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So couple of questions I'm hoping someone can answer. We have a 2003 New Beetle and a 2013 Jetta TDI. We want a VAG COM for obvious reason and mainly for use on the New Beetle but were wondering if it will allow us to also change some setting on the Jetta. The Jetta has the keyless entry where it will only unlock the driver door by touch and it honks the horn really loud when locking it. Do you know if it'll allow us to get the doors to all unlock at the same time and disable the horn honk? The dealer wants almost $200 to do it and that just seems dumb. Also, any advice as to where to get the VAG COM? Or what specifically to get? Thanks in advance!
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Although VAGCOM/VCDS is a good tool, you still should have a decent generic OBDII scan tool that will do many things that VCDS may not be able to do.

Read the first link below in my signature. $30 or less and you will get up and running.
 

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Although VAGCOM/VCDS is a good tool, you still should have a decent generic OBDII scan tool that will do many things that VCDS may not be able to do.

Read the first link below in my signature. $30 or less and you will get up and running.
What kind of stuff can a generic code reader do that vagcom cannot?? :confused:
 

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What kind of stuff can a generic code reader do that vagcom cannot?? :confused:
#1 you do not need to drive around with a computer and/or inverter in your car.

#2 it will fully support ANY 1996 and newer car or truck. Yes VAGCom/VCDS can get generic data from non VAG cars, but it cannot use the other more advanced features.

#3 it can cost $30 or less

#4 it can record entire OBD data streams and play them back, graph sensors and capture full Freeze Frame data. I believe VAGCOM can do some of this, I have not spent a lot of time looking at these feature sets. But again, mast other tools can do this much easier than VAGCom VCDS.

Yes VAGCOM/VCDS does have some very specific VW software and can do a lot of things a generic OBD scan tool cannot do, BUT everyone needs a generic OBDII scan tool. I use Torque Pro on my Android phone and keep the $15 OBD to Bluetooth interface in my car, actually have a few interfaces and leave one in each car, so if I am traveling and something comes up, I can connect up in less than a minute and see what is going on. I also always have an interface with me if I need to look at family or friends vehicles.

The problem I have here and other forums is people almost always jump on the need for a manufacturer specific software tool that is expensive and at times cumbersome when in fact a generic OBDII tool for $30 or under will do 95+% of what most people need to with their cars. There is also a BIG misunderstanding that generic OBDII code readers cannot read manufacturer specific codes, this is NOT TRUE. Generic OBDII tools can in fact read manufacturer specific codes, maybe not all of them, but any the manufacturer followed the OBDII standards on implementing.

My generic OBD tools are my FIRST go too tools for ANY problem on ANY vehicle.
 

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#1 you do not need to drive around with a computer and/or inverter in your car.

#2 it will fully support ANY 1996 and newer car or truck. Yes VAGCom/VCDS can get generic data from non VAG cars, but it cannot use the other more advanced features.

#3 it can cost $30 or less

#4 it can record entire OBD data streams and play them back, graph sensors and capture full Freeze Frame data. I believe VAGCOM can do some of this, I have not spent a lot of time looking at these feature sets. But again, mast other tools can do this much easier than VAGCom VCDS.

Yes VAGCOM/VCDS does have some very specific VW software and can do a lot of things a generic OBD scan tool cannot do, BUT everyone needs a generic OBDII scan tool. I use Torque Pro on my Android phone and keep the $15 OBD to Bluetooth interface in my car, actually have a few interfaces and leave one in each car, so if I am traveling and something comes up, I can connect up in less than a minute and see what is going on. I also always have an interface with me if I need to look at family or friends vehicles.

The problem I have here and other forums is people almost always jump on the need for a manufacturer specific software tool that is expensive and at times cumbersome when in fact a generic OBDII tool for $30 or under will do 95+% of what most people need to with their cars. There is also a BIG misunderstanding that generic OBDII code readers cannot read manufacturer specific codes, this is NOT TRUE. Generic OBDII tools can in fact read manufacturer specific codes, maybe not all of them, but any the manufacturer followed the OBDII standards on implementing.

My generic OBD tools are my FIRST go too tools for ANY problem on ANY vehicle.

I was just curious.. by the looks of it you don't have VCDS? Because it does allow you to do high-speed data logging and freeze frame, and a ton of other things. Does a generic code reader allow you to, for exampe, re-code the mode of an auto tranny ? I guess some people would find using a laptop cumbersome, but I don't mind. After having VCDS, I'd never use a generic OBD tool.

