5 Best Ancel Code Reader Review 2018

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In this article are 5 of the best Ancel code readers for your consideration. We have reviewed each one by highlighting its main features, pros and cons. It’s a short read, but just in case you don’t have the time to read the whole of it then perhaps the comparison table below may help.

ScannerUsers RatingVehicle CompatibilityMain FunctionsAction
ANCEL AD4104.3/5
OBD2 complaint vehiclesFull OBD2 diagnosis for resetting MIL; I/M
readiness, O2 sensor, on-board
monitor and EVAP
system tests.
See Details
ANCEL AD3104.6/5
-1996 and newer US-made cars.
-2000 and newer Asia and EU- made cars
Full OBD2 diagnosis for resetting MILSee Details
ANCEL AD5105/5
-1996 and newer US-made cars.
-2001 and newer
EU-made cars
-2005 and newer Asian-made cars
Full OBD2 diagnosis for resetting MIL; I/M
readiness, O2 sensor, EVAP,and battery monitor.
See Details
ANCEL AD2104.4/5-1996 and newer US-made cars.
-2000 and newer
Asia and EU- made cars
Full OBD2 diagnosis for
resetting MIL and
I/M readiness test.
See Details
ANCEL HD5104.3/512V and 24V light and heavy-duty OBD2 vehiclesFull OBD2 diagnosis for
resetting MIL, I/M
readiness test and
battery monitor
See Details

1. Ancel AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD2 Scanner

ANCEL AD310
(4.6 / 5)
An easy to use and ideal for beginners and ordinary car owners

The AD310 makes it so easy to retrieve trouble codes, identify faults and possibly fix them. With a sturdy, classic design, this AD310 is not just a top-performer but an attractive gadget as well. More importantly, it has all the features that you may need in a basic code reader.

Vehicle compatibility

This Ancel code reader works on all the mainstream vehicle brands that are OBD2 compatible. It specifically covers 1996 and newer US-based vehicles as well as 2000 and newer Asian and EU-based vehicles.

The OBD2 port is usually located either under the dash or just below the panel that holds the handbrake. Once you find the 16-pin port simply plug this code reader and you’ll be set to perform diagnostics. You may want to know that the scanner will only work if your vehicle runs on a 12V battery.

Diagnostic functions

Primarily a code reader, the AD310 reads and clears fault codes in the ECU (engine). Such faults usually bring the Check Engine Light on, so by clearing them the light will switch off. That is to say, this Ancel code reader reads manufacturer-specific, pending and historic codes.

Additionally, the scanner runs I/M readiness (smog) tests. And you can use it to retrieve a vehicle’s information (VIN). It also provides live data streams and freezes frame data during diagnostics. That is basically full OBD2 functionality.

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Construction and interface

At 8.9 x 6.9 x 1.4 inches, this Ancel code reader is a handheld device. Its weight is just 12 ounces, which shouldn’t be a problem to handle.

On the front side is a large LCD display with a resolution of 128 x 64 pixels. The full-color screen makes navigation quite easy. And you get to choose a preferred language from a list of eight options that include:

  • English
  • German
  • Frenc
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Dutch

Pros

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  • Handy device for turning off the check engine light and running smog tests.
  • An intuitive interface makes it easy to navigate.
  • Very affordable despite having high-end features.
  • The built-in library provides definitions for codes.
  • Wide vehicle compatibility.
  • Comes with 3-year manufacturer warranty.

Cons

  • Will not diagnose systems beyond the car’s engine. It won’t be of much help if you want codes for ABS, airbag, transmission and other systems.
  • Code definitions provided are not very clear, especially for beginners. You may still have to do an online search to figure what the code means.

Who Should Use It?

Despite those few drawbacks, this Ancel scanner is an amazing buy for beginners and ordinary car owners. The AD310 provides the basic functions that you may need. That is essentially reading and clearing engine codes so as to reset the check engine light (MIL).

2. Ancel AD410 Enhanced OBD2 Vehicle Code Reader

ANCEL AD410
(4.3 / 5)
Ancel AD410 is in fact designed for beginners and ordinary car owners

Primarily a code reader for the ECU, the Ancel AD410 will tell you what’s going on with your car before you take it to the shop. It runs diagnostic tests to determine engine-related faults.

