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Hi, has anyone used one of the £20 vag readers?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by jameo84, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. jameo84
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    jameo84 Member

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    iv got a fault with my drivers seat airbag paid £30 to have it cleared now its popped up again, so was thinking about buying one of these as i dont have a laptop or pc.
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  2. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    It won't be a VAG reader I don't think... just an OBD-II reader I presume?

    -There's a fairly significant difference, which I only mention just in case you were thinking that it might be the 'gateway to other things'. -It MIGHT help you diagnose problems, but in the standalone readers are pretty limited, and you still need some way to interpret the results.

    Keith

    Keith
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  3. jameo84
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    jameo84 Member

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    yeah your right its an OBD-II . i know what the fault is so just need to clear it so it should be fine for that ten.
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  4. s4marsh
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    s4marsh Member

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    i've just sold a cheap vag 5053 OBD11 scanner i got it from ebay last year but skint now, it read and cleared codes as supposed to i found it useful i paid £65 sold it for £30
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  5. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    I'd check the connection under your seat. With the driver seat often being moved forward & back the connection has been known to get loose so may need renewing. I'd then disconnect the battery for 30 mins to clear the fault from the memory.
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  6. bluequattro
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    bluequattro Member

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    cue Nigel :no: lol
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  7. jameo84
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    jameo84 Member

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    ill check the connection again and try the battery thing first thing in the morning thanks.
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  8. jameo84
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    jameo84 Member

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    what do you mean bluequattro
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  9. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    There are a few members who dont approve of copy (pirate) leads. We believe that Ross Tech who make the leads deserve the support in order to continue to update the software they supply.

    This doesn't really apply to the lead your talking about as its just a generic obdII reader.

    If you did have a laptop & were planning to keep the car a few years I would recommend the proper lead as it can do so much more including recoding modules of your car was well as diagnostic functions.
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  10. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    You will get a few warning lights but driving the car a short distance will clear them.
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  11. jameo84
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    jameo84 Member

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    hey khufu were bouts in the west do you stay.
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  12. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    Just seen your East Kilbride, I'm in Kilwinning so not too far at all!

    I've got the proper lead, its just my laptops battery is knackered so I have to be within extension lead distance from a 240v socket LOL
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  13. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    I don't believe that he's talking about a 'pirate' or 'copy' lead... he did say that he's NOT looking for something to use with a computer... but I think you already know that... For the benefit of anyone else reading this, I'll explain a little further. (I'm almost certain that Khufu already knows this).

    An OBD-II reader plugs into the same hole in the car as a VAG-Com, but that's where the similarity ends. They can read and reset codes which are covered under the OBD-II requirements, which were mandated by the US regulating body, intended to be a common connector and communication interface standard for multiple manufacturers.

    -The idea was that since it was becoming difficult for small-town mechanics and maintenance garages to cope with the bewildering array of computerized approaches to vehicle system design, the problem would be addressed by requiring a common language and connector for ALL manufacturers, where any legally mandated systems (such as airbags, emissions, etc) could self-monitor and communicate problems through a common language and connector.

    Of course what started out as a good idea (and OBD-II was the SECOND version, after the original OBD...which stands for 'On Board Diagnostics') quickly became confused when different manufacturers STILL managed to take different -incompatible- paths while still using the same physical connector and language: specifically the protocol between no less than FIVE variants: two SAE (Society of Automotive engineers) version are VPW (variable pulse width) and PWM (Pulse-width modulation), with two older ISO standards, and the fifth ISO CAN-based version.

    Now, all manufacturers are required to make reading and resetting the LEGALLY-REQUIRED stuff over OBD-II, however most manufacturers -like the VW/Audi group- then also 'piggy-back' more detailed abilities (which are NOT legally-mandated or required) such as 'niceties' like comfort features, over the same interface. THESE added 'niceties' are what the VAG-COM does, in addition to the somewhat 'universal' OBD functions...

    So buying an OBD code reader will NOT affect Ross-Tech nor should Nigel -or anyone else for that matter- have any sort of problem with it.

    What IS very bad karma however, is buying and using 'ripoff' interfaces which are made and sold specifically for the purposes of 'poaching' Ross-Tech software, and thereby depriving that company (who make an excellent product, and support the VW/Audi community 100%). Nigel has every right to be annoyed about that, and we as a community probably owe Ross-Tech a debt of gratitute for all the fine work which they've done for us over the years.

    But there's nothing illegal or immoral about using an OBD-II code reader to read and fix the codes which it can do.

    Just make SURE that you get a code reader which works on your car. They're not all the same. -If youwant to know more, Google OBD-II protocols and see which one is likely to be yours, or check any product you are thinking of buying for SPECIFIC compatibility with your vehicle.

