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Volvo Truck Diagnostic Tools - PTT and OTR Diagnostics

If you are looking to learn more about what diagnostics tools are available for Volvo trucks, then you came to the right place.  

In this blog we will dive deeper into understanding what diagnostic tools are available on the market so that you can find equipment that’s best suited for your needs.  

Premium Tech Tool and OTR Diagnostics  

You can either use an OEM diagnostic tool called Premium Tech Tool (PTT) or an OTR Diagnostics tool to perform any type of repairs on your Volvo truck.  

Volvo trucks are a different breed 

Volvo trucks are a different breed when it comes to the way you approach the repair process.  

Volvo trucks use the latest protocols and proprietary systems that require specialized diagnostic equipment in order to communicate to the engine ECU, aftertreatment ACM, Volvo I-Shift transmission, Wabco/Bendix ABS system, vehicle ECU, chassis ECU and other sub-systems.  

There are over 10 different modules that are active on the CAN bus which are communicating at low and high speeds to transmit data across these systems.  

The power of CAN bus allows the vehicle to, for example, transmit your engine RPM to the instrument cluster to display the information to you. This is all done through the CAN bus protocol sending data at various speeds to transmit the information.  

The OBD diagnostic port on a Volvo truck has 3 different CAN buses  

  1. 500k Baud Rate (Diagnostic CAN)  
  2. 250k Baud Rate (Information CAN) 
  3. 9600 Baud Rate – J1708 (Sub System)  

    A diagnostic scan tool is connected to your 9 Pin or OBD diagnostic port to get access to your Volvo Truck.

    Two different diagnostic scan tools 

    volvo and macktruck tool

    OTR Performance simplified the traditional diagnostic tool 

    If you are looking for a simple tool to perform diagnostics without complicated hardware or software, then we recommend the OTR Diagnostics app. 


    OTR Diagnostics is built to be the most versatile tool for Volvo trucks 

    • Read Active / Inactive Fault Codes 
      • SA / SPN / FMI / OEM Numbers: These are the numbers that correspond with the fault codes.  
      • Detailed Fault Code Information: Explains what is going on.  
      • Troubleshooting: Information directing you where to look for the issue with the fault code.  
      • Possible Fixes: Components that need to be replaced, or information on where to look for what caused the fault code to appear.  
      • Count Information: We track your fault code counts, so you know how many times a certain fault code has appeared.  
        • This is very important in determining intermittent fault codes.  
    • Reset Fault Codes  
      • Reset, for instance, the check engine light on your Volvo truck with this command. 
    • Reset Aftertreatment System / Soot Level 
      • Reset DEF / SCR system learned data 
      • Reset DPF filter timers after replacement 
      • Any replacement of engine sensors, such as mass air flow sensors require you to reset the engine learned data.  
    • Perform DPF Regeneration  
      • Be able to regen your Volvo truck with OTR Diagnostics. Once regen is started, the app will track how much time it takes to complete.  
        • This is stored away in the history of the app so you can track regen times.  
    • View Live Data  
      • View important data from your engine and aftertreatment systems. This data will help you troubleshoot problems or fault code issues.  
    • View History  
      • Fault Code History  
        • We track all the inactive and active fault codes in the history section of the app.  
        • You will always be able to search the history of fault codes that occurred to track patterns and to see how often they occurred.  
      • Commands History 
        • Track regen time and how often you have performed a regen with the history feature. 
        • Track all other commands that were sent based on time.  
          • It’s very useful to know how and when a command was used to clear a fault code. 
    • Vehicle Information 
      • Built in vin decoder that gives you all the information based on your vin number.  
        • This tracks some valuable information and it’s easy for you to access.  
    • Offline Mode  
      • You don’t have to be worried about always having to be online to get access to the most essential functions with the OTR Diagnostics app.  
        • We have a 14-day timer in offline mode to make sure you are covered when you’re in out of service areas.   

    What equipment do you need with OTR Diagnostics? 

    • OTR Diagnostics app (download for android or iOS devices) 
    • OTR Diagnostics subscription  
    • OTR Link – mini adapter  

    What are the costs with OTR Diagnostics? 

    • OTR Diagnostics subscription: $600 per year  
    • OTR Link + OTR Diagnostics Volvo harness = $200 (one-time fee)  

    Estimated cost to get setup with OTR Diagnostics: $200 + $600 per year for your subscription  

    What are the benefits of OTR Diagnostics? 

