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Stahlcar News

Posted by on Sep 02, 2017 .

We have now just launched our Instagram page which you can follow at www.instagram.com/stahlcar/ We thought it would be a great way of showing our customers and fans some of the behind the scene works as well as photos of our products in action. We will also be showcasing some vehicles and what scan tool options are available for each car. So jump on and give us a follow

Posted by on May 26, 2017 .

Foxwell are proud to annouce that from now it will offer Free Updates for life on all models except the GT80 range. This will help Foxwell stand even further apart from other brands on the market. Updates will still continue to be delivered at at an industry leading rate but now this will come as no extra cost.

Key points are:

- All tools minus the GT80 range will now have free updates for life
- The GT80 will now come with 3 years free updates instead of 18 months
-  For the NT510 the first software is free but each additiional software is still $60USD. Free updates apply
- If you have already purchased a Foxwell unit then you are included in this massive update

Foxwell will continue to release regular updates to ensure your tool is ready for all vehicles, this is just their way of rewarding all the loyal Foxwell customers.

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 .

The 90s were a pivotal time in world history, and 1996 was no different. You might have spent the year glued to the TV playing Super Mario 64, or perhaps you were busy campaigning for Bill Clinton or Bob Dole, or maybe you were so depressed that Princess Diana and Prince Charles divorced that you spent the whole year locked in your room, a prisoner of your own existential nihilism. Whatever you did, though, it’s likely that one major event passed you by without a thought: The standardization of on-board vehicle diagnostics (in the US), otherwise known as OBD-II.

In the 1970s, vehicles (in some western countries, at least) were subject to ever-increasing restrictions on emissions. Most companies began switching from carburetors to efficient fuel injection systems, but even that wouldn’t be enough for the new standards. Cars began to carry rudimentary computer systems to manage and control the influx of valves, meters, and sensors that became the new norm. And, as one would guess, every car company had their own standard for managing and monitoring these computer systems. Eventually they would settle on the OBD system that we have today.

 

Sea Change

First, though, we should go back in time to see what led to this sea change in the automotive industry. In the beginning, the only way to diagnose a problem with a car was to investigate unusual noises, poor performance issues, or other problems directly. This can be especially troublesome on electrical problems because of their invisible nature. It was only a matter of time before someone hacked together a way to make the troubleshooting process easier. That’s partially why the first mass-produced vehicle diagnostics systems had almost nothing to do with emissions and focused mostly on helping mechanics identify common problems.

The first of these systems came online in the late 60s on some Volkswagens. (Here’s on in evidence in the author’s Beetle.) The proprietary test port that was installed in these cars gave the mechanics easy access to the electrical system via a “small” computer that could test a number of different aspects of the car. From there they could tell if lights were burned out, some information on the ignition system, and (for fuel injected cars) some information on the fuel delivery system. Even though a 1970s Volkswagen is pretty late in the game as far as old Volkswagens go (the first model year was 1938) it was still early for the industry and gave VW mechanics a leg up on troubleshooting.

The next car company to take a stab at a vehicle diagnostics system was Nissan on their 280Z sports car. Unlike Volkswagen, this system was intended to help manage the increasing demands of the fuel injection system in the post-EPA world. Not to mention the fact that the 280Z was a pioneering performance car, and any gains that could be made by using a computer to fine-tune the engine were welcomed.

After the success of Volkswagen and Nissan, other car companies saw the perks of having a diagnostics system that was easy for mechanics to plug into to identify problems with vehicles. General Motors created their own proprietary system in the 80s that helped factory workers identify problems with cars as they rolled off the assembly line. Although it’s probably not a good sign for your manufacturing process that you need to specially design diagnostic tools for brand new cars (after all, when was the last time you saw a Cadillac Cimarron on the road?), the GM diagnostic system did find some utility with mechanics for a time.

Unification (Slide from this talk on OBD-II)

At this point there are many different car companies having equally different standards for interacting with the on-board diagnostic systems. This is where the US federal government stepped in with a mandate that all cars have a standard OBD system by a certain date. As a result, diagnostic systems really start to focus almost all of their attention to the emissions systems. The first standard was known as OBD-I and took effect gradually in the late 80s and early 90s. This system was primitive by comparison to its successor, OBD-II, which is the current standard for all cars sold in the United States since 1996. Most other first world countries adopted this (or similar) standards around this time as well.

