5 Best FORScan Adapters to Buy 2020 [Review] - OBD Station

5 Best FORScan Adapters to Buy 2020 [Review]

Looking for the best FORScan adapter? You’ve landed on the right page. We have 5 of the finest right here.

There are dozens of factors to keep in mind when buying an OBD adapter. Will it work on your car? What range of functions does it support? How much will it set you back?

Just as important, you have to pick an adapter that is compatible with the best OBD software. Speaking of which, FORScan is arguably the best diagnostic software on the market today. It is specifically made for Ford vehicles (including Mazda, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles).

So, if you own or drive any one of those cars, make sure that the tool you get is a FORScan adapter.

What Is FORScan Adapter?

It’s basically an OBD dongle that is compatible with the FORScan diagnostic software. Now the question is, what is FORScan? It is an OBD software that works over ELM 327 and J2534 interfaces.

These are adapters with no screen or display mechanism. Therefore, FORScan acts as the interface through which you can send OBD instructions to your car and receive feedback.

But you must have the best dongle to be able to do that effectively. Which leads us to the next question: what is the best FORScan adapter?

Best Forscan Adapter Comparison Chart

OBDLink EX Review
OBDLink EX
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OHP ELMconfig Review
OHP ELMconfig
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VINT-TT55502 ELMconfig Review
VINT-TT55502 ELMconfig
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Customer Rating
4.94.9 / 5
4.74.7 / 5
4.44.4 / 5
PriceOBDLink EX priceVINT-TT55502 ELMconfig priceOHP ELMconfig price
Item Weight3.52 ounces4 ounces5.6 ounces
Product Dimensions3.5 x 1 x 1.8 inches6.2 x 4.5 x 0.9 inches5.2 x 3.8 x 2.2 inches
Read & Clear Codes
I/M Readiness------
Data Stream
Freeze Frame Data------
O2 sensor Test
On-Board Monitoring------
Evap System Test
Vehicle Information------
Turn Off Check Engine Light
Read live PCM DataStream
Support CAN (Controller Area Network)
DTC Lookup------
Engine
Fuel System
Ignition System
Electrical System

Best Forscan Adapters Review

1. OBDLink EX USB Forscan Adapter

OBDLink EX
OBDLink EX FORScan OBD Adapter
4.94.9 / 5
Perfect for FORSCAN on Windows for versions 2.2x and higher.

Some FORScan adapters have the famous “toggle switch” while others don’t. The OBDLink EX is one of those that doesn’t have the switch. Does that make it the best FORScan adapter? Probably!

The purpose of the switch is to manually toggle between MS-CAN, HS-CAN and any other available network. Now, the EX does that automatically. It detects the car’s CAN bus and tunes to the appropriate network.

By doing so, the adapter prevents you from accidentally transmitting over the wrong CAN bus. That’s a solid selling point right there. Below are some more.

Standout Functional Features

Check Engine Diagnostics: read engine codes and diagnose any issues that may be causing the Check Engine Light (CEL). Once those issues are fixed, you can use the adapter to turn off the CEL.

Codes: apart from engine codes, the OBDLink EX also retrieves and erases trouble codes from all available systems. You can diagnose the transmission, ABS, SRS, TPMS, EVAP and basically every other on-board system in your car.

Live Data: alongside codes, you will get live streams of sensor data ranging from RPM to throttle body position and everything in between. FORScan software is great for customizing PIDs on the dashboard.

Special diagnostics: there are a ton of special features in this adapter. Generally speaking, it supports all the functions available on FORScan. You can, therefore, use it for special functions like service procedures (e.g. DPF regeneration), coding (e.g. ECU coding) and programming (e.g. key programming).

Compatible Vehicles

This FORScan adapter is designed for Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda vehicles. It works on Fusion, Ranger, Focus, F150 all through F450 and pretty much any car/light truck from the Ford family.

On one end of the adapter is a 16-pin port that plugs into the car’s OBD2 port. The other end has a USB port that goes into a PC. That fairly simple connection is your route to DIY diagnostics.

Note that the adapter works on non-Ford mainstream brands, but with limited functionality.

