Free Volvo Software Upgrades:Benefits of Volvo Software Updates
In today’s world, computers run everything; including your Volvo.
Benefits of performing the software updates
Volvo offers complimentary – FREE software updates/upgrades with service, model year 2000+. This a proactive way to neutralize bugs before you are even aware they exist. And just like your computer, you need the latest and the greatest software calibration to fine tune your engines performance.
There is a chance the new calibration will change noticeable characteristics in the way the car drives. The update may raise or lower the idle, change the shifts or idle speed control, or other settings meant to solve a warranty issue, economy issue, or emissions.
Pay to Play: T6 Polestar Performance Software Package carries an MSRP of $1,495 installed
What updated Software calibration entails
Software calibration entails optimizing the engine management system for increased efficiency, optimizing the climate control for airflow and temperature management or improving automatic transmission gear shifting quality. Volvo is continually developing new software and by providing updates to ensure that your car is operating at it’s optimum best — peak performance.
Customized settings that will be affected after the Software Upgrade
- Remember that after a software update all your settings will be erased from memory.The clock and radio presets, mirror and power seat memory (in vehicles so equipped), and any setting in the infotainment system menu that has been altered by the customer from the factory default value. Information on the settings can be found in your Owner’s Manual. Alternatively, your Volvo Service Advisor can walk you through on how to re-install your presets.
How Volvo Software Upgrades Work
Your Volvo consists of many small computers, commonly known as modules. Each one of theses on-board computers — modules — is programmed at the factory with software enabling it to perform specific tasks.
Software upgrades — flash reprogramming — must be done with a Volvo specialty shop using Volvo’s VIDA application which connects Volvo Technicians directly to Volvo.
Volvo’s uses VIDA (Vehicle Information & Diagnostics for After Sales)computer system for software (firmware) downloads, fault tracing and on-board diagnostics. This is a sophisticated and expensive computer system only available to Volvo dealerships.
A Volvo technician will simply enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into VIDA, and scroll down to a specific system or component, such as the ABS module and pull up all the relevant information specific to the VIN# — your Volvo — and that component for parts catalogs, fault tracing, diagnostics and software (firmware) downloads.
Thus, the purpose of VIDA is to order and download Volvo software; in addition, to repairing faults and updating Volvo on-board electronic control units (ECU).
Common on-board computers include:
Engine Control Module (ECM)
- Transmission Control Module (TCM)
- Fuel Injection Control Module (FICM)
- Climate Control Module (CCM)
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
- Delay in shifting
- Harsh shifting
- Lurching The software for these electronically controlled transmission has gone though many version changes over the years and has become much more refined. A software upgrade can therefore significantly reduce neutral to drive delays and shift flare.
Other control modules are used to manage every electronic system in your car;power windows, door locks, navigation and crash data.
Engine Control Module (ECM)
The Electronic control Module (ECM) software’s function is to control spark timing, fuel delivery, fuel economy, engine idle speed, performance, cruising, driveability and emissions controls.
Transmission Control Module (TCM)
Transmission Control Module (TCM) software, controls how the transmission and torque converter work.Volvo will first recommend for a software update on the TCM to address these concerns. The delay in shifting also known as transmission flare up is a result of a lag, this is when the transmission goes into neutral in between shifting from one gear to another. Flare up Software upgrade will fix this problem, enabling smoother shifting.
For example, every once in a while we get calls from customers with transmission problems. Transmission service required indicator light will usually be illuminated. Transmission service urgent light — means that you better sit down before you hear the bad news.
Transmission symptoms include:
If your car rolls backwards when in drive while at stop on a slight slope, you will need a software upgrade. The neutral-at- a-stop while in Drive “feature” was removed with later software versions because it can cause damage when the transmission engages harshly.
Climate Control Module (CCM)
During the summer, it’s not uncommon to hear of bugs – malfunctions – in the Climate Control Module (CCM). The air vents blow out hot air and then cycles to cold air or one side may blow hot and the other side blows cold air.
Volvo has made a Software upgrade for the AC control module available to correct climate control system faults or bugs. Most likely the module has lost the factory default setting and just needs to be re-calibrated.
Tip - Please note, if you go ahead with the software upgrade/update, there is no going back—reprogamming cannot be reversed. The die is cast, and there is no going back.
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