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Thread: VIDA confronts piracy for post 2015.3 Volvos

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Pleasanton CA USA

    Default VIDA confronts piracy for post 2015.3 Volvos

    A significant change for VIDA is being discussed online which impacts owners of Volvos built after the first quarter of model-year 2015.

    I'll summarize here, and give links to the articles & discussions.

    Volvo has long-supported its dealers and independent repair shops with Vehicle Information and Diagnostics for Aftersales (VIDA) system.
    This is a "does everything" Windows-based application software (and vehicle design & repair backend database) that accesses the car's on-board software for diagnostics, repairs, bug-fixes, feature updates and customization. The interface is a DiCE electronic unit that plugs into the car's OBD-II port. When Volvo priced the DiCE unit (~$800) and the subscription fees for the VIDA + Database access ($6000 / year / workstation), they weren't thinking about the committed DIYer.

    In response, bootleg versions of DiCE/VIDA have been widely advertised and sold, distributed on DVD at around $100. Even Walmart got into the act. The vehicle, parts, repair procedures, electrical diagrams and mechanical drawings included reflect a "snapshot" of the database at the time Volvo released an updated VIDA on DVD to subscribers. The one function missing in the pirated version is ability to download software into on-board modules. The latest release is VIDA 2014D, covering vehicles up through the within-model-year designation 2015.3 (does anyone know how to use a VIN to obtain the decimal value?)

    According to the discussion I found on Matthews Volvo, 2014D is the FINAL version Volvo distributed by DVD to subscribers. The new VIDA 2015A system is a Windows app with secure, live access to the databases. Since the database is no longer published as a "snapshot" put on a DVD, the bootleggers are effectively cut off from supporting the post-2015.3 fleet. For the DIYer and small shop, Volvo offers monthly and 3-day rental rates. There are also different subscription price points by feature set. The good news is that skilled DIYers will be able to have subscription access to VIDA for the newer model years, at a lower cost than a trip to the dealer (altho it will oblige getting your hands on an authentic Volvo DiCE interface unit, or a J2534-2 compliant unit).

    That's the summary. Here's my source, the Matthews Volvo Forum on VIDA, VADIS and DiCE:
    Last edited by pbierre; 08-13-2019 at 07:23 PM. Reason: correction

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Pleasanton CA USA


    Here is the pricing information for VIDA rental subscriptions:

    Under this subscription system, DIYers have access to a full VIDA, including software module downloads (note: module softwares are sold as parts having unit prices).

    DiCE (Diagnostic Communication Equipment) Hardware:

    This Volvo Special Tools Bulletin no. 160 give the part numbers for the DiCE and accessories. I believe you can order this unit from any Volvo Parts Dept.

    Be careful ...the knock-offs are made to look exactly like the real thing (brand impostering)...and when you plug it in with VIDA 2015A (the new app), IT WON"T WORK.
    Volvo has finally learned the art of hardware anti-piracy.

    There is an alternative to Volvo's unit, any J2534-2 compliant unit. See:

    Here is a good discount price on the real thing from Volvo Wholesale OEM Parts ($554)
    Last edited by pbierre; 08-14-2019 at 07:54 AM.

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