Why a Ford reader device can ensure the safety of a car!


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In the meantime, many inexpensive and practical Ford readout devices are offered in the specialized trade. They are designed to give vehicle owners the opportunity to identify problems and malfunctions in the vehicle themselves and to be able to take action in good time. Do Ford readout devices offer a reliable way to diagnose a vehicle easily and reliably? In this text, we will discuss the capabilities that a Ford readout device can provide.

Ford readout devices offer, among other things, the possibility to read out the error messages of the individual control units through the OBD connector. They issue error messages as soon as values outside a predefined range are read in, which can cause problems. This gives the vehicle owner the chance to identify problems early on, before costly damage can occur.

However, the Ford readout devices are not only suitable for reading out the fault codes. OBD2 also makes it possible to read all the latest information from the ECUs and thus complete an inspection of a used car more quickly. In addition, a Ford readout device can be used to perform a periodic inspection of the vehicle to always check its safety and condition.

So, a Ford readout device seems to be a very useful tool if you always want to know about the current status of your vehicle. For this reason, in this article we would like to go into more detail about all the uses and advantages of a Ford readout device.

What is a Ford readout device?

Ford readout devices are also often called Ford diagnostic devices or Ford OBD scanners. They are all connected to the vehicle via the OBD2 connector and provide the ability to read information from the ECUs and make adjustments in some circumstances. The OBD2 is connected by the CAN bus to the individual ECUs, of which up to 100 can be installed in a vehicle.

These control units can perform many different tasks in a vehicle. They are able to control safety-relevant functions such as the anti-lock braking system. Likewise, they can also be used only for the comfort of the occupants, such as automatic climate control. However, they all have the property to regenerate error messages when problems occur, or to detect measurements outside the predefined ranks.

A Ford readout device provides the ability to read ECU trouble codes and intervene when problems are detected. Under certain circumstances, costly repairs can be avoided.

When were the first Ford readout devices developed?

As early as the 1960s, the first car manufacturers developed readout devices to make it easier for authorized workshops to diagnose vehicles. These diagnostic devices were still very simple in design and were used relatively rarely.

It was not until the 1980s that readout devices were used more often, even if only in authorized workshops at first. Due to the ever-increasing air pollution in major Californian cities, the American authorities were forced to enact stricter emissions standards during this period. However, the authorities realized early on that it was not enough just to set exhaust emission levels for new vehicles, but that it was also necessary to monitor them over the entire life of a vehicle. In 1988, the California Environmental Protection Agency ( CARB) introduced OBD (on-board diagnostics) in order to be able to check the emission guidelines for used vehicles. This has the task of constantly checking the exhaust gas values and thus ensuring the function of the individual components of the exhaust system.

Since then, the owners of motor vehicles have been forced to check the exhaust system themselves and issue error messages in the event of deviations. A warning lamp in the dashboard became mandatory to indicate errors in the system visually as well. In order to be able to check the error messages and the on-board diagnostics from the outside as well, a standardized connector was developed. This is how the OBD1 connector came into being, enabling specialist workshops to read out information from the vehicle’s electronics.

Over the past decades, more and more electronics have been installed in motor vehicles. Nowadays, it is possible that more than 100 different control units can be used in motor vehicles to control various functions. The second generation of OBD is now also prescribed by the European Union. Meanwhile, it can be used to check not only the error messages of the exhaust system. In modern vehicles, the error messages of all control units can be retrieved and, under certain circumstances, even various settings can be changed.

Does my Ford have an OBD2 port?

The second generation of OBD has been mandatory in the U.S. since 1996 for all vehicles with internal combustion engines, as well as for light commercial vehicles. In Europe, OBD2 was also called EOBD and has been mandatory for vehicles with gasoline engines since 2001 at the latest. This will also apply to vehicles with diesel engines from 2004.

But even older vehicles can be equipped with an OBD2. Vehicles from the USA have been using the standard since 1994, and in Europe the first vehicles with OBD2 were delivered as early as 1999.

An easy way to check if a vehicle is equipped with OBD2 can be to look in the engine compartment or trunk. In most American vehicles, a sticker saying “OBD II compliant” was placed there. In Europe, a look at the vehicle registration document can also be helpful. If the vehicle complies with the emission class Euro 3 or higher, it is equipped with an OBD2.

