What Diagnostic Software Does Volvo Use?

Given software’s crucial role in modern vehicles, what diagnostic software does Volvo use?

Volvo’s Premium Tech Tool (PTT) is the primary diagnostic software used by technicians and engineers to identify issues with Volvo vehicles. However, there are others. Volvo VADIS and Volvo VIDA are also diagnostic tools worth considering and might be viable for you, depending on the age of your car.

So, read on to find out what you need to know about Volvo’s diagnostic software and how to use it to your advantage when servicing your vehicle.

What Is Volvo PTT Diagnostic Software Used For?

The Volvo Premium Tech Tool (PTT) is a Windows-based diagnostic application that technicians use to test, calibrate, and program engine parameters, helping them to identify vehicle issues and work on a quick fix.

Volvo’s PTT basic software supports all vehicles from 1998 to the present day, and when you purchase the diagnostic software, you are given a one-year subscription as part of the fee, with the software itself installed on a USB drive.

After one year, you will be issued updates, and you also have the option to renew the subscription should you wish to continue using PTT for diagnosing and working on issues that your Volvo faces.

Although there are other diagnostic options for Volvos (more on this shortly), PTT is the primary tool used by technicians. 

But how much does it cost, and how do you order it?

How Much Does Volvo PTT Cost?

Should you wish to invest in Volvo PTT for personal or commercial use, it costs $700 for the software. Below is a list of the costs associated with the various PTT options available to you:

  • Premium Tech Tool Diagnostic Software (USB) Volvo Only – $700.00 
  • Premium Tech Tool Diagnostic Software (USB) Mack and Volvo – $950.00
  • Diagnostic Software USB – Dual Upgrade – $230.00
  • Premium Tech Tool Diagnostic Software (USB) Volvo Only, with specific ECU Programming – $1,600.00
  • Premium Tech Tool Diagnostic Software (USB) Mack and Volvo, with specific ECU Programming – $3,090.00
  • Premium Tech Tool Diagnostic Software (USB) Mack, Volvo, and Prevost, with specific ECU programming – $4,500
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So, as you can see from the above price list, the cost of Volvo’s diagnostic software depends on your intended use and the vehicles you plan to work on.

Ultimately, the above prices are relatively standard across the industry, and it’s a good investment if you’re looking to work on your Volvo.

What About Volvo VADIS?

Another popular tool used by technicians is Volvo VADIS – Volvo Aftersales Diagnostics Information System, a computer-based service manual for all Volvo vehicles.

VADIS consists of service & repair instructions, maintenance, service bulletins, parts catalog, accessory installation instructions, and other vital aspects of Volvo maintenance.

VADIS is Windows-compatible and popular with professional car technicians and independent car dealers.

Crucially, Volvo Vadis is only valid for Volvos up to 2005, and it is only available as a DVD.

Ultimately, VADIS was one of the first diagnostic tools used by Volvo mechanics and technicians, but newer models have since replaced it.

For instance, its direct replacement was VIDA, which is internet-only software for Volvo technicians, as we explain below.

How Does Volvo VIDA Work?

Volvo VIDA was released in 2015 and is 100% internet-based, meaning that you can continuously tap into the most current information about your vehicle as and when you need it.

The fact that it’s internet-based means that changes and corrections can be applied much more quickly.

VIDA – Vehicle Information and Diagnostics for Aftersales – is a subscription software used predominantly by technicians and engineers.

The software helps wiring schematics and updating crucial software for certain Volvo vehicles.

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So, if you own an old Volvo (2005 or older), you should look to Volvo VADIS for diagnostics. However, if you drive a newer Volvo (2015 to present), Volvo VIDA is the diagnostic software you need to work on your vehicle.

Can You Upgrade Volvo Software?

Whether you have PTT or VIDA, you can update your Volvo software. Volvo continuously updates the systems within its vehicles, the services offered, and the diagnostic capabilities of its tools for technicians.

As a Volvo owner, the best way to upgrade your car’s software is to take it to an authorized Volvo dealer, where the technicians can use a Volvo diagnostic tool like PTT or VIDA to update the operating systems within your car.

Of course, you can purchase the software for yourself, but you need to understand how mechanics work and how to diagnose any issues that arise.

So, when it comes to upgrading your Volvo’s software, the easiest way to go about it is to take your car in for a service to allow the professionals to run a diagnostic test on your behalf.


The bottom line is that there are several options for diagnostic software for Volvos, including PTT, VIDA, and VADIS. PTT is the most widely used by technicians and engineers and is the best option.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to upgrade the software within your Volvo and run diagnostic checks, it’s best to take your car to a qualified technician to work on it on your behalf.