1.10 What's the difference between VAG-COM and an OBD-II Scan-Tool?
OBD-II is a government mandated diagnostic protocol that is primarily aimed at diagnosing emissions-related problems. An OBD-II scan tool will work in many different brands of cars. VAG-COM uses VW's proprietary diagnostic protocol and will only work in VW/Audi vehicles. Although you can use an OBD-II Scan Tool in an OBD-II compliant (1996 or newer) VW or Audi, an OBD-II Scan Tool can only talk to the engine, not the numerous other "intelligent" systems in the car. Want to reprogram your central locks or your Radio? Diagnose a problem with your ABS, Airbags, or Automatic Transmission? Re-align your Immobilizer after swapping ECU's? Reset your Service Reminder Indicators? Communicate with a pre-1996 model (not OBD-II compliant) car? An OBD-II Scan-Tool can't do any of these things. Please see our OBD-II Page for information on using third party generic OBD-II software through our Interface. Want some reasons to choose VAG-COM over a generic OBD-II scan tool? See this Real World Comparison.
Our latest version of VAG-COM adds Generic OBD-II functionality, see the Download Page for more info.