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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Best OBD tool + iOS



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      08-18-2018, 09:48 PM   #1
greenberet123
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Best OBD tool + iOS

Want to purchase a OBD2 reader device that also lets me reset codes. Am making too many visits to Oreilly and Autozone just to read codes.

Saw a bunch of simple dongles online that communicate with the phone directly, is this the cheapest way to go? Or should I be buying a device with a screen?
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      08-18-2018, 10:22 PM   #2
hassmaschine
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Get a cheap android tablet. There's like 4-5 different options - the newest is the bimmergeeks ProTool app. It can do everything INPA can do.
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      08-18-2018, 10:22 PM   #3
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That shit doesn't work....generic OBD2 scanners DO NOT WORK. P-codes are nearly useless for diagnosing cars. Honestly the only thing generic OBD2 code readers are good for is to check emission monitor readiness and to see if someone reset the check engine light. THATS IT!

For our E9X BMWs here are your options for diagnostics from cheapest to most expensive:

1) BMW INPA or ISTA Software (Free) on a windows laptop and a $15 K+D Can cable.

2) Foxwell NT510 or NT520 Scanner loaded with the BMW software ($150) (Software for other makes are available for download at $60 a pop).

3) Autel Maxisys or Maxidas DS808 ($600 to $2500). This is a professional level diagnostics tool that mechanics and repair facilities will use. It does everything that BMW ISTA/INPA and Foxwell NT510/NT520 can do but the advantage is that it comes loaded with software for all Makes and Models (Asian, European, American).

All 3 of these options are better than a stupid generic OBD2 scanner in that these have the ability to connect to each individual module on the car and read manufacturer specific codes.

If you have multiple cars in your family (like me), the "best value" is the Autel Maxidas DS808. At around $680 it covers every make and model. We have 2 BMWs, 1 Honda, 1 Toyota, 1 Lexus.
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      08-19-2018, 01:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerNugget View Post
That shit doesn't work....generic OBD2 scanners DO NOT WORK. P-codes are nearly useless for diagnosing cars. Honestly the only thing generic OBD2 code readers are good for is to check emission monitor readiness and to see if someone reset the check engine light. THATS IT!

For our E9X BMWs here are your options for diagnostics from cheapest to most expensive:

1) BMW INPA or ISTA Software (Free) on a windows laptop and a $15 K+D Can cable.

2) Foxwell NT510 or NT520 Scanner loaded with the BMW software ($150) (Software for other makes are available for download at $60 a pop).

3) Autel Maxisys or Maxidas DS808 ($600 to $2500). This is a professional level diagnostics tool that mechanics and repair facilities will use. It does everything that BMW ISTA/INPA and Foxwell NT510/NT520 can do but the advantage is that it comes loaded with software for all Makes and Models (Asian, European, American).

All 3 of these options are better than a stupid generic OBD2 scanner in that these have the ability to connect to each individual module on the car and read manufacturer specific codes.

If you have multiple cars in your family (like me), the "best value" is the Autel Maxidas DS808. At around $680 it covers every make and model. We have 2 BMWs, 1 Honda, 1 Toyota, 1 Lexus.
Have you seen Bimmergeeks' Pro Tools? It may be a little focused on coding options but its no slouch as it has a lot of INPA options. I know the universal pro models are mechanic standards, but even as someone who prefers iOS, this is pretty good....tho android only.
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      08-19-2018, 03:21 AM   #5
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For simple engine diagnosis, emissions readiness, OBD code reader/clearing, freeze frame data, realtime PIDs, logging, gauges, etc., I’d get OBD Fusion and a Bluetooth LE OBD2 interface.

