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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    104

    Default Can I use VIDA to swap out my ECU for a new (used) one?

    My '07 V70 XC has been the subject of a few posts here but I wanted to zero in on one question I have.

    Long story short, I bought her with a broken valve, tore her down, took the head in to the shop, they shined it all up and fixed that valve and a couple others, I got her back together and running like a champ. I have never had that sort of low end torque and pickup and overall pep from an XC70 and I've had 5 of them.

    In about 2 days I started getting hard starting/bad running and eventually needed to replace the alternator. For reason of pure stupidity, I did this without disconnecting the battery. At one point, after a small ark right between the ECU and the power steering bottle I did disconnect the battery.

    Got her all back together and she started fine but the accelerator didn't do anything. I traced this to a fuse protecting the throttle position sensor and she started and ran seemingly fine. This, I figured, was the cause of my arc.

    But she was now dragging a big and after some debugging I found that I had no spark on my #2 cylinder. I ruled out the plug and coil pack by simply pulling out the plug and coil pack on #1 and #2 and started her on 3 cylinders. #1 was popping, #2 was dead. stopped the car, switched the connectors between #1 and #2 and now #2 was popping and #1 was dead. I also tried swapping out a coil pack from a wreck I had and new plugs all to no avail. The high voltage wire is giving me a nice even 14.4 V and the ground is solid and to be safe a ran a fresh ground to the block. All other cylinders fire and you can drive her around just fine, just a little bumpy and sluggish.

    My last hope was the 3rd wire which traced back to the ECU. I cut it there and confirmed with my ohmmeter that I had traced the right wire and jumped the entire length of it with a new 14 gage wire. No difference. Also, she's throwing about 10 codes about all sorts of different components having low voltage, (low circuit I think is the language on the scanner).

    So I think it's the ECU, that I somehow fried that. I called a dealer and they told me if it was the ECU they could flash the replacement I had bought (which I very much believe to be compatible, most of the numbers on it match up, including the part number and it came from an '07).

    I just got off the phone with the dealer who now says they cannot do that and if it was the ECU (which they have no idea if it is or isn't) the only option is a new one for $1500 which they can program. This sounds like hogwash to me as I have read several posts about flashing ECU's.

    I had a bootleg copy of Vida at one point, but now it says the license is expired and this copy was a pain anyway as it would only run on windows 7 so I had to get an old laptop, install win 7, install Vida but I could get in there and look at all sorts of cool stuff while my car was running.

    A license for Vida is $500/year or $60 for 3 days. I'd spring for the $500 (I guess I'd start by seeing if I could get it done in 3 days first) if I could have some assurance that with this software I could flash the new (old) computer and copy the firmware from my existing computer to the new (old) one. But I don't even know if that's possible and I'd hate to spend the $$ only to find out it really is impossible.

    So that turned into a longer story than I wanted, but the question remains, can we take a computer from on '07 XC 70 and make it work in a different '07 XC 70? And if so, how?

    Thanks,

    drGian
    current lineup: 2001 Volvo v70 2.4 Turbo, 2014 Ford Flex AWD, 3.5 V6 Turbo, 2017 F-150 3.5 V6 Turbo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    GA
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    1,307

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drgian View Post
    1. I called a dealer and they told me if it was the ecu they could flash the replacement i had bought.

    2. I just got off the phone with the dealer who now says they cannot do that and if it was the ecu the only option is a new one for $1500 which they can program.

    3. I had a bootleg copy of vida at one point, but now it says the license is expired and this copy was a pain anyway as it would only run on windows 7 so i had to get an old laptop, install win 7, install vida but i could get in there and look at all sorts of cool stuff while my car was running.

    4. I'd spring for the $500 VIDA subcscription if i could have some assurance that with this software i could flash the new (old) computer and copy the firmware from my existing computer to the new (old) one. But i don't even know if that's possible and i'd hate to spend the $$ only to find out it really is impossible.
    OK

    1. I have never heard of a dealer (or a subscription owner) downloading software into a USED part, and to the best of my knowledge VIDA can't program a control unit that's already programmed.

