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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I will be a praying the review and information. Please read the latest post for the latest information.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated, employed, or compensated by Carly.

Summary for those not looking to read the entire post:
Overall the Carly for BMW is a potentially great tool but as it appears to not be fully operational for the E39 I can't give a huge recommendation for it. At this point there doesn't appear to be functional parameter display or other goodies that we need/want (or at least I couldn't find a wheel speed sensor display) and it is rather expensive (US$123). However, as the connector is updatable through the app and the app receives continuous updates for ever, I am not returning it. Hopefully I can provide some updates in the future and definitive recommendation as Carly works to improve this. And my neighbor has an 07 335, maybe it is more functional on his and I can help him out.

"Complete" review:
Looking for another tool in the arsenal of diagnostics for my 2003 540iA M-Tech/Sport/whatever, I came across the Carly system. This is a OBDII connection that is supposed to enable standard OBDII diagnostics, BMW specific fault codes, ecu/module coding, and display/read additional ecu information. In theory allow for live reads and displays of the standard items (O2, rpm, throttle, etc.) but also capture additional fault information (mileage, conditions, etc.). Figuring it would be a nice addition I purchased it from the Amazon distributor ($78) and used my gathered change in a CoinStar machine to get the iTunes gift certificate to buy the app ($45). So here is what I have experienced thus far...

The OBDII connector is a small unit utilizing a wifi signal (self generated) to connect to the iOS. Packaging is rather nonexistent but that is okay, I am not paying for that but for the functions.


The interesting thing about this: as it is also generating a wifi signal the operator needs to start the vehicle to avoid battery drain. While nothing "wrong" with this, it does present an inhibitor to doing a quick check for codes.

On to the app: overall nice and easy to follow, for the most part it has simple screens.
On launch of the app you get a simple home screen where you get to choose your vehicle and make initial connection.


Unfortunately it appears there is a communication error with my ecu. This may be because the e39 area does not have engine/ecu selection, instead it is "all" engines. Carly is supposedly adding more engines so perhaps my 2003 M62TU is still under development.


This is the first clue that Parameters is not going to provide anything but more on that later.

Going into diagnostics there is a lot to see.


Of course all of these are not valid for the E39 but there are plenty enough for fault codes.

The return of the codes is rather easy to follow as is the display and clearing.



The coding portion is nice and allows SOME of the elements to be controlled. Again rather easy to follow and execute.



The nice part is this system creates a backup file so if the coding fails or you have set it incorrectly you can revert to your previous settings. There is also a file with "recipes" for the coding (ensuring the correct elements are active to enable your function).

The Parameters is what I was really going for. Not only is it supposed to be a live display (graphs, numerical, or dashboard) but you can also export the file to excel for better analysis and viewing. Here are some of the parameters available.


You can set 6 up at a time here, I grabbed a random few just for s&gs but as it doesn't work I can't show what the graphs or displays look like.


Overall a potentially great tool but as it appears to not be fully operational for the E39 I can't give a huge recommendation for it. At this point there doesn't appear to be functional parameter display or other goodies that we need/want (or at least I couldn't find a wheel speed sensor display) and it is rather expensive (US$123). However, as the connector is updatable through the app and the app receives continuous updates for ever I am not returning it. Hopefully I can provide some updates in the future as Carly works to improve this. And besides, my neighbor has an 07 335, maybe it is more functional on his and I can help him out.

More info available on the Carly for BMW system from website.
http://www.mycarly.com/product/bmw-app/

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Not ready for prime time. Good thing it was cheap!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not ready for prime time. Good thing it was cheap!
I contacted Carly on this and now I am working to provide information and data sampling so they can develop the requisite capabilities. Likely only for the M62TU first but hopefully expandable to the other E39 engine and management systems quickly/fast/soon. So further reviews to come as the updates are released.
 

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Thanks for the thorough review! I've been on the fence about getting a code reader, and Carly was one of the ones I've been considering.

Just wanted to confirm, so for your E39, you are able to read and clear fault codes?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the thorough review! I've been on the fence about getting a code reader, and Carly was one of the ones I've been considering.

Just wanted to confirm, so for your E39, you are able to read and clear fault codes?
Yes it reads and clears fault codes including all the various modules (IHKA, trans, etc.).
The catch is that any of the engine (DME) data isn't available... yet. At least for the M62TU, others MIGHT be but I can't see that.