The current OBD-II standard specifies the protocols used to monitor many of the sensors in the car and can alert the driver if any of them aren’t operating properly. Most cars built under this standard have an increased number of oxygen sensors, control over mass air flow sensors and the fuel injectors, and many other aspects of the car. All of this means that there are more efficient engines on the road that all communicate in a way that makes it easy to tell why the check engine light on your dashboard came on. It also makes it easy for a mechanic to test the emissions of the car if you live in a place the requires your vechile to pass an emissions test. All the mechanic has to do for an OBD-II compliant car is plug into the OBD port and view the output on another monitor, rather than fuss with attaching sensors to the exhaust and running the car through a battery of tests.

On the other hand, there’s a lot to be desired from a system that was designed years before anyone had heard of Super Smash Bros. There’s some talk about a new OBD-III standard that would allow cars to take advantage of the growing wireless network, essentially adding “all new cars” to the list of Internet of Things devices. It would then be possible for a car to report itself to regulatory agencies, and for the car to be shut down remotely if it violates any emissions laws. While this could be argued to be a win for the environment, there are certainly concerns about government overreach and Big Brother that will need to be addressed before anything substantial is brought to market. It would have probably made it harder for Volkswagen to have cheated their emissions test results, for example, but the benefits might not outweigh the unintended consequences of something like this. Whatever the new OBD standard will include, though, it will be a welcome improvement for the aging system we have in OBD-II.

Written by Bryan Cockfield

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 .

Learning how to use an OBD(On Board Diagnostics) scan tool is an important part in ensuring that there is always a smooth fault repair process. Despite its importance, so many people are usually oblivious of this fact and end up just purchasing the OBD scan tool from online and then commence their use without passing through the learning process.

This can lead to some scanning misinterpretation of the trouble codes which may have been logged. The user may end up incurring huge expenses which could easily have been avoided if a little bit of reading on the how to use an OBD scan tool was taken seriously. Though the whole usage process itself is relatively simple and is usually contained in the user manual, it is always good to have have a read on how to unlock the true power of your scan tool.

In this article, we have taken time to take you through a step by step process on how to use an OBD scan tool. We are glad to have you take the journey of learning a step by step use of the OBD with us.

Check your car OBD compliance

It is important for you to find out first of all if your car is OBD2 compliant or if it is still using it's own manufacturer specific diagnostic protocol(or OBD1). Because OBD2 was basically formed to control the rate of emission in the environment, its sensor based network will ensure you're vehicle is running efficiently.

The OBD is a computer controlled interface which work with many sensors to give the user an indication on the state of the car engine health. Knowing the logging capacity enables the user to be able to select the relevant scan tool for the job.

In most cases, cars which are OBD compliant have the tool already within its system and the car malfunction status is detected when the signal keeps giving what is in most cases known as the ‘check engine light’. This is in most cases a sign of a fault within the car system and it can be anything to do with the engine or its large range of sensors all of which can affect your vehicle.

This fault detection system usually arises from engine related faults con which is also called the power train control module (PCM) which essentially works out from its sensors what the car system should be doing right.

The standard procedure with the OBD engine scan process is that the PCM has the capacity to store trouble codes that are detected within the engine. These days with the scan tools available you can pull these codes yourself to get to the root of the problem. The majority also now have these fault code meaning stored on the tool so will tell you right then what is wrong with the vehicle. This saves a lot of time and money.

Plug in the OBD scan tool

The detection of the engine fault through the malfunction indicator light (M/IL) is enough to send you into action. The OBD connector for most vehicles is usually located below the driver’s steering wheel below the dash. Using the 16 pin connection cable(or other if your vehicle is OBD1) the scan tool is fitted to the cars diagnostic port.

Plug the OBD Scan into port under the dash

When the connection is established, the engine should always remain awake but care should be taken not to turn the key on. This plug usually allows the OBD scan tool to display certain basic information regarding the car.

If the OBD scanner in question is a wireless one (wifi, bluetooth), it is obviously important to pair it between the tool and your smartphone/tablet first. The important thing is the correct software for your wireless smartphone/tablet. We fully recommend Torque for Android and OBD Car Doctor for iOS systems

Retrieve the Fault Codes

When connected, the OBD tool has the capacity of showing the codes and their meanings. Some of the tools which are more advanced have several display functions which includes the live data and the freeze data reading. The freeze data are stored data which occured when the fault was triggered and is in most cases usable later.

