Every Audi/VW owner needs a good Audi/VW scan tool. These devices diagnose and correct problems with your vehicle. The best should work with any Volkswagen (VW) or Audi vehicle out of the box with an affordable price. You can pull the reports right in your garage without a visit to your local repair shop.
On the surface, a VW or Audi code reader is just an OBD2 scanner compatible with VW or Audi vehicles. While any On-Board Diagnostic Version 2 (OBD2) tool should theoretically work, many VW and Audi cars do not have fully OBD2-complaint systems. They have many manufacturer-specific features that require a dedicated tool to fully troubleshoot them.
All the following devices come loaded with the basics. They all display the diagnostics trouble codes (DTC) your vehicle stores in its computer whenever it detects an issue, but they also do much, much more. Most of them are professional audio shop suites. Others only come with a few advanced features. Either way, these 9 devices have what it takes to help keep your Audi driving down the highway.
- 1 Best Audi/VW Scan Tools Review
- 1.1 1. ANCEL VD500 OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner for VW Audi
- 1.2 2. XTOOL VAG401 Scan Tool for VW/ Audi
- 1.3 3. Voltas OBDeleven PRO Edition OBD2 Scanner for Android
- 1.4 4. Carista OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter for VW Audi for Android and iOS
- 1.5 5. AUTOPHIX V007 Code Reader for VW Audi
- 1.6 6. Autel MST505 OBD2 Code Reader Full-System for VW Audi
- 1.7 7. FOXWELL NT510 Automotive Full-System Diagnostic Scan Tool for VW Audi
- 1.8 8. iCarsoft i908 Diagnostic Code Reader for Audi /VW/Seat/Skoda
- 1.9 9. Memoscan U281 OBD2 Code Reader
- 2 The Bottom Line
Best Audi/VW Scan Tools Review
|Editor's Picks||Products||Our Rating|
|Best Overall||ANCEL VD500 OBD2||9.5/10|
|Runner Up||XTOOL VAG401 Scan Tool||9.5/10|
|Best Budget Buy||Voltas OBDeleven PRO Edition||8.5/10|
|Best Value||Carista OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter||8.5/10|
|Also Great||AUTOPHIX V007||7.5/10|
1. ANCEL VD500 OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner for VW Audi
If you are on a budget, you may want to look into getting an ANCEL VD500. Because it covers all the basic OBD2 systems such as EPB, ABS, SRS, Oil Throttle Position, Adaption Brake Pads, and others. This VW Audi scan tool is a perfect starter tool for owners. It even does tire pressure and battery management systems. You can even disable lost keys for added vehicle protection.
As an Audi OBD2 scanner, the VD500 is compatible with any OBD2-compliant vehicle, but ANCEL made it specifically for Volkswagen. Besides the basic OBD2 functions, it comes with several functions specific to the Audi brand. Either way, if your vehicle is compatible, the VD500 will automatically detect your vehicle’s make and model through its Auto-VIN technology.
- Compatible with every OBD2-compliant VW and Audi vehicles
- Very affordable for its range of functions
- English and German menu language options
- Complete OBD2 system diagnostics
- Offers VW and Audi specific functions
- Compatibility issues with some older models
- No live data or freeze frame data support
Who is it for?
The ANCEL VD500 is a great entry-level scan tool for anyone with a VW vehicle including both DIYers and enthusiasts.Check Price at Amazon
2. XTOOL VAG401 Scan Tool for VW/ Audi
XTOOL’s VAG401 Scan Tool is among the more basic VW and Audi tools, supporting all OBD2 protocols. It is a plug and play device that automatically run diagnostics function as soon as you plug it into your vehicle, which means it displays your Audi’s DTCs immediately. This is because it has no internal battery and gets all its power from your vehicle.
This Audi diagnostic tool can read codes and erase codes from the engine, ABS, transmission, airbag, and other available systems. You can also stream live data and conduct tests to check for faulty components.
In addition, it just cannot display freeze frames. So, you will need another OBD2 scanner to truly diagnose every system in your vehicle. At least, the VAG401 will show you the health of Audi’s engine as well as its fuel economy.
While the toll does not do freeze frames, that does not mean you cannot use it to evaluate the emissions of your Audi or VW. You can use the device to check I/M readiness, which will tell you if there is an emissions problem or if the vehicle will pass a smog test.
Although the above features are nice, they are not what makes the VAG401 a great Audi scan tool. That belongs to the included system programming features.
Being able to adapt and code every part of your Audi, the device can do things you would only find on more expensive, high-end OBD2 scanners. This alone makes the VAG401 a great Audi scan tool/ VW scan tool for its price range.
