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Old 24th June 2014, 12:11   #1
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Default VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

VCDS is a very useful feature in all VAG cars like VW/Skoda/Audi/Porsche. With the help of the Ross-tech VCDS cable and software a lot of features can be unlocked in these cars. It can also be used for diagnosing issues, taking logs etc. I bought the cable a few years back and have used it quite a lot over time. A lot of people keep asking me about stuff that can be done using it. So I thought I would put up a thread for the benefit of all bhpians.

VCDS as such has a whole lot of options and its impossible to master it completely. However, I would like to put up some of the common things for which it can be used. Feel free to add to this thread any other interesting feature which you might have found.

Firstly, I would like to use my VW Polo GT Tsi (6R 77KW) as a base car to illustrate some of the options. I will be putting up screenshots of the things I have done in my Polo.

The main VCDS screen (latest version 12.12.2)
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Choosing a complete scan/ Deletion of fault codes etc.
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Modules available
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Brake settings :
EDL default is medium
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Assist default is normal
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Hill start assistant
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Other options
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Central Electronics: Mostly self explanatory
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Rear wiper active on engaging reverse if front wipers are on
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Changing number of lane change clicks
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Warnings
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Needle sweep/staging (needs upgraded instrument cluster)

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Video from YOUTUBE, its not my car.


Parking sensor options
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Disabling ESP
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Taking log of various measurements (just a sample)
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I will be updating the thread with more stuff for different cars whenever possible. Kindly update with whatever extra stuff you can find about VCDS in this thread.

Last edited by robimahanta : 24th June 2014 at 12:57.
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Old 25th June 2014, 12:45   #2
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Technical Stuff. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th June 2014, 16:12   #3
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

Wow this looks really interesting. Thanks for sharing.

For those who are interested in the $$$, it is $250/$350 (depending on the type of cable) + ~$80 shipping by FedEx International Priority. The cable acts as a license dongle for the software, so there is no separate activation cost. Check out http://www.ross-tech.com/
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Old 25th June 2014, 16:31   #4
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

This is good... its really nice to see the owners of the VW group coming forward and sharing their knowledge and ideas. Would there be any offer for bulk purchases of VCDS cable? If yes, we could think of a 'group buy'.
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Old 25th June 2014, 16:59   #5
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

Very useful thread Robi, thanks for sharing.

From a personal point of view, the needle sweep staging seems really interesting, would love to get it done at some point in time.
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Old 25th June 2014, 18:06   #6
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

Wow, this is way beyond what is available on most other cars.

Some queries: Is there any option whereby you can backup the original settings and save it to your laptop (just in case), or reset everything to factory defaults, in case some option or combination of options plays foul with the system?

Further, can this data be fed to an independent display or additional aftermarket display screen?
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Old 25th June 2014, 19:00   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latentpotential View Post
Wow, this is way beyond what is available on most other cars.

Some queries: Is there any option whereby you can backup the original settings and save it to your laptop (just in case), or reset everything to factory defaults, in case some option or combination of options plays foul with the system?

Further, can this data be fed to an independent display or additional aftermarket display screen?

Yes you can save an entire back up log of your car. Most of the stuff is on trial and error basis and one should be careful while changing critical values. If the function is not applicable then the controller wont accept the code. From what I have seen till now, its pretty safe.

I am not sure about feeding the data to an independent screen. The cable connects to an USB port and works on any windows based laptop with the software.

I am based in Bangalore and would gladly help anyone who wants to try it out.
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Old 25th June 2014, 19:48   #8
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

Robi

Great thread! Your explanation clarifies a lot about the mystery that is VAG COM.

When I search for VCDS cable on Aliexpress, I see several manufacturers selling it. Any idea on the functionality/quality etc? These seem to be a fraction of the price ($50 including shipping)

I have good experiences with Aliexpress, so wanted to hear your views on the product.

Thanks
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Old 25th June 2014, 20:20   #9
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Originally Posted by guha_2001 View Post
Robi



Great thread! Your explanation clarifies a lot about the mystery that is VAG COM.



When I search for VCDS cable on Aliexpress, I see several manufacturers selling it. Any idea on the functionality/quality etc? These seem to be a fraction of the price ($50 including shipping)



I have good experiences with Aliexpress, so wanted to hear your views on the product.



Thanks

Aliexpress is good and even I have got stuff from it. But the fake vcds cables are a hit and miss. Some of them work fine as long as you do not have an active internet connection on the laptop. Sometimes it does not work with the updated software, so new cars may not be supported.

Just make sure you get a Hex-Can-USB cable. Some of the cables are not CANBUS compatible.

Even in Ebay India these clone/fake chinese cables are available but I personally have never tried one.
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Old 25th June 2014, 20:23   #10
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

Thanks a lot for the thread Robi! About time we had one on the forums.

