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Looking to buy a Ford scan tool? You may want to consider a brand-specific device. Brand-specific OBD scanners generally perform better than the universal ones.
The reason behind that is simple – the former are made specifically for a particular vehicle brand. For that reason, they are tailored to work almost flawlessly when running diagnostics on those cars.
Now, if you are a Ford owner or frequently find yourself working on Ford vehicles, it may just be a better idea to get a scanner designed specifically for that brand.
First, let’s see which is the best suit for you today!!
Editor’s Top 3 Picks of Ford Scanners Comparison Chart:
Editor's Pick Best Affordable Best OBD1 Code Reader for FORD
OHP Forscan ELM327 Wifi Adapter
Customer Rating Price Item Weight 1.18 pounds 2.08 ounces 8.6 ounces Product Dimensions 10.9 x 7.9 x 1.9 inches 4 x 2 x 1 inches 10 x 2.1 x 6.2 inches OBD1/OBD2 OBD2 OBD2 OBD1 MIL Reset ✔ ✔ ✔ Read and Clear Codes OBD2 Codes OBD2 Codes OBD1 Codes Read and Clear SRS, ABS Codes ✔ ✔ -- Read and Clear Engine, Transmission Codes ✔ ✔ -- Full-system Diagnostics ✔ ✔ -- BMS Reset, TPMS Reset, DPF Reset ✔ -- -- SAS Calibration ✔ -- -- TCM KAM Reset ✔ -- -- Injector Quantity Adjustment ✔ -- -- Reset the Intake Air throttle Valve ✔ -- -- Bottom Line The Autophix 7710 provides a decent amount of data and functionality for auto enthusiasts and beginner mechanics working on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury. OHP WiFi Forscan OBD2 Adapter is especially suitable for you if you have a Ford/Mazda/ Lincoln/Mercury cars/light truck or frequently work on one. Innova 3145 will serve you best if you have an OBD1 Ford, Lincoln or Mercury car or truck.
Best Ford Scan Tools Review
1. OHP Wifi Forscan ELM327 Scan Tool for Ford Mazda
OHP is actually an OBD2 adapter (or dongle). That’s basically a diagnostic interface that works alongside a mobile device or computer and diagnostic app.
The biggest advantage of using a dongle adapter over traditional OBD scanners is that you get to pair it with your mobile device or PC.
This particular adapter will send real-time diagnostic data directly to your phone/tablet/computer.
So what kind of data is that? First, off it can read and clear codes for the engine, ABS, SRS and transmission systems.
And if you are scanning a Ford or Mazda you can also read codes for the body control module (or BCM for short). There’s an MS-CAN/HS-CAN switch that toggles between DTC and BCM codes.
It’s undoubtedly a handy switch. The only problem is that it doesn’t indicate which position is MS-CAN and which one is HS-CAN. You have to use trial and error to figure that.
The exact range of special functions depends on the diagnostic app you choose.
For example, if you use one of those renowned apps like Torque, Carista, OBD Auto Doctor and OBD Car Doctor you will be able to perform service functions like resets.
But at the very least you can read and clear codes.
The OHP ELM327 is a Ford scan tool that also works on Mazda vehicles. It supports OBD2 cars (from 1996 to 2018) that are no more than 12V.
Those are generally all Ford and Mazda cars and light trucks, including the popular F150 and F250.
When you buy the OHP ELM327 adapter you’ll be recommended to use the Forscan diagnostic app. With that app, you can only run Ford and Mazda diagnostics.
But you have the option of switching to a different app, say Torque, and use the adapter on other brands of vehicles.
While that’s a viable option, it may result in you incurring an additional expense. Most reliable diagnostic apps are not free.
As mentioned already, the OHP ELM327 Ford scan tool works with a mobile device (smartphone/tablet) or computer as well as a diagnostic app.
First, you install a diagnostic app to your device (mobile or computer) and then link that device with the OHP ELM327 adapter via Wi-Fi. With that connection, you will be able to run diagnostics using the app.
One good thing is that the scanner works with iOS, Android and Windows devices. Meaning you can use it with a smartphone and/or Windows computer. Just make sure the device you choose supports Wi-Fi connectivity.
When you plug the adapter to the OBD2 port it will create a Wi-Fi. You can then connect your device to that Wi-Fi.
And you won’t need to enter a password because it creates an open network.
Note that the package doesn’t include a diagnostic app. You’re only advised to download and install Forscan from Forscan’s official website.
Alternatively, you can get it from the App Store or Play Store. Some of the most reliable versions are Forscan v2.3.12 and Forscan Lite v1.2.11.
Although Forscan works extremely well with Ford and Mazda vehicles, you don’t necessarily need to use it.
You can use a different app like Torque, Carista, OBD Auto Doctor, OBD Car Doctor, HobDrive or any other app of your choice.
That way the adapter will cover more vehicle brands than Ford and Mazda.
As stated, this Ford scan tool creates a stable Wi-Fi network.
However, it’s not so strong to use outside the vehicle. You’ll need to sit on the driver’s or passenger seat when running diagnostics.
Who is it built for?
