Most people will agree that the only thing better than having an OBD scanner is having a brand-specific OBD scanner. So, what’s the best Ford scan tool for those who own, drive or frequently perform diagnostics on Ford vehicles?
Read on and find out what I had to say. The review will include Ford OBD1 Scan Tools and Ford OBD2 Scan Tools.
- 1 Introduction To Ford Scan Tools
- 2 Best Ford OBD1 Code Reader Reviews
- 3 Best Ford OBD2 Scan Tool Reviews
- 3.1 3FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Ford Code Reader
- 3.2 4BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Ford Scan Tool
- 3.3 5VINT-TT55502 ELM327 OBDII Diagnostic Interface for Ford
- 3.4 6OHP ELMconfig Forscan OBD2 Adapter for Ford DIY Diagnostics on Windows
- 3.5 7Launch CRP123 OBD2 ABS SRS Transmission and Engine Ford Diagnostic Tool
- 4 Ford Scan Tool: Editor’s Top 3 Picks Comparison Chart
- 5 The Bottom Line And Recommendation
Introduction To Ford Scan Tools
A Ford scanner is just an OBD diagnostic tool that’s customized for Ford vehicles. The best Ford scan tool should be able to give you unparalleled access to all (or most) of the protocols used by Ford.
In other words, the scanner should allow you to scan as many onboard systems as possible. You will be able to reset the Check Engine Light (CEL), pull codes from all systems (like the engine, ABS, SRS, and transmission), check for emissions and perform reset functions (like oil service reset, ABS light reset, airbag light reset, etc.)
Besides, some Ford diagnostic tools feature advanced functions that are exclusive to the Ford brand of vehicles. For example, it may allow you to perform onboard tests, do relearns and adaptations, disable a lost key, program the ECU and so much more.
Despite bundling many functions, most Ford scanners are incredibly affordable. Of course, the tradeoff is that your scanner will only work on Ford cars. In some cases, it may be compatible with a few other brands.
Without further ado, how about we look at the top 7 Ford scanners as recommended by our experts. Here’s a comparison table to warm you up.
Best Ford OBD1 Code Reader Reviews
1INNOVA 3145 Ford OBD1 Code Reader
The INNOVA 3145 is a Ford OBD1 scanner that is priced as low as the VINT-TT55502. But there’s absolutely nothing cheap about this device.
First off, being an OBD1 scanner means that it is compatible with Ford vehicles that were made between 1982 and 1995. So if you have one of those vintage Ford cars or trucks, then this is your tool right here. Keep in mind that it is designed for Ford vehicles that use EEC-IV and MCU.
With this scanner, you can pull the engine as well as transmission codes. Once you have read the codes, you can proceed to turn off the Check Engine Light.
The one thing that can make this device the best Ford scan tool is its ease of use. It features a digital display that shows numeric codes. Traditionally, OBD1 code readers used flashing lights (that you had to count) to relay codes.
An even handier feature of the INNOVA 3145 is its step-by-step guide to performing diagnostics. You may need the procedure if you are new to the device. Overall, it makes a good buy for car owners who drive OBD1 Ford models.
- Very affordable
- Dital display eliminates the need to count light flashes
- Compatible with all OBD1 Ford vehicles that use EEC-IV and MCU
- Has built-in memory for storing codes
- Reads codes quickly
- Doesn’t erase codes. It will only tell you what’s wrong so that you can fix the issue and turn off the MIL
- Not the best for Ford cars that don’t use EEC-IV and MCU
2Actron CP9690 Ford OBD1 and 2 Code Reader
If you are in the market for a Ford OBD1 scanner that also supports OBD2 diagnostics, then the Actron CP9690 is your product. It’s designed to work on OBD1 cars and light trucks that were made between 1984 and 1995. As for OBD2 vehicles, it is compatible with 1996 and newer models.
In terms of functionality, the Actron CP9690 is primarily a code reader. As such it can display and erase engine, ABS, transmission and airbag codes. That goes for generic as well as manufacturer-specific codes.
Needless to say, when you erase engine codes you may turn off the MIL. And when you erase ABS and airbag codes, you may turn off their respective warning lights.
Other reset functions that you get with this scanner are oil light reset and battery reset. Additionally, the CP9690 features a battery monitor for battery management. The last thing you want is for your car battery to die on you.
Generally speaking, this Ford scanner doesn’t have as many functions as the Launch CRP123 (above), but it has a more-than-impressive vehicle coverage. So if you want a tool for checking the basic systems (engine, transmission ABS and SRS) in OBD1 and OBD2 cars, then this one makes a good buy. It is ideal for ordinary car owners.