The fault code is usually displayed on screen of the OBD scan tool for the mechanic or the user to see. The use of the new generation scanners is usually one area where the scan completion process can be well known. Don’t run the risk of wrong fault detection using some old model readers which in some cases masquerade as scanners. Another reason to ensure you buy genuine units!

With your OBD tool you should have the option to erase the fault code. If you are confident you have fixed the problem then you can safely erase the fault now. If you think that you would rather have someone else repair the fault then do not erase the fault. Write it down somewhere instead so that when you take it your your mechanic you can explain to them what the fault indicated is. This also save some mechanics taking your for a ride!

What to do with the results

When the data has been cleared using the scan tool, but the check engine light trouble sign persists. This may mean that you haven't properly repaired the issue at fault. Checking on any possible fault code sources through the data code readings on the screen is important.  Google is also your friend, it offers a wealth of knowledge on repairs for each vehicle. In some cases, it is imperative to consult a qualified mechanic top see if the problem could be arising from other areas.

Sometimes you may also feel that your car isn't running right even though the check engine light isn't on. This is where OBD scan tools with live data functions come into their own. These tools will provide live sensor information and are incredibly valueable in helping you isolate a rough running engine. Live sensor data is provided on screen so you can see exactly what is going on in your engine right now. Sometimes a rough running engine will not trigger a check engine light as it is still operating within the acceptable sensor ranges. Live data tools are the perfect tool for these situations and are built into a lot of the latest OBD tools these days.
 

Also some people may not be aware that the malfunction indicator light may come on and off to signal a loose connection in the engine area. Though the whole process may cost a lot, the mechanic may have a professional opinion on what is making the malfunction indicator light come on and off. Moreover, the mechanic may know how to translate the codes if the tool is not fitted with the necessary code translation guides.

OBD scan tools differ in shape, the amount of data which...

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 .

It may not be as easy as one may think when setting out to select personal OBD 2 reader for your car. This is because each car is unique and may need to be treated as such. However the whole how to process will be dependent on some areas which one needs to cover.

Though the OBD 2 readers may come in all shades of color and sizes, the right one is just within your reach if you only tried. Our guide is therefore focused at giving you a one on one account of how to go about selecting the right OBD 2 reader for your car.

The confidence you are bound to experience will definitely improve your car use experience. In addition, selecting the right OBD 2 reader is important in enabling you keep safe and sound while driving.

Learning this selection process alone has made many people escape from the numerous problems they would have encountered by getting an OBD 2 reader which does not fit their car needs.

Some of the areas to cover include;

  • Know the user language– because some of the OBD 2 is not multilingual in nature, using them may prove to be quite challenging and so may require the buyer to look carefully when selecting. Choose an OBD reader which conforms to your catchment language.
  • Know how the OBD 2 reader of your car operates– for starters, you may need to know whether your car is compliant. Most modern cars are compliant with the possibility of accommodating different car readers.

In addition to that, ensure that the car has the required area where the OBD 2 device will be easily connected. This will be good for the sake of convenience and ease of use.

  • Get a wider network– in the selection process; do not be fixed at one item look for a reader which is capable of diversifying. The most important area is to ensure that the OBD 2 reader has the capacity to get the required data readings.

Most modern cars are compliant with the possibility of accommodating different car readers.

What would be nice to look at in this case is in the area of the codes. The reader should have the ability to get the manufacturer specific as well as generic codes for you. These need to be wide range in nature.

This network would be best if you sought it from the different sources which include reading of the user reviews and connecting with friends. Other areas where you may visit would be visiting the manufacturer sites directly.

In addition, selecting a reader with a wide range of capacities may just be what you are looking for. The best case would be a reader which can perform tasks of car code reading while attempting to assist with the repair process as well.

The wide coverage also needs to consider things like the coverage of the several user protocols which are known to be standard in nature. All the above information can be evident if you look at some of the features of your OBD 2 reader.

You need to know which of the devices suits your car

It would be nice if you just took your time to acquaint yourself with the latest trends on the diverse car engine protocols which are in use at any given moment in time. It will definitely save the buyer a lot of stress.

  • The features– though each of the OBD 2 reader tools come with its own features, what is important is that the reader needs to have some of the latest features just like you need to have your car updates.

In addition, the features need to be easy to read and use. For instance, the OBD 2 reader’s memory needs to be large enough to store data for the future if needed. In addition, the visual areas like the screen must be clear and eye friendly.

