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2015 Tiguan (German Spec) TDI
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I thought I would share this with the Tiguan Forum as I wrote this for the Audi TT Forum last year. I own both a Ross Tech VCDS and an OBDeleven. Both have their pros and cons and I think the old adage, "You get what you pay for" is certainly appropriate for these devices. The major advantage is they are specifically coded for VAG software and will provide the user with VAG fault codes. Many of the "generic" OBDII devices on the market use generic fault codes and are not always easy to convert or translate.

While this is intended to provide a brief overview of these products, be aware that both Ross Tech and OBDeleven have updated their product lines. VCDS offers a wireless connector and OBDeleven has a newer Gen II connector. You can visit their respective websites for more information.

For the purpose of this discussion the term "OBDII Scanner" includes any diagnostic device that can be used to interrogate and report on the status of the electronic system of the vehicle by means of the OBD port. Since this was originally published for the Audi TT forum, there are links with additional information will reference posts in that Forum. However, like all VAG vehicles, the fault codes are common across all platforms.

Each OBDII scanner manufacturer has their own functional capabilities and feature which generally include -

• Fault Scan
• Fault Clearing
• Service Reset
• Output Tests
• Adaptations & Basic Settings
• Code changes

Three Reasons to Own One -

The first reason is the ability to find out for yourself what's going on with your vehicle when you suspect there's a problem. Rather than guessing or depending on a service garage, you can quickly check it yourself, look up the fault codes and then decide if you want to tackle the repair yourself or take it into a service center. By knowing the fault codes ahead of time, you can have an educated discussion with the shop so you're less likely to get pulled over the table. For the DIY mechanic, think of an OBDII scanner like owning a torque wrench - you should just have one to do the job right.

The second reason is to access features not present in your vehicle when it left the factory such as needle sweep, home lights, mirror folding on lock, window open on unlock, etc. This will also give you access tot he Service Reset, Oil Service Reset, and the ability to retrofit features that may not have been installed when your vehicle was built but with some simple code changes, can be fitted. While many forums have lists of various code changes, keep in mind not all years will have the same options.

And finally, for anyone looking to buy a used vehicle it's always a good idea to ask the seller if they are willing to provide you with a fault scan as part of the pre-sale. If they refuse, you may want to walk away from the car or just take it for a test drive and run the test yourself. With any pre-sale, you should have a mechanic go over it so there are no surprises and include a fault scan as part of the inspection.

Just be aware not all scanners are the same. They can't all perform all Adaptations & Basic setting, output tests or export data files and not are all coded specifically for VAG software. In a nut-shell, you get what you pay for with an OBDII scanner.

OBDII Reviews -

Here you will find a brief list of pros and cons for each OBDII scan tool along with a link to the Forum review and the product's home page. These are sorted by capability and price.

VCDS-01.JPG


FAQ - VCDS Open Box Review
https://www.ttforum.co.uk/forum/viewtop ... &t=1928927
Ross-Tech: Home

Pros:
• PC based (Windows) usually used with a laptop
• Does not require internet access to work
• Has all Adaptations and Basic Setting functions
• Multiple Measurement Block viewing
• Live Graphing of multiple systems
• Data export
• Video Tutorials, Forum and Wiki pages
• Direct customer support
• Free software upgrades
• Specific to VAG software
• No additional costs

Cons:
• Price
• Hex connector and cable
• Limited to 3-vehicles
• No programming short cuts; long code only

OBDeleven.JPG


FAQ - OBDeleven Open Box Review
https://www.ttforum.co.uk/forum/viewtop ... &t=1926899
https://obdeleven.com/en/

Pros:
• Android & iOS
• App-based for Smartphone/device
• Price
• Size (OBD dongle only)
• "One Touch" Apps for coding changes
• Specific to VAG software
• Free updates
• Unlimited vehicles

Cons:
• Uses a credit system
• Requires "Pro" upgrade for improved access
• Pro version has an annual subscription fee (effective 16 June 2021)
• Does not have all Adaptations and Basic Setting functions
• Requires internet access to work (not stand alone)
• Limited technical support

Carista.JPG


FAQ - Carista
https://www.ttforum.co.uk/forum/viewtop ... &t=2013801
https://caristaapp.com/

