OBD2 scanner for your Ford Ranger – All you need to know

Many who are looking to access their Ford Ranger’s diagnostics, live data, or even code their vehicle, know that an OBD2 scanner is the best tool for this!  

With an OBD2 scanner, you will be able to have full control of your Ford Ranger and know its health state at all times.

The best part is that you can save thousands of dollars on maintenance and repair costs! A OBD2 scanner scanner with advanced functionailities can even let you access hidden data that only a professional OBD2 scanner provides.

So let’s dive deeper and discover what exactly is a OBD2 scanner? How does it work? And what can do with it?

What is an OBD2 scanner?

OBD stands for “onboard diagnostics” and OBD2 is the most advanced version of the “OBD” technology. This technology lets you access your car’s information and in some cases even control back your vehicle through coding.

There are many different types of OBD2 scanner that let you access your car’s OBD systems.

Mainly there are 2 different types of OBD2 scanner: with a physical screen and with an app. Both of them can offer similar functions but are meant for different uses.

OBD2 scanner with a screen

Handheld scanner

Most of these OBD2 scanner, also known as diagnostic devices, offer the basic functionalities that a scan tool does. These are diagnostics and live parameters.

However, they mostly only show the raw data and you then have to find out more information about it on your own.

The price for a OBD2 scanner can range from cheap to hundreds of euros, depending on the features offered. Moreover, since the device contains its own screen, they tend to beslighly chunkier. Hence they are not convenient if you are looking for a portable OBD2 scanner.

OBD2 scanner with an app

Bluetooth OBD2 scanner

An OBD2 scanner is a small device that you can plug into your car.  They work with apps so that you can view and manage all of your vehicle’s insights from your smartphone. 

They can be slightly pricier because it includes a default Bluetooth connection (to make it wireless) and the mobile application must also be bought separately.

However,an advantage is that some scanners provide even more information than a diagnostic device. For example, besides just OBD-level diagnostics and live data, you can also code your car or access in-depth and manufacturer-level diagnostics.

Additionally, OBD2 scanners not just give you data, but also help you interpret what this information means by giving you deeper insights about your Ford Ranger. This can be especially important for less modern cars where not all vehicle data can be read out via onboard electronics.

Why go for a Bluetooth OBD2 scanner?

OBD2 scanners are highly convenient tools since they are small, offer advanced functions, are cheap, and are wireless scanners!

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that every OBD2 scanner is different since they can differ in:

  • Functions offered (basic vs. advanced)
  • Compatibility with car brands
  • Compatibility with smartphones (iPhone & Android)

All the features you can access with a OBD2 scanner

OBD2 scanner can let you access a lot of data about your vehicle. Nevertheless, the available data depends on the OBD2 scanner and app that you select.

car diagnostics

The most basic functions that OBD2 scanner offer are OBD diagnostics and/or OBD live parameters. And some, only give you this information related to the engine, and not to other systems of your car.

However, there are many more features that an advanced OBD2 scanner can offer. And the best part is that “Advanced” does not mean costly.

Below we will list all the features that a OBD2 scanner can let you access! In the case of the Carly OBD2 scanner, you can get all of them.

Diagnostics for Ford Ranger

The diagnostics functionalities lets you read out and clear diagnostic trouble codes that are present in your Ford Ranger.

OBD diagnostics refers to generic faults related to the engine only (i.e. check engine light). Whereas, manufacturer-level diagnostics are faults related to all of the other vehicle systems, such as the airbag, transmissions, brake, ABS codes, etc.

Having access to the diagnostics features lets you get an overview of your vehicle’s health and find out potential issues that can become critical. Some OBD2 scanner such as Carly can even let you access both generic and manufacturer-specific trouble codes.

Live data for Ford Ranger

Having access to a live data feature lets you see the real-time parameters of your car! Here you can monitor data such as the oil temperature.

Similar to diagnostics, some OBD2 scanner let you access only OBD live data and others also let you access manufacturer-level live data.

OBD live data refers to engine-related data only. While manufacturer-level live data refers to real-time parameters about other systems than the engine.