  • Check for relevance– most users buy the OBD 2 readers without knowing which of the areas it will be attending to. This act alone is enough to subject the reader to irrelevance. In some areas, the tool may be so efficient but working on the wrong problem.
  • Shop for the OBD 2 readers– the range of OBD 2 devices in the market alone is enough to give you an advantage when selecting the readers. You need to know which of the devices suits your car and whether it will be a standalone or the ones which rely on the car engine.

 

 

It would be nice if you went around and shopped for a reader which has the specifications fitting your car. What however may need to be taken into account is the universal nature of some of the OBD 2 readers.

Conclusion

Getting the how to information on the OBD 2 readers is hard in the market. Most areas which concern the use of the readers are quite popular when compared. Reviews concern themselves mostly with areas to do with the functional strengths and weaknesses.

If you were seeking some relevant information, then you are surely in the right place. This resource therefore makes it among the relevant information you need to seek before settling for any OBD 2 reader purchase.

If you are unsure as it if your car is OBD2 then we recommend having a quick read through Our Guide
We have also set up a 'Will this work on my car' feature on every item in the store. Also feel free to contact us through the contact form
 

Posted by on Feb 14, 2016 .

With the online shopping now accounting for a huge amount of worldwide sales and the world of vehicle diagnostic tools so large, you may ask why you should buy from us? What we are seeing with many forms of electrical units coming out of China, is a major cloning/illegal copy issue. Almost anything can be copied by cheap factories in China these days. This can be fine with some items but when it comes to tool that you may be using on your or your customers car, then it's not really a gamble you would want to take. We make sure that all the units we sell are absolutely genuine. There are thousands of illegal Foxwell and Autel units on the market alone. We ensure we source directly from the factory. The last thing you want to do after having thought you have scored a bargain off a foreign shopping site is find that you have a non genuine unit with no backup or support. This leads us onto other points as to what makes us stand out above the rest:

1 year warranty on all our products
If you buy a scanner off us, a 1 year warranty applies to all our scanners, this only covers hardware failure. All you have to do is send it back and we will send out a replacement, free of charge.

Aftersales service
Any problems or queries we will always be ready to help. We stand by our products and want to ensure you get the full use of your scanner.
Easy payment system. You can pay with PayPal, Credit Card or bank transfer. Our credit card payments are processed through PayPal so we can ensure a safe process.

Local Support
The trouble with buying some things online especially from China is if things break or go wrong(which they do) then you have to pay huge shipping costs to send the item back. there is then every chance that the item will be lost. With Stahlcar we are a local company offering return local addresses for both out New Zealand and Australian customers. English is also our first language so we can understand problems and issues.

Downunder Diagnostic knowledge
We spend a lot of time researching what diagnostic systems are used by what cars on NZ/Aus roads. This ensures that we have the right tool for your car and no money is wasted.

We will find the the right scanner for you!
Worried that it all is looking a bit daunting now? Don't panic, it may seem a lot of infomation to take it but we are here to help. It's surprisingly easy and once you are underway, you will be saving yourself a lot of money. We want to ensure you have the right scanner for your car and needs. You can read our gudie here. If you are still unsure as to what scanner you need then please contact us and we can suggest a scanner for you. Buy with confidence and peace of mind knowing you will be getting the best product and the best service

 

So in summary if you look hard enough you might be able to find genuine scan tools out there which may be cheaper than our prices. But what isn't factorerd into that price is the local support and knowledge. Most scan tools are an investment so you need to be sure that if failures do happen then everything will be taken care off easily. That's what makes us what we are!

Posted by on Apr 18, 2015 .

Foxwell have decided to change their Pro Series range of diagnostic tools slightly. The NT611, NT612, NT614 units will now be discontinued. These will now be covered by the NT624 All Systems/All Makes tool.

The good news is that if you currently have a NT611, NT612 or NT614 then you will now get a free upgrade to the NT624. All you have to do is register your current tool as a NT624 and you will recieve the free updates to download. You can read more on how to do this in the pdf guide.

We are now selling excess NT611 and NT614 stock both of which will come with a free upgrade to the NT624 worth $495! Check them out here

The NT614 unit itself will be replaced with a new tool which will cover All Makes and 4 systems.

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 .

We are happy to announce that shipping is now absolutely free for all New Zealand customers. No matter where you are or how much you order, the total will remain at zero. We will still be using CourierPost to courier you your items.

So get shopping..