Pros:
• Android & iOS
• Price
• Size (OBD dongle only)
• Unlimited vehicles

Cons:
• Subscription based user fee
• Does not have all Adaptations and Basic Setting functions
• Requires internet access to work
• Not coded specifically for VAG software
• Limited technical support

Xtool.JPG


FAQ - XTool V401 Code Reader
https://www.ttforum.co.uk/forum/viewtop ... &t=2012963
XTOOL Authorized Dealer

Pros:
• Price
• Hand held, stand alone device (with cable)
• User manual included
• Unlimited vehicles

Cons:
• Lack of customer support
• Last software update Rev (7.1) 2013
• Limited Adaptations & Basic Settings
• Can not show when a fault occurred
• Not coded specifically for VAG software
• No file output capability
• Limited technical support

The Difference Between VCDS & OBDII

VCDS
or VAG-COM is a Windows-based software package developed and produced by Uwe Ross who founded Ross-Tech in 1999. Unlike generic on-board diagnostics (OBDII or EOBD), VCDS uses the more in-depth VAG-specific manufacturer protocol commands which allows the user to access all diagnostic capable vehicle systems - even in vehicles which are not covered by generic OBDII/EOBD.

What do all these Acronyms Mean?

• VCDS - V
AG-COM Diagnostic System, also known as VAG-COM
• VAG - V
olkswagen Audi Group
• OBD - On-Board Diagnostics
• DTC - Diagnostic Trouble Code or commonly referred to as Fault codes.

Looking Up Fault Codes -

To understand what DTC (Fault Code) actually means, you can run a Google Search for "Ross Tech XXXXX" where XXXXX is the fault code. This will bring up a link to Ross Tech's wiki which will describe the fault code, possible causes and solutions. While Ross Tech has most of the VAG DTCs, they don't have all of them. If you can't find it there, you can look through this website - Engine Codes | EngineCodes.net

Knowing When an Adaptation is Required

Unlike the good old days of automotive repair, replacing electrical components is no longer just plug-and-play. As many have discovered after replacing a failed component such as a Climate Control Module or Gas Pedal the new or refurbished part may not work after it's been installed - so what's going on?

1. What is a fault?

As discussed previously, a DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) or "fault" is any error or unexpected value received by a control module. When your brake light bulb fails, you'll get a message on the DIS (Drivers Information Display) and if you run a fault scan, you'll see a two-part message that looks like this -

00987 - Lamp for Brake Light; Left (M9) ← what's affected. You can look up (M9) on the wiring diagram.
012 - Electrical Fault in Circuit - Intermittent ← what's wrong

The fault will be stored in memory until the problem is solved and the fault is cleared. Once you replace the bulb, the DIS won't show a problem, but the fault code is still logged in memory until it's been cleared.

It's also quite common that the first time you run a scan you may discover several faults. These may not be "active" faults but are simply old faults that were never cleared when a service or repair was performed. So when you find a fault, clear it and then take the car for a drive. Run the scan again and see if the fault is still present. If not, then you know it was just an old fault. However if it's still there, then you may want to investigate it further.

2. Expected Values

Unlike a brake light bulb that has only two values (on or off), some components have a range of values (0-100). Think of a dimmer switch which has a range of values that determine how bright or how dim the light will be.

With these types of components (generally servo motors) the Control Module receives a signal which is expected to be within a specified range. If the signal is outside of the expected range, you'll probably get the standard "implausible signal" fault code which is stored in the Controller's memory.

Without running an Adaption after installing the new component, the Control Module will default to the last signal it received (that of the previously defective component). and simply clearing the fault won't help since the Control Module only knows the last implausible signal. The Adaptation allows the computer to verify and "learn" the new component's values.

3. Adaptation Defined

Basically, the Adaptation forces the Control Module to interrogate the new component and determine if the new operating values are in the expected range. For example the HVAC Flap Servo Motors have a minimum and maximum operating range; open and closed or simply 0 to 100. An Adaption allows the Control Module to establish the new maximum and minimum values of the potentiometer inside the Servo Motor housing. This way it "knows" the position of the flap as either open, closed or somewhere in between. Given there can be slight variations in the range due to manufacturing tolerances, the range may 10 to 90, but since 10 to 90 is still within the 0 to 100 range, then the part would be acceptable. However if the range is -5 to 90, the -5 value is out of range and would fail.

This is also true for the various servo operated components such as the Defroster Flap (G135), Central Flap (G112), Temperature Flap; Left (G220), etc. There's a potentiometer in each of these servos and the Control Module has to verify their full open and closed positions in order compare the actual values against the expected values.

