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Not sure if there's a thread on this already but I'm in need of a basic scan tool, just wondering what people recommend for something not too expensive, also interested in USB / software
 

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ebay obdII cord with usb end, 15 bucks, then go on rosstech.com and download VCDS lite for free.

or go on ECS tuning and get their scanner for 80 bucks or so.
 

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For quick scanning I an app on my phone. Torque pro. Was $5 and you just use it with a obdII Bluetooth scanner. Paid around $20 or 25 off ebay. Decent little gadget and can run live statistics. They make a free version still (I think) so you can try it out.
 

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Those work fine but not as detailed as vagcom. I have a generic obd2 scanner. It's good to keep in the car for a quick scan. But if you really want to pin point an issue, vagcom. Plus you can charge your friends a case of beer to scan their cars, adjust idles, ect.
Good example of what a generic tool won't tell you. I had my steering wheel light on when I replaced my steering rack. Hooked it up and found this


Steering wheel was 360 out. Wasn't paying attention but I must have turned the wheel 1 full turn before I installed the shaft to the rack.
Also most scanners will not read ABS faults.
 

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I also have the full version of vcds. If you plan on having the car for a while or just plan on owning a VAG vehicle at any other point, I would look into getting a full version of VagCom. Has saved me so much money.
 
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