Viewing 32 posts - 1 through 32 (of 32 total)
  • OBD2 readers for Volkswagen
  • Onzadog
    Free Member

    Not something I’ve ever owned before or know much about. Wife has her eye on a 3 year old VW Touran. I’m not normally one for tinkering with cars, but have been looking to see if I could do some of the more routine stuff in the hope of keeping running costs down.

    For example, I’ve looked into DSG fluid changes. Needs the fluid warming up to 35-45°c to check the level.

    Do OBD2 readers need to be brand specific? The rabbit hole I’ve gone down suggests not all play nicely with VW. Do you need to pay more to get more features? Do the cheap Android ones only do service light resets and the like?

    If I’m going to do more home care for the car, how much info do I need access to?

    Cheers.

    dannybgoode
    Full Member

    Generic OBD2 readers work on pret6ty much any OBD2 compliant car. When you want to start fiddling with settings and clearing certain fault codes, that’s when you need more brand specific ones.

    This is the one I got for my Audi and it did the job I needed it to do (calibrate the throttle body) but I also have a generic ‘read only’ one that works fine with my Golf for the basics.

    If you want to properly tinker and actually do stuff then Ross-Tech is the way to go. Pricey but does everything VAG.

    https://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/

    WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    I picked up a cheap one for a couple of quid that links to the phone. It gives fault codes and can reset some but not all. It was useful for turning off a warning light that was intermittent before an MOT so paid for itself there.

    If I was planning on doing anything more serious I would look at the better quality ones but the costs go high very quickly, as do the software updates.

    dannybgoode
    Full Member

    One other thing to consider – VAG vehicles now log their service history online so if you do a service yourself you will not be able to register it as done. Ditto any other work – brake changes, timing belts etc. This may or may not have an impact when you come to sell…

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Good info, cheers. We typically keep cars until they die so not too worried about keeping the history online. Just trying to get a feel of whether it’s worth tooling up to do certain jobs or not.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    The Carista app and dongle worked really well for me on my old VW. Forums seem to suggest it has lots of VW VAG functionality – have a look at the compatibility guide on their website. You can subscribe to the premium bit month by month.

    Marko
    Full Member

    EOBD (to be correct) only gives you the mandatory emissions related fault codes. This is an EU legal requirement. Some of the cheaper scan tools may give you more info than the minimum legal requirement, but you’ll need to do some research.

    As above VCDS is the way to go. Derek at Ilxa is a well respected UK retailer:

    ILEXA

    The key feature you will need if the vehicle has an electric handbrake will be the ‘replace brake pads’ function. DSG temperature can be found with infra red thermometer or making an educated guess from the engine/coolant temp. Most VW will show the engine oil temp on the instrument panel if you scroll through the menu.

    Hth

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I’m in the same boat. We’re going to see a couple of Skodas this week and will probably own one by Sunday. It’ll be a 2.0 tdi and my first modern-ish car apart from our Fiesta. I’m no qualified mechanic but I’ll tackle most things which can be done on the driveway. Oil changes, brake pads, wheel bearings etc. I’ll take it to a garage for anything too full on. I’ll keep my own service history and hopefully we’ll keep it for years so it won’t matter as much.

    I was also wondering what I’d do for some kind of OBD reader so I’m following with interest.

    Trailseeker
    Free Member

    As above Carista or OBDeleven
    But be aware that some functionality of these is subscription based & some older models only work with Android OR IOS not both (but newer ones do both)

    snotrag
    Full Member

    Just to highlight again what @Marko has said, OBD2 is an ‘on board diagnostics’ protocol, an industry standard, that gives access to a number of data sets relating to the Engine, and Emissions control devices. It was invented for the ‘muricans where part of their annual ‘smog test’ is to plug into OBD2 and check whether all the ’emissions related’ engine controls are working properly.

    OBD2, by default, does not give access to anything related to transmission, body control modules, ABS systems, SRS (airbag) systems etc.

    However many, many bits of kits have all this stuff ‘extra’, and its all car specific.