    2. Good thing they figured out they can't handle your used part, and a new factory ECU might cost that much.

    3. The VIDA license expiration date - that was a problem 2 years ago, All (stolen) dvd based VIDA's stopped working Jan 1, 2018. Someone figured out a simple fix to change the expiration date ~2 years ago. I easily changed mine (and it works) but I can't remember what I had to do to make it work. MAKE YOUR VIDA WORK AND THEN YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO DIAGNOSE YOUR CAR (sorry about the screaming)

    4. DO NOT buy a VIDA subscription - you will not be able to program a USED control unit. But you can program a NEW control unit or keys or remotes if you wish.


    What would I do ?

    If you insist your XXX control unit is bad and you have gotten to the point where you must replace it as the next step (it is remotely possible that it is bad) - send your XXX control unit to XEMODEX (or someone else that can test Volvo control units) - they can test it for you for a lot less than what you would spend with other choices. I have done that many times - my techs would say "Needs new XXX" - OK send the XXX to Xemodex and sure enough -THAT WAS NOT THE PROBLEM - but at least we could (eventually) figure out what the real problem was.

    I have read/heard people such as Xemodex can program USED control units to make them work in a different car also. If you wish to try your used XXX in a different car.

    I understand how frustrating it can be trying to diagnose a car - and I apologize if I yelled and was harsh. Good luck -
    Last edited by hoonk; 12-05-2019 at 05:26 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Anybody who responds to a post of mine with any help at all, can yell at me all they want. On this forum, I've never had anybody respond to me just to yell at me. But yeah, I've been yelled at more than once, I make mistakes and that's how we learn, right? So no apology necessary.

    I will definitely look into Xemodex. What I can't understand is how is they can re-program a used control unit, but the dealer can't and using Vida I can't either. I haven't had anytime to dig into it, besides the car is still at the dealer which I'm taking as a good sign. or maybe it's just sitting in the parking lot and they forgot to call me.

    I'm a programmer for a living and I've been in and out of computers since 6th grade (which was a very long time ago) so I'm sure I can google the hack and get my bootleg Vida running again (I suspect it's just a matter of resetting the system time so it thinks it's still inside its licence period), whatever it is I'm certain that I can fix. But where does that get me? With the code readers I have I can read all the codes I'm getting (I have a Volvo specific reader) maybe Vida can give me more details and help me pin down my issue. But I'm telling you and everyone I know what the issue is, the computer is not sending a signal to that cylinder to fire. What issue would cause a functioning ECU to disable one and only one cylinder, it makes no sense.

    I just can't believe this dealer is telling me IT CAN'T BE DONE! What kind of computer cannot be reprogrammed, what kind of $35K vehicle would be designed around a single electrical component what cost $1500 to replace? And what kind of dealer can't tell me if my ECU is bad or not? These guys haven't been able to tell me anything I didn't already know. And I'm not a car mechanic.

    If they can program a new computer, they can program a used one. or someone can.

    AND any other issue would have other symptoms besides a single cylinder that won't fire. Other than that she runs absolutely perfectly.
    current lineup: 2001 Volvo v70 2.4 Turbo, 2014 Ford Flex AWD, 3.5 V6 Turbo, 2017 F-150 3.5 V6 Turbo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    3,841

    Default

    You think Hoonk is yelling at you?

    Seriously?

    The guy is a Volvo mechanic. Fixes these things for a living. If he takes time out of his day to read through your posts (all of them) and explain things to you, then:

    YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A GIFT.

    Like having a doctor look at something for free. Like an attorney giving you legal counsel for free.

    Hoonk is trying to help. So is every other poster on this board.

