FOXWELL NT301 vs. ANCEL AD530 vs. AD310: Which Is the Best?

Determining the cause of the annoying Check Engine Light is easier than ever before with the best OBD2 scanner. This FOXWELL NT301 vs. ANCEL AD530 vs. AD310 comparison article will help you pick the ideal diagnostic tool to identify your vehicle’s problem.

It’s no doubt that FOXWELL and ANCEL are two iconic brands. I’ve picked out three models close in price range but with distinct features to suit different car owners. Here’s a complete look at their similarities and differences.

See how they compare in this detailed comparison chart.

FOXWELL NT301 vs. ANCEL AD530 vs. AD310: Complete Comparison Table

Foxwell NT301
Foxwell NT301
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ANCEL AD530
ANCEL AD530
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ANCEL AD310
ANCEL AD310
Check Price
Customer Rating
4.5
4.6
4.6
PriceFoxwell NT301 priceANCEL AD510 priceANCEL AD310 price
Product Dimensions8.66" x 3.15" x 6.69"10.4" x 7.9" x 1.1"8.6" x 6.6" x 0.3"
Item Weight17.28 oz14.4 oz9.6 oz
Software CompatibilityWindows 7, 8, 10Windows XP, 7, 8, 10Windows 7, 8, 10
Test SystemEngine SystemEngine SystemEngine System
OBD2 Modes Support10107
Read and Clear SRS Codes----
All System Diagnosis✔ (BMW, Mini, Rolls Royce before 2020)✔ (VAG vehicles)--
Battery Maintenance (BMS)----
Internet Updateable--
Vehicle Compatibility2001+ US, 2004+ European, 2006+ French, 2007+ Japanese, 2011+ Chinese 12V diesel and gasoline vehicles.Most 1996+ US based, 2000+ European, & 2005+ Asian 12V diesel and gasoline vehicles.Most 1996+ US based and 2000+ Asian & European 12V diesel and gasoline vehicles.
The FOXWELL NT301, ANCEL AD530, and AD310 are plug-and-play devices since that connect to the vehicle using an OBD2 cable

FOXWELL NT301 vs. ANCEL AD530 vs. AD310: Key Things in Common

These three models have a few similarities starting with that they are plug-and-play devices since they connect to the vehicle using an OBD2 cable. In addition, they work with most 1996 and newer OBD2-compliant vehicles.

These scan tools support multiple languages and have a keypad menu-driven navigation. They have color screens for a nice view. Lastly, you’ll be able to update the software on all three devices for more functions and vehicle support.

FOXWELL NT301 vs. ANCEL AD530 vs. AD310: Key Differences Explained

Design and Specification

The overall design of these scanners seems similar. Nonetheless, each device has its unique features. The FOXWELL NT301 is the heaviest, at 17.7 ounces, while the ANCEL AD310 is the lightest. Furthermore, FOXWELL NT301 and ANCEL AD530 have a TFT screen, while the ANCEL AD310 has a backlit LCD interface. It also has a contrast adjustment to see effortlessly in the sun.

Both FOXWELL NT301 and ANCEL AD530 have eight operation buttons, while the ANCEL AD310 has four. The AD310 model is what you can call a classic menu that’s easy for beginners. The other two units are intensive, but they have hotkeys like the I/M readiness key on the FOXWELL model or the “i” key on the ANCEL AD530.

If you’re looking for the most straightforward device, the ANCEL AD310 is my top choice. It has a compact design that allows just about everyone to use it.

ANCEL AD310
ANCEL AD310
4.7
The ANCEL AD310 is a good option for novices. If you’ve never tried your hand at reading diagnostic trouble codes, this device gives you an easy place to start.

Overall Features and Functions

These scanners have comparable overall features and functions. They all read and clear trouble codes from the engine. In addition, they have an inbuilt DTC library where you can read the code’s definition. Hence, you’ll know whether to take the vehicle in for repairs or buy parts and perform the repairs at home.

All three scanners can stream live data and retrieve your vehicle’s information, including the VIN, CVN, and CIN. They can also read freeze frame data and show I/M readiness status.

Extra Features and Functions

The ANCEL AD530 and the FOXWELL NT301 have ten OBD2 modes, including enhanced Mode 6 and Mode 8. Also, these scanners have enhanced code definitions with the “HELP” button on the FOXWELL NT301 scanner or the “i” button on the ANCEL AD530 scanner.

The ANCEL AD530 can perform a full system diagnosis on VAG vehicles, including Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley, Seat, and Skoda vehicles. It can also graph the car’s battery status. Therefore, you can see real-time data of 12V batteries and battery fluctuations from 8V to 18V.

While the ANCEL devices only allow observing live data, the FOXWELL scanner can log that data for later viewing. Moreover, it has a built-in speaker and green, red, and yellow LEDs to tell you the seriousness of a code. If the speaker bothers you, it’s easy to turn it off on the menu.

The FOXWELL NT301 performs full diagnostics on BMW, Mini, and Rolls Royce vehicles. In addition, it can reset the oil light and EPB on these brands.

The ANCEL AD530 is a superior option due to its advanced battery test feature. Hence, it’s your go-to model when you want to access more than the basics in a diagnostic scanner at its price range.

ANCEL AD530
ANCEL AD530
4.6
The ANCEL AD530 scanner has plenty of functions that DIYers, car enthusiasts, and mechanics will find useful.

