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  1. #1
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
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    Liquid Gauge, S3 version review

    I have been looking at getting one of these for a while and even setup a group buy. I decided to bite the bullet and just get one anyway...

    For those of you who are not aware of this rather impressive gadget should head over to http://www.racediagnostics.com/ and check it out...



    Essentially it plugs into the diagnostic port and have a wealth of features (depending on your car, engine code etc) such as the ability to display gauges for the following:

    Engine power
    Torque
    Boost pressure
    Cmd pressure
    Mass Air Flow
    Air Fuel Ratio
    Air intake temp
    Exhaust temp
    Coolant temp
    N75 position
    Oil temp

    ...graphs for the following:
    Engine power
    Torque
    Boost pressure
    Cmd pressure
    Mass Air Flow
    Air Fuel Ratio
    Air intake temp
    Exhaust temp
    Coolant temp
    N75 position
    Missfire
    Dyno plot
    Timing Correction plot

    ...and show and clear fault codes etc...


    I bought the kit for the facelift S3 as this is what I have.

    This is what I got in the box...


    Mine came pre-assembled in the nifty vent mount. The front is shaped to fit the drivers side vent and has the display and joystick on view.


    The rear has a Cat5 type connector for the right angles OBD lead that comes with the kit.


    I test fitted it for a pic in my vent but this is not where I finally used it as I already have a boost gauge fitted in there.


    I settled on temporarily fitting the Liquid in the centre vent for now.


    Plugging the cable in on my car looks like this


    I routed the cable over the steering column and tucked the spare into the little cubby hole just about the plug. As this is only for testing it will do fine... more about my plans on final fitting later...

    The Liquid requires a password to be entered whenever you plug it in. This gets remembered while you have the Liquid plugged in but if you unplug it for any reason then next time you plug it in again you will need to re-enter the password.


    Once on, the Liquid presents you with a menu system that you navigate using the joystick, it seemed a little temperamental at first but I think it was more me than the system itself as I can now use it with ease.


    As my car is going through a mapping stage after my recent BT conversion, I spent a bit of time using gauges that were of use to me for that such as EGT and Lambda. The gauges are very clear and show peak values during the time the gauge is active. In the case of Lambda it shows peak lean and rich values...


    EGT gauge has an 'alarm' feature and will flash the screen when a dangerously high value is reached...


    The Liquid also displays a real time graph of what it can display as a gauge. This is more useful for diagnostics.


    The Liquid will display oil temperature as a gauge but not when using the multi gauge feature due to the way Liquid has to communicate with both the ECU and the dash pod at the same time.


    Multi gauge is a nice touch




    Liquid also has a natty G-Force gauge


    There are so many features to the Liquid I haven't had a chance to go through them all as yet but will update this thread once I have had more time and add more pics too.

    I have had a few issues with the Liquid though but to be honest this is more to do with the mods I have done to my car than anything else.

    My car runs a stage 3 map for the GT30 I run. My boost is around the 1.7bar mark which is already more than the MAP sensor can read. As Liquid essentially sees what the ECU sees, the boost gauge max's out which is why I still run a mechanical gauge. Another problem I have is that I am also maxing the MAF sensor and its readings are inaccurate in so much as the Liquid correctly reads what the ECU tells it but the mapping isn't scaled for this.

    I may need to look at running a larger MAF body to bring it all back in to scale but for now it means I can't reliably use some of the 'boys toys' features of the Liquid such as the 'Dyno Run' feature and power and torque gauges. The Liquid does have a setting for adjusting the scale of the MAF sensor internally, this is to cater for people fitting larger MAF sensor bodies.

    Once I have this cracked I will post up the results and some pics.

    Plans going forward are to find a more permanent place to fit the Liquid and to wire it in so I can still use the OBD port for VAGCOM etc...

    Further reading...
    Main website: http://www.racediagnostics.com/
    Features: http://racediagnostics.com/cms/index.php?page=products
    Cars supported: http://racediagnostics.com/cms/index...cars-supported
    Pricing: http://racediagnostics.com/store/index.php?cPath=1
    Documentation: http://racediagnostics.com/cms/index...=documentation

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

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  3. #2
    Sandip's Avatar
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    Didn't think it was that good, think i might get one of these now
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  4. #3
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    Why have you not fitted a diesel MAP sensor? They run up to 2bar IIRC?

  5. #4
    Works 60% the time, Everytime.

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    Might get one of these but most likely as a windscreen mounted option. Really cant do without the drivers side vent.

    2003 Audi S3 + Go faster bits

  6. #5
    www.badger5.co.uk

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    Quote Originally Posted by simch View Post
    Why have you not fitted a diesel MAP sensor? They run up to 2bar IIRC?
    because the ecu will not know its 2bar - its STILL a 0-5v sensor so ecu will think its lower boost not actual boost
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  7. #6
    JS1500's Avatar
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    I'm still really, really wanting one of these.

    I'm just trying to decide... should I go for the driver's vent or windscreen mounted... hmm..?

