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[General] [VR/VS/VT/VX/VY/VZ] Everything to know about ALDL Diagnostic Cables

TazzI

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Iv noticed theres not a whole lot of information or tutorials explaining DIY diagnosing your commodore using an ALDL cable. In my opinion, its the best/cheapest way of diagnosing your car instead of wasting money on a mechanic to do a 10sec job. So here comes a crash course in ALDL, cars supported, available software and even some raw ALDL communication breakdown!
:beer chug:

So First up, What is ALDL?
ALDL (Assembly Line Diagnostic Link) is the communication protocol used in Holden Commodores to all the various modules within the car to communicate with one another and allow us to request information, clear faults, upload custom calibrations ect just like the tech2 does! So think of ALDL as a “language” just like English or Chinese, the languages “sound” different although the exact same information can be sent through if “spoken” corrently.


Which Holden Commodore models use ALDL?
All VR/VS/VT/VX/VY/VZ (All Engine, body and transmission types!)

VR/VS/VT/VX/VY/VZ use 8192 baud. (the baud is the speed at which communication is happening!)
And VN/VP use 160 baud (need a special cable to connect to the VN's diagnostic plug)

Which models can view LIVE engine data AND Faults?
VR (V6 & V8)
VS (V6 & V8)
VT (V6, and 5.0L V8's)
VU (V6 only)
VX (V6 only)
VY (V6 only)

Now Im sure the first question here is “What about my V8/LS1 and VZ’s. V8’s and VZ’s (Also VE’s) use a different protocol (Language) which is known as OBD2. OBD2 has a few different protocols again such as VPW(V8/ls1), CAN 11bit, CAN 29bit, ISO ect. These vehicles require an OBD2 Cable such as an ELM327 cable! (DON’T GET BLUETOOTH! THEY ARE USELESS!). Ill more then likely write up another tutorial/thread for OBD2 soon for those interested in engine diagnostics with there obd2 cars.


What other electronics/modules in my car use ALDL?
ALDL is used for the various modules in the car to communicate with one another. This means the SRS,ABS,Cluster,radio,telematics,PIM,BCM ect all communcuate over the same protocol and can be requested for information just like the tech2 does. So even if you have a V8 or a VZ, you can still use an ALDL cable to communicate with these other items!


Available ALDL engine/tuning data software
My main recommended choices are:
Advanced Engine Diagnostics (SUPER easy to use!)
OSE Enhanced tool
Efilive v4
Tuner Pro
winALDL (for 160 baud (VN/VP) only)


Where can I get a cable from?
I suggest grabbing the cable from a source within Australia, shipping is a good $30+ from usa, so I recommend grabbing a cable from either of these two links.
From myself - Quality tested cables
Pcmhacking.net


How to use the software
Heres a couple youtube videos showing how to get setup and live engine data reading!

-Advanced Engine Diagnostics (Envyous Customs exclusive)

-Tuner Pro

-EFILive V4



-OSE Enhanced Tool
And finally OSE Enhanced tool by VL400 over at delcohacking.net. This application can be used to TUNE v6 commodores (Please read up to check if your suitable for this!). Allowing for full bin read/write or calibration read/write. It also has the unique ability to view raw ALDL communication and send custom messages to the car (Ill give some examples)

First up, setup your cable connection correctly in the settings.


Next I find the best way to check if its working is to plug the cable into the car, open up the “Listen to chatter” and click on listen, then your textbox should fill up with a whole heap of information! Yes it looks like gibberish, but it does all mean something.




ALDL Messages Breakdown
*Firstly everything is done in Hexadecimals.. this is essentially the computer/programmers way of numbers.


F1,57,01,00,B7
The above is an example ALDL frame. So lets break down what each byte means.

The device ID (F1) selects which module to send the information to, in this case F1 is the BCM.

The message length (57) describes how many bytes of information there is, in this case there is 2 (00,01). Message length = 57 – 55 = 2

The mode (01) which selects what the message is meant to do, in this case 01 means read a specific table.

The Table (00) , tables contain specific information generally about a certain topic eg Faults, Current status ect.

And finally the checksum (B7) which is a check on the message to ensure it is correct
eg. F1+57+01+00 = 149 then 149-100 = 49, then 100-49 = B7. This is known as a 2’s complement (Others may calculate this differently)


And a typical response back in a VY commodore would be:
F1,75,01,00,19,FB,08,03,00,01,03,62,0A,18,0C,00,02,02,F2,FD,82,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,30,00,FF,00,42

Where again we can see the device id, message length, mode, table, data and checksum.

So whats all the “data” in the middle mean? Well that’s the part that requires a lot of work generally to figure out. Simple things such as turning on your lights will change the response of the above message as the BCM will update the message to say “lights on”.

For example byte 21 has a hex value of 82, this is a decimal value of 130, and this particular byte means the battery voltage = 130/10 = 13v (roughly)

Thats it for now!
If I missed anything, need more explanation/examples or are confused, let me know and Ill help where I can!


Cheers,
Taz.
:beer chug:
 
Last edited:

kyled2012

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Hey mate, this thread is awesome! It answered heaps of my questions.

About to buy one of your cables off eBay haha. Good work!
 

TazzI

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Hey mate, this thread is awesome! It answered heaps of my questions.

About to buy one of your cables off eBay haha. Good work!
Cheers! Its only a basic introduction, but hopefully it cleared any confusion for anyone looking to purchase a diagnostic cable for your V6 commodore or just like the idea of being able to tinker a bit.

Will be posting up another thread in regards to OBD2 (VPW,CAN 11bit, CAN 29bit) so that V8 owners and VZ/VE owners know what cable and software to get to read engine data/faults!
 

Senator829

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Can I use one of these programs to clear a airbag light in a s2 vs
 

TazzI

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Can I use one of these programs to clear a airbag light in a s2 vs
Ah, I dont recall seeing that option in efilive or tuner pro as a simple "1click" solution. But fairly certain you can use OSE tool and the ALDL cable to send the "Airbag clear" command to remove all history faults. I dont remember the command off by heart but pretty sure its posted over at pcmhacking.net if you go have a snoop over there.
 

codeunknown

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Can you show how to read the bcm for a radio code and remote key security code as well as get rid of the air bag and service notice.....I am told that v4 regulation has limits and only the pro can be used to full value such as unlimited defect codes ....I not tried tuner pro or the other software you mentioned I mainly interested in v6 vt ....so if you have some links can you post them here please....ty phil
 

gungazza

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looks like $80 on ebay
 

VR38

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Hey gy=uys, is there anything like this around for VN/VP?
 

BOOST666

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I've heard of people being able to play with settings and customise their VY level 3 clusters, do you know of a program capable of doing this in conjunction with the ALDL cable?
 
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