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Thinking about getting vcds - some questions

Discussion in 'VCDS (formerly VAG-COM) forum' started by pol, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. pol
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    pol Member

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    [Nov 29, 2013]
    I have an airbag light I need to clear - I've been reading up on the probable cause of the faults which doesn't sound too difficult.

    I bought a cheapo cable - Yeah, sorry, it's been talked about to death on here, and have been trying to use VCDS lite but I get communication errors. No big surprise there I suppose. I just wanted to try it and have since read loads on buying the real deal.

    I am considering buying the proper cable from Nigel and the full software but I am wondering, I am I likely to run in to similar problems with communication errors? It'd be very annoying to spend that much and find out there's a problem with my car being read or something odd with my laptop.

    I'm going to try another laptop first and see if I can rule that out. I'm fairly sure it'll be the cheap lead but what makes the expensive one so much better? It's still the same concept, USB interface. What are the causes of communication errors? Interference from somewhere? I was hoping to see it connect well but just with limited software so I could get a taste for VCDS.

    Also, i'm using a Mac, dual booted with Windows 8 so it's not running through a VM or anything. I've tried tinkering with the com port settings but any sort of scan results in 'too many communication errors to continue'. I don't think it being a Mac would have anything to do with it as it is basically just an intel based pc underneath.

    So basically, sell me the proper lead and software! I'd pay for reliability if it is going to give that.

    Also, It looks like I may need to find a replacement instrument cluster at some point. I've been reading up on programming one from another car to work in mine. I hear you need a code but some second hand ones I've looked at don't come with a code.

    Can you obtain the pin / code from a used instrument cluster and get it to work in another car? If so, how?

    I'd like to get handy with the VCDS software as it sounds like it could save me some money in future.

    Thanks,

    Paul
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  3. desertstorm
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    desertstorm Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 29, 2013]
    Windows 8 will pretty much be your problem. How old is your car? what model ?

    Karl.
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  4. pol
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    pol Member

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    [Nov 29, 2013]
    Hi Karl,

    Ah, ok, I read it was compatible but to be honest, I'll use whatever version works best with VCDS. Windows XP will be unsupported soon I suppose, so which Windows version is best? 7?

    It is an A3, 1999
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  5. @udi A3
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    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 29, 2013]
    I use XP. I have used vista, 7 and 8 no issues.
    For just a cluster swap its a lot of tool to buy, but if your a DIYer its worth its wieght in gold imo.

    Comms issues could be caused by anything but usually you can figure it out with some thinking and vcds.
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  6. pol
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    pol Member

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    [Nov 29, 2013]
    That's why I wanted to try VCDS lite first... Is a cluster swap possible on the lite version, assuming there are no comms issues?

    The cluster and airbag light will be just the start I'm sure. I'm a fairly keen DIY'er when I can be arsed and because the car is a new toy, I'm still in to tinkering with it.

    Just trying to get an old XP laptop installed now.

    So can you still get comms issues on the full VCDS with the posh cable? I don't doubt that it's as valuable a tool as people say but I need to know if it will work better on my laptop and car I suppose.

    Also, does anyone else use a dual booted Macbook?
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  7. @udi A3
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    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 29, 2013]
    Ross-Tech: VCDS: Function Table

    Im going to say no. Adaptions and security access are limited even when registering the lite version. Looks like full or nothing.
    #6
  8. pol
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    pol Member

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    [Dec 9, 2013]
    For info, the 1st cable I bought was at fault. I got a full refund. This is the ebay item: VAG GROUP USB COM PORT OBD2 II KKL ECU DIAGNOSTIC CABLE LEAD VCDS-LITE 409 | eBay

    Yes, it was refunded with no quibble but it is not worth the headache. The connector is also a poor fit.

    I bought the £20 one from Gendan who assured me all of their cables are tested by them. It works fine with VCDS lite and from there I can decide if I need the registered VCDS lite or the full version.
    #7

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