How to Diagnose, Read, Clear BMW Fault Codes

Vehicle:   BMW
Difficulty: ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪
DIY Cost: $150-$800
Est. Time: 30 min

In this guide, you will learn how to read and clear codes from BMW cars using various BMW diagnostic tools. 

What you will need

See the list in the next section. 

How to read BMW Fault Codes

Reading BMW fault codes for any module is easy, but you need to have the right OBD2 scanner. See the next section for a list of BMW scan tools. 

  1. Locate the diagnostic port under the dashboard. 
  2. Plugin your BMW scan tool. 
  3. Turn on the ignition but don't start the engine. 
  4. Select the BMW model and chassis after the scanner turns on. 
  5. Select Auto Scan or Control Unit
  6. Scroll down, select Read Codes, and press enter. 

Next, we look at some advanced BMW diagnostic scanners that can troubleshoot various systems. Watch the following videos to learn how to read fault codes on a BMW. 

Diagnose BMW with Foxwell NT510

Foxwell NT510 for BMW is a powerful scan tool capable of reading and clearing codes from over 70 different modules. It also allows you to register a new battery and look at sensor data.

Foxell NT510 doesn't offer coding capabilities. If you are looking for an easy to use BMW scanner, this is a great choice.

If the error codes are present, you will need to fix the underlying problem then clear the codes. BMW fault codes may also be referred to as DTC or Diagnostic Trouble Codes.

Diagnose all modules with AutoPhix ES910

AutoPhix ES910 is a great choice if you need to diagnose the airbag system, ABS, DSC, or any other module. You will need a scanner that can access multiple systems.

In this section, you will learn how to use several advanced BMW diagnostic scanner and reset fault codes. 

AutoPhix ES910 is another scanner worth considering if you are \looking for a good BMW Code Reader. While it works only on BMW, it can access most systems, including ABS, SRS, EGS, and more.

It is one of the cheapest BMW scanners that you can buy. Great value for the money. Usually, retails for around $150-$200.

Diagnose BMW with Launch Creader

Launch Creader VII+ works on BMW plus over 20 other makes.

It can primarily scan four main modules: ECU, ABS, SRS, and transmission fault codes. It can't get into too many other BMW modules.

It is a better option and more powerfully than a generic OBD2 scanner or ELM327 Bluetooth Adapter, or Torque App. Its main advantage is that it covers multiple makes and models. 

Diagnose BMW with Carly

One of the most popular BMW scan tools in the market. It can access the majority of modules in 1996 and newer BMW. It can read and clear codes. Register a new battery.

It is one of the few scanners that can code and program BMW features such as enabling folding mirrors, getting rid of the iDrive warning message, change the low fuel warning setting, and a lot more.

Be careful with this scanner as you can cause damage to your BMW if you misconfigure a module. Carly for BMW Pro requires a yearly subscription plan. 

Diagnose BMW with Autel MaxiDAS

Autel MaxiDAS is now discontinued and has been replaced by Autel MaxiCOM.  It is a professional diagnostic scanner. It works on the majority of cars that you see on the road.

This scanner is straightforward to use, and often you will see independents automotive repair shops use it.

Not only can you access multiple BMW modules, but it allows you to test sensors and activate them for in-depth troubleshooting. It costs around $800-$1000.

Reading BMW fault codes is an effortless procedure regardless of which scanner you use. 

To read fault codes from any module, you need to have a multi-level BMW scanner such as the ones outlined here. 

By YOUCANIC Automotive Experts
Nov 2020

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