What is The Best VAG-COM VCDS OBDII Scan Tool?

By | July 10, 2023

What is The Best VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tool 2018
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 expensive high-end models.
Best VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tool 2020 Overview
Below are some of our favorite options that would be a good fit for the DIY mechanic or professional.

As always, be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.

*This site contains affiliate paid links for which a commission earned.

Our Picks for the Best VAG-COM VCDS OBDII Scan Tools

  1. ANCEL VD500
  2. What is The Best VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tool ANCEL VD500
    Available Here on Amazon

    The ANCEL VD500 is a low-cost stand-alone scan tool for Volkswagen.

    For a budget unit, it has many good features such as EPB, ABS, SRS, Oil Throttle Position, Adaption Brake Pad Reset, and much more.

    It also is compatible with many VW models including, Golf, Jetta, Passat, Sharan, Tiguan, Touran, Audi, and more.

    The ANCEL VD500 is worth a look for anyone looking for a starter scan tool for their Volkswagen.

  3. Xtool Vag401
  4. What is The Best VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tool VAG401
    Available Here on Amazon

    The Xtool Vag401 is another low-cost stand-alone scan tool built to work with Volkswagen.

    It has a lot of features, including reset Oil Services, Airbag Reset, Throttle Adaption, Mileage Reset, EEPROM Access, and much more.

    It is widely compatible with many Volkswagen from Passat to Audi.

    The unit 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 will need to 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.

  5. FOXWELL NT510
  6. Available Here on Amazon

    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 it is a nice unit to have when a problem comes up.

  7. VAG-COM KKL 409.1
  8. Best VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tool 2017 Pic 7
    Available Here on Amazon

    Of course, no VAG-COM scan tools list would be complete without a cheap low-cost USB OBDII Cable.

    A Vag COM cable simply goes from the OBD2 port to a laptop’s USB port, and software is used for VCDS information.

    Low-cost cables are basically knock-offs of the genuine Ross-Tech cable, which costs much more.

    The thing to understand with any of these low-cost VAG-COM cables, is they use the 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.

  9. OBDeleven
  10. Best VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tool
    Available Here on Amazon

    The OBDeleven is a dedicated VAG COM scan tool that has almost all VCDS features.

    It is a Bluetooth dongle that Pairs with a smartphone and allows you to check for errors or do modifications.

    An 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 code bits needed to do what is required.
    Best VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tool 2017
    Even though it makes VAG-COM much easier to work with than 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 want to do to your car.
    Best VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tool 2017 Pic 5

    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.
    Best VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tool 2017 OBDEleven

    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.

    VAG-COM VCDS OBD II Scan Tools Comparison Table

    NameTypeRead/Erase codesVCDS Options
    ANCEL VD500Stand-aloneYesYes
    Xtool Vag401Stand-aloneYesYes
    FOXWELL NT510Stand-aloneYesNo
    VAG-COM KKL 409.1USB Computer CableYesYes
    OBDeleven Bluetooth to Android SmartphoneYesYes

    There are many good OBDII VAG-COM scan tools for Volkswagen that can display VW-specific codes.

    The above VAG-COM VCDS are simply a few of our favorite options, and, without a doubt, many more to choose from.

    Each tool has its own positives and negatives, which often depend on the vehicle being worked on.

    Whichever tool is used, there are many good things about using a VAG-COM tool over a standard OBDII. 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.

    Bob Thomas
    Latest posts by Bob Thomas (see all)

17 thoughts on “What is The Best VAG-COM VCDS OBDII Scan Tool?

  1. Shelly

    I highly recommend Launch 8001 code reader.
    This diagnostic tool includes all the latest OBDII test modes (modes 1 to 10), including full on-board monitor testing, which provides full OBDII and EOBD diagnostic functions and reads common protocols. Color view screen and smart hotkeys make this automotive scanner an ideal tool for professional technicians as well as knowledgeable mechanics who do car maintenance work at home

  2. Jeremy

    Great summary – I’m needing a scan tool to diagonise faults with my daughter’s 2007 EOS convertible roof – will all of these scanners read roof-related codes? If not, which ones?? Trying to nail down some problems before getting reamed by the repair shop!


