[s-cars] VAG COM and other electronic diagnostics

Manuel Sanchez manuelsanchez at starpower.net
Sun Sep 20 06:47:15 PDT 2009


Thanks for the info.

A few follow up question.....

So VAGCOM or other manufacturers proprietary interfaces allow you to  
do many other things than just pull engine OBD codes, but lets say  
for the moment we compare VAGCOM and a run of the mill code reader  
that you can but at a FLAPS when you are trying to help diagnose an  
engine problem, will the VAGCOM be able to offer more information for  
an engine problem than the simple code reader?



On Sep 19, 2009, at 9:11 AM, JC wrote:

> Manny -
>> If you were going to buy some sort of electronic vehicle
> VAG-COM no doubt. Think you might be confused about OBD 1/2.  More on
> that...
>> Can VAG COM read items that a run of the mill current
>> electronic diagnostic tool can't?
> Depends on what you mean by 'read' and 'run of mill'.  Sure a ROTM  
> little
> OBD tool should pull basic engine codes and clear them.
> But part of it is in how it is done - generic "OBD" readers don't  
> do a ton
> of stuff in the interface that VAG-COM does. VAG-COM's first big  
> value add
> is in huge databases of descriptions and lookups for codes and  
> readings and
> inputs so you don't have to constantly look up codes or measuring  
> block
> numbers to remember what they mean, you get the description. As  
> well as a
> lot of other cool functionality like graphic display of reading/ 
> monitoring,
> ease of changing default settings for central locking modules etc.
> Re: HW vs. SW solutions - benefit of dedicated hardware scanners is  
> usually
> that they are small and simple to hook up and you don't have to  
> wait for a
> PC to boot etc. Otherwise a PC solution is usually vastly superior for
> reasons above.
>> I ask because I have 2 VAG products;  one is OBD 1 and the
>> other OBD 2.
>> In an ideal world I would get one device that talks to all of
> OBD 1 vs. 2 is hardly the most important distinction... everything  
> does
> OBD-II these days. It's actually additional features/ 
> functionalities that
> sit on top or outside of the "OBD" part limit what you can do with  
> older /
> simpler scanners. For isntance if you want to work on VW/Audi  
> models from
> last 10 years and do things like re-code new immobilizer keys, you  
> need one
> that can deal with more advanced hardware bus interfaces and  
> software that
> matches.
> Any early or basic OBD scanner will work fine for the official OBD II
> functions of reading engine codes but very likely won't do any of that
> higher level stuff. All the OEM automakers do their own proprietary  
> computer
> interfaces and extensions. For instance, common stuff you do with a
> 'proprietary' scanner is be able to reprogram door and window
> locking/opening behaviors, set various defaults and formats for  
> information
> displays in the car like the instrument panel... That kind of stuff  
> is often
> proprietary to mfrs so while a VAG compatible scanner will do a  
> great job
> for your VW-Audi family products, if you want to do it on a Saab or  
> a Jeep,
> you need something totally different compatible with their dealer  
> stuff.
> Example: I rented a Volvo this summer with the interface language  
> set to
> German and it was completely annoying that to change it, I would  
> have had to
> have had a proprietary Ford/Volvo tool to change the system.  This  
> is all
> WAY past "OBD" compatiblity specs, which is really just the most basic
> government driven functionality for emmisions control purposes.
> So while VAG-COM and other VAG type tools talk to all of them for  
> VW-Audi
> brands (Skoda etc.) However, if what your trying to say is having a  
> one-stop
> scanner for VW/GM/BMW/etc... AFAIK there isn't a great 'super scanner'
> product that does all the things you might want to do for all those
> brands... others please invited to correct but I've not heard of it...
> JC

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