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Looking for a vagcom or VCDS - any recommendations?

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by ricochet, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Hi,

    Having problems with rough idle and cold starting, and have read loads of threads now that are pointing me towards checking the timing, however, I need a Vagcom / VCDS to do this to allow me to check the torsion setting.

    Does anyone have any recommendations or advice for buying one of these, and what I should be paying. Prices vary wildly from £30 to £300'ish.

    Thanks
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  3. Mikemc
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    Mikemc Active Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Speak to Nigel, (NHN) he sells them on here
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  4. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Yeah, saw his ad's thanks Mikemc, but £250 for a cable!! Would break my heart!

    Was wondering if anyone has set up timing using a cheapy version?
    #3
  5. Andie0
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    Andie0 Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Where abouts you from?
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  6. Mikemc
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    Mikemc Active Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Nobody will help you if you get a copy, either buy one or pay a local user to do it?
    #5
  7. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Live in West Cumbria, AndieO.

    I think I'd pay an hours labour at an Indie garage rather than buy the ross-tech cable, as it's a fairly quick job to set the timing.

    Really don't want to sound tight, or dis' anyone who's bought the cable, but it really is just a USB plug, a length of 16 core multi-core cable, and an OBD2 plug. I'd say that'd be around £10 max' in bits and an hours soldering.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
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  8. Andie0
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    Andie0 Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    There are many cables on the market and quite a few cheaply made ones do not cut the mustard! I think you should try to get someone from this site who is local to you, to come and help you out maybe for a small fee! Its still somebodys time and effort to come to your rescue! Otherwise have you not got a vgs around you because they are good for diagnostic work!
    #7
  9. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Sounds like a plan AndieO. To be clear, I really don't mind paying someone for their time and help, but can't see I'd get my money back buying a vag com cable for £250....what with the Audi being so reliable and all that!!!

    Whats a VGS??
    #8
  10. PetrolDave
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    PetrolDave Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    You obviously haven't seen what's inside the connectors... there's a whole lot more than that in there including a microcontroller that is regularly updated when Ross-Tech release new versions of VCDS - something you won't get when buying a rip-off cloned copy.

    Yes, £250 is a lot but think of this - in the 7 years I've owned a genuine Ross-Tech cable it has saved me at least a dozen diagnostic visits to an Audi dealer, which at £100 a time means I've saved nearly £1000 by having my own lead. Add onto that the amount of beer it's earned me doing simple setup changes and fault code clearing for friends, colleagues and acquaintances (not only on VAG cars as it has a generic OBD2 mode as well).

    Doesn't seem like such a costly purchase when you look at it like that...
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  11. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Thats me put in my spot PetrolDave!! Thanks for the reply, as it probably does make sense to buy one if you're planning on spending so much time under the hood.

    All I really wanted to know was if setting up the timing (10 min job once the cam belt cover is off) really warrants or requires a vag com, or if anyone has done it with a cheaper version?

    Times are hard!! :3sadwalk:
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  12. Andie0
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    Andie0 Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Really depends on weither or not ypu are going to keep your audi for a long time! Like petrol dave said you could earn your money back on the ross tech by doing a few code clearing jobs for other people! Also if you like to modify you can data log and see what the car is doing in a number of different data blocks! But if it is literally a one of job you need it for then ask around on here amd im sure someone close to you would be willing to help for (beer money).... I would help but im afraid your a little far from me!
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  13. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Great advice thanks AndieO. I've pm'd someone near me, so hopefully they'll be able to help out, and as you say, earn a few beers!! Thanks again.
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  14. stu_m
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    stu_m Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    I fully recommend the full cable its well worth the £250

    I got one just to code in my cruise and I have done a couple of jobs for members on here plus plugged mine in a fair few times!

