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Welcome to the world of clones, fakes and just plain on poor workmanship. As with any electronic goods, there are dangers to be aware of. We have been on the scene for a few years now and have seen many of the tricks and stories going around. So we thought we would put together a little guide to help you out and to reassure you that you are buying from a company that takes it products seriously.
The trouble with china
You may have read or seen on tv the amount of fake consumer goods being produced in China these days. This is no different with diagnostic tools. It only takes a matter of days from when a new genuine tool is launched, to see clones popping up. Manufacturers do their best to crack down on these, higher end tools will have a serial registration for updates. Lower end tools are the most common cloned units around. The most common cloned brands are Autel, Launch and Xtool, all of which we buy directly from the manufacturer.
We have seen many of the fake units around. It gets to us that some people still try to sell them even though the genuine product was discontinued years ago. Ebay and Trademe are classic places where these fake units are sold by sellers which have no idea what they are selling.
Fake items we have seen include:
Autel MD801 - Discontinued in 2008, all units you see on ebay or Trademe are in fact fakes. Cannot be updated. Do not waste you time or money!
Autel MS300 - Another long discontinued product. Yet still popping up new? Nope it's a fake.
Autel MS509 - Also discontinued in 2008, all units you see of these are fakes.
Autel DS708 - Many fakes out there that cannot be updated.
Anything by the Konnwei brand as they are just old Autel unit clones.
We will keep adding to the list as we come across more.
This is a hidden danger. Diagnostic tools have the potential to cause serious harm to your vehicles ECU. Some of the workmanship inside fake/cloned units is absolutely terrible. It really is a game of Russian Roulette plugging some units into your car because trust us replacing the ECU is not a cheap fix. These units are put together by poorly paid untrained labour. They must send our so many units per day so quality is no priority at all. Two parts of solder touching together or a wire put in the wrong place is all it can take to say goodbye to your car. We've seen it..
What we do
At Stahlcar we make sure that we source all our tools from the manufacturer. We make sure they are fit for purpose on all vehicles on N.Z/Aus roads. The last thing you want to do is buy a tool which either fails to work as described or if you buy a higher end tool the last thing you want it to find it's a clone and cannot be registered. All other unbranded units come from our supplier which makes them to a very high standard and quality. We check their work frequently to ensure we are selling good quality goods. While electronic equipment will always be electronic equipment, failures are expected, for this we offer a full 1 year warranty on all products we sell. We don't hide in a far away country and ignore any faulty item requests.