Compatible Operating Systems

Since it’s a USB adapter, the OBDLink EX works with computers. But not all of them; its only compatible with Windows PCs (from XP all through Windows 10). So if you’re using a Mac or Linux you can’t use this scanner.

Just a reminder, it’s a USB adapter. There are positives and negatives of that. The good side is that USB scanners have a stronger and more stable connection than Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices.

On the other hand, the cable limits your mobility. You can only use it from inside the driver’s compartment.

Pros And Cons Of OBDLink EX

Pros

  • Compatible with all Ford, Mazda, Lincoln and Mercury cars and light trucks
  • Works on some non-Ford car brands
  • Supports all Ford protocols and modules
  • Fast data transfer rate
  • Features hacker-proof and battery-saver technology
  • Stable USB connection

Cons

  • Only works best when used with FORScan
  • Doesn’t support Mac and Linux

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Overall, in terms of functionality, the OBDLink EX is the closest thing to a high-end stand-alone scanner. Even if you spend $150 to get an entry-level Windows laptop, you’ll still end up saving thousands of dollars that you would have spent on a premium OBD tool. 

2. OHP ELMconfig OBD2 ELM327 FORScan Adapter

 OHP ELMconfig
OHP ELMconfig FORScan OBD2 USB Adapter for Windows, Ford Diagnostic ELM327 Coding Tool with MS-CAN / HS-CAN Switch
4.74.7 / 5
Forscan (running under Parallels, in XP, on my MacBook Pro, running OS X 10.13.6) was able to connect to the Escape with this OBD-II interface and reset the BMS .

This is the original ELM327 adapter from OHP. There’s a clone version that uses Wi-Fi; very rarely will you find it recommended. But this here is the real deal.

Standout Functional Features

System diagnostics: one thing that makes the OHP ELMconfig the best FORScan adapter is that it gives you access to all electronic control units. You can pull trouble codes from the ABS, SRS, gearbox, climate control and pretty much any other on-board system.

Check Engine Light: more importantly (for most people anyway), the scanner can read and erase engine codes. By doing so, it can turn off the Check Engine Light.

Live Data: you can use the OHP ELMconfig to view real-time data from sensors, switches and relays. Whether its engine coolant temp, long/short term fuel trim, RPM, vehicle speed, throttle position, or any other metric, you can see them all.

Special functions: this is a high-end feature on an affordable scanner. You can perform service resets, reset warning lights, regenerate DPF, disable TPMS and so much more.

Programming: yet another premium feature-packed in this little guy. In addition to component activation, the adapter supports ECU programming, component adaptation and turning features on/off. The only issue is that programming doesn’t work on Ford Escapes. Still, there’s no debate that service procedures and programming make this scanner the best FORScan adapter in terms of bang for the buck.

Compatible Vehicles

The OHP ELMconfig OBD2 adapter covers Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda vehicles. It’s compatible with all the cars and light trucks of the mentioned brands. The only ones left out are trailers and semis.

Just like the OBDLink EX above, the adapter connects to PC via USB cable. With that connection, you get an impressive 500 kilobits per second of data transfer.

Compatible Operating Systems

Again, the OHP ELMconfig is only compatible with Windows PCs (from XP all through Windows 10). Mac, Android and iOS users are (unfortunately) locked out of the fun.

Pros and Cons of OHP ELMconfig

Pros

  • Allows access to all on-board systems
  • Stable connection thanks to USB connectivity
  • Supports special functions (service procedures and programming)
  • Excellent value for money
  • Compatible with all Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda vehicles
  • Comes with money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Doesn’t work on Mac computers as well as iOS and Android devices 
  • Some service functions don’t work on Ford Escape

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Evidently, the OHP ELMconfig is your key to unlocking a series of OBD functions, including programming. It will work flawlessly, provided your Ford is not an Escape.

3. VINT-TT55502 ELMconfig FORScan OBD2 Adapter

VINT-TT55502 ELMconfig
FORScan OBD2 Adapter, VINT-TT55502 ELMconfig ELM327 modified For all Windows compatible with Ford Cars F150 F250 and Light Pickup Truck Scan Tool, Code Reader MS-CAN HS-CAN Switch
4.44.4 / 5
Worked perfectly. Saved a bundle being able to program my own transponder keys.

