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Old 01-04-2020, 07:37 PM
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Bowling Green KY
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What is the recommended scan tool/software package

So what do people recommend these days for a good scantool or software package/cable that will read BMWs and do some light coding that you don't have to be an IT genius to set up?
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Old 01-04-2020, 07:45 PM
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BMW Scanner 1.4.
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:45 PM
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Is that the old PA Soft equipment, or something different?
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:03 AM
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you know these are separate tasks. The "light coding" you mention is mostly a one-time or infrequent thing. NCS & PA Soft (BMW Scanner 1.4) are best for this, but they are a little Intensive to load, learn and use.. There a few people out there in the greater BMW world (especially the E46 crowd) who will do the coding for you remotely.

For a handheld. people seem to like the Creator line (310?), although I haven't tried it.

For myself, I use an old-outdated BMW-specific Peake Research R5/FCX3 (Peake might be out of business) for most day-to-day code reads & SES resets for my 5 BMWs. It is powered by the UBS port and sits in a car. You also need the accompanying book to read the codes. People on the forums mostly don't like it, but I am used to it.

I also have INPA, PA Soft, NCS + others (Tool32) loaded/working on a dedicated WinXP laptop that I use occasionally. Among other things I use NCS to immediately code out features I don'want on new-to-me cars..like auto locks, double unlock, etc.
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:45 AM
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Carly Soft. Good diagnosis and coding in one package, you don't need to know programming at all. I've used on my former E53, current E91 (still a X) and other BMW's with OBD (friends and colleagues).
2002 Euro X5 (E53) 3.0 diesel (M57)
5 speed manual with UUC short shifter.
Pre-xDrive NV125 transfer case (chain & gears).
Factory Xenon headlights, Spyder LED tail lights
Updated vortex crankcase breather.
Motorsport dead pedal, factory fire extinguisher, factory first aid kit, factory F&R mud flaps, factory PDC

Bilstein B6 shocks F&R
Redline oil has replaced "lifetime" fluids (F&R diff, manual transmission, transfer case and P/S).
Dimple magnetic drain plugs in all compartments.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:25 PM
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Have gone through many scanners over the years. Currently using Foxwell NT520 pro scanner for BMW/MINI. Very intuitive and code and code explanation are on screen. Very complete scanner. Only scanner needed IMO. I have a dedicated PC with Windows XP and a remote TB hard drive for INPA/EDIABAS package. I don't like it. Learning curve was such that since I didn't use it often I had to start all over learning how to use it. Used it once or twice though I have had no need to do coding. I didn't find it it to be intuitive at all. However there is lots of help out there and a dedicated thread in one BMW forums if you want to go that route. Part of my problem was that I am an Apple user.
X5 4.6 2002 Black Sap, Black interior. 2013 X5M Melbourne Red, Bamboo interior
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2014
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I have the Foxwell NT520 Pro handheld for easy stuff. Great tool, very capable, but not for "programming."

I held off on getting a true programming tool for a long time, assuming (and was wrong) that it would be the inevitable research project where people like to boast about how easy it is while giving you 80% of what you need to know, leading to a frustrating journey to unlock the final 20% to even do the simplest thing.

So that general behavior may be true in most cases, but not for this one. I found for the PA Soft BMW Scanner 1.4, a set of absolutely rock solid instructions that worked perfectly for me on my Win10 laptop. And the instructions were 7 years old and for a Windows 7 laptop, so I feel extra safe about recommending it.

Rather than give you 80% of it, here is a post of mine while I was re-programming the temp gauge in my E53, including the direct link to the rock solid instructions:


Bottom line: $12 eBay cable with/for PA Soft 1.4, free download of some drivers for modern windows laptops, and best of all the instructions ( https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpo...72&postcount=1 ) are 100% complete, clear, unambiguous, ... follow them and you will be programming within 15 minutes like I was.
2001 X5 3.0i, 190k miles, AT, owned since 2014
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:51 PM
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Where is the best place to get INPA NCSExpert, etc in modern times? I finally have an XP laptop. I forgot how tedious 2001 was.
2001 E53 3.0 5pd
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:27 PM
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I have both BMW Scanner 1.4 (PA Soft 1.4) and BMW Tools (INPA, EDIABAS, NCS Expert, WinKFP, etc.) on my laptop and use both all the time. There are features that each one can perform and I recommend both. For simple OBDII scanning and logging, code retrieval and clearing, I use OBD Fusion. All together, I am in $100 and that includes the price of a fleaBay Panasonic Toughbook.
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Old 01-12-2020, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
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I would also like to know a good vendor to use. I used the links( they all went to the same vendor) and their product does not work on e53 per their info.
2006 X5, 3.0 L
232,000 km
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