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Where there is no doctor: performing and reading your own ECU codes

D

Doug Curran

VIP Member
Messages
26
Location
Victoria, Canada
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
I imported a German spec 2005 T5 California to Canada (15 year old import admissability) and am finding some difficulty in getting the engine Fault codes read and fully accessible through my local VW dealer. Apparently, VW tightly restructs much of the coding for their vehicles to their market segments: North American access to the full vehicle code and diagnosis does not slip into the systems mounted for UK/EU vehicles. Hard to believe of such a global operation, but this is what I'm told by the service manager here in Victoria, BC.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good quality Code Reader that they've found useful and user friendly (as much as such an animal might possibly be)? I am looking for a full integrated unit, not simply a plug-in module with smartphone/Bluetooth connection. Preferred is a touch screen device. Price (within reason) is not the primary criteria. Costs up to perhaps 600 Pounds might be acceptable. I need to find a bridge to let me monitor and diagnose vehicle information and at present can not rely on VW's own dealers to perform this function.

cheers and thanks, Doug
 
kurienp

kurienp

VIP Member
Messages
1,376
Location
Newbury, Berkshire, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
I imported a German spec 2005 T5 California to Canada (15 year old import admissability) and am finding some difficulty in getting the engine Fault codes read and fully accessible through my local VW dealer. Apparently, VW tightly restructs much of the coding for their vehicles to their market segments: North American access to the full vehicle code and diagnosis does not slip into the systems mounted for UK/EU vehicles. Hard to believe of such a global operation, but this is what I'm told by the service manager here in Victoria, BC.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good quality Code Reader that they've found useful and user friendly (as much as such an animal might possibly be)? I am looking for a full integrated unit, not simply a plug-in module with smartphone/Bluetooth connection. Preferred is a touch screen device. Price (within reason) is not the primary criteria. Costs up to perhaps 600 Pounds might be acceptable. I need to find a bridge to let me monitor and diagnose vehicle information and at present can not rely on VW's own dealers to perform this function.

cheers and thanks, Doug
Doug, looking at your needs, have you heard about a VCDS? read more here - https://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/ . Well, it is a dongle/laptop combination, but considering that you want details on the codes, that seems to be the best option. 15 year old makes it a 2005 van. Do check with RossTech, which VCDS will work with your van.

There are newer tools such as a CARISTA (with a related app) that will give you lots of information, and that is worth trying before you shell out on a VCDS cable, but again, a bluetooth laptop combo.

Someone with more specific knowledge of your vehicle will be along to advise more, but not heard of any permanent attached tool with a touch screen for monitoring parameters.
 
D

Doug Curran

VIP Member
Messages
26
Location
Victoria, Canada
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Thank you, KurienP, Unfortunately the Carista units do not work with any pre-2010 T5. The Ross-tech appears to be the common unit, but is meant to be used in combination with PC laptops, which I would have to purchase as I am MAC-invested with my computers.
regards, Doug
 
kurienp

kurienp

VIP Member
Messages
1,376
Location
Newbury, Berkshire, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Thank you, KurienP, Unfortunately the Carista units do not work with any pre-2010 T5. The Ross-tech appears to be the common unit, but is meant to be used in combination with PC laptops, which I would have to purchase as I am MAC-invested with my computers.
regards, Doug

AFAIK, you can run the VCDS software on a Mac (newer mac with the Intel processors). You need to run a Windows Virtual machine on your mac. Though not having used, it works as it should on a Mac. That may be your best bet based on the dealer-level information that you need.
 
rod_vw

rod_vw

Messages
651
Location
Shropshire
Vehicle
Motorhome
Doug, don't be afraid to talk to the support folks at Ross-Tech. I am sure if there is a solution to your problems they will help you overcome it. From experience they are very helpful.
 
D

Doug Curran

VIP Member
Messages
26
Location
Victoria, Canada
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Thank you, Rod, I have sent an email to Santos/Don in their sales dept., explaining the problem to him. It is baffling to me that there would be layers or access of VW coding not fully exchanged with their international divisions.
My old '93 T4 was a simple vehicle in comparison, but simply becoming too old for the projects and distances I have in plan. There are perhaps 3 T5s in all BC.
Doug
 
rod_vw

rod_vw

Messages
651
Location
Shropshire
Vehicle
Motorhome
Thank you, Rod, I have sent an email to Santos/Don in their sales dept., explaining the problem to him. It is baffling to me that there would be layers or access of VW coding not fully exchanged with their international divisions.
My old '93 T4 was a simple vehicle in comparison, but simply becoming too old for the projects and distances I have in plan. There are perhaps 3 T5s in all BC.
Doug
Hi Doug,

I've used VCDS on T4s, T5s and now a T6 plus lots of other VWs for friends and relatives although I am no expert with it.

Both of the following forums can offer endless expert help...

https://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/ - includes T5s

https://www.t6forum.com/ - don't be put off by the T6 label, lots on there were T5 owners before.

Many in the UK have delved deeply into the coding possibilities on these vehicles and are most willing to assist others.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
17,845
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Thank you, Rod, I have sent an email to Santos/Don in their sales dept., explaining the problem to him. It is baffling to me that there would be layers or access of VW coding not fully exchanged with their international divisions.
My old '93 T4 was a simple vehicle in comparison, but simply becoming too old for the projects and distances I have in plan. There are perhaps 3 T5s in all BC.
Doug
Maybe a cheap Windows Laptop + VCDS lead and software?
 
B J G

B J G

Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
3,091
Location
Stamford
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Carista has a 30 day free trial. App runs on a Smartphone so can be done cheaply as a try out.
 
Loz

Loz

Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
5,150
Location
Berkeley Gloucestershire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
There are not many modules on a 2005 model, so you only need a generic ODB reader to get the codes and then look it up on the web.
 
Alan Andrews

Alan Andrews

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
747
Location
Staffordshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
I imported a German spec 2005 T5 California to Canada (15 year old import admissability) and am finding some difficulty in getting the engine Fault codes read and fully accessible through my local VW dealer. Apparently, VW tightly restructs much of the coding for their vehicles to their market segments: North American access to the full vehicle code and diagnosis does not slip into the systems mounted for UK/EU vehicles. Hard to believe of such a global operation, but this is what I'm told by the service manager here in Victoria, BC.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good quality Code Reader that they've found useful and user friendly (as much as such an animal might possibly be)? I am looking for a full integrated unit, not simply a plug-in module with smartphone/Bluetooth connection. Preferred is a touch screen device. Price (within reason) is not the primary criteria. Costs up to perhaps 600 Pounds might be acceptable. I need to find a bridge to let me monitor and diagnose vehicle information and at present can not rely on VW's own dealers to perform this function.

cheers and thanks, Doug
I have just looked at which vw transport/multivan variants are supported with the latest (v20.12) VCDS kit. See attached image.

You will need to check which diagnostic interface socket you have. You might find that you need an adaptor cable.

I bought the vcds kit c/w all the various legacy interface cables, as I use this on some old Audi and VW vehicles.

I can certainly vouch for vcds.

I have been told by vw commercial centre technicians that vcds is more capable than VW own VAG-COM diagnostic tool.

Where abouts are you, someone on here with vcds might be willing to meet up and show you the kit.

It does need a computer/laptop.

210121 - vcds v20.12 supported VW transporterMultivan variants.JPG
 

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