- Very affordable; great value for money
- Memory card for updating software and saving reports
- Portable, handheld device
- Adapt and code system performance
- Can retrieve immobilizer PIN codes
- Perform actuation tests and stream live data
- No freeze frame data
- Some units have Chinese as the default language
- Some features are slow and prone to failure
Who is it for?
While it has a lot of neat features, the VAG401 will only help Audi enthusiast and small garage owners.Check Price at Amazon
3. Voltas OBDeleven PRO Edition OBD2 Scanner for Android
Voltas’s ODBeleven Pro scan tool itself is just a small square you plug into your Audi’s OBD2 port and just leave it there. It has no screen or buttons.
The device just sits there sending data to the OBDEleven app on your Android device via a Bluetooth link. While this is not new for OBD2 scanners, please note that some of the app features will require an additional charge beyond the initial cost of the device itself.
Despite this drawback, the ODBEleven has many great features that might make it worth the costs. Out of the box, this dongle can identify your Audi automatically through its VIN, and then display every DTC in any subsystem. That includes the engine, ABS, transmission, and airbag. You can even clear and reset these codes as you deal with them.
As the name suggests, the tool is a complete OBD2 device for your Audi. Besides the basics, it lets you reset the oil service, relearn brake pad configurations, change the lights, view freeze frames, program and adapt the various subsystems of your Audi or VW. You can even stream live data to test the components individually.
- Small enough to leave attached to the vehicle
- Complete OBD2 functionality
- Stream live data
- Bluetooth wireless connectivity
- Auto-VIN technology
- No third-party app support
- Compatible with only Android devices
- In-app purchases can make it expensive
Who is it for?
Because it is a complete OBD2 VAG-COM scanner, every VW and Audi enthusiast and DIYer should consider having the OBDEleven in their vehicles. You will need an Android device, but you cannot beat the versatility.Check Price at Amazon
4. Carista OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter for VW Audi for Android and iOS
This is another Bluetooth Audio diagnostic tool. The Carista has no display or buttons on the tool itself. Instead, it works with your OBD2 mobile app to give you complete access to your Audi or VW vehicle.
You can also use any OBD2 app as well. There is a Carista app, but you are free to use any app your mobile device supports, and the adapter works well with both iOS and Android.
It is already known to work with OBD Car Doctor, OBD Auto Doctor, OBD Fusion, and Torque Pro out of the box. In fact, the number of available features largely depends on the app you use.
Like any OBD2, it comes with all the core OBD2 functions. It can read and clear DTCs from your VW or Audi’s engine, ABS, airbag, transmission, and engine. This tool can even reset the Check Engine, ABS, and airbag warning lights. Also, the product can even special VW and Audi-only functions such as resetting the service light, EPB retraction, and ECU management.
The Carista product is also small enough to leave attached to your vehicle for live data streaming.
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Full OBD2 functionality
- Companion app works on both iOS and Android
- Works well with third-party apps
- Special Audi and VW only functions
- Small, compact, and lightweight enough to leave plugged in for live data
- Carista app has in-app purchases
- Can drain the battery
Who is it for?
The Carista is a great scan tool for anyone who has and Audi or VW in their garage.Check Price at Amazon
5. AUTOPHIX V007 Code Reader for VW Audi
Autophinx put all the most important features into their V007 Code Reader. With a name that brings visions of James Bond films, this interesting handheld device can manage your vehicle’s oil service light, DPF re-generation, as well as other advance OBD2 functions besides basics such as reading and clearing codes.
If your Audi or VW is OBD2-compliant, this tool offers these functions at a very affordable price. From its simple interface, you have access to a complete library of OBD2 functions and subsystems.
This includes the ABS and SRS, engine, and transmission along with over 120 other systems built into your Audi or VW car or light truck. There is nothing you cannot do with this scanner, except draw live data or retrieve freeze frames.
- Compact, portable handheld
- Compatible with all OBD2-compliant Audi and VW vehicles
- Full OBD2 functionality
- 2.8-inch clear display with an easy to use interface
- Standalone device
- No live data streaming
- No freeze frame reading or processing
Who is it for?
The V007 is perfect for auto mechanics from the novice all the way to the professional. DIY Audi lovers would love it as well.Check Price at Amazon
6. Autel MST505 OBD2 Code Reader Full-System for VW Audi
Autel made this scanner for 1990 and later VW, Skoda, and Audi modules, making the MST505 a reliable Audi coder reader if you have one of them.
Out of the box, the MST5050 lets you rest the warning lights, erase trouble codes, stream live data and I/M readiness, and so much more. It even does Audi freeze-frame and EPB processing. It is a complete OBD scan tool, giving you access to the entire vehicle.