The amount of customisations VCDS offers is massive! Right from enabling the honk-honk during locking/unlocking the car using the keyfob, auto door locks when the speed crosses 15 kmph, auto unlocking while removing the key, enabling cluster staging (not possible on the stock clusters of the Polo, Fabia, Rapid and Vento), XDS settings, brake assist settings, number of lane change indicators, activating emergency brake flashers and so forth.

Ross-Tech also has an interactive VCDS tour/demo - link

You can click on all the buttons and it would open the corresponding menu/screen as if you were actually operating the software. Like an interactive demo.

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Originally Posted by guha_2001 View Post
When I search for VCDS cable on Aliexpress, I see several manufacturers selling it. Any idea on the functionality/quality etc
It's a hit or miss. I've seen posts on various forums abroad wherein some members have had luck with cheaper replica cables.

With Ross-Tech's original cable, you get a good support from their team for resolving issues. Even for the silliest of issues, their team is supposedly very helpful in resolving them. With a replica cable, you don't get absolutely any support from the team. No doubt, the cable is mighty expensive especially for us home users who plan to do some DIY and tinkering with our car. Ross-Tech should have had a cheaper offering with the cable priced at some 100 USD. For folks who operate independent FNGs (Vagtune, Pete's etc), this is a good price but not definitely us.

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Originally Posted by iliketurtles View Post
From a personal point of view, the needle sweep staging seems really interesting, would love to get it done at some point in time.
Déjà vu (Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home) perhaps?

Emergency brake flashing feature when the ABS is activated:


Last edited by Gannu_1 : 25th June 2014 at 20:31.
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Old 25th June 2014, 20:28   #11
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Haha, yes, your memory does serve you right! I have been too lazy/unable to get it done thus far. I can't justify spending about $300 just to soothe my ego each morning If I can pinpoint some unfortunate soul in Mumbai with the cable, I'll pester him until I can!

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Emergency brake flashing feature when the ABS is activated:
Quite a cool feature, practical too to some extent. Must remind myself to get that done too, whenever.
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Old 26th June 2014, 11:27   #12
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

Yes, VCDS is quite powerful. I am using it on my Vento for last 4 months and pretty satisfied. BTW - I ordered a Chinese Ross-tech hex can cable (12.12.0) for $20 and it works fine.

Some key features activated

1. Emergency Braking Flashing lights
2. Locking - audible feedback (Horn)
3. Changed Time to 24 Hours, Earlier was 12H
4. Changed RCD 510 8 speaker mode to 4 speaker mode (not treble speakers in my Vento)
5. Changed Reverse Buzzer tone to subtle Audi type sound.
6. Changed RCD 510 Reverse OPS Car diagram to Jetta (to show the boot) - earlier was 6R polo - hatchback picture
7. Installed 9w2 Bluetooth module.
8. Changed Comfort turn signal (lane change) blinking to 5 (from 3)
9. Enabled tear drop wiping (one additional wipe after a delay once you use the windscreen washer)
10. Enabled Push to talk button on the Steering wheel (Current assignment was Mute)

Things tried but not working - trying to find solution
1. Enabled Coming home/Leaving home and linked with Fog lamps/Head lamps light - but some how not working
2. Enabled DRL for parking lights - not working


For my friend 2011 Polo Highline
1. Enabled Auto lock @ 15kmph

Last edited by newtonMeter : 26th June 2014 at 11:28. Reason: added content
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Old 26th June 2014, 13:24   #13
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

This is an extremely useful thing that you have shared. Would be useful for all VW/Skoda owners in India who want to tweak their machines around a little.
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Old 26th June 2014, 18:51   #14
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by newtonMeter View Post
Things tried but not working - trying to find solution
1. Enabled Coming home/Leaving home and linked with Fog lamps/Head lamps light - but some how not working
2. Enabled DRL for parking lights - not working
These will not work as indian polo does not use BCM to trigger the headlights and parking lights. Instead they are directly powered via the headlight switch unlike laura and jettas which has only a trigger in the switch which sends signals to the BCM and the BCM then powers the appropriate light.
Also the leaving home and coming home feature requires a Light sensor to work as it is designed to light up your pathway when its dark Outside.

Last edited by anarchy_99 : 26th June 2014 at 18:54.
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Old 26th June 2014, 21:01   #15
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Default re: VCDS (Vag-Com Diagnostic System) for VW & Skoda - Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by anarchy_99 View Post
These will not work as indian polo does not use BCM to trigger the headlights and parking lights. Instead they are directly powered via the headlight switch unlike laura and jettas which has only a trigger in the switch which sends signals to the BCM and the BCM then powers the appropriate light.
Also the leaving home and coming home feature requires a Light sensor to work as it is designed to light up your pathway when its dark Outside.
Thanks for that. Yes, i know LH/CH needed light sensor - but if we did have the BCM control as you mentioned, the CH function can still be activated by just firing the High beam once before exiting the car (opening the door).

But you may be right that the BCM is not controlling the Headlights hence no control.

Last edited by newtonMeter : 26th June 2014 at 21:01. Reason: grammatical
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