Components that require Adaptation are typically an electronic device with a variable voltage/resistance range such as -

• Climate Control Module
• HVAC Vent Servos
• Gas Pedal
• Throttle Body
• MAF

4. Adaptation vs. Coding

As noted above, Coding is not the same as Adaption. For example adding the folding mirror function when you lock the car is a Long Code change, not an Adaptation.

5. When Adaptation is Required

As stated in the Workshop Manual -

If control modules or electric/electronic components were replaced, component adaptation should be carried out in "Guided Functions".

The Audi Workshop Manuals are pretty good about commenting if and when an Adaptation is required. Check the Knowledge Base for the section on workshop manuals for free PDF downloads. This way you can find out if the part you're planning on replacing has an Adaption requirement and what, if any, steps need to be taken into consideration.

Generally, electrical devices which have variable voltage ranges (HVAC flap servo, gas pedal, etc.) Light bulbs do not.

6. According to Ross-Tech

I emailed Ross-Tech directly asking about this topic, and they were kind enough to provide this explanation -

"VW/Audi uses both Adaptation and Basic Setting functions for different things with some overlap. In general Adaptation involves entering some value, such as idle speed where you have different choices. Basic Settings is more like a single pre-determined routine that gets run like a throttle body alignment where you have no choices to make. The factory repair manual is the source for knowing which function is required. Our online manual explains this somewhat as well."

Ross-Tech: VCDS Tour

http://www.ross-tech.com/vcds/tour/adap ... screen.php

Adaptation Required.jpg
 

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Great write up and your first Sticky!
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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4,142 Posts
The only thing I would add is change coding at your own risk, and save initial coding before making changes even in adaptations. I bricked my TDI BCM doing changes that were a bit risky.
 

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2015 Tiguan (German Spec) TDI
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good point. Although an Adaptation isn't technically a long code change. But you're right. After running your first Auto Scan, save the file either as a text file or print it out. More than a few Audi TT owners have hosed themselves with a new OBDeleven by ticking or un-ticking boxes that looked interesting and not realizing they can often impact other Addresses or completely shut down its functionality.
 

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Registered
2015 Tiguan (German Spec) TDI
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
These are the OBDeleven screens you will find when you select Apps from the main menu. These are actually "one touch" long code changes. Depending on your year and model, some of these may not be available. These are not free, but cost "credits" which can be purchased directly when you buy your OBDeleven device or they can be obtained free by watching advertisements. I believe the limit is five free credits per day.

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Grille


Product Gadget Font Communication Device Screenshot
 

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Registered
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I thought I would share this with the Tiguan Forum as I wrote this for the Audi TT Forum last year. I own both a Ross Tech VCDS and an OBDeleven. Both have their pros and cons and I think the old adage, "You get what you pay for" is certainly appropriate for these devices. The major advantage is they are specifically coded for VAG software and will provide the user with VAG fault codes. Many of the "generic" OBDII devices on the market use generic fault codes and are not always easy to convert or translate.

While this is intended to provide a brief overview of these products, be aware that both Ross Tech and OBDeleven have updated their product lines. VCDS offers a wireless connector and OBDeleven has a newer Gen II connector. You can visit their respective websites for more information.

For the purpose of this discussion the term "OBDII Scanner" includes any diagnostic device that can be used to interrogate and report on the status of the electronic system of the vehicle by means of the OBD port. Since this was originally published for the Audi TT forum, there are links with additional information will reference posts in that Forum. However, like all VAG vehicles, the fault codes are common across all platforms.

Each OBDII scanner manufacturer has their own functional capabilities and feature which generally include -

• Fault Scan
• Fault Clearing
• Service Reset
• Output Tests
• Adaptations & Basic Settings
• Code changes

Three Reasons to Own One -

The first reason is the ability to find out for yourself what's going on with your vehicle when you suspect there's a problem. Rather than guessing or depending on a service garage, you can quickly check it yourself, look up the fault codes and then decide if you want to tackle the repair yourself or take it into a service center. By knowing the fault codes ahead of time, you can have an educated discussion with the shop so you're less likely to get pulled over the table. For the DIY mechanic, think of an OBDII scanner like owning a torque wrench - you should just have one to do the job right.

