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Thread: Cleared my CEL

  1. #1
    Junior Member Plug's Avatar
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    Cleared my CEL

    Greetings, Citizens.

    A couple of weeks back the check engine light came on in the Beetle. Bugger. But the car was running fine, so I put it down as "I'll get that looked at".

    This morning, I managed to reset it myself, using nothing more than an old iPhone 4, an app I downloaded for free and an 8 OBDII reader I bought from eBay months back.

    I thought this might be useful for others, it took a few attempts as the app seems a bit flaky (but it's free, so it'd be rude to complain) but here's how I managed it.

    Firstly, the ODBII reader - one like this (there's lots of them on the 'bay, I think the thing to look for is the ELM327 chip):

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WiFi-OBD2...l/253497201586

    And the app (works from iOS v6, it says, I think the old iPhone I used is on something like 7.3.5):

    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/iobd2/id528881858

    This connects via wifi only on the iPhone (the android version can use Bluetooth as well).

    The procedure took a few goes to get right. This is how I did it:

    1. Plug the reader into the OBD port (under the steering wheel, to the right). A few of the LEDs flash.

    2. Go to settings on the phone and connect the wifi, it's called OBD2 or something obvious.

    3. Switch on the ignition, but don't start the car.

    4. Launch the app, wait for the home screen to come up. You'll need to go into settings and tell the app what sort of car you're running. There were settings in there already for my car (Beetle 2.0) so that was straightforward.

    5. Start the car and wait for the app to search and find out what it's connected to. Messages at the top of home screen let you know what protocols it's trying, until it finds the right one. This can take a minute or so.

    6. Once the app has figured out communication with the car, it will say something like "Connection successful" and the wifi icon at the top of the screen will go from red to blue. You're in.

    7. You can then go into the "Dashboard" section of the app, you should be able to rev the engine and watch the digital rev counter go up and down. It's a bit sluggish, but hey.

    8. Exit out of this and go into the "Diagnostic" section and select "Trouble code". Mine came up with something about the cat not working efficiently. Seems believable, the car's 16 years old. And, to my joy, it offers to reset the code. Go on, then. Then you have to switch off and restart the car. Hey presto, no more CEL! Result.

    I'm sure the VW dealer would have been very happy to lighten my wallet for a considerable amount to perform the same function, but they're not getting their hands on my cash today. I've taken the car out for a run and so far the CEL hasn't made a re-appearance, so it looks like it's done the trick (for now, at least).

    Hope this helps someone in the same position.

    Cheers,

    Plug
    2003 Beetle Cabriolet 2.0 8v Petrol, Auto

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  3. #2
    Administrator Crasher's Avatar
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    Did you make a note of the stored code?
    2003 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate. APR 98RON remap, APR R1 diverter valve, Jetex exhaust, K&N panel filter, 7.5x18 Alutec Monstr wheels with 225/40 18 Uniroyal Rainsport 3 tyres.
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  4. #3
    Administrator Keithuk's Avatar
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    ELM327 is an old scanner not really compatible with VAG vehicles.

    You need to get your motor scanned (preferably with VAG-COM\VCDS) for any error codes logged in the ecu and post them, that will save a lot of guessing and check systems out.

    If your a fleabay guy there are loads of cheap Chinese cloned cables on fleabay but they are Banned subjects
    2010 Golf GTD (170) CBBB, 5 Door, Shadow Blue (P6/D5Q), Transmission Code: KXZ, Flat Tyre Indicator, Basic Protection Pack + VCDS.


  5. #4
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    If it wasn't compatible, Keith, how did it read and clear a fault code?

    On a car of this age, he could likely use the freeware version of VCDS (VCDS-Lite), with a third-party FTDI/USB interface (5-20 territory); but credit to the OP, he found a way of doing it that worked, and got the system gong for very little outlay.

    Fault light/code will very likely come back in the near future, but he/she has demonstrated an ability to read any such code, and can act accordingly if required.
    Gone

  6. #5
    Junior Member Plug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
    Did you make a note of the stored code?
    I didn't, but from memory it was P0420 Bank 1, something to do with the cat/O2 sensor from my (admittedly limited) research?

    Cheers,

    Plug
    2003 Beetle Cabriolet 2.0 8v Petrol, Auto

  7. #6
    Junior Member Plug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete1 View Post
    If it wasn't compatible, Keith, how did it read and clear a fault code?

    On a car of this age, he could likely use the freeware version of VCDS (VCDS-Lite), with a third-party FTDI/USB interface (5-20 territory); but credit to the OP, he found a way of doing it that worked, and got the system gong for very little outlay.

    Fault light/code will very likely come back in the near future, but he/she has demonstrated an ability to read any such code, and can act accordingly if required.
    Yeah, thanks. I reckon the CEL may come back. It's possibly due to the fact that after years of the car apparently being run on a shoestring, I've chucked in some rather expensive Redex fuel treatment and given it a couple of tanks of super unleaded to try and give it a clean out. I don't think it knows what's hit it! On the plus side, with this and a decent service it's running so much better than when I bought it. It's never going to be a sports car, but it's definitely feeling much perkier and revving freely up to the red line. The 2.0 isn't the most refined engine so whether that's a good thing or not is subjective, but as I say, it's feeling a lot healthier.

    Cheers,

    Plug
    Last edited by Plug; 17-03-19 at 21:26.
    2003 Beetle Cabriolet 2.0 8v Petrol, Auto

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  9. #7
    Administrator Keithuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete1 View Post
    If it wasn't compatible, Keith, how did it read and clear a fault code?
    Any cheap scanner will clear error codes from the ecu. They will show error codes after a scan but the results can be false which isn't good for any scanner.
    2010 Golf GTD (170) CBBB, 5 Door, Shadow Blue (P6/D5Q), Transmission Code: KXZ, Flat Tyre Indicator, Basic Protection Pack + VCDS.


  10. #8
    Junior Member Plug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keithuk View Post
    Any cheap scanner will clear error codes from the ecu. They will show error codes after a scan but the results can be false which isn't good for any scanner.
    Sorry Keith, I don't understand. Do you mean if the car subsequently gets put on a proper VW (VAG-COM) scanner, it'll report strange (possibly inaccurate) fault codes?

    Cheers,

    Plug
    2003 Beetle Cabriolet 2.0 8v Petrol, Auto

  11. #9
    Administrator Keithuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plug View Post
    Sorry Keith, I don't understand. Do you mean if the car subsequently gets put on a proper VW (VAG-COM) scanner, it'll report strange (possibly inaccurate) fault codes?
    The VAG-COM\VCDS scanner is the only true DIY scanner that gives true results not guessed ones from a generic scanner. You can pick up a generic EODB II scanner last Google search 7.0. So would you expect spending 7 to give you perfectly accurate results, instead of 350?
    2010 Golf GTD (170) CBBB, 5 Door, Shadow Blue (P6/D5Q), Transmission Code: KXZ, Flat Tyre Indicator, Basic Protection Pack + VCDS.


  12. #10
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    As said, I believe VCDS lite (free download) will work on this car as I think it has K-line diagnostics; so he wouldn't need to spend 350, just whatever it costs for a third-party cable (Ross-tech don't sell interfaces for the freeware version).
    Something like this https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VAG-COM-U...EAAMXQwKdRc8J6
    I can't recommend that cable specifically, but as Ross-tech say, almost any similar thing can be made to work if the laptop com ports are suitably configured.

    From there, for more advanced functionality, you can register your download for just 99usd.

    Only works for older cars like this one, with a 'K' line going to the diag. socket. People (like me) who run older cars deserve to be rewarded with bargain diagnostics.
    Gone

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