Applies to All Model Years VxDiag diagnostic tool

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Thread: VxDiag diagnostic tool

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018

    VxDiag diagnostic tool

    Has anyone tried this? For $269 they claim to work with SSM3 and it includes the software.
    V2018.4 VXDiag SUBARU SSM-III SSM3 Diagnostic Tool

    I don't want to have to drive to a dealership every time a warning light comes on. I have tried a variety of OBDII tools which can display and reset check engine codes, but only SSM can diagnose airbag codes and hybrid codes. It should allow you to reprogram smart keys too. The legit SSM3 software works with model years 1998-2016, and it requires a Hitachi HDS3000 or the newer Denso DST-i. The Denso box is sold by Nuspire for $7800 and the Hitachi occasionally pops up on eBay for around $2000. Way out of my price range. I believe consumers have the right to fix their own cars, so it's outrageous that Subaru make it so expensive.

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  3. #2
    I've got it and its fully functional as far as I can tell.. Plan on buying a spare laptop though, AV's mark their software as a Trojan, jurys still out (and probably always will be) as to whether it actually is.. Wouldnt hurt to connect to a separate LAN also.

    I would pull the link down and/or search the forum rules (I'd say one way or another, but I don't know, I'm too new), since its questionable as far as legality is concerned. I don't feel bad about it though, Denso should make an every mans- single car license, but they choose not to, so screw them. (This coupled with the bull **** fact that a single check engine code disables my cruise and turns on about 5 dash lights, also pisses me off.)

    I've connected to all the control modules easily, and changed the Body Integrated Unit programming.. Lets see what we hear on whether we can talk about the system, if not send me your email in a PM and I will send pictures of it all. Play your cards right and I can send you a picture of the X-Mode light lit up on my Impreza Sedan.

    EDIT: I bought it from a more local retailer... I wanted to be able to return it easily if it didn't work since I couldnt find out conclusively whether or not it worked.. so ~$140 more my route. This plus my little Dell laptop, total before tax was about 600. (If I wasnt so impatient I could have waited for a deal on their laptops, occasionally you see them drop from 200 to ~120.)

  4. #3
    Senior Member AstroKats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Santa Monica, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by DallasJW View Post
    I've got it and its fully functional as far as I can tell.. Plan on buying a spare laptop though, AV's mark their software as a Trojan, jurys still out (and probably always will be) as to whether it actually is.. Wouldnt hurt to connect to a separate LAN also.
    I've experienced this with apps for cheap hardware and sometimes it turns out to be a knock-off or worse. Not saying this one is but it pays to do due diligence...
    In honor of Félicette, the first cat in space!

    2018 Dark Grey Crosstrek Limited "Véronique", w/EyeSight, Nav, etc. (Packages #3 & #23) HU firmware Rel_U0.18.43.20

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    That's good to hear! I'll run it in a VM on my Mac so that should be pretty safe. Does it need internet access at all?
    I normally don't condone piracy but in this case I think they deserve it since the diagnostic tool is absolutely essential to fixing the car. A single VIN-locked license is a nice idea.

    Are you able to get trouble codes and have a decent description of them? I have the service manual so I'm thinking this would complement it nicely.

    X-mode?! I guess it's just a light or does it actually work?

  7. #5
    It does need internet access, unfortunately. It has to connect for the VxDiag license, otherwise nothing works. What is a little irritating is I think my license says it expires in 2024 or something... It isn’t advertised as a subscription, so I’m hoping when that day comes i can email them for a new license for free.. Yep it gives trouble codes and descriptions for all of the modules.

    In my 2014 service manual, there is a very brief reference to x-mode. I think in a chart somewhere, I think it references where the button input would be to the BIU or ECU. It sort of appears that they considered making it possible to use XMode and then decided not too. Anyway when you connect and bring up a menu to change programming it has an option for X-mode. I couldn’t resist.. so I changed it to see what would happen (probably not super smart in case it created a problem and I couldn’t change it back.) The end result was that when you turn the car on it shows a little SUV symbol in the bottom left of the LCD on the cluster during the needle sweep. More interesting (to me anyway) was the symbol never shows up, even when you use the tool to light up all of the LCD segments, until you turn this on. Also, upon changing it back to No X-Mode didn’t turn that light off without disconnecting the battery. To really try to find out if it would do anything you’d still have to ground (or +12, I don’t remember) the input on the computer.

    I have a stick so I don’t think it would do much in my case anyway. The transmission and diff is totally mechanical, unlike the auto’s (I don’t have an AWD warning light either, except when testing the bulbs with the scan tool). It might do the braking thing I’ve seen described and change the throttle response though... I think I read on a different forum that the vehicles with X mode have a different part # for the brake control module/ abs pump.

    I’ll try to take some pictures when I get home tonight.

  8. #6
    Sorry, been busy, here are the pics. Try this link:

    Otherwise I attached the main ones to this thread.