Vehicle compatibility

The scanner is compatible with all 1996 and newer models of vehicles. Such vehicles are OBD2 compatible and feature a 16-pin OBD2 port where this Ancel code reader connects. You can find it either under the dash or below the handbrake panel.

Simply plug the device in the port and it will be good to go. It will initiate the diagnosis process automatically as soon as you turn on ignition.

Diagnostic functions

The first thing to know about the Ancel AD410 is that it supports all OBD2 protocols. They are

  • Controller Area Network (CAN)
  • ISO9141
  • J1850 PWM
  • J1850 VPW
  • KWP2000.

Never mind those technical terms. They only mean the scanner can read and clear all OBD2 codes in a vehicle’s ECU (engine system). And what that means is that you can use it to identify engine DTCs and switch the Check Engine Light off.

The Ancel code reader features a built-in lookup library with code definitions. Whenever you see a code that you don’t understand simply click on it and you’ll get a brief explanation. That’s precisely why this scanner is suitable for ordinary car owners and beginners alike.

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In addition to codes, the AD410 also performs I/M readiness tests, O2 sensor tests, onboard monitor tests and EVAP system tests. All those tests ensure that the car’s fuel system is efficient. The I/M test will tell you whether the vehicle’s emissions are within the required standards.

The code reader provides data in form of the live stream and freezes frame. You can also retrieve a vehicle’s information (VIN).

Construction and interface

A handheld device, the AD410 measures 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches. It has a weight of 11.2 ounces, which is pretty nice for portability.

Fitted on the scanner is a2.4-inch TFT QVGA screen for navigation and viewing of diagnostic results. The interface is very intuitive, you don’t really need a manual to find your way around the menus. You can switch between various languages that include:

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  • English
  • French
  • Germany
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Dutch
  • Portuguese.

Additional features

  • Upgradeable software: you can update the AD410’s software to fix bugs and add new diagnostic parameters.
  • Print option: if you wish to print out diagnostic results you can do so by clicking “Review and Print”. The scanner comes with a USB cable to PC connectivity.

Pros

  • Supports full OBD2 diagnostics plus additional special functions.
  • Very affordable unit.
  • Provides clear test results thanks to the TFT screen.
  • Simple-to-use layout.
  • Updates are free for the scanner’s lifetime

Cons

  • Apart from the engine, it doesn’t support the diagnosis of other primary systems like ABS, transmission and SRS.
  • Troubleshooting definitions and tips provided are not very clear, especially for beginners.

Who Should Use It?

Despite that slight drawback, the Ancel AD410 is in fact designed for beginners and ordinary car owners. It is simple to navigate and offers the basic functions that such a person would need. I.e. resetting the MIL and running I/M readiness, O2 senor, EVAP and onboard monitor tests.

3. Ancel AD510 Automotive Code Reader

A highly acclaimed code reader, the Ancel AD510 is loved for its simplicity in design and superiority in performance. It combines a rugged construction and handy functional features in an affordable unit.

Vehicle compatibility

This Ancel code reader works on OBD2 compliant vehicles. Typically OBD2 vehicles are those made from 1996 to date. However, the AD510 supports 1996 and newer US-made, 2001 and newer European-made and 2005 and newer Asian made models. It also works on a diesel vehicle, as long as the vehicle uses a 12V battery.

To start a scan, simply plug the scanner to the OBD2 port and then start the vehicle’s ignition. The device will power up and initiate a scan.

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Diagnostic functions

As an OBD2 compatible Ancel code reader, the AD510 supports all the OBD2 protocols. Those are

  • Controller Area Network (CAN)
  • ISO9141
  • J1850 PWM
  • J1850 VPW
  • KWP2000.

The Ancel code reader can also be used for I/M readiness, EVAP system and O2 sensor tests. These tests are meant to ensure that the engine is using fuel efficiently. They also show whether your car’s emissions are within the required standards.

Finally, the Ancel AD510 performs battery checks and monitoring. It will tell you the status of the battery in real-time. That voltage info generally protects the car from excessive voltage.