OBD Fusion for Android is $3.99
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ouchScan&hl=en

OBD Fusion for iPhone/iPad is $9.99.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/obd-...650684932?mt=8

VeePeak WiFi adapter from Amazon is $16.99
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WPW6BAE..._y-HZAb5VQAAZ1

VeePeak Bluetooth 4.0 LE adapter from Amazon is $29.99
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073XKQQQW..._ecIZAbDVZDWTB
Apple added BT LE starting with iOS 5 and iPhone 4S, iPad 3rd Gen, iPad Mini and later.
Android 4.4 and later.
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      08-20-2018, 03:01 PM   #6
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I can vouche for the Foxwell, used it on both the E90 as well as a mini. Does everything it says it will.
Just ordered an ELM327 Bluetooth but have not heard of anyone yet who has used one with the Pro Tool. Anyone have one? Should work just fine with it I'd imagine.
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      08-20-2018, 04:27 PM   #7
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It won't work. Has to be their adapter - the reason is the QC of most of the generic adapters is poor. Apparently like 70% of the packets were getting dropped, so they decided not to support them. it kind of sucks (I have 2 useless bluetooth adapters), but it also prevents people from bricking modules using a flaky adapter. Fortunately it's about the same cost as all but the cheapest ones, but those probably don't work anyway.

the other option is of course a cheap dcan cable + adapter. For just coding, it doesn't have to be special - but if you ever want to flash a module, you'll want their cable anyway.
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      08-20-2018, 06:45 PM   #8
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Thanks, was thinking about purchasing a cable for the laptop anyway
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      08-20-2018, 08:22 PM   #9
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OBD access comes in two flavors: Generic and OEM-specific. ALL cars since the late '90s MUST support "Generic" access. This supports a wide range of generic ENGINE-ONLY codes and VERY basic functions, like clearing faults and resetting the SES light. For many simple repairs, like a mis-fire, this is enough, for many, like turbo faults, it doesn't even come close. These devices provide NO access to the MANY other controllers in the car, like transmission, air bags, atc.

Each manufacturer also provides their own, unique OEM-specific codes, which often provide MUCH more specific faults. The "cheap", generic code readers CANNOT read or reset these. Each manufacturers interface is different, so a scanner than can access the Ford OEM-specific information cannot, in general, access any other manufacturers OEM-specific information.

The expensive, professional-level scanners typically provide access to most, or all, manufacturers OEM-specific information, but those scanners also typically cost $2-5K. Peake has inexpensive BMW-specific tools, for ~$150.
The ONLY low-cost tool I've ever seen that support multiple OEMs is the Foxwell NT510/520, which is $150, and allows multiple OEM-specific software packages to be purchased and loaded into the device for ~$60 each. The BMW-software for the NT510 is EXCELLENT, and provides access to not only the engine computer, but virtually ALL computers on the car - Engine, transmission, brakes, ABS, Traction Control, Air Bags, Audio, Navigation, Climate Control, Locks, Alarm, etc. etc.

In my book, the ONLY scanner to buy at the present time is the Foxwell. The initial $150 purchase includes ONE OEM-specific software package, so if you ONLY need a BMW scanner, $150 is your total price. It is an EXCELLENT scanner, and mine has already paid for itself many times over in the ~9 months I've owned it.

Regards,
Ray L.
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      08-20-2018, 10:25 PM   #10
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FWIW, I use a combinaton of the following, based on the need, for my E39, E46, E84, E92:
- ELM327 bluetooth LE OBD2 interface with OBD Fusion, Dash Command apps
- Carly gen2 WiFi OBD adapter and Carly app
- BMW Scanner 1.4 adapter and software
- K+DCAN cable (with the switch) with INPA, WinKFP, NCSExpert

I feel like you need several tools, and hell I love tools! Looks like the Foxwell is the next one on order.
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      08-23-2018, 01:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the awesome replies, this is why I love this forum!

So is the KDCAN + INPA solution much worse than Foxwell? Does Foxwell provide more information than INPA?
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      08-23-2018, 01:27 PM   #12
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No. Foxwell is just better than the generic cables, which won't tell you anything other than generic OBD codes. BMW's own software is definitely much more powerful - but not always super user friendly, since it's meant for factory production and BMW's engineers.
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      08-27-2018, 05:33 PM   #13
greenberet123
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Any way to get a discount on the Foxwell? Or do we just bite the bullet and pay the $150?
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      08-31-2018, 08:14 AM   #14
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Foxwell NT510 or 520

RayLivingston,

What is the difference between the 510 and 520? Also, where did you buy a NT510 for $150? I see them for $180 on Amazon.

I have been using Carly for BMW with my iPad for several years. However, I have gone thru two cheap Chinese ELM327 WiFi adapters that work at first and then become intermittent. Carly says that that the software will only work with their adapter which looks like the cheap copies and cost over $80. Ridiculous. I am looking at a tool that will work every time.

