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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,
I have been asked many times what devices can be used on Mazda PCM/ECU/BCM Computer systems.
How can I program and update systems files (where applicable) or install replacement modules, etc.

Since OBD (up to about 2002 model year Mazda's) and current OBD II from 2003 MY to current Mazda's there is basically 2-3 pieces of hardware and 2 different Diagnostic Software systems.

What hardware is needed....

A PC Laptop, ONLY a Windows base Laptop (around say a Dell Latitude or similar) with Windows 10 64bit OS can be used.
You can not use Apple , Mac, IOS as they are not supported by any car manufacturer or aftermarket devices for diagnostics.

On your Laptop you install the Mazda Diagnostic Software called Mazda IDS or newer MDARS (from 2019).

In the old days and still today Mazda uses Ford IDS and then called it Mazda IDS (still a Ford usage license).

Current version is Mazda IDS 128, all must have appropriate user license plus a Pass Through hardware DEVICE.

Mazda Dealers use Mazda VCM II as a passthrough which is Bosch made, the VCM II is USB A cable plugged between Laptop and Cars OBD II Port inside car and under dash near Steering Wheel you will see a multi Pin female rectangle Port that the VCM II cable plugs into.

You then Run Mazda IDS, the VCM II handshakes with PC Software and cars ECU and then you go from there with with running Diagnostic to troubleshoot DTCs (codes) and or fix cars hardware and or update cars hardware.

IF you are not a Mazda Service Dealer, then you can either register as an Independent Operator or Pay To Use via Mazda Portal in North America or MME in Europe (for UK and Europe), unfortunately Mazda does not offer this Service for Oceania or Australia or New Zealand owners or Independent Operators which in 2022 is bloody disgraceful.
About 5 years ago the Australian Government tried to force car makers to address this shortfall and it never eventuated because Mercedes Benz and others were worried about their IP which is all BS as data and diagnostics is available in North America and Europe.

Then from 2019 Mazda introduced a new Bosch system of Software for diagnostic called MDARS (Mazda Diagnostic and Repair Software) (Chrome based) in the all new BP Mazda 3 and every next gen model from then after, eventually MDARS will take over from Mazda IDS as there are very few cars coming off the production line that use Mazda IDS (MX-5 and Mazda 2 /Demio).

Here is a list of what Diagnostic hardware matches with what and what you can do and use with Mazda VCM II and other non genuine VCMs, my suggestion is be careful what you use or buy, Genuine Mazda VCM IIs are around $1700 USD, plus IDS Software plus a usage license from a few hours to weeks, months use.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mazda also sells an excellent range of SSTs or Special Service Tools.

These tools have a Part Number reference starting with 49xxxxxxxxx and can be crossed referenced with genuine Mazda car Workshop Repair Manuals.

While not cheap many are must use ...
Again for Europe they can be purchased here..

In North America again see your Mazda Dealer for tool purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Just for reference here are a few pics of my VCM's.

The original Rotunda VCM can be used in early model Mazda's up to about 2005, but unfortunately the software support life for old Ford IDS 66 can no longer be used live so you basically have a very good gold plated paper weight.

Luggage and bags Automotive lighting Bag Backpack Musical instrument accessory


The current in use from about 2013 is the Bosch made Mazda VCM-II Pass through Device.
Has been very reliable and Firmware updateable but again you must have a license pay to use with Mazda IDS or MDARS software on your Windows 10 64 bit Laptop.

Product Blue Gadget Luggage and bags Bag
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Please Note:
You can not purchase Portal Time say in North America and use it in Australia or New Zealand, or buy time in UK and use in Australia, however yet to be tested around 18 months ago all new Mazda's built under old ADR Specs are now EU for NZ and Australia so you may be able to use the MME /UK Portal in Australia on these Mazda's from 2021 onwards.?
I have not tested this outcome for Mazda IDS or MDARS diagnostics use.
Mazda IDS and MDARS handshake with the cars VIN details when connected via Portal.
 
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