Reasonably priced Diagnostic tool

Smokin_Joe

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Location
Surrey BC
TDI
2011 Golf TDI Highline returned for refund
Hi
We have a 2011 Golf Tdi approaching 60,000Kms and the check engine light came on the other day.
I took it to the dealer and they said the #2 glow plug had a low pressure reading.(Dealer had not cleared the fault and light was still on when I returned it to the wife's work. Wife said the light was not on when she drove it home from work)
Wife took it to dealer today to get it fixed and they couldn't duplicate the fault. Nothing replaced no charge.


Any recommendation on a diagnostic tool that would allow us to decide what is causing a check engine light and give us the power to clear codes?
 

sprinks

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Location
charlottesville va
TDI
2010 jetta tdi (gone); now mk7 gti
everyone's going to recommend ross-tech VCDS as it's the best one for people to really get into what's up with their car. However, there are other readers out there such as the vag401 by xtool and the foxtool/schwaben scanner that sound like they work just fine.
May not get 100% of functionality of vcds, but i think majority of users don't need that functionality.
 

axnels2

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Location
Denver
TDI
2009 jetta sportswagen
Not sure about Canada, but many auto stores in US can do a free scan and let you know what the codes are.
 

ihatespeed

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Location
holbrook, ma
TDI
11 tdi wagon 6mt 15 golf 6mt (Wife's)
The free scan is just going to tell you obd2 codes, semi useful on very simple gas cars, not particularly useful on tdi's. I have vcds, was a great purchase. I don't know anything about the vag401 or foxtool, but anything that will pull vw specific codes is going to be much more likely to get you on the right track than the generic obd2 scanner. There are occasionally knockoff cables floating around on ebay, questionable ethics aside you will get zero support from vagcom.
 

ihatespeed

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Location
holbrook, ma
TDI
11 tdi wagon 6mt 15 golf 6mt (Wife's)
after looking at the 401 and fox tools the major difference I see is a lack of test and adaptation functionality, certain maintanance tasks require you to run tests and adaptations, like changing key fobs, or glow plugs/ injectors, plus being able to tweek your car to your tastes is pretty nice, for instance I hated the hill hold feature and seatbelt chime, but prefer a 4 blink lane change.

70 bucks on amazon prime is pretty nice, but without the manual or rosstech support the codes it gives you may still not be as enlightening as you hope.
 

DriverJon

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Location
Irvine, CA
TDI
2010 Jetta TDI, 6M
Torque, and the $15-20 BT OBDII port interface, will read and ID many of the codes, for a total of $20-25. Not VCDS, but will cover the code reading task. And there's all those cool gauges.. :D
 

DriverJon

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Location
Irvine, CA
TDI
2010 Jetta TDI, 6M
Torque, and the $15-20 BT OBDII port interface, will read most and ID some of the codes, for a total of $20-25. Not VCDS, but will cover the code reading and clearing tasks. And there's all those cool gauges.. :D
 

lrpavlo

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2000
Location
Cocoa FL
TDI
09 Sportwagen DSG, 02 NB Auto
Just had the #2 glow plug short to plus on my 09 JSW I have an old version of vag com and it cleared the code but it kept coming back till I had the 4 glow plugs replaced....pricey compared to the A4 for sure!!
 

Smokin_Joe

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Location
Surrey BC
TDI
2011 Golf TDI Highline returned for refund
Just had the #2 glow plug short to plus on my 09 JSW I have an old version of vag com and it cleared the code but it kept coming back till I had the 4 glow plugs replaced....pricey compared to the A4 for sure!!
How important is the (perfect) functionality of a glow plug?
At this point, I think it is for: emissions, cold starts, and plugging a hole in the cylinder..lol
Not happy that I have to stress over a second car. Bought new so I wouldn't have to work on it.
That plan seems to be working out BRILLIANTLY.
I would like some software that would allow me to adjust the warning thresholds as well as clear codes but that option is probably non existent.
 

Smokin_Joe

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Location
Surrey BC
TDI
2011 Golf TDI Highline returned for refund
Torque, and the $15-20 BT OBDII port interface, will read most and ID some of the codes, for a total of $20-25. Not VCDS, but will cover the code reading and clearing tasks. And there's all those cool gauges.. :D
Think we have a Wenner..lol
Thanks DriverJon
What BT OBDII port did you buy? and would you recommend the same one or a better choice?
 

JSWTDI09

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
TDI
2009 JSW TDI (gone but not forgotten)
Just had the #2 glow plug short to plus on my 09 JSW I have an old version of vag com and it cleared the code but it kept coming back till I had the 4 glow plugs replaced....pricey compared to the A4 for sure!!
If you replaced 4 glow plugs to replace 1 bad one, I hope you saved the other three. When these (expensive) glow plugs fail, it is almost always the pressure sensor part of the plug. I, personally, would see no reason to replace 4 glow plugs to fix one bad one.