Thanks

Wally
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      08-31-2018, 08:44 PM   #15
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FYI I bought a 510 direct from Foxwell last week and they sent me a note saying they didnít stock 510s anymore. They sent me a 520 for the same price as the 510...
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      09-01-2018, 06:23 AM   #16
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Foxwell or Autophix

Has anyone had experience with the Autophix Es910? How does it compare to the Foxwell nt510/520?
Looks like the Autophix does the same thing as the Foxwell and is less money.

Also, do either one do the 2018 X3 (G01)?

Thanks

Wallyf
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      09-10-2018, 04:55 AM   #17
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foxwell

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenberet123 View Post
Any way to get a discount on the Foxwell? Or do we just bite the bullet and pay the $150?
Here: http://www.foxwelltool.com/wholesale...installed.html cheaper than others.

Last edited by jatc2016; 12-10-2019 at 09:23 PM..
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      09-10-2018, 04:57 AM   #18
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nt520 vs nt510

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyF View Post
RayLivingston,

What is the difference between the 510 and 520? Also, where did you buy a NT510 for $150? I see them for $180 on Amazon.

I have been using Carly for BMW with my iPad for several years. However, I have gone thru two cheap Chinese ELM327 WiFi adapters that work at first and then become intermittent. Carly says that that the software will only work with their adapter which looks like the cheap copies and cost over $80. Ridiculous. I am looking at a tool that will work every time.

Thanks

Wally
Improved hardware, adds Benz, Lancia, renault, psa car models, share the same functions. Details
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      09-10-2018, 01:03 PM   #19
ctuna
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Ista D and Inpa toghtether will do more than anything else.
Ista D is what BMW used in there dealerships for years.
Inpa is there Engineering development tool.
You can do any type of coding with Inpa well beyond the canned
routines you get with things like Carly.
Ista D is like having a shop manual with guided trouble shooting. It also has schematics and mechanical diagrams
its something like 50 gigs of space on a disk.

The catch is you have to know your way around a PC and it you have
Apple products you have to run these programs inside a Virtual
machine. It will also require effort to set up and learn to steer either
of these.

See the coding sub forum and Bimmergeeks.net for more options.
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      09-10-2018, 09:21 PM   #20
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Do any of these scanners let you also program/code the car?

What about the Carly app?
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      10-28-2018, 09:59 AM   #21
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Is Zurich ZR13 tool (from HF) any good?

VERY glad for the information in this thread. I am long overdue to get my own scan tool, and was looking between the Foxwell N510 (apparently still on Amazon for $180) and the Zurich ZR13 from Harbor Freight, which is on sale for $160 with their usual coupon game.

The Foxwell N520 isn't listed on Amazon, and from customer reviews, it looks like there are some issues getting the software download onto the N510... maybe because it's been phased out? The link on Foxwell's website for the N510 links to "buy on Amazon", and I don't see a way to order the N520 on their site either. Plus I'm not crazy about a device that is dependent on downloading lots of specific mfg files, since I maintain a VW, Volvo, Saab and now BMW, = big $$$ and potential for software inflicted grief.

Also I prefer to get something in my hands rather than order online so I can start using it without waiting for delivery, thus I was leaning toward trying the ZR13. Does anyone have experience with that device for specifically the E92?

Also want to echo AllBlack's question... can you code simple things with any of these tools, like for example turn off the seat-belt nag chime? For example, does the BMW INPA or ISTA Software let you do that?

Thanks!
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      10-28-2018, 02:28 PM   #22
ctuna
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Inpa suite of tools diags and coding.
the most powerful tool for coding there is.

Ista D diagnostics and guided troubleshooting all in English
this like having a shop manual on your laptop.
Parts and wiring diagrams exploded views etc etc.
This is a big program that was developed for dealerships and used
for the active life of the e90.


diagnostic manual ista/inpa
https://bimmerprofs.com/diagnostics-inpa-part-1/
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...xo19teM9vkTF-C
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...7x8H3pN8h1fMuF

Bimmergeek.net cable is the most solid its not dirt cheap but
but do you want dirt cheap to work on your car.
45 bucks isn't that much compared to the downside.



https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/at...9&d=1539905743
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