    So if you want to look at lots of other things ( @Onzadog such as a DSG transmission control module, to help with a fluid change) you need to make sure your bit of kit is specifically capable of doing that.

    I have an icarsoft kit that will do most ABS/SRS modules against most things Japanese, American Domestic and SOME European brands, but not all.

    VAG stuff is mega, mega common though and lots of kit on the market that has full cover for all the VAG brangs.

    snotrag
    Full Member

    Forgot to say – even given the above, I’d reccomend EVERY car owner has some form of basic OBD reader these days. It’ll more than pay for itself the first time you get an MIL lamp, just in knowing what the fault is for a start, regardless of whether you fix it yourself or not.

    Jakester
    Free Member

    But be aware that some functionality of these is subscription based & some older models only work with Android OR IOS not both (but newer ones do both)

    Check if you’re intending to use with an iPhone that it has Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility. I recently bought a (cheap) one which said it was iOS compliant, but it isn’t as it doesn’t have BT4.0. It’s useable, but only with a laptop, which is a real pain. Even then, it was very flaky in terms of getting it to connect. I’d say pay a little more than the cheapest and check the reviews – many of those on Amazon have obviously fake reviews.

    bensongd
    Free Member

    I’ve used VCDS lite from Ross tech previously, it’s free to download then used a cheap ebay KKL cable USB to obd connector to link the laptop to the car. Newer models may require a different cable the Ross tech site is very honest about the ebay cable compatibility.

    Currently have a cheap Bluetooth EML reader but that’s just the emissions info nothing like air bags, fuel blocks etc.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    I asked on here for a reader for my Fabia and got the one that dannybgoode linked to, paid for itself immediately. If I go into the V/A option it can read every module on my car without issues and get the codes with descriptions too. I have used it on a neighbour’s Golf too to reset their DSG gearbox that wouldn’t let the car move due to a dodgy sensor (couldn’t push it out of their parking bay to get it on a low loader), it does the standard OBDII stuff on other cars as I’ve used it on my sister’s Zafira (misfire due to bad HT lead) and my mum’s Note (identifying a broken tyre pressure sensor).

    As snotrag says, having a basic one is now the equivalent of our parents carrying a set of spare bulbs and a fanbelt. My original issue that prompted buying it would put the engine into Limp mode meaning I didn’t have the power to get out of my parent’s street as it has a steep hill, 30 seconds to reset the error code and I got out easily. Without it I would have been looking at a tow to a garage to fix it.

    oldnick
    Full Member

    Ancel VD700 user here, worked on various Skodas and VW’s, also a mates Q7.
    Has lots of VAG specific functions, no subscriptions, nor bluetooth to bugger things up (ECUs don’t like talking thru a droppy link, I’d always physically plug in)
    Seem to be available for £85 on ebay.
    I’m at NG22 if that is convenient for you to try mine out?

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I have a VCDS in Cardiff I can read codes for you.

    My original issue that prompted buying it would put the engine into Limp mode meaning I didn’t have the power to get out of my parent’s street as it has a steep hill, 30 seconds to reset the error code and I got out easily. Without it I would have been looking at a tow to a garage to fix it.

    Some of the codes that put it into limp mode reset after about 10 mins of being off.

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Really appreciate the offers of help, really good folk on here.

    It’s for a car in our future rather than a problem now though.

    5lab
    Full Member

    the other thing I’d reccomend is taking a reader along for any test drive you take. Loads of codes don’t light up the engine light, or might display a different message (my car showed ‘service soon’ but no warning lgihts when i bought it, which was actually hiding a code for a dead glow plug). Read the codes, and use whatever comes up to negociate.

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Yeah, was wondering that. Could I make a choice today and get it here tomorrow!

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I’m going to test drive a Yeti tomorrow in North Yorkshire. I wish I had one to take with me but I don’t know anyone who has one. I’ll definitely be buying one if we get the car.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    I have a VCDS in Cardiff I can read codes for you.

