mechanic. You need a computer with an internet connection. You have those reporting it was no good, then below that review, it works great. Who is the liar. Who is the liar?

  3. I just used CarMD today on my car and it read 13, what is 13? It did not specify what this 13 mean, most of the code start with P, why is it that this one is only 13? I think this product is a scam.

  4. I bought 1 Car MD and didn’t even open it, returned it ,was 32 days later and they tried to say my card was never charged but it was and they keep putting me on hold when I call customer service, I have left several messages on supervisors phone that customer service has transferred me to and still no return call or my money have not been returned to my card. Seems to me its time for me to go to the news because I don’t have money to just give them.

  5. I would like to know how to return product since my hubby says it isn’t what we don’t need it – can be done FREE at auto shop !!

    So, since my CC isn’t to be charged for 30 days, I’ll have it returned by then !!

  6. Hi everyone,

    I bought 2 CarMD units one for my wife’s car and one for my truck. I asked if it would work for my ’99 Dodge 3500 dually 1 ton truck. They assured me that it would if it was under the 11,000 lbs rating which it is (GVW 7,600 lbs). When I tried to get readings on my truck it say’s that there is nothing wrong in spite of the fact that my brake light and my ABS light are on. I asked the tech-support via my e-mails several time for help and got NO response in 6 plus months, I even called them. I finally had to take it to the dealer to get it fixed. Cost: $117.00 for diagnostic codes: 35 – no signal from rear ABS sensor and code 37 – Erratic ABS signal from rear sensor, $173.00 for parts, labor $383.00 total cost: $673.00 before tax. I could have done the work myself if I could have got the codes and got the part for a lot less. NO response from them so much for the $500.00 guarantee!!

  7. Well I can’t complain about the CarMd. I never seen on tv where it says it will fix your car. Umm you need a shop for that. How ever I have taken my car to Auto Zone and all they could tell me was why the check engine light was on. I wanted to know why the ABS light was on and Car Md was able to tell me that. I have 2 cars listed and I have had no trouble with the product working great.

  8. Do not buy CarMD Vehicle Diagnostic Unit ! Like most things for “free”, this is NOT free..there are fees. It is either a scam to call it free on the TV commercial, or at best it’s misleading advertising. IF all you’ve done is watch the commercial and buy – you will be disappointed as you really don’t know what you’re getting and what to do with it. It does NOT FIX anything. If you think you NEED a code reader (multiple vehicles, can do repairs yourself…), my recommendation is that you should educate yourself and research alternative solutions to this before buying. If all the options seem confusing – it is. Again, don’t buy any code reader unless you really understand what you’re getting. NOTE: Many auto parts stores will read your code for Free (hoping you’ll buy a part if needed). So, why buy one anyway! Finally, if you don’t save 10-15% of your earnings for retirement – do not watch TV ads at all…get your act together and be a responsible adult!

    • To all – It has been about 15 years since I was an official mechanic, so take what I say anyway you like, but check it out. We used to get cars that had a check engine light on in the shop, and we had all the current electronics, but one simple affordable tool everyone had was a little paperclip! yes you read that correctly a “paperclip”.

      Here is how it works, locate the terminal under the dash, then take a paperclip cut it or bend it so you have a U shape. Now take the two ends and insert them into ports one and three “DON’T JAM IT IN”. Now look at the dash board for your check engine light. If you inserted the paperclip properly it will flash once hesitate then flash three more time this is code 13, it will flash the 1 and 3 for a total of three times. This shows your ECM or computer is working properly. If you have any codes it will flash another set of number three times. Ex, it flashed a once then twice for three timesit is a code 12. Here is all you need to do once you have the code or codes call the dealer and ask what they mean? Then ask how much the part is and or the labor per hour if you can’t do it. Recalls – You can call they dealer or check the car makers online site all for free.

      To All if your not comfortable inserting the paper clip or finding the port take your car to your local garage and ask for the location. Your mechanic should be willing to tell you.

      Good Luck and always do your research before buying any tools or service. I hope this helps and save you money. If you’re really wanting to spend the 100 plus dollars I’m sure someone out there will sell you a 100.00 dollar paperclip, but not me.

  9. I’ve worked on cars since I was 16 and I took a mechanics class in high school. I learned a lot just from basic course in auto mechanics and I’ve saved thousands of dollars in thirty years’, so for you people who don’t know about cars it’s worth the purchase and for Mr Kraft I’ve had a van and a car, they wouldn’t move in either way, it was the transmission. Good luck and don’t trust any mechanic


  11. In response to Sherm R, you are correct in most respects. However, most people do not own more than 1 vehicle, although many have 2. I personally, have 3. This device is designed for the average consumer, not really car buffs. You will only need to pay additional fees if you need to subscribe to the technical bulletin service provided through CarMD website. You can always go to a dealer or tech for access to these, if they are happy enough to share them with you. Most consumers wouldn’t be able to understand what they mean anyway.

