At the very least Forscan makes a great obdII reader. If you use a laptop your only cost is really the cable which can run anywhere from $30 for a ELM327 type cable to about $100 vxgiag nano and up for a vcm2 clone. Not bad!
1ForScan running with vxdiag:
I’m using an ancient cheap netbook and VXDIAG VCX NANO for V112 Ford/V112 Mazda that I ordered directly from the manufacture’s website uobdii.com At about $89 it works flawlessly with Forscan and does both HS-CAN and MS-CAN automatically. Just select j2534 for the connection type. I should note that I do not use the VXDIAG VCX with Ford IDS or any other program besides Forscan. Most people buy the vxdiag for IDS but from what I understand Ford periodically tries to block j2534 adapters except for the official one that costs a lot of money. I originally purchased an earlier version on vxdiag when I was in California and my main concern was making sure there were no surprises when it came time for the dreaded SMOG inspection.
If you don’t mind spring for the extra $ I recommend the vxdiag. J2534 connection is the superior connection tech for Forscan. It’s faster, comprehensive functioning and as far as my experience just works. I should note that I haven’t tried anything dicey or fancy with it like hacking the ….
2 ELM327 + Forscan + Focccus + FF2 + ELMconfig
You are a computer tech, and you were able to make this work for you, without the very expensive OBD II hardware that some people believe is necessary.
I also see an inexpensive kit which includes FORScan.
I suppose a $100 investment into a cable is not always “must have”.
-PCM (Powertrain Control Module)
-ABS (Anti-lock Brake System, includes AdvanceTrac and Traction Control)
-RCM (Restraint Control Module, AKA airbags and seatbelts)
-AWD (All Wheel Drive module, if equipped)
-OCSM (Occupent Classification System Module, AKA Passenger Seat Sensors)
-PAM (Parking Aid Module)
-IPC (Instrument Panel Cluster)
-BdyCM (Body Control Module 2013+)
-ACM (Audio Control Module, 2013+)
-FCIM (Front Controls Interface Module, 2013+)
-PSCM (Power Steering Control Module, Hydraulic PS only)
-SECM (Steering Effort Control Module, Electric PS only)
-CCM (Cruise Control Module)
-SCCM (Steering Column Control Module, 2013+)
-APIM (Accessory Protocol Interface Module AKA SYNC)
-SJB (Smart Junction Box)
-HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning module)
-ACM (Audio Control Module, pre 2013)
-DSP (Audio Digital Signal Processing Module)
-DSM (Driver Seat Module)
-DDM (Driver Door Module)
-RFA (Remote Function Actuator Module)
-DCSM (Dual Climate Controlled Seat Module)
-SDARS (Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service)
-FCIM (Front Controls Interface Module, pre 2013)
-FDIM (Front Display Interface Module)
-ILCM (Interior Lighting Control Module)
-HCM-2 (High Beam Control Module)
-SOD-R/L (Side Obstacle Detection Control Module AKA BLIS, a module for each side of the vehicle)
-IPC-MS (Instrument Panel Cluster, MS-CAN)
-GPSM (Global Positioning System Module)
-APIM (Accessory Protocol Interface Module AKA SYNC)
3.Program 2018 Ford Transit Connect Wagon with Forscan running ELMconfig USB Adapter
I’ve been playing with Forscan on my 2018 TC (specifically to disable approach lights).
I wrote up a complete tutorial .
A Tutorial for Reprogramming Approach Lighting on a 2018 Ford Transit Connect
Every time you open a door, all the exterior lights (except for the headlights) would come on, and stay on for several minutes (or until the doors were locked).
How to fix on my own with Forscan?
A windows laptop.
The free Forscan software.
A usb obd2 adapter
You will need to follow the instructions to get a free Forscan license (basically you make an account on the forum, wait to get verified, and use this form. I’m not 100% sure but I think a license is required to do any programming of your car with Forscan. Note that the license is good for a couple months and you can get a new one after that if you need one.
Turn the ignition in your vehicle to ‘off’.
Connect the OBD2 adapter to the OBD2 port on your vehicle (it’s right under the steering wheel) and plug the other end in to a usb port on your laptop.
Note that you need to be in a garage or somewhere where you can get on wifi – Forscan will need to download a driver later on in the process.
Launch Forscan on your laptop.
Set the switch on the obd2 adapter to ‘HS’.
Turn the ignition to ‘on’.
You are now ready to start programming your Transit Connect.
