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Frequently Asked Questions -- Page 4
Why and How should I test VCDS prior to
All of our Current Interfaces
that have built-in Activation for VCDS, are fully Registered and Activated once you
test them on a car. With these Interfaces, the license is built in, you do
not have to Activate VCDS, but obviously you'll want to test VCDS
when you get it to make sure everything works properly.
For our older
Interfaces without built-in Activation, or for 3rd party Interfaces used
As per our
Guarantee no refunds will be issued once you
have received an Activation File from us. Therefore, it is in your best
interest to test VCDS-Lite with your PC and your vehicle prior to requesting an
Activation. First, Download and install
VCDS-Lite on your PC. Find your vehicle on the
Applications Page to see which
control modules are in your car. Connect your Interface to your
car's Diagnostic Port and to your PC.
Turn the ignition ON (turn the key so the Instrument Cluster lights up,
but do not start the car -OR- start the car). Go into
the Options screen, select the
correct port, and click the TEST button. Ensure that VCDS-Lite finds
your interface, you should see a message that says Interface Found. Now
click SAVE. Select one of your car's
Control Modules (note: your car will not have all the Control Modules
listed in VCDS-Lite, only the ones on your Applications Page). After
has Connected, check
Fault Codes. Repeat the process for
each of your car's Control Modules. If you encounter problems, please try
These Suggestions first. If you still
have problems, you will need to contact
your hardware supplier for startup assistance.
Can I use VCDS while I am driving?
We strongly recommend against
reading data while driving -- that would be an accident waiting to happen.
Almost everything that changes while you drive can be
LOGGED to a .CSV
file, which you can analyze to your heart's content using
VC-Scope or Excel (or a
number of other programs) preferably while the vehicle is not in
If you find it necessary to read data while the vehicle is in motion, use a second person -- one to drive, one to look at
the PC. This second person should sit in the back seat, because a laptop
used in the front passenger's seat becomes potentially lethal if an airbag
drives it back into the passenger's head or torso in case of an accident.
What is "The Aftermarket Radio
The Aftermarket Radio Page.
How do I update my existing VCDS
software to the newest version?
You should be able to simply
Download and install the latest release
of VCDS in your PC. Make sure you have exited out of VCDS before
you install the new version. All of our Current Interfaces
that have built-in Activation, so the new version should be fully
Registered and Activated once you test on a car.
like to be notified when a new version of
VCDS becomes available,
VCDS has an update function built-in on the
Options screen. You can also sign up for our Announcements
If you purchase a genuine Ross-Tech Interface directly from us, or
from one of our Distributors, you are entitled to free software
updates for at least one year from date of purchase. No updates are
available for our
older Interfaces without built-in Activation, or for 3rd party
Interfaces. For these, you are limited to
What is the purpose of the "OBD-II"
button? Why would I want to press it?
Online Demo/Manual for more
information about using the Generic
OBD-2 functions in VCDS.
you can use this test to determine whether a car is ISO/OBD-II compatible,
i.e. whether it "speaks" the OBD-II protocols, if the car uses the
ISO-9141 hardware layer for OBD-II. This has nothing to do with the VAG
protocol that VW uses, and the results of this test have nothing to do
working with any VW/Audi/SEAT/Skoda vehicle. No VW or Audi products prior
to model year 1996 are OBD-II compliant! Please note that most vehicles
sold outside of the US are NOT OBD-II compatible, and even some US-market
TDI's are not OBD-II compatible.
How do I print screens or data in VCDS?
VCDS screens (such as Fault
Codes and AutoScan),
there is a [ Print ] button that will send data to your default
Windows printer. On some screens (such as
Measuring Blocks) there is an
[ Add to Log ] button that will save an instantaneous snapshot of data
to a text file, which can then be printed using Notepad or equivalent. You can save
Logged data to and print using a spreadsheet
program. Finally, to print complete images of any screen, we highly recommend the HardCopy
What are Label Files?
The Label Files Page.
How can I speed up my sample rate in VCDS?
The sample rate
for viewing and logging data is largely determined by each controller in the car. There are a few things you can do to speed up
the rate for a given controller. First, logging one group at a time, rather than two or three, will help greatly. In order to get the
highest sample rate possible go to the
Options screen and set Blk Int to 25 and Char Int to 0.
Note, however, that this may cause unreliable communications with some
controllers. Changing KP2 time to a smaller value speeds up the
sample rate in Measuring Blocks on control modules that use the KWP-2000
protocols. Try setting it to 0. If any of these adjustments cause
unreliable communications, change them back closer to the defaults. If in
doubt, use the Restore Defaults button!
