Ask any mechanic, and he’ll say that ANCEL scanners are the best tool any garage can have. The ANCEL scan tool is an or on-board diagnostic tool for your car. It reads the car’s computer and reports back how it works or if there are any errors.
So, why would you need one? Simple, it’s easier to diagnose your car at home instead of making a trip to the mechanic.
Let’s dive into details.
Best ANCEL scanners: Comparison chart
|BEST OVERALL||RUNNER UP||GREAT PICK|
|Item Weight||9.6 ounces||1.58 pounds||11.2 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||9.28 x 6.9 x 1.43 inches||9.06 x 1.77 x 7.8 inches||9 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches|
|Summary||Excellent entry-level OBD II scanner that can check and remove error codes from the engine ECU, provide you with live data and EVAP test.||Much more robust, but still at an affordable price, it can monitor the engine, as well as the ABS, airbag, and transmission systems with the error library included.||The AD310 can check the engine for errors and perform an I/M readiness test with a push of a button.|
|Pros||Works with most OBD2 cars. Detailed engine code definition in the device's library.||With support for over 46 car manufacturers, this is the scanner with the widest supported cars and tests.||It supports most OBD2 compliant cars and can check the engine for error codes, as well as provide you with an I/M readiness report.|
|Cons||Unlike some of the more expensive options, this one cannot read errors from ABS systems or transmission, and the included cable is relatively short.||Like all the other ANCEL scanners, it doesn't work with a Mac computer, and even though it is a professional tool, you cannot reprogram the ECU.||Some older cars may have a problem with compatibility, and similar to its sibling, this one suffers from a relatively short cable.|
Table of Contents
- 1 ANCEL brand introduction
- 2 Why buy an ANCEL scanner?
- 3 Types of ANCEL scanners
- 4 Price range of ANCEL scanners
- 5 Tips and buying guides
- 6 Best ANCEL scanners reviews
- 6.1 ANCEL AD310 Enhanced OBDII scanner
- 6.2 ANCEL FX2000 OBD2 diagnostic tool
- 6.3 ANCEL AD410 Enhanced OBDII scan tool
- 6.4 ANCEL VD500 OBDII diagnostic scanner
- 6.5 ANCEL FX9000 OBD2 scanner
- 6.6 ANCEL AD530 OBD2 code reader
- 6.7 ANCEL BM500 OBDII scan tool
- 6.8 ANCEL AD510 Enhanced OBDII code reader
- 6.9 ANCEL BD310 OBD2 scanner
- 6.10 ANCEL AD610 Elite OBDII scanner
- 7 Recommendation: Top 3 ANCEL scan tools
- 8 FAQs
- 9 Final thoughts
ANCEL brand introduction
ANCEL is a company that provides professional automotive products. This includes OBD2 code readers, battery testers, and many tools for the benefit of their clients.
They bring about the best quality in the automotive industry at an affordable price.
Why buy an ANCEL scanner?
There are multiple reasons to possess an ANCEL scan tool. All of them are intertwined, but here’s a breakdown.
Often our cars can put out an error that we don’t know what it means. Going to the mechanic to get to the root of the problem is the solution, but that solution can be expensive.
If you don’t have an ANCEL diagnostic tool at hand, you’ll need to spend time taking your car to the mechanic. There you will be charged for getting your car checked out before you know what the problem is.
On the other hand, having an ANCEL OBD2 scanner at home allows you to check your vehicle in a matter of minutes and see what the problem is. If it’s something serious, you will need to go to the shop.
As a bonus, ANCEL OBDII scan tools provide you with an opportunity to make some modifications to how your engine runs.
Types of ANCEL scanners
ANCEL manufactures multiple OBD2 scanners that you can get for your car. Each one has a distinctive set of features, making it easier for you to choose the one for you.
- Handheld ANCEL OBDII scanners are the most common ones. They plug in directly to the car and provide the basic diagnostic options.
- Wireless ANCEL scan tools are very similar to the handheld ones. You can plug them into the car and connect the code scanner via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet.
- Professional tools are top of the line. You get tons of diagnostic and settings options, paired with a bigger screen and loads more adjustability.
Price range of ANCEL scanners
Considering the features, ANCEL scanners can get divided into several price categories.
- Under $50: The cheapest ANCEL OBD2 scanner is in the sub $50 category. They are handheld wired diagnostic tools that provide the most basic features out of all the others.
- $50-$150: The second range is more expensive handheld scanners and wireless ones. You may also manage to find a professional ANCEL code reader in this price range at a discount.
- Over $150: The most expensive ones are the professional ANCEL OBD2 scan tools. They provide all kinds of features, a bigger display, and greater control over your car’s computer.
Tips and buying guides
Going out and getting the most expensive ANCEL scanner may not be the best approach. Since each one has a distinctive set of features, there are a few things to know before making a purchase.
