I need to start using VAG COM for the first time... Need time tips

Phi1osopher

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Location
Austin, TX
TDI
'96 B4V TDI Passat Wagon
I have a 1996 VW Passat TDI wagon (with OBD2 computer, and it's time for me to learn VAG COM. Can you please share some links or free advice to help me get started? Is VAG COM and VCDS both the same thing?

Is this the cable I want to buy?

Thanks!!
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI, 2012 Audi Q7 V6 TDI, 1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
I have a 1996 VW Passat TDI wagon (with OBD2 computer, and it's time for me to learn VAG COM. Can you please share some links or free advice to help me get started? Is VAG COM and VCDS both the same thing?

Is this the cable I want to buy?

Thanks!!
No, get the genuine Ross tech one from ross-tech.com or get one of the older ones that are unlimited VIN (I may have an extra one. PM if interested)
From Ross tech it's $199 for the enthusiast version, which is a three VIN limited. There's also the vcdslite, which is another option, though more limited see it here: VCDS-LITE
I would not recommend getting the ones online where you get a disk with it. Not to mention them being illegal pirated software (don't get me started on that) they are also often infected with viruses and cannot be upgraded.
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Wife’s car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
Don’t buy your parts or vcds from amazon. All you’ll get is cheap illegal chinese crap.

Here is one of the trusted vendors, they also have the vcds cable in addition to most every part you’ll need.



Also, metalmanparts.com and cascadegerman.com
 

Phi1osopher

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Location
Austin, TX
TDI
'96 B4V TDI Passat Wagon
So I had no idea there were these issues around Ross-Tech, nor that it cost $199!

I was looking at VCDS light and a cheap cable adaptor. The Ross-Tech website walks through how to do this... I am on a tight budget. Why wouldn't I just do that?

Please feel free to privately PM me if that's less political!
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI, 2012 Audi Q7 V6 TDI, 1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
So I had no idea there were these issues around Ross-Tech, nor that it cost $199!

I was looking at VCDS light and a cheap cable adaptor. The Ross-Tech website walks through how to do this... I am on a tight budget. Why wouldn't I just do that?

Please feel free to privately PM me if that's less political!
I assume, being that you have a B4 Passat in your photo, that that is the car you're going to use it on.
The vcdslite would do a lot of what would be needed on that car, though it's limited by only being usable for vehicles up to 2005. I'm not sure what the limitations are for the lite version. I know it's $99 for that one, plus you get the aftermarket cable from somewhere else (I'd look at reviews about what works best from VCDS-LITE users)
 

TurboABA

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Location
Kitchener, ON
TDI
RIP-2010 Jetta 6spd 2014 Touareg Execline
How about you find another enthusiast in your neck of the woods who can help you with their existing proper tool for a coffee\lunch\beer type of deal? That will be your lowest cost option if your budget is that stringent!
 

Phi1osopher

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Location
Austin, TX
TDI
'96 B4V TDI Passat Wagon
THE Ross Tech website says VCDS light is FREE.

I am hoping to start by resetting my IQ, since I just got a tune & it's blowing some smoke under acceleration.
 

TurboABA

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Location
Kitchener, ON
TDI
RIP-2010 Jetta 6spd 2014 Touareg Execline
VCDS
Windows-based Diagnostic Software
for VW / Audi / Seat / Skoda


Yup.... even the full version is FREE
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Wife’s car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
The software is free and downloads to your laptop. The cable is the cost and the vcds cable is $199. Chinese crap cables that are the result of intellectual piracy on the part of the Red Chinese Army are pennies on the dollar and as pointed out earlier, some work, some don't, some don't work well, and some load your computer up with viruses.

Now a proprietary cable for any other manufacturer, Toyota, Honda, Ford, GM etc will cost several thousand dollars and then require a monthly payment of about the entire cost of VCDS, just for updates. So VCDS at $199 is an absolutely great deal with free updates and support from southern PA and I know you'll find this hard to believe but they speak English.
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI, 2012 Audi Q7 V6 TDI, 1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,

PassatLife

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Location
Coquitlam, BC
TDI
1996 Passat Tdi Wagon
I've had my B4 for about 5 years now and have been able to do everything I need with a $10 ebay cable and VCDS lite.

These early OBD2 cars don't have that many modules to begin with anyways so VCDS Lite should suffice for most if not all your needs
 
Top