The Ancel VD500 is an affordable, professional code OBD2 scan tool that can run a variety of diagnostic functions and clear a range of trouble codes. Whether you just need a diagnostic scanner to turn off the oil reset and check engine light, or you want to complete some more complex repairs, the Ancel VD500 OBD II tool will be able to help out every step of the way.
This scan tool packs some great features that you’d only expect to find on much more expensive devices, such as Throttle Position Adaption and brake pad reset functions. In this review of the Ancel VD500, we’ll take you through some of the scanner’s key features and give you an overview of the device so that you can decide whether or not this is one of the scan tools that you should be considering for your workshop.
The first section of the review will give a rough overview of the VD500’s features. Then we’ll look at the scanner’s functionality and compatibility in more depth. The final part of the review will give our own verdict on the Ancel VD500 OBD2 tool, and whether we recommend it to mechanics.
The Ancel VD500 is a diagnostic scan tool, that is mainly designed for the Volkswagen group of vehicle manufacturers, known as a VAG COM Scanner. This group includes VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat and more. This scan tool for VW has a lot of the classic features of an OBD2 scanner that you would expect to find. For example, the VD500 can turn off the check engine light, which is useful for after you’ve finished a repair and don’t need the warning light anymore. The diagnostic tool can also turn off other warning lights, such as the oil service reset indicator.
Being an OBD diagnostic tool, the Ancel VD500 is also an effective code reader. It can read read various trouble codes from across the vehicle’s full system, including ABS and SRS systems. The Ancel VD500 will let you know what the trouble codes mean, so that you can straight to fixing the problem. This is a useful feature and will definitely save a mechanic a lot of time since they don’t have to be researching error codes themselves. After completing the repair, the Ancel can clear the pending error codes. The Ancel VD500 is particularly effective as an SRS code reader and will clear SRS error codes fast and accurately.
The VD500 also includes some advanced functions that are impressive at its very reasonable price point. For example the Ancel VD500 can check the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and turn off the check tire pressure warning light. It can also check the immobiliser and battery systems to ensure they are both working smoothly and correctly. This makes the Ancel VD500 OBD2 tool quite an advanced little code clearer, that can clear codes and return your system to normal with ease.
Aside from being a great code reader and clearer, the VD500 OBD II tool can also run effective full system diagnosis tests. An area that it performs particularly well in is with regards to the O2 sensor technology. Most OBD2 compatible vehicles will have oxygen sensors built in, both to monitor the fuel/air ratio mix, and to monitor the emissions levels. These sensors are very useful, but sometimes the sensors can get damaged and give false readings. This causes confusion because the technician doesn’t know if the problem is with the oxygen airflow, or with the actual sensors themselves. Either way, the Ancel VD500 will be able to help you uncover what’s going on thanks to its constant monitoring of the O2 sensors.
The Ancel VD500 can also deal with emission related codes and can run diagnostics on the emission system in general. It uses things like the oxygen sensors on either side of the catalytic converter to calculate emission levels, and give you rough idea of whether or not your vehicle is likely to pass a smog test. This is a great feature, and saves a lot of time and money when compared with taking your car off for a full and complex emissions test.
The Ancel VD500 is very easy to use, with a straightforward design and menu system. The menus themselves are easy to navigate and won’t be causing loads of frustration. This is quite refreshing, since most OBD2 scanners have quite complex and confusing menu systems that only seasoned mechanics will be able to understand. The VD500 really simplifies OBD2 scanning, whilst still offering a professional level of functionality.
The device’s screen is backlit with nice LED lighting, so that screen is clear and bright in all lighting conditions. There’s nothing worse than trying to read a dimly lit screen in a bright room, especially when you’re trying to complete vehicle repairs. There are four large panel buttons under the screen, which are again easy to use. A good advantage of this system over a touch screen diagnostic tool, is that the scan tool can be operated whilst wearing gloves and you don’t have to remove them every time you want to run a quick test.
The Ancel VD500 is built with the VAG (Volkswagen Auto Group) series of brands in mind. These include VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat and more. For these vehicle makes, the VD500 can read and clear ABS, SRS and transmission codes. It can also do an Oil Service reset, adapt the throttle position, and run full system diagnoses.
