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3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Not sure if anyone has used or seen this tool.

Would be interesting to hear feedback from anyone that has seen or used this tool.

Seems like it may be a good standalone option if it lives to what it is advertised to do.

Amazon.com: Foxwell NT510 Multi-System Scanner for Bmw, Mini and Rolls-Royce with Advanced Functions Such As Actuation, Adaptation And Programming: Automotive

Same thing under the Schwaben name from ECS Tuning for slightly cheaper. I have been told by ECS Tuning that their Schwaben device will be VAG capable and can support BMW and maybe other models by purchasing unlock keys.

15,839 Posts
jfoj, did you end up purchasing this scan tool? Does it provide factory level capabilities? Have you found a factory level scan tool solution; for your BMW cars yet? This scanner; looks to be compatible with many different automakers; if you are willing to pay the extra coverage costs.

From looking on the web and reviews online; the high end Autel scan tools, seem to be getting alot of positive reviews and coverage.


Another direction; seems to be a system, that gives you the ability to run factory diagnostic software from one hardware solution. Bosch offers the Mastertech VCI; which offers support for the BMW ISTA software. Maybe if you were in a pro shop environment; dealing with many different brands all day long, this could be a versatile option. Although, paying for month to month subscriptions to all of them; could get expensive.

Mastertech VCI OEM Hardware Kit | Bosch Diagnostics

The lesser expensive solutions, from vendors like Autel; while, not factory level does start to look like a possible cost effective solution.

3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I may be getting a BMW configured NT510 version to review. I need to find out if I can also get the VAG version as well.

I have a bunch of different tools, but have not jumped up and down for VCDS yet. Kind of do not need it as I do not see a lot of VAG/VW, mainly mine. I have used VCDS Lite a few times.

I have the following tools, software, Apps. Some more geared toward BMW. I am digging up some of my older laptops to try and configure them for specific applications because so many updates and other programs installed sometimes cause conflicts. Some will be dedicated to some of my Fluke equipment, both Automotive and Power Monitoring equipment and then some will be configured for specific Automotive software.
I also do not want my daily computer to be use for the car stuff because when I move on to upgrade, I have to remember to move/reinstall all of the specific programs.

So here is a short list if what I have as far as Automotive test tools:

Stand Alone OBDII/Scan/TPMS Tools
SnapOn Solus Ultra
Autel MaxiDAS
Launch CRP123
Launch CreaderVI
Launch CRecorder
Peake R5/FCX-3-U
Innova 3100, early OBDII only model with NO LIVE data. DOG!!!
Autel TS401
GM Tech 1

PA Soft 1.4.0

Apps & Intefaces
OBDFusion/OBDLine (OE version of OBDFusion for the OBDLink interfaces)
Torque Pro
Carly for BMW

Interfaces (VeePeak Wifi, ELM327 Bluetooth, Carly Bluetooth version #1 & #2)

PC Software
OBDWiz Professional

Other non OBDII automotive electrical test equipment
Rotunda 500 Amp carbon pile load tester
6 or so battery chargers from basic analog to maintainers and smart chargers like the SOLAR PL2520, Deltran maintainers (3 models)
SnapOn MicroVAT with high and low current clamps
SnapOn EECS400A wireless battery and charging system tester
ATD5490 battery tester
Fluke 88 Automotive meter
Fluke 289 Logging neter
Fluke 98 Automotive Scopemeter
Fluke 123 Scopemeter
Fluke 105B Scopemeter
RadioShack Multimeter with computer interface
Matco InSight MPDA100A scopmeter and ignition analyzer
Many AC/DC high and low current clamps to connect to meters
CalVan Amp Hound
Power Probes, short testers, cable tracers, test lights, etc.

Probably a bunch of things I forgot to list!

Now one up and coming option may Carly for VW, I have not purchased it, however, it is a tablet/phone based App that should do some factory level diagnostics and coding.

For example Carly for BMW allows you to "code/customize" modules like the LCM/FRM modules and others for custom lighting or convenience features. Carly effectively makes "macros" for more complicated processes that some of the BMW specialized software can do and does not require you to understand/translate German in the process.

So things like being able to close the liftgate on my BMW E70 X5 from the interior button or keyfob, close all windows, sunroof and fold mirrors from the keyfob or outside door handle, 5 blink turn signals for lane changes, turning off the audible alert for the passenger side seat belt and so forth.

So I assume the Carly for VW App would do similar things on models that have configurable features.

Carly will also monitor ABS, Airbags and many other modules for errors and provide manufacturer proprietary trouble codes as well as clear them, registration for batteries, Diesel Particle Filter Regeneration and other more advanced "Service" type commands. These tools are quickly growing and seem to be well supported.

I will hopefully know more later this week or next week about getting a Foxwell NT510 in my hands, it will be BMW specific, but I am also trying to get my hands on a VW version as well.

What I understand at this point, these tools come with free updates for 18 months, then Annual updates will be approximately $100 USD per year from what I am hearing. Not a bad deal, but many people do not like to have to pay to keep tools current. Maybe if the tool/software is well designed you will only need the updates for newer models rather than additional features that support your year(s)??

I also understand that additional manufacturer brands will be approximately $100 USD to add, then the Annual update fee will apply after, 12/18 months.

Still trying to nail all of this down as for the DIY'er this is IMPORTANT.

I am also very interested to see what the Foxwell NT510 is really capable of. My understanding is this is a newer released tool and there is supposed to be big software release 1st-2nd quarter this year that will add a lot of capability to these tools that they may not have with the initial software releases.

So as you can probably see, I have a lot of different tools at an arms reach and have a pretty good idea of what generic OBDII tools can support and what ProLevel Scan Tools can support along with manufacturer specific software.