    • IF it is for the average consumer, then why does it advertise a guy that uses it when he is looking at multiple vehicles at an auction BEFORE he purchase them?

  12. It seems everyone here, including the technicians and mechanics, don’t get the point of the entire CarMD process. Laypersons don’t understand that the device is a tool to help troubleshoot any number of problems, along with a consolidated database of known problems associated with a particular make/model vehicle. the CarMD provides the link to this database; it does not provide a repair, only a fix-it plan.

    The techs/mechs, for the most part, are only relying on their knowledge and experience and perhaps the old method of networking with others, and not the fact that the CarMD database is a collection of knowledge from hundreds of thousands of known reports, TB’s, and the most likely repairs.

    DATABASE, people. That is the KEY. Educate yourselves and understand. Use some logic. And please, take some grammar lessons. Many of you are not conveying your message simply because you don’t know how to use your language.

  13. Car MD Complaints – Don’t have computer, called a mechanic with codes, his answer to my codes was dont drive your vehicle dah! Idiot as my butt he didnt know squat, just an over priced idiot light with out a computer this thing is worthless. With all the complaints I am glad I didnt buy a computer.

  14. thanks the commercial realy made me think of buying one. but your reviews helped me think things over and answered my thoughts about what all year models it work on my 93 it would have not work. thanks

  15. This Car MD tool only work on 96 to 99 . The diagnose head on 2000 cars are not the same. Ive had this tool for a while and its to large for my 20008 car .

    • Aaron, this comment is not accurate. CarMD works on all 1996 and newer vehicles made to be driven in North America — that’s about 90% of vehicles on the road. It connects to a standard port on all cars, light trucks, minivans, SUVs, and hybrids. A couple manufacturers made their connection out of spec. For this CarMD offers an extension cable.

  16. Thanks for all the interesting reviews. I almost bought one. It seems you guys know a lot about cars. I’m in need of advice. I have a 2000 impala, 6 cyl, police addition, 140,000. It ran perfectly up till last week. I turned a corner and went to give it gas and all it did was rev in place. It would not go in either direction. I had it towed to an auto shop, and he was suppose let me know what was wrong. He said it’s probably the transmission. He wants $2300 for a rebuilt and labor. I think it’s a lot of money for a probably. Am I wrong? Any help would be appreciated.

    Kind Regards…

    • I would have changed the trans fluid & filter first – if there was a lot of residue in the pan and metal on the magnet the trans may need to be rebuilt. However changing fluid & filter is a lot less expensive than a rebuild and it may have helped.

    • If your Mech. already knows the amount he is going to charge you, he also knows what the problem is. To suggest “it may be the Transmission” makes you think he doesn’t quite know the problem but will charge you the amount of $2300 or $2500, if this was a estimate, and was free, you should get a second and/or a third. Maybe it was the tyranny, maybe the amount is high for for the job, but if the estimate was free, get a 2nd and 3rd.
      Good luck.

  17. I purchased this CarMD Car Diagnostic Unit with all options and received it via UPS. Loaded all the software off of CD and registered cars and etc., as per on screen instructions. Plugged CarMD into vehicle and did one diagnostic test, and was going to do another test to another vehicle, and guess what, it don’t work, will not come on, changed batteries, checked fuses, and everything that they I could think of to cause the problem. Decided to try 1st auto again to see if it would read that one again, no it will not come on, so tried a friends vehicle to see if it would read that auto, not that one either. I am ticked. 1 auto and this thing has decided that 1 shot is all you get. I knew going into this it would not be the same as a test done at a auto dealership, but thought it would give enough info for a starting point. Large auto dealerships spend big bucks for their equipment, so they have better and more complete diagnostic equipment. I have had this unit in my hands for 1/2 a day and I am holding a $189.00 hunk of junk in my hands. I hope this will stop someone else from buying one of these.

    • Seen this product on T.V. today and said to myself no way it’s going to do what it says. Professional repair shops send thousands for a scanner to do this and must upgrade it ever 6 – 12 months for newer cars. This unit is nothing more than a overpriced code reader. For 20 – 30 dollars you can buy a reader to do the same thing.

      I agree with you.

