26th March 2017
I bought a VCDS Micro-CAN interface from Ross-Tech when I had my Volkswagen Golf Mk 5. It was primarily so that I could check that the car was running ok and diagnose any problems which occurred. It also allowed me to make a few customisations such as fine tune the sensitivity of the Auto Wipers & Auto Lights after a windscreen change and enabling the rear window teardrop wipe.
Mk 7 fault codes
I thought having VCDS was worth the money whilst I had my Mk 5 but I was pleased to learn I could continue to use it on my Mk 7. Since my Mk 7 was 3 years old when I bought it, I was keen to use VCDS to see if any fault codes were logged. There were a few but nothing major. I cleared them all and only one seems to reoccur:
328196 - Motor for Right Temperature Flap B108D 71  - Actuator stuck Confirmed - Tested Since Memory Clear
UPDATE 19th November 2016: After monitoring this fault code for the last 4 months, I think the problem is that there must be some restricted movement of the right temperature flap which prevents it from being able to completely shut off hot air from entering the cabin. Using VCDS to run one of the HVAC system's output tests appears to confirm this. The fault code only appears to be logged during the summer when the car is started with a really hot interior. Now that we are almost into winter this situation rarely occurs and the fault code isn't logged so much. I will continue to monitor but I could live with this problem if I had to.
Mk 7 customisations
Starting from the Ross-Tech Wiki page for the VW Golf VII it pointed me to a number of forums discussing modifications and customisations for the Golf Mk 7. It sooner became apparent that there were lots but I have verified the following:
- Speedo & Rev Counter Needle Sweep on startup
This was my first VCDS coding modification on my Mk 7 to make sure it worked. Purely cosmetic. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyLxCs97xLg. I have since disabled this as I found it unnecessary.
Control Module: 17 (Instruments) Coding: Byte 1, bit 0 (Gauge Test/Needle Sweep (Staging) Active) Set to: 1
- Automatic summer time
The following mod causes the "Summer (DST)" checkbox on the Car -> Setup -> Time and date page of the Infotainment system to be replaced with an "Automatic summer time" checkbox. Check it and no more having to change the clock manually each Spring and Autumn.
Automatic summer time enabled.
Control Module: 5F (Infotainment System) Adaptation: Summertime-automatic Set to: Europe
- Driving Profile reminder in MFD
You can change the Driving Profile by pressing the button to the left of the gear lever. This brings up a display on the Infotainment System to allow you to view/change the selected profile. However, you can also enable a current driving profile reminder in the MFD:
Control Module: 19 (CAN Gateway)
Coding: Byte 8, bit 4 (Display for Drive Program Functions in Instrument Cluster active)
Set to: 1
- Fan speed LED's in Auto mode
When the Climatronic climate control system is in Auto mode, the fan speed LED's are turned off by default. With this mod, in Auto mode the fan speed LED's indicate the current fan speed. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsHqkFDIMFg. I find this a useful feature.
Control Module: 8 (Auto HVAC)
Coding: Byte 11, bit 6 (Blower status display in auto-mode active)
Set to: 1
- Enable/Disable control of Daylight Running Lights via Infotainment System
With the ignition on and the light switch in OFF or AUTO position, the Daylight Running Lights (DRL's) were on. I wanted to be able to turn them off if, for example I was working on the car with the ignition on for an extended period of time. This mod enables me to control the DRL's via the CAR -> SETUP - > LIGHTS section of the Infotainment System:
Control Module: 9 (Central Electronics) Adaptation: IDE06864-ENG116594-Daytime running lights-Tagfahrlicht Aktivierung durch BAP oder Bedienfolge moeglich Set to: active
Other adaptations allow the DRL's to be turned off automatically whenever either the handbrake is applied or if the light switch is in the OFF position.
- Traffic Sign Recognition (in Restricted Mode)
Because my Golf Mk 7 has the Lane Assist system I have also been able to enable the Sign Assist or Traffic Sign Recognition feature. This is where the front facing camera located behind the rear-view mirror detects road signs and displays a corresponding reminder on the car's MFD (either in colour or black and white).
Traffic Sign page of MFD.
The VCDS modifications required to enable this feature are well documented on the internet. I used these instructions from a forum post on briskoda.net.
The system is designed to work in conjunction with the car's built in navigation system so that it can double-check what the camera sees with information stored on the sat-nav's built in speed limit database. Because my car has the Composition Media System (CMS) which does not include navigation, the system detects this after approximately 3 minutes of driving and display a "Traffic sign recognition: restricted" message in the MFD along with an accompanying chime. This warning is well placed because although the camera does read correctly, I'd estimate about 90% of road signs, it does occasionally get things wrong (such as misreading a dirty 30mph speed limit for 80mph or reading the 100(kph) sign off the back of a lorry!).
Warning message in MFD after
approximately 3 minutes of driving.
I was impressed with the system and could have lived with it in restricted mode if it wasn't for the annoying "restricted" warning message, accompanying warning chime, and a warning message on the Vehicle Status screen of the Infotainment System. Consequently, I have now disabled this feature.
- Infotainment System's Developer Mode
The Composition Media or Discovery Navigation Infotainment System's can have a Developer Mode activated.
Control Module: 5F (Infotainment System) Security Key: S12345 Adaptation: IDE02122-Developer mode Set to: activated
This provides the following features:
- Save screenshots (in PNG format) to the root directory of a plugged-in SD card. Hold down the MEDIA button for approximately 2 seconds until you hear a "dong".
- Run tests on the Infotainment System
- Enable/Disable tracing and adjust tracing parameters
- Access a "Picture Viewer" which allows you to view any number of photos stored on an SD card, CD, etc.
- Access a "Green Menu" which allows you to view and change which control modules the Infotainment System interacts with.
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