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  #1  
Old 03-13-2005, 12:34 AM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Legal purchase & use of Elektronikteilkatalog (ETK, TIS, EPC, HTK, ETM, KSD)

Is it legal and legitimate to purchase & use BMW service information?

I am a new BMW owner who just recently ordered the Bentley paperback shop manuals
(see thread http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90602 )
in order to find out more about my new toy.

I see that the BMW part numbers, price lists, error codes, shop rates, wiring diagrams, etc., are all available online.

Is it legit to purchase & use these potentially useful tools?

In addition to Elektronikteilkatalog (ETK) part numbers, I see TIS (service instructions & technical specs), EPC (prices), HTK (?), ETM (electrical troubleshooting manual), KSD (error kodes & man hours per job), etc. all being sold on the web.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2005, 05:47 AM
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Terry Kennedy Terry Kennedy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaftdrive
Is it legal and legitimate to purchase & use BMW service information?
Many of these were sold by BMW's authorized US documentation distribution contractor, Central Letter Shop, and they still sell some items. However, as BMW moved to online access to this material, Central Letter Shop was asked to stop selling some of it. So (for example) the newest TIS you can get there is the 12/2002 one.

For current information, BMW would like you to use their for-pay online service here. This will have the most up-to-date information, though for many things I don't find it as useful as the CD/DVD-based tools.

Of course, many of the discs offered for sale are unauthorized (pirated) copies. I'm sure some are actual ones from Central Letter Shop (or a dealership dumpster), but I don't see how you can tell them apart - even the real ones were on CD-R media with inkjet labels (and the seller surely won't admit to software piracy).
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2005, 12:15 AM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Can bmwtis replace a TIS/ETK/EPC/HTK/ETM/KSD CDROM?

Good. Now that I know it's legit, I ordered the 7-disk set today.
Thanks for your astute advice.

Subscription rates for the BMW site www.bmwtis.com seem to be steep
(compared to a simple purchase of the software CDROM):
1-Day (24 hour) Subscription: $25 USD
1-Month (30-days) Subscription: $300 USD
1-Year Subscription: $2500 USD


We should also note this BMW site (http://www.bmwtis.com) does not work at all with Firefox.
At least they pop up a message saying it's not supported so you know right away.
I had to (re)install Internet Explorer just to view this web page.


Seems to me the trick would be to get a 24-hour subscription and then run the GNU wget (web get) program to just download EVERYTHING on that web site to a hard disk.
Then you could peruse the literature found at your pleasure instead of rushing through things in a day.

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  #4  
Old 03-15-2005, 12:37 AM
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Terry Kennedy Terry Kennedy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaftdrive
Subscription rates for the BMW site www.bmwtis.com seem to be steep
(compared to a simple purchase of the software CDROM):
1-Day (24 hour) Subscription: $25 USD
1-Month (30-days) Subscription: $300 USD
1-Year Subscription: $2500 USD
Well, their primary market is the independent BMW mechanic. At one time I'd been talking to BMWCCA about some method of allowing members to access the site (perhaps coupons for one day's worth of access), but that never went anywhere (that I can tell - maybe they're working on it behind the scenes).

Also, if Central Letter Shop still sold the current monthly CDs, the BMW web site would be cheaper - the discs were something like $125 each.
Quote:
We should also note this BMW site (http://www.bmwtis.com) does not work at all with Firefox.
At least they pop up a message saying it's not supported so you know right away.
I had to (re)install Internet Explorer just to view this web page.
You can't actually see what is there without purchasing access, but one reason for this is that they have an ActiveX control that implements remote X Window System functionality - you can access a DIS computer as though you were a dealership tech, and if you purchase the converter to attach to the car's diagnostic port, you can diagnose and update the car. I don't have prices for a DIS, but a GT-1 is $17,500 (plus software updates).
Quote:
Seems to me the trick would be to get a 24-hour subscription and then run the GNU wget (web get) program to just download EVERYTHING on that web site to a hard disk.Then you could peruse the literature found at your pleasure instead of rushing through things in a day.
That probably violates the terms of use, but even so it wouldn't be very useful - the content is updated regularly, and a bunch of the stuff there is database-driven so you'd wind up missing stuff and/or download gigabytes of redundant material.

In closing, the CDs you can buy on eBay and elsewhere may or may not be genuine media, and are certainly out of date (the US English TIS hasn't been issued on CD for over a year, for example). If you have an older car and aren't concerned about possible changes to service methods and superseded parts, they'll work fine. If you have a recent production car, you may have problems. Sellers rarely state the issue date of the discs they sell, preferring to say "Newest on eBay" or "Group ETK V1.1" which means nothing.
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2005, 08:51 AM
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LMC LMC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaftdrive
[b]Good. Now that I know it's legit, I ordered the 7-disk set today.
Huh? It's not "legit."