Honestly I have a hard time saying go for it at this point. Especially if you are needing a reader with engine diagnostics. Unless you can "invest" and wait for a return I would say do something else (creator, inpa, et al) if needed now/soon.

And since you planted the idea in my head, I will see if other apps will connect to the Carly system. That might be a decent work around. More to follow.
 

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I figured as much with the Carly scanner, so I didn't invest in one. I think part of the problem is the way the E39's control busses work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I continue to send data and work with Carly to get this app functional for E39s. To be fair, this might be an issue with the M62TU and other engines are functional in the app. :dunno: If I can get another couple E39s will let you know.

They have attempted to add OBDII parameters and readiness checks. Doesn't work but at least can show what they should be.




They also have a "Used Vehicle Check". Again if they get it functional it will be good but not quite right for now.



Will update as the (hopefully) progresses.

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I continue to send data and work with Carly to get this app functional for E39s. To be fair, this might be an issue with the M62TU and other engines are functional in the app. :dunno: If I can get another couple E39s will let you know.

They have attempted to add OBDII parameters and readiness checks. Doesn't work but at least can show what they should be.




They also have a "Used Vehicle Check". Again if they get it functional it will be good but not quite right for now.



Will update as the (hopefully) progresses.

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I can send data, I have carly too.
 

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Great post. At this time...it looks like Carly works better with the next/newer gen BMWs (the ones with iDrive like the e90/e60/e65/e70/etc).
 

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Mine arrived today and played a little with my E39.

I like the portrait view I see in YouTube videos but mine is landscape and can't figure out if it can be changed. Using the Android version.

Knowledge base online isn't too helpful.

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Discussion Starter #14
Excellent! It is useful for some things others not so much.
I do need to update the post with new pictures. It has gone through a few layout/interface changes. Functionally though it remains the same for me.
Which e39 do you have? I am curious to know if it would be functional on another engine type.
 

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Excellent! It is useful for some things others not so much.
I do need to update the post with new pictures. It has gone through a few layout/interface changes. Functionally though it remains the same for me.
Which e39 do you have? I am curious to know if it would be functional on another engine type.
02 525i sedan...M54 engine.

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I am considering getting Carly for simple coding like windows up with remote, etc. I'll be using it on a 99 528i and an 03 M5. I doubt there'd be much it'll be able to do for my Z3. It would be great if you could do speedo correction with it.
 

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Looks good, I like how it breaks down all the different elements of the car's ecu(s) so it is easily understandable plus the being able to change the coding of some of the features is a great bonus. good review.
 

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So far I'm frustrated with Carly and my 02 E39, but admittedly could be a training issue on my part. I mainly purchased for the diagnostic and clear feature. Carly keeps emailing me to seek support but when I do, they don't respond. So posting here what I asked them for possible assistance from the forum.

1. When the diag report says ECU not present/no response from ECU, which is it? I googled which ECUs are present in my car without success, to know if I'm getting this because I don't have that ECU or if I do and it's not responding. For instance I don't have PDC so understand getting that respond as it's not present, but I have cruise control and get the same thing. Likewise I know my ABS module is hosed and says ECU not present/no response. Was hoping for clear fault codes on it.

2. When errors are cleared my steering wheel jumps once and interior lights flash once. Supposed to do this?

3. Clearing errors. I see the check engine light go out upon clearing, but SRS will stay on when cleared. Would think it would go out then come back if the fault still present?

4. Will Carly tell you which wheel sensor is bad, if any are?

Thinking now maybe I should've gone with Creator C310.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The Carly is functional but definitely quirky. You may have to play with the communication speed, depth, and method. These all impact when the system will "time out".

Not all of the systems are reached on the e39. My engine "won't" communicate but the other systems will. You can see that on the shots above.

The code clearing: I have not experienced your symptoms.

SRS is tricky with a lot of systems. Some will clear the light and some... I haven't use it for SRS yet but suspected that scenario.

I am unsure of the WSS fidelity. I thought it would but you may have uncovered another issue with Carly.

I think Carly has put me on an ignore list regarding emails...

If you were closer I'd let you borrow my Creator.
 

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WSS could be due to my ABS module not responding, or at least I suspect that. I sent one out for repair and hopefully if it comes back fixed that will shed some light.

I know a dozen people locally with BMWs and not a one has a scanner of any type and claim to be DIYers which I don't get...was hoping to borrow Creator from them lol. Might just spring for it and add it to the cost of owning this vehicle.

I do also have an 08 E70 and hoping that'll make Carly worth it. This weekend's activity.

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