- Compatible with OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles
- Comes with OBD1 cables and OBD2 connector
- Graphs live engine data
- Can record and playback live data
- Features Actron’s CodeConnect; a database consisting of millions of fixes for all the typical car issues
- Limited functionality; mostly useful for codes
- A few complaints about durability
Best Ford OBD2 Scan Tool Reviews
3FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Ford Code Reader
Built with a 2.8-inch TFT screen, the FOXWELL NT301 is arguably the best Ford scan tool for ordinary car owners who need to check why the MIL is on, reset the MIL, monitor emissions and diagnose the emissions system.
It supports reading and clearing of engine codes. Designed with auto-VIN, this Ford code reader starts by identifying your car automatically. From there it will do an auto scan and display all the engine and emissions-related codes.
Each code comes with a description to help you understand what’s wrong with your car. If you are a DIY type of person, the description should go a long way in helping you fix the car. Once it’s fixed, you can clear the code(s) and turn off the MIL.
With regards to emissions, the NT301 not only checks the I/M readiness but also diagnoses the EVAP system. It has a one-click I/M readiness key for monitoring emissions. Alternatively, you can use red, yellow and green LEDs to interpret I/M readiness status quickly.
On matters live data, this Ford OBD2 scanner can display live sensor data from the engine and EVAP system. The sensors include O2 monitors, misfire monitor, EVAP system monitor, large components monitor and many more. You can choose to view the data either as text or graphs.
In sum, this Ford scanner offers all the essentials that a car owner needs to keep track of the engine and emissions systems.
- Capable of resetting the Check Engine Light
- Small and compact for easy storage and portability
- Compatible with gasoline and diesel-powered Ford vehicles that use a 12V battery
- Supports up to 7 OBD2 protocols
- Provides code definitions to help those who are new to DTCs
- Reasonably priced for car owners
- Limited functionality; doesn’t diagnose other systems besides the engine
- Compatibility issues with some Ford cars, like the 2014 Ford Focus
4BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Ford Scan Tool
The BlueDriver Bluetooth OBD2 scanner is the best Ford scan tool for DIYers and enthusiasts who love OBD2 adapters. Measuring 2.2 x 1.9 x 1 inch, this tiny dongle pairs with your Android or iOS mobile device via Bluetooth. Once the connection has been established, you can use the dongle, together with the Bluedriver OBD2 app, to run diagnostics straight from your mobile device (smartphone or tablet).
One good thing about buying this Ford OBD2 scanner is that you get the Bluedriver app for free. The app lets you read and clear DTCs in all available systems, including engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS. It, therefore, makes it possible to turn off the CEL and other warning lights.
Besides, the scanner and app combo provides a ton of helpful data. Top on the list is live data. You can view multiple PIDs either as texts, gauges or graphs. Either way, the data will help you pinpoint faulty sensors and monitors.
The second set of data is to freeze frame data. With the BlueDriver Bluetooth scanner, you will be able to see the exact time and conditions when a code was recorded. That info should help you understand why the fault occurred in the first place.
In addition to the above, this Ford diagnostic tool performs a smog check, displays Mode 6 data and provides code definitions as well as printable diagnostic reports and possible fixes for each problem. That’s why it’s arguably the best Ford scan tool for enthusiasts.
While the Bluedriver app is compatible with Android and iOS devices, the adapter works on all OBD2-complaint Ford vehicles.
- Connects wirelessly with mobile devices using Bluetooth
- Brings diagnostic to your fingertips (on your mobile device)
- Very affordable
- Comes with the Bluedriver app for free
- Can be left plugged in the vehicle to collect and report diagnostic data in real time
- Could drain car battery if left unplugged
- Too advanced for beginners and too basic for professionals
5VINT-TT55502 ELM327 OBDII Diagnostic Interface for Ford
If you are looking for the best Ford scan tool for the budget, then you will love the VINT-TT55502. This ELM327-based scanner is compatible with any Ford car or light truck that is a 1996 or newer model.
Note that the VINT-TT55502 is an interface, not a stand-alone Ford scanner. For that reason, you have to connect it to a computer to run diagnostics. It has an attached USB cable for that purpose.
The good news is that it’s compatible with all versions of Windows from XP all through Windows 10.
The bad news is that it doesn’t work on other operating systems. So if you predominantly use a Mac or Linux computer, you may have to switch to Windows, which might be your most brilliant decision considering what this tiny device can do.
First off it supports reading and erasing codes on all available modules. You can view and clear codes from the engine, ABS, SRS, transmission, etc., which makes it the perfect tool for resetting the MIL and other warning lights.
Speaking of resetting systems, the VINT-TT55502 supports several service procedures. They include oil service reset, EPB reset, SAS reset, DPF regeneration and pretty much every other service procedure that can be performed on a Ford vehicle.
To round everything off, this Ford OBD2 scanner supports component activation and ECU reprogramming. Whenever a component is replaced (like tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensor or vehicle speed sensor (VSS), it needs to be activated before it can start functioning. That is what is known as component activation.
