1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is it worth getting VAG-Com and Cable

S3MHT Aug 6, 2006

  1. S3MHT

    S3MHT Remap Do I or Don't I???????

    121
    7
    18
    I have been looking at the usb cable and vag-com software on ebay. I have been told that its a waste of time if you dont know how to use it?

    Im guessing a lot of you have it, is it easy to use? and can you mess the car up? what sort of things can you change.

    thanks for any advice you can give
     
  2. DPM

    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

    5,065
    224
    63
    You can't change anything or mess the car up really, it's just nice to have to check faults codes and things like that. I've been after the full software for a while now but don't know which one to get or where to get it.
     
  3. S3MHT

    S3MHT Remap Do I or Don't I???????

    121
    7
    18
    sounds stupid but I heard you can change the welcome screen on stereo. it would look impressive with your custom message.

    Im sure you can change other things too like the way the electric windows work etc... not 100% but thats what ive read previously.
     
  4. DPM

    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

    5,065
    224
    63
    With the full software you might be able to, but i don't think you'd get the full software off Ebay though.
     
  5. Wicked666

    Wicked666 Active Member

    584
    35
    28
    is the ross tech one full software?
     
  6. madvw

    madvw Active Member

    2,489
    3
    38
    vag com is indispensable! you can check to see if your maf or DV are knackered before they log a DTC (if they do at all)..

    you cant change the stereo screen (not on the navi+ anyway), you need to mess about with the navi CD to do that, but looks good when changed to an S3 logo...

    i bought my interface from gendan.co.uk for £40 on the tip from someone on here. Its more than ebay, but you get a warranty and at least some comeback.

    ross tech vag com software is $99 and downloadable.
     
  7. Wicked666

    Wicked666 Active Member

    584
    35
    28
    If I was to buy the ross tech version, do i have to buy the software seperately?

    http://www.ross-tech.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=VAGCOM

    Or if I get an aftermarket interface and buy ross tech software can I still make changes to the car?
     
  8. DPM

    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

    5,065
    224
    63
    Where can i buy the cabel with the software in it for my 2003 S3 then?
     
  9. S3MHT

    S3MHT Remap Do I or Don't I???????

    121
    7
    18
    You've lost me what do you mean mess about with the navi cd??? i have the symphony 1 bose system. not a sat nav system if thats what you mean! When i turn it the engine on the stereo comes on and it says bose thats what i wanted to change
     
  10. DPM

    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

    5,065
    224
    63
  11. chrisb

    chrisb Member

    141
    0
    16
    I bought mine from Gendan- I felt I could justify the cost as I have an A3, and the wife has a Lupo. I bought the USB HEX+CAN cable as my next car will be a post 2003 VAG car. It's been invaluable- it helped me diagnose my failed MAF for a start, and resetting the service indicator is easier than fiddling with the buttons on the dash. I bought it as now I'm looking after 2 modernish VAG cars I need to be able to read codes, and it's the best solution unless you want to buy a 1551/2.
     
  12. icenutter

    icenutter Member

    596
    0
    16
    Just to clarify as some of the posters seem a little confused. Ross-tech make the vag-com software so they are one and the same. vag-com isn't official VAG although it does much the same thing as the official device/program.

    If you 'want vag-com' then you can either buy the cable and software from ross-tech, or buy a third party cable from ebay or whatever and buy vag-com itself from ross-tech. Finally you can download and use for free an older version of vag-com from the ross-tech website and use it with an unofficial cable - the version was 4.09 last time I looked. This doesn't work with CAN-BUS cars apparently, although I don't have one to try it out on. This free version allows you to scan for error codes and change settings but can't, for example, plot graphs of engine parameters. But it's free!

    So in answer to the original question, you can get a lead for £20 ish on ebay, and for only £20 what have you got to loose? Its handy just to scan for error codes if something is wrong with your car, or its going in for a service and you think your garage might fleece you.
     
  13. Tallpaul

    Tallpaul Member

    835
    0
    16
    The most reliable 'cheap' way of getting full VAG-COM is buy a £40 Gendan cable and a $99 software license from Ross-Tech. IMHO this is just as good as anything else available, i use it all the time and never have any problems.

    The only 100% supported, never have a problem, guaranteed way is to get a $250 cable from Ross-Tech that also acts as a dongle to license VAG-COM.

    They both do the same thing (i'm talking 8L A3 Chassis here, not your fancy new A3/Golf V platform); i don't see the point in paying double for a guarantee that you'll never need.

    This only apples to the Gendan cables though, some of the ***** you buy off eBay is just a pain in the ****; it'll work but i've got better things to do than mess about with drivers, baud rates and COM settings.
     
  14. S3MHT

    S3MHT Remap Do I or Don't I???????

    121
    7
    18
    thanks for the replys! so the ones from ebay are the all a pain in the backside or not I only want a little play about so spending 150 - 200 is a bit much for that!
     
  15. campbell

    campbell Member

    726
    1
    18
    can you not buy a trouble hand held device scanner for about 90 quid?that would be a lot easier
     
  16. icenutter

    icenutter Member

    596
    0
    16
  17. PaulRS3

    PaulRS3 Well-Known Member

    1,230
    156
    63
    if you use a third party lead, and even if you buy the licence, you will permantly be held back to an old version of the software.


