Are you trying to find out what is the best scanners for my Audi & Volkswagen? There are a lot of OBD-II scanners that you can use, but here we focus on VW and Audi scanners that allow you to diagnose all vehicle systems and control units.
It is wise to invest in a scanner that can troubleshoot the engine control module and Transmission Module, Airbag Module, Climate Control, Body Control Module, ABS Module, Seat Modules, Light Modules, etc. Let’s take look at a few OBD2 scanners that can do just that.
1. YOUCANIC Full System Scanner
We tested a lot of scanners trying to find the best scanner to use in our garage. What we found is that:
- Many scanner manufacturers make scanners that require a yearly subscription.
- Can diagnose one make but doesn’t work on all different car makes. You will have to pay more to cover other vehicle makes.
- Can’t diagnose all vehicle systems. May only diagnose the engine, airbag, transmission, and ABS problems. That’s only 4 systems. Modern cars can have up to 40+ systems.
- Don’t support bi-direction support for sensor testing and activation.
If you wanted a scanner that can do all these, you have to spend thousands of dollars and most likely pay a yearly subscription.
The YOUCANIC full system scanner:
- Works on all makes.
- Can read and clear codes from all vehicle control units.
- View live data from any sensor.
- Bi-direction support to activate and test sensors and motors.
- Reset functions depending on model
If that is not enough, keep in mind that the YOUCANIC scanner does not require a yearly subscription as other professional-level tools do. We believe that the YOUCANIC scanner offers the best OBD2 for the money for auto mechanics and DIYers.
Don’t want to buy a scanner? We still want to help you fix your vehicle in an economical way. We created a scanner rental program that allows you to use the scanner for a few days on as many cars as you like.
We have a ton of how-to video showing you how to troubleshoot car problems. Once you get the codes, the YOUCANIC technicians can help you with any questions you may have.
2. Autophix VW Audi Skoda Scanner
The Autophix 7610 VW Audi scanner is designed for Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, and Seat vehicles. It offers many advantages compared to most OBD2 scanners in the same price range.
It can read and clear codes from the transmission unit, EPB, ABS, airbag, PDF, TPMS, and Engine. Most OBD2 scanners in this price range can only read and clear data from the engine control unit. Also, it can reset service reminders such as Oil Light and Brake Pad Wear.
Carista OBD2 Adapter pairs with your smartphone. It is one of the best Bluetooth VAG OBD2 scanners that will allow you to diagnose all systems and program or code features. For example, you can use it to disable the alarm beep when you lock the car.
Overall it is a powerful scanner with similar features to the VagCom. The only downside is that using advanced features 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 is easy to use and can read, clear, and program most modules.
The scanner can be upgraded for free for one 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 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 of virtually any make, not just Audi and VW.
Launch Creader vs. FIXD Sensor
Launch Creader VII+ scanner is a better alternative to the FIXD scanner. FIXD scanner can diagnose only engine modules, while Launch Creader VII+ can diagnose engine, engine, transmission, ABS, and airbag.
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, and Bentley vehicles.
It has worked on all VAG from 1996 to the present. You will need a laptop, VAG-COM Cable, and VCDS software to use the software. VCDS software is available in the Professional and Enthusiast version.
The VCDS Lite is available for free but has limited functionality. Professionals and auto mechanics must 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 see all the fault codes stored in various modules, including Engine, Transmission, Airbag, Traction Control, ABS, Climate Control, etc.
What’s the best scanner for Audi & VW?
The OBD2 scanners we have listed here are all great scanners for Audi and VW vehicles.
If you are a DIYer and choose the best scanner for Volkswagen or Audi, we recommend YOUCANIC full-system scanner. With that said, you can’t go wrong with any of these scanners.
If you are an auto mechanic looking for the best VAG scanner, YOUCANIC All System Scanner is a great and affordable choice. A good VAG-COM scan tool can help Audi/VW owners and mechanics troubleshoot and identify problems without going to the dealer.
If you are 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.
We hope you find this guide, “Best OBD2 Scanners for your Audi/Volkswagen,” helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Audi / Volkswagen vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is FIXD a good scanner for Audi?
No. Many review sites list FIXD Scanner and Autel MaxiScan MS300 or MS309 as good scanners for VW and Audi. Still, we have found that these scanners have limited functionality regarding Volkswagen and Audi vehicles.
Can a generic OBD2 code reader diagnose Audi codes?
The generic OBD-II scanners will allow you to connect to the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and diagnose the Check Engine Light or view live data from sensors that send data to the ECU. VW / Audi vehicles have on average 30 modules, including the Engine Control Unit, and these generic scanners can not troubleshoot most of these modules.
Have questions about your car? Get assistance in our newly launched forum section. We’re here to provide support!