While a professional can use the OHP ELM327 dongle, it is best for the ordinary car owner and DIYers. It is especially suitable for you if you have a Ford/Mazda or frequently work on one.Check Price at Amazon
2. Autophix 7710 OBD2 Ford Diagnostic Scanner
A pocket-sized Ford scan tool, the Autophix 7710 has a protective rubber sleeve that runs all around the scanner.
It comes in a shed of yellow and is a plug-and-play device. Meaning once you plug it to your vehicle’s OBD2 port it will be good to go.
In addition to codes, the Autophix 7710 performs a series of special functions on Ford vehicles. It can reset the TCM, PCM, EPB, TPMS, DPF, intake air throttle valve and oil change injector.
Furthermore, the Ford scan tool performs battery monitoring, injector quantity adjustment, DPF regeneration and clears collision data memory as well as EGR adaptive tables.
On the surface, it may pass as a mere code reader, but the above functions prove that it is, in fact, a professional automotive diagnostic scanner for Ford vehicles.
The Autophix 7710 can read and clear engine codes. You can use it to reset the Check Engine Light (CEL) on your Ford vehicle.
However, you won’t get detailed code definitions for each code pulled. You may need to do some Googling to understand the codes (assuming you don’t know the code meaning off the top of your head).
ABS, SRS & Transmission
It pulls and erases codes in those systems. You can distinguish a faulty code easily because the scanner highlights it in red.
While the ability to read and clear codes is a good thing, it would have been better if each code came with detailed definitions.
Most modern scanners even offer suggested fixes for engine, ABS, SRS and transmission problems. The Autophix 7710 doesn’t, and that is one of its biggest weaknesses.
This Ford scan tool supports all Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles that are OBD2 compliant including large pickups F150, Transit, VAN, and more that are made between 1996 and 2017.
One of the good things about the Autophix 7710 is that it identifies vehicles automatically. On the downside, it doesn’t work on vehicles that are more than 12V.
However, it still lacks in some areas. For instance, it doesn’t support new key programming and can neither monitor nor let you manipulate individual PIDs.
Who is it built for?
The Autophix 7710 provides a decent amount of data and functionality for auto enthusiasts and beginner professionals. It is particularly ideal for anybody who regularly works on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.Check Price at Amazon
3. INNOVA 3145 Ford Digital OBD1 Code Reader
If you drive a Ford that was manufactured before 1996 then the three Ford scan tools above will not be of help to you.
You will need an OBD1 scanner. One that you may consider is the INNOVA 3145.
An extremely affordable unit, this scan tool is compact and light in weight. But how does it rate incompatibility and functionality?
As an OBD1 scanner, this device works on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles made between 1982 and 1995.
More precisely, it is compatible with MCU as well as EEC-IV computer control systems.
The scan tool plugs into the OBD1 port located on the driver’s side.
A longer one will allow you to sit in the driver’s seat as you work.
Besides the engine, you can also pull transmission codes using this Ford scan tool.
Good as that sounds, its diagnostic functionality pretty much ends there. You can only pull engine and transmission codes.
Check Engine Light
While it doesn’t really turn off the Check Engine Light, the INNOVA 3145 Ford scan tool will tell you why the light came on. It does so by pulling engine codes and displaying them on the screen.
You may refer to the accompanying codebook to know what triggered the light.
To reset the light you will need to fix the problem and then disconnect the battery for about 15 minutes.
When you reconnect it the DTC will be cleared. Not the most straightforward way to turn the Check Engine Light off but it does get the job done.
Still, on matters codes, this OBD1 scanner has a built-in memory that stores codes. It retains them even after you have unhooked it from the vehicle.
That handy feature means you can always revisit diagnostic data later for more analysis.
Who is it built for?
This unit will serve you best if you have a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury car or truck made within the years recommended. It makes it a breeze to locate problems in engine and transmission systems.Check Price at Amazon
4. FORScan VINT-TT55502 OBD2 Adapter
Like the OHP Wifi Forscan ELM327 above (check #3), the FORScan VINT-TT55502 is also a diagnostic adapter. Meaning you’ll need to hook it up to a PC in order to run diagnostics.
Granted, the process of connecting an OBD adapter to a laptop every time you perform scans can be a bit tedious. But this Ford scan tool makes up for that with its low price tag. You can get it for under $20 and it will offer the same service as Ford scanners that cost hundreds of bucks.
One thing that makes the FORScan VINT-TT55502 popular is its wide vehicle coverage. It works on all OBD2-compliant Fords, including the F-series (F150 all through F450), Mustang, Ranger, Fusion, Kuga, Explorer, Transit, S-Max and C- Max. As long as the vehicle is a 1996 or newer model (car or light truck), there’s every possibility that the scanner will work.
Besides Ford, the scanner is also compatible with Lincoln, Mazda and Mercury cars and light trucks. Something else to keep in mind is that it’s a Windows-base device. It doesn’t work on Mac or Linux computers but it’s compatible with all versions of Windows PCs from XP all through Windows 10.
On one end of the scanner is an OBD port that plugs into the car’s OBD2 port. The other end has a USB port for PC connection. Install the best ELM 327 software on your PC and it will unlock an array of features that are packed in this Ford code reader.