    Only official leads are able to make use of the latest software.
     
  18. madvw

    madvw Active Member

    2,489
    3
    38

    true, but the new features of the newer VAG-COM are only available on the newer ECU's (i.e. 2005/6 cars, and use CAN-BUS).

    For me, £40 delivered for a guaranteed cable, and £50 for licensed vag-com is more than reasonable (although i'm still running the shareware one atm).. Yes, its not the latest, but nor's my 2002 S3 - it does the job fine though.

    and it'll do far more than a cheapy faultcode reader could ever do.
     
  19. madvw

    madvw Active Member

    2,489
    3
    38
    couldn't agree more.
     
  20. chrisb

    chrisb Member

    141
    0
    16
    I'd agree, if you never want to change your car, or your laptop. The official, dongled cable means you never have to worry about the licence key issue (without the dongle you have to remove the licence key from one PC and add it to another if you change your laptop, AFAIK), or if you change your car for something post 2003.

    It's worth mentioning the official cables and licences can be upgraded as well, so you don't lose all your money if you have an old one and need a later cable (say for CAN bus).

    Whatever route you take, VAG-COM makes more sense than a handheld scanner for anyone that wants to know or adjust the car in depth as it lets you do more and understands more. It's also worth having a licenced copy for the graphing: It helped me be *certain* that my MAF was faulty, for a start.
     
  21. dubhyper

    dubhyper Illegally Street

    128
    0
    16
    does anyone know if i can you use vag-com on a Mac running OSX. or am i gonna have to dig out an accient laptop with windows...o and repair the disk drive first....
     
  22. loftgroover

    loftgroover Member

    88
    0
    6
    AFAIK vag com is not mac compatable.

    For everone else, buy it, its invaluable!
     
  23. vanilla_ice

    vanilla_ice Active Member

    717
    28
    28

    Have you had any issues with this cable? I read in another post of yours that it isn't a true USB connection and that the dongle has a built in USB to Serial adaptor. Has this caused problems? Does it come supplied with Win 98 / XP drivers etc?

    Cheers,

    ICE
     
  24. KEF A3 20V T

    KEF A3 20V T Turbo's Rule

    199
    0
    16
    i think all the usb interfaces are not true usb! i got mine off ebay and it came with the relavant drivers on a cd with it! i have an old dumb version of vag com which only has com port settings on it neway! my usb lead is set to com port 2!

    dont know if that is any help!!!
     
  25. madvw

    madvw Active Member

    2,489
    3
    38
    the random controller communication loss i was experiencing with the interface i have so far put down to the laptop i was using... I have since bought another laptop, and will probably give it another go this weekend..

    The drivers for the gendan are available from the gendan site, and haven't had any problems under xp.
     
  26. vanilla_ice

    vanilla_ice Active Member

    717
    28
    28
    Thanks lads,

    Please report back with how you get on madvw!!

    Cheers,

    ICE
     
  27. jesters3

    jesters3 Active Member VCDS Map User

    1,516
    6
    38
    Just bought my cable from Gendan, £45.45 including a Saturday delivery so I can use it straight away over the weekend; billy bonus. http://www.gendan.co.uk/product_VAGUSB.html

    Off to buy the software...

    Thank god it's pay day!!!!
     
  28. steve1975l

    steve1975l Member

    595
    1
    16
    They are a lot cheaper than that on the bay.
     
  29. MikeA3

    MikeA3 Active Member VCDS Map User

    1,178
    1
    38
    Can anyone suggest somewhere to get a serial port vag.com cable from? - I've only found the USB connection ones on Gendan.co.uk and the old laptop I intend to use doesn't have USB.

    I'd rather not pay $250 for one from ross tech so I think i'd be looking at an e-bay one but what would this allow me to do? - I'm not too fussed about doing the graphs but just want to use vag.com to check the car is running ok every once in a while.

    Thanks in advance

    Mike
     
  30. Stan 24v

    Stan 24v Member

    124
    0
    16
    Not sure if you can get serial vag=com cables any more mate.

    Also, I have 2 x ebay cables. 1 of them only works with the engine off, which is *****, but the other works fine with the engine running, or off. All functions available too.
     
  31. jesters3

    jesters3 Active Member VCDS Map User

    1,516
    6
    38
    Yeah I know but I heard it was a bit hit and miss; hence why i went for the 'reputable' option plus with the saturday delivery it is a bargain in my eyes..

    ...though it is propably made in China by the same person!
     
  32. shineydave

    shineydave Member

    920
    5
    18
    i've got the genuine Ross-tech lead. the software updates itself automatically so i always have the latest version. i always recommend that you buy the genuine kit as your supporting the guys who are devoloping the software. the bonus is you always have the latest features and full support, as i've said many times i've yet to see an ebay seller appear on here to offer help when his product doesn't work or is difficult to install.

    there's so much more you can do with the genuine lead, check out here

    http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/vag-functions.html

    for details of the differences.
     
  33. timps

    timps Shakersville

    235
    0
    16
    Alpha bid still do a serial version http://stores.ebay.co.uk/alpha-bid

    Cannot comment on the quality of the serial version but quite a few people on ASN including me use the USB Alpha bid cables & recommend them.
     

Share This Page