Ford diagnostics and programming: ELS27 adapter with Forscan and Ford VCM2 with IDS – which one is better?
Ideas from the experienced users…here you go
Forscan is designed for people who want to tinker with settings, clear codes and customize the electronics in their vehicles.
Ford IDS is designed for people to do things exactly the way the manual says – it’s pretty clear that it won’t let you color outside the lines. IDS is much more capable than Forscan, but for most people that doesn’t really matter.
Price and use:
For middle road stuff, Forscan it’s cheaper and easier.
If you register for an extended license it can perform module programming, pats functions, cal steering angle, dpf regens any incodes required are generated
when you perform whatever task you are doing, it will ask if you want Forscan to generate code or if you want to use an external code generator
so far I have found it easier to do basic stuff on
but IDS still has the edge for adding extra’s on like cruise and snowflake as the engineering menu gives you plain text options to add whereas Forscan has to be played with to change parameters.
If someone could do a spreadsheet comparing file details before and after pcm/bcmi software changes it would make the need for IDS nearly redundant
If you have good luck with decent IDS mod, you’ll have no problem with any issues on Ford diagnosis and programming. The mod has no license requirement.
Hardware compatibility:Forscan works with J2534 adapters incl. VCM2, MVCI, GNA600, VXDIAG, but it’s easier if you use a OBD2 connection – you use an ELS27 adapter – and unless you have the VCM for some other reason. ELS27 is the way cheaper too. One thing to note – Ford uses multiple CAN protocols in their modern vehicles. If you’re buying an OBD2 connection tool, make sure it can read the MS CAN signals.
IDS works perfectly with VCM2 also, genuine or good china clone. You can use WiFi for basic obd2 diagnosis, key making, ECU reprogramming and programming. Beside, IDS can work with a lot of auto diagnostic tools, such as VCM IDS3, VXDIAG VCX NANO Ford, etc.
For module initializing and updating I personally think I’d trust IDS more.
Forscan is a backward engineered program and I brown trousered myself when I did something with it iirc.
Laptop and mobile compatibility:
Forscan can be used in a PC or a mobile (Android or iOS). The main program is for windows (with a version that runs via Wine on Linux, MacOS, and BSD)(Free) then there’s a “lite” version for android/and Iphone (paid)
To unlock the full potential of Forscan, you need the extended license(Free, valid for 3 months at a time)) requires an account on the Forscan Forums. you can generate a new extended key any time.
But it is better to use a laptop on windows operating system Forscan is available for android mobile devices and others but doesn’t have full functionality
Forscan on MacOS:
Forscan on Windows 10:
IDS is usually used on a laptop, but someone also install the old version on an iOS mobile.
IDS on Windows 7:
IDS v86 on an iOS mobile: