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The Volkswagen Diagnostic Tool — Purpose and Practical Examples of Use

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Diagnostic equipment has been used in Volkswagen vehicles since the 1960s. While in the early years Volkswagen provided diagnostic equipment exclusively to authorized dealer technicians for quick and efficient fault diagnosis, today Volkswagen diagnostic equipment is a necessity. Above all, because there are more and more electronics in vehicles and therefore visual diagnosis is no longer possible. In this article, we will look at how Volkswagen diagnostic equipment can also be used practically in everyday life.

Volkswagen diagnostic equipment and the vehicle diagnostics

The term diagnosis originates from medicine and is used for the assignment of findings and error symptoms to error causes. However, the term vehicle diagnostics includes some technical procedures and applications that are used to diagnose faults in defective vehicles. Volkswagen began equipping vehicles with a central socket as early as 1965, which could be connected to a punch card-controlled diagnostic device. This should simplify diagnosis in specialist workshops. However, this diagnostic system did not yet include exhaust gas diagnostics.

Nowadays, Volkswagen diagnostic equipment can be used to make a fault analysis of a defective vehicle, make statistical evaluations during quality assurance and obtain important data during vehicle development.

In the case of Volkswagen diagnostic equipment, we need to distinguish between two different types of diagnostics. First, on-board diagnostics(OBD), which constantly monitors components within the vehicle and relays information to the driver in the event of problems. The second use for Volkswagen diagnostic equipment is off-board diagnostics, where equipment is used outside the vehicle to make a quick and efficient diagnosis.

In the automotive industry, vehicle diagnostics generally refers to the communication of an external test device with the ECUs installed in the vehicle via a diagnostic protocol.

Volkswagen diagnostic device and control units

To be able to diagnose a vehicle with a Volkswagen diagnostic device, at least one control unit must be present in the vehicle. Modern motor vehicles now have up to 100 different control units with which individual functions in the vehicle are executed and monitored.

The first electronic control units were used in motor vehicles to control the ignition of internal combustion engines. Since the 1990s, no automobiles have been delivered whose engine management was not controlled by an electronic control unit. Nowadays, there is almost no function in a vehicle that is not increasingly regulated or controlled by an electronic control unit.

The Volkswagen Diagnostic Device - Purpose and Practical Examples of Use
The Volkswagen Diagnostic Device – Purpose and Practical Examples of Use

How do control units work?

Electronic control units are used today for many different functions in a motor vehicle. They all work according to the EVA principle. This is used to describe the processing cycle of the data – input-processing-output. The input is usually performed by sensors that can read speed, pressure, temperature or other measured values. If the measured data does not match the nominal value, control units can use various actuators with which the values can be readjusted. Data retrieval, processing and correction take place constantly.

While the first ones were developed as control units with simple electronic components, modern control units have microcontrollers that can perform complex tasks. They have their own RAM and ROM memories where data can be stored. For more complex tasks, control units with multiple processors can also be used, which have computing power like modern computers.

Volkswagen control unit and the networking of control units

To enable readout with a Volkswagen control unit, the various control units are networked with each other. Various system buses can be used for this purpose. This also allows the control units to exchange relevant data with each other. These networks also connect and enable on-board diagnostics or a vehicle diagnostic system with other ECUs. The reading of the data with a Volkswagen control unit.

The networking of the control units makes it possible to communicate and query with the control units through the application of a Volkswagen control unit. In this way, it can be detected whether errors occur in the control units or in the connected sensors. Diagnostic protocols such as the UDS or KWP2000 are often used.

The networks in motor vehicles make it possible to diagnose a vehicle quickly, as precise information can be provided about the sources of faults. In modern vehicles, microcontrollers with up to 64 bits are used for this purpose.

Volkswagen diagnostic equipment and the vehicle’s own diagnostics

A Volkswagen diagnostic device can communicate with the vehicle’s own diagnostics in the motor vehicle. This can be used to query whether problems have occurred at sensors and actuators connected to the control unit. These error messages are stored by the control unit internal diagnostics.

The vehicle’s own diagnostics automatically monitor the electrical sensors and actuators in the system. This can be done by an electrical test or a plausibility test, which can be performed in conjunction with other signals. This allows comparisons to be made with data, characteristic curves or algorithms stored in the respective control unit. In addition, failure monitoring of cyclically incoming information is performed, which constantly checks data from the network. If an error is detected, an error message is output.

