VAG COM is a diagnostics kit for your car that you can use to identify any issues that your vehicle may be having and quickly get your car up and running again. This way you can make your own repairs rather than going to a mechanic and you can keep tabs on the status of your vehicle so that you know whether it is running as it should or whether you could make changes to make it safer or more efficient.
In other words, VAG COM can save you money and it can potentially save your life. But what exactly is this package? How do you use it? And where can you get it?
What is VAGCOM?
What can help you to make the right purchase when looking into VAGCOM is to understand exactly what it is and how it works.
To understand that, it pays to know a little about the way that a car works and about ‘OBD’.
So OBD stands for ‘On Board Diagnostics’. This is a generic term that refers to the reporting for any kind of problem that your car may have and for its general status even when everything is running fine. In other words, all those lights and all that information on your dashboard can be described as ‘OBD’. Everything from the brake lights to the check engine light tell you what’s happening inside your car and if anything needs to be fixed.
Without this, you wouldn’t know there was a problem until your car broke down in the middle of the motorway!
OBD can also refer to a specific set of guidelines that manufacturers adhere to. The most recent is called OBD-II and most new cars will conform to OBD-II standards in their diagnostics reporting.
This is not so much for you as a driver but for the mechanics and the manufacturers – it allows them to quickly identify when something is wrong with your car and what specifically that is. All the parts of the car then must report their status and when something goes wrong, they will output an error code that will be consistent no matter what model of car that is.
This error code – called a Diagnostic Trouble Code – is a four digit number that can be learned by plugging into the ‘OBD-II connector’ within modern vehicles.
So what is VAGCOM? Simple – it’s a device and a set of software you can use to get the trouble code from the OBD-II connector and to get useful instructions and insights with via software. This puts the power that the mechanic has into the hands of the car owner.
How to Buy VAGCOM
What you need to be aware of though is that there are different VAGCOM packages available on the web and not all of them are made equal.
For instance, the first commercially available solution was a VAG COM package from RossTech. This was a great package but it cost $600 and was really out of the price range of most buyers. It was also originally aimed specifically at Volkswagen owners (hence the name ‘VAG’ – Volkswagen Group).
At the other end of the spectrum you have the cheap knock-offs, many of which come from China. If you search for VAG-COM on eBay, you’ll find a bunch of products available for just $10. Don’t buy these – they are generally not fit for purpose and you may well find they aren’t at all compatible with your vehicle.
Instead, we recommend getting the Total Car Diagnostics VAG COM.
Why Total Car Diagnostics
So what’s so good about this model versus the others you might find?
Well for starters, this model is just as good as the original RossTech offering. It uses the same chips but from third party manufacturers which saves a lot of money. The firmware and software though are the exact same thing so you can rely completely on the quality and accuracy of the system.
What’s more, is that this system is highly flexible. Total Car Diagnostics VAG COM will work on any car no matter the manufacturer – whether you have Volkswagen, SEAT, Mercedes, Toyota, Ford or any other cars in your garage. This is thanks to the universal nature of the OBD-II standard on which it operates.
At the same time, this model can report on over 17,000 different issues so you’ll find it can always find the problems with your car and help you solve the problem.
The software is intuitive and easy to use even if you’re not familiar with cars and it’s excellent value for money. It comes highly recommended!
Using VAG COM
So how do you use the package?
Simple: first you want to take the main device and plug it into your car’s OBD-II connector. You should be able to find this fairly easily, it looks a bit like a printer port! If you struggle though, then just consult your car manual and it should be listed in there.
Once that’s plugged in, you need to pair the device with your computer’s Bluetooth. This will send the computer the Diagnostic Trouble Code which will be a four digit code preceded by a letter. You don’t need to worry about the code though, as once you have installed the relevant software on your computer, this will talk you through what you need to do and help you to make repairs on your vehicle.