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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 05-28-2008, 08:39 PM
rtrevino rtrevino is offline
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1997 528i OBD port location

Hi Everyone, I'm the new owner of a 528i, and I just cant seem to find the obd port anypalce.

I've tried the left side below the steering wheel

all help is appreciated

Thnks!
Raul
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2008, 09:19 PM
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isnt it right below the steering wheel where you just mentioned?
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2008, 09:21 PM
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2008, 09:27 PM
NNY528i NNY528i is offline
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you already found it but there is another cover on the plug beneath the cover you see from the outside.(ie there are 2 covers a cosmetic one and another one below it)
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2008, 09:36 PM
rtrevino rtrevino is offline
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I, have checks what you guy told me and still no luck, I'll pot pics tomorrow with better light, but as far as i see...


I have some kind of small box attached with 2 screws, removed them already and found nothing (maybe its here but I didnt look for that "other" cover as for going low and deep I have a big black plastic cover with a whole lot more screws in (i really believe its not here.)

i'll cehck on tomorrow and if i have trouble with it i'l snap a pic

Thnks
Raul
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  #6  
Old 05-28-2008, 09:47 PM
NNY528i NNY528i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtrevino View Post
I, have checks what you guy told me and still no luck, I'll pot pics tomorrow with better light, but as far as i see...


I have some kind of small box attached with 2 screws, removed them already and found nothing (maybe its here but I didnt look for that "other" cover as for going low and deep I have a big black plastic cover with a whole lot more screws in (i really believe its not here.)

i'll cehck on tomorrow and if i have trouble with it i'l snap a pic

Thnks
Raul
There is a cover that say OBD on it to left and below the steering wheel on the knee bolster just above the hood lever and the trunk button. Beneath that cover is the OBD plug with black plastic cover on it. There are 2 screws one on either side of the black plastic cover that you see. If you grasp the sides of the cover and pull straight back the plug will be miraculously revealed to you. I think what you are describing as a small box with 2 screws is actually the cover i am talking about. Try pulling on it and see what happens.
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2008, 06:03 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
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I thought only 2001+ had the OBD-2 port to the left of the steering wheel.
From 1987-2000 is the round port under the hood.
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  #8  
Old 05-29-2008, 06:27 AM
NNY528i NNY528i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_VQ View Post
I thought only 2001+ had the OBD-2 port to the left of the steering wheel.
From 1987-2000 is the round port under the hood.
Mine has one, I was staring at it last night and I have plugged my scanner into it a couple of times now.
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2008, 06:59 AM
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The non-US model has different dash padding...the port might be in a different place in the OP's car.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2010, 01:47 AM
crossfire_M5 crossfire_M5 is offline
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I have the same issue with this thing.. my car is a 528i 1997 made in 96


went i got this car one day a Sir scan my car in the OBD port above the steering wheel (The normal one) it passed a year and my check engine light appear and i want to scan to see what it is..


The problem is there is no damn plug inside the port or nothing similar to plug in with an normal autozone scaanner ... and it use to be one..


What can i Do to reset my Codes? and elminate the check engine light or faulty codes?..

What other opcion do i have?

Do they sell the Plug that goes inside ?
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2010, 09:17 AM
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There's always the round 20 pin DLC connector in the engine bay.



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  #12  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:49 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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The DLC under the dash is the one that BMW uses, up to 2001, however, all cars destined for the USA (and other parts of the world, too, depending on adoption of OBD) require the OBD II port under the dash. It's there!
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2013, 06:05 AM
FrancisH FrancisH is offline
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i also cannot find any 16 pin plugs... isn't there any way one of the people who know where it is and use can also take and post a pic?
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2013, 08:28 PM
HeelBilly86 HeelBilly86 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_VQ View Post
I thought only 2001+ had the OBD-2 port to the left of the steering wheel.
From 1987-2000 is the round port under the hood.
I was about to say it is in the engine compartment. Only e39s made in the second half of 2000 and onward had the OBD-II port underneath the driver's left knee.
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  #15  
Old 06-11-2013, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeelBilly86 View Post
I was about to say it is in the engine compartment. Only e39s made in the second half of 2000 and onward had the OBD-II port underneath the driver's left knee.
I am unsure on the location for earlier E39s, but ALL cars for USA and Canada must have the OBDII port somewhere, it is the law for model year 1996 on for USA and 1998 for Canada (though most Canadian cars appear to have them starting in 1996, since they are essentially the same as USA cars, save for the daytime running lights, KPH speedo, and sometimes higher impact standard bumpers.

Now other countries may or may not have them, such as the OP in Mexico...but I have not heard of a car that did not. Seems pretty much all car manufacturers put the OBDII port on cars worldwide.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 06-11-2013 at 09:34 PM.
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  #16  
Old 06-11-2013, 11:21 PM
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My 1996 528 does not have the OBD port either, just the 20 pin connection under the hood . But it is euro car from the german market .
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  #17  
Old 06-12-2013, 02:13 AM
delorian delorian is offline
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Mine is a 528 98 and i have both sockets 16 and 20 pin.
Made in Germany.

