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markos67

vag com or no vag com?

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I'm new to the forum & considering buying vag com :confused:. I have a 2003 A4 2.4 V6 SE cabrio and want to know if vag com is worth the expense and what functions of the OB computer it will give me access to. In particular if it will let me access the nav plus & allow me to update the firmware (if there's been an update since 2002). Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.

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Welcome to Tyresmoke Mark +++

It depends how often you think you'll use it for the £250 it costs. You get access to everything you would in terms of diagnostics, plus you can make a zillion changes to anything from the central locking to resetting the service indicator.

Someone else will be along shortly to confirm whether or not you can update the nav+ firmware +++

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Welcome to TSN :beer:

I don't believe VAG-COM does allow you to update the firmware of the Navigation Plus. Infact, I'm not even sure there is a firmware update for that version of the Nav Plus, perhaps a newer map disc will update it?

VAG-COM is a very useful tool but it is also very in-depth and can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing with it. In my opinion you have to think how often would you use it? And if you were to use it for it's diagnostic capabilities etc, can you interpret the fault codes that it gives you access to or would you end up taking it to the garage anyway?

I would imagine that someone such as yourself wouldn't get value from it +++

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I don't believe VAG-COM does allow you to update the firmware of the Navigation Plus. Infact, I'm not even sure there is a firmware update for that version of the Nav Plus, perhaps a newer map disc will update it?

You do not need VAG-COM to update the firmware of the RNS-D (the CD based Nav Plus) however AFAIK 2002 is the latest firmware there is for the RNS-D so there is no update available.

The map disks for the RNS-D do not update the firmware, that's only true for the DVD based RNS-E.

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Thanks all for the info. I have the dealer workshop manual so will be able to interpret any fault codes, then it will depend on the size of the job :) whether I do it myself. I'm driving to Greece next January to spend a year there & thought that vag com may be useful. The Sat Nav issue revolves around the fact that the technology is 6 years old although the maps are up to date. Now I'll have to weigh up the pro's & cons of RNS-E vs Tomtom :grin:

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I wondered this and initially it seemed quite an expensive purchase just to tweak a few peoples central locking options (I have a Golf IV so my familiarity is on that platform. After a while it helped a few friends out by pulling codes & the odd service interval reset. I have now used it to re-program keys for myself & a friend (with the help of Vag-tacho) & to diagnose 2 simple faults on my car (brake-light switch & Coli-pack). I may have been lucky (or unlucky !) but to my mind it has more than paid for itself as these were both cheap DIY fixes once I knew where the fault lay.

If you are handy at fixing things or know a few people with VAG cars you will probably find more uses for it than you first think.

I was lucky enough to buy mine off a fellow TSN'er so the payback was quicker than buying new.

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I may have been lucky (or unlucky !) but to my mind it has more than paid for itself as these were both cheap DIY fixes once I knew where the fault lay.

That's the experience of most people - you think "that's a lot to pay" but when you take the plunge and get VAG-COM you soon use it enough times to pay for itself in saved dealer charges.

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I've had a Vag-com for a few years now. I seem to use it more on family and firends cars than my own. with the benifit of hindsight, im not sure id bother now.

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Mine has saved me £200 every time I've been to France - I set the lights into "tourist mode" (and reset them back on return) myself instead of paying a dealer to do it (been quoted £100 each time). So that's £600 I've saved on that alone - add to that the fault codes I cleared after I removed a fuse to get a permanent live feed for my PogoAlert, getting the settings I wanted for the central locking and parking sensors, setting up my RNS-E & Bluetooth retrofit etc, etc. and I've saved over £1000 in dealer fees, at a cost of about £300.

And that's without the number of other Audi's I've sorted problems out on and earnt myself a few beers along the way (so that saves buying beer for home).

For me, especially if you're prepared to help others, the numbers look good...

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Dave you're quite right, but you also need to know what you're doing with it and therefore need to be much of an "advanced" user if you know what I mean. And not everyone is ;)

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need to be much of an "advanced" user if you know what I mean.

But how do you get to be an "advanced user"? By using it.

You start out doing the simple things and writing down absolutely everything you change (a novice user), then when those work you move onto slightly more involved things (a basic user), and eventually you know enough about how VAG-COM and VAG ECU's behave to be happy to attempt just about anything (an advanced user). Along the way fear of getting it wrong and messing up your car is your friend!

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I think its the best tool you can have for your car as so often it will tell you the problem and i thinks its great.

Allows quite a few modifications which is pretty cool. As mentioned above when you first use it write down everything you do so you can go back and fix.

I wouldnt say its easy to mess up your car as all warnings are in place in the vag-com software to be as idiot proof as possible.

I could get shot down for this but I would say go for a £10 cable off ebay just to get to grips with the software and see if oyu want to commit to the full version

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Welcome to Tyresmoke +++

I could get shot down for this but I would say go for a £10 cable off ebay just to get to grips with the software and see if oyu want to commit to the full version

You won't get shot down in flames for that comment, but everyone, and I mean everyone I know who has bought a rip-off cable on ebay claiming to be fully compatible with the Ross-Tech software has found it either doesn't work at all, or it's completely intermittent.

That's aside from the fact that you'd ripping off a software company, because Ross-Tech make their money from the cable, but as the owner of a software company I'm biased.

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I don't think that is such a bad idea either except the software you can use with the e-Bay cables is a very old version with very limited functionality so whilst it would be an introduction to vag-com its a bit like buying a copy of Windows NT4 from eBay to decide whether to buy a fully licenced copy of Vista later

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You won't get shot down in flames for that comment, but everyone, and I mean everyone I know who has bought a rip-off cable on ebay claiming to be fully compatible with the Ross-Tech software has found it either doesn't work at all, or it's completely intermittent.

Second that.

I know people who have tried for literally weeks to use a cheap cable with no luck and the day that a genuine cable arrived they sorted all their problems straight away.

If a cheap cable works then you're lucky and have saved money, if it doesn't (the most likely situation) you will get stressed, waste loads of time, waste money and end up buying a genuine cable anyway.

I'd suggest you learn from the majority experience and go straight to the real deal.

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