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Vag Tacho 3.0 and VCDS-Lite

15062 Views 17 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  billymade
Has anyone used VCDS-lite to program immobilizer in a key fob for a 2002 NB? I contacted Ross-tech to inquire on the correct interface cable to utilize with the VCDS-lite and I was instructed that they don't supply cables and that I will have to find an interface cable that works with VCDS-lite. What interface cable works with VCDS-lite? I saw a few options on Ebay; vag tacho 2.5 and vag tacho 3.0. Will any of these work? I apologize if this has been covered. I searched other forums, but I couldn't find the answer. Thanks
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According to the ross tech site; they are saying to use a

"ISO-9141 (K-Line) interface";

Ross-Tech: VCDS-Lite: Download

a quick google: "vag com cable" shows many for sale, whether they work or not for you; I guess you will have to give it a shot (most are made in China with limited support). Before ordering a cable; I would make sure in the description, that it supports ISO9141 protocol as ross tech recommends.



I have a genuine ross tech cable/software; so, I haven't tried any of the third party cables. I just bought a vagtacho 3.0 cable/software and it should be here on Saturday; I'll let you know, if I get it to work.
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Thanks for the quick response. I look forward to your response.

I went ahead gambled and ordered an interface with the recommended ISO. Hopefully it will work with the VCDS-Lite. I'll let you know if it works for me.
If you want to program the immo, you need both VCDS and vagtacho. Vagtacho will get the skc for the key, vcds will allow you to match the key.

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Got my vagtacho cable on Saturday afternoon; spent a ton of time on research and trying to get the cable (usb to iso/usb to serial) drivers to work with windows 7 (took almost all night) and today, I got them to work in Windows 8. I was able to successfully; read my skc/pin but the odometer correction button was grayed out (keep in mind my beetle is a 2002)! From all the other experiences I have read; it is best to use VCDS to do the rest (key/cluster adapt etc.), because vagtacho can screw things up. Hope this helps. :p I will give more technical details about running and setup later (e.g. for windows 8 the FTDI driver version 2.08.28 worked but not the new one).
After spending all afternoon and into the evening working with Vagtacho; I was able to accomplish some things, that I needed to do.

1. got it to run on Windows 8:

Getting a driver; that works on your system, is trial and error, so try different versions until you find one that is compatible with your particular setup (e.g.: windows version, 32/64 bit etc.). The drivers on the disk that came with the cable; would work with XP but my laptop is windows 8. Sites, all over the web; say that it is more stable and XP for the 3.01 version of cable.

a: you need to download drivers from FTDI website (they are the makers of the chipset in the cable). I am running a 64 bit version of Windows 8; latest driver didn't work but I found a older version 2.08.28 to work (CDM 2.08.28 WHQL Certified): look at their website page at the bottom, under "no longer supported":


b: When running vagtacho, it requires you to turn off windows defender and any virus software; otherwise, it will treat the app as a virus, remove it from your computer. So, when I turned it back on; WF removed it and this required me to re-install Vagtacho and the driver, every time I wanted to use it again.

2. pulled skc/pin out of both clusters: you need both to do the cluster swap and programming/matching in VCDS.

3. Unfortunately, I was NOT; able to change odometer setting, button and feature, is grayed out. I may try to do some more research on this but I'm assuming, not all features work all every vag dash out there.
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After doing some research; it seems the chip in the Mario Marelli New Beetle clusters are check sum protected and are easy to damage, using typical speedo correction software.

More researching; looks like the MM speedos from 2002 on, use a special chip:

"After odometer re-calibration 999999km will blink on odometer display! This means that the dashboard odometer is check sum protected (new Magneti Marelli dashboards from year 2002) and bad km calculation will damage the dash (on odometer 9999999km)."

The program: vw-audi login reader v2.56, claims to be able to work with this particular issue; correctly, safely allow correction, with the software, and cable, through the obdII port.

Audi A3, A6, Allroad, TT made by Magnetti Marelli (made in France or Jeager) from 2002 all versions login reading + KM (odometer) programming, EEPROM read/write edit by diagnostic OBDII, KM checksumm repair.

AUDI-VW immobiliser Login Code (Secret Key Code) Reader and Key Learning + Update for A6, TT Magneti Marelli CRC repair by diagnostic

Still looking and researching more... any input or info; appreciated!
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Update: sent all the cables/software back (vagtacho/vagcommander) and now it looks like, the cluster needs to be sent off to someone to put it back to zero miles (then use VCDS to correct). If I knew more about hex code and knew what to modify; it might be doable but I don't want to risk bricking a brand new cluster. Another option; seems to be Super VAG K+CAN hand held scan tool or the VAGDASH cable/software combo, I'm kinda tired of messing around... looks like SuperVAG is a nice little tool though (reads pin, claims to reset odometer, airbags, read codes, program new keys, etc.).