  3. Darren

    Just wondering if any of these scanners have the capability do carry out a forced DPF regeneration on a Touareg?

  4. SwissJetPilot

    Your review of the VAG-COM KKL 409.1 is completely misleading because you imply using a knock-off VCDS cable is somehow supposed to work with outdated Ross Tech software.

    At least have the decently to actually review the Ross Tech HEX-V2 cable with the OEM factory software. It is by far the best OBD2 scanner and diagnostic tool on the market and is specific to VAG software. Unlike most of the knock-off generic OBD2 dongle scanners which lack the ability to perform Adaptations and Basic settings.

    Ross Tech has the best customer support, dozens of tutorial videos and a complete wiki for the fault codes, causes and solutions. I own both the HEX-V2 and OBDeleven, and while the OBDeleven has it’s place in my tool and glove box, if you want really get into diagnostics, the Ross Tech VCDS is THE way to go.

    1. Don

      I don’t think he is saying it is better just it will be brought up. Everyone known the genuine cable and software is better. If they have the money the will buy the genuine cable if they are broke they are looking for other options.

  5. Kris

    There is ONLY one VAG Com, and that’s Ross-Tech. They invented and perfected the 1551/1552 clone for the enthusiast.

    Anything else should not be called a VAG COM.

  6. Amanda Yang

    I have bought Launch 6001 code reader before. It is well worth buying because of the high quality. It works on my Ford perfectly. In fact, the design is considerate – the cable attached to the device and the other end of the cable plugged into the OBD port on my vehicle. The instruction described on the user manual is clearly, which are really easy to understand. I can easily check if the engine emissions reach the standard.
    I don’t have to always go to automotive services cause this tool can help me solve some small problems. What satisfied me a lot is the metal dome designed keys which are sensitive and easy to operate with great feelings.
    Maybe you can have a try.

  7. Kevin Gillam

    Hello, I need to do a Haldex drive service on my Skoda Yeti and the on-line discussion groups seem to think that you need a Ross-Tech VCDS or similar to remove the Haldex filter. Similarly it is recommended that I have a Ross-Tech VCDS or similar to monitor gearbox oil temperature when I service the DSG gearbox. Is there a less expensive tool that will allow me to do these jobs? Best regards, Kevin

  8. Clara

    Thank you for the list of vag com tools it is very useful and I am going to buy an obd scanner. Would you mind giving me any advice? I prefer to buy a basic obd like this one: Launch Creader 6001 What do you think about it? I am new in this area.

    1. Hawkwind212

      The Launch Creader 6001 is a good all around unit that work with most any car or truck including VW reading and clearing codes. VW vehicles do have extend Vag Com protocols it cant read but will read all other VW codes.

  9. Steve

    Hi peeps can anybody tell me how to update a vag401 the steps on Google don’t seems to work or tried xtool website but no luck.

    Regards steve

  10. zabad longoria

    What about for doing service, like change of oil, brake pads, release of electronic parking brake, etc.

    what scanner do you recommend for an Audi c7

  11. milo

    Hello and thank you for this information on vag com tools. I have 3 vw TDI’s, 2000-2004 and id like to check intention pump timing on them. I can’t afford the Ross Tech unit and I want to be able to check timing for friends and family which I can’t do with Ross Tech (only allows 3 VIN’s).
    Do you know if any of these above mentioned tools are capable of checking timing? Also, are they limited to a certain number of vehicles like the Ross Tech is?

  12. William Reeves

    I need to reset the immobilizer in my 2010 jetta. What is the best scanner to purchase?

  13. Mr philip Robertson

    Really usefull information, will they cover a 2004 Audi allroad quattro and air suspension? as the air suspension is the what I’m really looking for

    1. Marty U

      Hello Mr. Robertson,

      I don’t (yet) own any VAG-COM tools, but still do own a 2002 allroad. Regarding the air suspension, I can tell you that I had numerous (between 5-10) problems and failures of it. At no time was VAG-COM or a related tool able to fix the problem. In all cases, new suspension air bags were needed. In the end, I ended up having my indy mechanic install a steel coilover spring kit and completely get rid of the air springs, pump, valves, accumulator, etc. My sense is that most automotive air spring systems just do no hold up over time, sadly the allroad’s is no different.

      I hope this helps.



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