Last edited by delorian; 06-12-2013 at 03:47 AM.
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  #18  
Old 06-12-2013, 03:27 AM
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diggyd357 diggyd357 is offline
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Re: 1997 528i OBD port location

OP is saying he has the obd panel left of the steering wheel as it should be, there's just no plug in there. Is it possible it was ripped out by some idiot previous owner ??? I know my 97 528i has one and it looks like it's been tugged on a time or two...the end cap is just barely able to hang on and some of the wires look ragged as if theyve been bent, twisted and yanked on. Probably wouldnt take a whole lot yank it out. I had the state police do an emissions test a few weeks back at a checkpoint posted up at the DMV and the cop was like " whoa...be careful with this one, we dont wanna have to buy this gentleman's "beemer" "
So, I guess it may be possible for someone to have done an "OBDII delete" lol.

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Old 06-12-2013, 05:03 AM
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I think there is a reason Peake sells round adapters for there code readers http://www.peakeresearch.com/products.htm

The older cars did not have the standard under dash OBD ports. I think there were some exemptions starting with the 1996 rule.


.

Last edited by Flybot; 06-12-2013 at 05:12 AM.
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  #20  
Old 06-12-2013, 05:06 AM
delorian delorian is offline
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That is correct.
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  #21  
Old 06-12-2013, 05:49 AM
FrancisH FrancisH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybot View Post
I think there is a reason Peake sells round adapters for there code readers http://www.peakeresearch.com/products.htm

The older cars did not have the standard under dash OBD ports. I think there were some exemptions starting with the 1996 rule.


.
and yet "diggyd357 " says his 1997 528i does have one and the police saw it, verifying that model has it. this is my model also (black too!).
so please anyone with one can you please take a pic so we can see where exactly it is...
i just bought my bm 2 weeks ago and don't want to start randomly tearing off plastic covers, while hanging upside down in a mystery search.... i have just received a maxiscan ms509 and a round adaptor is also on its way.... unfortunately the car has it's registration check (our aussie yearly one) tomorrow, and the faults for a snapped throttle cable i fixed, and the park lights i replaced are still on... no local dealers, so i'll just wait,- unless there is actually a magic 16 pin slot in there somewhere..
off subject i just finished changing my front window regulator after my normal 12 hour shift driving a taxi, and so proudly am now "blooded" in the great fraternity of BMW window repair enthusiasts - - still waiting for both new rear window regs to arrive......
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  #22  
Old 06-12-2013, 07:11 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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For my 1998 528i, sit in the driver seat.
Locate your LEFT shin, yes your shin is between your knee and ankle.
Draw a straight line forward from your shin, the OBD-II cover is right there.


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  #23  
Old 06-12-2013, 11:41 AM
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Re: 1997 528i OBD port location

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Old 06-12-2013, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybot View Post
I think there is a reason Peake sells round adapters for there code readers http://www.peakeresearch.com/products.htm

The older cars did not have the standard under dash OBD ports. I think there were some exemptions starting with the 1996 rule.


.
Federal law in USA from 1996 on, it has to be there, or BMW would be subject to a recall to correct the deficiency.
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  #25  
Old 06-12-2013, 12:22 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeelBilly86 View Post
... Only e39s made in the second half of 2000 and onward had the OBD-II port underneath the driver's left knee.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybot View Post
...The older cars did not have the standard under dash OBD ports. I think there were some exemptions starting with the 1996 rule.
BTW, the OP started this thread a LONG time ago, back in 2008.

AS previously stated (back in post #11) BMW implemented the 16-pin OBD II DLC connector in ALL of its cars imported to the USA. This was a requirement due to a federal mandate for OBD II.


So any e39 imported to the USA will have the 16-pin DLC on the left side of the dash (as pictured above with the page from the owners manual.

Starting around Sept/2000...BMW dropped the round 20-pin DLC in the engine bay and extra pins were added to the OBD II connector so that BMW DIS/GT-1/MoDiC and other aftermarket software/hardware can communicate with the car's BUS system (CAN/Diagnostic/I/K/M/P buses).

In other parts of the globe...OBD II compliance has been implemented in some countries and not in other countries:

BMW started a year earlier (1995 on the e38 750iL) than the federal mandate in putting OBD II DLCs in BMWs imported to the USA...by 1996 ALL cars (regardless of mfg) were federally required to have a dedicated OBD II connector that could be scanned by ANY OBD II scanner/reader:




OBD II Federal Mandate (note the 3rd bullet in the info below)





("real" image courtesy of Bluebee) scanner connected to OBD II DLC

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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 06-12-2013 at 12:26 PM.
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