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is it worth buying vagcom license?

Discussion in 'VCDS (formerly VAG-COM) forum' started by Jonesy, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Jonesy
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    Jonesy Member

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    Just wondering i do alot of work on my car at home, but was wondering if its worth the money, what usefull features are there in the licensed product?

    Thanks


    Allan
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  2. bearthebruce
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    bearthebruce Ross-Tech, LLC

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    Have you visited the Ross-Tech website? Specifically, have you looked at the Function chart that shows the difference between the shareware and the full version of VAG-COM? Function Chart

    Useful functions? VAG-COM turns you PC into the equivalent of the dealer level diagnostic tool giving you full access to all modules in the VW/Audi/SEAT & Skoda models from 1990 through 2007. Need to find out what's going on with your Airbags? Your ABS? Central Convenience? VAG-COM will give you access to them all.

    If you work on your car, this tool will save you a bundle in repair costs.
    #2
  3. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    for an s3, you can check a failing MAF with the shareware copy.

    However, for monitoring requested and actual boost as well as the duty cycle, you'll need a registered copy. This is most usefult for diagnosing boost leaks and faulty DV's and N75's.

    I want to buy a license, but have yet to get my dongle to connect rock solidly for a whole session - and yes I knew about the risks of third party dongles.

    how's about a group buy license offer on here then bruce ;)
    #3
  4. Sebastian
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    Sebastian Member

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  5. Olly_K
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    Olly_K Administrator

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    i;ve already asked ross-tech about group buys, its a real shame !
    #5
  6. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    Don't do group buys? why on earth not.

    Don't take this personally, but it seems a bit of a cop out to me. ross-tech know they're on to a good thing with that, and to charge £300 takes the piss. Maybe for commercial companys its fine, but to lash £300 on hardware and software is a joke, and an unjustifyable expense to get past the bank manager.

    I fully understand it's marketed as a professional tool, but an amateur friendly, non-commercial license would hit the spot.

    rant over.... it'll never happen.
    #6
  7. Peloton
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    Peloton Member

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    How on earth did you know that?!?! Dou you wear an anorak by any chance? :cold: :laugh:
    #7
  8. ManicMunky
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    ManicMunky Member

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    we've been told my uni to absolutly, never, ever, EVER use Wikipedia as a source in assignments. lol
    #8
  9. Uwe@Ross-Tech
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    Uwe@Ross-Tech Member

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    A complete interface (KEY-USB) and software package for your S3 costs $249 USD. At the current exchange rate, that's £133, not £300. This includes full support and free updates for the forseeable future.

    Even less expensive: Buy a suitable 3rd-party interface. Then get a license for version 409.1 which costs $99. At the current exchange rate, that's £53. Now granted, this does not include start-up support -- your hardware vendor needs to get you up and running with the free shareware version before you buy the license. Nor does it include updates. However, version 409.1 is a more than acceptable substitute for the dealers' tool on your 8L-chassis car. And should you upgrade your car to a newer one which requires a newer version of VAG-COM, we'll give you full credit for the license you've already purchased when you buy one of our complete current systems.

    Therefore, I think your rant is off-base.

    -Uwe-
    #9
  10. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    Your comparisons of US and UK prices of VAG-COM are unfortunately way off.

    UK resellers of VAG-COM and KEY-USB (im afraid i discount serial port solutions as serial ports are now legacy and end of life) translate $US to £Sterling almost on a 1 for 1 basis. I can currently find the cheapest GB vendor of KEY-USB for £199. This assumes that your car isnt CAN-BUS too. For some of us, importing is a risk we'd rather not take with items of that value - although i agree it may be cheaper that way before import tax is applied.

    The third party interface option with shareware 409.1 is the way I went. However, i have yet to acheive what i consider to be a rock solid connection between the laptop and the car. I have tried numerous combinations of baud rate and usb cable, but i always get lost communication with controller at some point during logging. Its this reason why i've been holding back buying a license for the full version. I'll probably end up buying the full KEY-USB in the end.

    I can perfectly understand your stance on pricing though, as your product is perfect and indespensible for anyone with a VAG car. Would it not be possible to offer Professional versions of vag-com with unlimited connections, and amateur versions with a pay-per VIN number type of licensing? If you want to use it on another car, just pay another $20 and you can connect to another car? VIN numbers are then stored in your dongle, and only updatable with the VAG-COM software.

    You then make all amateurs interested in purchasing your bespoke cables, not disappointing third party ones, and your on a win-win. Plus they're likely to pay another small fee when they change their car, or need to use it on their mates car.

    This to me seems a much fairer way of licensing.
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  11. Garry
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    Garry New Member

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    Vag com is a bargain,I paid £266 for mine,and with four vag vehicles
    in the family,ive saved a small fortune in the last year.If the price went up to £500 I would still pay it,you've also got to remember,the back up is second to none,and ive had no problem's with a lost connection,so buy the real deal,and stop trying to rip Ross Tech off.
    #11
  12. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    Good for you, I have 1.

    So donate the other £234 to ROSS-TECH if you're that happy, I'll not stop you.

    Am i stealing the software? no. So how am i trying to rip them off?

    Are you seriously trying to tell me that theres no difference between amateur enthusiasts using VAG-COM to diagnose their own cars, and workshops using VAG-COM to diagnose paying customers cars for profit?:jester:
    #12
  13. DPM
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    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    Back to the original question, i'd say it all depends how much you'd use it?
    We have the top of the range cable and full license which wasn't cheap but we use it all the time for customers remaps and diagnosis and also comes in handy for our cars.
    #13
  14. Beerzo
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    Beerzo Masa'warty 3200... Talk To Me!