The VINTscan VINT-TT55502 is a lot like the OHP ELMconfig above. In fact, the only difference between these two is that the latter supports ECU programming. If you’re not planning to reprogram your ECU, this right here might just be the best FORScan adapter for you.

Standout Functional Features

Check Engine Light: this VINTscan scanner allows you to diagnose the engine, view trouble codes and fix any existing issues. Once that is done, hook the adapter in again and it will clear the Check Engine Light after a test drive.

Codes: besides engine codes, the OBD scanner also gives you access to all available modules. You can read and clear trouble codes from the ABS, SRS, TPMS, transmission and pretty much any other system.

Data: the VINT-TT55502 ELMconfig adapter is great for pulling live data. It will display engine RPM, vehicle speed, intake air temp, MAF air flow rate, fuel injection timing and everything in between. On the downside, FORScan doesn’t have the option to view freeze frame data.

Special functions: you can use the adapter to run test diagnostic procedures as well as service procedures. That includes resets like DPF, oil and TPMS. And yes, you can program keys. That’s about as much programming as you can do.

Compatible Vehicles

Like the OHP ELMconfig above, this adapter is designed for Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda vehicles that are OBD2 compliant. It works on all 1996 and newer models within those brands, save for trailers and semis.

Compatible Operating Systems

Once again, this USB adapter is compatible with Windows PCs. It doesn’t take a lot to set it up. Simply download and install the adapter’s drivers (device comes with a link). Proceed to download and install FORScan, and with that you’ll be set.

Pros and Cons of VINTscan VINT-TT55502

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Covers all cars and light trucks that are Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda
  • Uses USB cable for strong and stable connection
  • Supports some special diagnostic functions
  • High speed data transfer of 500kbps

Cons

  • Lacking in build quality
  • Could use better instructions
  • Incompatible with Mac, iOS and Android

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If you want a simple and straightforward FORScan adapter, then the VINTscan VINT-TT55502 is ideal for you. It offers the most essential OBD functions to help scan and service your vehicle.

4. Veepeak USB OBD2 Forscan Adapter

Veepeak USB
Veepeak USB OBD2 Adapter for FORScan with MS-CAN Switch for Ford Mazda Lincoln, Professional Diagnostic Code Scanner Programmer Service Tool on Windows
4.84.8 / 5
FORScan can also function like an oscilloscope recording parameters and displaying them in real time while you drive.

One thing that sets the Veepeak USB adapter apart from the rest is that it can be used with Android devices. But you’ll need an OTG cable for your Android smartphone or tablet. Keep in mind that the full version of FORScan doesn’t work on mobile devices.

You’ll have to make do with FORScan Lite, which (in all honesty) isn’t all that. It can only read codes and live data. In other words, if you want to get the best out of this OBD2 adapter, pair it with the full version FORScan.

Standout Functional Features

Diagnostic trouble codes: view and clear generic as well as manufacturer-specific codes. That goes for all available modules, from the engine, ABS, SRS and all the way to the transmission and TPMS. In case you’re wondering, yes, it can reset the Check Engine Light and other warning lights.

PIDs: access to various modules also means that you can view real-time data, as PIDs, from module sensors. Choose whichever PIDs you want on your FORScan dashboard.

Special functions: this is where the scanner earns its place among the best FORScan adapters. You can run test and service procedures like resets. They include battery reset, door and window settings, disabling double horn honk, disabling auto start/stop and many more.

Key programming: you won’t be able to do a lot of coding and programming, but you can program your keys. That’s a lot more than what most other adapters offer.

Compatible Vehicles

As you’ve probably already guessed, the Veepeak USB adapter is designed for Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda vehicles. It’s compatible with OBD2 cars and light trucks; i.e. those manufactured after 1996.

Compatible Operating Systems

As mentioned already, the dongle is compatible with Windows and Android. However, if you use it with Android you’ll get a reduced range of functions, yet you’ll have to buy an OTG cable.

Therefore, it would be better to use it with a Windows PC that has been installed with FORScan. That way you’ll get all the functions offered by the software, including key programming and service procedures.