If you purchased the 7-disc set, it is an illegal copy of the BMW-copyrighted original or a gray market import or some other iteration of that. The TIS has been, but no longer is, legally available, but to the best of my knowledge the ETK never has.

Which is not to say that I disapprove. While the sale of these resources may be illegal, they're invaluable to owners. I would be happy to give BMW/Central Letter Shop a big chunk of cash if they were to make them available; they have not and so I've given a smaller chunk of cash to an enterprising "thief" who copies them illegally and sells them on eBay (thereby providing a valuable service to BMW owners.)

By the way, at least for the ETK, two-wheel BMWs are included!
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2005, 10:51 AM
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Terry Kennedy Terry Kennedy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMC
The TIS has been, but no longer is, legally available, but to the best of my knowledge the ETK never has.
Central Letter Shop used to sell the ETK as well. The HTK, EBA and ETM discs were (perhaps still are) sold by dealers. The only one I'm not sure about is the KSD.
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2005, 07:36 PM
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LMC LMC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Kennedy
Central Letter Shop used to sell the ETK as well.
Oh, didn't know that -- I stand corrected.
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  #8  
Old 03-16-2005, 12:18 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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What is EBA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Kennedy
The HTK, EBA and ETM discs were (perhaps still are) sold by dealers.
What's EBA?
I ran a quick search to find a (cryptic) reference, with explicit photos:
http://www.autoepc.ru/store/bmweba.shtml

I'm new to BMW cars so I ask in the context of the following assumptions:
----------
BMW KSD I think this contains labor times & error codes
BMW ETK This is an electronic parts catalogue for both motorcycles and automobiles
BMW TIS I think this contains specifications, service bulletins, diagnostics, & bodywork data
----------
BMW ETM Is this an electronic trouble-shooting manual?
BMW WDS Are these wiring diagrams for motorcycles?
BMW EPC Is this an electronic price catalogue?
BMW HTK ? what is this ?
BMW EBA ? this looks similar to the ETK from the photos below


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  #9  
Old 03-16-2005, 12:27 PM
Terry Kennedy's Avatar
Terry Kennedy Terry Kennedy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaftdrive
BMW KSD I think this contains labor times & error codes
BMW ETK This is an electronic parts catalogue for both motorcycles and automobiles
BMW TIS I think this contains specifications, service bulletins, diagnostics, & bodywork data
Correct. The KSD also has various odds-and-ends such as a "what wheels will work on what car" application.
Quote:
BMW ETM Is this an electronic trouble-shooting manual?
BMW WDS Are these wiring diagrams for motorcycles?
BMW EPC Is this an electronic price catalogue?
BMW HTK ? what is this ?
BMW EBA ? this looks similar to the ETK from the photos below
ETM is the wiring diagram for older cars not covered by the software in the shop computer (DIS) or the standalone wiring diagram application (WDS)
EPC is another name for ETK - an English acronym instead of German
HTK is the parts catalog for [much] older BMWs - I think it is published by BMW's Mobile Tradition group, who have original parts and replicas for older cars
EBA is the "Options and Accessories Installation Instructions" which have instructions for installing many (but not all) options. There is a 1-CD current (well, as of 09/2003, when it was discontinued in favor of the online ASAP application) and a 4-CD archive set. Note that many of the instructions will say "refer to TIS procedure x x x", so you'll probably need a TIS as well.
There is also a "BMW Accessories Configurator" which lets you visualize the interior and exterior of a BMW with various options, as well as a bunch of specialized CDs such as those that list the specially-modified racing parts.
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2005, 02:52 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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BMW TLAs

Quote:
... EPC is another name for ETK ... HTK lists parts for older BMWs ... the KSD has various odds-and-ends ...
Thanks for explaining the key BMW TLAs!
You provided a valuable service to us all (I for one would never have guessed).

Quote:
EBA is the "Options and Accessories Installation Instructions"
Hmmmm ... I didn't know this existed ... I wonder ...
Does anyone know if the EBA covers how to convert the front and rear barely mono-functional USA armrests & cupholders (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85935) into something more acceptably multi-functional?


Or should I just stop off at a dealership and ask them to look it up in their EBA?

Note: I've never been to a BMW automotive parts guy so I have no existing relationship to base an opinion on how they handle ad-hoc consumer add-on what-if questions ...
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