What is VCDS and why every VW and Audi owner needs it

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VCDS stands for VAG-COM Diagnostic System. As the name suggests, VCDS is diagnostic software unlike any diagnostic tool you can buy online. Indeed, the VCDS is the closest dealer diagnostic tool for individuals. With more capabilities than standard OBD-II scanners, here’s more about what you can do with Ross-Tech’s VCDS.

What types of vehicles can use the VCDS?

As excellent as Ross-Tech VCDS i.e. the only limitation of the software is which vehicles can use it. VCDS is dedicated to VAG vehicles, which stands for Volkswagen Audi Group. Since the vehicles in this group share many of the same components, they have been given a name dedicated to their niche of cars.

The Volkswagen Group includes vehicles from Audi, Bentley, Cupra, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Škoda and of course Volkswagen. All of these manufacturers with vehicles dating after 1994 can use the software due to the standardization of the OBD-II port in passenger vehicles. VCDS uses generic OBD-II/EOBD protocols to communicate with your vehicle’s ECU.

OBD-II scanners are universal in the sense that they accomplish the same things: identify diagnostic trouble codes. However, what makes Ross-Tech’s software different from other diagnostic tools is their amazing functionality among its software. VCDS performs everything an OBD-II scanner can do, while having access to features only available to dealerships. This gives you access to all of the diagnostic-capable vehicle systems on your car, including everything from your engine components to climate controls.


Although you can use a traditional OBD-II scanner, it’s clearly not the most effective way for these types of vehicles. Indeed, VCDS provides you with a plethora of information, even that which is not provided with normal OBD-II scanners. With over 900 DTCs to find, properly diagnosing your car has never been easier.

Ross Tech has a dedicated Wiki page that provides diagnostic trouble codes, potential causes, and possible solutions to your problem. Since you won’t have to blindly guess which component is faulty on your vehicle, it will ultimately save you time, money and effort.

VCDS Features

The features that Ross-Tech’s software offers you are what sets this diagnostic software apart from others. Indeed, VCDS allows you to scan all possible modules of your car, from your HVAC system to your electronic devices.

With its measuring block feature, you can closely monitor everything from your engine’s sensors to your engine’s timing angle. This feature is especially useful when testing your internal components which otherwise cannot be accomplished without physically checking the component itself.

Ross-Tech offers a few different packages for different types of users. Since VCDS is licensed software, each VCDS cable is VIN locked, which means the cable is associated with a vehicle (because each VIN is unique to a vehicle). For those with multiple vehicles, there’s an unlimited VIN cable, which lets you connect to as many cars as you want. This is ideal for those in the industry or those who love the European automotive niche.

There are two versions of VCDS: VCDS Lite and fully licensed VCDS.


VCDS Lite can be purchased for $99, which doesn’t include the cost of the cable you’ll need. This will get you a foot in the door, although the full version gives you a lot more accessibility than its counterpart.

The full version of VCDS can be purchased starting at $199, which gives you a HEX-V2 cable and access to three VINs. If you need it, this can be upgraded to ten VINs at an additional cost. For serious hobbyists, VCDS with Unlimited VIN Cable (HEX-NET) can be purchased starting at $449. This gives you access to unlimited vehicles and the ability to connect to HEX-NET wirelessly via Wi-Fi.

Ross-Tech VCDS Software

Despite the great on-board technological advances, diagnosing a pesky vehicle is never really easy. While standard OBD-II scanners can point you in the right direction, more advanced software like Ross-Tech’s VAGCOM (VCDS) can really dissect the information your car can provide.

From diagnosing your engine control management system to your air conditioning, identifying what’s wrong with your vehicle is as easy as clicking a few buttons. With dealer-grade software, this makes the VCDS essential for any Volkswagen or Audi.

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