What to look for?
The first thing to consider is your demands. Depending on the price range, you get a tool with a different set of features. The cheaper options will provide you with basic functionality, where you can check how the engine is running, see if there are any errors, and delete them. For most people, getting one of the handheld units will be an excellent choice.
If you are an enthusiast and like to tinker around with the engine, the professional tools will do a better job. While they will provide the same error scanning features, you can also make some ECU changes. That can help you increase power or set the engine to run as you want it to.
While looking at ANCEL scanners, you should also keep in mind your car’s make and model. While they will work with most modern vehicles, it is recommended to double-check the specifications and check whether your car is on the list.
As mentioned, the price plays a significant role in the type of scanner you get. The higher the price, the more features you get. When looking at the scanning tools, look for the sweet spot, aiming for the code scanner with the features you need that doesn’t go outside your budget.
There are some less important things to consider when you are shopping for your ANCEL code reader. Connectivity is one of them. A wireless tool will provide you with the flexibility to choose if you will be checking your car via a handheld device or your smartphone.
Cable length is another aspect that may be a deciding factor. The connector is usually hidden away, and each car manufacturer puts it in a different location. Before you purchase any of the ANCEL scanners, we’ll recommend checking to see how long the cable should be. For some cars, a shorter cable will do just fine, while you may need a longer one for others.
Best ANCEL scanners reviews
|Editor's Picks||Products||Our Rating|
|Best Overall||ANCEL AD310||9.5/10|
|Runner Up||ANCEL FX2000||9.5/10|
|Great Pick||ANCEL AD410||9/10|
|Best Budget Buy||ANCEL VD500||8.5/10|
|Best For Professionals||ANCEL FX9000||8.5/10|
ANCEL AD310 Enhanced OBDII scanner
We are kicking off the list with a sub $50 ANCEL scanner. The AD310 OBD2 is an entry-level diagnostic tool with a basic set of features, which should be enough for most home users. The interface comes in 8 languages and a 2.5 feet cable to connect it to the car.
The handheld device features a decently sized display, where you can get an overview of how your engine works. Since this ANCEL scanner is an engine only reader, you cannot check the other systems like ABS brakes or transmission. Luckily, you can clear the codes if the problem causing them is fixed.
In addition to that, the ANCEL AD310 can get live data from your engine as it’s running and will also be able to provide an EVAP test for leaks. It also has an error code library, which gives you a detailed explanation of the error code and sees how severe the problem is.
This ANCEL diagnostic tool is compatible with most US-based cars from 1996 and most Asian and European models from 2000.
The ANCEL AD310 Enhanced OBDII scanner is an excellent addition to your garage if you want to keep track of how your car works.
- Can read and delete error codes
- Comes with a built-in error code library
- Compatible with many car models
- Available in 8 languages
- Short cable
- Reads engine error codes only
ANCEL FX2000 OBD2 diagnostic tool
On the opposite side of the price spectrum, we have the ANCEL FX2000, an OBD II diagnostic tool sitting in the above $150 price category. While it is still handheld, it is quite bigger, meaning you’ll get a lot more functionality.
Unlike the previous one, where you can only scan the engine, the FX2000 will enable you to scan other systems as well, such as ABS, airbags, and transmission. This ANCEL scanner can make a complete OBD2 diagnosis ranging from checking and deleting errors to EVAP testing, DTC look-ups, and much more.
It is designed with grips on the side for easier handling. A 4-inch display panel shows you the raw data coming from the systems. Besides, the included lookup library can help you identify the problem, as it can explain each error code.
With the option to check multiple systems and cover many manufacturers, ANCEL FX2000 OBD2 diagnostic tool is a perfect OBDII scanner for people who want to dive deeper into their cars.
- 46 supported car manufacturers
- Can monitor engine, ABS airbag, and transmission
- Options to check multiple errors
- Easy to hold side grips
- 3.5 feet cable
- Doesn’t work with Mac
- Cannot change parameters to any of the systems
ANCEL AD410 Enhanced OBDII scan tool
Going back to the handheld ANCEL OBD II diagnostic tools, we have the ANCEL AD410. This has a few additional features compared to the AD310. You get a similar interface translated into 8 languages and a cable with an equal length.
While it supports a wide range of car manufacturers, you are still only limited to engine reading. The supported protocols are ISO9141, KWP2000, J1850 PWM, J1850 VPW, and CAN. With a press of the button, you can check your car’s inspection and maintenance readiness without too much fuss.
The live data option can show you how your engine is performing in real-time. You can also test your O2 sensor, do an EVAP test, and check for errors. If there are, the included library will explain what each code means and whether you need to take it to the mechanic or not.