Supported Protocols

FOXWELL NT301, ANCEL AD530, and ANCEL AD310 support all five OBD2 protocols. They work with KWP 2000, ISO 9141, J1850PW, J1850 PWM, and CAN (Controller Area Network).

Supported Vehicle Makes

The FOXWELL NT301 is compatible with US vehicles from 2001 and European models from 2004. It can read codes from French-made cars starting from 2006, while Asian models are covered from 2007 for Japanese and 2011 for Chinese brands.

The ANCEL AD530 device works with US models starting from 1996 and European brands from 2000. Furthermore, it is compatible with Asian vehicles starting from the year 2005. The ANCEL AD310 has the widest compatibility since it supports US brands from 1996 and European and Asian cars from the year 2000.

With the ANCEL AD530, you can access codes from many high-end European vehicles such as Audi, Bentley, BMW, and Jaguar. It’s also ideal for Asian makes such as Lexus, Subaru, Toyota, Hyundai, and Mazda.

The FOXWELL NT301, on the other hand, is better for BMW, Mini, and Rolls Royce cars, while the ANCEL AD310 can work on just about any US vehicle since it’s an entry-level unit.

Software and Updates

These OBD2 scan tools offer free lifetime software updates. It’s perhaps their best aspect since you’ll never have to pay to get better speed, read more codes, or fix bugs.

Reliability

ANCEL AD530 has a 32MB flash memory chip, making it the fastest of the three scanners. It’s also the most advanced regarding the functions it can complete on the supported vehicles. Nonetheless, the FOXWELL NT301 is not far behind since it is equally fast and can perform full diagnostics on three vehicle brands. The ANCEL AD310 has the easiest-to-use features and broad vehicle compatibility. Thus, it’s a reliable option for checking trouble codes.

The FOXWELL NT301 is the most reliable in its price range since it’s fast and accurate. It supports basic and advanced functions that most people will find helpful.

Foxwell NT301
Foxwell NT301
4.5
The FOXWELL NT301 gadget is a great tool for everyday drivers and car enthusiasts. It’s not as advanced as the ANCEL AD530, but the value is excellent for the money.

Pros and Cons

FOXWELL NT301

Pros

  • SFree lifetime updates
  • Three language packages
  • Can perform O2 sensor test
  • Generic and manufacturer codes

Cons

  • Clears engine DTCs only
  • Product instructions are a bit vague
  • Incompatible with Mac OS

Foxwell NT301

Foxwell NT301

Rating

Read more: FOXWELL NT301: Universal Full-OBD2 Scanner Honest Review

ANCEL AD530

Pros

  • Simple error code definition using the “i” key
  • Prints out error codes
  • Free software updates for life
  • Enhanced code definitions
  • Can read codes from ABS and SAS

Cons

  • Might suddenly freeze
  • Not compatible with Mac OS

ANCEL AD530

ANCEL AD530

Rating

ANCEL AD310

Pros

  • Can perform EVAP leak test
  • Compact design
  • No need for batteries
  • Can retrieve hard memory data
  • Long 2.5 ft. cable
  • Sturdy construction

Cons

  • A bit slow to read trouble codes
  • Instructions are unclear
  • Not as accurate as advanced scanners

ANCEL AD310

ANCEL AD310

Rating

Bonus: ANCEL AD310: Classic Universal OBDII Code Reader Review

Recommendation (who should take each?)           

The FOXWELL NT301 gadget is a great tool for everyday drivers and car enthusiasts. It’s not as advanced as the ANCEL AD530, but it’s a pleasure to use for various functions. This model gives you the results you want while providing value for money.

The ANCEL AD530 scanner has plenty of functions that DIYers, car enthusiasts, and mechanics will find useful. With its advanced onboard monitoring system and battery checks, this tool is a worthy investment.

The ANCEL AD310 is a good option for novices. If you’ve never tried your hand at reading diagnostic trouble codes, this device gives you an easy place to start. The interface is simple, and it can even perform an EVAP test. Hence, although you get simple features, you can explore common trouble codes that trigger the check engine light.

FAQs

1. Do these scanners, FOXWELL NT301, ANCEL AD530, and ANCEL AD310 require charging?

No, these scanners draw power from the vehicle’s battery once you plug them in using their OBD2 cables. To this end, it’s a good practice to unplug them after completing diagnostics since they will continue to use the battery’s power after you turn off the engine.

2. Can FOXWELL NT301 and ANCEL AD530 perform bidirectional tests?

No, these devices do not have bidirectional control. Although they support the ten OBD2 modes, these scanners can examine the ECU but cannot actuate components. Nonetheless, you can see the examination results for certain elements such as fuel trim, engine coolant, and fuel pressure.

3. Can you tell faults that don’t trigger the check engine light?

Yes, with the FOXWELL NT301 and ANCEL AD350. If your car is bogging down and you don’t know what could be the problem, looking at the real-time data can help you pinpoint the issue. For example, the O2 sensors could be faulty, or the fuel trim could be down to a trivial degree like -30%, and the ECU hasn’t thrown a code yet. Therefore, you’ll get ahead of the problem before it warrants expensive repairs.

4. Can these scanners read ABS or SRS codes?

No, these devices only access codes from the engine and cannot read codes outside of the OBD2. However, the FOXWELL can do a full system scan on BMW, Mini, and Rolls Royce, while ANCEL AD530 can access codes from VAG vehicles. Still, they will not clear DTCs from systems other than the engine.

Read more: Foxwell NT301 Plus vs. NT301: Never buy it if you still don’t know what makes it different from its brother

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