Where is the OBD2 connector for the Ford readout device located?

The OBD2 connector is always located in the driver’s compartment and must be within 1 m of the driver. On most vehicles, it is located below the dashboard on the left side of the steering wheel. However, it can also be installed in the center console or under the ashtray.

If you can’t find the OBD2 connector, in most cases it will help to look at the vehicle’s manual, which will give the exact location.

What can I use the Ford Reader for?

Even though OBD was primarily developed for checking the exhaust system, nowadays it can be used for many various diagnostic purposes be used for many purposes. In recent decades, more and more electronic components have been used in vehicles to make them safer and more comfortable. However, this makes vehicle diagnostics increasingly difficult unless Ford readout devices can be used for diagnostics.

Ford readout devices can be used to read out the fault memories, which store all the problems detected in the up to 100 ECUs in a vehicle. Even if the error has long ceased to exist, they are stored in the memory of the control units. So, the whole history of the vehicle with a Ford ECU can be either checked or also deleted. It is also possible to check current data from the sensors and in some cases individual settings can be changed.

With a Ford readout device, a vehicle can therefore be read out in a very short time and faults can thus be rectified more quickly. With the Carly OBD Scanner, it is also possible to retrieve repair instructions and diagrams that are otherwise only available to technicians in specialized workshops.

How does a Ford readout device work?

To read the fault memory of a vehicle, the OBD scanner only needs to be connected to the OBD2 connector . When the ignition of the vehicle is turned on, the OBD scanner can read the fault memories and analyze them depending on the device.

Although OBD was primarily developed to interrogate the efficiency of the catalytic converter, nowadays fault codes can be retrieved from all ECUs that have been installed in a vehicle. Since they are all connected by the CAN bus, an OBD scanner can read them all.

How do the OBD error codes work?

In recent years, more and more control units have been integrated into vehicles, each performing a specific task. New and faster control units have been developed to make vehicles safer and more comfortable. Nowadays, we can rely on anti-lock brakes and anti-slip systems, or enjoy the comfort of automatic climate control. All these control units can generate error codes when values are detected that are no longer in the predefined ranks.

When a control unit detects an error, it is first stored in the debouncing counter. If the error is no longer determined during the next test procedure, it is deleted and noted as a one-time measurement error. However, if the error is also diagnosed in the following measurements, an error code is generated and permanently stored. Fault codes can trigger operations in other control units to ensure the safety of a vehicle and its occupants. Depending on the severity of the error code, the warning light in the dashboard will also turn on.

What modes can be used in a Ford readout device?

On-board diagnostics can be used by a Ford readout device in 10 different modes. As soon as the Ford readout device is connected to the OBD2 port, the different modes can be used. The following modes can be used:

  1. Vehicle-specific diagnostic data
    In this mode, data values and sensor data can be queried in real time. This function can also be used to query the “Readiness Code”, which displays all components installed in the vehicle in a 12-digit binary code.
  2. Fault Environment Data or Freeze Frame Data
    When the control units detect a fault and the warning light is activated, freeze frame data is acquired and stored for this purpose. At the time of the fault, these are a snapshot of data from the components and sensors. These can help diagnose the defect, as all data can be displayed from the time the fault occurred.
  3. Permanent error codes that lead to the warning lamp lighting up
    In this function it is possible to recall all the defects that led to activation of the warning lamp in the dashboard. Vehicle manufacturers also have the option of defining their own fault codes that can cause the warning light to be triggered and are stored in this memory area.
  4. Deleting the emission-relevant error codes and fault environment data
    In this mode, all emission-relevant data can be deleted with the Porsche OBD scanner. This includes the error memory and the freeze frame data. Under certain circumstances, the manufacturer-specific error messages can also be deleted here.
  5. Lambda probe monitoring
    This function can be used to query the continuous monitoring of the lambda sensor and display the test results.
  6. Non-continuously monitored systems
    This area stores error messages that did not activate the warning lamp. The errors have been detected but have no systemic consequences to activate the warning light.
  7. Continuously monitored systems, warning light not active
    All data that triggered an error message only in one work cycle and were not sufficient to store an error code can be queried in this mode. They can help identify potential sources of error.
  8. Manufacturer-specific test functions
    Manufacturers can include their own test functions in this mode. However, this function is not usually used by European brands.
  9. Vehicle identification
    In this mode, it is possible to retrieve important data from the vehicle, which is stored in various control units. This includes, among other things, the vehicle identification number (VIN) and brand- and type-specific information.
  10. Mode 0A
    In this mode, the diagnostic device can read all error codes with the status “permanent DTC”. These are not deleted in the control unit until the error can no longer be detected.

