VXDIAG Subaru SSM3 review on Impreza (with pictures)

Here’s the real customer review on VXDIAG Subaru SSM-III diagnostic system.  Credit to Mr. Dallas JW.

I’ve got the VXDIAG Subaru vcx plus and its fully functional as far as I can tell.  Plan on buying a spare laptop for it.

I’ve connected to all the control modules easily, It needs internet access and has to connect for the VxDiag license.  and changed the Body Integrated Unit programming.. It gives trouble codes and descriptions for all of the modules.  Here is the picture of the X-Mode light lit up on my Impreza Sedan.  A single check engine code disables my cruise and turns on about 5 dash lights, also pisses me off.
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.

here are the pics.

The vxdiag subaru 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

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.

Main menu.

Some of the control modules you can connect to: ECM,  airbag, brake, cruise control system, 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.)
You can view real-time parameters.
You can view codes with a short description.. Both current and past.
You can also do output tests, things like trigger door lock solenoids, horn, fuel injectors, etc.

Output test: All lights on.

Output test: Speedo to 80.

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):

BIU Customization (theres more listed)..
Auto or Manual A/C (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
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).

Combination meter adjustments.

Set a new center on steering wheel for VDC.

Read and clear crash data record.

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


“Pass through” mode.. this is an extra, not part of the actual Subaru tool.
It is a good buy indeed.