[A4] VAG-COM Purchase

Stephen Kormilo stephen.kormilo at gmail.com
Mon Jan 10 00:03:55 EST 2005

Richard Hurt wrote:
 > Hey guys,


 > Anyway, I would like to be able to diagnose these issues myself
 > without having to pay the dealer.  I figure that if it costs me $70
 > every time the dealer opens my hood, a VAG-COM will pay for itself in
 > 4-5 visits.  Does anyone have any experience with the new VC stuff?  I
 > am looking at getting the USB one with the integrated dongle for $249.
 >  Is it worth the extra money to get the Pro version?  Has anyone
 > experimented with building your own cable and then just registering
 > the software for $99?

Yes, that's what I did several years ago. The 'cable' to which you refer 
is actually an interface with electronics inside, as well as the 
connecting cable. These 'home-brew' interfaces are typically made with 
opto-isolators. While the opto-isolated type interface generally works 
OK, it cannot be used with the newer, much-improved versions of VAG-COM. 
There may also be communications problems due to loading in newer cars 
with many control modules, as well as the need for an external switch to 
access both K1 and K2 lines.

In short, I would advise you to buy one of the KEY or PRO models. As far 
as I can see, the main advantage of the PRO models is their ability to 
be used on the CAN-bus cars, which I expect to become the norm on all 
future VAG vehicles. All you will need for your '98 A4 (IIRC) is one of 
the KEY models. If you get a CAN bus car at some time in the future you 
can upgrade to a PRO, for virtually no extra cost. IMO, Ross-Tech has 
been exceptional in offering this hardware upgrade path.

I will probably be upgrading to one of these next year, after the 
warranty on my '02 A4 expires.

 > Thanx!
 >   Richard
 > _______________________________________________

Stephen Kormilo
Winnipeg, MB

Silver 2002 Audi A4 3.0QM
Now departed:   Silver '98.5 Audi A4 2.8QM
                            Black '85 Mazda Rx7 GSL-SE

email: stephen at kormilo.ca

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