shocks

FORSCAN

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I was just wondering in simple terms what Forscan is. It is often mentioned on this forum and i'm guessing its a fault code reader only for Fords. What else are the benefits of having it and is it a programme that you have on your laptop or a hand held unit that get plugged into the car. 

Just interested to find out more. Thanks in advance.

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FORScan is the Ford/Lincoln specific software, which when used with a generic OBDII scan tool adapter that plugs into the diagnostic port in the car (by your right knee), will let you do a number of things to the ECU's in your car. It's primary function is to read and display any fault codes that may be present. FORScan software is available for PC, iPhone and Android and connects to the adapter via bluetooth or WiFi depending on the adapter type you buy. Mine are Wifi, because it has a faster communication rate and my laptop doesn't have bluetooth! The PC/laptop version lets you do more, although you do need to pay a small fee for a license if you want to change ECU settings. You also need to know what your doing for the latter!! Reading codes is pretty straight forward and can enable you to figure out if you have any issues.

One note is that the scan tools you can buy only look at a single CAN network (most cars since 2004). In the case of Ford, there are 2 CAN networks on the diagnostic connector High Speed CAN (HS_CAN) and Medium Speed CAN (MS_CAN). For Ford vehicles there are specific adapters with a HS/MS CAN switch on them. There are also plenty of websites that show you how to modify an standard adapter and put a switch in yourself. You need to see both CAN networks as most of the ECU's on the car are on one or the other but not both (although a few are).

If you get a copy of the Service Manual (there are a few downloads on the web if you search for them!!) it lists all the fault codes and what you need to test/Fix or Replace in the event of one showing up. For the cost of the adapter, it gives you an understanding of what the problem may be and if you can fix it yourself, or at worst, verify what the dealer is telling you needs fixing and if your being taken for a ride (or if they really understand what they are doing!)

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I've used it to modify settings, eg enable drive away locking, change three flash indicators to four flashes. You really need to exercise care when fiddling with the ECU settings. It isn't intuitive and most of the settings you need you can only find through web research. There are obdII scan tools that can access the HS and MS CAN networks simultaneously without a switch or modification, I've got one, they are more expensive. Forscan extended  licence is free but has to be reapplied for every two months.

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thanks for your replies guys. very informative. I think personally I would be interested in finding fault codes incase its a simple fix. I've not had any trouble and hopefully never will for a long time!

I wouldn't have the confidence to change settings etc....

I can get the software online then? Just googling it? 😁

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Yes get it from forscan.org

Helpful post in the forum about what obdII adapters to buy. I have the obdlink MX bluetooth. Your choice will depend on what you want to connect it to pc/iOS/Android

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