How are the fault codes broken down in the Ford diagnostic device?

There are now many different error codes that can be used by control units. They are all recorded in the DTC (DATA TROUBLE CODE) , which now contains over 11,000 fault codes. It lists all the normal error codes used by each manufacturer. However, you also have the option of defining your own error codes if circumstances make this necessary.

The DTC consists of five characters that can be used as follows:

First digit:

A letter describing the location of the error.


Second digit:

The second digit is used to designate a general error code with a “0” according to the DTC, or a manufacturer-specific code with a “1”.

Third digit:

The third digit describes the exact location of the error memory that issued the error code.


Fourth and fifth digit

The error code from 0 to 99, which indicates the actual error.

The fault codes have also been defined in the SAE J2012 and ISO 15031-6 standards so that they can be used in the European standards. Manufacturers must adhere to the specified fault codes in the standards, but may also define their own fault codes.

Why a Ford readout device can ensure the safety of a car!
Why a Ford readout device can ensure the safety of a car!

Training is usually required for these handheld devices in order to use the various diagnostic options. They can be very complicated and offer features that are not suitable for individuals.

Mobile applications as Ford readout device

The most advanced technology for Ford readers are mobile applications that can be used on smartphones and tablets. They use the computing power offered by modern mobile devices and can therefore be offered at a much lower price. The computing power of modern mobile devices is far beyond the computers we used just a few years ago. This makes it possible to develop very user-friendly applications and perform analyses that cannot be done with other devices.

An example of this is the Carly OBD Scanner, which uses current Mobil technology to provide an affordable and convenient Ford readout device. Not only can the Carly OBD Scanner be used to read a vehicle’s fault memory, the computing power of the mobile device also makes it possible to check whether a vehicle ‘s mileage has been tampered with and what problems a vehicle may experience in the future.

What are the advantages of the Carly Ford readout device?

When developing the software for the Carly OBD Scanner, several goals were realized. The software can be used by vehicle owners who do not have a great deal of technical knowledge, but also by specialists who want to know in more detail about the various conditions of a vehicle.

Immediately after the Carly OBD scanner has read the data from the vehicle, the user is shown which problems have been detected by means of the colors of a traffic light. Green indicates that no errors could be read out and yellow means that errors were found but do not represent safety problems. Red indicates that serious errors have been detected that require immediate repair. This ensures that even non-savvy users can make good use of the Carly OBD Scanner.

The Carly OBD Scanner can be customized to the user’s needs with various subscription options. For example, users can also subscribe to Carly Smart Mechanic, which provides repair instructions created by accomplished technicians. In addition, diagrams and drawings can then be used that are normally only available to technicians in the authorized workshops. With the possibility of different software subscriptions, different types of vehicles can be diagnosed with one device and the Carly OBD scanner can be tailored to the exact needs of the customer. The costs here are far below those of other Ford readout devices, which in most cases are not worthwhile for private individuals.

Ford Readout Device Conclusion

A Ford readout device can pay for itself quickly. Not only does it provide the ability to quickly diagnose a vehicle’s current condition, but it can also be used to constantly ensure the vehicle’s safety on the road. When troubleshooting, a Ford diagnostic tool may be required because there is no other way to diagnose the condition of the electronic components.

Especially with used cars, it can be very useful to use a Ford readout device so that damage can be detected at an early stage, thus avoiding costly

to avoid consequential damage. The Carly Scanner has the advantage that it can be used by people who have no technical knowledge, but at the same time it can be used by specialists who are looking for a way to delve deeper into the electronics of a vehicle.

Keep in mind, that every car has different software and modules built-in. Therefore specific features will vary with every model.

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