View Full Version : U281 Diagnostic Tool

09-04-2009, 07:27 AM
Hi, can anyone help??

I set the airbag warning light off, on my '56' plate Passat by removing the 'passenger air bag off' lamp when i removed the radio bezel to fit my hands free kit.

I bought a Memoscan U281 (can protocol) to read and reset the light. It reads the engine ecu (no faults) but comes up 'Linking error' on any other menu (airbag and abs). The manual says there is a link problem (really useful), I've e-mailed the manufacturers in China but had no reply. The guy who sold it is contacting his supplier, but I don't hold much help!

Any ideas, or has anyone had a similar problem?

Thanks, Ian.

09-04-2009, 09:46 AM
looking on ebay, i can only find a u381, which according to the literature will only read the engine codes.

09-04-2009, 12:48 PM
This is the one i bought, item number 250402756778.

I met an ex-colleague who has a company 1.9se diesel Passat that is a 2007 model. I plugged in the scanner and had the same results! So I'm pretty sure it's not the car.

I then discovered a local independant who cleared the fault for 10-as i thought, it was caused by me disconnecting the 'passenger air bag off' lamp and turning the ignition on!

I still want to see what's wrong with the reader though as it may come in useful in the future.


09-04-2009, 01:59 PM
I think you wll find that your hand held can only read the engine ecu. That's why so many of them are useless as diagnostic tools.

09-04-2009, 05:27 PM
I tend to agree with you, but it's advertised by the manufacturer and retailers as reads and erases fault codes including air bags; http://www.memoscan.cn/en/showproducts.asp?Cid=7

Now the warning light is off, I'm going to hassle the manufacturers etc to find out why it's advertised to work but doesn't.

Anybody else got one of these?

Has anyone bought a hand held device that erases the other fault codes like abs and airbag?


21-04-2009, 09:55 PM
Finally got a reply from the manufacturer and they said the U281 doesn't work with a Diesel!
I explained that the only difference betwwen petrol and diesel is the ECU and the the airbag etc are the same, the tech guy replied he doesn't know?!?!

I've threatened them with trading standards and they just send e-mails that are unreadable!

Watch this space.......

23-04-2009, 09:13 PM

did you ever get this to work? i got one of these U281 from ebay and it doesnt work. Keeps saying "Linking Error!" is that what you get? did you get around this? Cheers

23-04-2009, 09:51 PM

did you ever get this to work? i got one of these U281 from ebay and it doesnt work. Keeps saying "Linking Error!" is that what you get? did you get around this? Cheers

I only got it to work with the engine ECU whch came up no errors.
Yes, i kept getting 'linking error' when I attempted to connect to the air bag or abs etc.
I couldn't get aorund this, and took the car to an independant who cleared the fault for 10.

I keep e-mailing the manufacturer but when I get a reply (that is legible-they keep sending me e-mails that look like they're written in Egyptian!)
they fob me off. It's really annoying-i've threatened the trade description act, but it only applies to the shop you've bought the U281 off, and it's not their fault the scanner doesn't work!

I'm working with trading standards next week, so I'll ask them what can be done, but I don't hold out much hope! Bloody annoying they can sell and advertise something that doesn't work.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, pass them on.

Regards, Ian.

06-06-2009, 08:36 AM
Have you tried updating the software from their site? I have vag5053 which didn't reset oil service light when first bought It,s so rang memoscan.cn and the guy told me to do the software update from their site. After that it worked perfectly.

06-06-2009, 09:16 AM
I'm not aware that the bit of kit I have is upgradeable.

To be honest, I bombarded the manufactureer with E-mails and got no more replys-oddly I've been getting a load of spam E-mails on the account I used to contact them on!

It's about time I hassled them again.


06-06-2009, 10:25 AM
The emails you got before with gobbldy gook was probably coz they using chinese setting computer. I rang them, and a chinese man answered in broken language saying do update...do update. Call em and explain problem, worth a try. Also I noticed on mine, it can't communicate with all parts of the ecu system. So may depend on make/model of car. I know after I did updates, it connected to more systems.

Hope this helps.