    Complaining about getting help is going to cause that help to stop coming. That's not what you really want, is it?
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (238K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (195K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (76K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    1,307

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drgian View Post
    Xemodex. 1. What I can't understand is how is they can re-program a used control unit, but the dealer can't and using Vida I can't either.

    2. get my bootleg Vida running again (I suspect it's just a matter of resetting the system time so it thinks it's still inside its licence period),

    3. what kind of $35K vehicle would be designed around a single electrical component what cost $1500 to replace?

    4. what kind of dealer can't tell me if my ECU is bad or not?
    1. Xemodex figured it out - and offers something that Volvo does not -

    2. system time change does not work, (tried that first on 1/2/2017) you have to change the expiration date in a Vida file.

    3. There are many ~$1500 (new retail replacement cost) control units in cars nowadays - ECM, REM, CEM, ABS, TCM, how about the ~$600 inside rear view mirror, when the self dimming goo leaks out you have to to replace the UEM, or a DDM, the ~$600 window switch on some cars. Or the $1500 it might take to get your AWD working after the DEM fries.

    These are all difficult things to explain to customers - and they usually end up frustrated with their car and move on to another brand after blaming me for their pos car. Of course that BMW or Merc or even a Honda or Ford can be a money pit also. (But they don't know that yet) How about when your 7 years old Prius needs a new battery and some upgrades for it and the bill is $3500?

    On Volvos I have seen insurance total them after being hit by lightning and several modules were fried.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    GA
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    1,307

    Default

    this may be where I found the Vida answer

    https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...on-Guide/page3

    Copied from post #95

    "No Valid Subscription - volvo vida Dice 2012D

    My 2012D patch file was the same way. I didn't know if anyone had an updated patch file, so I updated it myself. And I know nothing about computers so it's not that hard to do.

    - Extract the files from the patch rar.exe. There is a file under the "patch" directory named "license".
    - Open it with notepad and search for "subscriptionExpireDate" I changed the date to 2021-12-31. I was afraid to go too far out in the future as it might cause an error.
    - Next you have to adjust the SFX scripts (this makes the created .rar and .exe file)
    - (I'm doing this from memory) View the original .rar exe and click the SFX button. Click the advanced tab on the bottom. There is a tab there with scripts and a path. Copy everything in this tab over to your new .rar. Create it and it will automatically make an .exe.
    - Run it and you are good!

    I'll try and add details tomorrow, but like I said I did it so it can't be that hard."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Let me try to straighten this out. I have always been very polite and grateful for the help I received here, many times from you. When I said 'yelling' I mean using all caps, that is a standard term, at least I thought it was, for typing IN ALL CAPS.. yelling. My message in return was full of thanks and contrition (at least as I read it, but of course I know what I was thinking when I was typing). I am very grateful for his and your help and I will continue to be grateful. I would NEVER have gotten anywhere on any of my 3 XC's without you guys. I'm dead in the water without this forum.

    If my message was misinterpreted as me complaining I offer you and Hoonk my most sincere apology. I said that anyone who responds can tell all they want, and again, by yelling I MEAN TYPEING LIKE THIS. If you remember, the first Volvo I ever rebuilt I torqued the head bolts to 85 N-M (I think not sure exactly) but I didn't understand the +130 degrees. you wrote me back and I'll never forget (and I often retell the story) you saying that if didn't do the +130 that 'YOU DIDN'T DO THE JOB RIGHT' or something like that. I considered that being yelled at, but I totally deserved it and I what's more I very much appreciate it as I didn't understand at all what I was doing. And without you, Astro14, and the rest of these guys, I still wouldn't. I am very grateful for the help and at no point have I knowingly complained.

    Emails, text, anything like this is notorious for not communicating the emotion behind the words, if you knew me personally, I can assure you that you would know I wasn't complaining. But again, if that's the impression I gave Hoonk or you or anybody I sincerely apologize as that was not my intention at all. I consider you guys my mentors here as you all know way more about Volvo's than I ever will and I WANT TO LEARN. And one day the torch will pass, I'll be retired and handing out advice on this forum, at least that's my hope.