    The car is pretty basic (manual box, manual handbrake etc) so that reader does more than enough for my uses. It certainly helped me narrow it down to a faulty Lambda sensor, or more specifically a dodgy connector. Cleaned the connector and fixed the seal and it’s been fine ever since. Will keep your offer in mind if I have any further issues though.

    Some of the codes that put it into limp mode reset after about 10 mins of being off.

    That’s why it lives in the glovebox, takes seconds to pull over and read the codes. Can also do live data to an extent but never used that function.

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    I have a VCDS in Cardiff I can read codes for you.

    HAve they changed the pricing model?

    LAst time i looked at it I read it as

    “you get three cars per licence and they aren’t tranferrable”

    so basically you could check a friends VW once and you were down one of your licences forever.

    It was a long time ago and it wasn’t a huge indepth research put it put me off the cost.

    dannybgoode
    Full Member

    “you get three cars per licence and they aren’t tranferrable”

    There are two options – one for the DIY’er and one for mechanics with unlimited vehicles. The latter of course is much more expensive.

    granny_ring
    Full Member

    OP, for DSG oil change I wouldn’t be messing about tbh. Not sure what dealers charge now but it used to be around £200.
    To get genuine oil & filter, which you should use, was around £140.

    patagonian
    Full Member

    DSG oil change I wouldn’t be messing about tbh

    This^^
    Its every 40k so I would let the dealer or good independent do that one.

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    I can see the scene in what you’re saying. I was pricing up what I’d need to do it and for once every 4 years, you might be right.

    Was also wondering if there’s any real benefit to doing it more frequently to try and keep it sweet. We’re about to pick up a 3 year old example with 15k on the clock. I’d like to get ten years out of it at least.

    jambourgie
    Free Member

    I got one off eBay for about a fiver. Which connects to an app on my iphone called ‘Car Scanner’.

    Tbh, I wish I’d not bothered. A veritable medley of fault codes along with Intermittent check engine lights. I was hoping that they were just old codes and that I could clear them, but they all came back. Car runs fine so meh, I’m not about to go pulling sensors and testing wiring looms on a twenty year old grotbox.

    Moral of the story: if it throws up a code, will you know what it means  and how to fix it?

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Moral of the story: if it throws up a code, will you know what it means and how to fix it?

    Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. Often they are knock-on effects from other obscure things. But sometimes the code says a thing and it is that thing. My car wouldn’t start warm. The code was ‘camshaft position sensor failed’. Replaced the sensor, bosh.

    Other times, not so good.

    you get three cars per licence and they aren’t tranferrable

    Ah shit did not know this!

    Weasel
    Free Member

    ODB readers are also handy if you may need to clear any intermittent warning lights on the dash before an inspection at a well known company who buy any car.

    In my case I didn’t need it when my Golf went to find a new home.

    jeffl
    Free Member

    If you’re changing the oil on the DSG then also make sure you change/clean the mesh filter. For some reason it’s not an official service item but any garage who know these gearboxes should do it.

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    Just to chip in: Carista is pretty limited for VAG. Eg, cycling the electric fuel pumps on 2.0TDIs, to allow the fuel filter to be primed? Can’t do it.

    Can do EPB though.

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Quick update.

    I decided I’ll probably not bother with things like DSG oil change. Not worth the set up cost.

    I did manage to find my way through a number of codes picked up with the Carista app and dongle.

    Most have been silly things. Low battery in key 2. That was because the previous owner had fitted a 2032 instead of a 2025.

    Alarm fault. Yep, that was because the fuse had gone – not blown, just physically not there. Bit nervous that it was hiding a problem, but new fuse in and so far, so good.

    Height adjust headlights – cycled them a few times and that cleared.

    Left me feeling quite pleased with myself.

    However, and there’s always a “however”, ACC 00836 something about the control valve for 1st gear. Sounds pretty scary and it just won’t reset. Anyone have any ideas or can recommend a trustworthy independent between Sheffield and chesterfield?

Viewing 32 posts - 1 through 32 (of 32 total)

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