  18. CarMD, mind as well be as good as the Diagnostic Dice they sell to fix your car. Roll the dice and get your answer. If they made a device to troubleshoot and find the problem just by plugging it in, I would think everyone would be an auto-tech. CarMD is just an expensive paper-weight.

  19. This tool is so misleading it is the biggest headache I’ve seen in this business in more than a decade.
    Customer came in and wanted us to install and upstream Air/Fuel Ratio sensor (O2) on his 99 Accord 2.3 ULEV motor in which the customer supplied the sensor from a local parts store. My explanation to the customer was that I could install the sensor, but without warranty. The customer didn’t bat an eye, and said fine. After the installation the customer returned a half hour later with the MIL light on again and his little CarMD in his hand with the same code. The customer (in front of other customers) accused us of never changing the sensor to begin with. I showed the customer the new sensor and told him we changed the sensor with his sensor. Then he said we didn’t install it properly. Now I did explain to the customer that I would be happy to fix the vehicle as we do without a diagnostic charge, and he stomped out of my office. This tool is very misleading and just a major problem to this business.

  20. Very overpriced, its a reader, not a scanner. You cant clear the codes with it which is necessary to get the computer off limp mode at least on the Ford Focus and a few other vehicles that I have experienced, unhooking the battery doesn’t do the trick anymore. Also you cant track voltage to actually do the diagnostic process. I purchased one, and promptly sent it back and have been battling CarMD for 2 months for my refund and keep getting a run-around. Walmart sells a cheap scanner which will do the trick for the average person(with some mechanical knowledge) for 1/3 of the price. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!

    • This product is a ripoff. To read the check engine light code a simple 20 dollar reader will do the same. At Auto Zone as with most big parts stores they will read it free, of in hopes of selling you a part. For codes that set for sensors like TPS, Power steering pressure sensor etc. it is correct. Engine cylinder misfire code could be caused by several things.

      Bottom line don’t buy this “tool”.

  21. CarMD is simply a code reader, that’s it. Trouble codes in an automobile are intended to be used to point an experienced auto repair tech in the right direction. Code P0301 is defined as “cylinder #1 misfire detected”. We now know the computer senses that cylinder #1 is misfiring, but why? Is it a bad spark plug? A bad plug wire? A burnt valve? A clogged fuel injector? This is were TRUE diagnostics come into play. Next, code P0740 is defined as “TCC system fault”. This code tells us that the computer see’s that the torque converter clutch is not applying, but why? Is it a stuck valve? Is it a faulty TCC (Torque Converter Clutch) Solenoid? Or perhaps it is a bad converter itself. Again, this is when you NEED to pay a true professional to diagnose and repair the correct part. I own a transmission repair shop and let me tell you, the only thing more dangerous than a customer that knows nothing about cars is a customer that thinks they know everything about cars. All I need from a customer is a detailed description of their complaint and a little time to do some in depth diagnostics, and 99% of the time their car will be fixed correctly the first time and at a fair price. Sometimes information is a good thing, but if you don’t how to use it……it’s no good at all.

  22. CarMD is the same scanner used by Autozone just a different style it only tells you codes and where the problem is. You still have to perform a complete check of the system. Not even the professional scanner tell you how to fix the vehicle they only point you in the right direction.

  23. Think of a check engine light code like a person telling a DR. where it hurts. That doctor still has to run a series of tests and diagnose what is wrong before he can prescribe a remedy/repair. We are in the same situation with auto repair. Autozone will check codes for free but 90% of the time the code’s description is not the problem. Spending money with a quailified technician to a true diagnosis is the best money you can spend.

  24. CarMD may work in some situations but should not in any way be used to “Fix a vehicle”. Works with simple gas cap faults, but should not be used to diagnose a cylinder misfire. For the price of $120 you can get an auto scanner with more functions for that price.

    • CarMD can read and save the codes from your cars computer. Then you hook the unit up to you computer and it tells you what the code means. CarMD will only allow you to enter 3 different vehicles, (unless you are willing to pay an extra $30). CarMD will only allow you to enter 5 diagnostic entries, from your 3 cars, (unless you are willing to pay extra). The TV ad tells you that you can bring your CarMD along when you go car shopping and test a vehicle before you buy it —- you can but each vehicle you test and enter becomes one of you 3 different vehicles. Once you have entered 3 vehicles, or performed 5 different problem diagnostic entries, your unit is useless, (unless you want to spend an extra $30). Go buy a book that lists vehicle codes and a cheap code reader that you can use anytime and as often as you like. CarMD will charge you $120 plus $20 shipping and handling.

    • CarMD is over priced you can get the same scanner form Matco Tools for only seventy five dollars and it comes with software and reference files also.

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