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Which code reader?

Discussion in 'Leon Mk1 (2000-2006)' started by masterfrodo, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. masterfrodo

    masterfrodo Active Member

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    Which code reader do I need that will read airbag codes and clear them? My cheap reader doesn't see airbags.
    Do any of the readers that link to phone apps do this?
    My mechanic has a big reader that does it all, but I just want a small cheapish one
     
  2. KeeefyB

    KeeefyB Active Member

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    I have a wireless obd connection and I’ve got dashcommand on my phone. I don’t know of airbag codes coming up on that app. I did have to have the airbag code cleared a while back but it never showed on it.
     
  3. masterfrodo

    masterfrodo Active Member

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    Think I have found one on eBay that reads airbags
    £42.99
     
  4. verbal_kint

    verbal_kint Active Member

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    Be careful of trusting ebay seller statements. Some codes VW hide away in non-standard OBD2 protocols so can only be read by the correct VCDS readers.
     
  5. MarkTDI

    MarkTDI Active Member

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    I like Carista, not sure about a Leon Mk1 though as I use it on a 2010 Altea XL which has more recent ECU etc.

    £15.99 on amazon for the dongle with a 30 day trial of the paid version, remember to cancel the free trial if you decide not to pay for it.
     
    #5 MarkTDI, Apr 8, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  6. Haze

    Haze Active Member

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    I would like to add that I have an eBay OBD reader and use it with Dash Command but even when the engine light is flashing in my face like a Thai massage parlour it still doesn't give me any codes.
     
  7. MarkTDI

    MarkTDI Active Member

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    I have a collection of crappy ebay OBD dongles that dont work....I wasted hours with them.

    I should have just bought a branded dongle in the first place :)
     
  8. Midlife_crisis

    Midlife_crisis Active Member

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    Hi, have you bought a reader? I need to do the same but need something that's able to do multiple makes.
     
  9. verbal_kint

    verbal_kint Active Member

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    I've got this: OBD-LX Got it from Amazon but also on ebay.

    Very good and pairs easily. Can stay in place permanently in you want. Comes with a good scan app but also works easily with Torque-pro.

    Saves having to get vag-com out for most things.
     
  10. masterfrodo

    masterfrodo Active Member

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  11. Midlife_crisis

    Midlife_crisis Active Member

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    Thanks, will have to look into getting one soon as the car is driving me mad with all it's issues
     
  12. Midlife_crisis

    Midlife_crisis Active Member

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  13. iammooks

    iammooks Active Member

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    Thought I'd revive this thread rather than start a new one.

    Having real trouble finding a code reader that works on my TDI FR. I don't need anything fancy, as I'm only your average home mechanic, so don't want to spend a fortune, but as the things my car is failing its MoT on these days are mainly emissions or engine related, I need something that's going to give me information on these.

    Any recommendations? My price range is probably up to £30, but if it's going to save a few headaches, I can definitely stretch to a little more.
     
  14. chriswales6

    chriswales6 Active Member

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    I'm not sure even the most expensive/dealer scanners would give you any information on emissions.

    VCDS will give you the most amount of information. It cost me under £10 for a cable off Ebay and I used an old laptop. You could even get the cable and 2nd hand laptop off Ebay for under £100.

    I use the free version of VCDS to activate cruise control on my TDI. I then acquired a modified full version of VCDS to adjust the fuel pump timing when it wouldn't start in the winter.

    There's lots of other information in VCDS from fuel temperature to door lock status - you could spend hours nosing around.
     
    iammooks likes this.
  15. iammooks

    iammooks Active Member

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    Thanks for this - I should have said, I don't really need to know what the emissions are, just that it's good to find out if there's a sensor that's not working properly that could be having an effect on how much fuel is going through - if there's an o2 sensor that's not working properly, or something misfiring, I wouldn't have a clue.

    I'll have to have a look at VCDS - I've got an old Windows laptop so it could work. Have you got any experience with the readers on eBay and Amazon? I've got two that don't work, so that's... frustrating.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. chriswales6

    chriswales6 Active Member

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    I haven't used any cheap code readers, did think about getting one but decided to use VCDS instead. The OBD2 system in the MK1s is very old now and I would've thought even the cheapest scanner could at least read error codes. Anything more and I think you'd have to spend a fair bit of money on a professional scanner with the software to read the extra data on older VAG cars.

    If you have a Windows 7 laptop then VCDS is the best option. It's designed for garages to read the things like sensor values. Although in some ways there's a bit too much information in there - I have no idea what most of it means.
     
  17. iammooks

    iammooks Active Member

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    Most of the more common ones read cars which are 2001 onwards, and since the Leon is 1999, I'm guessing that's the reason. There are also ones which will only read petrol cars, and the listings aren't always clear. I've just spent ten minutes reading through a listing that says it'll read 1996 onwards, only to say it'll only read from 2003 on. Then another that says 'if you have trouble connecting, it might be a diesel engine'...

    It's looking more and more like VCDS might be the answer - shame my PC is Windows XP. That'll teach me for going with a Mac...
     
  18. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson Active Member

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    iammooks likes this.
  19. iammooks

    iammooks Active Member

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    Looks like I'll have to save some pennies - that or make friends with someone in Brighton who has one! I think my other half's son has a Windows laptop, so I might be able to borrow that if I can get hold of the cable and software...

    Thanks for the help - really appreciate it.
     
  20. chriswales6

    chriswales6 Active Member

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    The Leon is a MK4 Golf underneath, so any scanner that works with the Golf will work with the Leon. They both use an OBD2 system from 1998 so any generic scanner is likely to only give you an error code and nothing more.

    VCDS may work with Windows XP it's worth a try. Google would be your friend there, you even get it working on a Mac.

    If not you can get refurbished laptops on Ebay, throw in a £10 cable and it'll cost under £100.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lenovo-T...281448?hash=item3659782aa8:g:RqkAAOSwfjtd73XB
     

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