Would you like to customize your Golf 7 to your needs and preferred settings? You can easily do this with an app and adapter. After all, it’s much more fun to drive a car that is set up just the way you like it.

The average Golf 7 has dozens of control units, almost all of which can be accessed and adjusted. With the right app (+ OBD2 adapter) and a little time you can set up your Golf 7 the way you want. No more annoying beeps when you don’t have your seatbelt on yet and you can do things like completely shut off the start-stop system.

 

In this article we show you what is possible and how it works. In addition, we’ve also shared the best tricks so that you can become a tuning pro after reading this article. Have fun trying it out!

Coding does not mean that you have to enter codes!

Unfortunately, the term coding is somewhat misunderstood. When most people hear “coding”, they think they have to learn and even program some codes. That’s not the case here! Coding is all about unlocking and changing the possible functions of your car. A special coding device together with an app for your smartphone can help you do this — and Carly is a great example. Here you only need to select the desired function in the menu and press okay. Carly will do the rest for you. The app connects to the vehicle via their OBD2 adapter and thus can communicate with the vehicle. 

What does OBD2 mean?

OBD2 (short for on-board diagnostics) is a standard that was actually originally developed for emission-related systems. This standard can be used to collect and evaluate data that influences the exhaust gas values. In particular, this also involved error codes, which still play an important role today and can be called up via the app. Before OBD was introduced and standardized, every manufacturer had its own diagnostics system with different internal codes. 

Later, this interface was increasingly used for general communication with the vehicle. You simply plugged an OBD adapter into the socket — which is usually found in the vehicle interior. To access the information through the OBD port, there are companies that offer a diagnostic app and an adapter, which connect to your vehicle via normal bluetooth or wifi. The more advanced ones such as Carly offer the latest BLE connection which allows the adapter to automatically connect to the mobile phone via Bluetooth so data can be immediately exchanged. 

In the US they are currently working on the OBD3 standard. Imagine the following situation: You drive to a garage and the diagnosis shows that everything is okay. After three months a warning light pops up on your dashboard, but you don’t pay attention to it. After a year you drive to a garage for an inspection and you find out that the exhaust emission values have been above the permitted limits for 9 months. The faulty part of your car will be repaired immediately, but you drove around with excessive values for 9 months, and the garage (and maybe the authorities) can see this. With OBD2 that data would not have been available, but with OBD3 it could be in the future. How this could affect drivers and the car industry is still unclear. 

OBD3 would send the values (via SIM card or satellite) directly to the appropriate authority in the event of a fault, so you can no longer simply ignore the warning. If you don’t have the fault repaired within a certain period of time, you could be penalized accordingly. Whether this standard will be introduced in Europe is still unclear. 

Control Units: The Brain of the Vehicle

In just one Golf 7 there are dozens of control units (in a Golf 1 there were only 2) — together they form the electronic brain of the car, so to speak. All are connected via a data network and can be accessed via the OBD2 interface. Each control unit is responsible for a very specific task — one for the central locking system, another for the lighting system, and one again for the window regulators. Each control unit can be addressed individually, data can be read out, and a new coding can be assigned. 

What can be coded on a Golf 7?

DISCLAIMER: Even though the MQB technology (Modular Transversal Toolkit) is great and makes many things easier, one thing is getting harder: coding your Volkswagen. 

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Because the Golf 7 shares its ECUs and electronics with up to 40 models from Audi, Seat, and Škoda, you can never tell exactly which ECU (and in which combination with other ECUs) is installed, and therefore you can not know which coding features are available for an individual car.

The following list should therefore be treated as an overview of potential codings for the Golf 7, and not as a guarantee. 

Video in Motion

Normally, any video playing is turned off at a speed of 3 km/h. But you can deactivate this, so that you can also watch a video or TV while driving. However, please use this potential coding responsibly, as distracted driving can be incredibly dangerous to you and others. 

Coming Home (CH) / Leaving Home (LH) functions

There are several setting options in this area. Basically, it is a matter of switching the light on when the engine is switched off or when the door is opened (from a distance) so that you do not have to stand in the dark at night. You can set this function to be activated automatically when you pull out the key, when you open the car at night, or only when you move the light lever (CH). You also have the option of protecting your Xenon bulbs by specifying that only the daytime running lights and/or fog lights go on. 

