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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 03-13-2010, 05:58 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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What Replacement Code Reader to Buy???

Being the dumba$$ I am, I lost my Peake code reader . I usually leave it in my passenger side pocket but used it one AM at work and then threw it on my passenger seat. Not it's gone! I hope whoever finds it drives an e46/e39! So I need a replacement. My Peake was OK but it was BMW specific and replacing it is not cheap ($150). I would like to get something that is applicable to my other wheels (Honda & Ford). Should I stay with Peake or get a standard ODB II code reader? There seems to be a wide range of ODB II code readers (& priced accordingly). I am looking for basic code scanning and clearing functions. Are there any other functions I should have? Any recommended brands or models? Any help is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2010, 06:02 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Fudman,

I have 2 separate items:
- Actron Code reader. The difference between cheap ($45) and expensive ($120) model is the expensive model spells out for you the diagnosis. The cheap model just lists the number.
Example:
* Cheap ($45) model: P0103. Then you open the booklet to find out what it means.
* Expensive ($120) model: P0103 - Mass Air Flow (MAF) Circuit

- Car Soft bought from ebay ($50).

PS: Another thread on the same topic is here:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=429587
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2010, 02:39 PM
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anomal anomal is offline
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I do not have a direct answer for you. I have been doing some research on OBD2 options. Based on what I found, I determined that the following three things would work for me. Maybe my approach would work for you or others as well.

1) A bluetooth dongle since my laptop does not have integrated bluetooth.)
2) An OBD2 interface that connects to other devices via bluetooth.
3) Sofware.

I found a number of bluetooth dongles on ebay for about $5.00 shipped. I bought one and it shipped the same day.

I found an OBD2-to-bluetooth interface for about $45 with shipping. This adapter comes with a bunch of free software.

I am also considering the ScanXL software. This commercial software costs around $80. It has great display graphics. It has data logging as well as drag strip functionality that gives you readouts like reaction time , 0-60 time, and 1/4 mile time. It even has a dyno. I would not quote the HP/torque numbers from the dyno, but the relative differences from similar pulls could tell you if your last mod was worth it or not.

You can get a basic scan tool and skip the extra features--for maybe $25?. But, if you already have a laptop, you can get cool graphics and data logging using free software and a $30 OBD2-to-USB interface. So, if you have a laptop, the price is a wash. The laptop a lot less portable than a hand held scan tool but the laptop wins in the coolness category.
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2010, 03:14 PM
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Rustyzipper Rustyzipper is offline
97' 540i
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 323
Mein Auto: 540iA
Quote:
Originally Posted by anomal View Post
I do not have a direct answer for you. I have been doing some research on OBD2 options. Based on what I found, I determined that the following three things would work for me. Maybe my approach would work for you or others as well.

1) A bluetooth dongle since my laptop does not have integrated bluetooth.)
2) An OBD2 interface that connects to other devices via bluetooth.
3) Sofware.

I found a number of bluetooth dongles on ebay for about $5.00 shipped. I bought one and it shipped the same day.

I found an OBD2-to-bluetooth interface for about $45 with shipping. This adapter comes with a bunch of free software.

I am also considering the ScanXL software. This commercial software costs around $80. It has great display graphics. It has data logging as well as drag strip functionality that gives you readouts like reaction time , 0-60 time, and 1/4 mile time. It even has a dyno. I would not quote the HP/torque numbers from the dyno, but the relative differences from similar pulls could tell you if your last mod was worth it or not.

You can get a basic scan tool and skip the extra features--for maybe $25?. But, if you already have a laptop, you can get cool graphics and data logging using free software and a $30 OBD2-to-USB interface. So, if you have a laptop, the price is a wash. The laptop a lot less portable than a hand held scan tool but the laptop wins in the coolness category.


Carsoft is what I have.. is real cool....but you need an old laptop.. to use it... If you just want to read codes, go whith the 45.00 flavor.

I found this link very helpful..... : http://www.youfixcars.com/laptop-aut...e-scanner.html
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Last edited by Rustyzipper; 03-13-2010 at 03:54 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2010, 04:48 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustyzipper View Post
Carsoft is what I have.. is real cool....but you need an old laptop.. to use it... If you just want to read codes, go whith the 45.00 flavor.
Hey Rustyzipper,

Do you run Carsoft on XP Operating System?
I have Vista Home Basic and posted my question on the Carsoft thread.
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2010, 06:46 PM
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Rustyzipper Rustyzipper is offline
97' 540i
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Hey Rustyzipper,

Do you run Carsoft on XP Operating System?
I have Vista Home Basic and posted my question on the Carsoft thread.

