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Thread: Video training suggestion: Getting the most out of erWin

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    FoRT jyoung8607's Avatar
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    Video training suggestion: Getting the most out of erWin

    There are mantras here on the forum: 'go read the repair manual' or 'go read the wiring diagram'. This is often perfectly valid and necessary advice, but I don't think new DIY owners really know how to get started navigating the VW parts and repair data ecosystem, and a simple link to erWin may not be of much help.

    erWin is the best source for repair information, and for newer vehicles, it's the only source. However, anything more than a day-pass to erWin comes with a rather intimidating cost for DIY owners, and I think that turns a lot of people off. Who can read all that stuff in a single day, or spend $225/mo or $1100/yr for continuous access? I know it turned me off for the longest time, although I'm "fortunate" to have cars old enough for Bentley manuals.

    Here's something I didn't know until recently: just about everything on erWin is available in native PDF form, can be saved for offline reading, and doesn't appear to be time-bombed after your pass expires. You can get all the repair manuals, WDs, component locations, and training SSPs plus a PDF copy of your vehicle's PR code list. You can still look over the TSBs and Tech Tips; you just have to Print (to dead-tree or a PDF converter) any of those you want to save.

    For the cost of a $35 day-pass and a little legwork, anyone can have permanent legitimate offline access to everything they need to know about their car, including the SSPs. I don't think this is widely known or appreciated. I think DIY owners would benefit from seeing an example erWin session on Youtube, showing how to locate and save all the important stuff.

    Jef, are you looking for a new training video project?

    Jason

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  3. #2
    Ross-Tech Employee
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    To any who call Ross-Tech and speak to Sales, we try to tell them about erWin and the need for "reams of paper."

    Thanks Jason. This post should help new users to understand that the $35 day pass will allow the user to print content and save it. Some form of pdf writer would be a wise addition to one's web surfing device.

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    FoRT jyoung8607's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    Thanks Jason. This post should help new users to understand that the $35 day pass will allow the user to print content and save it. Some form of pdf writer would be a wise addition to one's web surfing device.
    Bruce, you don't even need that. They let you download and save the PDFs directly. No need to cut down a forest or play games with print-to-PDF converters, except for TSBs and Tech Tips if you need those.

    $35 gets you fully legit offline PDFs of your car's repair manuals, wiring diagrams, self-study programs, and your PR data sheet, just for the time of saving them. It just works. The PDFs have some stupid warning wrapper, but it's not a time-bomb or copy protection, it's a lawyer-language clickthrough about not hurting yourself doing repairs. And you can get rid of that annoyance by disabling JavaScript in your PDF reader.

    Jason















    Last edited by jyoung8607; 06-04-2015 at 08:34 AM. Reason: Adding repair and WD examples

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    Verified VCDS User GaryM's Avatar
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    How does the ability to save to PDFs work?

    Are there native links in erWin to download the PDFs or do you just have to do a "print to PDF" of each web page from your browser? Having to do the latter sometimes results in ugly results where the saved PDFs sometimes aren't always formatted very well (wholly dependent on the layout of the pages) and don't span A4 PDF pages very nicely.

    Without seeing a demonstration of erWin in action, I'm quite reluctant to purchase a day pass and then find out it's not what I expect, turns out to be complicated to navigate, or that I jus end up with offline documents that are less than satisfactory.

    I'm surprised the VAG group haven't already released a tutorial demonstration video of erWin. If they did and people could then see exactly what was available and how it actually worked I'm sure the VAG group would start to see their income increase from people who would then be happy shelling out for a day pass. I think it's the complete unknown for $35 that probably puts a lot of people off.


    EDIT: OK, cross-posted with Jason. I think his post probably mitigates the concerns I had now that I can see from the screenshots how it's actually done. I still thing a video showing the actual interactive navigation would be a great idea though.

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    FoRT jyoung8607's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
    How does the ability to save to PDFs work?
    As above, as I see you noticed. I went back and edited in an example of a repair guide and a wiring diagram too.

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
    I think it's the complete unknown for $35 that probably puts a lot of people off.
    Unknown, yes. For me, also the perception that all that stuff turns back into a pumpkin at midnight. But it doesn't!

    Jason

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    Verified VCDS User GaryM's Avatar
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    How long do you reckon it would take to download ALL the PDFs that are relevant to a particular model of car? Is there any way to do a bulk download of the PDFS or are there literally hundreds (or thousands?) of documents that you have to first find and then manually click individually to get each of the PDFs?

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    FoRT jyoung8607's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
    How long do you reckon it would take to download ALL the PDFs that are relevant to a particular model of car? Is there any way to do a bulk download of the PDFS or are there literally hundreds (or thousands?) of documents that you have to first find and then manually click individually to get each of the PDFs?
    Depends on how obsessed you are. If you grab absolutely every repair, wiring, and diagnostic doc related to the car, that's around 50 documents for my ride. Add another 20 or so if you download every SSP even tangentially related to my car as well, and mine has an unusually large number of SSPs.

    It does take a manual click to download each one, but there's no navigating back-and-forth and you can have three or four downloading in parallel. Someone who's never used the site before, and is taking their time to poke around, and waits for every download to finish before continuing could easily have it all in under 60 minutes on a decent internet connection.

    Jason
    Last edited by jyoung8607; 06-04-2015 at 09:15 AM.

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    Bump

    To ensure I downloaded all the info for my model car and/or info specific to my VIN, what is the "to do list" of items to ensure I don't miss anything?

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    Ross-Tech Employee DrPeter's Avatar
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    Hello,


    To ensure I downloaded all the info for my model car and/or info specific to my VIN, what is the "to do list" of items to ensure I don't miss anything?

    erWin checklist (suggested):
    - 24-hour subscription to erWin Factory Repair Manuals
    - Vehicle VIN number
    - Some hard drive space
    - I use a 'print to pdf' printer add on like Bullzip PDF Printer or CutePDF Writer
    - case of Mt.Dew

    What to save/print?
    - All wiring diagrams and component locators (90% of what I use when I was at the dealer was in these documents)
    - SSPs are worth their weight in at least silver if not gold.
    - If you feel you need to print/save repair manual information, then this process of printing/saving will take a lot longer, tons of info/docs in there!


    Hope this helps,

    drpeter

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    Thanks
    As a taster I tried last night to buy a 1hr subscription with my MC last night but despite several attempts the site wouldn't take my payment. The same happened with another MC. However I was lucky as around 20 minutes after trying and giving up, there was an electrical storm which cut power to my home for 15-20 mins, which in hindsight saved me.
    As for pdf printer, I have adode pdf so I have temporally set that as my default printer. Whether that will label the download with the correct file title once I start, saving me copying and pasting the title I'll soon find out.

    Now the dumb question .....I assume are "SSP's" are self study programs
    Last edited by Peirre; 06-16-2016 at 03:36 AM.

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