    Also, I guess it's not too difficult to make a half decent job of fitting the gauge in the vent surround and hiding all the wiring?
    2001 Audi RS4 2.7 Bi-Turbo - Nogaro Blue

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  8. #7
    ianysm's Avatar
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    Really glad of this review as i've been looking into one of these for a while now. A much cheaper option than full Vagcom with everything i'll need
    Current: RenaultSport Clio 172
    Previous: 2001 ('51) S3 Quattro
    Previous: 2001 E46 M3 Coupe
    Previous: 2001 Civic Type R

  9. #8
    Works 60% the time, Everytime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianysm View Post
    Really glad of this review as i've been looking into one of these for a while now. A much cheaper option than full Vagcom with everything i'll need
    I have vagcom too but just fancy something more permanent in the car. Guess like many Im abit of a gadget boy.

    2003 Audi S3 + Go faster bits

  10. #9
    ianysm's Avatar
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    Me too! You can never have too many gadgets, despite what the missus says!
    Current: RenaultSport Clio 172
    Previous: 2001 ('51) S3 Quattro
    Previous: 2001 E46 M3 Coupe
    Previous: 2001 Civic Type R

  11. #10
    ianysm's Avatar
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    The only complaint is they could make the joystick look better, it looks like it needs a knob on the end to finish it off.
    Current: RenaultSport Clio 172
    Previous: 2001 ('51) S3 Quattro
    Previous: 2001 E46 M3 Coupe
    Previous: 2001 Civic Type R

  12. #11
    freegeek's Avatar
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    FYI, the latest version can show a boost beyond the sensor limit of 1.54 bar by using the maf to estimate the boost.

  13. #12
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
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    That is true... I need to send mine back to you to try that out

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

  14. #13
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    Im more than happy with mine,but what are the latest updates????

    Pete...

  15. #14
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  16. #15
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
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    Small update... Sent my liquid back to Jim to get the latest version of the software flashed on. Asked if he could tweak the multi-gauge a bit too as the gauge that has the EGT's on also has the oil temp which doesn't work that well on the S3 and causes a comms error returning the Liquid back to the menu screen. I asked if I could have the oil temp changed for AFR and he obligingly did... thanks Jim

    Got the Liquid back this morning, I have removed it from the vent mount as I want to mount it elsewhere so just stuffed the lead into the centre vent to hold it there while I drove back from work. The new multi-gauge configuration works a treat...

    One of the features I hadn't tried yet was the speed timings. The liquid can do 0-60 and 0-100 timings. On a quiet stretch of private road I gave the 0-60 option a go...

    Was concious of lunching the clutch so did do the 4/5k and side step the clutch pedal style launch choosing to raise the revs and let the clutch out hoping it would bite and go... caught the haldex out as I lurched forward and then felt the haldex kick the rear wheels in... not the best of starts and it was wet on the ground too... anyhoo... banged through first and second with a more tentative change to third as my syncro is dodgy, kept it in third for a brief while then let off as private or not I could be at a silly speed fairly quickly... the Liquid then draws on screen to show you your 0-60 time...



    ...need less to say I was quite pleased considering what a crap start I had off the line..

    I will have a play further and post more pics. I plan to fit the Liquid properly when I get 5 minutes spare and will post up the 'build' pics of that too.

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

  17. #16
    Essflee's Avatar
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    Very nice Tuffty, 4.8secs 0-60 with not the best of starts...

    Puts it into perspective your little blower you have, when I tried it all I could muster was 6 secs dead

    Your car must feel awesome... I'm jealous.
    revo'd

  18. #17
    Rob-s3lv's Avatar
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    they pretty easy to use ? always wondered if it was like quite small n take a while to get the hang of ?

    do really want one tho prob get into alot of trouble using the speed testing bit haha

  19. #18
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
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    Its pretty intuitive, needs to fitted securely of course and using the vent kit will sort that. I still have to fit mine properly and its looking likely it will end up in the centre vent.

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

  20. #19
    Essflee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob-s3lv View Post
    they pretty easy to use ? always wondered if it was like quite small n take a while to get the hang of ?

    do really want one tho prob get into alot of trouble using the speed testing bit haha

    It's really straight forward and easy to use...
    revo'd

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    good bit of kit might look into getting one , i had a scangauge in my focus rs which i thought had alot of stuff on , how much the liquid set you back ?

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tufftybloke View Post
    Asked if he could tweak the multi-gauge a bit too as the gauge that has the EGT's on also has the oil temp which doesn't work that well on the S3 and causes a comms error returning the Liquid back to the menu screen.
    What do you mean it doesn't work that well? Is it inaccurate?
    I'm interested but the oil temp is the main feature i want it for.
    2002 S3 BAM Nogaro Blue | Navigation + | Bose SS
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    waiting for a remap

  23. #22
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
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    Its a communication issue as the oil temp data is derived from the instrument pod while the rest is from the ECU and there is a conflicting delay (IIRC) which causes it to go out of sync and cause the communication error. (Jim, feel free to leap in with the full explaination if this isn't quite right)

    The oil temp gauge on its own works fine, its just in multigauge it has an issue on my S3.