I am always open to see what is available in the market place and what the capabilities are for each tool.

I have provided a lot of feedback to tool and App developers that have lead to corrections, additions and improvements.

Will try to update once I get my hands on at least one version of the NT-510 even if it is not a VAG version.

3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just a quick update on this topic.

I have the BMW Version of the Schwaben/Foxwell NT510 in hand. I am thinking about updating it to add the VAG module to the tool.

What I can say so far is I am reasonably impressed. Likely will have a more in depth review for the BMW version in a few weeks.

Supports standard OBDII with multiple protocols so the tool by itself can be used for almost any EOBD/OBDII vehicle. Supports Trouble Codes, Readiness Monitors, Freeze Frame and Live Data.

In addition to standard EOBD/OBDII, this tool also supports BMW (or VAG if the VAG module is ordered), ABS, Airbag and Electronic Parking Brake if the vehicle is equipped. Also specialized/proprietary manufacturer codes, Live Data for many of the sub modules, and Bi-directional control for further diagnosis. Things like windows, lighting, HVAC, turn signal stalk, wiper buttons can be monitored and things that are controlled by electronic modules can be commanded on with the tool.

Much of the specific features are based on what features and options the specific car may have, but I would put this tool in a "Prosumer" class. So for around $200 this is a good tool to consider. Yes you could consider VCDS, however, this tool can be updated to support other models like BMW, Mercedes, GM and others. So if you have multiple products in your stable, for about $90 per additional manufacturer for pretty thorough diagnostics and control this may be a good choice. Also small and can be left in the car without tying up a laptop.

Check this out at https://www.ecstuning.com/News/Schwaben_VAG_Volkswagen_Audi_Professional_Scan_Tool/

15,839 Posts
Sounds good; I look forward to your review, the factory bi directional controls and specialized/proprietary manufacturer codes, would really be helpful for working on German cars. It will be interesting; to see what you think, especially @ the $200 range; pretty affordable for this type of tool with support for European cars. I guess time will tell; whether they keep consistant updates and what their tech support is like.

From what I am seeing: it looks like factory level type capabilities are finally coming down to affordable levels; that not too long ago was only available through genuine factory scan tool solutions. This is good to see; hopefully, this trend will continue. :)

3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This damn tool has a LOT going on. Every time I connect it, I am finding new things.

Here is a small list of some of the things in can do on one of my BMW's. Note that not all of these features are available on all cars, depends on what is supported. NOTE, I did not try to execute most of these features as I did not want to find out the hard way I am painting myself in the corner. but the Menu options were there.

Reset Service Reminders
Reset CAS (Car Access System) or Immobilizer
Steering Angle Sensor Reset/Calibration
Wheel Slip Counter
Electronic Ride Height
Dynamic Drive Pressure Control
Vertical Dynamics
Clearing DME/ECU Adaptations
Adjust Engine Idle
Clearing Transmission Adaptations
Adjusting Transmission or Transfer Case After Fluid Change
Command Fuel Pump On
Command ABS Pump On - Need to see if there is a specific ABS Bleed procedure buried somewhere
Command windows, sunroof, interior lights on
Monitor Live Data for most systems on the vehicle to include:
Radiator Outlet Temp, VANOS (Variable Valve Angles), Rough Running/Cylinder Balance, Knock Sensors, Throttle and Position Sensors, Convertible Top Switches, Roll Over Protection, HVAC, Light Control Modules and on and on.

I am not sure I will ever find everything this tool is capable of. Granted it is a small, stand alone, handheld tool, so at times it is limited as to what is shown on the small color display. But for $200 and no need for a laptop other than for updates it is not bad.

One caveat is there are updates for the tool, the vendor claims they are Free for the first 18 months and there after there will be a annual charge. Not exactly sure the update charge and if you have to pay for updates for each model line installed on the tool. But most updates will likely be for newer models, so an Annual Update may not be required. Maybe update the tool every 3-4 years depending on your needs.

Still much cheaper than the Pro level scan tools that have updates that cost between $600-$1000 each.

3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So hopefully in the next few weeks I will have more on the Schwaben VAG tool. I have the VAG software module installed in my tool now and will be trying to do a mini review and posting this here and possibly on other VAG/VW sites.

This is just to be another option for folks other than VCDS and the VAG401/405 tools. I have the VAG405 tool which is not bad, however, it DOES NOT provide Live/Realtime Data which IMHO is a BAD thing. I believe EVERY tool MUST provide Live/Realtime data.

3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So here is the good and bad.

The good, my 2003 VW is the primary car I had to deal with and it did not give me many problems that I needed in depth diagnostics for.

The not so good, the 2003 is now 1100 miles away and I will not likely see it for another 2 years. I hope it is somewhat trouble free.

The bad, without really having to use all the advanced features, it is VERY hard to determine if all the more advanced features actually work properly until you really need to use them. So you have to take things at face value and have a leap of faith that Foxwell has done their homework.

I do recall putting the car into some test mode where on or more of the solenoids were cycling so you could make sure each actuator/solenoid is actually working.

Granted you might be able to get VCDS up and running for close the price of the Schwaben/Foxwell tool, there is something good about a more universal tool that can support other models for $60. It is also helpful that you could leave this tool in the car and it takes up very little space. If you had a dedicated computer for VCDS, I assume you could do this as well.

Unclear if the Schwaben/Foxwell is better than the VAG401 or if they are similiar?? Obviously the VAG401 is much cheaper, but I know the Schwaben/Foxwell tool has had a number of updates, usually every 3 months or so to add features and/or correct bugs.
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