Construction and interface

A 1.5 pounder, this Ancel code reader measures 10.1 x 7.3 x 3 inches. Its body features a rugged and anti-shock exterior that shields the device from damage under impact. It is anti-slip too, which makes it ideal for auto works.

Besides the 2.8-inch TFT screen, this code reader also features three LEDs that provide light notifications during I/M readiness tests. Actually, there’s a dedicated I/M key to a one-touch diagnosis.

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Additional features

  • Live data: with this Ancel code reader you can view live data streams, live PCM, playbacks and freeze frame data. It can also store diagnostic info.
  • Vehicle information: the device retrieves VIN, CIN and CVN of a vehicle.
  • PC connectivity: included in the package is a USB cable for connecting the code reader to a PC. With that connection, you can print diagnostic info and also upgrade the scanner’s software online.

Pros

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  • The multilingual interface offers language options
  • Compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8, 10.
  • Supports full OBD2 diagnostics.
  • Offers special functions like I/M readiness test, battery monitoring and vehicle identification.
  • Provides live data on a screen and LED notifications.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a built-in battery. You have to rely on the car’s battery to run scans.
  • Can’t diagnose other primary vehicle systems like ABS, SRS and transmission.
  • Not compatible with Mac

Who is it built for?

Looking at the functionality and price of this Ancel code reader you can tell that it’s meant for ordinary car owners. It is a basic tool for resetting the MIL and performing the essential tests. Definitely not good enough for professional technicians but more than sufficient for a car owner.

4. Ancel AD210 OBD2 Car Code Reader

ANCEL AD210
(4.4 / 5)
The Ancel AD210 is a consumer code reader that’s ideal for ordinary car owners

Undoubtedly one of most affordable Ancel code readers you will find, the AD210 takes you back to the basics. No complicated functions, no overkill features. Just a simple-to-use scanner for turning off the Check Engine Light and running I/M monitor readiness tests.

Vehicle compatibility

Ancel’s AD210 is an OBD2 code reader. That means it works on OBD2 compliant vehicles. More specifically, the scanner supports 1996 and newer US-made as well as 2000 and newer Asian and European-made vehicles.

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Diagnostic functions

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It is primarily a code reader for reading and erasing ECU codes. One of the best things about the Ancel AD210 is that it has a database of code definitions. You won’t need to go online to find out what each code means.

In addition to codes, the Ancel scanner also performs I/M readiness monitor tests and retrieves vehicle information (CVN, VIN and CIN).

Construction and interface

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A solidly built scanner, the Ancel AD210 measures 9.1 x 7.1 x 1.4 inches. It weighs 10.4 ounces, which makes it a handheld device.

Scan results are displayed on a 128 x 32 pixel LCD screen. Its white backlight ensures clear visibility even in low lighting conditions. Available operation languages include:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Russian
  • Portuguese.

Pros

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  • Great deal for the price.
  • Wide vehicle compatibility.
  • Very effective at resetting the Check Engine Light.
  • Simple-to-use.
  • Lookup library makes diagnostic tasks easy to understand.
  • Comes with 2-year warranty.

Cons

  • Doesn’t support diagnosis of other systems beyond engine. For example you can’t use it for ABS, airbag and transmission codes.
  • Only supports 12V vehicles.

Who is it built for?

The Ancel AD210 is a consumer code reader that’s ideal for ordinary car owners. Most consumer cars and some SUVs and light trucks and minivans work with 12V batteries. Unless you’re dealing with a heavy-duty vehicle chance are this Ancel code reader will be compatible with your vehicle.

So the fact that it doesn’t support vehicle other than those running on 12V batteries shouldn’t be an issue. Overall it is a fantastic tool for keeping your vehicle’s engine health at its best.

5. Ancel HD510 Senior OBD2 Code Reader

ANCEL HD510
(4.3 / 5)
It may not cover many systems but the HD510 is still a great acquisition for car owners

If you’re looking for an code reader that supports both lightweight and heavy-duty vehicles then you’ve found it. As far as vehicle compatibility goes, the HD510 is designed to meet the needs of everybody.

