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Author Topic: Near disaster on Dutch motorway: Volvo V40 T3 connected to OBDLink MX WIFI  (Read 2655 times)
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Gus
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« on: January 30, 2017, 10:40:58 pm »

Yesterday (Saturday, January 28th, 2017) I was traveling to my sister and brother-in-law for a family dinner when twice my Volvo V40 T3 (2013), the engine switches off with a dashboard warning telling me that the electronic power steering is locked, while driving on a Dutch motorway. During this trip I had connected the OBDLink MX WiFi adapter to the OBD connector of the car and had a WIFI connection between my iPhone 4s (OBD software: DashCommand) and the adapter to measure a number of parameters (such as speed and fuel usage). After the second time when my engine switched off with the dashboard warning telling me that the electronic power steering is locked, I removed the adapter from the OBD connector of the car and the car drove normally. On the way back I had removed the OBDLink MX WiFi adapter from the car and the car drove normally. Monday I will go to my Volvo dealer to print a hard copy of the error and then try to find an answer why this event has occurred.

My question is: does anyone know why this event has occurred?

Note: On the Internet, some persons believe that a communication problem (protocol) between the adapter and the OBD-software may be the cause of the problem.

Today (Monday 20 January 2017) I went to the Volvo-dealer and the Volvo-mechanic could not find any problems (using the Volvo VIDA DICE Code Reader Diagnostic Tool Scanner). I demonstrated to the Volvo-mechanic how it works; during the connection between OBDLink MX WIFI adapter and the iPhone 4s (OBD-software: DashCommand) the windscreen-wipers began spontaneous to work. He advised me not to use the OBDLink MX WIFI adapter with this Volvo-car anymore.

Reaction from ScanTool.net Staff (on their forum):
Having a protocol disruption or miscommunication does seem likely.  Generally, setting the protocol manually fixes problems like this, however I can't find where in DashCommand to set the protocol.  We are not the makers of the DashCommand app.  Here is a link to the DashCommand forum -> Palmer Performance forum.  Please submit a trouble ticket.

This is a serious issue.  Please follow the steps below to help safely isolate the issue.

  • Remove the OBDLink MX Wifi from your vehicle.
  • Make sure the vehicle has returned to functioning normally.
  • With the vehicle off, plug in the OBDLink MX Wifi.
  • Perform a factory reset on the device by holding in the button for 20 seconds, or until the green LED flashes rapidly.
  • Do not associate any device or apps with the OBDLink MX Wifi.  Make sure all OBD apps are closed.  You can also turn off Wi-Fi on your phone or tablet.
  • Leave the OBDLink MX Wifi in the vehicle, without connecting, to see if the issue returns.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 10:52:05 pm by Gus » Logged
Weston@PPE
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 11:48:02 am »

It sounds like your OBDLink is blocking the MS-CAN bus, which is used by Volvo for a lot of low priority systems like the cluster, radio, power steering, door modules, etc. The OBDLink is normally very good about this sort of thing, so I'd suspect bad hardware. I would recommend you try an LX (which does not support MS-CAN like the MX does), but I don't believe they have a WiFi version yet.

Have you followed their suggested steps, what what were the results?
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Gus
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 12:41:18 pm »

I have followed the steps given by the ScanTool.net Staff. After following his steps, I did a short test with the OBDLink MX WIFI adapter (without iPhone connection): On the motorway I drove a distance of 17 km in 17 minutes with a maximal speed of 130 km/h. During this test the Volvo-car drove normally.

Note: the problem starts when there is a connection between the OBD-hardware and OBD-software “DashCommand”.

Further, the Dutch-dealer has send me a new OBDLink MX WIFI adapter to test with my Volvo-car.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 01:57:21 pm by Gus » Logged
Gus
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 02:12:11 pm »

Today (Thursday, 2 February 2017),  I did a long test with the OBDLink MX WIFI adapter (without iPhone connection): On the motorway I drove a distance of 60 km with a maximal speed of 130 km/h. During this test the Volvo-car drove normally.
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Gus
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 01:55:23 pm »

Today (Friday, 3 February 2017), I did long test with a new OBDLink MX WIFI adapter. During the first part of the journey (97 km) on Dutch and German motorways, the OBDLink MX WIFI adapter was connected to the iPhone 4s with OBD-software DashCommand running. During this first part of this journey, my Volvo-car drove normally. Thus, no issues.

But, the second part of the journey (going back home), when I just left the parking area, the engine switched off (dark dashboard) and the windscreen-wipers went faster (it was raining).

I stopped my Volvo-car and disconnected the connection between de new OBDLink MX WIFI adapter and iPhone (while DashCommand was running), then I switch off the iPhone. Next, I did the steps that a ScanTool.net Staff recommended to me (see above) and drove back home with the OBDLink MX WIFI adapter connected to the DCL (OBD-II Data Link Connector) of the Volvo-car. During this second part of this journey, my Volvo-car drove normally. Thus, no issues.

My first preliminary conclusion is that the new OBDLink MX WIFI adapter is working correctly and there is a high probability that the OBD-software DashCommand is causing the malfunction of my Volvo-car.