The Volkswagen diagnostic device and the OBD standard

Without the OBD standard, it would not be possible today to read a vehicle’s fault memory with a Volkswagen diagnostic device. This standard was established by the California Environmental Protection Agency in 1987. The agency was forced by air pollution in California to issue tougher emissions guidelines. However, in order to be able to guarantee this over the entire lifetime of a vehicle, the vehicles had to have self-diagnostics to ensure the functions of all components of the exhaust system.

The OBD1 standard was replaced by the OBD2 standard throughout the U.S. in 1996. This was made possible primarily by the use of better and more efficient components in motor vehicles.

The OBD2 standard was also introduced as EOBD in Europe in 2001. Since then, all vehicles must be equipped with the OBD2 diagnostic connector, which also offers the possibility of using a Volkswagen diagnostic device.

As of 2015, the WWH-OBD standard is to be introduced worldwide. The international standard will enable harmonization of vehicle diagnostics and will also be used to monitor vehicle emissions . This new standard was developed by the United Nations Organization and is to be adopted as a global technical regulation. The WWH-OBD standard provides only a few changes to the OBD2 standards.

The Volkswagen control unit and the storage of errors

As soon as the on-board diagnostics has detected an error in a system, it is stored in the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) in the fault memory. The fault memory is protected against power failures, but can be read out and deleted with an appropriate Volkswagen control unit.

The following information is stored by the on-board diagnostics:

  • Electrical faults – such as short circuit, cable break, ground fault, etc.
  • Implausible signals or data
  • Initiated protective functions
  • Regular operating states, if required
  • Component failures

Practical uses of a Volkswagen diagnostic device

A Volkswagen diagnostic device can be useful in many situations. We would like to give you some examples of when the use of a Volkswagen diagnostic device is useful or even necessary.

The Volkswagen Diagnostic Device - Purpose and Practical Examples of Use
The Volkswagen Diagnostic Device – Purpose and Practical Examples of Use

Vehicle repair

Since the 1980s, motor vehicles have been increasingly equipped with electronic components. This makes the diagnosis of problems very complicated. Visual troubleshooting is almost impossible if there are no damaged mechanical parts that can be detected from the outside.

With a Volkswagen diagnostic device, it becomes possible to read the fault memory and quickly identify the exact cause of the problem. In addition, the fault memory can be cleared after the repair. Thus, it can be observed whether the error occurs again. If you want to service used vehicles yourself, a Volkswagen diagnostic device is definitely required. Otherwise, repairs can only be carried out if the cause of the fault can be identified visually. With Carly OBD Scanner it is possible to save the current data of the fault memory on the mobile device before the fault memory is cleared. This allows historical information to be compared with current values at any time.

With Carly’s Volkswagen diagnostic device, you will be able to use repair instructions to fix the particular problems yourself. They have been prepared by specialists with many years of experience and can be used on request with diagrams and plans that are normally only available to technicians in authorized workshops.

Another advantage of the Carly OBD scanner is the ability to display live data, thereby providing indications of defective components. With the software, which can be used on any smartphone or tablet, the manufacturer-specific parameters can be compared with the current data.

Buying a used car

Buying a used car can be a complicated matter if the seller is an unknown person. Even if the vehicle looks very good from the outside, faults may exist that can cost the buyer dearly later.

It is, of course, advisable to test drive any used car purchase in order to thoroughly test the driving characteristics of a vehicle. This can identify problems with the chassis and brakes, which are crucial to a vehicle’s safety. With enough experience, it is also possible to check that the engine runs smoothly and does not show signs of wear.

It is more problematic when electronic problems occur that cannot be detected immediately. Then, in any case, a Volkswagen diagnostic device is required to assess the scope and severity of the problem.

A particularly important factor when buying a used car is the mileage. Since devices for manipulating the mileage can now be ordered very cheaply on the Internet, manipulation can never be ruled out when buying a used car. Since the mileage is one of the most important factors of the purchase price, it is worthwhile for sellers to have the mileage manipulated. From the outside, a change in mileage cannot be detected and can make for very expensive repairs after purchase or even contribute to the vehicle’s inability to be driven.

In this case, we advise to use the Volkswagen diagnostic device from the company Carly. The company’s OBD scanner provides the ability to automatically read and compare all mileage readings from the various ECUs. Since normally only the mileage for the speedometer can be changed, this makes it easy to detect manipulations. So, the Carly OBD scanner can be an important tool when buying a used car, which can save the buyer a lot of trouble and money.

