Are you looking for a new Forscan adapter to help with servicing and repair jobs, but don’t know where to buy from? There are loads of places out there that claim to sell high quality Forscan adapters, and the number of them can sometimes feel overwhelming.
In this article, we’ll try and help simplify the whole process, letting you know where to buy a compatible Forscan adapter for your vehicles, as well as providing some tips about what to look for in a great Forscan adapter.
There is also often confusion about what a Forscan adapter actually is and what it can do. So, to kick things off we’ll give a quick run-down of what a Forscan tool can offer to a mechanic and their workshop.
What is a Forscan adapter?
A Forscan adapter is a diagnostic scan tool, that is designed to be paired with a laptop or other USB device. Unlike traditional OBD2 scanners, a Forscan adapter does not have its own display screen, which means that the laptop is necessary in order to read the data which the adapter provides. The lack of screen usually makes Forscan adapters a great budget alternative to a dedicated scan tool.
What can they do?
Forscan adapters offer excellent functions that can really help a mechanic diagnose problems with their vehicles, as well as simplify servicing jobs greatly. The adapter plugs into the diagnostic port of a car, and the other end is connected up to a laptop with the diagnostic software installed. The user can then read off information about error codes, emission statistics and engine data.
As well as these standard functions, most adapters will have more advanced features, such as live data streaming, which can be invaluable tools in the workshop. Live data reports on your vehicle information in real time, so that a mechanic can really get to the bottom of an issue. It displays readings for things such as engine RPM, oxygen levels, and throttle position.
So, where can I buy a Forscan adapter?
Although there are lots of reputable companies that trade in Forscan adapters, we’d recommend heading over to OBDStation to get a full forscan adapter review, more here. They offer in-depth insight and trader knowledge of a variety of diagnostic scan tools and equipment, and you can be sure that their opinions are trustworthy.
Which Forscan adapter is compatible with my vehicle?
If you do want to buy a new Forscan adapter, then it’s always important to choose one that is going to be compatible with the vehicles that you work with.
Unfortunately, not all adapters are compatible with every vehicle type, so it’s definitely worth considering which type of vehicle you will be working with most frequently.
OBD1 or OBD2?
For example, you will often see adapters advertised as being compliant with either OBD1 or OBD2 protocols. An OBD2 vehicle is one that was built in 1996 or later, whilst an OBD1 car was manufactured before 1996. Usually, a Forscan tool will only work with one of these protocols, so make sure you choose wisely.
Having said that, if you do know that you will need a scan tool that works with both protocols, then it is possible to find an adapter that is compatible with OBD1 and OBD2. These tools are more expensive than the single tools, but it’s definitely cheaper to buy one that works with both, than buy two separate adapters.
Another thing to think about is which vehicle brands you work with the most. If you are a DIY enthusiast or just need an adapter to survey your own car, then this isn’t really a problem for you – just choose a tool that works with your vehicle. However, if you are working in a workshop, then it’s much harder to predict which vehicle brands you’ll be working with.
To combat this, try and buy an adapter that is compatible with as many different brands as possible, and specifically with the most common vehicles in your area. There’s no point buying a scanner that is designed for American vehicles, if your workshop is in Germany, for example.
Other Considerations when choosing a Forscan adapter
We’ve already discussed vehicle coverage, and that it’s important to find a scanner that can help you out with as many different vehicles as possible. Although this is indeed one of the biggest things to consider when buying a new tool, there are a few other things to look into before parting with any of your hard earned cash. The first is functionality.
The best Forscan adapters will have a range of features that will come in handy in the workshop. Here’s a couple of the features and functions that you should always look out for when picking up a new diagnostic scanner.
Error code reading
All good diagnostic tools will be able to read error codes. This involves recognising an error code in one of your vehicle’s systems, and then relaying this information to the mechanic. Most tools will also provide a brief code description that can help with the repairs.
Code reading is a pretty essential function for a modern diagnostic tool, and is perhaps the feature that saves mechanics and vehicle technicians the most amount of time in the workshop.
The best Forscan adapters will also be able to clear error codes. This is useful for after a repair is completed, when the mechanic wants to return a vehicle to its base state. This is again quite a necessary function if you are running a professional workshop, since you don’t want to be returning a vehicle to a customer, with error codes still showing on the car.
The second feature to look out for is live data. Live data displays vehicle statistics in real time on the laptop that the adapter is connected to. This lets a mechanic really look into where a problem is coming from and can be a really useful tool in the workshop. Definitely keep your eyes peeled for a scan tool or adapter that has this function.