Check Engine Light
First and foremost, the FORScan VINT-TT55502 will tell you why the Check Engine
Light is on in your Ford vehicle. It’s designed to read and clear engine codes, which means that in addition to checking why the light is on you can also turn it off.
Alongside the engine, the VINT-TT55502 OBD2 adapter also pulls and clears codes in all OBD2 modules. That includes the SRS, ABS, transmission, TPMS and all other modules. Rather than taking your car to the shop, you can perform a DIY test on all modules using this Ford scan tool. You will know what the problem is even before you hire the services of a mechanic.
A scanner that can pull codes is good but one that can display sensor data is even better. This particular unit does both for all OBD2 modules. It displays information etc. to show if any sensors are malfunctioning. In other words, the scanner will help you understand what you need to fix for the light to reset.
- Compatible with all OBD2 Ford, Lincoln, Mazda and Mercury cars and light trucks
- Very affordable and easy to use
- Connects to OBD2 using a cable which is more stable than wireless
- Small and compact for easy portability. This may be important for mechanics and car sellers
- Has MS-CAN & HS-CAN toggle switch for quick access to module data
- Compatible with Windows PCs only. If you own a Mac or Linux, you can’t use this scanner.
- It doesn’t have the best instructions. For example, the user guide has no mention of the MS-CAN & HS-CAN toggle switch. You’ll have to find it on your own.
Who Is It Built For?
The FORScan VINT-TT55502 is perfect for DIYers and enthusiasts. It offers just enough functions to allow you access to all OBD2 modules. If you’re a car dealer it may also come in handy when you need to inspect a car basically.Check Price at Amazon
5. ELM327 FORScan OBD2 Adapter
Yet another ELM327-based Ford scanner, the ELM327 FORScan OBD2 Adapter falls in the same price range as the FORScan VINT-TT55502. Unsurprisingly, these two are similar in so many ways. For starters, they are both Windows-based scanners that connect to a PC using a USB cable. Both devices give you access to all OBD2 modules and can turn off warning lights, including the Check Engine Light. So what makes this particular unit different? Well, it supports programming. That’s quite a feat for such an affordable Ford scan tool.
Like the FORScan VINT-TT55502 above, this adapter covers all Ford cars and light trucks that are OBD2-compliant (1996 and newer models). That includes the F-series (F150 all through F450), Mustang, Ranger, Fusion, Kuga, Explorer, Transit, S-Max and C-Max. It also works on 1996 and newer models of Lincolns, Mazdas, and Mercuries.
As mentioned already, the adapter is compatible with Windows PCs. Simply install an ELM327 software on your Windows PC/laptop, hook one end of the adapter to the OBD2 port and the other end (USB port) to your computer. With that, you’ll be set to run diagnostics on your car.
The scanner pulls and clears codes from all OBD2 modules. That shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as it supports all OBD2 protocols such as MS-CAN, HS CAN, HS CAN2, HS CAN3, and J1850PWM.
What does that imply? It means you can read and clear codes from all modules like the engine, ABS, SRS, and TMPS. You can use the scanner to reset the Check Engine Light and any other warning lights that appear on the dashboard.
Additionally, this Ford code reader displays live data from on-board sensors. You can view basic data like air flow rate, vehicle speed, and RPM to more complex data like throttle position, manifold pressure, coolant temperature, fuel trim, and crankshaft position.
It’s worth mentioning that you can also manipulate sensors and modules. For example, the scanner can enable and disable TPMS, navigation, door, hood, etc.
The best part about this scanner is that it can do basic programming. Specifically, it supports coding and adaptations. For example, you can use injector coding to calibrate communication between the engine control unit (ECU) and the injector control unit. Similarly, TPMS programming allows you to replace old TPMS sensors with new ones and program the new ones to communicate accurately with the ECU.
- Supports basic as well as advanced diagnostics
- Great value for money (very affordable)
- USB cable makes for a strong connection compared to wireless
- It’s a plug-and-play device
- Small, compact and portable
- Requires an ELM software to work; not a stand-alone scanner
- May affect the car’s running when its plugged and pulling data from multiple sensors
Who Is It Built For?
This Ford scan tool is ideal for enthusiasts and car dealers. It’s not as comprehensive as high-end models in terms of data display but still offers a good range of basic and advanced diagnostics.Check Price at Amazon
The Bottom Line
In short, each of the 5 Ford scan tools is suitable for a particular scenario. And they all come with varying price tags.
So no matter your budget you’re guaranteed to get a reliable Ford scan tool.
The Autophix 7710 is the perfect pick if you want to perform advanced diagnostics because this diagnostic tool offers a series of special features like programming and EPB function.
If you prefer a Forscan adapter then the OHP Forscan ELM327 is an excellent choice. With a strong Wi-Fi connection, the FORScan adapter allows you to turn your phone, tablet or computer into a diagnostic device.
If you own an OBD1 Ford car, never miss the INNOVA 3145. It’s the only one that can diagnose vehicles made between 1982 and 1995. But if your Ford car is OBD2 compliant then you may want to make your choice from the other four scanners.