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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 03-25-2010, 11:42 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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In California, what establishment do you use to read OBDII codes for free?

Not specifically an E39 problem, but, due to my recent P0500 and P1349 codes, I found out the hard way that AutoZone does NOT read OBD II codes for free (in California).

I'm fine because I've been borrowing an Actron scanner ... but I'm curious what others do ...

So, my question is:

In California, what establishment do you use to read OBD II codes for free?

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  #2  
Old 03-26-2010, 12:12 AM
anton-sa anton-sa is offline
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my late father always told me : "in life their is no such thing as a free lunch"
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:39 AM
xxpanipuri xxpanipuri is offline
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you're in san jose if you want your codes read i have a peak reader, come by my house and i can read em for you real quick!
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:59 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxpanipuri View Post
you're in san jose if you want your codes read i have a peak reader, come by my house and i can read em for you real quick!
Nice offer!! Plus with Peake, you get the specific BMW code rather than the OBD II code. And I lost my Peake!
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2010, 04:12 PM
alexONE alexONE is offline
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last time a friend went to autozone and they told him to buy the code reader and return it after he was done using it. so essential you can borrow the code reader.

Pani i thought you lived gilroy?
hmm we should get some type of e39 DIY network in SJ to help each other out locally.i think i need my bushings replaced, anyone in SJ about to do tackle a similiar project?
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:17 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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i bought one for like $50 at sears.
but in NY they scan for free anyways
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:33 PM
ItsMe ItsMe is offline
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Last edited by ItsMe; 03-26-2010 at 08:54 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2010, 12:12 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I ran into this thread looking up OBDII scanners for a newbie on another thread and realized I committed a faux pas by not closing the loop.

Up 'till now, I've been borrowing a friend's OBDII scanner but I finally bought my own so now I cand read and clear codes at will.

I also found out that there are only two states which disallow free OBDII scanning by the auto parts stores, and I'm in one of them.

I did talk to the AuoZone guys and they said they do not allow you to buy and then return an opened package so the 'trick' of getting a free scan that way isn't going to work.

Luckily, there is OBDII freeware and inexpensive ($30) scanners on the market.

Here are the related threads to close the loop:
- Which states make OBDII scanning illegal by the auto parts store? Why?
- Cheapest CAN OBDII scanner on the net that reads DTCs, pending codes, & clears codes
- OBD II PC freeware & $15 J1962 cable for the BMW E39
- In California, what establishment do you use to read OBDII codes for free?
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  #9  
Old 09-26-2010, 05:50 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexONE View Post
autozone and they told him to buy the code reader and return it after he was done using it.
AutoZone in California told me they do not take back opened scanners, period.

It's also illegal in California (and Hawaii) for auto parts stores to allow you free use of a DTC scanner (see this thread).

Luckily, it's reputed that AAMCO can give you a free diagnostic scan (but I'm waiting for someone to confirm that for California and Hawaii).

Next time you drive by an AAMCO in those two states, please stop and ask 'em and report back for the team.

Also luckily, there are freeware and $29 solutions for OBDII scanning:
- Which states make OBDII scanning illegal by the auto parts store? Why?
- Cheapest CAN OBDII scanner on the net that reads DTCs, pending codes, & clears codes
- OBD II PC freeware & $15 J1962 cable for the BMW E39
- In California, what establishment do you use to read OBDII codes for free?
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  #10  
Old 09-26-2010, 05:55 PM
andyffer andyffer is offline
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Perhaps the almighty Google knows?

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  #11  
Old 09-26-2010, 06:11 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyffer View Post
Perhaps the almighty Google knows?
I'm not sure why you wrote that because we DID search extensively when we first posted the question.

There are VERY FEW pointers that discuss this topic on the net (do the search).

I'm not saying we found them all, but, we listed all that we found a few months ago in the other thread titled:
- Which states make OBDII scanning illegal by the auto parts store? Why?

If you know of a net reference NOT in that thread, please let us know as we generally don't post anything unless we've googled first (as a matter of habit).

Last edited by bluebee; 09-27-2010 at 01:03 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-26-2010, 07:02 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Wow...CA really has too many unnecessary and stupid regulations.

What is the advantage of Peake readers. Is it only that they translate codes directly to BMW codes? If one buys a regular code reader, is it hard to translate to BMW codes?

What is a rough price difference between the two?

Thanks bluebee
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2010, 01:03 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Yesterday, I called the AAMCO on 75 South Capital Avenue, phone number 877-792-2626.

