How to read BMW codes


In this guide, you will learn how to read and clear codes from BMW cars using various BMW diagnostic tools. After you read your BMW error code, you can clear them if the status is stored. 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. First, we show you how to read engine codes then 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. 

Read BMW Check Service Engine DTC Fault Codes

A generic OBD2 scanner will allow you only to read and clear codes related to check engine light. Check engine light or also refered to as Service Engine Soon codes are stored in the DDE/DME module. Even a $15 OBD2 scanner can read and clear these BMW error codes.

BMW Scan Tools we recommend

  1. Autel AutoLink Scan Tool
  2. Ancel Code Reader
  3. ELM327 Bluetooth adapter + Torque App from Play Store

Read Fault Codes with BMW Scan Tools

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

    bmw fault code reading tools

    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.

    Where to buy: 

    Launch Creader

    how to read fault codes bmw e46 with launch creader

    Launch Creader is a scanner that works on BMW plus over 20 other makes. It is primarily able to scan four main modules: ECU, ABS, SRS, and transmission fault codes. It can't get into too many BMW modules, but it provides access to the four modules we mentioned in most cars. 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. Typically retails for around $150-$200.

    Where to buy:

    Carly for BMW

    how to read bmw codes youcanic

    One of the most popular BMW scan tools in the market. It can access the majority of modules on 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 for 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 is you misconfigure a module. While the Carly adapter costs under $100, to use the advanced features of Carly for BMW you will need Carly for BMW Pro version. Carly for BMW setup ends up costing around $150-$180. It works with Android and iPhone but it requires a different adapter for each.

    Where to buy: 

    If you want to learn more about choosing a good BMW diagnostic scanner read this great article on Choosing a OBD2 scanner for BMW. 

    Autel MaxiDAS BMW Diagnostic Scanner

    software to read bmw fault codes bmw scan tool autel maxidas ds708

    Autel MaxiDAS is a professional diagnostic scanner. It works on the majority of cars that you see on the road. This scanner is very easy to use and often you will see technicals and independents repair shops use it. Not only can access multiple BMW modules, but it allows you to test sensors and activate them for in-depth troubleshooting. Costs around $800-$1000.

    Where to buy: 

    Foxwell NT510 BMW Scan Tool

    read bmw fault codes e46 yourself diy guide

    Foxwell NT510 is a powerful BMW scan tool which is capable of reading and clearing codes form over 70 different modules. It also allows you to register a new battery and look at sensor data. It doesn't offer coding capabilities. If you are looking for an easy to use BMW scanner, this is a great choice. Usually, retails for about $150-$200. 

    Where to buy: 


    • Before you decide to buy any of the BMW scan tools make sure it covers your BMW model and year.
    • If your check engine light is on, your local auto parts store may scan the code for free. Those scanners only read codes from the engine control unit. So if you have a problem with ABS or transmission etc., you will not get any codes from those BMW modules. 


    Reference: Diagnostic Scanners for the BMW 2012 X5d
    Your presentation is quite informative with respect to the various diagnostic scanners. My question is does the Autel MacDas DS708/DS808 and or the Foxwell Nt 510 Function on a BMW X5d (diesel)?
    I've read you posted comments. The Autel is pricey but, when I furthered some inquiries my virus protection was triggered. The Foxwell NT510 seems to be helpful but again, will it function on my diesel BMW X5d? Please advise.

    Could you help answer these questions?
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    My Cheviot 02 trailblazer V6 automatic battery is being drained by the fuse #24 IPC/DIC

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    I have a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix 3.8L. I have a code of P0300. But i didn't have any other codes to show up.

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    Merc A150 elegance!
    It's automatic but no drive got a total of 8 fault codes
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    The worst are -

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    I am ordering the connector adaptor and O rings to change on E430. The car went into Limp mode.

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    I have a 2002 CL500 and the radio and all of the com system comes on, I see the time, radio stations and CD but I have not sound.