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    As above, it all depends how much you may use it. My friend an myself have used it to reset a few service lights and turn on auto locking. But appart from that I have not used it.
    I suppose you could argue that it is piece of mind that if you have a problem with your car then you could do a fault code check to see what it might be. Thus you could save some money on the fix if needed, cause you could tell the garage what was wrong. But the garage may insist on checking it themselves to cover themselves.
    Again as above i would check the website and see what the sharware version will let you do. If it lets you do fault code reading and some other bits and bobs then that might be all you want it to do.
    #14
  15. Jonesy
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    Jonesy Member

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    think ill buy the license soon, once i get some money spare. If it doesnt work with my cable 'its a third party from ebay' do ross tech do refunds? The shareware version works fine tho so i guess it will be alright. Theres a few things i wanna do like the auto lock, change radio settings.
    #15
  16. Sebastian
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    Sebastian Member

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    If the shareware works fine, the full version will too. We don't do refunds since you have to check yourself first if the shareware works.
    #16
  17. Tooks
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    Tooks Active Member

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    Well, I've got a third party cable, and registered my 409 version of Vag Com for $99.

    That was 2 weeks ago, and since then I've reset my longlife service display as I now service my car myself. I've also enabled one touch, auto lock/unlock and the alarm lock chirp.

    My ESP light came on, and Vag Com diagnosed the Yaw Sensor as being faulty which meant I didn't need to take the car into a dealer. The replacement sensor has cured the fault.

    And, I also enabled a few options on my brothers Seat Leon!

    I think thats more than my $99 worth, as Audi wanted £35 to reset the service light, and another £60 to enable the autolock etc! How much they'd have charged for diagnosing the ESP light is unknown.

    I'm just getting into the more advanced stuff like logging etc, but I'd recommend this software to anybody! It really is good value when you start looking at what garages charge these days.

    When I get a newer CAN BUS car, I'll be upgrading too.
    #17
  18. Jonesy
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    Jonesy Member

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    Tooks, how muxh was the yaw sensor and how easy was it to fit, im sure thats the same problem i have.
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  19. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    For what it's worth, i'm on my third aftermarket cable (don't ask) and am currently using this one:

    http://www.gendan.co.uk/product_VAGUSB.html

    I'm running it on a laptop with Windows XP and have never had a single problem with any function of VAG-COM (Madvw, is this the same one you're using as i remember recommending it to you?)

    On the other hand i also tried using this heap of **** on the same system and it never worked properly, ever:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/USB-VAG-COM-4...2QQihZ013QQcategoryZ30921QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    I think i spent about £20 on that one, then got rid of it.

    £39.95 + £53 = £92.95 for a fully registered, fully functional diagnostic tool that has saved me on my A3, and my brother on his SEAT Alhambra, probably the best part of £400 in garage fees diagnosing a loose wire on my ABS controller and a dirty throttle potentiometer on my bro's Alhambra.

    Not to mention the stupid number of runs i make logging stuff and making pretty graphs to prove to myself how ineffectual half of my mods have been! :p
    #19
  20. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    yep, thats the one i use. What serial port settings are you using in VAG-COM to get a solid connection? Also, what O/S settings do you have on the port too?

    TBH, my moneys on the USB port on the dell laptop...
    #20
  21. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    i'll check my laptop this evening and post the settings for you.

    i've got a Dell laptop too, have you tried all the differant USB sockets?

    have you contacted Gendan? They also sell fully licensed kits so should be able to offer some support for setting up the drivers/port settings.
    #21
  22. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    It only has 1 USB port, its an old c600 from the days when dell were producing low voltage USB sockets that didn't work that well. I could test it out on my work laptop if i was thinking straight...

    I haven't contacted gendan at all about the settings. For the OS, the only setting i've changed was the baud rate. It was really flaky at the max setting, as you would have assumed. Setting it to 19200bps is the best i can get atm. I know that old VAG ECU's communicate at 9600bps, and that newer ones are faster (i'm assuming 19200bps).

    However, your faced with another load of settings within the vag-com program itself!
    #22
  23. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Wy dont you just buy direct from the states then? Or are you forced to purchase from the UK supplier?

    J.
    #23
  24. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    So does your laptop not have a serial port? If you do, that is a far better option than running a serial port emulator through a USB.

    What windows are you running? might be worth checking the emulation software is compatible, there may be a more suitable version kicking about.

    My original £5 eBay serial socket worked perfectly on my old Dell Laptop which had a serial port. Unfortunatly that PC died so i sold it as spares on eBay
    #24
  25. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    I bought a USB adapter from gendan, and was unaware that it (and all other third party USB devices) was a USB->serial interface and vag-com interface all-in-one affair (my fault). I was rather hoping it was a true USB device. The reason i decided on a USB device is because i know how much hair pulling is involved with serial devices and also wanted something that I could use when i finally get around to replacing the laptop. The OS is XPsp2.

    MB, the reason i wanted to avoid importing was because of the delivery times, the chance of being lost, import duty and potential warranty return hassles.
    #25
  26. Tooks
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    Tooks Active Member

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    Jonesy,

    The yaw sensor (G202) was £82 from my local Audi dealer.

    It was very easy to fit, I just had to remove the panel behind the fuse box on the right hand end of the dash and the yaw and lateral sensors are in there. It's just a screwdriver and unclip/reclip job.

    I can print out the relevant page on Elsawin if you like and email you the PDF?

    Let me know. Cheers.
    #26
  27. jiffi77
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    jiffi77 Member

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    Audi-Sport.net does not encourage software piracy - please check forum rules.
    #27

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