How do I spot a fake Chinese (parts built) APIM?
Great question! It use to be pretty easy since they didn't have any of the typical stickers on them. Now they create fake labels to stick on them to make them look more authentic. If you didn't know any better, you wouldn't tell the difference. I've seen numerous YouTube videos of people doing install videos mention that their hardware looked "pretty legit" but were clearly fakes. Let us help you tell the difference. These are the most of the common examples.
For the record, we do not use these.
Perfect example of an APIM that's a fake, no label!
|Another perfect example, no label!|
|Now we're getting into fake label territory. The part number for this module starts with a J which would signify that this module came from a 2018 vehicle. However, in 2018 Ford removed the 2nd redundant USB port on the back (it would be blank, they covered it with metal in 2019). The label looks really good, so the case might be authentic, but the PCB inside doesn't belong in that case. The problem here is that you don't want to purchase hardware from a 2016 vehicle (due to reliability reasons) so you wouldn't have any idea what you're getting here.||Here's one that I don't see as often. The label and the case look okay, however it has these quality check stickers on them from a Chinese reseller. I wouldn't touch these.|
Here's another example of fake label. In this case, it's using a part number that starts with H, which signifies a 2017. In 2017 these modules still should have that redundant USB port on the back, but this one doesn't have it. Also, if you take note of the MFG date, it says 2019.
While we're at it, please beware of ALL modules from 2016, even if they're authentic. These modules have an issue where they're very prone to failure. We don't sell modules from 2016 at all. The part numbers on these will start with a G and usually end with a CM or BM (but not always). and there are two different style stickers that come on them. Both are below
We've even had people reach out to us on Facebook to try to sell us fake modules in bulk! See the screenshot below. Even if you're not buying from us, I hope this helps guide your purchasing decision in a positive direction. Please reach out if you have any questions, we would be happy to help you.