VCDS Lite 1.2: A Low Cost Diagnostic Solution for Older VW/Audi Group Cars
If you own an older (pre-2006) VW, Audi, Seat or Skoda car that does not require a direct CAN diagnostic connection, you may be looking for a low cost diagnostic solution that can perform most of the functions that the dealers' tools can do. In this article, we will introduce you to VCDS Lite 1.2, a Windows-based software that works with generic 3rd-party interfaces or some of the old Ross-Tech interfaces.
What is VCDS Lite 1.2?
VCDS Lite 1.2 is a software that allows you to access and diagnose various control modules in your car, such as the engine, transmission, ABS, airbag, instruments, etc. You can read and clear fault codes, view live data, perform basic settings, output tests and more. VCDS Lite 1.2 is based on the well-known VAG-COM software that has been used by thousands of VW/Audi enthusiasts and professionals for many years.
What are the benefits of VCDS Lite 1.2?
VCDS Lite 1.2 has several benefits over other diagnostic solutions:
It is low cost: You can download the free shareware version that does quite a lot, or you can register it for a one-time fee of $99 and get access to more advanced functions.
It is easy to use: You just need a Windows PC and a compatible interface to connect to your car's OBD-II port. The software has a user-friendly interface and guides you through the diagnostic process.
It is reliable: VCDS Lite 1.2 has been extensively tested and updated by Ross-Tech, the leading developer of diagnostic software for VW/Audi Group cars.
It is comprehensive: VCDS Lite 1.2 covers most of the control modules that are available in older cars, and provides detailed information and label files for each module.
What are the limitations of VCDS Lite 1.2?
VCDS Lite 1.2 is not a perfect solution for every situation. There are some limitations that you should be aware of before using it:
It does not work with CAN-Bus vehicles: If your car requires a direct CAN diagnostic connection (such as most 2006 and newer cars), you will need a different software and interface, such as VCDS (non-Lite).
It does not have some of the features of VCDS (non-Lite): For example, it does not support generic OBD-II, advanced measuring blocks, acceleration measurement, etc.
It does not have built-in activation: You will need to register and activate the software online using your serial number and activation code. You can only activate it on one PC at a time.
It does not have tech support from Ross-Tech: If you encounter any problems or have any questions, you will need to rely on online forums or other sources of help.
How to get started with VCDS Lite 1.2?
If you are interested in trying out VCDS Lite 1.2, here are the steps you need to follow:
Download and install VCDS Lite 1.2 from Ross-Tech's website. Make sure you install it on your PC's hard disk and not on a floppy or CD.
Get a compatible interface to connect your PC to your car's OBD-II port. Ross-Tech does not sell interfaces for VCDS Lite 1.2, but you can find many generic 3rd-party interfaces online or use some of the old Ross-Tech interfaces (such as HEX, KEY, KII or Micro-CAN). We recommend getting an interface that is based on an FTDI FT232 chip for better compatibility.
Turn on your car's ignition switch (no need to start the engine) and connect the interface to your PC and your car.