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OBD2 scanner for your Ford S-Max – All you need to know

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Many who are looking to access their Ford S-Max’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 S-Max and know its health state at all times.

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

So let’s explore more 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 vehicle’s information and in some cases even control back your car 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 features 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 mainly only show the raw data and you then have to find out more information about it on your own.

The cost for a OBD2 scanner can range from cheap to hundreds of euros, depending on the features offered. Moreover, since the device includes its own screen, they are typicallya bit chunkier. So 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 pocket-sized device that you can plug into your car.  They work with mobile applications so that you can get all of your vehicle’s information from your smartphone. 

They can be slightly more expensive because it includes a default Bluetooth connection (to make it wireless) and the app must also be purchased separately.

However,an advantage is that some scanners can 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 S-Max. This can be especially important for less modern cars where not all vehicle data can be read out via onboard electronics.

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Why choose a Bluetooth OBD2 scanner?

OBD2 scanners are the most convenient tools since they are small, offer advanced functionalities, are budget friendly, and are wireless scanners!

It is 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 information depends on the OBD2 scanner and app that you select.

car diagnostics

The most basic functionalities 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, advanced OBD2 scanner can offer many more features. 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 S-Max

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

OBD diagnostics are generic trouble codes 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 car’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 S-Max

Having access to a live data feature lets you see the real-time parameters of your automobile! Here you can monitor data such as the turbo boost pressure.

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 S-Max

The used car check is one of the most useful features if you are planning to sell your Ford S-Max or purchase a used vehicle. With this feature, you can detect car scams by uncovering:

  • Mileage fraud
  • Stolen cars
  • And knowing the actual internal status of the car.

So as a seller, you can provide proof that the car 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 S-Max

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

  • Car mechanics need more 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 email them to your car 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 fault codes. However, the more advanced OBD2 scanner can give you insights into other systems of your Ford S-Max. 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 approximately $130.

Are cheap OBD2 scanners any good?

It is possible that you run into budget scanners while searching for one. However, we highly 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 instance, if you are only looking to read and clear engine obd 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.

Nevertheless, regardless of what you are looking for, we have a list of suggestions 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, one of the best advice 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 highly recommend you to get one with Bluetooth! This is the most convenient option 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 S-Max. Here you can check all the available Carly features for your car model.

Additionally, ensure that the scanner’s corresponding app is also compatible with your phone. 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 reviews. 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 faults, 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 car. Additionally, it lets you know if you need to take immediate actions to repair any problems.

The best OBD2 scanner

There are many available OBD2 scanner that can work great for your vehicle. 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 S-Max, with Carly, you will get advanced features that only a professional diagnostics tool would offer. So you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get all of the advanced features that we mentioned above!

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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Ready to have complete control over your car’s functioning and health monitoring? Your OBD2 scanner is waiting for you!