Video training suggestion: Getting the most out of erWin

   #1  

jyoung8607

FoRT
Verified
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
4,092
Location
Cincinnati, OH
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=25607
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? :D

Jason
 
   #2  

Bruce

Active Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2014
Messages
1,330
Reaction score
2,461
Location
Near Philadelphia, PA, USA
VCDS Serial number
--------
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.
 
   #3  

jyoung8607

FoRT
Verified
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
4,092
Location
Cincinnati, OH
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=25607
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:
   #4  

GaryM

Verified VCDS User
Verified
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
400
Reaction score
392
Location
Oxford, UK
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=226919
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.
 
   #5  

jyoung8607

FoRT
Verified
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
4,092
Location
Cincinnati, OH
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=25607
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.

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
 
   #6  

GaryM

Verified VCDS User
Verified
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
400
Reaction score
392
Location
Oxford, UK
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=226919
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?
 
   #7  

jyoung8607

FoRT
Verified
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
4,092
Location
Cincinnati, OH
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=25607
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:
   #8  

Peirre

Verified VCDS User
Verified
Joined
Jun 6, 2016
Messages
22
Reaction score
4
Location
UK
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=277888
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?
 
   #9  

DrPeter

Ross-Tech Employee
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
2,621
Location
16.4905° S, 151.7375° W
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
 
   #10  

Peirre

Verified VCDS User
Verified
Joined
Jun 6, 2016
Messages
22
Reaction score
4
Location
UK
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=277888
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:
   #11  

Uwe

Benevolent Dictator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
29,580
Reaction score
21,106
Location
USA
VCDS Serial number
HC100001
Now the dumb question .....I assume are "SSP's" are self study programs
Correct. As with many other commonly used acronyms, we've taught the forum software what SSP means here. You see how SSP is bold, green, and has a dotted underline? Hover your cursor over it (or any other acronym shown the same way) and the forum software will show you what it means.

-Uwe-
 
   #12  

DrPeter

Ross-Tech Employee
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
2,621
Location
16.4905° S, 151.7375° W
Hi,

Now the dumb question .....I assume are "SSP's" are self study programs
We used to get these from Audi and Volkswagen school, they are a real life saver, information contained within is sometimes not found anywhere else, not even in the repair manuals!

- No question asked is dumb :)


drpeter
 
   #13  

Peirre

Verified VCDS User
Verified
Joined
Jun 6, 2016
Messages
22
Reaction score
4
Location
UK
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=277888
Ok after correcting an issue which blocked me purchasing access time due to incorrectly entering my home address details which resulted in payment being refused, (user ID didn't match Payment details) I've spent the day downloading as many pdf's as possible within my 24hr period. Inc all the SSP's, and the repair files under each vehicle type Inc my own. Have I missed anything?

The only thing I couldn't access was the service and repair section, as my browser (win10) didn't support it
 
Last edited:
   #14  

VAG-Dave

Verified VCDS User
Verified
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
68
Reaction score
53
Location
Scotland
VCDS Serial number
HC806344
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
:thumbs: massively for this!!

I had previously (for years) thought that the only way was to print off the stuff within the time frame of online purchase & connection......& my internet is rubbish, so I decided to not do this even thought I really needed it!!!

I paid for a day, & used win10 "Edge" browser, entered my VIN number. Now in Edge the ERWIN site does not bring up the ELSAPRO?? tech screen specific to your VIN, so you are stuck on the main ERWIN web page look. You have to select the model of car manually, & download each document.

So click download - save as - select folder on computer - that's it easy....thing is the list it brought up contained a huge number of manuals etc. (over 50) so instead of sorting out I down loaded the lot ..so I now have every possible MK7 & MK7.5 Golf, Golf Variant, Golf SV, some Polo & Ameo workshop manuals.

I strongly recommend downloading many of the "self study" manuals, some older ones covering how certain systems work, again easy to download as above in "Edge"...I have found out my engine has a forged steel crankshaft to cope with the extra power it makes!! Also the fact it takes upto 1hr for the TPMS system to fully log the tyre wheel vibrations (not just rotation) every time you press the SET for the TPMS...

You have to use windows "Explorer" to bring up the ELSAPRO? screen to be able to look at the TPI details specific to your VIN & those can only be printed off in the time limit. The TPI's are on the forums (most), some are not, I read them all for my car & printed off the ones which require a fix & work that I would not know if presented with the problem "blind".
 
   #15  

VAG-Dave

Verified VCDS User
Verified
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
68
Reaction score
53
Location
Scotland
VCDS Serial number
HC806344
So 17 days on & the whole ERWIN stuff that I downloaded on my computer has.....

















NOT turned into a pumpkin & disappeared into the ether at night, & has not locked me out with a lock screen asking for my first unborn child, my hind teeth, & right arm!..:D


I will say this, I noticed that my email/username on ERWIN is NOT watermarked in to the documents with the grey cartoon figure..& they used to be....I think VW realised they would get more money by getting rid of the old ways (print off in the time allowed) & allow you to keep. Makes pirate PDF copies pointless now....
 
   #16  

Fredrick Awuor

Verified VCDS User
Verified
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
188
Reaction score
122
Location
Kenya
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=309834
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















Hello,I've tried this numerous times this month with no success,what I get on Erwin when I use VIN is an HTML version, not PDF,I don't know if I'm missing a procedure somewhere or is it because Vw updated to elsapro,any help to the right direction will be greatly appreciated
 
   #17  

Uwe

Benevolent Dictator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
29,580
Reaction score
21,106
Location
USA
VCDS Serial number
HC100001
Hello,I've tried this numerous times this month with no success,what I get on Erwin when I use VIN is an HTML version, not PDF,I don't know if I'm missing a procedure somewhere or is it because Vw updated to elsapro,any help to the right direction will be greatly appreciated
Maybe post some screen shots showing what you get?

-Uwe-
 
   #18  

Fredrick Awuor

Verified VCDS User
Verified
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
188
Reaction score
122
Location
Kenya
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=309834
Maybe post some screen shots showing what you get?

-Uwe-
Thanks Uwe,I'll do this.....it brings a new challenge, how to post the screenshots
 
   #20  

Fredrick Awuor

Verified VCDS User
Verified
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
188
Reaction score
122
Location
Kenya
VCDS Serial number
C?ID=309834
Maybe post some screen shots showing what you get?

-Uwe-
Hello,I've not gotten the cash to purchase a subscription on Erwin again(will be doing so later) but I registered on Erwin NAR site and what a difference, all PDFs by VIN are there on guided search,completely different from Row site and was just wondering if I could key in an Row VW vin on Nar site and get the Fine Books
 
Top