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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-28-2010, 07:50 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Which OBD Tool/Model do you recommend?

This happened to my 1998 Volvo V70 but it is relevant to E39 too, so mod don't remove this thread!!!

Which OBD Tool/Model do you recommend?
(Basically the LEAST money for the BEST product)

To make a long story short, I have owned an Actron CP9035 for 10 years, just like in this link:
http://www.corral.net/tech/maintenan...on-cp9035.html

But here is the problem:
1. It failed to diagnose the Air Valve problem (OBD P0410) in my 98 Volvo V70. The indy mechanic tool diagnosed it while the Actron tool registers nothing!
2. Just today, my car mysteriously shut down for 2 seconds, then I crank it and it starts right up, then 2 min later the CEL is on.

I plugged the same Actron CP9035 Tool in and sure enough no OBD codes were found.

So the bottom lie is I need a new OBD Tool.
WHAT BRAND-MODEL OF OBD TOOL DO YOU GUYS RECOMMEND?
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2010, 08:12 PM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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I have an actron but am looking at getting this one b/c does CAN/OBDII/EOBDII

Memoscan U581 at Amazon for ~$100

I really like the live CAN features .. another member on here has it and posted live data for pre-post cat troubleshooting / diagnosis. Works on all OBDII cars to boot.

Quote:


* Reads live sensors such as wide-band O2 sensors, fuel adaptation, mass airflow (MAF) sensor, ignition timing advance, and lambda readings.
* Reads & clears generic & manufacturer-specific Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC).
* Retrieves Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on 2002 & newer vehicles that support Mode 9.
* Stand-alone unit without need for additional laptop computer to operate.
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2010, 08:45 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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I forgot to tell you that my indy used the newer version of Actron (I have the Actron Cp9035 and he has the Actron CP9175).

Here is the Actron CP9175 (can be bought online for $99):
http://www.actron.com/product_detail.php?pid=16309
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2010, 09:26 PM
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1bad540 1bad540 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I forgot to tell you that my indy used the newer version of Actron (I have the Actron Cp9035 and he has the Actron CP9175).

Here is the Actron CP9175 (can be bought online for $99):
http://www.actron.com/product_detail.php?pid=16309
can it read bmw proprietery codes???
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2010, 01:41 PM
02sport 02sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I forgot to tell you that my indy used the newer version of Actron (I have the Actron Cp9035 and he has the Actron CP9175).

Here is the Actron CP9175 (can be bought online for $99):
http://www.actron.com/product_detail.php?pid=16309
Hey cn90,

I just ordered this, Crescent USB OBD2/EOBD Multi-Protocol Car Diagnostic Tool Auto
Scanner. Should be here sometime next week. It was only $50 so I figured I would take a chance. I'll let you know how it works when it shows up.
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2010, 07:43 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02sport View Post
Hey cn90,

I just ordered this, Crescent USB OBD2/EOBD Multi-Protocol Car Diagnostic Tool Auto
Scanner. Should be here sometime next week. It was only $50 so I figured I would take a chance. I'll let you know how it works when it shows up.
Great,

Will wait to hear from you.
Good to see another soul from Omaha!
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2010, 07:58 PM
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I just bought the Peake Research code reader and think I'll send it back for one of these. It is a really light weight low tech device, two digit display. Anyways, SES light is on, work through its criptic way to read codes and nothing, then go to the reset mode and it does not reset, just returns to "--". Seems like some of these readers are more like the real deal, how do they differ from what the BMW dealers computer set up will do? I have read a bunch of posts about the light weight code readers not being able to do what the computer type can do as far as digging out deeper codes (whatever that means).

Very interested in feedback on the ones in this post, I'm in the market.
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2010, 07:04 PM
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trickyrickyrica trickyrickyrica is offline
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I don't think that your Peake reads the BMW propietary codes, just OBD II. That's why is not giving you the fault code to your SES and therefore cannot reset it.
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2010, 03:10 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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I use an ELM scanner purchased off Ebay. You need a laptop to use it, but then you have a much larger display. It comes with some freeware, but you can also purchase other software if you prefer. The freeware works fine for reading OBDII codes and clearing them. It also allows you to read live data off the sensors. They usually come with ScanTools freeware version 11.3 or instructions for where to download ScanTools 11.3 off the internet. Warning, later versions of ScanTools (11.4 anb 11.5) are not compatible with these Ebay scan tools, as they added a program to detect that they are not original ELM chips but copycats ones. These scan tools do work with PAID software, as I bought a copy of Palmer Engineering software to gain some more functionality, like freeze frame of sensor data, so I could print it out.

For $25, you cannot beat it. I have the exact one shown here, but I did not buy from this vendor, so cannot comment on him:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/USB-O...motiveQ5fTools

Works fine with any OBDII compliant vehicle from 1996 on.