This first preliminary conclusion is based on the following: the problem starts when there is a connection between the OBD-hardware and OBD-software (DashCommand). In other words, there may be a communication problem (protocol) between the OBD-adapter and the OBD-software. This conclusion is also endorsed by a ScanTool.net staff and he gives the following solution:

“Having a protocol disruption or miscommunication does seem likely.  Generally, setting the protocol manually fixes problems like this…”

But, the problem is that OBD-software DashCommand can only automatic find a protocol.

To test my preliminary conclusion, you need an OBD-software (like OBDlink from ScanTool.net, LLC) which lets you manual choose a protocol. If we use the iPhone app OBDlink, we have a few problems:

  • The iPhone app “OBDlink” is not updated for the Volvo V40 Kinetic (2013): see Settings > Vehicle Editor > Model: C30 | C70 | S60 | S80 | X670 | XC60 | XC90 (only choices).
  • The iPhone app “OBDlink” has 11 protocols (excluding Automatic) to choose from, but which one do we choose for my Volvo-car?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 03:28:25 am by Gus » Logged
Weston@PPE
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 04:09:53 pm »

DashCommand does set the protocol specifically, and we manually search through each one in order of newest to oldest. I'd expect your vehicle to be 11-bit CAN, which is the first protocol we check. There is not an option to select which protocol you'd like DashCommand to use.

Windshield wipers, radio, cluster/gauges, and those sorts of things are considered low protocol and are put on a different, non-OBDII protocol called MS-CAN. Most ELM interfaces do not support MS-CAN, and DashCommand does not attempt to use it at any point. When everything goes dark, does DashCommand remain connected and reporting valid data? If so, there is not a communication problem between the adapter and the software.

I'd suggest you try a different adapter that does not support MS-CAN. The OBDLink MX is the only ELM compatible adapter that does support MS-CAN, and it sounds to me like its incorrectly blocking the MS-CAN protocol. We actually have a Volvo S60 R here at the office we test with regularly, and we have never seen DashCommand block the MS-CAN bus on that vehicle (the owner of this vehicle uses a GoPoint BT1, but the PLX Kiwi 3 is another good option, there are also several cheap Chinese ELM WiFi interfaces on eBay/Amazon but they are usually pretty slow). We have blocked the MS-CAN bus in this vehicle intentionally before to see what happens, and it sounds very similar to what you are describing. The gauges go dark, windows/sunroof stop responding, and most electronics on the interior of the vehicle don't work.

I use an OBDLink MX Bluetooth in my own personal vehicle and usually recommend it, but my first try in this case would be an adapter that doesn't support MS-CAN.
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Gus
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 09:16:50 am »

I have returned the two OBDLink MX WIFI to the Dutch distributor and ordered the Kiwi 3 Bluetooth from an other distributor. After I receive the Kiwi 3 Bluetooth (probably next week),  I will test the Kiwi 3 Bluetooth with my Volvo-car and put my findings on your forum and also on the ScanTool.net forum.
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Gus
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 10:46:57 am »

Reactions from ScanTool.net forum:

A member:
This is scary stuff.
I am owner of obdlink mx bt, which also has ms-can.
Does that mean that obdlink is constantly active on ms-can, and at one point f...s up due to ?firmware bug? and jams the ms-can bus?

For me it means that any car with ms-can is potentially unsafe to drive with obdlink mx plugged in...

A staff member:
We have not been able to determine what the issue was, or even verify if it was a MS-CAN issue.  The OBDLink line of tools and STN11xx ICs has been in use for several years now, in hundreds of thousands of vehicles, many of which have MS-CAN. This is the first unverified report I am aware of involving the MS-CAN bus.

We have seen many problems very similar to this issue caused by the app disrupting the vehicle's communication.  It is usually caused by attempting to use the wrong protocol baud rate.

A member:
Can you kindly explain little bit further?

From the description provided by Gus, the OBDLink was connected via WiFi to iPhone with Dashboard software. This software was continuously working and providing some data (speed, fuel consumption, etc). Which means for me that it did configure the device properly via AT / ST commands and there was steady data flow towards the tool.

I understand what You wrote about bitrate mismatch on protocol auto-probing which if we are very unlucky lead to the car systems interpreting the data as 'engine shutdown' message. However that would mean that during application runtime, the app would have to decide to restart protocol auto-probing - leading failure. From the explanation of Dashboard producer - they were trying to tell that no such thing happens actually. Maybe there needs to be bit more cooperation on trying to find it all out between scantool and dashboard producer? They claim that they have seen something similar happening when MS-CAN was blocked (jammed?) and at the same time claimed that their software had nothing to do with MSCAM

Adding both together it seems quite hard to explain all this happening. While Gus was actually very lucky as he survived these failures to tell the story on this forum, for me, until this is all fully explained, doing the same as Gus did and knowing that it might happen is just pushing luck bit too far.

Is there any other working hypothesis of this happening?
Good question is also - which firmware version was used when the incident happened..
And, I can see in the changelog that there are now some provisions in the firmware to stop transmitting on the bus in case of app misbehaviour. Would that work in this case?
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Gus
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2017, 12:20:47 pm »

Friday 17 February I received my new PLX Kiwi 3 Bluetooth. Today, Saturday (18 February 2017) I drove (about 86 km) on Dutch and German motorways with my PLX Kiwi 3 Bluetooth while de OBD-software DashCommand was running without any incidents; my Volvo-car drove smoothly.
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