    Aren't you the physicist as well? I have a Ph.D. from Michigan State, I did my work at Fermilab in Chicago. So between Volvo's and physics it seems we have a few things in common so it's actually important to me that I have your understanding in this matter.

    OK, I'm rambling now, but let me assure you, I am MORE than grateful for any assistance I get here, especially yours and Hoonk's. Please understand that. I have been misunderstood I believe, I will be more careful to make sure my posts convey my appreciation in the future.

    Sincerely and with respect,

    Gian Di Loreto (drGian)
    current lineup: 2001 Volvo v70 2.4 Turbo, 2014 Ford Flex AWD, 3.5 V6 Turbo, 2017 F-150 3.5 V6 Turbo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    104

    Default update from dealer XC 70 #2 won't spark

    After having my car for week, the dealer finally called me today and said having exhausted any other explanation they agree with me that it's the ECU. So now I have just one more question (for now at least) to address. Do I re-activate (which it seems I can do easily) my copy of VIDA and try the reprogramming myself or do I send it out to Xmodex. I'm going to call them now and see if they can, in fact help me, and if they can, and it's reasonable, I'm inclinded have then handle it. I have waaaaay exceeded the time any reasonable family would allow their patriarch to spend in the pole barn working on that '07. If I even mention that #2 cylinder to anyone I know they just leave the room and my wife has retained a lawyer I think (I'm kidding)

    Not to mention that I now have my older daughter's '02 here with a bad ABS sensor (I hope) because I get intermittent 'pull over immediately' warnings and the ABS works on and off (we have nice layer of snow here so I can test in my driveway). I may post about that car yet as it has a few other weird issues, but one thing at a time.

    So, to summarize my question, do you all recommend, now that we know (as best we can) that it is the ECU that I

    a) re-activate VIDA and try to stand up the new(used) ECU with the code copied from the fried ECU or
    b) send them both to XModex? (sorry if I spelled that company's name wrong but you know what I mean)

    Very grateful for any input, as always,

    drGian
    current lineup: 2001 Volvo v70 2.4 Turbo, 2014 Ford Flex AWD, 3.5 V6 Turbo, 2017 F-150 3.5 V6 Turbo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Thanks for the response, please see my last post. the question now is if I can get VIDA running, can I copy the firmware from the fried to the used ECU or should I send it to Xemodex, maybe I misunderstood what they do. Thanks again for your help, please also see my response to Astro14, if you thought I was complaining about your response, I sincerely apologize, I was not. I am grateful for your help, always,

    drGian
    current lineup: 2001 Volvo v70 2.4 Turbo, 2014 Ford Flex AWD, 3.5 V6 Turbo, 2017 F-150 3.5 V6 Turbo

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    1,307

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    Quote Originally Posted by drgian View Post
    a) re-activate VIDA and try to stand up the new(used) ECU with the code copied from the fried ECU or
    b) send them both to XModex? (sorry if I spelled that company's name wrong but you know what I mean)
    a - You cannot use any dvd based Vida - (2014 d was the last) to download a program (from volvo) into any module. "Programming" exceptions would be the auto up window limit, headlamp on or off with switch in off position, reset service light interval, maybe a couple of other minor settings. Those are just settings, not new software and a connection to volvos magic server is not needed.

    The only way to program a NEW module (using Volvo's software) would be with a VIDA Subscription from volvotechinfo.com. That is an online product. There is very little software that is loaded onto your "client" machine compared to the ~6gb that the dvd version is. And I'm not sure it would work with the cheap DICE units - but i never tried, for I purchased DICE units from volvo years before they were available from china.

    b - I would send one or both to Xemodex. (or a vendor of your choice that can do that.) I don't work for Xemo but have used them for module repairs/replacement maybe 70 times over the years. They also might be able to fix your original one.
    Last edited by hoonk; 12-11-2019 at 03:20 PM.

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