The second reason is to access features not present in your vehicle when it left the factory such as needle sweep, home lights, mirror folding on lock, window open on unlock, etc. This will also give you access tot he Service Reset, Oil Service Reset, and the ability to retrofit features that may not have been installed when your vehicle was built but with some simple code changes, can be fitted. While many forums have lists of various code changes, keep in mind not all years will have the same options.

And finally, for anyone looking to buy a used vehicle it's always a good idea to ask the seller if they are willing to provide you with a fault scan as part of the pre-sale. If they refuse, you may want to walk away from the car or just take it for a test drive and run the test yourself. With any pre-sale, you should have a mechanic go over it so there are no surprises and include a fault scan as part of the inspection.

Just be aware not all scanners are the same. They can't all perform all Adaptations & Basic setting, output tests or export data files and not are all coded specifically for VAG software. In a nut-shell, you get what you pay for with an OBDII scanner.

OBDII Reviews -

Here you will find a brief list of pros and cons for each OBDII scan tool along with a link to the Forum review and the product's home page. These are sorted by capability and price.

VCDS-01.JPG


FAQ - VCDS Open Box Review
https://www.ttforum.co.uk/forum/viewtop ... &t=1928927
Ross-Tech: Home

Pros:
• PC based (Windows) usually used with a laptop
• Does not require internet access to work
• Has all Adaptations and Basic Setting functions
• Multiple Measurement Block viewing
• Live Graphing of multiple systems
• Data export
• Video Tutorials, Forum and Wiki pages
• Direct customer support
• Free software upgrades
• Specific to VAG software
• No additional costs

Cons:
• Price
• Hex connector and cable
• Limited to 3-vehicles
• No programming short cuts; long code only

OBDeleven.JPG


FAQ - OBDeleven Open Box Review
https://www.ttforum.co.uk/forum/viewtop ... &t=1926899
OBDeleven

Pros:
• Android & iOS
• App-based for Smartphone/device
• Price
• Size (OBD dongle only)
• "One Touch" Apps for coding changes
• Specific to VAG software
• Free updates
• Unlimited vehicles

Cons:
• Uses a credit system
• Requires "Pro" upgrade for improved access
• Pro version has an annual subscription fee (effective 16 June 2021)
• Does not have all Adaptations and Basic Setting functions
• Requires internet access to work (not stand alone)
• Limited technical support

Carista.JPG


FAQ - Carista
https://www.ttforum.co.uk/forum/viewtop ... &t=2013801
Carista OBD2 App | Diagnose, customize and service your car

Pros:
• Android & iOS
• Price
• Size (OBD dongle only)
• Unlimited vehicles

Cons:
• Subscription based user fee
• Does not have all Adaptations and Basic Setting functions
• Requires internet access to work
• Not coded specifically for VAG software
• Limited technical support

Xtool.JPG


FAQ - XTool V401 Code Reader
https://www.ttforum.co.uk/forum/viewtop ... &t=2012963
XTOOL Authorized Dealer

Pros:
• Price
• Hand held, stand alone device (with cable)
• User manual included
• Unlimited vehicles

Cons:
• Lack of customer support
• Last software update Rev (7.1) 2013
• Limited Adaptations & Basic Settings
• Can not show when a fault occurred
• Not coded specifically for VAG software
• No file output capability
• Limited technical support

The Difference Between VCDS & OBDII

VCDS
or VAG-COM is a Windows-based software package developed and produced by Uwe Ross who founded Ross-Tech in 1999. Unlike generic on-board diagnostics (OBDII or EOBD), VCDS uses the more in-depth VAG-specific manufacturer protocol commands which allows the user to access all diagnostic capable vehicle systems - even in vehicles which are not covered by generic OBDII/EOBD.

What do all these Acronyms Mean?

• VCDS - V
AG-COM Diagnostic System, also known as VAG-COM
• VAG - V
olkswagen Audi Group
• OBD - On-Board Diagnostics
• DTC - Diagnostic Trouble Code or commonly referred to as Fault codes.

Looking Up Fault Codes -

To understand what DTC (Fault Code) actually means, you can run a Google Search for "Ross Tech XXXXX" where XXXXX is the fault code. This will bring up a link to Ross Tech's wiki which will describe the fault code, possible causes and solutions. While Ross Tech has most of the VAG DTCs, they don't have all of them. If you can't find it there, you can look through this website - Engine Codes | EngineCodes.net

Knowing When an Adaptation is Required

Unlike the good old days of automotive repair, replacing electrical components is no longer just plug-and-play. As many have discovered after replacing a failed component such as a Climate Control Module or Gas Pedal the new or refurbished part may not work after it's been installed - so what's going on?

