How to Read VW Fault Codes

Vehicle:   Volkswagen
Difficulty: ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪
DIY Cost: $110-$250
Est. Time: 20 min

In this guide, we will show you how to read the Volkswagen fault codes just like the dealer does. To read VW codes, you will need an OBD-II scanner that can read VW codes. Generic OBD-II scanners aren't recommended because they often will not show a fault code even when a DTC code is stored in one of the modules. 

How to read VW fault codes

This is how to read fault codes from all the modules. The same procedure is carried out by the Volkswagen dealership and typically costs $130-$165.

  1. Get a VW OBD2 All System Scanner
  2. Connect the scanner to the OBD-II port under the dashboard. Driver's side. vw obd2 port

     

  3. Turn on the ignition but do not start the engine. turn on ignition diagnose read fault codes

     

  4. Turn on the scanner and select VW from the model list.  Diagnose VW codes
  5. Press OK to read VIN. 
  6. Select a Health Check or Auto-Scan to allow the scanner to read the fault codes from all the modules. Read VW Fault Codes
  7. Review all the modules that have fault codes. Pay attention to ACTIVE codes. VW Fault Codes

     

You need to pay close attention to codes that show as ACTIVE or PRESENT. Those codes indicate a current problem that needs to be fixed. 

Codes that show as stored or passive can be cleared by going back to the main menu and selecting Clear Fault Codes. 

On average, a Volkswagen vehicle, such as Jetta, Golf, Passat, Tiguan, Routan, Eos, etc., will have fifteen modules such as engine control module (ECU), transmission module, ABS module, airbag/srs module, climate control module, window module, etc. Every single module can store fault codes. A fault code is stored in a module detects that one or more of the sensors that it monitors is operating out of range. 

Why my OBD-II scanner shows no codes? 

To read those codes, you will need a Volkswagen OBD-II scanner.

Please don't use a generic OBD-II scanner because they typically only read fault codes from the engine control module (ECM). If you try to read codes related to other modules such as airbag, transmission, ABS, traction control, etc., it will show no code. 

To get a full picture of what is wrong with your VW, get a good scanner that can read and clear fault codes from all modules. 

By YOUCANIC Automotive Experts
Dec 2020
How to Read VW Fault Codes In this guide, we will show you how to read the Volkswagen fault codes just like the dealer does. To read VW codes, you will need an OBD-II scanner that can read VW codes. Generic OBD-II scanners aren't recommended because they often will not show a fault code even when a DTC code is stored in one of the modules.