5 Best Diagnostic Scanners for Ford

In this article, we help you choose the best OBD2 scanner for Ford. We share our hands-on experience and research to pick the Top 5 Best OBD2 Scanners for Ford vehicles. 

  • BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Scan Tool 

BlueDriver the best OBD2 scanner for Ford

The BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth can turn your Android or iPhone into a powerful diagnostic scanner. It works on most cars but on Ford vehicles it is capable of reading and clearing 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. 

  • Launch Creader

 

The Launch Creader  ( also known as VII+, CRP123)  scanners have been around for a long time. You have a couple of 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 who are 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.

  • Autel Maxisys | Maxicom

autel maxicom for ford

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 diagnostic scanner used at the Ford dealerships. 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, offers bi-directional communication and affordability.

It is easy to use, and it does not require a laptop, training by Ford or IDS software. Autel Maxisys can read, erase, program, initiate, activate sensors and do a lot more.

It's more expensive than the rest of the scanners in this list but if you are looking for an alternative to Ford dealer scanner, the Autel Maxisys is the best choice.

For those on a tight budget and don't need bi-direction capabilites, check out Autel MaxiCOM

  • INNOVA 3150

INNOVA 3150

Not only can it read and erase the Check Engine warning light on any Ford 1996 and newer but it also able to retrieve ABS and SRS fault codes. It can retrieve genetic error codes (codes starting with Pxxxx) for most cars.

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 just one time. If your transmission is acting up, plug the INNOVA 3150 into the OBD-II port located under the dashboard to retrieve the fault codes.

You will get a description of the problem right on the display of INNOVA 3150.

  • Foxwell NT614 Scanner

Foxwell NT414 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, Volvo. If you have other cars that you maintain this may be a sound investment. This scanner also provides live data and freeze frame.

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 are trying to pinpoint a problem on your Ford.

It allows you to graph live data, freeze frame, I/M readiness, Oxygen Sensor monitoring.

  • Ford IDS

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 and then 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 is 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 is not able to connect to the server to validate the license.

Note that the VCM interface supports Ford vehicles from 1996 to 2014. Newer vehicles that use CAN network require an IDS with the VCM2 capability.

Conclusion

Ford cars and SUVs are getting more and more sophisticated every year. With so many features and advanced systems, it may seem difficult at first to work on newer Ford. The good news is that if you have the right tools they are quite easy to diagnose.

For DIYers, the best Ford scanner is the BlueDriver Bluetooth adapter that turns your smartphone into a diagnostic tool 

For auto mechanics, the best Ford scanner is the Autel Maxisys or if you don't need bi-directional capabilites the less expensive Autel MaxiCOM

Here we take a look at some of the best OBD2 scanners for Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The scanners we looked at are not generic OBD2 scanners. Scanners listed here allow you to diagnose multiple systems including Airbag, Transmission, ABS, Engine and other control units.

Ford Vehicles OBD-II Protocol

The scanners listed here 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 be able to use any of scanners in this list. Those vehicles don't have an OBD II port but an OBD I.

You can use an INNOVA 3145 which will be able to diagnose older Ford vehicles that have OBD I.

Ford