    It was going to cost 300 quid to code my cruise and the cheapest reliable place for a scan was £100+vat!! and I have needed it a fair few times!!

    get saving and get one you wont regret it and the resale value is high too
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  15. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    OK, here's the deal. I bought my well spec'd 56 plate 'A4 Avant 2.0 TDi Quattro S-Line' (car with the longest title ever?) a couple of months ago, and it turns out, all is not as it seemed. There's the cold start and idle issues mentioned above, as well as brake judder and a suspension knock, not to mention the EGR valve I had to replace last week, due to the internal plastic (yes, plastic gears in this quality, German motor) gear teeth having worn away.

    I'm keen to sort the issues out one by one, but extra £250's thown in along the way I just can't be on with...She might have to go, as the love affair just hasn't got to first base I'm afraid.
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  16. stu_m
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    stu_m Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    well you have a B7 there this is the B6 section although a lot is the same

    my brother has a 2.0TDI B7 and has similar issues

    You will be best off posting in the B7 section for the engine troubles to be honest
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  17. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    Oops, sorry, me and my sausage fingers ha ha!! Wish I'd never seen the car now tbh
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  18. stu_m
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    stu_m Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 15, 2013]
    you will love it once you get the problems sorted
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  19. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    Cant add allot to what Dave's already advised, but you're not paying for the cable mostly, its the software, R&D, support etc that comes with it, is what the deal of the century is.

    Perspective moment, vas costs thousands & also costs more thousands to subscribe to yearly, £257 for interface that hasn't had upgrade fees or update fees thus far :)
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  20. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    Can't argue with any of you - sounds a good deal when I have all the facts, but I'm still not sure I want to keep a car that may need plugged in so often.

    Me old Vauxhall Chevette never needed plugged in!!!
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  21. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    That's cause it never had a socket to plug into lmao.
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  22. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    She didn't need one....halcyon days of not caring about emissions or the environment...and the air seemed so much fresher hah!!
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  23. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    ricochet, if you're not happy spending £250 on a cable and software, I know I'm not. Get on ebay and get a cable off their and use the free VCDS Lite with it.
    Its very limited and no where near as good as the full price unit but for basic fault finding and some little extra bits its worth it.
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  24. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    Thanks very much ScottB5 - finally, someone else who's heard of the credit crunch lol

    Do you know if these cheaper jobs will allow me to check the timing?

    Cheers for adding a bit of balance to the debate btw
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  25. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    Any time mate.
    I doubt this thread will last very long now someone has mentioned Ebay and VCDS in the same sentence, o well.

    I'm not sure. I've never looked that far into it.
    Always fault codes and the odd stereo or clock coding, which is all I can do on a B5 really, hence the cheap cable.

    For £10, its worth a pop and see what happens.
    It will and can help you with others items on your car and other VAG cars.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
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  26. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    PS, it says you want my faulty electronics - not fancy a full faulty A4 instead heh!
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  27. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    £10?
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  28. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    The way I feel about it right now, that would be ripping you off!!

    This is the third (and most definitely last) German car I've had in a row now, and two of them have cost (or are in the process of costing) me a fortune. Swedish cars (the ones that rhyme with Wolvo) are the future - had four of them with no trouble at all.
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  29. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    As we say in the office, User Error!!

    I like Ovlovs, had a couple as company cars. They scare me when they beep at you and the stereo go quiet when you go to fast lol.
    #28
  30. ricochet
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    ricochet Member

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    lmao - I had a T4 that used to turn it's radio down and shout 'PUSSY!!' at me if I was doing less than a ton!
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  31. glenandem
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    glenandem Member

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    [Jun 14, 2013]
    i have to share my experience of buying a cheap ebay lead with a copy version of vcds, its been great for me and done everything i need and more, its a full version and ive sorted lots of things on my car and familys vw's too, ive adjusted things too and coded my new key fob remote in as it wouldnt do it from the door.
    for me its a no brainer as i only use it here and there, yes i might not get support or updates but i dont have a new car so this version is fine for me, if i was working daily on vw's audi's etc than i'd spend the £250 on a gen ross tech, each to theyre own and everyone has theyre own situation!
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