What can I do with a VAG-COM?

insta

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Location
Merriam, KS
TDI
2006 Jetta
I'm going to have one in a day or two. What fun things can I do with this expensive paperweight on my 2006 5-spd Jetta?
 

JB05

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Location
Il.USA
TDI
Golf,2005,anthracite blue
I'm wondering if the timing can be checked on your PD.
Check for DTC's or does the CEL have to be illuminated?
I don't have Vag-Com or is it VCDS?
 

LiLredTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Location
maryland
TDI
2004 jetta tdi pd-1989 Jetta IDI-1994 F-250 IDI Turbo
I want to buy one, but am afraid if I get one I will not know how to use it. I can use a computer fairly well, but have no idea about how to operate VAGCOM. Is it easy to interpert? I have NO expirience with automotive scanners.
 

insta

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Location
Merriam, KS
TDI
2006 Jetta
CoolAirVw said:
Wait, really? That sucks -- that was half the reason I got it (to help me align my timing belt). So this thing pretty much just lets me change my keyfob behavior and that's it?
 

airwolf

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Location
Cassopolis, MI
TDI
None
insta said:
Wait, really? That sucks -- that was half the reason I got it (to help me align my timing belt). So this thing pretty much just lets me change my keyfob behavior and that's it?
Oh it can do much more.

1. Turn DRLs on/off
2. Depending on your CCM you can change your headlight (HIDs) and have them work properly with factory wiring.
3. Scan for codes
4. Get all kinds of data for trouble shooting problems.-
5. Key fob operation
6. Changing if your lights blink/ horn honks when locking the car.
7. Help others out
8. Change the OCI reminder to a 10k mile interval
9. Reset the OCI reminder
10. Run output test to further test/troubleshoot problems.
11. And so on and so forth.

Some of the above items are assuming you do not have a MFD.
 

andreigbs

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Location
Walworth Co., Wisconsin
TDI
N/A
For PDs, it shows you the cam timing in relation to the crank. This is displayed as "Torsion Value" in Engine block 004. You want this to be at 0, or perfectly in time.

LilRedTDI: VCDS is easy to use and very user-friendly. Get to know it and all the various sensor reading outputs and you'll know a lot more about your car than you did before. It will pay for itself for diagnoses, timing belt ('03s and older) not to mention various CELs you're bound to get on any VW/Audi.

Best $250 I ever spent, right up there with RC1+ and HIDs.
 

LiLredTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Location
maryland
TDI
2004 jetta tdi pd-1989 Jetta IDI-1994 F-250 IDI Turbo
andreigbs said:
For PDs, it shows you the cam timing in relation to the crank. This is displayed as "Torsion Value" in Engine block 004. You want this to be at 0, or perfectly in time.

LilRedTDI: VCDS is easy to use and very user-friendly. Get to know it and all the various sensor reading outputs and you'll know a lot more about your car than you did before. It will pay for itself for diagnoses, timing belt ('03s and older) not to mention various CELs you're bound to get on any VW/Audi.

Best $250 I ever spent, right up there with RC1+ and HIDs.
Thanks man. I will have to invest.
 

icecap

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Chilliwack & Mission BC
TDI
2006.5 Jetta TDI 5Spd Black Anthracite Pkg 1
Turbine Suburban said:
Anyone running this on an netbook w/ xp? Fairly sure it run, but don't want any surprises.
Atom processor.
Yes a friend is running it on a netbook with no problems and you don't have to pack around an older metal case 20lb+ laptop like I have.
 

icecap

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Chilliwack & Mission BC
TDI
2006.5 Jetta TDI 5Spd Black Anthracite Pkg 1
insta said:
I'm going to have one in a day or two. What fun things can I do with this expensive paperweight on my 2006 5-spd Jetta?
You can make your windows and sunroof open and close with the key fob and if you loose a key you can recode it without a dealer services. You can also change the way the car unlocks by eliminating the second button push to unlock all doors and if you still have the goofy speedo error that was eliminated in 2007 you can recode it to eliminate the high error. And lastly if you get tired of replacing headlight bulbs because you are helping the sun during daylight hours you can turn off the DRL's. Have fun but be carefull.
 

dogdots

Vendor
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
Kansas City
TDI
None
You could have asked one of us locals (I am in OP also) before you bought - I have VCDS and am happy to help folks when I can. Richard (coolairvw) has mine at the moment along with my TB tools (for ALH) I don't have any PD specific tools. Did you come to any of the GTG's that Mikey put on this year in KC? Now that I said I have VCDS, I am not sure if mine works on a Mk5 - I have only used in on ALH's.

Oh well, you can add yourself to the VCDS list for KC....I should add my name, I keep forgetting. I run VCDS no problem on my netbook with 2gb ram and atom processor.
 

40X40

Experienced
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Location
Kansas City area, MO
TDI
2013 Passat SEL Premium
insta said:
I'm going to have one in a day or two. What fun things can I do with this expensive paperweight on my 2006 5-spd Jetta?
In addition to all the things above (although I can't OPEN my sunroof with the keyfob) I have installed a Paddle shifter steering wheel on my wifes DSG equipped 06 Jetta.

