Automotive Education/Info Tool Review

Autel IR100 Thermal Imager-New Flir Competitor?

Autel IR100 Fits in With Companys Diagnostic Tools


Autel tools diagnostic lineup has developed into a formidable competitor to the likes of Snap-On, Launch and Matco Tools. Fairly new to the company’s line of electrical troubleshooting tools is the IR100 thermal imaging inspection camera.

With a fierce amount of competition in the automotive diagnostic niche, does the Autel IR100 have enough features and functionality to compete with the other thermal imaging IR cameras on the market? Read on to find out what the Autel IR100 can do in terms of features and functions.

What is the Autel IR100 Thermal Imaging Camera?

If you aren’t familiar with what thermal imaging cameras are in the first place, check out my post comparing the Flir to Snap-On’s Thermal Imager Elite. In short, a thermal imaging device is a camera that “detects” heat or changes in temperature and maps them out on a screen display. Using this data can help technicians find everything from misfiring cylinders to shorted wires and fried modules.

If you already know a little bit about IR cameras and what they are used for, read on to learn how the IR100 compares to Snap-On, Fluke and the other thermal imagers on the market.

Autel IR100 MaxiIRT Features


Image from Amazon of Autel IR100 MaxiIRT thermal imaging IR camera with hard case manual charging cord
As you can see, the Autel IR100 comes with a hardshell case like the rest of the company’s diagnostic tools.

In order to get a good idea of how the Autel thermal imaging camera compares to Fluke, Flir and Snap-On, we need to look at the meat and potato’s of the IR100 MaxiIRT. Things like thermal image resolution, screen size, battery, memory and connectivity options are all important things to consider when buying a thermal imaging camera for automotive diagnostics.

Whats the screen resolution?

Autel’s IR100 comes with a 320×240 infrared screen resolution which means the visible image resolution is 300,000 pixels.

How big is the screen?

The Autel IR100 MaxiIRT thermal imager comes with a 3.5 inch screen which makes it large enough to see changes in temperature clearly, but it’s also not too big to sacrifice portability. One of Autel’s best qualities is the portability of its tools. If you don’t believe me, check out the PS100 which is the best probe tester on the market in my opinion.

What’s the battery capacity?

The Autel IR100 comes with a 5,000 mAh battery and lasts up to 4 hours per charge. For the purpose of automotive diagnostics, this is a great amount of battery life.

How much storage does it have?

Another important thing to consider when buying a thermal imaging camera is how much storage it can hold. In the case of the Autel IR100, it comes with an 8GB external storage memory card that can hold up to 50,000 pictures.

Does the Autel IR100 connect to Wi-Fi?

One of the coolest features of these new thermal imager cameras is the ability to connect to Wi-Fi and transfer photos to a computer, laptop or tablet. This is an important feature as diagnostic setups get more sophisticated. Having the feature of being able to transfer pictures to a PC for further analysis is a huge advantage to buying a thermal imaging camera.

What temperature can the IR100 measure?

With a temperature range of -4º to -842º Fahrenheit, there are very few things you won’t be able to measure with the MaxiIRT thermal imaging camera. Diagnosing misfires, converter failures and finding shorts will be easy with a tool that can measure in such a high range of temperatures.

Is the Autel IR100 drop resistant and waterproof?

According to the Autel MaxiIRT product page, the thermal camera is drop resistant and water resistant meaning it can be dropped without concern of breaking and it can also come in contact with water. The Autel IR100 is not “waterproof” though, so submerging the camera wouldn’t be a good idea.

Can the IR100 help diagnose EV’s?

With the rapid shift in automobiles toward battery electric, it’s important that technicians align their diagnostic tools with that same shift. What that means for technicians is finding the right tools to help diagnose problems with electric vehicles.

One of the best features of thermal imaging cameras is the ability to find issues with electrical circuits and batteries. Because lithium batteries create heat, often times when they are failing or malfunctioning there will be a heat signature that the Autel IR100 can easily see and diagnose.


Also Read- M12 Cordless Die-Grinder is a Tool You Didn’t Know You Needed

Autel IR100 Thermal Camera is compatible with MaxiSys Tablet
Autel IR100 MaxiIRT with key features and mechanic using MaxiSys tablet scanner to diagnose engine and wiring issues
As shown, the MaxiIRT thermal image camera is compatible with Autel’s MaxiSys tablet for transferring photos for further diagnostics.

Another cool feature that the Autel thermal camera has is cross compatibility with its signature MaxiSys tablet and diagnostic scanner.

How are Autel IR100 Reviews?


When I look at buying a tool that I have never used before, one of the most important steps I take is looking into the ratings and reviews across the automotive industry online. In 2023, there are many ways for technicians to speak out about their favorite tools and also the tools that fail to meet expectations.

When looking at ratings and reviews on the Autel IR100, I was impressed but not surprised that mechanics and other tradesmen and women speak highly about the MaxiIRT thermal imaging camera. Here are some of the things they had to say, along with links to the review.

Chad Talbot on Amazon had this to say about the Autel IR camera.

I’m a home inspector so the thermal imager is an important tool for me. I bought this to see just how good it could be for the low cost. I didn’t have high hopes for it. We’ll I must say I was surprised and have been very impressed. Great quality and a great price!!


In a YouTube video posted by Scott Brown of PTEN (Professional Tool & Equipment News), the technician calls the Autel IR100 “pretty awesome” while also pointing out a couple tips for technicians when they start using infrared technology to diagnose automotive related problems. You can watch the video yourself here.

Its important to note that as the creator of the above video reviewing the Autel IR100 points out, there are things to learn when you start using a thermal imaging camera for auto and electrical diagnostics. For that reason, I found this great video that shows you how to use a thermal imaging camera to diagnose issues with cars and other mechanical equipment.

How Much Does the Autel IR100 Thermal Camera Cost?

Now that we have looked at all of the important features related to thermal imaging cameras and specifically the Autel MaxiIRT, it’s time to compare the price of the IR100 to Snap-On’s Thermal Imager Elite and similar IR cams by Fluke and Flir. Here are the price points at which you will normally find all of these thermal cams.

Autel IR100 Cost: ~$600 on Amazon

Snap-On Thermal Elite Cost: ~$2,000 on the company website. Possibly a little bit cheaper on the truck or eBay.

Fluke TIS20 Max Cost: ~$2,000 on Amazon

Flir K2 Compact With MSX Cost: ~$1,700 on Amazon

Thermal Camera’s Range in Features

Now that you have some different price points in mind, I think it’s important to note that all of these different thermal imaging cameras have different features and add-ons that give them such a high range of affordability. With that being said, the reason I focused this post so much on the Autel IR100 is because I think for the huge discount in price compared to Snap-On, technicians would not be sacrificing much in terms of features by going with the tool.

What do you guys think? Share this post with your friends and see which thermal imaging camera they are using to diagnose cars and trucks.

By John Green

I’m John Green. I’m a 33 year old auto technician from Upstate New York. I have 18 years of experience as an automotive light duty and heavy duty truck mechanic. Cars, trucks and anything with moving parts are my passion in my professional life.

Aside from my life as a technician, I am also a seasoned investor and consider myself very financially literate. I use this other passion combined with my passion for cars, trucks and tools to look for ways to save money for my technician friends.

Raising my three girls and teaching them the proper way of life is my personal passion in life. If you want to know more, just ask! I’m on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as well!