How important is the (perfect) functionality of a glow plug?
At this point, I think it is for: emissions, cold starts, and plugging a hole in the cylinder..lol
....
I would like some software that would allow me to adjust the warning thresholds as well as clear codes but that option is probably non existent.
Glow plugs (in older diesels) were really only for cold starts. Our '09+ TDIs have special glow plugs that include a cylinder pressure sensor which is critical to properly injecting the right amount of fuel (at the right time). The ECU actually monitors the cylinder pressure during combustion in all 4 cylinders and then uses this information to control fuel injection and boost (and probably more). You could kill the "glow" part of the glow plug and our cars would still work fine for most of the year, but if the pressure sensor part of the glow plug is bad your car will never run right.

If you really want software that will allow you to go in and adjust many operating parameters for your car, then your only good choice is VCDS. Whether VCDS is "reasonably priced" is a matter of opinion. It does cost a lot more than many other options but for what it can do it is actually remarkable under priced. The only "tool" that comes anywhere close to being able to do what VCDS can do would cost you multiple thousands of dollars and it would not be as easy to use. VCDS can't change everything, but it can do a lot of cool stuff.

Have Fun!

Don
 

Smokin_Joe

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Location
Surrey BC
TDI
2011 Golf TDI Highline returned for refund
If you replaced 4 glow plugs to replace 1 bad one, I hope you saved the other three. When these (expensive) glow plugs fail, it is almost always the pressure sensor part of the plug. I, personally, would see no reason to replace 4 glow plugs to fix one bad one.



Glow plugs (in older diesels) were really only for cold starts. Our '09+ TDIs have special glow plugs that include a cylinder pressure sensor which is critical to properly injecting the right amount of fuel (at the right time). The ECU actually monitors the cylinder pressure during combustion in all 4 cylinders and then uses this information to control fuel injection and boost (and probably more). You could kill the "glow" part of the glow plug and our cars would still work fine for most of the year, but if the pressure sensor part of the glow plug is bad your car will never run right.

If you really want software that will allow you to go in and adjust many operating parameters for your car, then your only good choice is VCDS. Whether VCDS is "reasonably priced" is a matter of opinion. It does cost a lot more than many other options but for what it can do it is actually remarkable under priced. The only "tool" that comes anywhere close to being able to do what VCDS can do would cost you multiple thousands of dollars and it would not be as easy to use. VCDS can't change everything, but it can do a lot of cool stuff.

Have Fun!

Don
Thanks Don
At the moment I think a version of Torque and a BT dongle will give me the info I need.
Thanks again on the info about our glow plugs.
I really don't want to start messin with the settings, that could cause problems, just want to know what is causing a code and how quick we need to run to the dealer.
Update...Just ordered this one
http://www.amazon.ca/Bluetooth-CAN-BUS-Diagnostic-Windows-Android/dp/B009RLB4Z8
 
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DriverJon

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Location
Irvine, CA
TDI
2010 Jetta TDI, 6M
Well, hard to tell one from the other... Some work great, a few not so great to badly... hopefully an easy to return one, if it doesn't work well. Mine would do about 20 to 30 whatever it was data units per second, that's good. You can find that in the settings menu.

And , spend the $5 for Torque pro, you get much more, and the guy well deserves it, IMO...

Thanks Don
At the moment I think a version of Torque and a BT dongle will give me the info I need.
Thanks again on the info about our glow plugs.
I really don't want to start messin with the settings, that could cause problems, just want to know what is causing a code and how quick we need to run to the dealer.
Update...Just ordered this one
http://www.amazon.ca/Bluetooth-CAN-BUS-Diagnostic-Windows-Android/dp/B009RLB4Z8
 

Gavin

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Location
Florida
TDI
2012 Golf TDI
Thanks Don
At the moment I think a version of Torque and a BT dongle will give me the info I need.
Thanks again on the info about our glow plugs.
I really don't want to start messin with the settings, that could cause problems, just want to know what is causing a code and how quick we need to run to the dealer.
Update...Just ordered this one
http://www.amazon.ca/Bluetooth-CAN-BUS-Diagnostic-Windows-Android/dp/B009RLB4Z8
I'm using an adapter that looks just like this and its working really well with torque for me. It was significantly cheaper than the torque recommended ones and is much shorter than them also. Which is a big plus imo due to where it's located and how easily you could tweak it with your legs of it stuck out further.
 

Smokin_Joe

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Location
Surrey BC
TDI
2011 Golf TDI Highline returned for refund
P13d3

Well the check engine light came on and I installed the Bluetooth adapter.
Downloaded Torque on my Tab and the Wife's phone and got a code P13d3.
I believe this is indicating a fault in the #3 glow plug but I am not positive.
Been looking for a way to bring up exactly what fault this is indicating but my results of SEARCHING and using the SEARCH feature has been less than satisfactory.
The wife will be calling the dealer to see if they can shed light on it.
The check engine light has gone out again and I didn't clear the code.
 
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