1. What is a fault?

As discussed previously, a DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) or "fault" is any error or unexpected value received by a control module. When your brake light bulb fails, you'll get a message on the DIS (Drivers Information Display) and if you run a fault scan, you'll see a two-part message that looks like this -

00987 - Lamp for Brake Light; Left (M9) ← what's affected. You can look up (M9) on the wiring diagram.
012 - Electrical Fault in Circuit - Intermittent ← what's wrong

The fault will be stored in memory until the problem is solved and the fault is cleared. Once you replace the bulb, the DIS won't show a problem, but the fault code is still logged in memory until it's been cleared.

It's also quite common that the first time you run a scan you may discover several faults. These may not be "active" faults but are simply old faults that were never cleared when a service or repair was performed. So when you find a fault, clear it and then take the car for a drive. Run the scan again and see if the fault is still present. If not, then you know it was just an old fault. However if it's still there, then you may want to investigate it further.

2. Expected Values

Unlike a brake light bulb that has only two values (on or off), some components have a range of values (0-100). Think of a dimmer switch which has a range of values that determine how bright or how dim the light will be.

With these types of components (generally servo motors) the Control Module receives a signal which is expected to be within a specified range. If the signal is outside of the expected range, you'll probably get the standard "implausible signal" fault code which is stored in the Controller's memory.

Without running an Adaption after installing the new component, the Control Module will default to the last signal it received (that of the previously defective component). and simply clearing the fault won't help since the Control Module only knows the last implausible signal. The Adaptation allows the computer to verify and "learn" the new component's values.

3. Adaptation Defined

Basically, the Adaptation forces the Control Module to interrogate the new component and determine if the new operating values are in the expected range. For example the HVAC Flap Servo Motors have a minimum and maximum operating range; open and closed or simply 0 to 100. An Adaption allows the Control Module to establish the new maximum and minimum values of the potentiometer inside the Servo Motor housing. This way it "knows" the position of the flap as either open, closed or somewhere in between. Given there can be slight variations in the range due to manufacturing tolerances, the range may 10 to 90, but since 10 to 90 is still within the 0 to 100 range, then the part would be acceptable. However if the range is -5 to 90, the -5 value is out of range and would fail.

This is also true for the various servo operated components such as the Defroster Flap (G135), Central Flap (G112), Temperature Flap; Left (G220), etc. There's a potentiometer in each of these servos and the Control Module has to verify their full open and closed positions in order compare the actual values against the expected values.

Components that require Adaptation are typically an electronic device with a variable voltage/resistance range such as -

• Climate Control Module
• HVAC Vent Servos
• Gas Pedal
• Throttle Body
• MAF

4. Adaptation vs. Coding

As noted above, Coding is not the same as Adaption. For example adding the folding mirror function when you lock the car is a Long Code change, not an Adaptation.

5. When Adaptation is Required

As stated in the Workshop Manual -

If control modules or electric/electronic components were replaced, component adaptation should be carried out in "Guided Functions".

The Audi Workshop Manuals are pretty good about commenting if and when an Adaptation is required. Check the Knowledge Base for the section on workshop manuals for free PDF downloads. This way you can find out if the part you're planning on replacing has an Adaption requirement and what, if any, steps need to be taken into consideration.

Generally, electrical devices which have variable voltage ranges (HVAC flap servo, gas pedal, etc.) Light bulbs do not.

6. According to Ross-Tech

I emailed Ross-Tech directly asking about this topic, and they were kind enough to provide this explanation -

"VW/Audi uses both Adaptation and Basic Setting functions for different things with some overlap. In general Adaptation involves entering some value, such as idle speed where you have different choices. Basic Settings is more like a single pre-determined routine that gets run like a throttle body alignment where you have no choices to make. The factory repair manual is the source for knowing which function is required. Our online manual explains this somewhat as well."

Ross-Tech: VCDS Tour

http://www.ross-tech.com/vcds/tour/adap ... screen.php

Adaptation Required.jpg
Hello)
DOES THAT OBD 2 WORKS? Because I know that it depens on what kind of car you have.
 
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