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Discussion Starter #1
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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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. :cool:

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.)
 

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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... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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?
 

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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.
 

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Sorry, been busy, here are the pics. Try this link: https://imgur.com/a/bWEaJDG

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.
View attachment 288280


View 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.)
View attachment 288284

You can view real-time parameters.
View attachment 288286

You can view codes with a short description.. Both current and past.
View 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
Sedan/Wagon
MT/AT
6MT
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
TPMS
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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: https://www.subaruxvforum.com/forum/subaru-xv-general-discussion-forum/170052-why-does-my-car-beep-after-i-turn-engine-off-open-door.html
 

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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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Hey Dallas Did you make your own Box Brief case for this set up?? Looks great... what MY Subaru XV to you use this on? I have an MY 17 (year before the MY18 Body shape changes)
Over here in AU we.... BY DEFAULT do not have the Immobilizer lock unlock chirps and have to get the dealer to plug in to SSM to reinstate it According to the Manual..... One of my pet peeves.
Would love TPMS too but as far as I now this was never a thing for the AU models unless the newer MY 18 now has it..... I realise I need the devices installed in the actual tires.

And the main question is also....... on that VX Diag site Im looking at it like an idiot but for the money is it just the License? or is the Tool itself part of this price???

http://www.vxdiagshop.com/wholesale/vxdiag-subaru-ssm-iii-multi-diagnostic-tool.html

I got a little confused.
 

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The system comes with a hard case with foam (pictured in the link you sent also). All I did was dig out some of the foam on the top cover to have a spot for the laptop that I bought. I have a 2014 Impreza that I'm using this on. One word of caution I guess is that the the page you posted lists up to 2016 for compatibility. If its the same body style though, I personally wouldn't be too worried.. If you wanted to have an easier way to return it, I'd try the large online retailer (let me know if you can't find it) versus ordering direct.

You should try the procedure listed (in my manual, anyway) to activate the chirps.


Step 1- Shut all doors and sit in the driver seat.
Step 2- Hold the rear unlock side of the power door locking switch rocker (on the door itself.)
Step 3- While still holding the rocker, pull the key out and re-insert it into the ignition switch at least 6 times within 10 seconds.
Step 4- Open and close the drivers door once within 10 seconds after step 3 is completed.
Step 5- The hazard warning flashers flash 3 times to indicate completion.

The high grade MFD can change this also, I believe.. But if you have the low grade (like I did) you have to upgrade it, and you need to be at a minimum mechanically inclined to do it.

https://cdn.subarunet.com/stis/doc/ownerManual/MSA5M1417E_STIS.pdf

https://www.subaruxvforum.com/forum/subaru-xv-diy-how-tos-tsb/95097-high-grade-mfd-upgrade-15-xv-limited.html

The link you sent appears to have all of the hardware and software for Subaru. What isn't clear to me, is the difference between the blue and the red tool. The one I bought was red (which is still available from a large online retailer). There is a clear difference between say the yellow and black tools, so there must be a difference between the red and blue. The question would be what vehicle makes can the red vs blue do, which might have some bearing on which one to buy depending on what other vehicles a person has sitting in their garage.

As far as the TPMS, someone else recently had this question (maybe it was you?) but what I would do if you seriously wanted to consider getting it, is look around online on parts websites for different countries. The TPMS receiver in the car is integrated with the keyless entry receiver.. So I would look to see if there are two seperate part #'s, one for with TPMS, and one for without TPMS. If there isn't seperate numbers it MIGHT be as easy as changing the programming and adding the wheel sensors. If there are different part numbers it MIGHT be as easy as replacing the keyless entry receiver, adding the wheel sensors, and changing the programming... But I've never seen anyone who has attempted it, so you'd have to be willing to be the guinea pig.. Additionally, it would be interesting to see if the TPMS light lights up when the warning light output test is conducted using a scan tool.
 

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Thanks Dallas that was great


My MDF is similar to the bottom left in the link you added with the feature set that is listed below it. I have key less entry on my 2016 (MY17) so the key in out and window switch methods you quoted for entry exit Chirp is null and void I did try way back if it would work but it didnt seem to.... Ill do more searching to see if the TPMS is just a matter of adding the sensors to the tires and activating it in the OBD2 port via Diag tool.