In general, the ANCEL AD410 Enhanced OBDII scan tool is a must-have entry-level scanner for any garage. It can go through the entire engine and check all the systems if they are working correctly.
- Supports most modern cars
- Option to monitor live data
- Included library explains all the codes
- Easy to use
- Can check most engine systems
- The cable is short
- May not work with some older cars
ANCEL VD500 OBDII diagnostic scanner
If you own a car from the Volkswagen group, you may want to check out the ANCEL VD500. While this ANCEL OBD2 scan tool should work with most modern cars that are OBD2 compliant, its forte is the German cars. It is compatible with most Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, and Seat models.
In terms of capabilities, this scan tool shines when it comes to Volkswagen group cars. It can diagnose any system, from the engine and ABS to the airbag, transmission, or ESP. It can also check the battery system and reset the oil service module. Additionally, you will be able to make some changes to the throttle position and reset the e-brake system.
For non-Volkswagen models, the set of features is relatively limited. You can plug it in your car, get the vehicle info, read and delete error codes and turn off the check engine light. For the unknown errors, the library will help you out and explain what the code means.
While it is compatible with most cars not older than 20 years, it shines with VAG cars. If you own a Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, or Skoda, you should get this ANCEL VD500 OBDII diagnostic scanner.
- Check every system in a Volkswagen car
- Error code library
- Check data in real-time
- Works with most OBD II compliant cars
- Download data to your computer
- Limited functionality for non-Volkswagen cars
- Compatible with Windows only
ANCEL FX9000 OBD2 scanner
Car enthusiasts and mechanics should look at this model. The ANCEL FX9000 is the absolute best OBD2 scanner that the company manufactures. It supports most cars that are OBD2 compliant. You will have the option to scan and diagnose every system in your car.
There are two modes: automated and manual diagnosis. The automated one gets the VIN and starts the scanning process. You can run the manual mode if you want to scan a particular system. This ANCEL scan tool offers 15 reset functions, and unlike most of the diagnostic tools on this list, you have the option to make calibration to some of the systems.
The ANCEL FX9000 is an android tablet with a 7-inch screen and 6000 mAh battery, meaning that you can read the data even when it’s not connected. As a bonus, when you run the auto’s diagnostic tool, a report will be generated and sent to your email.
Considering the price, we cannot recommend ANCEL FX9000 OBD2 scanner for every garage. With all the bells and whistles for scanning and resetting, it is best suited for enthusiasts and car mechanics.
- Full diagnostic for all car system
- Works with most cars that support the OBD2 standard
- 15 reset functions
- Big display and battery
- Quite expensive
- ECU programming is not available
ANCEL AD530 OBD2 code reader
At first glance, the ANCEL AD530 will look like the first two scanners, which is not far from the truth. It features a similar design, with a similar-sized display, to monitor data from your engine ECU. It can grab the car’s information, perform O2 and EVAP systems tests, I/M status, and much more.
The additional feature of this ANCEL scanner is the battery detection option. You can use it to monitor your battery’s status and determine its health. The live data shows your current status of the engine, such as RPM, voltage, temperatures, etc.
It has a more significant error database, and while it provides you with a technical explanation of an error code, there is a bonus. With a click of a button, you will get the same explanation with less technical words, something that anyone can understand, even non-car savvy people.
In general, the ANCEL AD530 OBD2 code reader is an affordable scanner for anyone. Even though it doesn’t provide you with a diagnostic for all systems, the engine and battery are covered.
- Full engine diagnostic
- Monitor battery health
- View data in real-time
- A simple explanation for each error code
- It may freeze from time to time
- Works with Windows only
ANCEL BM500 OBDII scan tool
We are back with another manufacturer-specific ANCEL scanner. The ANCEL BM500 is an OBD2 diagnostic tool that works with cars under the BMW group, so if you own a BMW, Mini, or Rolls-Royce, this is an excellent option.
Like most OBD2 scanners, it works with any modern car to monitor the engine and battery, but you get much more for the BMW group models. Apart from the standard engine diagnostic, you can also monitor other systems like airbags, ABS, transmission, HVAC, headlights, and much more. This is a one-stop-shop for all BMW owners.
The ANCEL BM500 will provide you with a diagnostic report of how all systems work and if there are any error codes. Out of all OBD2 scanners we’ve reviewed, this one can diagnose the most. Similar to the other ones, it will work with non-BMW models but with limited functionality.
It is clear who this ANCEL BM500 OBDII scan tool is for – BMW owners. On top of that, if you have a non-BMW car, you can still do an engine and battery check with this.
- Able to scan any system in a BMW group car
- Live data monitoring
- Scan and delete any error code
- Engine and battery monitoring for non-BMW cars
- Tons of diagnostic and maintenance functions
- Limited for BMW only
- No option to reprogram the ECU
ANCEL AD510 Enhanced OBDII code reader
We already mentioned the AD310 and AD410, so what is the difference between those and this? The AD510 is an ANCEL scanner that has all of the functionality of the previous two in this class. As an addition to that, there are a few things that they don’t.