But then again... the whole "You can use it on any car!" isn't a selling point to me.. We have 3 VW's in our driveway and I really think 95% of the people I talk to on a daily basis drive them so... :D

For basic needs, I can see why it would be beneficial to just use a generic code reader. But for what it's worth, my VCDS is the best $250 I've ever spent. It does everything you could possibly need on these cars, no question. But that's just my opinion. ;)
 

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I do have the evaluation version of VCDS and have played with it. I do know it does have a lot of features, BUT this is the issue I have. Many people come on these VAG boards and ask what scan tool they should get. Too many times the first and only answer is VCDS and no alternatives.

For 80%+ of the owners a good generic OBD tool that can be purchased for $30 or under will solve what most people need. Yes VCDS can be added on top of the generic tool if needed. FYI, VCDS will work as a generic scan tool on other non VAG cars, try it. Just not 100% sure VCDS will support and auto detect ALL the OBDII datastreams.

I have 1 VW and not sure how long I will have it. Not many people I know VW's so I do not want to invest another $250 for my 12th scan tool/software package.

Any generic OBDII WILL read and display manufacturer specific codes, AS LONG AS the manufacturer follows the OBDII standards. Yes there may be more manufacturer specific codes offered that do not follow the OBDII standard that a generic tool will not read and display. Ford is the king for non standard codes, BUT most everyday problems that trigger the CEL can be read by a generic OBDII tool.

And no, a generic OBDII will not recode modules, this is not part of the OBDII spec/standard. If I need this ability, I will buy a tool that will do this.

Again, my issue is most folks do not have the cash, skills or even a laptop they can or want to use in the car and for these folks a generic OBDII scan tool will likely fit there budget and initial needs.
 

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I do have the evaluation version of VCDS and have played with it. I do know it does have a lot of features, BUT this is the issue I have. Many people come on these VAG boards and ask what scan tool they should get. Too many times the first and only answer is VCDS and no alternatives.

For 80%+ of the owners a good generic OBD tool that can be purchased for $30 or under will solve what most people need. Yes VCDS can be added on top of the generic tool if needed. FYI, VCDS will work as a generic scan tool on other non VAG cars, try it. Just not 100% sure VCDS will support and auto detect ALL the OBDII datastreams.

I have 1 VW and not sure how long I will have it. Not many people I know VW's so I do not want to invest another $250 for my 12th scan tool/software package.

Any generic OBDII WILL read and display manufacturer specific codes, AS LONG AS the manufacturer follows the OBDII standards. Yes there may be more manufacturer specific codes offered that do not follow the OBDII standard that a generic tool will not read and display. Ford is the king for non standard codes, BUT most everyday problems that trigger the CEL can be read by a generic OBDII tool.

And no, a generic OBDII will not recode modules, this is not part of the OBDII spec/standard. If I need this ability, I will buy a tool that will do this.

Again, my issue is most folks do not have the cash, skills or even a laptop they can or want to use in the car and for these folks a generic OBDII scan tool will likely fit there budget and initial needs.

Alright to back track a bit.. I just wanted to know what generic readers could do capability-wise that VCDS couldn't. I understand it's not for everyone, you just made it sound lke generics had features VCDS didn't (aside from doing work on OTHER cars, obviously, because that's not what VCDS is for...)

I'm not trying to internet fight with you, just having a discussion. ;)


;):D:p:eek::)
If I insert smilies, does that make me looks less antagonistic?
 

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I outlined some of this information in this thread - http://newbeetle.org/forums/question...e-options.html which is the 1st link below in my signature. But to expand and/or repeat some of this read below:

To start with the VAG405 for $42 from Amazon - Amazon.com: Hot MaxScan VAG405 Code Reader OBD2 EOBD CAN BUS VW Audi: Car Electronics

is a very good starter tool. It support VAG airbag/SRS codes and reset, ABS and a number of other VAG specific functions as well as generic OBDII capability. The only place this tool seems to come up short is the lack of Live/Real Time data. If this tool had Live/Real Time data, it would be a GREAT piece, but as it is, it is still a GOOD piece for the price and something an owner should consider if they do not want to invest in VCDS.

