The reason why you must have a Forscan adapter:
- As good as IDS
Forscan is a free scan tool that is bi-directional and almost as good as IDS. I think it can even do flashing with some cars. It works with most adapters that work with Torque. It will start by scanning all the computers in your car, autodetecting it, and reporting any codes.
For newer Fords, there are two CAN buses, and you could either modify a cheap adapter or buy one that can deal with the other bus.
It can read any PIDs and even the mileage on my 95 Lincoln, so it covers pretty much everything from some 94s-17, including air suspension and ABS wheel speed.
If you have a Ford this should be the only tool you need.
- Work with VCM 2
Forscan runs with the VCMII I believe. It has a much better interface.
- VCM 2 IDS vs Fordscan
I’m a shade-tree mechanic and I have IDS and VCM2 (both real, fully licensed) and I have Forscan.
Forscan is designed for people who want to tinker with settings, clear codes and customize the electronics in their vehicles. IDS is designed for people to do things exactly the way the manual says – it’s pretty clear that it won’t let you color outside the lines. IDS is much more capable than Forscan, but for most people that doesn’t really matter.
Forscan works with VCM2 just fine, but it’s easier if you use a Bluetooth OBD2 connection – I use an OBDLink MX – and unless you have the VCM for some other reason, Bluetooth is way cheaper too. One thing to note – Ford uses multiple CAN protocols in their modern vehicles. If you’re buying an OBD2 connection tool, make sure it can read the MS CAN signals.
- There is an Android version
There is an Android version for a few bucks, but it isn’t bi-directional (author is working on that). I have an Android head unit in my Explorer, and have nice gauges that monitor any pid I want(even 4×4 percentage, converter lockup). The guy who inspected my car said the transmission pids look faster than his Verus, he downloaded the app on the spot.
- There is an iOS version
the main program is for windows (with a version that runs via Wine on Linux,MacOS, and BSD)(Free)
then there’s a “lite” version for android/and Iphone (paid)
to unlock the full potential of Forscan, you need the extended license(Free, valid for 3 months at a time)) requires an account on the Forscan Forums. you can generate a new extended key any time.
using Forcan with the extended license, I activated the DRL’s on both my Sable, and Mom’s Taurus. when i asked the guys at my local ford dealer to do that, a year or two prior, they scratched their heads and looked at me funny.”I don’t know if we can do that… it might be possible, but we’d have to look into it…”
the FSM i bought gave the instructions with IDS, but said it wasn’t possible in the sable, just the Taurus, and Taurus X.
there is another program from different authors that works “better” with certain models (Focus, Fiesta, Escape/Kuga) Called Focccus, but i’ve no experience with it.
-both programs are from Russian Developers if that matters to anyone….
- Tested on 2005 Vic, 2011 Crown Vic
That is pretty cool. I just used our IDS a few days ago to turn off dark mode on a friend’s 2011 Crown Vic.
Funny thing, he has a 2005 Vic also and when the rear diff blew itself apart he put in a Trak-Loc with carbon clutches and 3.55s. There wasn’t an option to change the ratio in the IDS on his 2005 but there was on the 2011.
I need to hook up my car and my mom’s Fusion and update all the modules to the latest software. Ours is on a Panasonic Toughbook that looks like it has been run over by a semi truck a few times.
- Tests on Fusion
Try Forscan on the Fusion. I have an ELM327 that I modified tonight to read the MS-CAN portion, and it works great! I just need the extended license to do more, so I’m waiting on that for now. I’m hoping to be able to add DRLs to the Fusion, and I like the idea of clearing all learned behavior of the sensors. The transmission always shifts so much better after it’s been cleared of any learned memory.