There’s two pieces to having your own Volvo diagnostic system at home/garage….
VIDA is the factory software, what the techs use at the dealership.
DICE is the physical tool that connects to the OBD2 on one side, and USB on the other.
At some point, like 7-8 years ago, Chinese factories started selling the DICE units online. They work great. eBay, Amazon, etc has them but all they ship from China, and not all sellers are equal…. they come with the VIDA 2014D disc, which is cracked software, and will allow you to do 90% of what the dealer can do with their VIDA.
The disc that comes with the DICE unit (that you get on ebay), is usually not-great. It’s either incomplete software, or packed in a way you have to be a computer wiz to use it. If you install your own, you usually need to Torrent the file, or run a VM from the forums.
With some luck, and if you’re any good with computers you can buy a DICE unit, it’ll arrive working, and you’ll get it installed. Either on a fresh install of Win7 Pro and you create a Vida dedicated laptop…. or you use a VM on win10… or if you’re really good (like us, ahem) you can get it onto Win10 natively and not have any conflicts. (Rare. More challenging.)
Or buy one of our VIDA2GO SSD’s ($100, this is a great option if you already own a laptop) or a complete laptop ($260-365, depending on how custom or how fancy we’re going) and it would be plug and play with the DICE unit you buy, no installing anything for you.
The reason VIDA2Go or my complete laptops is popular…. Installing it, is not always easy.
First. It will not always install on your everyday laptop that you may have now. That will have background software conflicts (sql server, IE, Java, .net framework, etc) and you’ll be lucky to get it working at all. It really needs to be installed and setup on its own stand-alone system. Or a system that’s been properly prepped for it.
Overall, having these programs will save you literally thousands of dollars. VIDA truly is a game-changer for the home mechanic.
Not only will it scan every module on your car and tell you exactly what’s up and how to fix it… it will also let you watch up to 10 live parameters (that you pick) as the car idles or drives, will record, and graph that info… and depending on the models (different cars allow different things) will also run test cycles on the fuel pump, climate control, and other things, will allow you to run calibrations (like the 4C suspension on an R, or the window auto-up feature), turn up or down heated seats, turn off/on DRL’s, and so much more. It also has wiring diagrams, parts breakdowns and numbers, complete info on the design and details of all features, and even has step-by-step repair instructions, with pictures.
The ONLY thing we can’t do with VIDA 2014D…. is update software on the car. To do that you use VIDA 2015 (online) and Volvo allows and supports it (with a DICE unit, and a $75 for 3-day license and then pay for each download.) On our systems, you get both VIDA’s…. but you’ll likely use VIDA 2014D 90% of the time.
However…. needing software, is pretty rare. Maybe a new key, or random module that HAS to be updated (more often on 2004 and under.) But either way, you’d be ready to do it and able to literally avoid the dealer for even software updates.
Having VIDA has allowed me (just a DIY guy like yourself) to decide if this is something I’m taking on or bringing to a mechanic. It’s also empowered me to be able to take it to a mechanic and say “this is what’s wrong, this is what I need you to do for me”… and I even go a shop that will use my parts (FCP all the way.)
VIDA 2014D is good for 1999-2015.5 … and I add the EWD 2014D (the wiring diagrams, which doesn’t come with the DICE unit and is harder to find.)
I also install on these laptops, another Couple of programs too. More below on those.
No limits on these VIDA systems too (VIDA2GO or a complete laptop.) You can it for anything you’d like. Shop for parts, look up YouTube videos, etc. Add any program, download, or update, and nothing will conflict with the programs it has (some limits apply.)
Here’s all the programs you’ll get with my system (VIDA2GO or a complete laptop):
- Windows10 (with license key) and all updates.
- VIDA 2014D (covers 1999-2015.5 Volvo’s… does everything but update software on the car)
- DICE drivers
- EWD 2014D (the 2nd disc to VIDA, and harder to find. It’s the wiring diagrams.)
- Vol-FCR 1.3 and 1.7 (for 1995-1998 Volvo’s, and it uses a different cable, that’s $9 on eBay… I just add this program as a bonus.
- VDash 2.0 (good for all Volvo’s but usually used by those who have 2016+, or who need to add or modify Volvo software and want to do it cheaper.)
- VIDA 2015 (the current Vida, pay $75 for 3 days of access. This is how you’d update software. Which is an extra fee, from Volvo.)
- HaynesPro (think Haynes service manuals, all in one database)
- Autocom Delphi 2016 (basic diagnostics for almost every make and model. Including 85% of European makes.)
- MS office 2019