If you don't want to mess with the cable, there are bluetooth versions on Ebay as well.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BLUET...motiveQ5fTools

There are several websites that offer ScanTools 11.3 for download (the ScanTools website only offers the latest 11.5 version)....I found it here http://warez.mywarehousemedia.com/do...-download.html
But I have no idea if this site is safe, so be careful.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 01-31-2010 at 03:26 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2010, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trickyrickyrica View Post
I don't think that your Peake reads the BMW propietary codes, just OBD II. That's why is not giving you the fault code to your SES and therefore cannot reset it.
Makes sense, so what you want is a reader that can see OBDII codes. Do any of the handhelds do this or is the software the way to go. I do have a laptop so that is not a problem. I want to be able to read ALL the codes my car could throw and be able to reset the SES without paying a shop to do it.
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  #11  
Old 01-31-2010, 04:28 PM
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How many different OBD's are there, just I and II? I'm interested in a reader that will do all of them or at least more then the Peake does.
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2010, 05:08 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooray! View Post
How many different OBD's are there, just I and II? I'm interested in a reader that will do all of them or at least more then the Peake does.
Up to 1995: OBD-I. Actron Code Reader 9145 will do that (but expensive at $200).

After 1996 ---> present: OBD-II. Actron Code Reader 9175 will do that for $95.
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2010, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Up to 1995: OBD-I. Actron Code Reader 9145 will do that (but expensive at $200).

After 1996 ---> present: OBD-II. Actron Code Reader 9175 will do that for $95.
So what category do transmission codes fall under. The owner of Peake called me back after I told him I wanted an RMA on his "code reader" that could not read codes and said that the tranny codes are different...

I want to read ALL the codes, tranny, ODB I II, etc and then I'll decide which ones will kick in a visit to my indy or a BMW dealer...

Do you know of a reader that can handle tranny codes too? In my case, a failed ALT kicked in trans safe mode, the alt was replaced, all is good, shifted fine when the alt went and still shifts great but apparently there is a code stored somewhere that has to be reset with a different tool... go figure, lets make these cars complex! I cant imagine the 2004+ 5-series with another 10-15 servos and computers on board...
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2010, 03:04 PM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooray! View Post
I just bought the Peake Research code reader and think I'll send it back for one of these. It is a really light weight low tech device, two digit display. Anyways, SES light is on, work through its criptic way to read codes and nothing, then go to the reset mode and it does not reset, just returns to "--". Seems like some of these readers are more like the real deal, how do they differ from what the BMW dealers computer set up will do? I have read a bunch of posts about the light weight code readers not being able to do what the computer type can do as far as digging out deeper codes (whatever that means).

Very interested in feedback on the ones in this post, I'm in the market.
Mine worked perfectly on an '03 530i. I believe it reads BMW codes, not OBDII.

Here's a link to the manual http://www.peakeresearch.com/manuals...201.0%20NA.pdf Doesn't look like it reads transmission codes but I'm too tired to read through the entire thing right now.

Seems like it reports on a bunch of stuff. Mine did a reset as well as the oil and service resets no problem. I suppose it's good for what I need it for.
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2010, 04:29 PM
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I guess I'm still learning about all the types of codes our BMW's throw off, what does "OBDII" stand for? I think you are right, as long as you are looking to reset the oil and service indicator lights, which has some value in and of itself, and not trying to do your own diagnostics on the SES light, the Peake unit probably is good. The owner of Peake said a Chinese company stole their software and that is what the $103 tool is using (#$@!). If they did hack it, we should all boycott it, we all lose in that game...

It appears / appeared on first read that some of the units in this thread (I paid $154 for the Peake) gave you all the codes including the OBD I and II, tranny, etc and reset your service / oil lights... maybe I'm incorrect on what to expect these tools to do. I do have a notebook so a software solution with a cable is ok for me. Anyways, always learning and I guess, that is part of why I like these cars. Learning and loving to drive them too!
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2010, 09:21 PM
02sport 02sport is offline
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Quick update. Software and interface arrived tonight so I have not had a chance to really dig into it as yet. The install was a snap and it connected right away to my wife's S40 which had a check engine light. I was able to read the pending code ( something about the coolant temp sensor reading too low) and reset the CEL. Also was able to connect to my rental (2009 Cobalt). It only supports OBDII. Unfortunately, I cannot test it on my car since it is in the body shop (rear end got rearranged). I will keep you updated. If you want to test it on your car let me know. We can work out a time and place.

I tried attaching a screen shot of it connected to the Cobalt.
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  #17  
Old 02-02-2010, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02sport View Post
Quick update. Software and interface arrived tonight so I have not had a chance to really dig into it as yet. The install was a snap and it connected right away to my wife's S40 which had a check engine light. I was able to read the pending code ( something about the coolant temp sensor reading too low) and reset the CEL. Also was able to connect to my rental (2009 Cobalt). It only supports OBDII. Unfortunately, I cannot test it on my car since it is in the body shop (rear end got rearranged). I will keep you updated. If you want to test it on your car let me know. We can work out a time and place.