    VAG-com (VCDS) can do OBD-II without being in the least bit taxed, but OBD readers cannot do VAG, hence the clarification in my initial post, which was just in case anyone reading this thread gets excited thinking that they can reprogram their electric windows using a code reader.

    Keith
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
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  14. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    Summed up nicely VWaddict. As you say, even when told, the manufacturers still made it difficult. My experience (I also have official Elm scan lead) is that petrol 2001 on are pretty much readable & 2003 for diesels.
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  15. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    I dont recall opening my mouth ever on readers given as already stated they're generic so irrelevant to vagcom tbh, use at will as my mate mechanic uses one, handy to a point though, but no beating VCDS - Vagcom, not on your nellyyyyyyyyyyyy, lol
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  16. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    your the big bad ogre mate LOL
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  17. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    Heh heh heh...!

    I luvs me some VAG-Com so much that I have TWO of them! (older one for the MkIV and a Micro-can for the 8P A3).

    Super.

    Keith
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  18. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    Oh, one further thought: disconnecting the battery may possibly not reset the airbag issues.

    There's a test routine which checks for continuity throughout the firing system (at a current too low to trigger the airbags firing) and PERMANENTLY store a fault indication, usually unless specifically reset. -unlike certain other problems (like emissions/engine management for example, where a one-time glitch which doesn't recur in say five engine start/run/stop cycles can safely be presumed to be 'ignorable') a potential problem where safety-critical electrical continuity issues are concerned usually requires a problem to be found and consciously identified before an engineer resets it... -that at least is the plan.

    Therefore a reset in the hope that something goes away is permissible, but it if the problem re-occurs a technician should know that something is (for example) intermittent, and requires correction. For that reason a power-down cycle is usually required NOT to 'reset' the problem, because otherwise a car owner who gets a flat battery and changes the battery might think that his airbag problem is actually 'fixed', and not bring the vehicle in for the attention which it would require. -In this case, In the US at least- a driver could SUE a manufacturer for an unsafe product, because he could be forgive for assuming that the safety related problem was 'fixed', when in fact all he did was change the battery...

    I can't say that I know the above for certain, but I suspect it might be true.

    However, we have the PERFECT opportunity to test the circumstance and hypothesis right here... don'tcha think? ;)

    Keith
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  19. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    funnily, i wondered about that after I typed it. If it doesnt work, he's not too far from me LOL
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  20. jameo84
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    jameo84 Member

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    Yeah the battery trick never worked, bought an obd from Argos for £50 but it would do was tell me no faults and my vin number, so that will be getting taking back tomorrow. i checked the connection under the seat and took the seat to bits to check all the connections in the back and they all seem fine so hopefully Khufu will be kind enough to reset it for me.
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  21. kaz219
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    kaz219 Active Member

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    The newer one works on both :icon_thumright:

    imagine all the savings by just carrying one lead :yes:
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  22. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    Wait...

    You mean the Micro-Can works on both, or that I should sell both and then get a Can+Hex or whatever?

    Keith
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  23. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    Unless your golf is a 1K chassis then micro-can wont work on your car, its based on mk5 golf technology for that adapter, personally I'd sell both & buy the hex on its own, no need for 2 & you might have few pennies leftover given if they're genuine that is.
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  24. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    Nah...

    I think it would make more sense for me to have the option to sell the original one with the car, if it goes that way. (I'm casually entertaining idle thoughts about getting rid of the Porsche and the VW in a couple of years, and replacing the two with another 150+MPH car... What I have in mind might be a little slower than the P-car, but looks rather more exotic)

    Anyhow, I usually find that the right kind of prospective buyers for my cars are generally reassured by evidence that a car has been well taken care of... Throwing in a $150 VAG-COM setup (the laptop is OLD and has no real value!) may seem like giving something away, but I find it supports the perception of the vehicle as having been immaculately maintained, and therefore raises the sale price by a much larger margin...

    That approach has always worked for me in the past... and if a buyer really isn't interested, I can always sell it/them as a side-item on the Vortex or somewhere...

    Keith
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  25. martyboy
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    martyboy Member

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    im the exact same as you khufu regards the knacked laptop battery, but im in east kilbride! bit closer!
    #25
  26. jameo84
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    jameo84 Member

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    marty any chance of a wee reset one night
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  27. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    You've been quiet of late. Is the car going ok now?
    #27
  28. martyboy
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    martyboy Member

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    aye mate, no worries, just give us a shout
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  29. martyboy
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    martyboy Member

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    i mate cheers, got new turbo and its been fine. havent risked putting the st-3 maps back on though, just running it as standard!
    #29

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