Pros and Cons of Veepeak USB Adapter

Pros

  • Compatible with Windows and Android
  • Covers all OBD2 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda cars and light trucks
  • Simple to use
  • Affordable
  • Provides manufacturer-level access to modules
  • Offers basic diagnostics and special functions

Cons

  • Not compatible with Mac and iOS
  • Hard to locate drivers if you lose your device’s manual

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The most attractive thing about Veepeak’s adapter is that it can work with Android as well. Many people like the idea of performing diagnostic functions right on their smartphones. If you’re one of them, then this is the best FORScan tool for you.

5. OBDResource Forscan ELM327 Adapter for Ford Mazda

OBDResource Forscan ELM327 Adapter for Ford Mazda
ELM327 FORScan OBD2 Adapter ELMconfig OBDII USB Scanner Diagnostic Scan Tool with MS-CAN HS-CAN Switch for Ford F150 F250 Cars and Light Trucks Code Reader Diagnose on Windows Only
44 / 5
Device drivers are loaded onto a small disc. You must have a disc drive. Item will allow you to connect a computer to your vehicle, to access the vehicle’s computer.

The OBDResource ELM327 adapter supports HS-CAN, MS-CAN and HS-CAN2. That’s a fancy way of saying that it can access all the available modules in a vehicle.

And, in addition to FORScan, it’s also compatible with ELMconfig, FoCCus and FF2 diagnostic software. This is as good a time as any to mention that all the adapters in this review are compatible with all those software (FORScan, ELMconfig, FoCCus and FF2).

Standout Functional Features

Fault codes: like all the best FORScan adapters, the OBDResource ELM327 reads and erases codes in all available modules. Whether it’s the engine, ABS, SRS, TPMS, transmission or any other system, you can view and erase its trouble codes. That also means you can use the adapter to turn off the Check Engine Light.

Live data: beyond codes, the scanner displays real-time sensor data. You can check parameters like long/short fuel trim, RPM, speed, MAF air flow rate and hundreds more. The FORScan software allows you to place your most preferred PIDs on the dashboard.

Special functions: this OBDResource adapter supports DPF regeneration, battery reset, oil reset, TPMS reset, warning lights reset, disabling auto start/stop and a ton of other service functions.

Programming and coding: here you get three main functions: coding, adaptation and programming. If you add a new component (like TPMS) you can adapt it to match the PCM or reprogram the PCM to accept the sensor (through coding). Programming is also important when you need to change manufacturer-level settings of components.

Compatible Vehicles

Still on matters manufacturer, the OBDResource ELM327 is designed for Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda vehicles that are OBD2 compliant. It’s a USB device, which means you’ll have to sacrifice mobility for a more stable connection.

Compatible Operating Systems

The adapter works on – you guessed it – Windows PCs. It doesn’t support any other operating system. That’s probably the biggest bummer for Mac, Linux, Android and iOS users. But if you have a Windows machine, you will love how easily the adapter pairs with FORScan.

Pros and Cons of OBDResource ELM327

Pros

  • Covers all OBD2-compliant Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda vehicles
  • Supports special functions (coding, adaptation and programming)
  • Toggle switch for easily switching between MS-CAN and HS-CAN
  • Free software and updates
  • Great for resetting CEL
  • Affordable and is also a money-saver

Cons

  • Doesn’t support Mac or Linux
  • Drivers are loaded in CD. Your PC must have a CD drive

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You won’t get many scanners (not even stand-alone tools) that offer coding, programming and adaptation at the same time. This is one of the few gems out there.

The Final Thoughts

You may have noticed that all the 5 scanners have a lot in common. Anyone of them can easily rank as the ultimate best FORScan adapter.

Having said that, pay close attention to their special functions because that’s where they differ. While the OBDLink EX, OHP ELMconfig and Forscan ELM327 Adapter support ECU programming and coding, the others don’t. They also support learning and adaptation in full.

That’s something to keep in mind if you frequently find yourself replacing parts.

Otherwise you may still need to visit the shop to get your ECU reprogrammed or a replacement part adapted.

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