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Thread: VCDS Limitations when replacing new moules on a MQB Platform

  1. #1
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    VCDS Limitations when replacing new moules on a MQB Platform

    This is just a general question for more experienced users. I have been looking into few retrofits on MQB platform and noticed that there are some real limitations when adding brand new modules into the system. For example, I would like to update door modules to add more functionalities(folding mirrors, ambient light, 360 camera etc) but it appears I would need more advanced VW tools(odis). I have been using VCDS for 9+ years and I feel like there were not as many limitations in the past. Of course security related modules, like immobilizer or instrument clusters always had some limitations.
    Anyway, I still love my VCDS and I think its worth every penny but I would like to understand its limitations on a MQB platform. The more I know the less chances to screw up (component protection, bricked modules etc)

    Thank you
    Last edited by OEMplusCC; 09-30-2019 at 10:53 PM.

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    MQB is a first step to more VAG controlled aftersales. Even ODIS won’t be the solution as parameterization and coding of retrofitted modules online is not possible (at least not in conventional way).

    In coming platforms I read somewhere that VAG is introducing encrypted diagnostic connection to the car which will make things even more difficult.

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    Thank you OEMplusCC for being a long time user of VCDS. We appreciate your support.

    Unfortunately, as Downtime has said, the trend is toward more restriction by VAG (and all other OE's).

    That does not mean that the Ross-Tech team is not looking for solutions - we are. But like the change that occurred with the UDS/ODX protocol, it took years of hard work by our team to master that. Perhaps some will say we still have not mastered it. UDS first showed up in 2009. Ross-Tech purchased one of the first Audis delivered in the US that had UDS capabilities. Our incredible team has worked constantly to build full implementation. And yet, there is always more to be done.

    The changes to parameterization and encryption may preclude aftermarket tools from making the changes we have been used to accomplishing. Ross-Tech does not give up easily and will continue to work toward possible solutions.

    Remember too that VCDS was designed primarily as a diagnostic tool. The modifications and tweaks that can be accomplished using the tool were an added benefit provided through the ability to code modules. VCDS was never intended as a modification tool. We expect that diagnostic functions will continue to be available to the aftermarket. The issue will be whether or not module replacement and coding will continue to be available.

    We do not know where this all may lead. We do not at present have all answers (will we ever?). Perhaps we can keep this thread open and alive to let others know our findings and our progress.

    - Bruce
    Director of Operations, Marketing and Sales

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    Thank you for your responses! This is the exact response I was looking for. I like the tool just want to understand its retrofit limitations on a MQB platform.
    One workaround that seems to work on MQB platform is to always use a used module from the same car. Usually that's just plug and play plus some minor coding adaptation changes. Of course this is only true for "less important" modules such as door, trunk modules, headlight modules etc.

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    ^ That is true. That's the most convenient way. Does not help retrofitters though, as getting a used module from a similar car might be very difficult. Also in some cases when you're adding something that model never had, it is then impossible to get an used module.

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    I wonder what the aftermarket/retrofit/enthusiast portion of a manufacturer's market is worth to said manufacturer?

    Some would say it's worth nothing as they don't get a cut, but it does influence a certain portion of the market as to which brand they buy based on what is available to them in the aftermarket/tuning scene.

    At least in Australia the tuning/modification scene appears to have moved from Japanese brands (Honda/Subaru/Mitsubishi etc) to German (VAG/BMW/Merc) in the last 15 years or so. (helped also by the closing of all local car manufacturing). Sure partly that's because of the dearth of interesting vehicles being released by the former, but if a manufacturer actively seeks to enable the aftermarket to thrive around their brand that's got to be worth some significant sales?

    It seems that the new Supra has been developed with some specific thought towards tuners so it will be interesting to see what happens in that space.

    The barrier for entry now for a lot of VAG retrofits is certainly higher and it does make some of them extremely frustrating, however it can also increase the satisfaction level when you do finally get something working.

    It would be great if there was one tool 'to rule them all' when it comes to diagnostics and retrofits etc but VCDS remains my most useful and regularly used tool in general.
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtime View Post
    MQB is a first step to more VAG controlled aftersales. Even ODIS won’t be the solution as parameterization and coding of retrofitted modules online is not possible (at least not in conventional way).
    The lack of a parameter data loading feature seems to be a recurrent complaint from VCDS users. It could help retrofitters a lot if there was something like a "backup/restore data" feature that could allow users to, instead of having to buy a used module, just copying its data from another car or using data posted on some kind of repository similar to the "Reference Scans and Maps of Non-Broken Cars" section of the Forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronaldo View Post
    The lack of a parameter data loading feature seems to be a recurrent complaint from VCDS users. It could help retrofitters a lot if there was something like a "backup/restore data" feature that could allow users to, instead of having to buy a used module, just copying its data from another car or using data posted on some kind of repository similar to the "Reference Scans and Maps of Non-Broken Cars" section of the Forum.
    My understanding is that parameterization can be loaded (written), but not read back from most modules.

    -Uwe-
    The engineering problems are likely insurmountable. It would be like proposing to land a rocket booster section on a barge floating in the middle of the ocean.

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    In regards to new module parameterization/installing new/used modules. Is there a current a list of MQB platform components that are known to have Component Protection(CP) build in. I'm assuming all main modules would have that, i.e instrument cluster, can gateway, radio etc. However a list of 'Do have' and 'Don't have' modules would be nice!


    Side question about component protection, is it possible to "revert" when component protection kicks in? For example, I install a new module and get CP error. Can I reinstall the original module to remove component protection? Or is the only option visit to a dealer? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uwe View Post
    My understanding is that parameterization can be loaded (written), but not read back from most modules.

    -Uwe-
    Yes, I haven't seen such feature in other tools either. I was just wondering if reading flash memory or getting a memory dump would be a standard feature of UDS protocol that could be used to get such data.

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