I asked them if they do free OBDII scans and how it works.

The guy said:
- Yes they do free OBDII scans
- They fix other things (not just transmissions)
- You MUST leave the car at AAMCO for a few hours at the very least

Given that, I don't see how AAMCO is any different than any independent shop that gives a free OBDII scan.

I've NEVER been to the dealer (after warranty) nor to an independent for this BMW so I can't say ... but one of you guys can tell me the answer to the next questions ...

Q: Do most of the indys also give free OBDII scans (or do they charge)?
Q: If they do a free scan, do they also make you wait hours?
Q: If they charge, how much do they charge?

Last edited by bluebee; 09-27-2010 at 01:05 PM.
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:30 AM
Peake Research Peake Research is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King540i View Post
Wow...CA really has too many unnecessary and stupid regulations.

What is the advantage of Peake readers. Is it only that they translate codes directly to BMW codes? If one buys a regular code reader, is it hard to translate to BMW codes?

What is a rough price difference between the two?

Thanks bluebee
There are a few advantages to having our products:

1. They access the BMW factory diagnostic system that monitors engine faults (those that trigger check engine/service engine soon light). The tools provide you with the identical fault codes seen at the dealer.

2. They can be used to reset oilservice/inspection reminders.

3. Unlike OBDII, the factory codes are specific to your chassis/ECU. Within our manual, you will find a specific code table that corresponds to your car.

4. No translation/guesswork necessary. Most reference tables found in repair manuals are designed to show the closest related factory code when using an OBDII tool. The definitions therein are OBDII's generic language, not the actual factory definition. This can still leave you mislead.

5. Absolutely no chance of the dreaded 'unknown code' listing that OBDII tools can show you.

As for the pricing, MSRP on our R5/FCX3 (engine code tool) is $149.99. Most retailers sell them for as low as $139.99. All tools come with a warranty from US, as well as unsurpassed customer support from our California based company (where the tools are produced, programmed, and packaged).

Clicking on my signature will show you a list of Bimmerfest supporting companies who carry the tools. Contact us or any of these businesses if you have any specific questions. You can also check out the article linked in my signature titled "Peake Tool Crash Course."

Best of luck!

Ken
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  #15  
Old 12-26-2010, 06:36 PM
newpctech newpctech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I ran into this thread looking up OBDII scanners for a newbie on another thread and realized I committed a faux pas by not closing the loop.

Up 'till now, I've been borrowing a friend's OBDII scanner but I finally bought my own so now I cand read and clear codes at will.

I also found out that there are only two states which disallow free OBDII scanning by the auto parts stores, and I'm in one of them.

I did talk to the AuoZone guys and they said they do not allow you to buy and then return an opened package so the 'trick' of getting a free scan that way isn't going to work.

Luckily, there is OBDII freeware and inexpensive ($30) scanners on the market.

Here are the related threads to close the loop:
- Which states make OBDII scanning illegal by the auto parts store? Why?
- Cheapest CAN OBDII scanner on the net that reads DTCs, pending codes, & clears codes
- OBD II PC freeware & $15 J1962 cable for the BMW E39
- In California, what establishment do you use to read OBDII codes for free?
So what exact cable do I need for a 2001 e39?
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2010, 09:24 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Cable for what? You have not explained what it is that you want to do and with what you plan on doing it with. More details please as to what tool(s) you have and what is it that you are trying to do with what ever tool it is that you have.

Are you reading generic OBD II codes with an inexpensive OBD II scanner/reader? Or do you have a laptop that has aftermarket software...or do you have access to BMW proprietary software?

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

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  #17  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:13 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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In a thread today, the Peake wouldn't read an SES fault code:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Will post oxygen sensor throw sel?

And, since the OP is in California, the question came up whether the California AAA will do scans for free.

Anyone know offhand?

(If not, I'll call and ask but I'm not near a phone right now while it's on my mind.)
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  #18  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:24 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
Catalytic efficiency below threshold

Is a failing cat,

The o2 monitors your air fuel,
This is a lot to do with knock sensor and open loop. Closed loop
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  #19  
Old 04-05-2011, 12:03 PM
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menhir menhir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
Catalytic efficiency below threshold

Is a failing cat,

The o2 monitors your air fuel,
This is a lot to do with knock sensor and open loop. Closed loop
Burning2nd, while I appreciate your willingness to help and believe you have a great deal of knowledge and experience, sometimes your posts come over a bit too cryptic for me.
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