How to Read & Clear BMW Fault Codes from All Modules

how to read bmw error codes fault codes dtc using bmw scanner tool

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

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.

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. 

Read BMW Service Engine Soon Codes

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

The limitation with a generic OBD2 scanner is that they can not retrieve BMW specific fault codes. Code description may be too general and not always helpful for BMW vehicles. A BMW specific scan tool will provide better descriptions and even retrive more codes. 

BMW Specific Scan Tools

  1. Foxwell NT510 for BMW
  2. Carly for BMW

Generic Scan Tools

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

Diagnose all modules with AutoPhix ES910

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. 

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.

Check Current Price:  Autophix ES910 Scanner

Diagnose BMW with 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.

Check Current Price  Laucn Creader Scanner

Diagnose BMW with Carly

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.

Update December 2018: Carly for BMW Pro version has changed a yearly subscription plan. 


Check Current Price Carly for BMW

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

Diagnose BMW with Autel MaxiDAS

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.

Diagnose BMW with Foxwell NT510

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.

Foxell NT510 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. 

​​​​​​​Check Current Price ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Foxwell NT510 for BMW





💡 Help us improve this article by providing feedback. No registration is required. 

Need Help?

💭 Ask car questions in our Car Forum.

user profile image
apadilla14 made a comment.
1 year 7 months ago

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.

user profile image
BMWGuy made a comment.
1 year 1 month ago

Both Autel and Foxwell will work on you diesel X5. Just buy it form a reputable source, do go on the Chinnese sites to get one. Enjoy your BMW.

user profile image
BMWadict made a comment.
8 months ago

The only difference is that gasoline has dme module while diesels have dde module. The rest of the modules are the same. 


Add new comment