How to Spot Cheap Imitations
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The transition to electronic diagnostics has helped to revolutionize the automotive industry. Being able to plug in to a vehicle and run a software program that accurately identifies the source of a problem has helped technicians save a great deal of time and money, and has streamlined the whole process of vehicle maintenance.
It’s fair to say that high-quality diagnostic equipment is among the most valuable tools in the technician’s toolbox.
A correct diagnosis depends on the accuracy of the information in the software and the ability of the hardware to take the correct readings from the vehicle. Can you be absolutely certain that your software contains up-to-date and valid information? Do you know for sure that your hardware is capable of running the correct tests and decoding the messages the car is sending it? If you bought your diagnostics hardware from a Delphi-approved distributor, and have updated your official Delphi software with a valid License Key, then the answer is Yes. You can be absolutely confident that you have access to the very latest Delphi solutions, training, expert support, and lifetime warranty if the software stays continuously in subscription. However, we are aware that sub-standard counterfeit diagnostics tools are affecting the aftermarket. These alternatives are nowhere near as capable as the official solution, and though they may look similar to the original they are in fact poor imitations. Imitations like these could be putting your business and your customers at risk. They have not benefited from the same level of investment in research and development. They have not been tested on a wide range of vehicles or to the same OE engineering standard as the Delphi products. Therefore, there is a serious potential of them damaging important components in a vehicle’s ECU.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you identify the Delphi product and the counterfeit:
Only one of these logos represents the official product. The logo on the right is of poor quality and is positioned poorly on the counterfeit device.
If you hold the device in your hand you can tell the difference immediately. The official Delphi product has an easy-to-grip rubberized black surface. The copy is made of cheap hard plastic.
The upper part of the official Delphi device is colored in a smooth matte aluminum color. The counterfeit product features a glossy speckled-silver coating.
The official Delphi DS150E VCI includes full Bluetooth connectivity – most unofficial versions do not. So if your VCI is not Bluetooth enabled, that’s a sure sign that you’ve got an unofficial product.
On the back of a new VCI device, your 6-digit serial number should start with 30, and the bottom of the sticker should read ‘Made in Sweden.’ If your sticker says ‘Made in China,’ then you have the inferior counterfeit product. The CE mark is also fake.
The weight of the official high-quality device is 485gm. The copied hardware uses cheaper, low-quality parts and only weighs 445gm. This is due to inferior quality components and missing functionality such as Bluetooth or flight recorder capability.
At the foot of the device there is a slot for a MicroSD card which increases the device's capability. If there is no card, or if the device is counterfeit, you will not be able to run the flight recorder – severely limiting your ability to diagnose correctly.
The DVD containing the unofficial software will normally not come on a genuine disc, and will often be printed with a cheap image. Do not use a counterfeit DVD in your computer – there is a serious risk to your computer security if you do.
If your software asks you to run a separate activation program then it is unofficial counterfeit software and will likely damage your PC.