Beyond the software, Autel made this scanner durable. Its rubber and plastic casing are highly resistant to damage and scratches. So, you can leave it plugged in to record your live data even on bumpy roads. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty anything does go wrong.
- Durable rubber construction
- Full range of OBD2 function
- Easy to use interface
- Live data streaming and recording
- Affordable, light weight, reliable machine
- No built-in batteries
- Restarts frequently and without warning
Who is it for?
Autel made this VAG-COM scanner for the both enthusiast and professional mechanic. It has the advanced features you need to get your Adui, VW, or Skoda back on the road.Check Price at Amazon
7. FOXWELL NT510 Automotive Full-System Diagnostic Scan Tool for VW Audi
While it is a full Audi coder reader, the Foxwell NT510 provides little more than most Audi and VW owners and fans need and want. Besides the basic OBD2 features, it offers bi-directional controls, six service functions, active tests, and several relearn and adaptation functions.
Moreover, it can read and erase the usual codes from every available OBD2-compliant system and then turn off the associated warning lights. Through it all, the NT510 has everything you need to properly maintain your VW or Audi car. Heck, it can even manage your vehicle’s TPMS and brake system.
Overall, it is one of the most cost-effective Audi scan tools out there.
- Compatible with OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles
- Rugged, ergonomic design for the road and shop
- Advanced VW and Audi functions
- Free software updates
- Small and compact enough for live data streaming
- Multi-language interface
- Some compatibility issues with newer models
- Frequently freezes when displaying a lot of data
- Complicated updating procedure
Who is it built for?
Foxwell made the NT510 for everyone from the novice and professional mechanics to the DIY Audi car owners. It has everything you need to bring the most out of your vehicle.Check Price at Amazon
8. iCarsoft i908 Diagnostic Code Reader for Audi /VW/Seat/Skoda
If you need something professional, you can go with iCarsoft’s i908 Diagnostic Coder Reader. Designed specifically for Audi vehicles, it provides a complete Audi diagnostic solution on its colorful TFT screen.
Hence, it is the best OBD2 scanner for VW. Unlike the most popular brand out there, this tool has it all as offers a full line up of OBD2 functions for any VW or Audi vehicle.
This tool supports all OBD2 protocols including CAN, ISO9141, KWP2000 and J1850 to give you access to every OBD2-system and feature in your vehicle. It will even stream live data from the powertrain, engine, transmission, and other available systems.
Sure, its internal database only does cars between 2005 and 2014, you can easily update it for new vehicles as needed. Many owners even report being able to get the device to work on older models as well.
- Supports all OBD2 protocols and functions
- 320 x 240P, full-color, 2.8-inch TFT display
- Full system diagnostic coverage
- Multi-lingual interface and DTC definitions
- Access to free expert advice from professional engineers
- Feels solid and well-made
- Lacks service and other maintenance functions
- Designed specifically for 2005 through 2014 vehicles
- Compatibility varies outside this model range
Who is it for?
Because of the compatibility issues, the i908 is best for Audi owners and DIYers with vehicles made with 2005 and 2014.Check Price at Amazon
9. Memoscan U281 OBD2 Code Reader
The Memoscan U281 OBD2 Volkswagen code reader is CAN-protocol OBD2 scanner for your VW, Skoda, and Audio vehicle. It provides multiple Audi OBD standard and manufacturer-specific error codes in a standalone package.
Furthermore, it supports a crystal clear, a backlit LCD display that makes it very easy to access the tool’s intuitive interface and functions. Through it, you can read and erase codes from your Audi’s ABS, airbag, transmission, and the engine. You can even use it to create a continuous scan that mimics live data streaming.
Finally, it also supports Auto-VIN which lets it automatically identify your vehicle.
- Support CAN and other current OND2 protocols
- Read and clears basic OBD2 trouble codes
- Crystal clear, backlit LCD display
- Standalone device, no computer needed
- No batteries needed
- No Multi-language support
- Issues with some airbags
Who is it built for?
While it does not have the advanced features professionals needed, Audi, VW, and Skoda car owners and DIYers will find some use of it.Check Price at Amazon
The Bottom Line
In short, Audi and other Volkswagen vehicles come with several Volkswagen-specific features, making them difficult to maintain with generic OBD2 tools. Therefore, if you work or own Audi vehicles, you wand a good Audi scan tool to diagnose any problems that may pop up. However, not every tool will work for every salutation, and you need the one that best matches your needs.
Fortunately, the tools above work well in multiple situations, making them worthy of being called the best. They have the features Audi owners need at prices you can afford. If you need help deciding on which to get, feel free to contact us and we will point you in the right direction for keeping your car on the road.
Read more: 5 Best GM Scan Tools Review 2021