Having a good VAG-COM scan tool can go a long way to help not only find a mechanical problem but to do some light modding.
There are many VAG-COM VCDS scan tools available for Volkswagen, from low cost units to high-end expensive models.
Here we show some of the low cost options that would be a good fit for the DIY mechanic.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
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Our Picks for the Best VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tools
Xtool Vag401 Live Data OBD2 Car Diagnostic Scan Tool for Vw Audi Seat Skoda Vehicles – Black
If you are looking for a low cost stand alone scan tool then the Xtool Vag401 is worth a look.
It has a lot of feature including reset oil services, Airbag Reset, Throttle adaption, Mileage Reset, EEPROM access and much more.
It is widely compatible with many VWs from Passat to Audi.
It is a good scanner for troubleshooting and has many nice features such as clearing airbag faults, or priming a fuel pump after a filter change.
If doing a mod it only works with long codes in HEX, so you know exactly which byte and bits to modify. This can be done by searching the forums and finding matches for your car and what you are trying to do.
FOXWELL NT614 OBD2 Auto Diagnostics Code Scanners OBD II Automotive Scan Tool Check Car Engine ABS SRS Airbag Transmission Fault Code Readers 4 System
The FOXWELL NT510 is a great scan tool for any car or truck including VW owners.
It has a ton of features such as resetting the check engine light, ABS light, SRS airbag light, and much more.
If you need one of the better home DIY scan tools it is worth a look.
The number of things it can read and reset is huge. It is also easy to use and has a very intuitive interface.
There are cheaper options and it may be more than what a home DIY person needs, but is a nice unit to have when a problem comes up.
[New Version] Findway VAG-COM KKL 409.1 USB Interface diagnostic cable for AUDI & Volkswagen – OBD2 / OBDII
Of course no VAG COM scan tools would list would be complete without a cheap low cost USB OBDII Cable.
A Vag COM cable simply goes from the OBD2 port to a laptops USB port and software is used for VCDS information.
Low cost cables are basically knock offs of the genuine Ross-Tech cable which cost much more.
The thing to understand with any of these low cost VAG COM cables is they use older version of the Ross-Tech software.
Many have problems with these cables while others use them daily.
Here are some things to keep in mind if a low cost VAG COM cable is bought.
…It will come with a disc that must be used with the cable.
…Do not update the software or it will not work.
…You will need to disable any virus software to use the program.
…It is best to disable any internet connection so the software does not update.
Of course all of this can be skipped by buying the Ross Tech version. I know many will not have the money to buy the Ross Tech version and these will come up.
With that in mind they do work when used right
Audi/VW VAG OBD2 OBDeleven Pro Bluetooth Scan Tool for Android: Full System Diagnostics, Programming and Monitoring
The OBDeleven is a dedciated VAG COM scan tool that has most all VCDS features.
It is a Bluetooth dongle that pairs with a smartphone and allows you to check for errors or do modifications.
A app called VAG OBD2 is downloaded from the Play Store to your Android smartphone.
The App does charge extra for features that make it easier to mod a VW.
There is no charge if you can get a bit technical and enter the long codes bits needed to do what is required.
Even though it makes VAG-COM much easier to work with then in the past there still is a technicality to it, unless you want to pay extra for the easy apps.
For example if you are doing mods be sure to do some research on your vehicle for what mods you actually want done to your car.
If you just want to check codes then it does that very well. The Volkswagen vehicle compatibility is huge, but be sure to read their compatibility list on Amazon to be sure it will work for you.
The OBDEleven is a really nice tool when used correctly along with tons of features and mods that can be done depending on your vehicle.
The above VAG-COM VCDS are simply a few of the ones available and ones I have seen work.
Each tool has its own positives and negatives which often depending on the vehicle being worked on.
Which ever tool is used there is no doubt the many positives of using a VAG COM tool over a standard OBD II. From scanning for engine fault codes to simple modding, they are a nice thing to have.
Do you have a favorite VAG-COM scanner? Let us know in the comments below.