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  #1  
Old 05-13-2021, 09:35 AM
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Diagnostics

After reading the various threads on which is the best diagnostics, etc. tool(s) to use, I think I’m going with PA Soft to do what I (think) I’ll need to do on my ‘02 4.4 e53. Obviously there are lots of options and adherents to one or another solution, or several, but I’ve got wife-diagnosed ADD and one brain cell so would like to keep it less clogged than it already is by going with one piece of gear to get me to a 90% if not better solution.

The last dedicated thread I read on this topic was from early 2020, so I wanted to just ping the hive-mind and see if anything new is on the market that I should look at.

I’ve owned my 02 since new, but have just re-acquired it from my kids, who are now off the daily payroll…mostly. I’ve got a pretty complete refresh planned that I’m sure will entail lots of screw ups and a need for code and fault reading, system level disgnostics and manipulation, and perhaps even some more complex coding in the future for engine displacement projects I envision once the college bills stop coming in.

My project is off to an inauspicious start after I shut the trunk with the negative terminal pulled when it stated raining. This isn’t the first time either that I’ll get to crawl to the “way back” and pull the trunk floor with me on it so I can reconnect the terminal. I’m waiting for my 4.8 cluster and re-programmed DME to arrive, so I’ve got time to think about the error of my ways.

Thanks in advance for any input.

Last edited by Henn28; 05-13-2021 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 05-13-2021, 11:18 AM
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+1 on the BMW scanner 1.4.0 from PA soft. I've used this one and have it. I think it's great! Coding is made very simple, IMO. Also, if you do need to reprogram your cluster or change the vin (like I did) it is done very easily!
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:17 PM
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PA soft is great once it's working. I did not find it easy to get working though. It is great for coding too, but if you just need it for diagnostics, spend the $150 on a Foxwell and move on with your life. I went through many hours trying to figure out how to get the USB drivers to work, then later found that my cheap chinese OBD/USB connector from ebay had inexplicably stopped working, so I paid another $30 for an authentic one from the UK. And then found that every time I booted it up, I had to reinstall the USB drivers, because Windows update would blow them away periodically. It was a hassle at every turn. If you buy an authentic adapter and have an older laptop, by all means go for it.
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henn28 View Post
My project is off to an inauspicious start after I shut the trunk with the negative terminal pulled when it stated raining. This isnít the first time either that Iíll get to crawl to the ďway backĒ and pull the trunk floor with me on it so I can reconnect the terminal. Iím waiting for my 4.8 cluster and re-programmed DME to arrive, so Iíve got time to think about the error of my ways.
There is an "emergency" mechanical release on the hatch under a trim piece. Or, I think I'd hook up a booster pack under the hood to give the truck power.

Never used pa soft so can't help there. Inpa, foxwell 520, and Carly user. All have their uses.
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:31 PM
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I have had no reason to do any coding. Have had several scanners. I am using the Foxwell scanner. Very intuitive.
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Old 05-13-2021, 01:25 PM
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Looks like the "foxwell" crew rolled in... -_-

Setting up the driver for the BMW Scanner 1.4.0 is NOT that bad for anyone computer literate.
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Old 05-13-2021, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketyMan View Post
Looks like the "foxwell" crew rolled in... -_-

Setting up the driver for the BMW Scanner 1.4.0 is NOT that bad for anyone computer literate.
Computer literacy has nothing to do, I dare to say, with the choice of anyone that prefers the Foxwell scanner.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RocketyMan View Post
Looks like the "foxwell" crew rolled in... -_-

Setting up the driver for the BMW Scanner 1.4.0 is NOT that bad for anyone computer literate.

I'm a control systems engineer and programmer, I deal with computers all day every day and I would say I am as computer literate as you can get without being an actual IT/CS professional.

I would guess it took me 8-10 hours of work to get it working, including finding help on two forums. I got it working, yes, but it was a huge hassle, and is the sort of thing that may differ greatly in effort and trouble based on what hardware you are using. If you have an old XP laptop it probably won't be "that bad." I read the same sort of suggestion online ("not that bad") and ended up wasting several evenings and weekend afternoons.

I also have to suggest buying the authentic USB adapter and not the cheap chinese crap on eBay. That was part of my problem, it just stopped working out of the blue after the first time I got it working.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Bdc101 View Post
I'm a control systems engineer and programmer, I deal with computers all day every day and I would say I am as computer literate as you can get without being an actual IT/CS professional.

I would guess it took me 8-10 hours of work to get it working, including finding help on two forums. I got it working, yes, but it was a huge hassle, and is the sort of thing that may differ greatly in effort and trouble based on what hardware you are using. If you have an old XP laptop it probably won't be "that bad." I read the same sort of suggestion online ("not that bad") and ended up wasting several evenings and weekend afternoons.

I also have to suggest buying the authentic USB adapter and not the cheap chinese crap on eBay. That was part of my problem, it just stopped working out of the blue after the first time I got it working.
Oh that's nice.

Well I work for a big corp...and when I call into my IT dept for assistance, I end up getting no help from them either...and their turn around times of 8-10hrs sounds about right--that's also usually after substantial escalations on the support ticket. I end up doing my own research and resolving the issue with my local admin rights. Last example was with my company's VPN. Anyway...

But for anyone lurking on this forum and post, I used all my SW, such as BMW Scanner 1.4.0, on Win10 platform. It isn't impossible nor did it take an egregious amount of time to get working--hence the comment of computer-literate. SW is only part of the problem as HW can be quite substantial too. I also did this with the cheap "chinesium" adapters too. Got them to work. Only paid like $10 for mine from Prince-AliExpress. Fixed my KOMBI
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdc101 View Post
I would guess it took me 8-10 hours of work to get it working, including finding help on two forums. I got it working, yes, but it was a huge hassle, and is the sort of thing that may differ greatly in effort and trouble based on what hardware you are using. If you have an old XP laptop it probably won't be "that bad." I read the same sort of suggestion online ("not that bad") and ended up wasting several evenings and weekend afternoons.
I agree. It sucks to setup using most SW packages available out there. Also reasonably proficient with a Windows machine. Took me 4-6 hours if memory serves to get INPA and the associated software suite setup. And then it sucks to use after that having to drag out the laptop if you are just doing something quick and simple. It's a great tool, but like most things in life... one solution to a problem is rarely going to be the best solution in all circumstances. I still have to setup ISTA+... which I'm sure will take me a weekend.

I use all 3 of my diagnostic tools on the E53. Laptop, Foxwell, and Carly. Carly is the most convenient and does some coding, Foxwell is fairly comprehensive when it comes to diagnostics/testing but no coding, and the laptop is the most comprehensive while being the most annoying to use.

Getting upset someone else uses/recommends different solutions is bonkers.
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2005 X5 4.4i Build 04/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, Pano, Sport (Purchased 06/14 w/ 109,000 miles) (Sold 8/15 w/121,000 miles)


2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles)

2010 X5 35d Build 02/10
Nav, HiFi, 6 DVD, Sports Pckg, Cold Weather Pckg, HUD, CAS, Running Boards, Leather Dash, PDC, Pano (Purchased 03/17 w/ 136,120 miles)
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