Are you looking for the best OBD2 scanner for Ford vehicles? In this article, we help you choose the best OBD2 scanner for Ford. We share our hands-on experience and research to share with you a list of the Best OBD2 Scanners for Ford vehicles.
1. YOUCANIC Full System Scanner
We tested a lot of scanners trying to find the best scanner to use in our garage. What we found is that:
- Many scanner manufacturers make scanners that require a yearly subscription.
- Can diagnose one make but doesn’t work on all different car makes. You will have to pay more to cover other vehicle makes.
- Can’t diagnose all vehicle systems. May only diagnose the engine, airbag, transmission, and ABS problems. That’s only 4 systems. Modern cars can have up to 40+ systems.
- Don’t support bi-direction support for sensor testing and activation.
If you wanted a scanner that can do all these, you have to spend thousands of dollars and most likely pay a yearly subscription.
So we decided to launch the YOUCANIC full system scanner that works on all makes and models.
The YOUCANIC full system scanner:
- Works on all makes.
- Can read and clear codes from all vehicle control units.
- View live data from any sensor.
- Bi-direction support to activate and test sensors and motors.
- Reset functions depending on model
If that is not enough, keep in mind that the YOUCANIC scanner does not require a yearly subscription as other professional-level tools do. We believe that the YOUCANIC scanner offers the best OBD2 for the money for auto mechanics and DIYers.
Don’t want to buy a scanner? We still want to help you fix your vehicle in an economical way. We created a scanner rental program that allows you to use the scanner for a few days on as many cars as you like.
We have a ton of how-to video showing you how to troubleshoot car problems. Once you get the codes, the YOUCANIC technicians can help you with any questions you may have.
2. BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Scan Tool
The BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth can turn your Android or iPhone into a powerful diagnostic scanner. It works on most cars but Ford vehicles. It can read and clear manufacturers’ specific codes from multiple systems, including ABS, airbag (SRS), transmission, and engine (ECU).
It allows you to check if the vehicle is ready for a smog (emission) test. Provides code descriptions and possible fixes based on each fault code.
Based on our experience, research, and cost, the BlueDriver Bluetooth Scanner is the best OBD2 scanner for Ford.
3. Launch Creader
The Launch Creader ( also known as VII+, CRP123) scanners have been around for a long time. You have several options, including the Creader VII CRP 123 or VIII CRP129. Both of these models allow you to diagnose Ford vehicles.
More specifically, this scanner will allow you to access (read & erase) the engine, transmission, SRS/Airbag, and ABS systems. The scanner is easy to use, even for those new to DIY car diagnostics. The Launch Creader is a great scanner but doesn’t expect to do any programming with this scanner or any other scanner in the same price range.
4. Autel Maxisys | Maxicom
The Autel Maxisys is the perfect diagnostic scanner for DIYers and independent Ford auto mechanics.
The Autel Maxisys is the most advanced scanner in this list that offers similar capabilities to the Ford dealerships’ diagnostic scanner. You will be able to diagnose all modules on Ford vehicles. This scanner is quite frequently used at car repair shops due to its ability to troubleshoot all systems, offer bi-directional communication, and affordability.
It is easy to use and does not require a laptop, training by Ford, or IDS software. Autel Maxisys can read, erase, program, initiate, activate sensors, and do many more.
It’s more expensive than the rest of the scanners on this list, but if you are looking for an alternative to the Ford dealer scanner, the Autel Maxisys is the best choice. For those on a tight budget who don’t need bi-direction capabilities, check out Autel MaxiCOM.
5. INNOVA 3150
Not only can it read and erase the Check Engine warning light on any Ford 1996 and newer, but it can also retrieve ABS and SRS fault codes. It can retrieve most cars’ genetic error codes (starting with Pxxxx). It can retrieve Ford-specific error codes (codes starting with Uxxxx). It works on Ford cars, Ford Light Trucks, and Ford SUVs.
It is reasonably priced and will recover the purchase investment even if you use it once. If your transmission is acting up, plug the INNOVA 3150 into the OBD-II port under the dashboard to retrieve the fault codes. You will get a description of the problem right on the display of INNOVA 3150.
6. Foxwell NT614 Scanner
Foxwell NT614 diagnostic scanner will read and erase fault codes from the Engine ECU, Transmission TCM, Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), and Airbag (SRS) control units. These are the main systems in a car that Ford owners usually have problems with.
The other benefit of this scanner is that it works on over 50 vehicles, including Ford, Holden, Honda, Chrysler, BMW, Ford, Audi, GM, Mercedes Benz, Citroen, Euro Ford, Sprinter, and Volvo. This may be a sound investment if you have other cars that you maintain. This scanner also provides live data and freeze frames.
You will also be able to check the emission readiness status. It allows you to display live sensor data, which is a must if you try to pinpoint a problem with your Ford. It allows you to graph live data, freeze frame, I/M readiness, and Oxygen Sensor monitoring.
7. Ford IDS
Integrated Diagnostic System (IDS) is the diagnostic scanner used at Ford dealerships. It requires a laptop to run the IDS software. You will connect the VCM2 to your car’s OBD-II port via the USB cable to your laptop. It will allow you to diagnose ECU, PCM, ABS, instrument cluster, airbag, fuel pump, traction control, climate control, rear & erase diagnostic trouble codes, flash new software to ECU, steering angle reset, program new keys, bleed the brakes, code new injectors and more.
The IDS requires training as one of the best scanners for Ford diagnostic and repair shops. The official Ford IDS requires a software license. It costs several hundred dollars and needs to be renewed every year. The Ford IDS software will timeout if it cannot connect to the server to validate the license.
Note that the VCM interface supports Ford vehicles from 1996 to 2014. Newer vehicles that use the CAN network require an IDS with the VCM2 capability.
What is the Best OBD2 Scanner for Ford?
Ford cars and SUVs are getting more and more sophisticated every year. With so many features and advanced systems, working on a newer Ford may not seem easy at first. The good news is that they are quite easy to diagnose if you have the right tools. For DIYers, the best Ford scanner is the YOUCANIC full-system scanner.
For auto mechanics, the best Ford scanner is the Autel Maxisys, or if you don’t need bi-directional capabilities, the less expensive Autel MaxiCOM. Here we look at some of the best OBD2 scanners for Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The scanners we looked at are not generic OBD2 scanners. Scanners allow you to diagnose multiple systems, including airbags, Transmission, ABS, Engine, and other control units.
Ford Vehicles OBD-II Protocol
The scanners listed here are compatible with Ford cars and trucks. Ford uses the SAE J1850 PWM protocol to communicate with the different systems on your vehicle, including the Engine Control Unit (ECU / ECM).
If you own an older Ford manufactured between 1982 and 1996, you won’t use any of the scanners in this list. Those vehicles don’t have an OBD II port but an OBD I. You can use an INNOVA 3145 to diagnose older Ford vehicles with OBD I.
We hope you find the 7 Best OBD2 Scanners for Ford guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Ford.