Click the ‘vehicle and interface information’ icon in Forscan:
Then, click the connect button:
Forscan should now begin talking to your TC, via the obd port. After a few moments, Forscan will ask you to move the obd2 adapter switch to the ‘MS’ position.
What are MS and HS? They stand for Medium Speed and High Speed. Some devices on the canbus (the network all the computer modules in your vehicle connect to) have ‘medium speed’ connections, and some have ‘high speed’ connections. The switch on the obd2 adapter allows it to switch between these two speeds to communicate with all the available computer modules in your vehicle.
Forscan may ask a few other questions, such as whether to save the vehicle as a new profile. Say yes to this, it will make things slightly faster in the future.
At this point, Forscan has determined what capabilities the computer systems in your vehicle have, and you should see a screen similar to this:
Indicating that Forscan has successfully inventoried your vehicle.
Now, you are ready to enter the programming interface to actually make changes.
Saving your original data
In case something goes wrong, it’s a good idea to save your original data before you modify anything. You can do this by going to the AS-BUILT version of each module screen you intend to modify, clicking the ‘Run Service Procedure’ button, and the clicking the ‘Save All’ button. This will allow you to download the exact module configuration to your computer so you can restore it later.
See the AS-BUILT discussion section below for more about this.
Under the ‘Configuration and Programming’ page, you will see a list of all the modules that Forscan has discovered on your vehicle. Select ‘BodyCM Central Configuration (Main)’:
Then, click the ‘Run Service Procedure’ button:
At this point you will see a warning that changing settings on your vehicle with Forscan can cause problems. Just click ok on that. Next, a screen will pop up saying that Forscan needs to download a driver from the internet. This is the point where you actually need an internet connection.
Every time that Forscan actually programs your vehicle, the doors will lock and unlock.
If that all works ok, you are done with ‘BodyCM Central Configuration (Main). Click on the ‘Configuration and Programming’ tab on top to get back to the list of modules.
Next, go to to ‘Body CM Module Configuration’ and then press ‘Run Service Procedure’:
That will get you to the following screen, which lists all the body features that Forscan detects on your vehicle:
On that screen, select ‘Approach Lights’ and then click ‘Edit Selected’:
That will bring up a popup for changing the approach light setting (if you haven’t figured it out by now, ‘approach lights’ is the term for turning on all exterior lights when you open the doors). Select ‘disabled’ and hit the check mark to close the popup:
You’re almost done! Verify that ‘approach lights’ now says ‘disabled’. Hit the ‘write’ button’, and select the check mark in the popup confirming the change:
After that, Forscan will perform the actual programming to disable the approach lights. A popup will ask you to cycle the ignition switch and then press ‘ok’. Do that, then press the stop button at the bottom of the screen to exit the service procedure:
Congratulations! You’ve programmed your Transit Connect and disabled the Approach Lights.
What If Things Go Wrong?
When I was messing with the programming on my TC, something went wrong at some point. Instead of completing the programming, Forscan threw an error and a bunch of weird stuff popped up on my car’s info display (for example, it said there was a failure in Hill Assist). Also, the check engine light came on and stayed on.
If this happens to you, don’t panic! All you need to do is clear the error codes in the system. To do that, go to the DTC screen and follow the reset codes procedure on that screen.
Once I did that, the check engine light went off, and I had no permanent problems.
You will notice that each module has a regular menu and an AS-BUILT menu. If you go to the regular menu, you will see the sorts of screens I’ve presented here, with simple prompts.
The AS-BUILT screens look much different:
The AS-BUILT screen actually exposes the raw configuration data for each option. This allows you to change any arbitrary setting. The trick of course is knowing what each setting actually does. Unfortunately I have not located any good information about this for the Transit Connect. There is a F150 Forscan Porgramming Guide on google docs which goes in to much more details about how you can change the AS-BUILT settings in general. However, it appears that all the actual sections and values are completely different between that vehicle and the Transit Connect, so you can’t rely on any specific details in that document.
One thing you can do is change a setting via the regular module configuration, download the resulting AS-BUILT data, and compare it with the original. This will tell you exactly which Module setting matches which AS-BUILT entry. There’s a tool called AsBuilt Explorer to automate this process. I used it and discovered that the Transit Connect Approach Light module value is in AS-BUILT section 726-01-08 and changes the first column from 0A00 to 2A00.
Further, note that you can retrieve the original AS-BUILT data from any Ford vehicle from the Motorcraft As-Built site. The first time you go to that link you will need to select a region. Reload it after than and you can enter your VIN to retrieve your original AS-BUILT data. This is probably a good way to recover if you mess up your config without making a backup.