10-07-2009, 08:17 PM
I bought the same unit (I Think) cost 25 --same problem "Linking error" returned it next day to the supplier -London Electronics - I am waiting for refund. I had been given a verbal "guarantee" that the unit would work on the 2005 on Passat . I have now bought a small hand held unit -39 - fron Gendan Swansea and it works a treat !!! Read air-bag fault code -noted this and then re-set ?cleared fault. Fault code 01217 -which says- side airbag igniter drivers side N119 . I believe this is a common fault and can be caused by high or low resistance and I would like to make an attempt to sort this out -but I,m a D I Y er and would like to hear any views or fix.

10-07-2009, 08:40 PM
What was the model of the unit you bought.

I had no joy with the manufacturer-they ignore all my e-mails!
Ironically, I get loads of spam e-mails now!

10-07-2009, 09:26 PM
VAGSCANNER VAG 305 --- you will find it on their website www.gendan.co.uk (http://www.gendan.co.uk) --e-mail --sales@gendan.co.uk --or phone 01792588002 speak to mike the tech wizzkid

10-07-2009, 09:54 PM
The VAG 305-- 39.10 ---- Engine/ ABS/ SRS/ Auto- Transmition---comes with ins book (which lists some fault codes and definitions, and a CD for downloading on your PC with ALL Fault code numbers and definitions . They also stock the "plug -in " for putting the electric handbrake into service mode to enable rear brake pad renewal --but cost 78 -- is it worth it???

29-09-2014, 11:01 PM
I bought a memoscan U281 for my Audi A4 2 to 3 years ago. Now I have a Seat Alhambra and took the front passenger seat out to carry a long load. The airbag light was on and stayed on when I replaced the passenger seat. Having downloaded the operating instructions, could not find the book, I was easily able to clear the two faults codes that showed under airbags once I had turned the ignition switch on.

05-11-2014, 11:21 PM
Ive got the U281. It was able to read my airbag fault no problem, even cleared the faults and turned off my airbag light (temporarily).

Bought it on eBay item number 261527799245.

Are you following the instructions correctly? Ignition off, plug in sensor, wait for initial bootup text, then turn ignition key to first notch (don't turn engine on)

Maybe it depends on car/year/engine. I have a 04 A4 (B6) 1.9 TDI Avant BKE

06-11-2014, 09:40 AM
I found I had to turn ignition to the second position but with starting the engine on my Seat Alhambra to display and clear fault light. It has remained off for several weeks now.

21-11-2014, 12:57 PM
i bought one too, won't read anything on my A4 TFSi (2009 canbus) but will read faults on the wife 55 plate golf GTTDi , i suspect even though it states it reads canbus that it can't/won't.

gonna get back to the seller today with my findings...

Doctle Odd
21-11-2014, 01:05 PM
i bought one too, won't read anything on my A4 TFSi (2009 canbus) but will read faults on the wife 55 plate golf GTTDi , i suspect even though it states it reads canbus that it can't/won't.

gonna get back to the seller today with my findings...

It's way too old, get your money back, you need vcds

21-11-2014, 01:11 PM
yeah, think you have a point there!

what's a vagcom setup gonna cost me? i've got LITE and an old cheap cable but that aint compatible with canbus :(

Doctle Odd
21-11-2014, 01:15 PM
If you need a scan in a hurry there's a list of members with VCDS should be someone close to you. https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zwQHurSsCMz8.kMTwqF0PoXwc&msa=0&ll=56.231139,-2.779541&spn=3.493691,10.821533&iwloc=0004c505cfcb6158e0447&dg=feature Cost for VCDS is about 250.00 try Gendan Automotive Products :: Professional and DIY car diagnostic tools :: EOBD, OBD II, CAN and VAG Code Readers and Scan Tools (http://www.gendan.co.uk/)

21-11-2014, 01:30 PM
cheers :)

i'll have to wait till pocket money day lol

I'm not in a huge rush, i think my MAF is on its way out but that won't show codes, i expect to find a lean running code in there somewhere though....

25-11-2014, 04:36 PM
they're taking this U281 back and sending a suitable one apparently, will wait and see exactly what that means!

04-12-2014, 11:38 PM
Got another ordered that works as a friend had the same one and I borrowed it before ordering. Bluetooth that links to torque on android, seven quid from Amazon