This is of course the most common question for a new Volvo owner, and I’m going to limit this answer to 1999-2015 models supported by V1DA 2014D .
1st off, let me say there are some really good alternatives to V1DA / DiCE . Icarsoft’s hand helds are great, Autell stuff seems good and cheap and the expensive Bluetooth dongles (such as veepeak and Carly) can be really surprising! I have at least a Bluetooth dongle in all my cars for emergency resets.
But nothing gets close to V1DA!
What is V1DA? – The diagnostics software installed on a laptop that talks to the car.
What is DiCE? – Special cable V1DA uses to talk to the car (For alternatives see below)
Where can I get the V1DA software? – See the download links
What sort of laptop do I need? – Well…
V1DA 2014D is designed for Windows 7 Pro. 32 or 64bit is fine. It will not install on Windows 7 Home. Ideally a minimum of 4gb of ram and a solid state hard drive as V1DA is a slow old beast.
Even when installing on Windows 7 Pro there are plenty of obstacles to getting a successful installation and all kinds of tweaks to getting it to run right. Failure is very common which is why we have V1DA support groups on face book such as this one.
V1DA CAN be installed on Windows 8 and Windows 10, but its really hard . There are plenty of guides floating around the internet but it’s really beyond your average joe.
So, ok you only have a Windows 10 laptop or a Mac, what do you do? (Hardest to Easiest)
- Dual boot your laptop with Windows 7 Pro
- Figure out how to do a native install in windows 10 using one of the guides (such as this – not my work)
- Use a Virtual machine to run V1DA (See here – not my website!)
- Buy a windows 7 Pro laptop and install V1DA
- Use BOOT&GO bootable SSD drive (See here)
- Buy a pre setup V1DA laptop (See here)
Do I need a DiCE ? is there an alternative ?
Technically any JS2534 passthrough cable should work with V1DA 2014D . Popular choices are of course DiCE , VxDiag (VCXNano) and Mongoose pro.
For most people they will all do the same job for you in V1DA 2014D. I’m actually a really big fan of the mongoose Pro. For a quick code read, I tend to get that cable out rather than DiCE and its 200 million feet of cable. Hower dice has a raft of features that the others do not have. Dice is a Toolkit, the others are a 10mm spanner.
For a really detailed comparison of the cables see here
Why is V1DA “Sooooo much better than a Snapon code reader?”
V1DA 2014d isn’t Just a code reader, It has a full parts catalogue, Fault trace (where by there is guidance on the probable cause and resolution for a fault) , live data, it can perform calibrations, activate service modes, it has specifications (both mechanical and electrical) , removal and replacement procedures and is often bundled with the Electronic Wiring Diagrams and even more elements I haven’t mentioned. Not only that when looking at live data you can get a description of the data and (often) its expected readings…I.e. “what’s normal” . Popular uses are ofcourse forcing DPF regens, Gearbox adaption or oil counter reset. That sort of thing.
Many Volvo error codes send people on expensive wild goose chases because they do not have the context that goes with the Code. This is really popular for MAF error codes. The fault trace behind the code is almost always “The maf reading is wrong , but you need to look here and here for the cause” – ITS NEVER THE MAF! (ok it’s sometimes the MAF, but 9/10 times it’s a problem elsewhere).
If you have a supported model, for diagnostics and for reference there is no equivalent to V1DA.
Can i Code in new modules and change the Car configuration and do software updates?
Short answer is no. V1DA 2014d can do very little to change a cars behavior. Even things like changing the headlights to “off” when in off is only available on certain older models.
The Long answer is Yes but its a very complicated Yes. See here (not linked yet)
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