Used car check for Ford Ranger

The used car check is one of the most useful features if you plan to sell your Ford Ranger or buy a second-hand vehicle. With this feature, you can detect vehicle scams by uncovering:

  • Mileage fraud
  • Stolen cars
  • And knowing the real health state of the car.

So as a seller, you can provide proof that the vehicle is worth the value, and as a buyer, you can have feel confident that you are purchasing a good second-hand vehicle.

Digital Garage for Ford Ranger

Having all of your car’s health reports is very important when:

  • Car technitians need more in-depth information about your car
  • Your car worked perfectly before taking it to an auto repair shop.
save money on car repairs

This functionality will let you have all of your car’s diagnostic reports on your phone and even save them as PDFs to forward them to your mechanic.

Cost of OBD2 scanner

The cost of a OBD2 scanner depends on many factors. These include the performance of the device, the speed of the analyses, and the effectiveness of the diagnoses, i.e. how accurately a problem can be diagnosed. 

Many OBD2 scanner can only check certain systems, and give you basic engine-level faults. However, the more advanced OBD2 scanner can give you insights into other systems of your Ford Ranger. Usually, professional software that offers this level of in-depth data can cost up to $3,000. 

However, with Carly, you can get your OBD2 scannerand app with advanced features for around $130.

Are cheap OBD2 scanners any good?

It is possible that you run into cheap scanners while searching for one. However, we strongly advice you to be careful about purchasing a cheap diagnostic tool.

In many cases, they are not reliable or require extremely expensive control software. And additionally, software updates or additional functions are only available for a fee. So in the end, you end up spending a lot of money.

What should I look for in an OBD2 scanner?

In essence, what you should look for in a OBD2 scanner depends on what you want and need.

For example, if you are only seeking to read and clear engine faults (such as the check engine light) then a simple code reader will do! And, if you are looking for other features such as coding and live parameters, a complete OBD2 scanner such as the Carly scanner works best.

However, regardless of what you are looking for, we have a checklist of recommendations that you should look for before buying your scanner.

Lifetime warranty

There are many OBD2 scannerthat only offer a 1-year warranty or a 3-year warranty. However, OBD2 scanner are meant to last longer than that, and you should be covered for your entire lifetime. Therefore, the best recommendation that we can give you is to ensure that your OBD2 scanner includes a lifetime warranty.

Wireless, Bluetooth OBD2 scanner

If you are looking for a OBD2 scanner that you can carry around without additional cables, we recommend you to get one with Bluetooth! This option is the most convenient and will not take any space in your car.

Compatibility with your vehicle manufacturer and phone

This might be one of the TOP factors when searching for a OBD2 scanner. Make sure that your scanner will be compatible with your Ford Ranger. Here you can check all the available Carly features for your car model.

Additionally, make sure that the scanner’s corresponding app is also compatible with your smartphone. Some diagnostic apps are only available for Android or Apple devices.

The best OBD2 scanner have their app available for both iPhone & Android devices in the case that you switch to a different smartphone.

If you decide to go for the Carly Universal Scanner and app you can have peace of mind that it is compatible with both iOS & Android devices.

Ease of use and ratings

A good way to know if you are purchasing a great scanner is by taking a look at the user ratings. Additionally, you will want a scanner that has a diagnostic app that is easy to use and navigate.

Some apps give limited information about diagnostics and trouble codes, whereas others allow you to understand at a deeper level what every fault code means.

For example, the Carly app color codes every fault based on how critical this obd2 code is for your car’s health. This makes it easy to understand the overall health state of your vehicle. Additionally, it lets you know if you need to take immediate actions to fix any issues.

Choosing the best OBD2 scanner

There are many available OBD2 scanner that can work great for your car. However, picking the best scanner comes down to value for money.

Even if your OBD2 scanner meets all of the points mentioned in the checklist above, it might only let you access basic features. So we believe that the more features included in the price, the best deal you get!

Our team of car experts and technicians tested 25 OBD2 scanner and narrowed it down to the best 10 scanners. However, the best ones always came down to value for money.

Carly OBD Scanner

If you are looking for the best OBD2 scanner for your Ford Ranger, with Carly, you will get advanced functionalities that only a professional and expensive scanner would offer. So you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get all of the advanced features that we mentioned above!