BMW Diagnostic Software
The BMW Diagnostic Software will help you troubleshoot the problems that usually can only be fixed by the stealership and cost a lot of $$.
BMW DIAGNOSTIC SOFTWARE:
– One of them is INPA and the latest version works for both E and F series BMW`s.
INPA has been around for a long time and it`s been the easiest tool to use for E series BMW vehicles. Now the latest version also has F series support added and a switching tool in order to change the connection type from STD:OBD (E series) to ENET (F series).
With this software you will be able to read / erase errors of all modules, perform tests (turbo etc.), reset adaptations and view live engine data.
All you need for E series diagnosis is this software and a K+DCAN BMW coding cable. You will find many sellers on amazon and ebay just make sure to contact them and ask for your car`s compatibility just to make sure the product description is not wrong.
– The best and most complete with schematics and lots of tests BMW diagnostic software is called Rheingold and is the dealership original software that will work for both E and F series BMWs.
It`s the best tool because it`s the most complete but it`s also very large (about 30GB). I highly recommend it because it`s in full english and it`s very easy to use, plus it has schematics and service instructions.
For Rheingold we recommend a laptop with Core i3 – I5 or I7 processor and at least 4GB of RAM memory.
INPA, NCS EXPERT (used for E series coding), Esys (used to F series coding) and Rheingold can be obtained as we already mentioned in the Getting Started article easy from Fiverr and it`s always up to date. For just $15 we think it`s a great deal.
The pack contains besides the diagnostic software, the coding software for E and F series.
PS: Always check in INPA before running diagnostics if you have the two black circles ( Battery and Ignition ). That means your cable is working and you have a connection with the car. Some users reported when using the diagnostic software that they have the black circles active but INPA throws an error and won`t let them connect to any of the modules. This means you have a faulty cable or a cable that is not compatible with your car (this mostly happens for cars 2008 –>> up). In this case you need to return your cable if you have the possibility and get a new one that will work for your car. As I mentioned before K+DCAN cables for E series are a bit tricky because there are different models and manufacturers so always check with the seller before buying. ENET cables don`t have this issue.
BMW DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS NEEDED:
K+DCAN Cable for BMW E series coding and diagnostics
Amazon is a great source to get your cable cheap and quickly delivered to you. Make sure you read the product description for product compatibility with your car model/build year.
ENET Cable for BMW F series coding and diagnostics:
If you want to take things to the next level and want a professional BMW software and hardware diagnostic solution then you need to consider buying an ICOM. It comes with all the adapters, software and a HDD that you can install in any laptop (I would use a core i3 minimum and 8GB RAM laptop) for you to have everything you need.
It contains Rheingold with ISTA-D (Diagnostic software) and ISTA-P (programming software). This is the dealership solution so you can`t do better than this but having also Esys from the Fiverr gig we mentioned earlier will help because the programming software will only do basic stuff but for many mods you need Esys.
For coding and programming (flashing ecus) and firmware update you need to hook up the car to a charger that will provide enough juice for the whole duration of the opperation. We will recommend a good charger for this shortly because we are testing a few at the moment and will report back with an update as soon as possible.
Here is a demo of ICOM and Rheingold ISID Diagnostic software suite in action:
HOW TO USE BMW INPA GUIDE:
If you made all the settings according to the instructions (set the port to COM1 and the latency to 1ms) you should see the two black circles in INPA which means you have a connection to the car and you can use the software for diagnostics, adaptations, coding etc. The software that contains INPA has three folders (INPA, NCS EXPERT and EDIABAS). Ediabas is basicly the core that makes all the other software work and NCS EXPERT is used for coding E series cars.
So if you have a connection to the car you can start using it by choosing the chassis and that will bring up a window where you will have to choose the module that you want to perform diagnostics on. Choose any module you want and it will show you the inner corresponding ecu menu where you can read and erase errors and make/erase adaptations.
There is much more to be said about INPA, I guess a complete guide would take months to make but once you get used to it it`s really easy to use. Although the down side is that because the latest data files are available only in German, most of the software inner menus will be in german and you`ll have to use google translate to understand it, that`s why the Rheingold ISTAD software is priceless when it comes to BMW diagnostics.