i have a vw golf mk6 2009 2.0 tdi 110cv, i have had this small problem with ABS turning on and off intermittently and got me down this rabbit hole of trying to get data from car and understanding it.

I have since bought a generic BT elm327 obd2 adapater and got it working with my linux setup.

But from my understanding, VW only allows us to read basic pids like rpm speed engine load etc but more advanced stuff seems proprietary and implemented in different pids?

When using python-obd2 most commands are not available indicating that they may be proprietary or using different pid.

Could some one help me understand if this is the case, or i am missing something related to VW ? do they have some caveat with obd2 information ?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 13:41
  • @paulster2 thnak you
    – sgt
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 14:26

3 Answers 3


I can't help you with the ELM327, but if you're going to be doing your own work on your VW and you're in for the long haul, you need VCDS, which combines a hardware module and software for full access and control of all VW modules the same as a VW dealer has.

The system was formerly called VAG-COM and it's from Ross-Tech. I have no affiliation with the company but I've been a user since 2000 for my 2000 Jetta TDI. I've used it for all kinds of diagnostics and tuning, including an adjustment of injection pump timing after a timing belt change. (I actually have an ancient laptop still running Windows 2000 dedicated to this software only. That's the only "scan tool" I need for this VW.)

Before you make yourself crazy with the ABS module, get under the car and use an air chuck to blow any magnetic dust off the face of your wheel speed sensors nearest the tone ring. I live in the rust belt and I need to do this every few months because a buildup of magnetic dust weakens the signal that the sensor picks up from the tone ring. At low speed (when coming to a stop) the signal strength falls below the ABS system's minimum detectable level, so it seems to the module that a wheel is locked up and skidding while the other wheels are still turning. This causes an annoying and useless ABS activation. Easy fix.

  • thanks you will have a look at it!
    – sgt
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 17:17

Most apps used with ELM327 readers only read the data involved with the ECM/PCM and not having to do with extraneous control modules like the anti-lock braking system (ABS) or the supplemental restraint system (SRS or airbags). You have to get a tool which specifically will read from these modules. When I looked previously I didn't find any apps which when utilizing the ELM327 which also read ABS/SRS codes or live data. I don't know if this is a shortcoming of the ELM327 device or the software which connects to it.

  • thank you, is there a particular obd2 cable you would recommend then ?
    – sgt
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 14:26
  • @sgt - I wouldn't be able to provide you a specific one, but if it's just information you're looking for, there are plenty of OBD2 scan tools on the market which do SRS/ABS and much more. Just search for them. I have several INNOVA tools which work well, but there are plenty more out there which won't break the bank. Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 14:57
  • @paulster2 thanks, i did use of the obd2 tools on android to scan ABS module, and it did, but nor error showed up, i wonder if i need to light to be turned on in order to pick up an error ?
    – sgt
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 15:21
  • i used this app -> play.google.com/store/apps/…
    – sgt
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 15:23
  • Call Autozone and ask if their readers can decode your '09 VW Golf abs error codes. They've updated their readers to read abs errors. It's presumed they want to encourage business, providing free readings. Brake shops may have better readers too, for this purpose but may charge a fee unless they're authorized by customers to make repairs in which case the fee is combined with repairs.
    – F Dryer
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 15:51

While it's not as hardcore as VCDS, there's a scanner called OBDeleven which consists of a bluetooth dongle (that plugs into the OBD-II port) and a smartphone app. It is also specific to Volkswagen* and handles all the VW codes that a generic scanner doesn't.

OBDeleven Bluetooth Dongle

I have one and pretty much just use it to find out why the CEL is on, but it's apparently more powerful than that, you can purchase 'one-click apps' which make modifications to your car easy.

*and Audi, and BMW, and a few other brands that are under the same umbrella

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