Yeah, from what I've been told, the beetle cluster is a lot pickier than the golf/Jetta ones.
When I brought a new key over to my local guru, he had everything that Billy had, and he knew how to use it, and it still took him a couple tries.

It's stuff way more advanced than I'd ever want to mess with, the cost of having him do it was probably a lot cheaper than getting that other cable anyway.
Toad, so who did you have do the work for you and what did you actually get done; did you have the odometer reading changed/corrected or just have a key matched/added? :confused: Please let me know; what you successfully had done... what tools they used, a local lock smith thought he could correct my odometer but I am hesitant to do it or try, then have him brick the cluster. Any info; appreciated! Thanks! :)
I used Atlanta guru Pedro Ebert . I don't know exactly what he used, but it was a netbook running either XP or 7 and 2 separate vag cables. And it was only adding a new key. (And removing the old keys the PO kept. Thanks for only selling the car with the valet key, whoever you are!)
Ok, in that case; you can add and remove keys using VCDS; you just have to have the PIN code, then you can do the matching. In my case; I am trying to install a new odometer and transfer the mileage, from the old to the new cluster.
After more research and looking at other options; more chinese tools (super vag handheld tool, etc.); everyone on vwvortex and reps from ross tech, seems to indicate it is VERY easy to brick cluster with these Chinese knock off tools and especially the MM unit/immo in the New Beetle. I cried "uncle" and sent my cluster off to ian @ reflect tuning and have it set to "zero" and then I will use VCDS to transfer the odometer reading from my old one to the new one. I just need to wait; for it to come back... hopefully, sometime this week! :)
I'm gonna add to this thread instead of starting a new one.
I only had one key for my 00 tdi, which happens to have 99 build date. The car has immobilizer. Prior to any work, I had no codes and no lights. Vag-Tacho was used to extract the pin. The new key was cut. The new key could not be programmed in the car with vag-com to work. The tuner tried multiple times to do this. The new key would not get past the immobilizer. He said he could do an immobilizer delete and it would work. Or u could use the key simply as a means to gain entrance to the car but not actually crank it, since the immobilizer was shutting the car down. The old key was still working fine. I let him do the immobilizer delete. Both keys work and both fobs work. Here's the catch. With the old key everything is perfect. With the new key, the immobilizer light flashes. This has me confused as to what is going on.from what I understand I can have four fobs programmed to the car. Is this the same with the immobilizer delete? Will any key that has the same cut as my original start my car? Without any programming?
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Who is the tuner; attempting to the matching, was he using vcds/vagcom?

1. where did you get the new key? Was it new or used; from what I understand, you need a "new" transponder chip (inside the key fob; you can buy new ones and replace it) and not a used one that was matched to a different vehicle.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=vw transponder chip


2. Your second key is not "matched" to the car; so, the immobilizer light will continue to flash? You had the immobilizer deleted from the ecu; so all the keys work, right?

3. when using vcds to add keys; you need to add a "zero" to the skc; for the system to add more keys.

4. keys cut for your car; should "physically" be able to be inserted and turn the ignition/switch. Seeing how the immobilizer has been deleted; then, any of the correctly cut keys should work (however, they immo light will probably flash).

Read this thread; see what "loosegravel" experienced; he still had a flashing light, after the immo defeat was done on his ecu.

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1. Malone tuning. I watched him cut the key and it was a new fob.
2. All the keys work. Both fobs unlock car. Both keys fit door lock. Both keys fit ignition. Both keys operate vehicle.
3. The new key makes the immobilizer light flash. No warning lights with the old key.
Billymade, I've been following that thread that you linked. That's why I think mine is acting weird. After the delete, I ONLY get the flashing indicator either the NEW key. If I put in the old key, everything seems like it was before.
I can only assume; that the new key is not "matched"; to the immobilizer, thats why your old key doesn't cause the light to flash (the immobilizer "sees" the transponder chip and it is programmed/matched into coding of the speedo/immobilizer chip/ecu). You might take your "new" key fob apart and see if there is a transponder chip in there; many of the replacements don't . You could get a new chip and use vcds to add it to the car: key matching. Your car starts; because the immo is deleted in the ecm but that doesn't deal with the fact that the new key isn't adapted/matched to your immobilizer (even though it is "deleted" or "defeated"); maybe Malone Tuning can explain how the eliminated immo feature works and how it does/doesn't interact with the system. As it is; the immo system is intact and it can see the transponder with the reader coil etc.

Watch this video:


This seems to explain the flashing light issue; even when you have a tuner "delete" the immo:


Immobilizer Delete For many VW and Audi cars

kermatdi.com offers an immobilizer delete service for all VW/Audi (VAG) cars. This requires sending the ECU to our service center.

