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To Buy or Not To Buy

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by DaveC52, May 12, 2019.

  1. DaveC52

    DaveC52 Member

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    I have just been offered a second hand C5 MB star diagnostic system on a Panasonic Tough Book with a multiplexer and cables for £550 considering that I normally take my cars to a garage for any work, I am wondering if there is any point in splashing out cash I could use for other things, yet some negative experiences I have had with garages in the past at least I could check to see if I am being conned and I could use it to change the speed limiter not that I think that would give me any benefit on a 350 CDI and I don't think I will be going to Germany to find out. So will it be useful or just another toy gathering dust I am tempted to buy it on the strength that I don't think I will lose any money reselling it what do you think.
     
  2. om613

    om613 Senior Member

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    Way too much for DIY use.
    Get an iCarsoft MB unit, they're good.
     
  3. Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Agreed that for simple DIY / Diag it is a bit OTT.

    I think a decent combo is iCarsoft MB + eBay WIS for DIY.
     
  4. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Sounds a bit on the pricy side too for second hand.
     
  5. alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti MBO Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    You will get super frustrated with it, when it stops working as well (which it will, being a china clone). Most of them are date/time limited.

    They are powerful tools though, an I car soft would be a better option.
     
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  6. Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Woo, if it's a second hand china clone, then damn, the money quoted by OP is extortion. For second hand china clone, I would only pay £150/175 max.

    I was under the impression this was a legit copy.
     
  7. alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti MBO Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    No chance, up to date legit system is £10K + without subscriptions.

    It could be, op was not specific tbh.
     
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  8. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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    ^ yip this, it’s a Chinese Clone and unless you’ve the patience I’m also with the others in suggesting the icarsoft MB latest versions are more than enough for us amateurs !
     
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  9. Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Fair enough. I'm more than happy with my iCarsoft to be honest, and fit's in the glovebox.
     
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  10. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    That's the big benefit to an iCarsoft (or other similar) compared to Star.
    I have both and the iCarsoft normally lives in the car behind the front seat (r230). It will tell me enough that if I get an issue whilst out and about I can make an informed.decision between recovery or driving home.
    Star relies on a laptop so needs a 12v adapter to work (unless you keep taking the laptop out to top up the battery). It also takes over 3 times as long to get to the point you're reading codes. Great as a workshop tool, less so for on the run diagnosis.
     
  11. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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    I knew star was expensive but not that much, that will be why the local VAG garage doesn't have one!!
     
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  12. OP
    DaveC52

    DaveC52 Member

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    I already have an Autel DS708 diagnoistic tool which does everything a carsoft does and more as I can diagnose other makes of car. I dont think it is a Chinese clone with the manufacturer of the multiplexer being ACTIA, Made in France, it isn't the latest with the multiplexer being a C3 nor is the software installed on the Panasonic Toughbook and it only comes with the interface cable for the laptop and an OBD II interface what I was interested in was the developer function to remove limitations and alter settings I have offered him £350 for it not heard back yet.
     
  13. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    I'd be surprised if it was not a Chinese clone.

    Two minutes on AliExpress turned up a Star C3, all the cables, software and toughbook for £461.

    Our old friend Malcolm used to repair Star systems when they failed. He always maintained the clones were indistinguishable from the real ones.
     
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  14. Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Yeap, proper Chinese clones of most things are generally indistinguishable.
     
  15. Andy.M

    Andy.M Senior Member

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    So if they are generally indistinguishable, presumably using the same parts to make them indistinguishable , how come they fail so often?
     
  16. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Who says they do?
     
  17. OP
    DaveC52

    DaveC52 Member

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    On reflection of the main opinion here I won't be buying it, one reason is that whilst most Chinese clones are reliable they are obviously limited to not much more than a diagnostics scanner with the addition to remove limitations, to get the full benefits you need to purchase a licence and pay a yearly subscription fee to Mercedes so unless you are a commercial operation or incredibly rich and stupid it isn't worth the expense for one or two vehicles also the Xentry software key might/will/could expire at any time making the scanner unusable. The easiest way to tell a clone from the real thing is if the software runs in a virtual machine such as VM Virtual Box it isn't, if it doesn't and costs 14K plus it's the real thing.
     
  18. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Mine (Malcolm's) is a clone and doesn't run in a VM.
     
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