I tried attaching a screen shot of it connected to the Cobalt.
So the software only supports OBD II and the Peake tool I purchased does not. If I understand this correctly, the software should be able to read the tranny codes but not reset the service and oil, sounds a little strange to me... I'm in ME, would love to try it but you look like you are 3000 miles away!
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2010, 05:13 AM
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I think Maine is 3 thousand miles from anywhere, isn't it?
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  #19  
Old 02-02-2010, 11:10 AM
02sport 02sport is offline
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Sorry for the confusion, that was directed mostly to cn90. He is here in Omaha. Hell, I wouldn't mind taking a road trip to Maine. I heard it beautiful up there.
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  #20  
Old 02-02-2010, 03:38 PM
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Yes it is... I'm one hour from Boston, so the "city" part of Maine (7 minutes to the NH border). But I'm told that Maine is now the most rural state in the entire 50, even including Alaska. If you go up north 6-7 hours from me, you enter "townships", yes, small blocks of land that if you squat on them for 7 years, they are yours (as long as the paper co's dont kick you off first)... and the number of people per sq mile is less then Alaska! Goes to show you what some crude will do the artic tundra!

Best time to come up here is mid August (absolutely perfect weather) or fall, nothing like it...
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  #21  
Old 02-02-2010, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trickyrickyrica View Post
I don't think that your Peake reads the BMW propietary codes, just OBD II. That's why is not giving you the fault code to your SES and therefore cannot reset it.
Ok, so more information. Talked with Dan Peake today at length, his code reader is one of the only if not the only inexpensive readers that DOES read BMW proprietary codes. It does not read OBDII codes which apparently are more generic codes used by many car mfg. to meet federal emission regulations.

For some reason, BMW's standard proprietary codes are only one set of BMW specific codes (anybody chime in with more info please), the transmission control module and possibly the DSC control module can also throw codes that only the more expensive BMW dealer computers can read. Per Dan, there is a Chinese knock off to his device that stole his units BMW code reader software (nice of them).

So wondering if anyone knows of a computer / code reader that can read not only BMW proprietary codes (like Peake) but tranny and possibly DSC codes as well.
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  #22  
Old 02-02-2010, 06:50 PM
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Just found a company, Bavarian Technic that appears to have pretty much what the BMW dealers have for only $237 for a system that will read 3 VIN numbers (ie. restricted for DIY), here are basics, anybody used this product?

What cars does it work on?
2005-2009 BMW 1 Series
1996-2009 BMW 3 Series
1996-2008 BMW 5 Series
2004-2008 BMW 6 Series
1994-2008 BMW 7 Series
2004-2008 BMW X3
1999-2009 BMW X5
2008-2009 BMW X6
1996-2002 BMW Z3
2002-2009 BMW Z4
2000-2003 BMW Z8
All BMW M models
Mini Cooper R50 & R56
Looking for Porsche? Please see Durametric.

What does it do?
The tool accesses the electronic control units in your car to:
Read and clear diagnostic fault codes
Display shadow faults and soft faults
Display and record real-time actual values
Activate components of the car for troubleshooting
Reset service reminders
Reset condition-based service indicators
Send special commands to control units
Show ECU information
Access the latest BMW DCAN systems for 2007+ models

What systems does it work on?
Engine
Airbag
ABS
Transmission
Alarm
Central electronics
Heating & A/C
And much more...
*Not all features are supported on all modules or vehicles. See our Model/Feature Matrix for specific coverage.


How does it work?
Our product is a hardware and software tool that plugs into your Windows PC's USB port (check system requirements). Once plugged into the car, the tool is capable of communicating with the different system control units in the car.
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  #23  
Old 02-09-2010, 09:57 PM
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I have Actron CP9175, haven't tried it yet, how well does it work?
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  #24  
Old 02-09-2010, 10:22 PM
GrahamDesigns GrahamDesigns is offline
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Im surpirsed nobody has mentioned the BMW GT1 reader, I think it is one of the few that can read the BMW codes specifically.

Most OBDII readers will only scan for emissions code (which is what throws the SES light), so you will get boring stuff like catalytic converter and fuel vapor codes.
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  #25  
Old 02-10-2010, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamDesigns View Post
Im surpirsed nobody has mentioned the BMW GT1 reader, I think it is one of the few that can read the BMW codes specifically.

Most OBDII readers will only scan for emissions code (which is what throws the SES light), so you will get boring stuff like catalytic converter and fuel vapor codes.
Agree, there appear to be only a few that read BMW proprietary codes, Peak, Baum, the one above, then you have another breed that read other BMW control modules (ie tranny) like the BMW computer does. The least expensive one I found is the Bavarian Technic system. I have some codes thown that the Peake does not read so thinking about getting the Bavarian Technic, I really want one that does it all. The OBD II codes are general automotive federally mandated emissions codes, like you said, boring!
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