I’d like to share my personal review on Foxwell NT500 VW Audi scan tool I recently bought from China and started using. I’ve used it far outweighs the initial cost of buying the unit.
As you can see from following package, I received a box and open it was a Nylon bag and packed with one NT510 unit, one user manual, one CD and one OBD diagnostic cable, one USB cable and one memory card. It weights only 0.9KG so easy to take.
My purpose to use such a code reader:
Most auto repair DIYers prefer carrying out diagnosis by their own. Majority cars after 1992 is capable of being diagnosed/scanned by computer programs. Nowdays, almost all fault codes can be scanned by a fault code reader. But servicer reminder and warning lights etc requires tool to communicate with the ECU to clean or diagnose faults. That’s why the diagnostic tool is on a large demand and a simple code scanner is just not enough.
Personally the purpose I chose Foxwell NT500 is that it is not only a generic ODB2 reader, but a VAG specific one which helps me communicate with all the modules for better diagnostics and fault erasing. It’s very comprehensive in the amount of cars it caters specifically for, and the fault numbers and plain language descriptions of faults can be read and display on the clear LCD screen.
Foxwell NT510 and VCDS which one I chose and where I got?
I get mine on foxwellshop site, I paid $159 which isn’t cheaper compared with other generic ODB2 readers which can be as cheap as £25 but it’s half the price of VCDS almost. The shortcoming of course is the reduced functionality but if you don’t need it to code in new equipment but still want an almost dealer level of diagnostic kit, this ticks the boxes nicely.
How to use?
It’s plug_and_play. Usually, diagnostic socket is located in the driver’s foot well.
Compared with VCDS:
- As known, VCDS is top dog therefore I do not advice NT500 is better overall than this. If you only have intention of reading basic fault code and clearing you are advised to get more generic readers at half the price, but you will miss many additional features and the ability of specific VAG.
- Beat VCDs in following aspects:
Easy to use
Specifically work on VAG and ODB2 generic (i.e. pretty much all cars since 1992)
Small and easily carried about, no need additional a laptop about
Half the price of VCDS
- Disadvantage compare with VCDS
Saving faults and later calling them up isn’t as easy as VCDS
No coding of new equipment
Twice the price of generic readers
In conclusion (My point of view):
If you’re a diyer, this is seriously worth considering, if you want it to access to your VAG car’s ECU but not willing to pay the £250 needed for VCDS or have the intention of coding in new equipment. Foxwell NT510 scanner is user-friendly without dragging a laptop, “Talking” to all VAG ECU modules to clear fault codes and resetting all service indicators as well.
The user manual instructions are clear to follow with pictures for every step. Updating the software at official site is easy too, especially if using a laptop with an SD card reader as you plug the tool’s card into your computer, run the software, update, unplug and go.
It really is the VCDS alternative on a budget.