    The system comes with a hard plastic case with foam on the inside. Three cables: OBD to box (box being the silver and red thing), box to usb, and box to ethernet. It has a wifi connection option too (it broadcasts its own wifi network) that I haven't tried. I scratched out some of the top foam to put the laptop i bought. The box feels like good quality, actually I think the silver part is real metal (probably aluminum), good weight to it. The cords seem very high quality, the plugs, pins, and rubber. It has some status lights.
    Attachment 288280

    Attachment 288282

    Some of the control modules you can connect to. What isnt shown is: Auto Start Stop, HEV System, Power Rear Gate, Auto Headlight Leveling, Immobilizer, Approach Info UNIT, Back and Side radar, infotainment, power seat memory, can bus ecu comm check, telematics, eyesight. (The majority my car doesn't have.)
    Attachment 288284

    You can view real-time parameters.
    Attachment 288286

    You can view codes with a short description.. Both current and past.
    Attachment 288288

    You can also do output tests, things like trigger door lock solenoids, horn, fuel injectors, etc.

    You can customize to a limited degree. Options on my car are (not all actually do anything, for either XV or Impreza, according to the service manual):

    Auto or Manual A/C (if you read my writeup, this was necessary to get the display to light up when i did a manual to auto climate swap with high grade mfd)
    Rear Def. Continuous Or or timed
    Security alarm on or off
    Impact Sensor On or off
    Alarm arm delay on or off
    Lockout prevention on or off
    Buzzer Sounding On or Off (beep when you lock and unlock, i think)
    Abnormal warning lamp flashing on or off (flash when lock or unlock)
    Passive Alarm (? Might arm alarm without needing to lock the doors.)
    Door Open Warning (?)
    Dome Light Alarm Setting (? Flash Interior Light when alarm goes off?)
    Wiper Deicer On or Off
    Country Code
    "Off delay" (accessible from high grade MFD, i think its the interior light delay.)
    Auto Light Sensitivity
    Illumination Sensor Setting (Whether you have auto headlights?)
    Factory Initial (Factory Defaults maybe? The service manual says "Do not change to factory mode.")
    Power rear gate
    Xmode Sw
    Driver's Door unlock (Driver or all, I seem to remember that this doesnt actually change anything, though.)
    Rear gate unlock setting
    Mean Fuel Efficiency Correction (This was nice, I fixed their "optimistic" numbers.)
    Ambient Temp Correction

    Misc, you can, all of these are "shoulds" i haven't actually carried out trying to do any of this:

    Use to program new TPMS sensors (you may need another tool though, to sort of wake the sensor up that is used near the tire.) You can read tire pressures.

    Program new keys. How this is done specifically depends on the year the car was made, however. In some cases you do and some cases you don't need "teaching codes" as I recall. The U.S. specs don't have a Security control module, its more the collective ECU, cluster, and BIU.. Any one of the three if replaced needs to be programmed or the car doesn't start. I am going to try to swap in an XV cluster to replace my impreza cluster after I have the oil consumption test (and recall completed if it fails that test).

    Set a new center on steering wheel for VDC.

    Read and clear crash data record.

    Re-level, correct headlight level for cars with HIDs.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    This is fantastic. I've ordered one now. My goals are:
    - Program a new key. They are around $60 on eBay.
    - Reprogram TPMS after 5-tire rotation
    - Read HEV and airbag trouble codes
    - Read CVT temperature
    - Disable door chime
    - Spoof the presence of active grille shutter which I have removed
    - Reduce electronic throttle delay (probably not possible)
    - Reverse engineer the SSM protocol to access all the sensors using an iPad app
    - Connect at the same time as iDataLink Maestro with a J1962 splitter

  10. #8
    Cool! You’ll have to keep me posted. My stretch goal was to reverse engineer the TPMS to be able to see the tire pressures... but then Idatalink maestro happened. So I went that route instead.

    Im curious to hear how some of that turns out. There is a forum where people have done gotten really low level access and remapped the throttle, not sure if it would help with the throttle response. I’d like to get the throttle to stop holding when I put my clutch in, a known emissions “feature.” PM me your email and I can send you some info on the immobilizer/ chip keys.

    Why did you remove the grill shutter out of curiosity? Also what’s your reason to disable the door chime? Is this the one when the door is open when the lights are on? I think I just get the warning light unless the lights are on.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    I chopped both front and rear bumpers so I could build my own out of steel tubing. Improved clearance for off-roading and much stronger. I mounted a winch inside and the grill shutter was in the way of that. I'm guessing the airflow now is similar to how it would be with the grill shutter closed all the time. I haven't tried it in the summer yet but I will be keeping an eye on engine temp. I also covered most of the undercarriage with skid plates, so that's one reason I want to monitor the CVT temp.

    The Maestro is excellent for everyday use, it's by far the cleanest looking option for gauges. My major complaint is they can't read CVT temp. I've asked them about this and several other things, but they don't seem to be interested in adding any new features. The Android app ActiveOBD can read CVT temp but not TPMS. The developer told me they are using SSM protocol, so I assume it should be possible to get TPMS values that way too, but development on a free app is extremely slow.

    The door chime issue is described here:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #10
    PM Sent. Looks like a beast for offroading! Its too bad for Maestro they don't make it possible to add custom parameter ID's or something.

    I forgot to point out, that once you have the vx diag box, I think it is basically all of the hardware necessary for many other vehicle makes, so then all you have to do is pay for the software license.

    Lastly, I also forgot to mention the only issue (non-issue) that I have seen which is when you connect to a module, you get some error (I think regarding a CF card, maybe for a license?), but as soon as you click OK, it proceeds and seems to act perfectly fine.

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