Most ECU's are $155 although some ECU's may require an extra charge

Q: How can I tell If I have an immobilizer problem?
A: If your car will start and run, but shuts off immediately, with the "car in key" symbol lit on the dashboard, then you may have a faulty immobilizer. An immobilizer delete may help. Please see the demonstration in the video below. The antitheft provision of the immobilizer shuts off the engine if the car is started without a matched ignition key. (or if there is a problem with the immobilizer system itself) There should be a fault code stored in the ECU (P1570 or 17978 fault code indicates "Engine start blocked by immobilizer")
Q: My car doesn't run! Isn't this always caused by the immobilizer?
A: No. If the car does not start and run at all, then it’s NOT caused by the immobilizer. If the car runs for a few minutes then stalls out while driving, it is NOT caused by the immobilizer. If the car runs rough, or misses and stalls, then it is NOT caused by the immobilizer. Likewise, deleting the immobilizer will not help if the no-start is caused by something like a dead battery, out of gas, or some other mechanical problem.
Please note: If the car does not start and run at all, then it’s NOT immobilizer related. Deleting the immobilizer will NOT help if the no-start is caused by something like a dead battery, out of gas, or some other mechanical problem.

What is an immobilizer?

All VW and Audio cars since about model year 2000 include a factory anti-theft system. This anti-theft system includes something called an immobilizer, or "immo" for short. When it’s working properly, the immobilizer allows the engine to run if the correct key is used to start the car. However, a malfunctioning immo makes a car undriveable, because the car shuts off right after it's started! With a bad immobilizer, the engine WILL START, but NOT STAY RUNNING for more than a second or two after starting.

Fortunately there is something called an immo bypass, otherwise known as an immobilizer "delete". This reprograms the Engine Control Unit (ECU) immobilizer function, so the ECU ignores the faulty immo. With the immo deleted, the car will run independent of the immobilizer, even if the immobilizer itself is defective. As their VW and Audi cars age, many car owners welcome this immo delete, which allows them to drive their car when the immobilizer is broken.

Other reasons to delete the immobilizer:
Sometimes you lose a car key, or need to make an extra key for your car. These will also trigger the immobilizer, and the car won't run. Reprogramming at the dealer can be expensive or inconvenient.
Immobilizer delete lets you add a remote start feature from an aftermarket security system. Otherwise the immobilizer will prevent the car from running without the special key in the ignition, which kind of defeats the purpose of a remote starter.
ECU goes bad and you wish to replace it with a less expensive used ecu (We can duplicate the data in your existing ecu over to the replacement in this case if desired)

Well, how does an immobilizer actually work? It goes something like this:
Shortly after the engine starts, the engine computer asks for the "ok" from the immobilizer module (which is physically located in the insturment cluster).
The instrument cluster looks for the presence of the "chip" in the ignition key, through an antenna in the steering column.
If the signal from the key is detected, the instrument cluster tells the ECU "ok keep running"
If the signal from the key is not detected, the instrument cluster tells the ECU "not ok" and the ECU shuts off the engine. The instrument cluster illuminates the "car in key" lamp to indicate an immo problem, and a fault code gets stored in the ECU.

The immobilizer has at least two components: The engine computer and the module in the dashboard. Sometimes there is an alarm system, which is the comfort and convenience module (door locks, flashing lights, etc.) The instrument cluster has an antenna that detects the transponder "chip" in the ignition key. With an immobilizer delete, the Engine Computer doesn't ask the instrument cluster about the immobilizer. In other words, the car with a faulty immobilizer will still start and run - with an immobilizer delete.

>>>>>>>>>> PLEASE NOTE: it's important to emphasize, not all "no-start" issues are immobilizer related. There are a number of reasons why a car won't start!. If it's the immo, the "car key" light will be flashing in the instrument cluster. The car will start, run for 2 seconds and then shut off again. There will be "immobilizer fault" codes stored in the ECU memory when scanned with an OBD code reader. For VW this code is described as:

17978 - Engine Start Blocked by Immobilizer
P1570 - 008 - - Intermittent

What about the flashing light? While the car will run normally again, an engine immobilizer bypass won't always fix all the other symptoms of a faulty immobilizer caused by one of the other components. For example, the dashboard light may still blink, if the immobilizer problem was caused by a broken antenna pickup, or a broken transponder chip in the ignition key. This is because the actual immobilizer function is NOT in the engine computer, it is in the dashboard. Immo delete separates the dashboard function from the ECU. In other words, although the engine controller ignores the immo input from the instrument cluster, the immobilizer in the instrument cluster may continue to complain with a flashing dash light. However, at this point, the flashing dash light is of no functional consequence. It is merely a nuisance once the immo is gone from the ECU. The answer to a flashing immobilizer warning light in the dash after immo bypass, is simply to physically remove the light bulb from the dash!

kermatdi.com offers an immobilizer delete service for all VW/Audi (VAG) cars. This service requires removing the ecu from the car, and sending the ECU to our service center for the repair. Please feel welcome to call or e-mail us with any questions!
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