Parking Assistance (Parking Distance Control)

There are also various options for the parking aid. Do you want a sound to be emitted when reverse gear is engaged or not? At what speed should the parking aid be switched off? Will the volume of the navigation system and radio/music be automatically lowered when parking assistance is active or not?

Deactivating the Seatbelt Reminder

If the warning tone for putting on the belt annoys you, you can also simply turn it off permanently. It is not a legal requirement to use the seatbelt reminder. However, since September 2019 all new vehicles should be equipped with a seatbelt reminder. 

Obviously, turning this off should not prevent you from wearing your seatbelt!  

One-touch Turn Signals: Adaptation

If you touch the turn signal lever only once briefly, you can choose how many times it should flash (from one to five). 

Save Seat Heating Level

If you activate this function, the same level of seat heating is set when the vehicle is started as when it was last switched off

Start/Stop Function: Deactivation

You can switch off the automatic start/stop function with a switch, but you have to do this again for each new ride. To turn off the function permanently, use this setting here.

Deactivate Message for Open Doors (Continuous Tone)

This function allows you to turn off the sound that is emitted when the door is open when the ignition is on.

Headlight Cleaning System: Adjusting the Interval

Headlamp Cleaning Device for the Front Washing System: Delayed Response

Activate Daytime Running Light only in Switch Position Auto

Passenger Mirror Lowering when Reversing

Reversing Lights: Adjust Luminosity

Activate Tail Light as Stop Light

Indicators: Activate US Parking Lights

Air conditioning: Display of the Blower Level in Automatic Mode

The Carly App

Jumping into the world of coding is easy and you only need to follow four simple steps. First, download the free version of the Carly app from the App Store or Google Play (aka the “lite app”). Then order the Carly OBD adapter from www.mycarly.com. Next, connect the adapter to your car (it’s as easy as plugging something into a power outlet), turn on Bluetooth on your phone, go into the app, and the app will automatically connect to your car. With the lite version you can check what is supported for your car and then if you see there are features you would like to code, you can buy the full version (a yearly subscription). It’s as simple as that. When you install the Carly app you will see that this is not just an app for coding. There are plenty of other possibilities, which are listed below. 

The Used Car Check

Let’s say you want to buy a used car and you want to make sure that the car is working well and that the speedometer has not been tampered with. With its used car check function, Carly has the possibility to diagnose different ECUs and to check the car for manipulation. If you consider that up to 30% of all used cars in Germany are sold with a tampered speedometer, this function can really come in handy. 

Display Vehicle Data in Real Time

You can look at various values of the vehicle during the journey — or save this data for later analysis. This way you can learn, for example, how to optimize fuel consumption. 

How “healthy” is my Golf 7?

The health check will give you an overview of the condition of your car. It combines various diagnoses such as error codes and maintenance logs and gives an overall evaluation, sorted by color. Green means everything is fine, yellow means you should take a closer look at the problems before they lead to an expensive repair, and red means that immediate action is required. 

View the Error Codes

When driving your Golf, both minor and major issues might come up. All these are logged in the form of error codes. Normally, minor errors are immediately corrected by the electronics and control units, because that’s what they are there for. Values are retrieved with the help of sensors, compared with target values and adjusted accordingly until the actual values correspond to the target values again. These error codes can be read out and analyzed. Then you can delete them and observe whether old errors occur again and again. If this is the case, you should look into the issues further.

Maintain Your Golf 7 Yourself

Imagine if you could perform many maintenance tasks yourself and save a lot of money. That would be great! Suppose you change engine oil and filters. With the Carly app you can then do the service reset in the comfort of your own home and inform your car that fresh oil and filters have arrived! In many cases this saves you the trip to the garage. 

The Digital Garage

Normally all your reports and diagnostic data are stored on your mobile phone. But you also have the possibility to park all your data in the Digital Garage with Carly. This way you can easily generate PDFs or send the data by email. This makes sense, for example, if an interested car buyer wants to have the data or your car’s history. 

Summary

  Code your car with an app!

With your Golf 7 a lot of functions can be coded and adjusted. Which of these make sense and which don’t, you can decide for yourself. You can play around and see what works for you! If you find out that the new setting is not practical or is annoying, just reverse the coding and change it back to the default settings. 

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Since coding with the Carly App is really easy, you can use it anytime. In any case, it’s fun to personalize your car and set it up exactly the way you like it best.