Yes, on XP ONLY... Carsoft 6.5 will not run on Vista... maybe the newer ver will....
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2010, 06:52 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Thanx for the feedback, guys! I think I'll go with the cheapo one to start and think about the software version for later. Gotta save some $$ for my thrust arms and sway bar links (thank godnes i bought the struts already)!
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2010, 07:27 PM
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Hooray! Hooray! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Thanx for the feedback, guys! I think I'll go with the cheapo one to start and think about the software version for later. Gotta save some $$ for my thrust arms and sway bar links (thank godnes i bought the struts already)!
Fudman, I just purchased the Barvarian Technic software / cable ($287) that should read everything on our e39's, I'm not that far north if you need anything deeper then a Peake (which wont touch tranny codes), I should have it next week, I'll let you know if it is what is claims to be or not. I just did thrust arms... OUCH.
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Interior: Black
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Options: HID, Folding Rear Seats, Ski-pass
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2010, 09:36 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
The best you can do, on the cheap anyway, is listed in this freeware OBDII code scanner thread ...

Personally, I've been borrowing a friend's Actron CP9125 OBD II PocketScan (for my P1349 misfire and for my P0500 ABS debugging); but cn90 notes that his Actron CP9035 missed codes, so, caveat emptor.



Last edited by bluebee; 03-13-2010 at 09:56 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-14-2010, 07:39 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooray! View Post
Fudman, I just purchased the Barvarian Technic software / cable ($287) that should read everything on our e39's, I'm not that far north if you need anything deeper then a Peake (which wont touch tranny codes), I should have it next week, I'll let you know if it is what is claims to be or not. I just did thrust arms... OUCH.
Thanx, Seth! At this point, I'm just looking for something that will do what my Peake did but also for my other cars. However, I once had the dreaded TRANS PROG FAILSAFE CODE on my previous e39 and that is one where this BT could work to reset the tranny. If it ever happens again, I know who to call. BTW, just finished the Vanos seal replacement on my brother's '00 e46 yesterday. The improvement was dramatic but he has 164K on the clock. We can do yours this spring.

I have seen the Actron 9175 on sale at Amazon for $78. A pretty good deal. I guess this model has been replaced but as long as it works, who cares.
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  #11  
Old 03-14-2010, 07:47 AM
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Hooray! Hooray! is offline
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Location: Maine
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Mein Auto: 2002 530i Sport Premium
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Thanx, Seth! At this point, I'm just looking for something that will do what my Peake did but also for my other cars. However, I once had the dreaded TRANS PROG FAILSAFE CODE on my previous e39 and that is one where this BT could work to reset the tranny. If it ever happens again, I know who to call. BTW, just finished the Vanos seal replacement on my brother's '00 e46 yesterday. The improvement was dramatic but he has 164K on the clock. We can do yours this spring.

I have seen the Actron 9175 on sale at Amazon for $78. A pretty good deal. I guess this model has been replaced but as long as it works, who cares.
Sounds good, it will be interesting to see what VANOS seals do on mine, I suspect it will improve not matter what. Spring is less then a week away (per my daughter's count down calendar!). Maybe later in April / May we can get together for a VANOS BBQ e39 gathering i MA. Next for me is to clear the tranny codes, confirm the solenoids are engaging correctly and change the ATF. Now I'm not sure if the BT reads the OBDII codes or not, I guess I took that for granted as they are a published across the mfg code set.
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Exterior: Black
Interior: Black
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Options: HID, Folding Rear Seats, Ski-pass
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2010, 09:53 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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As a cross reference, the least expensive CAN OBDII scanning tool on the net (that also reads pending codes & clears codes) seems to be this $30 Chinese-built Autel MaxiScan MS300 scanner.

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  #13  
Old 01-15-2014, 07:54 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
See also:
- Where to get a cheap OBDII DTC scanner (1) (2) or a better scanner (1) or the best diagnostic tools (1) (2) (3)
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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