Love that MDF swap out thread its amazing what we are prepared to do for a few features in other world markets other than our own

Joffa
 

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I purchased the year model relevant to my car of the SERVICE MANUAL and its a biiiiiig PDF but found the section on TPMS just need to see if my combined TPMS Keyless module is actually that....... I thnk and hope that all I need is SSM to activate it to ON and install sensors in wheels and pair them. fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So far, I've been disappointed with this tool. I'll start with the positive things:
- Most of the individual systems work for monitoring data in real-time
- I can log tons of data to a CSV for later analysis. Some day I would like to learn R statistical programming

Problems:
- I'm unable to program TPMS sensors. This is supposed to work by first erasing all 4 tire IDs from memory, then putting the car into learn mode. Then you activate the sensors one at a time with a separate tool. When activated, each sensor transmits its ID and the car learns it. SSM3 successfully erases the memory, but it immediately fails as soon as it enters learn mode. I'm not sure if my activator tool works or not, but I think something is wrong with the software because it should pause for a few seconds to detect the sensors.

- While VxDiag claims to work via WiFi or USB, the WiFi doesn't really work. It connects to the computer and shows up in VxManager, but it's not recognized by SSM3.

- Occupant detection sensor calibration doesn't work. According to the SSM3 user manual, there should be an option under Each System Check > Occupant Detection > System Calibration, but this option does not exist.

- All System Diagnosis mode does not work at all. I'm not exactly sure what this feature does, but it's disappointing that this limitation is not mentioned in the advertisement.

- This isn't documented anywhere, but I figured out that SSM4 will not run unless I set the system clock behind by one year. Not a big deal for me, since the MY-15 uses SSM3.

- The FlashWrite tool which comes bundled in the installer does not include the databases required for ECM programming.

Their sales team is actually fairly responsive to emails, but their response to all of these issues has basically been, "this is normal, have a nice day".
 

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In the case of my 2014, I don’t see anywhere in my service manual about ever needing to calibrate the occupant detection sensor, even for replacement. The service manual says “The seat cushion pad and cushion frame are adjusted as a set at the time of manufacture.”

I’ll try Wi-Fi and see if I have any better luck. I’ve never tried that feature.

When I purchased mine I think it was advertised as only supporting SSMiii. Mine did install SSM IV but I think I tried it and it doesn’t work. Do they advertise ssm iv working? I never saw that they did I guess.

The TPMS thing is a bummer. I’d offer to try my luck but I don’t feel like having the IDs erased and then have to deal with that. The way the service manual talks though there should be a delay after starting the learning process because AFTER starting the learn process it tells you to activate the sensor with the tire tool. Are your sensors actually new? I wonder if it fails if it sees the old sensors still present. (Unfortunately, probably a long shot theory since there is no delay when it attempts to learn.)

I can confirm there is no ECU firmware database, but I guess I never really expected there to be one.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have no need for SSM4, I just wanted to mention it in case someone didn't know. It's required for 2016 and later cars. The funny thing is, it won't let me run SSM3 until I install SSM4. So it just has to be installed and you don't use it.

Something weird happened with my passenger seat, it occasionally thinks someone is sitting there and the seatbelt warning light comes on. It's happened a few times and I was hoping to be able to fix it. Weird that this is just missing in the software.

My hybrid doesn't come with a spare tire so I added one and bought an aftermarket sensor for it. (I fabricated a swing-away tire carrier on the bumper.) After a 5-tire rotation, now I have 3 OEM sensors on the ground and 1 aftermarket, so the car of course thinks one is missing. I will need to reprogram this after
every rotation. At this point, I don't know whether my new sensor actually works, but the other 3 certainly do. I'm going to order the ATEQ tool now instead.

By the way, I use an iDataLink Maestro to show all 4 tire pressures and location, it's more useful than the single LED on the dashboard.

The instructions say to run the subaru.exe "patch" first, but I've found no difference whether I have that running or not.
It seems to run better if I launch through VX Manager, rather than launching SSM3 directly. When switching between WiFi and USB, it prompts me to upgrade or downgrade to a different version, 2016 vs 2019. I'm not sure what this means.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Update: The tool works for programming keys! Just make sure you buy a key which is "unlocked" because that is a separate process not supported by SSM. I bought this one from seller named virginkeys on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/UNLOCKED-VIRGIN-OEM-Subaru-Keyless-Remote-Smart-Key-4B-Trunk-HYQ14AHC/332286152770

To my surprise, it didn't even ask for the security immobilizer ID. And process described in SSM3 manual did not work (it says to go into Other Models > Each System Check > Keyless Unit Mode).
In the menu, I chose Other Models > Immobilizer > Generic Scan Tool > VxDiag > Smart key registration. I just had to hold the existing key up to the start button, then do it again with the new key, and voila! It works with both RF buttons and proximity sensing.
 
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