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VW Code Reader

The Check Engine Light came on in my VW GTI, and the auto parts stores have stopped checking them for the time being and who knows when they’ll resume. The cost to have a mechanic check is about the same as buying one, so I’m looking for a code reader, does anyone know of one that works with VWs? From looking, some appear to be Ford/GM, etc, so I’m curious if there are one that will work with VW, tell me what the code means and likely how expensive the cost to repair is, and hopefully be under $100.

You want one that displays codes, their descriptions, readiness monitors, freeze frame data and live data

Some of them will kind of cop out by listing the code and saying “manufacturers code” or something along those lines, meaning you have to look elsewhere to figure out what the code actually means

Depending on how often you think you might need it over the years, you might want to budget just a little more than $100

By the way, you’re looking at an OBD2 code reader and/or scanner . . . scanner being a more functional tool that may have some bi-directional capability, depending on the price

Don’t get hung up on the fact your car is VW

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I did a lot of research before buying my code reader/scan tool. I wanted something that is inexpensive and capable of displaying live data. I am just a DIYer, not a professional mechanic. The model I chose was the Konnwei KW850. I have used this tool on more than one vehicle, and found that it works well.

You can read about this model here:

I bought mine on Ebay, and paid about $60 for it (this was before the Supreme Court ruled that online businesses are required to charge sales tax nationwide). Now, it costs about $70 with tax.

Yes that clarifies things and one that can clear the codes too instead of having the shop do it for something like a loose gas cap or something. I wasn’t really hung up on the make, it just seemed like some scanners were more for certain makes than others.

Thanks, I’ll look at that.

For VW and Audi… a normal code reader will work and give you the codes present, but it is essentially useless from a diagnostic point of view.

For anything deeper than simply reading the codes… You need a VAG COM system… basically the proprietary system VW and Audi have in play. VAG- Volkswagen Auto Group COM- Communication … it is essential if you own and intend to maintain or work on anything made by the Group listed above.

For your purposes, maybe a simple code reader will suffice…all depends how deep you intend to get and what you want to accomplish. You wont be able to do much more than read the codes…and even then its limited at what it can translate to you.

Its all in the name of fun I suppose… thank VW

This device right here…OBDEleven $99

Uses your Android (or iPhone) phone or tablet to connect with the app. This is a made for Volkswagen-Audi-Skoda (VAG stuff) specifically. I bought one for my Audi. A must-have if you want to change the rear brake pads with the E-parking brake. Resets the service lights and more.

I just used a WiFi plug in and Ford-specific software on my laptop. The software was free for two months, all I needed. I don’t know if you can get the same thing for a VW.

enhanced obd2 data . . . which some “cheap” scanners have nowadays . . . is pretty good for diy use

I’d never rely on it for data pertaining to variable valve timing and evap, but for op’s purposes it might suffice

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I’m not sure this is true. I used my Konnwei scan tool on my 2002 Daewoo Lanos, 2000 Chevrolet Silverado, and 2004 Toyota Corolla. It had no difficulty showing the live data stream values. I assume it would do the same on a VW or Audi, unless the manufacturer has somehow designed their onboard computer to limit anything other than displaying DTCs to their own factory scan tool.

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Hmmm interesting, I’d like to know how it fares honestly @bcohen2010 it would be good info to know it works. …and yes, never underestimate how far Audi / VW will try to remove you from doing your own repairs and diags without some other means of interface aside from the dealerships.

That seems a rule of thumb I don’t need to ask anyone about based on my suffrage under the VW badge with my God D#@, MF, Sum Bi&*%, Bast@# of a Piece of $^&t, ahem, I mean…“beloved” 03’ GTi.

I can only surmise that more recent offerings from VW / Audi are no exception to this “owner repair distancing” and probably much worse offenders of such than my …now 17 yr old, piece of… err ugh mmmf…ahem…vehicle. Know what I’m saying?

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Thank you all for the guidance.