Having said that, this diagnostic scanner also has some limited functionality with car makes that fall outside the VAG group. For example the Ancel VD500 can read and clear engine fault codes and read general vehicle information for none Volkswagen vehicles. This makes the scan tool slightly more versatile and means that you’re not fully tied down to just VAG vehicles.
Car makes like Volkswagen, Audi and Seat are extremely common though, so having an Ancel VD500 is usually going to be the ideal tool for lots of the vehicles that come into the workshop. If you have a workshop that only works with VAG vehicles, then this scan tool is absolutely ideal for you.
Having a good level of vehicle coverage is important since the mechanic never really knows what they are going to be dealing with and repairing next. The Ancel VD500 is a great option since it will be able to cope well with any VAG car makes, and also offer functionality for other vehicles as well. You’re unlikely to come across an OBD2 vehicle that the Ancel VD500 won’t be able to help you out with.
It’s important to note that the Ancel VD500 is an OBD2 only scanner, so won’t be able to run diagnostics on cars that are OBD1 compatible. This is common with nearly al OBD2 scanners though, so isn’t a negative of the Ancel at all. OBD1 compatible vehicles are those built in 1995 or earlier, whilst OBD2 are vehicles that were built in 1996 or later. Just be sure to have the vehicle information on hand to know whether the VD500 is going to be compatible.
This part of the Ancel VD500 review will take a more in depth look at some of the features of this scan tool.
Read and clear error codes
For all OBD2, Volkswagen group vehicles the Ancel VD500 can read and clear a variety of different error codes across a range of vehicle systems. Whether you’re having problems with the ABS, SRS or transmission codes, the VD500 will be able to highlight any issues and give the mechanic a clearer picture on what repairs they need to make.
The Ancel VD500 scan tool VW can also read codes for more complicated systems, such as the emission system for example. Even if the vehicle that you are testing isn’t manufactured by a VAG group brand, you’ll still be able to read and clear basic error codes. The Volkswagen Auto Group includes makes such as Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat.
Turn off warning lights
The Ancel VD500 can also turn off vehicle warning lamps. It can deactivate the check engine light, as well as run an Oil Service reset. Being able to turn off the warning lights is essential and something that you’ll always want to do after a repair. This is so that the warning light can illuminate next time there is a problem. If you weren’t able to deactivate the Oil service light, then in the future you’d never know if a new problem developed.
Although this feature is common amongst good quality OBD2 diagnostic scanners, the Ancel VD500 performs this function very well. It’s fast and accurate and will save plenty of time in the busy workshop.
This 2021 OBD tool can quickly and accurately read vehicle information. It can automatically recognise a car’s VIN number, and adjust the available functions accordingly. This is a great time saving feature and means the mechanic doesn’t waste any time having to look up a vehicle’s VIN and then entering it into the scan tool manually.
It can also retrieve ECU information, which are readings from the car’s main CPU. These readings include things like actuator information and vehicle coding, and can be quick ways to spot any potential issues that might be developing within the car’s internal systems.
The VIN and ECU information is very important if you’re considering buying a new car. The VIN will give you the identity of vehicle, so you’ll know its true age, whilst the ECU readings will tell you a lot about the overall condition of the car. These are definitely things you need to know before parting with any hard earned cash.
Brake Pad Reset
Another interesting member of the diagnostic functions is the brake pad reset function. This allows you to reset the pad sensors after adjusting their position or replacing them with new, thicker pads. This is yet another very useful feature, and will help the mechanic when doing one of the most common vehicle repairs – changing the brake pads. Resetting the sensor is important so that you know when the pads need to be replaced again in the future.
The software that runs on the Ancel VD500 greatly increases the usability of the scan tool, and makes it accessible to all levels of proficiency. The main menu loads up automatically when the scanner is connected up to a vehicle, and from there the user can access all the features that we’ve already talked about.