Another advantage of using a Volkswagen diagnostic device with the

Used car sales is the possibility of reading the complete error memory. From this, it is possible to see what problems have occurred with the vehicle in the past and what problems may arise in the near future. The Carly OBD scanner even provides the means to evaluate this data and thus creates a forecast of what problems may occur in this vehicle in the future.

Periodic service

Many people are constantly dependent on their motor vehicle. They use it to get to work in the morning, take the kids to school, or do other important tasks. Choosing a motor vehicle can not only be inconvenient, it can also be costly in some circumstances. For this reason, it is important to perform periodic maintenance on the vehicles so that any problems can be detected in advance.

The use of a Volkswagen diagnostic device can also be very important for periodic maintenance. Most of the problems of a motor vehicle become noticeable some time before. By periodically reading out the error messages from the control units, problems can be detected in advance and the part in question can be replaced ahead of time without causing long vehicle downtimes. In addition, faulty parts can cause other components of a vehicle to be damaged as well, triggering higher repair costs.

Carly OBD scanner can clear the service alerts in the cockpit when changing the oil or replacing the brake pads itself. With the Volkswagen diagnostic device from Carly it is possible to reset the service messages of the on-board computer. If you want to service your vehicle yourself, the Carly OBD Scanner even offers the options to guide you through the maintenance function. This makes service resets and battery registrations a breeze.

Personalization of a vehicle

In many modern vehicles, hidden pre-programmed functions of the vehicle can be adjusted to the owner ‘s requirements. Functions such as the lighting system and even the exhaust flap can be adapted to the rider’s personal preferences. In some vehicles, for example, it is possible to activate the display of videos while driving and to adapt the display layouts of the vehicle menu to personal preferences.

Is it worth purchasing a Volkswagen diagnostic device?

You may be considering whether it’s worth it for you to purchase a Volkswagen diagnostic unit. We would like to present you some application examples that justify the purchase of a Volkswagen diagnostic device.

At this time we would like to point out that Carly OBD scanner costs not even 60 euros. The fact that the Volkswagen diagnostic device proves to be very useful in the following applications will surely influence you positively in your decision of a possible purchase of this device:

Carry out repairs yourself

Nowadays, it is almost impossible to diagnose a motor vehicle without using a Volkswagen diagnostic device. Since most functions are controlled and monitored with electronic control units, visual diagnosis is no longer possible for most vehicle components. Even if you have the time and expertise to check all the electronic components yourself, the right Volkswagen diagnostic tool can save you a lot of time. We would like to inform you that the Carly Universal Adapter is available for as little as 59.90 Euros.

Then, once the fault is located, the Carly Smart Mechanic provides precise repair instructions to fix the problem easily, quickly and inexpensively. Smart Mechanic also allows the use of plans and drawings that are normally only available to technicians in specialist workshops. This allows any repair to be carried out quickly and efficiently.

Buy used car

Buying a used car is a matter of trust! But how can you trust people you don’t know and will probably never meet again? How do you know the seller doesn’t want to sell the vehicle because it has caused too many problems in the past? How can you be sure that the mileage has not been manipulated so that the vehicle can be sold for more profit?

The only way to be sure is to use a Volkswagen diagnostic device. Best to use the Carly OBD scanner so that a mileage check can be done and not overpay for a problem vehicle.

Periodic maintenance and the safety of a vehicle

Trust is good, control is better. This is especially true for a car you rely on every day. With the Carly OBD Scanner it is possible to create a database for the readout data of a vehicle in the cloud. This allows a systematic control of a vehicle to be made, in which the data can be periodically compared with each other. This can guarantee the function of a car to a very high degree, even if 100% certainty cannot be guaranteed.

Conclusion – is a Volkswagen diagnostic device absolutely necessary?

If you want to repair your Volkswagen yourself, buy a used Volkswagen, or periodically check the safety of your Volkswagen, then using a Volkswagen diagnostic tool is absolutely essential.

Nowadays it is not possible to diagnose a motor vehicle efficiently and in a short time without using an OBD scanner. The electronic control units in modern motor vehicles make it impossible to still find faults visually or to determine them with a measuring device.

This makes the use of a Volkswagen diagnostic device absolutely necessary if you want to repair or personalize your vehicle.

Keep in mind, that every car has different software and modules built-in. Therefore specific features will vary with every model.


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