Its functionality is not far off from perfection either. You can use it to turn the Check Engine Light off, read live data streams and perform the most essential diagnostic scans.

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Vehicle compatibility

The code reader is designed for OBD2 compliant vehicles. It works on US-made vehicles that were manufactured from 1996 to date as well as Asian and European vehicles made from 2005.

While most other code readers only cover cars and lightweight trucks, the Ancel HD510 includes heavy-duty trucks. It supports both 12V and 24V vehicles. The latter category consists of heavy-duty trucks, some of which have diesel engines.

Additionally, the scanner works with 6-pin, 9-pin and 16-pin OBD2 connectors.

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Diagnostic functions

The only thing more impressive that the HD510’s compatibility is its functionality. In a nutshell, the code reader supports all standard OBD2 protocols available in cars and heavy-duty trucks. It reads and clears generic, manufacturer-specific and pending codes

Additionally, this Ancel scanner performs I/M readiness tests, provides freeze frame data, PCM live data, retrieves vehicle information (VIN, CIN and CVN) and monitors battery power.

Construction and interface

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A 1.86-pounder, the HD510 is light enough to carry around as you work on a vehicle. It is a handheld device that measures 10.5 x 7.3 x 2.9 inches.

On the front side is a crispy clear LCD display and buttons. It’s easy to operate and features just seven buttons. Four are for navigation (up, down, left and right), one for selecting a menu item and one for exiting.

There’s a dedicated button for providing code definitions. You can switch between English, French and Spanish menus.

Pros

  • Supports cars and heavy-duty trucks.
  • Rugged and solid construction for durability.
  • Easy to use and provide code definitions.
  • Comes complete including 6-pin, 9-pin and 16-pin OBD2 connectors and a user manual.
  • Updates easily using a USB connection to PC.

Cons

Like most scanners here, the HD510 doesn’t support a diagnosis of other essential systems, particularly SRS, ABS and transmission.

Who Should Use It?

It may not cover many systems but the Ancel HD510 is still a great acquisition for car owners. It is designed for anybody who drives a lightweight or heavy-duty vehicle.

With it in your car you will always be able to read engine codes and find out the cause of the Check Engine Light without necessarily having to go to a mechanic. Plus it will help you run emissions tests.

RECOMMENDATION

Out of the 5 options above, which code reader should you ultimately settle for? Not sure yet? Perhaps this will help:

Our pick – Ancel AD410

ANCEL AD410
(4.3 / 5)
Ancel AD410 is in fact designed for beginners and ordinary car owners

Overall, the AD410 just edges the other code readers for several reasons. First it is compatible with virtually all US, Asian and European-made OBD2 vehicles made from 1996. Most other code readers only cover Asian and European vehicles made from 2000 or 2005.

It is also a very practical diagnostic tool with an amazing functionality. Besides codes, the code reader also supports I/M readiness, O2 sensor, on-board monitor and EVAP system tests. Plus it retrieves vehicle information. All those features are bundled in a very affordable unit.

Best Bargain – Ancel AD210

ANCEL AD210
(4.4 / 5)
The Ancel AD210 is a consumer code reader that’s ideal for ordinary car owners

You will part with just over $20 for this Ancel scanner. Not many diagnostic tools are this affordable. Even so, it supports reading and erasing ECU codes, I/M readiness tests and retrieval of vehicle information.

 

Best functionality – Ancel AD510 Automotive Code Reader

ANCEL AD510
(5 / 5)
Ancel AD510 is loved for its simplicity in design and superiority in performance. It combines a rugged construction and handy functional features in an affordable unit.

While most consumer-oriented Ancel code readers only read and clear ECU codes, this particular tool tests I/M readiness, EVAP system and O2 sensors. It also monitors the battery.

The Bottom Line

Ancel code readers are fantastic tools. They offer all the basic functions you need in a typical code reader. Equally important is their rugged design, simple-to- use interface and helpful database of code definitions. Even with little to no diagnostic knowledge you can use an Ancel code reader comfortably. Just make sure the one you pick is compatible with your vehicle and offers the functions you need. The guide above will certainly help you with that.