The intuitive software and menu system is operated by 4 large buttons underneath the screen. The buttons are large enough to be able to be used whilst wearing gloves, which is helped by the fact that this is not a touch screen device. This device is much easier to use than a lot of other scan tools on the market.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity OBD2 scanner however, it still has enough professional standard features that mean it can compete with a lot of more expensive scan tools.
The simple and compact design of the Ancel OBD2 scanner is one of its best features. What’s more impressive is the amount of effective diagnostic functions that Ancel manage to pack into this compact design. Car owners and mechanics are sure to be impressed at what they can do with the Ancel VD500, even if they don’t have much prior knowledge about OBD II tools and their uses.
The 4 button keypad is also a very usable layout, and will make using the Ancel VD500 a real pleasure to use. Whether you want to run an Oil service or even a full system ABS, SRS test, you can menu search at the touch of one of the buttons.
The Ancel VD500 is an excellent code clearer and reader that performs at levels beyond what its affordable price point would suggest. It can quickly and accurately read error codes from the ABS, SRS and transmission systems. These error codes quickly let you know what the problem is with the vehicle, so that you can get going with the repair straight away.
If you’re not working with VAG group vehicles, then there’s no need to worry, the Ancel VD500 still offers a range of basic code reading and diagnostic functions for the vehicles that its not fully compatible with.
Aside from code reading, the Ancel VD500 includes some great diagnostic functions, such as being able to uncover problems with the O2 sensors. This is particularly useful since emission and air flow issues are often confused with problems with the O2 sensors themselves. The Ancel VD500 will let you know what the real problem is and help with all types of engine diagnosis.
Need to reset the brake sensors after replacing the pads? Use the Ancel VD500. Need to adjust the tire pressure monitor system? Use the Ancel VD500!
The advanced functions included on the Ancel VD500 really make it a device that performs much better than you’d expect from an affordable engine diagnosis tool.
The Ancel VD500 is an extremely reliable device. Its rugged design mean that it won’t be getting damaged from any accidental drops, which we know happens all the time in the workshop. The screen is well protected by a thick layer of plastic so there’s no need to worry if you drop a spanner on it.
In conclusion, the Ancel VD500 is an excellent budget OBD II tool for Volkswagen Group car brands. It has a great range of diagnostic functions and available and like all Ancel scanners, is a great car code reader. Whatever car diagnostics you need to run, this Ancel device will have you covered.
As you can probably tell from this review, we’re big fans of the Ancel VD500, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a professional quality scan tool, without the excessive price tag.
Using the Ancel VD500 is as simple as plugging it into your vehicles OBD2 port, usually located under the steering wheel or near the glove box on the passenger side.
After it has been plugged in, the Ancel main menu will automatically appear, and you can start running diagnostics straight away. Our review above goes into more detail about this Ancel product and explain all the different diagnostics that it can do. It can do a lot more than just turn off the check engine light!
The Ancel VD700 is a slightly more advanced version of the Ancel VD500 and as such is slightly more expensive. They both offer coverage across a range of vehicles and are great service tools.
The Ancel VD700 is ideal for someone who just works with VAG vehicles, since it is quite a specialised and powerful tool. Having said that, it is still compatible with other OBD2 vehicles as with the VD500.
The Ancel VD700 does have some extra features like DPF regeneration and injector adaptation. It also has freeze frame data and a live data stream mode. Freeze frame data is a particularly cool feature of the VD700, whilst live data can always come in handy for a vehicle technician.
Ancel are know for making well built and effective scanning tools, and always with an attractive price tag. You can always expect great compatibility and functionality from an Ancel scanner, and many will include interesting features such as live data stream and freeze frame data.
We have yet to see an Ancel scanner that we don’t rate, and would always recommend the brand to anyone who needs to run OBD2 protocols on their vehicles.
Yes, you can! The Ancel VD500 is also compatible with other OBD2 vehicles that aren’t members of the VW, Audi, Skoda or Seat family. Some of the functions are only compatible with VAG vehicles, but most system tests will work with any type of OBD II car. Our review above gives more in depth information about the functions that are available from the Ancel VD500 for vehicles that aren’t made by Volkswagen.