Now lets take some of the more advanced generic OBDII readers, Torque Pro App for Android which cost a whopping $5. With an OBD to Bluetooth interface, you are at about $20.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.prowl.torque&hl=en

I will speak in general terms as I have not even bothered to use or investigate these specific features as they are not something I even have time to play with. Here are my comments, with the "official" Torque Pro features below.

a. Plot a route that you have driven and include color coding on specific roads for designating the vehicle speed.

b. Perform all sorts of driving computer functions such as distance and fuel economy.

c. Perform street dyno type mesurments using a combination of imbedded GPS, imbedded timer and OBD data to provide 0-60, 1/8th mile, 1/4 mile times.

d. Email, share, post of Facebook screen shot directly from the device.

e. Use the device as a built in carputer or permanent performance and OBDII tester if you choose to build in a tablet into the dashboard.

f. Use plug ins for things like knock detection for testing purposes.

g. User configurable threshold warnings/alarms. So for example you will get a spoken message once the engine is up to temperature that will be a voice announcement that says "Engine At Operating Temperature".

Here is a more specific list of things Torque Pro can do directly from their site:

Torque also features:

* Dyno / Dynomometer and Horsepower/HP & Torque
* Can read Transmission Temperatures (vehicle dependant)
* 0-60 speed timings - more accurate than just using plain old GPS - see how fast your car is (or truck )
* CO2 emissions readout
* Customisable dashboard & profiles
* Video your journey using the Track Recorder plugin with onscreen OBDII data overlay - a black box for your car/truck!
* Automatically send GPS tagged tweets directly to twitter (for example if you are going on a road trip)
* Massive fault code database for lookup of fault codes from different manufacturers
* Theme support (choose from different themes to change the look of your dashboard)
* Send logging information to web or email CSV/KML for analysis via excel / openoffice reader
* Heads up display / HUD mode for night time driving
* Compass (GPS Based) that won't suffer magnetic interference
* GPS Speedometer/Tracking and realtime web upload capability - see what you were doing and your engine, at a point in time
* Turbo boost feature for vehicles that support MAP and MAF sensors (VW & Golf / Audi / Seat etc supported)
* Alarms and warnings (for example if your coolant temperature goes over 120C whilst driving) with voice/speech overlay
* Car dock support
* Graph data
* MPG
* Able to share screenshots to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Email, etc
* AIDL API for third party apps, A simple Telnet interface for developers to talk to the adapter, and an OBD scanner.
* Works on tablet devices like the Motorola Xoom, Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Nook

The list of features keeps growing and there are a number of both free and paid Add Ons for Torque Pro. For the Torque Pro added features, so far, no additional charges.

There are other similar tools like Touch Scan http://www.amazon.com/MaxScan-VAG405-Code-Reader-OBD2/dp/B005WGR22Q and for Apple IOS/iProducts there is OBD Fusion http://www.amazon.com/MaxScan-VAG405-Code-Reader-OBD2/dp/B005WGR22Q.

Then to go beyond smart phone/tablet based units, you can get generic ODB tools like the Launch CRP 123/129 which supports OBDII, ABS, SRS and even more on 32 manufacturers for betwen $280 to $300. These tools provide everything from wheel sensor speed display to O2 heater current consumption, to cruise control switch position and brake pedal position, can record and graph and are self contained. The CRP129 support electronic parking brake, steering angle rest and service/oil change reminder/reset.

So there is an awful lot out there if you know what to look for and how to shop around. My point is VCDS is not for everyone. Not everyone needs it, it is nice, it is helpful, it has some very specific capabilities, but again, 80%+ of day to day issues can be addressed with a generic OBDII tool for far cheaper and these tools should be considered first before jumping into VCDS. Also I recommend EVERYONE have a non PC based OBDII tool that can be readily accessed and possible even be kept in the car as you never know when a problem or CEL will pop up and having a tool close at hand to read and possibly clear DTC's could very well be helpful.

Part of what makes me so totally crazy is VCDS is the first thing suggest on the VAG forums when people have NO OBD tools. Also it is usually implied that VCDS will be needed because a generic OBDII will not provide enough information. Depending on the problem this may be true. Kind of the exact same way the VAG forums keep propagating that engine coolant sensors are the solution to ALL engine temperature errors codes, which is NOT the case, failed thermostats are far more prevalent than the temperature sensors. What should be gospel on the VAG forums is if you do not have a green top temperature sensor, replace the sensor AND the thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We do already have a great OBDII scanner, but your advice is great. Thanks again for the help!
 
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