It is not unusual for Audi or VW check engine light to come on with the P0171 code being present.
Finding the best OBD2 scanner for VW and Audi can be a challenge. To help you choose the best scanner for Volkswagen or Audi vehicles, we have reviewed several scanners that are able to read VW/Audi manufacturer codes.
When choosing a scanner to diagnose Audi and Volkswagen problems, you want to find a good scanner that will read and clear manufacture specific codes, from all modules. A good scanner will allow you to read and clear fault codes from Transmission, ABS, Airbag, Climate Control at minimum.
1. Foxwell NT624 Elite
Foxwell NT624 Elite is one of the best scanners for Volkswagen and Audi vehicles. It can read manufacturer codes from all modules and can clear any codes. It has a number of reset functions such as electronic brake reset, service reset, steering angle sensor reset.
What we love about Foxwell NT624 Elite, is that not only does it work on virtually all Volkswagen and Audi vehicles but it works on most car makes including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Honda, Toyota, Ford, Dodge, GMC vehicles.
If Foxwell NT624 is out of your price range, consider the less expensive Foxwell NT510 for VW Audi. It offers all of the same features as the NT624. The only drawback is that it only works on VW and Audi. It does not work on other car makes.
2. Autophix VW Audi Skoda Scanner
The Autophix 7610 VW Audi scanner is designed for Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, and Seat vehicles.
It offers a number of advantages compared to most OBD2 scanners in the same price range.
It can read and clear codes from the transmission unit, EPB, ABS, airbag, DPF, TPMS, Engine. Most OBD2 scanners in this price range can only read and clear data from the engine control unit.
In addition in can reset service reminders such as Oil Light and Brake Pad Wear.
Carista OBD2 Adapter pairs with your smartphone. It is one of best bluetooth VAG OBD2 scanners that will allow you diagnose all systems but also program or code features.
For example, you can use it to disable alarm beep when you lock the car.
Overall it is a powerful scanner with similar features to the VagCom. The only downside is that in order to use advanced features it requires a yearly subscription.
Check compatibility with your model as well. Just because it works on most Audi VW vehicles, it doesn't mean it will work on your model as well.
4. Autel MaxiCOM
If you are looking for a professional level scanner, Autel MaxiCOM is an excellent scanner that provides dealer lever troubleshooting and diagnostics for all cars including Audi and VW vehicles.
It was easy to use and can read, clear, and program most modules. The scanner can be upgraded for free for 1 year. After that, you will need to pay to update the software if you want coverage for newer models.
Autel MaxiCOM is one of the best scanners OBD2 scanners for VW and Audi. It is a cheaper alternative to the popular Snap-On Solus scanner. Many small independent repair shops use the Autel as the primary diagnostic tool.
5. Launch Creader
Launch Creader VII+ can read and clear codes from the engine control unit, ABS, Airbag, and transmission.
One of the reasons why Launch Creader VII+ is so popular is because it can diagnose those for systems in virtually any make not just Audi and VW.
6. iCarsoft VAG-II
iCarsoft VAG-II is a dedicated scanner made by iCarsoft mainly for Audi and VW vehicles. You can also use this scanner on Seat and Skoda vehicles.
iCarsoft is capable of scanning multiple modules on VW and Audi. It can read and clear codes. It can also perform Adaptations, but this function is model dependent.
The software can be updated when new software versions become available. If you are only working on Audi and VW vehicles, iCarsoft is an excellent choice because it allows you to access all modules.
7. Ross-Tech VCDS Software
VCDS by Ross-Tech is another popular diagnostic scanner for Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley vehicles.
It works on all VAG from 1996 to the present. To use the software you will need a laptop, VAG-COM Cable, and VCDS software. VCDS software is available in Professional and Enthusiast version.
The VCDS Lite is available for free but has limited functionality. Professionals and auto mechanics have to spend several hundred dollars on the pro version of the VCDS to unlock all features and programming capabilities of the VCDS.
VCDS allows you to perform Auto-Scan. This mode goes through all the modules and reads all the fault codes. Once the scanning is complete, you will be able to see all the fault codes stored in various modules including Engine, Transmission, Airbag, Traction Control, ABS, Climate Control, etc.
The OBD2 scanners we have listed here are all great scanners for Audi and VW vehicles.
If you are a DIYer and had to choose the best scanner for Volkswagen or Audi, our recommendation would be Foxwell NT624 Elite. You can't go wrong with any of these scanners.
If you are an auto mechanic looking for the best VAG scanner, Autel MaxiCOM All System Scanner is a great and affordable choice.
Having a good VAG-COM scan tool can help Audi/VW owners and mechanics troubleshoot and identify problems without having to go to the dealer.
If you are simply trying to diagnose the check engine light, you need a basic OBD2 Scanner. We do not cover those scanners in this guide. Scanners in this list are more advanced and provide access to several modules including the ECU.