In some cases, you may have to recalibrate the ECU to recognize the new component. That is called ECU reprogramming or ECU programming. The VINT-TT55502 supports both of those functions.
A wide range of functions makes this tool the best scan tool for Ford cars’ owners who are on a shoestring budget.
- Compatible with all Ford cars and light trucks; both gas and diesel
- Excellent tool for basic and advanced diagnostics
- Supports ECU programming and component activation
- Very affordable
- High speed data transfer of 500kbit/s
- Poor instructions
- Requires a Windows PC to work
6OHP ELMconfig Forscan OBD2 Adapter for Ford DIY Diagnostics on Windows
The OHP ELMconfig Forscan is a lot like the VINT-TT55502. They are both ELM327-based adapters. Additionally, both devices are compatible with OBD2-compliant Ford vehicles, and they work with Windows PCs only.
The ELMconfig Forscan supports the same functions as the VINT-TT55502. It can read and erase codes in all available modules. They include engine, ABS, SRS, transmission, etc.
Besides, this Ford diagnostic tool can perform service procedures as oil service reset, EPB reset, SAS reset, DPF regeneration, etc. It also displays live data just in case you need to monitor the performance of the engine or a sensor.
Finally, the adapter can perform component activation and ECU reprograming. As mentioned earlier, these functions are necessary after one or more components have been replaced.
Just like the VINT-TT55502, this small device is ideal for car owners who have OBD2 Ford cars. It’s also affordable and therefore won’t dent your pocket much.
- Offers both basic and advanced diagnostic functions
- Compatible with all gasoline and diesel-powered Ford vehicles that are OBD2-compliant
- Very affordable
- Transfers data at a constant speed of 500kbit/s
- Unlocks all the functions of Forscan diagnostic software
- Compatible with Windows OS only
- The USB cable is too weak and seems that it can break easily
7Launch CRP123 OBD2 ABS SRS Transmission and Engine Ford Diagnostic Tool
When it comes to bang for the buck, the Launch CRP123 is undoubtedly the best Ford scan tool. Priced at under $150, this OBD2 scanner features auto-VIN, can pull codes, erase codes, check emissions, display live and freeze frame data, do data logging and provide step-by-step guides.
Now, let’s start from the beginning. When you connect the Launch CRP123, it will automatically display the model of your Ford car. The scanner uses auto-VIN to do that.
From there you can proceed to scan all the systems or the ones you select. In total, it supports the diagnosis of the four main systems. They are the engine, transmission, ABS, and SRS.
For that system the CRP123 can read and erase generic, manufacturer-specific, current, pending and permanent codes. It follows that this Ford diagnostic tool can reset the MIL as well as ABS and airbag warning lights.
Besides codes, the CRP123 is built to display plenty of information. The list includes live data, freeze frame data and I/M readiness status. You can choose to view your live data as texts or graphs. Either way, this scanner allows you to record, save and play it back at a later time (data logging). You can even print it.
Alongside I/M readiness tests, the Launch CRP123 performs many other emissions-related tests. They include O2 sensor test, EVAP test, and advanced on-board monitoring test. Combined, these tests check whether your car will pass emissions and also whether your EVAP system has a fault.
Overall, the Launch CRP123 earns a spot among the best Ford diagnostic tools for DIYers and enthusiasts. It is reasonably priced and helps you find your way by providing code definitions and diagnostic guides.
- Can read ANY code on Ford vehicle that’s OBD2-compliant
- Supports scanning of all four major systems
- Comes with lifetime free software updates
- Represents great value for money
- Well-built with a large 3.5-inch screen and full-color display
- SD card included allows you to upload the data of one car only. if you have two or more cars, you may need two or more SD cards
- Supports diagnosis of basic systems only
Ford Scan Tool: Editor’s Top 3 Picks Comparison Chart
INNOVA 3145 Ford OBD1 Code Reader
FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Ford Code Reader
BlueDriver Bluetooth OBD2 Ford Scan Tool
4.2 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.4 / 5
|Check Engine Light Reset||✔||✔||✔|
|ABS & SRS||✖||✖||✔|
|Full OBDII Modes||✖||✖||✔|
|Full System Scan||✖||✖||✔|
The Bottom Line And Recommendation
There are more Ford diagnostic tools that we can have in this review. That’s why we only picked those that offer the most while costing as little as possible. If you are an enthusiast, DIYer or professional mechanic, you’re likely to love the BlueDriver and Launch CRP123.
But if you don’t mind using an adapter and PC, you could consider either the VINT-TT55502 or OHP ELMconfig Forscan. The two are practically identical. And if you prefer a Ford diagnostic tool that covers both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles, then it only makes sense to go with the Actron CP9690.