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Where can I 'get' a VAG-COM? Is there any particular place to buy one? I'd like it just for maintenance reasons, so I KNOW what's wrong before someone charges me.


Would I also need a Bentley manual? Or whatever tells you what the codes mean...
 

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The source for the software is

http://ross-tech.com/

They allow downloads of the shareware version for free if you decide to buy the cable from a different source or build your own. One source for the cable is OBD Tools. They are a bit cheaper than Ross-Tech, but they don't offer support if you have a software issue.

http://www.obdtool.com/.

The VAG-COM, at least with the shareware, requires you to have a Bentley or some other manual as a reference once the codes are identified.
 

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Yes it is software and runs on a laptop. But the cable is not just a straight pin to pin connection. There are "smarts" in the cable that allow the communication through the OBD port. The cable is really what you are paying for.

The full version software gives you better support and full features versus the shareware version which locks out many of the more advanced things. If all you want is to read codes, the shareware does fine. But it doesn't take long to find a locked feature when you start playing with things.

Be sure you buy the correct cable for your laptop's comm port (serial or USB).
 

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I just bought one from e-bay. It was a heck of a lot chepear than from Ross-Tech. I would buy one without a housing (it's small enough to put in a little plastic box- I built my own housing easily)
It only cost around $50.00 CAN and then I used the shareware version from Ross-Tech. It read my codes fine, and as of now, I don't see the reason to buy the real version. (I only want to check codes right now)

just my opinion so far.
 

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jaero said:
If all you want is to read codes, the shareware does fine. But it doesn't take long to find a locked feature when you start playing with things.
This is true. I bought my interface (+ cables) off Ebay last week. After about ten minutes playing around with shareware, I spent the $$ for registration. It will be easier to use, as I can now do the Auto-Scan and the codes will be defined, instead of having to go find the definitions.
 

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I paid for mine with the first use. Identified a purge flow valve failure and replaced it myself for $77+ shipping. My local dealer wanted $135 for the part alone and my local indy wanted $147. So factor in diagnostics and labor. I saved myself in the neighborhood of $100 (AFTER paying for the Vag) on the first use. VAGcom is a must have for an enthusiast.
 
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