    • OTR Diagnostics is an easy-to-use app that allows you to quickly connect to your Volvo truck. Once connected you can access vital information that will help you get your truck back on the road. 
    • OTR Diagnostics is also much more affordable than other diagnostic scan tools. Not to mention you don’t need a lot of equipment to use it, so it’s portable.  
    • You can use OTR Diagnostics in areas where you can't be online with our offline mode feature!  

    What are the problems of OTR Diagnostics?  

    • OTR Diagnostics is for mobile and tablet only as of right now; we don’t have a desktop version.  
    • You also can’t update reprogramming if there’s a software update on your engine computers from Volvo.  

    Premium Tech Tool (PTT) 

    The second tool that is available on the market is the OEM Diagnostic tool called Premium Tech Tool, or PTT.  

    If you were to take your truck to a Volvo truck dealer, they will most likely be using the Volvo PTT software with programming capability.   

    Below is an example of what you get when you have PTT  

    • Enhanced Vehicle Information 
      • Vin number 
      • Chassis ID 
      • Engine serial number 
      • Engine software number  
      • Other details that cover other modules 
    • Read Fault Codes  
      • Get enhanced fault code information into your issue(s) 
    • Read Live Data 
      • View data in real-time that will allow you to track important readings 
    • Perform Engine Commands  
      • Injector cut out test 
      • Cylinder balance test 
      • Cylinder compression test 
      • EGR valve test 
      • Turbocharger calibration and test 
      • Reset engine learned data 
    • Perform Aftertreatment Commands  
      • Forced DPF regeneration 
      • Forced SCR crystallization  
      • Reset SCR exit inducement 
      • Test DEF injector  
    • Perform Transmission Commands  
      • Test iShift components 
      • Reset clutch  
    • Reprogram Vehicle Speed to desired amount 
    • Reprogram Cruise Control to desired amount 
    • Reprogram Idle Speed to desired amount 
    • Reprogram Engine ECU  
    • Reprogram Injectors 
    • Reprogram Transmission ECU 
    • Reprogram Aftertreatment ECU 
    • Reprogram Vehicle ECU 
    • Reprogram Chassis ECU  

    What equipment do you need with PTT?  

    • You need a dedicated laptop that is powerful enough to use with the software. 
    • You need special hardware and cabling to connect to the diagnostic port called Vocom II. 

    What are the costs with PTT?  

    • Laptop: $1,500 
    • Volvo Vocom II Hardware: $669 (Vocom Adapter) + $253 (16pin OBD Cable) + $298 (USB Cable) = $1,220 
    • Volvo PTT Subscription Software (Including specific ECU programming): $1,400 per year 

    Estimated cost to get setup with PTT: $2720 + $1,400 per year for your subscription  

    What are the benefits of PTT?  

    • Depending on the subscription level they can give you pretty much full access to your vehicle.  
      • This includes all troubleshooting information, resetting / adjusting parameters, and reprogramming.  
    • You’ll have the same equipment that the dealers use.  
      • You get dealer level information, so you will always be able to figure out what is the cause of your issues.  

    What are the problems with PTT?  

    • Internet Access: You need to be connected to the internet to access certain features and functions. 
    • Difficult to navigate: You need special training to know how to use the software. 
      • It’s hard to remember where certain functions are located.  
    • Time Consuming: It takes a long time to get the program started and connected to your vehicle to perform diagnostics. 
      • It can take up to 20 minutes per truck to ensure a full connectivity.  
    • Difficult to troubleshoot issues: If you have a problem connecting to your vehicle then you are on your own to figure out why because Volvo does not have a robust technical support team to help you diagnose your issues. 
      • Example: CAN bus data errors that prevent the tool to connect to PTT.  

    Volvo diagnostic scanners, such as OTR Diagnostics and PTT drive efficiency, which is very important when working on Volvo Trucks.  

    We have seen repair shops and fleets use a combination of tools to perform their work. So don’t be afraid to have multiple tools at your disposal to ensure you always have a backup to keep your vehicle operating at optimal uptime.  

    Until next time! 👋 
    Stay safe, stay healthy & be blessed

      Looking to learn more? Check out our other blog posts.

      OTR Diagnostics allows you to read and reset fault codes, view live data, and run advanced diagnostic functions, including forced DPF regen with your mobile phone or tablet. 

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