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General VW Discussion This is a place for General VW topics (the company, not your vehicle). General topics about a specific vehicle should be posted in the General TDI Dicussion Forum sections for that vehicle platform. A4, A3 & B4, B5, etc.

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Old August 2nd, 2017, 17:22   #1
Cburb88
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Question Newbie question about Vagcom/ VCDS/ Diagnostics

Im slowly trying to read about this subject, its all new to me but still confusing im seeing multiple different names for these diagnostics cables either vagcom, hex etc then i believe VCDS is the software itself but im just not sure what i need and whats all compatible id like to buy these cables used if possible because i see some people selling them for a good price. Then im not sure if the software is included sometimes and other times you have to pay for software separate?

I will likely just have this one vw golf i doubt ill buy more. I just want to be able to check all codes and timing, im going to need to buy a setup here soon because i plan on doing my timing belt. Then i need to get a tune which from my understanding i can either have it sent out to be loaded onto the ecu itself or you can use flashzilla to load tunes onto it from there? Im trying to read as much as possible but for my own use im trying not to buy something incorrect, thanks for any help. Im used to just using plain OBD2, timing lights and such.
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Old August 2nd, 2017, 18:22   #2
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VCDS is just the new(ish) name for Vag-Com, they are one and the same. You are correct in that VCDS is the program, you can download it for free. However, the required license to use the program is built in to the interface (either cable or wireless).
As for types: there are basically 2 types of communications protocols used by VW, so there are 2 basic types of interfaces, plus some that can do both protocols.
HEX interfaces (aka K-Line) are for older VWs. 2005 and older (for the most part).
CAN interfaces are for newer VWs (2005.5+ mostly) that have a CAN bus communications architecture.
HEX+CAN interfaces will talk to both generations of VWs. Also the newest interfaces (HEX-V2 and HEX-NET) are capable of both protocols.

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Old August 2nd, 2017, 20:36   #3
Cburb88
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Ohhh ok that makes it alot simpler to understand so basically in my situation i could just buy a used HEX or HEX+CAN interface and as long as its licensed i can download VCDS onto my laptop and i would be set.
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Old August 3rd, 2017, 14:37   #4
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True but you want a usb port if you can. Serial ports are getting nonexistent now days. Plus having the usb/hex/can will let you help others as well if needed. Join the VCDS list and help those near you as well. Used ones showing up in the for sale forum here as people turn in their cars.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 16:02   #5
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Ok cool so whats the deal with this flashzilla thing? Do i buy tunes from places and they load onto there rather then having to give them my ecu or something?
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Old August 10th, 2017, 21:30   #6
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Flash Zilla will come with a tune You by and you can load it through the OBD2 port yourself. And switch it back as well to stock if you need to.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 10:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightflyer1 View Post
Flash Zilla will come with a tune You by and you can load it through the OBD2 port yourself. And switch it back as well to stock if you need to.
The Flashzilla does not come with a Malone tune.
You pay for the Malone tune and buy the Flashzilla for another $ 180.00

Or unless you buy both at a combined package.
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Old August 13th, 2017, 20:14   #8
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I thought that is what I said but misspelled and I guess not worded clearly. You said it better than I.
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Old August 18th, 2017, 21:03   #9
Cburb88
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Ok thanks i might get one of those i like the idea of being able to get a tune without physically having a shop install a tune and being able to revert back to stock. It looks like id need the V2 flashzilla that works for 2008 and older cars. I wish it doubled as like a boost/egt gauge or something.
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