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

  24. #23
    ikbenben's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by tufftybloke View Post
    The oil temp gauge on its own works fine, its just in multigauge it has an issue on my S3.
    Ok then, that's fine for me. Thx
    2002 S3 BAM Nogaro Blue | Navigation + | Bose SS
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  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tufftybloke View Post
    Its a communication issue as the oil temp data is derived from the instrument pod while the rest is from the ECU and there is a conflicting delay (IIRC) which causes it to go out of sync and cause the communication error. (Jim, feel free to leap in with the full explaination if this isn't quite right)

    The oil temp gauge on its own works fine, its just in multigauge it has an issue on my S3.

    <tuffty/>
    Been out the country a couple of days so just goyt to your pm. What you say is right, if I got half a day on a car I could probably overcome the multigauge issue, but its no big deal to most folks as the main oil gauge works fine.

  26. #25
    freegeek's Avatar
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    Ohh, and your 0 to 60 is awesome!!!

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    Will this work on my 1.8t engine code agu, not sure if there are as many sensors on this engine as the later one so i would imagine some of the functions wont work??

  28. #27
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
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  29. #28
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    Hi,

    i have an Audi S3 8L AMK 2001 and wont to know if the liquid works correctly and with no missing functions?

    On the homepage "cars supported" there are no missing functions, but on ebay there is " no oil temp" ?!?!


    Thank you for your help!

  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicTobi View Post
    Hi,

    i have an Audi S3 8L AMK 2001 and wont to know if the liquid works correctly and with no missing functions?

    On the homepage "cars supported" there are no missing functions, but on ebay there is " no oil temp" ?!?!


    Thank you for your help!


    Hi, welcome to ASN. Have a look over in the A3 8l section. Have a read through the threads at the top of the page for lots of info. Pics of the car would be nice. Where are you located? Ask your question over in the a3 section as this is an old thread from 2009 not sure anyone will answer on it. Enjoy the forum

  31. #30
    Pushing the limits..

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    well guys if im not mistaken awesome-gti has them around 70 pounds cheaper , but without the casing

    Awesome - Liquid Gauge & Diag. Tool - A3/S3 8L1/Oct1/Leon1/Ib3 -NOW FOR DIESEL TOO

    or the one with a casing but different then the one used for the air vent.....

    Awesome - Liquid CUBE - VAG - NOW FOR DIESEL TOO

  32. #31
    s3dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicTobi View Post
    Hi,

    i have an Audi S3 8L AMK 2001 and wont to know if the liquid works correctly and with no missing functions?

    On the homepage "cars supported" there are no missing functions, but on ebay there is " no oil temp" ?!?!


    Thank you for your help!
    AMK has full function...

  33. #32
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicTobi View Post
    Hi,

    i have an Audi S3 8L AMK 2001 and wont to know if the liquid works correctly and with no missing functions?

    On the homepage "cars supported" there are no missing functions, but on ebay there is " no oil temp" ?!?!


    Thank you for your help!
    AMK has oil temp but it reads from the instrument cluster... this is fine when its a single gauge on its own but its also a gauge in one of the multigauge layouts and when used here it often resets Liquid due to a communication error... this is due to the different speed of communications between the ECU, instruments and Liquid...

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

  34. #33
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    My oil temp is always dodgy (on BAM). It'll work fine and then randomly drops to a wild figure like -999c and throws the stereo into "diagnose". Resetting the liquid gauge sorts it. Perhaps I have a dodgy one?
    Handling mods++. GTX30 soon-ish. Hiding parts from the mrs since 2011. Build thread

  35. #34
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    Tuffty, sorry to ask a q that's not to do with the gauge but where did you get the 2 trim panels for either side your stereo? I have an alpine fitted but these are missing.

    Cheers

  36. #35
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennymeechan View Post
    Tuffty, sorry to ask a q that's not to do with the gauge but where did you get the 2 trim panels for either side your stereo? I have an alpine fitted but these are missing.

    Cheers
    Its an Autoleads fascia adaptor for the A3...

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

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    Perfect thanks, seen the a4 one in halfords but wasn't sure if it fitted the a3.

  38. #37
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    another revive for this thread...

    how accurate are these? im very very tempted by this... looks awesome :-D

  39. #38
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoxie View Post
    another revive for this thread...

    how accurate are these? im very very tempted by this... looks awesome :-D
    In what context?... it uses the same data the ECU gets from sensors and VCDS (tried and trusted diag software) uses...

    If you mean in terms of BHP measurements then it uses the same airflow/0.8 or block 120 type calculations as VCDS...

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

  40. #39
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    no i mean in boost presure and other figures?

  41. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoxie View Post
    no i mean in boost presure and other figures?
    Boost is read from the MAP sensor (or calculated in AGU mode), AFR from the lambda sensor etc... all the same data the ECU sees and VCDS sees so is as accurate as it can be

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

 

 
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