Please check the bottom of the page for quick download links for Ford IDS websites.
The Ford IDS (Integrated Diagnostic System) is a laptop based scan tool. It is the current scan tool for 1996 to present Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.
IDS first started in 1996 using a vehicle communication interface or module called the VCM.
It was built by Teradyne and was later serviced by Snap-on.
IDS used to include Mazda but they have parted ways around version 77.
Mazda is available seperately but it must be kept on a different laptop or partition from Ford IDS software or conflicts may arise.
Look under the Mazda link for more software info. Hardware info is below.
Ford has 2 different interfaces, the VCM which is the factory scan tool from 1996 thru 2014.
However, the VCM has been discontinued for over 1 year.
The VCM2 is a newcomer with capability for the newer Can systems expected to come out on newer cars.
Bosch builds the VCM2.
It is supposed to be backward compatible and so far, the bugs seem to be worked out.
Either scan tool requires a software license to operate the IDS software program. Each laptop requires a license.
Ford sells the license for 1 year for $699.00
I sell the same license for $645.00. Just contact me thru my info at the bottom.
At the bottom of this page is a link called Ford IDS help.
It has a help text file explaining some of the common pitfalls of the original VCM as well as explanation of VCM2 problems and even has the VCM2 pdf users manual.
Getting a New VCM2 install to work can be tricky with the addition of the Bosch ETAS driver which does not load right sometimes.
Now for some tips on the use of this great scan tool.
Diesel mechanics really need this tool. They have no idea just how hard they are working without it.
The cylinder power balance and especially, the electronic compression test make life alot easier and incredibly faster.
How about hooking up the scan tool, getting codes, seeing if there is a reflash update to sell, check power balance for the miss and running the electronic compression test to see if the miss might be mechanical in less than 10 minutes. (even on a diesel!)
Now that's the way to make money quick and easy.
A NEW VCM2 package with 2 year Ford warranty without the license is $1395.00 with free USA shipping.
All VCM or VCM2 scan tools require a $645.00 yearly license.
Dell E6500/6400 Business Class 2.5-3.0 GHZ Core 2 Duo W/4 GIG of RAM and a 2 partition Windows7 Professional solid state
Ford recommends 2-2.9 GHZ dual processor with 2 GIg of RAM.
Please note I only sell Solid State hard drives.
This means no moving parts, really fast performance and no risk of bumping or dropping the laptop causing a hard drive crash.
Also please note that I build the Hard drive with 2 completely seperate Windows 7 Pro installs.
At boot up, the laptop stops for a few seconds and offers you a menu to choose one of 2 possible sections.
You simply choose to change to a different section with different software installed.
I usually label the choices Ford or Mazda or GM etc to make picking the right choice easy.
Having 2 choices means if 1 partition has a problem and won't work right, the other 1 is still ok.
If using something called 'virtual machine' software, you create partitions inside of windows to run different programs seperately.
But if a problem occurs in the original windows software, then everything is affected.
Just not dependable enough for me.
I had a customer with one of my laptops suffer a conflict on his GM partition and could not get his Tech 2 scan tool to properly connect so he could install a radio that needed a flash to work.
He called me for advice and I suggested he reboot and pick a different partition and use it to flash the radio.
He bought my $99.00 back up laptop hard drive in an enclosure so everything from his laptop was restored later at his convenience.
Because I have an actual laptop harddrive in the enclosure, even if your solid state drive actually fails, you can quickly swap the 2 and have your laptop up and running without a lot of fuss.
This is the kind of planning I design to keep you able to do your job even when something goes really wrong.
The 2 partitions allow you to run Ford IDS on 1 partition and Mazda IDS on another partition.
All of these software programs should be kept seperate because of shared software files that might conflict with more than 1 program on the same partition
This laptop is $499.00 with 6 month warranty. If you suffer a problem, I can usually exchange it with another laptop quickly. I also provide Tech Support to determine what the problem is.
You are paying for service as well as the laptop to keep you in business.
2nd choice :
(Please note I don't recommend the CF-19 1.09 GHZ dual core. It's the slowest one Panasonic builds.)
Other People sell it to make more $$
I recommend the Panasonic Toughbook Touchscreen Tablet CF-19.
Dual core 1.2 GHZ Intel I-5 core processor w/4 GIG of RAM. Includes 120 GIG solid state hard drive with 2 Windows 7 Pro 32 bit operating systems and 6 month warranty.
This Tablet is $1195.00.
Dell E6410 laptop with Intel I7 Quad core 2.7 GHZ with 4 GIG of RAM and 120 GIG solid state hard drive.
The E6410 has the power and speed to run any software program currently made for car diagnostics and specifically exceeds Chryslers Witech software requirements.
If you are considering getting Chrysler in the near future, This is really a must to be prepared.
It comes with 2 partitions to run Ford and other Programs
seperately to eliminate conflicts.
The E6410 is refurbished with 6 months warranty for $999.00.
Fourth choice :
Dell E6530 laptop with the Intel I7 Quad core 2.9 GHZ w/8 GIG of Ram and 3rd generation motherboard.
The E6530 is top of the line speed and capability with a 2 partition hard drive to allow 2 different software programs to run completely seperately.
The E6530 is Dell refurbished with 6 month warranty. It sells for $1595.00 with 2 partitions.
All Dell laptops come with a polyurethane keyboard cover to protect them from dirt and sweat or moisture.
My reputation is to provide only the best choices available to insure your diagnostic equipment works reliably.
I look forward to helping you make the best possible decision in adding a scan tool to your shop.
Please find my contact info at the bottom of my homepage.