Right of the bat, you can do a regular engine check for error codes from your engine. While doing the diagnostic, if there are any errors, the tool will display them. The build-in library contains the codes you may get along with an explanation.
Apart from the regular engine check, the AD510 can also do O2 sensor and EVAP test. The I/M button will enable you to do a readiness check, including a smog check. On top of that, unlike most of the cheaper scanners, you can also use this one to monitor your car’s battery status.
The ANCEL AD510 Enhanced OBDII code reader is suitable for DIYers. It can do a full engine check, monitor the O2 sensor, run a full EVAP test, monitor the battery’s health, and perform a smog check.
- 5-foot cable
- Supports most modern cars with OBD2 compliance
- Built-in error code library with explanation
- Live data and freeze frame
- Can monitor battery’s status
- No Mac support
- Cannot check other systems like ABS or transmission
ANCEL BD310 OBD2 scanner
We mentioned handheld wireless ANCEL scanners, and we had to include at least one. The ANCEL BD 310 is essentially a two in one device – a regular handheld OBD2 diagnostic tool and a wireless one with a few additional features that you may want.
Like all the other affordable OBD2 scanners, this one can only run a scan on your engine. It will check for any error codes the ECU may put out and perform tests on the EVAP system and check the I/M readiness. There is an explanation for every error code to know what the problem is with your car.
For this ANCEL scanner’s wireless usage, you have all of the features the handheld device offers and a few extras. You can connect it via Bluetooth to your smartphone, which you can use as an OBD2 scanner. It can provide you with performance numbers, diagnostic results, trip information, and much more.
If you are looking for flexibility, a decent set of features that doesn’t cost too much, the ANCEL BD310 OBD2 scanner is the perfect one.
- Dual-mode available
- Wide range of supported cars
- Bluetooth mode works with android and iOS
- Lifetime upgrades
- Tons of diagnostic options for the engine
- It can diagnose engine errors only
- May encounter incompatibility for some older models
ANCEL AD610 Elite OBDII scanner
The final product on this list is a handheld ANCEL scanner with a lot more functionality than the other handheld ones. The AD610 Elite is the only diagnostic tool on this list that can check an engine for errors on an OBD1 and OBD2 compliant car.
Apart from the standard engine check procedure, the AD610 Elite can check other systems as well. You can monitor your car’s ABS and airbag systems and remove codes that they put out. This tool also includes a library of codes explaining each one.
We must praise that, unlike some of its competitors, this ANCEL scanner can test your ABS and bleed it to remove air from the system. Also, if your ESC light comes on your dashboard, it means that there could be a problem with the steering, and this tool can confirm that.
ANCEL AD610 Elite OBDII scanner will do a full scan of your engine, ABS, SAS, and airbag system. Since it’s OBD1 compatible, you can use it even if you have an older car.
- Can bleed brakes
- Support for OBD1 and OBD2 cars
- Comes with an error code library
- Can scan ABS, SAS, and airbag systems
- 10 OBD2 tests included
- Cannot check the transmission
- Not compatible with newer models from the past 2-3 years
Recommendation: Top 3 ANCEL scan tools
Needless to say, ANCEL AD310 is the best pick for entry-level car owners with a cheap price.
Overall, the ANCEL FX2000 is an excellent combination of a robust OBD2 scanner tool that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars.
Lastly, we recommend ANCEL AD410 for its ability in checking engine and all systems. This OBD2 scan tool deserves the third place.
❓ How to tell if my car is OBD1 or OBD2?
💡 A sticker with the OBD rating should be under the hood. If you cannot find the sticker, you can use online catalogs to check. Overall, cars older than 1996 are OBD1.
❓ How to know if an ANCEL scanner will work in my car?
💡 While all ANCEL scanners should work with almost any car model, you should reach out to them and ask if the scanner you are looking at is compatible with your car model.
❓ Can I connect an ANCEL scanner wirelessly with my car?
💡 No. For the scanner to get the necessary data, it must be connected to the car.
❓ Where should I plug the ANCEL scanner?
💡 Every car manufacturer has the connector in a different location. You should check the user manual of your car to see where it is.
❓ What to do if my ANCEL scanner freezes?
💡 If the scanner freezes, you should unplug it from the car and turn it off. Meanwhile, turn the car off, re-plug the scanner, and start the process again.
OBD2 scanners have become quite popular in the past decade or so. People purchase them so that they don’t have to go to the mechanic every time a light comes up on the dashboard. If you want to save time and money, then getting an ANCEL scanner is a good idea.
Hopefully, one of our picks from various price ranges and features will be the perfect one for you.