In Engine controllers using KWP-2000,
there is a [Turbo] button when using a HEX interface.. This can
significantly speed up sampling, in some cases to over 30 samples per
second. See the Measuring
Blocks page for more information. In Engine controllers using UDS,
there is a "Group UDS requests" checkbox that can
improve sample rates. See the
Measuring Values page for more information.
What kinds of cool stuff can I do with VCDS?
Car Info & Procedures Page You can look up
Vehicle Specific Application Charts for your car to see which control
modules exist and can communicate with VCDS-Lite. Additionally, there are
some very useful links to pages about Key Matching, Immobilizers, as well
as some excellent spreadsheets submitted by our customers.
4.10 How do I set up my
To use one of our USB
Interfaces, you'll need to
download and install the latest version
and allow USB drivers to install. If you encounter difficulty, you should
follow the instructions on the
USB driver installation
Does Ross-Tech make diagnostic software
for other makes of cars?
do not currently have plans to develop manufacturer-specific software for any other makes of
cars, but of course, all plans are subject to change. Current
versions of VCDS can be used as a generic OBD-II scanner on many other makes of cars. Click
here for more info.
Porsche: Although Porsche
SE and Volkswagen AG have taken steps to merge, Porsche still does diagnostics quite differently than VW
so VCDS does not do OEM diagnostics on most
Porsche systems. However, we've heard good things about
Tool for Porsche.
Can I use VCDS
to retrieve my Radio Code to get it out of "SAFE" mode?
No, You'll need to get the
radio code from your dealer (it should also be on a card that came with
your car). Neither VCDS nor the factory
tool can retrieve the radio's security code for you.
(On some late model cars the factory may be required, but it does not
retrieve the code from the car, it gets it from a server belonging to
VW/Audi). In many cases (particularly MY 2000 and newer cars), the radio will be in SAFE mode after disconnecting the
battery, but it will automatically exit that mode after a period of time,
as long as it is still installed in the same vehicle.
Does VCDS work with
cars that require direct CAN access for diagnostics?
Yes! We have
integrated CAN compatibility into VCDS,
but a CAN-Bus interface is required.. The
HEX-COM+CAN and HEX-USB+CAN interfaces
are fully compatible with the new latest cars which require a direct CAN
connection as well as with the older k-line vehicles.
The Mk5 based vehicles
like the Rabbit and Jetta can use a lower priced
Micro-CAN as well. Check out our CAN-Bus
page for more information. VCDS-Lite does not work with CAN-Bus
4.14 Can I use VCDS
to make my windows roll up and down using my keyfob remote?
Many Audi vehicles can be
recoded to allow this function, such as this
example. Unfortunately, most older VW models do not have the same
capability. In order to make your windows roll up and down using your
remote in most older VW models, you'll need to add extra hardware such as the
Controller from Alientech. The
Mk5 based vehicles such as the latest
Rabbit/Jetta/GTI and B6 Passat can use
4.15 How do I obtain an SKC
for Immobilizer and Key-Matching functions?
We do not know of any way to
retrieve an SKC for VW/Audi/SEAT/Skoda vehicles. Prior to 2002, some vehicles were delivered with a
on a plastic tag that contained the 4 digit PIN code. Starting in 2002, dealerships implemented the WIN2
system to provide SKC's to their technicians and customers. Starting April 1, 2005, VW/Audi dealerships switched to the new GEKO
system, whereby their factory scan tools dial up the factory while
connected to a car. Under this system, the technician no longer sees the
SKC at all and you will need to bring your vehicle into the dealer to have
Immobilizer work performed. VCDS does not interact with the GEKO system.
Check out our Immobilizer Page for
more information and procedures.
4.16 How do I use my
Ross-Tech interface with software made by other companies?
Ross-Tech only supports and guarantees the use
of our hardware with our software and vice-versa so do NOT contact
Ross-Tech for help with what follows. You may find other software that
claims to work through our hardware such as GIAC Flashloader, Revo Technik
Lemmiwinks, Unitronic UniSettings, or Webasto ThermoTest. If you
encounter difficulty using a HEX interface with one of these programs, try
going into the Options screen in VCDS, click Test, uncheck "Boot in
Intelligent Mode", then click Test again. Doing that should put the
interface into "dumb" mode so it acts as a normal ISO-9141-2 interface.
Beyond that, you are on your own. :-)
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