Bill
 

insta

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Location
Merriam, KS
TDI
2006 Jetta
dogdots said:
You could have asked one of us locals (I am in OP also) before you bought - I have VCDS and am happy to help folks when I can. Richard (coolairvw) has mine at the moment along with my TB tools (for ALH) I don't have any PD specific tools. Did you come to any of the GTG's that Mikey put on this year in KC? Now that I said I have VCDS, I am not sure if mine works on a Mk5 - I have only used in on ALH's.

Oh well, you can add yourself to the VCDS list for KC....I should add my name, I keep forgetting. I run VCDS no problem on my netbook with 2gb ram and atom processor.
While I appreciate the offer, I do like having my own tools :) I only got my Jetta in December, and registered for TDIClub around the same time ... so I've missed a lot of meets and such.

I'd still like to meet up with some of you greaseheads sometime, talk diesel, make fun of gassers, etc. Richard sent me a friendly PM, and he's already agreed to supervise during my timing belt change. My lil' PD needs some attention (and maybe an ear -- I can hear my turbo and that thread about the exploding turbo has made me nervous ...), and while I'm handy enough (and equiped with VAGCOM, the intartubes, and a Bently manual) I still don't trust my noobish work just yet.

Dogdots, maybe you can show me around VAGCOM sometime :eek:
 

dogdots

Vendor
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
Kansas City
TDI
None
insta said:
While I appreciate the offer, I do like having my own tools :) I only got my Jetta in December, and registered for TDIClub around the same time ... so I've missed a lot of meets and such.

I'd still like to meet up with some of you greaseheads sometime, talk diesel, make fun of gassers, etc. Richard sent me a friendly PM, and he's already agreed to supervise during my timing belt change. My lil' PD needs some attention (and maybe an ear -- I can hear my turbo and that thread about the exploding turbo has made me nervous ...), and while I'm handy enough (and equiped with VAGCOM, the intartubes, and a Bently manual) I still don't trust my noobish work just yet.

Dogdots, maybe you can show me around VAGCOM sometime :eek:
Richard is the Vag-Com guru - I can stumble around, but he knows it better than me. I am on business in NY for a while, which is partly why I left my TB tools and VCDS with Richard to use at the GTG while I was gone.

I can definitely appreciate the need to have your own tools, every project I get involved in yields more specialty tools. I can justify the tool purchase to offset what I would have had to pay someone else to do the job.
 

insta

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Location
Merriam, KS
TDI
2006 Jetta
dogdots said:
Richard is the Vag-Com guru - I can stumble around, but he knows it better than me. I am on business in NY for a while, which is partly why I left my TB tools and VCDS with Richard to use at the GTG while I was gone.

I can definitely appreciate the need to have your own tools, every project I get involved in yields more specialty tools. I can justify the tool purchase to offset what I would have had to pay someone else to do the job.
Also, if I ask nicely enough, can I drive your car a bit? :D
 

dogdots

Vendor
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
Kansas City
TDI
None
insta said:
Also, if I ask nicely enough, can I drive your car a bit? :D
Sure - I'll let you know when I get back to KC in a few weeks. I have never driven a PD so it will be interesting to swap for a test drive.
 

Airplane MD

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Location
Birdsboro, PA
TDI
'06 Jetta pkg 1
I have just spent the last hour looking for the vag adjustment for MPG readings on the MFD. Can anyone link me to that info? I know it's here somewhere.
 

alan_f

Active member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Location
Colorado, USA
TDI
2009 Jetta Sportwagen, 2005.5 Jetta
I've been thinking of picking up a VAG-COM as well -- I like numbers, and being able to log data while driving sounds like fun to me. :D

Seriously, just being able to fix the speedo in my wife's 2005.5 would be worth it. I keep having to remind myself that my 2009 is accurate, so I don't automatically drive 5 over the speed I actually want to go.

Are there any concerns about warranty issues if you start messing with settings? Seems like the majority of the settings mentioned wouldn't affect the car, like lighting preferences, how the car unlocks, etc., but are there engine tuning settings as well?

I believe the 2009s have a backpressure sensor on the DPF: if so, can you read this with a VAG-COM? Seems like it would be a useful value to monitor from time-to-time.
 

ReferenceDesign

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Location
Atlanta, Ga
A few observations. VAG-COM=VCDS new name. VDS is my acronym for that dos like software that works with home brew cables (sometimes).

VDS does many of the same things as VAG-COM but does it at a more primitive user level. VAG-COM gives you a feel similar to the VW diag descriptions in the manuals and does so in english with word decoding of the various information fields. Just a bit more polished user interface than VDS.

On the other hand if you want to fiddle with the code inside the various controllers at the bit level VDS is the preferred product.

One observation I have since picking up the 06 PD and the bentley CD manual is that the proceedures I loved for my 2000 A4 seem to be missing in the new manuals. Instead of having tables of values the CD (and books) refer to the VAG diag tool for further info.

