This review takes an in-depth look at the ANCEL AD210. It looks at what makes the gadget so popular among car owners, what is not-so-lit about it, and for who can utilize it best. This review is based on experience, tests and an extensive review of other users’ responses.
The ANCEL AD210 is a handheld scanner that is used to read, interpret and clear error codes on vehicles that are On-Board Diagnostic 2 (ODBII) compatible. These are mainly car models manufactured in and after 1996 in the US and 2000 the EU.
It reads the error codes and retrieves their meanings from an inbuilt database, then display them on an LCD screen existing on the scanner itself.
It draws power from the vehicle- no need for a separate scanner battery.
An ANCEL AD210 delivery box contains just the scanner with an attached plug-in cord. The cord attaches to the port on the vehicle. The scanner body comprises an LCD display screen that shows the menu and error results.
There are three buttons (Scrool, Enter, and Exit) used to execute commands during the scan. The scanner weighs a paltry 10.4 ounces (294.8 grams) and measures 9.1 by 7.1 by 1.4 inches (23x18x3.6 cm).
This is a DIY error code reader. Once plugged in, it diagnoses the errors that may be prompting a warning light. Usually, these are engine problem errors. It does not look into Anti-lock/Anti-skid Braking System (ABS) errors.
The scanner read error codes and fetches their meaning then displays the results on the LCD screen which has a white backlight, makes it easy to read the displayed text. The AD210 can be used to clear error codes but this is only possible once the problem causing the error has been fixed.
It works with vehicles running specifically on a 12v battery and with a 16-pin OBD II specification port. Once the scanner is plugged in, it automatically powers on and prompts the owner to switch on the car ignition. The resultant menu then runs the commands
The AD210 does not need any more maintenance than proper storage. When not in use, users should coil the cord in loops to avoid breakage and also cover the plug-in end to avoid breaking or bending the pins, although these cases are pretty rare. It is advisable to replace it in the delivery box after every use.
|- Compatible with many vehicle models. Any vehicle with a 16-Pin ODB II port is fair game for this scanner. That's pretty much any post-96 US and post-2000 EU small car model.|
- It is a DIY easy-to-use scanner that tells the car owner the exact problem before a visit to the mechanic. It can save you a great cost. For starters, the scan you can do for free using the AD210 could cost up to $90 at the garage.
- It does not need an external power source as it draws power directly from the car.
- A stocked database to understand different error codes using a cord rather than Bluetooth or Wi-fi, ensures a speedy and more accurate scan.
- Does not clear errors until they are fixed. This may appear like a disadvantage at first glance but it is helpful as it prevents the urge to procrastinate on fixing a problem.
- Supports up to six languages (English, Russian, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese). Results are displayed in simple language understandable by people with even just a basic understanding of any of these languages.
- Small in size.
- Two-year warranty. Although many users report not needing to make use of this, a warranty assurance is always great.
|- Not compatible with large vehicles. It works with 12v battery vehicles only, making it unsuitable for owners of large vehicles.|
- Although the colour is not a major concern, users would appreciate having the scanner in other colours besides black.
- The requirement for an order to exceed $25 to qualify for free shipping does not make sense.
- It is not able to scan non-engine errors.
ANCEL AD210 against competition
|The Autel MaxiScan||The PowerLead Cabt Past|
|- Autel Maxiscan MS300 is used to read and clear codes in pretty much similar fashion to the AD210. It uses two buttons rather than the AD210's three and displays codes and definitions on a display screen. It sells for ~$14.||-PowerLead Cabt Past PL-OM123 OBD Mate scanner falls within the same class of scanners as the AD 210. It is an orange scanner that is slightly larger than the AD210. It supports post-2000 OBD II compatible vehicles. It retails for ~$60.|
|Pros||- Relatively cheaper.|
- Small in size hence easier to carry around.
|- A larger and clearer display.|
|Cons||- Requires CD software to define errors.|
- The small size sacrifices the clarity of the screen.
- Much more expensive.
- Sidelines compatible 1996 OBD II vehicles.
|Conclusion||- The MaxiScan is undoubtedly a powerful accessory for its size and price. You can save a good $10 going for this one rather than the AD201, but you will also have to sacrifice the comfort of use. You may need to squint your eyes to read the display, and the CD software required will often prove to be a bother.||- For the advantage of just size, the PowerLead Cabt Past cannot justify the price over twice that of the AD210. Also, the incompatibility with 96 models makes it lose major points.|
- The AD210 wins here.
The amount of investment to make on a scanner will ultimately depend on how much a car owner intends to delve into the fixing of errors scanned. For a person with some mechanical fixing knowledge, a complex and costly scanner is reasonable. But most car owners, however, only need to understand the problem before taking a car to the mechanic.
For these drivers, a simple DIY scanner will often suffice. The ANCEL AD 210 fits in as just the perfect scanner to suit such needs. While it is not the most sophisticated scanner in its category, it makes up for these with a pocket-friendly price and ease of use.
Its small size and easy maintenance are also plus features.
This scanner is ideal for owners of small cars who want to stay up to date with the health of their automobiles at every turn. All that without stretching their budgets.