To that end the newer cars have the Multi Function Displays that allow a lot of items prefviously set with VAG-COM, to now be set with the MFD. Still VAG-COM may be needed to turn these functions on so the MFD can manage them.

All in all the tool should be with the car as an essential part of any DIY mechanics tool box. I printed cards that offer scans for $10 and place them on cars that look like they could use some TLC. This paid for my CAN upgrade.
 
Last edited:

SpacemanTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Location
Toronto
TDI
No TDI for me :(
Can someone point me to a link about fixing the speedo error? Mine arrives next week and I'd love to fix it!!
 

Dodoma

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2004
TDI
2002 Jetta White
Vag-com and its cousin VCDS are good as long as you have many issues with your car or you want to customize the various controllers in the car to your taste. You may learn how to use by trial and error. There is no school to teach how to use it. Once you start using it, you end up learning it.
 

90hpisntenough

Veteran Member
Joined
May 15, 2006
Location
Tamp Bay Area, Fl
TDI
1999.5 Jetta TDI
Obviously I'm not the only one that doesn't know how to use vag-com, but you all say you can change DRL's mess with windows, adjust speedo, EGR, and all that fun stuff but I have no idea how...still. I've been looking for a page with popular, talked about, vag-com functions and how to do them, but can't seem to find it. Am I just missing the fact that they want you to spend another $100 to buy the Bentley manual, because ross-tech says they won't/can't post all the functions because there's too many.
 

dzcad90

Rolex & gin
Joined
Mar 15, 1999
Location
Joliet, IL USA
TDI
Jetta - 97 (RIP), '03 (Sold), '09
90hpisntenough said:
Obviously I'm not the only one that doesn't know how to use vag-com, but you all say you can change DRL's mess with windows, adjust speedo, EGR, and all that fun stuff but I have no idea how...still. I've been looking for a page with popular, talked about, vag-com functions and how to do them, but can't seem to find it. Am I just missing the fact that they want you to spend another $100 to buy the Bentley manual, because ross-tech says they won't/can't post all the functions because there's too many.
The car in your signature is a little dated for most of those mods to be done with VCDS.

DRLs are a definite no, that's a physical mod (Just tape over / bend the TFL pin in the headlight switch.)

Windows are a maybe. You need access to the VDS-Pro software mentioned above, and you have to change some bit level stuff in the EEPROM of the controller itself. Really a hard-core techie mod and goes beyond the scope of a simple 5 minute plug and play mod. (Hats off to the guys who figured that out.) If you're really interested, there's a thread in the Upgrades (Not TDI Engine Related) section entited "VDS Info" or something. It's stickied at the top and will tell you more about this.

Speedo correction also requires a special tool (VAG-Tacho) to read the EEPROM dump, then also some hard core modificatoin of the speedo EEPROM, then it needs to be wrote back to the speedo. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

EGR is one of the easier mods. Just search for Vag-Com EGR adjustment. It's one of the oldest and most famous VAG-COM/VCDS mods there is. It's a 3 minute adjustment and can save you from additional intake cleanings. It won't clean out an already gummed up intake manifold, however it will aide in the prevention of your clean manifold getting gummed up again.

If that sounds like a lot, just wait until you get to the A5 Jetta chassis. Everything in there is computerized!! There's a ton of modules to talk to and to control just about everything. This chassis allows you to do DRLs, Windows, etc.. with just a couple clicks using VCDS.
 

90hpisntenough

Veteran Member
Joined
May 15, 2006
Location
Tamp Bay Area, Fl
TDI
1999.5 Jetta TDI
Thanks for your help. mine just came in, time to play!

dzcad90 said:
The car in your signature is a little dated for most of those mods to be done with VCDS.

DRLs are a definite no, that's a physical mod (Just tape over / bend the TFL pin in the headlight switch.)

Windows are a maybe. You need access to the VDS-Pro software mentioned above, and you have to change some bit level stuff in the EEPROM of the controller itself. Really a hard-core techie mod and goes beyond the scope of a simple 5 minute plug and play mod. (Hats off to the guys who figured that out.) If you're really interested, there's a thread in the Upgrades (Not TDI Engine Related) section entited "VDS Info" or something. It's stickied at the top and will tell you more about this.

Speedo correction also requires a special tool (VAG-Tacho) to read the EEPROM dump, then also some hard core modificatoin of the speedo EEPROM, then it needs to be wrote back to the speedo. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

EGR is one of the easier mods. Just search for Vag-Com EGR adjustment. It's one of the oldest and most famous VAG-COM/VCDS mods there is. It's a 3 minute adjustment and can save you from additional intake cleanings. It won't clean out an already gummed up intake manifold, however it will aide in the prevention of your clean manifold getting gummed up again.

If that sounds like a lot, just wait until you get to the A5 Jetta chassis. Everything in there is computerized!! There's a ton of modules to talk to and to control just about everything. This chassis allows you to do DRLs, Windows, etc.. with just a couple clicks using VCDS.
 
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