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Thread: OBD II Scan and BMW?

  1. #31
    Constant Bitrate
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    OBDII and BMW

    Hi,

    Just reading through your posts, I thought that it was important to mention that generic scantools such as those using the ELM323 chip will only enable you to retrieve generic codes (P0) codes. BMW makes significant use of its own proprietry codes (P1) codes.

    To do this you need a factory code scanner. We became the UK distributor of the Peake Research tools (http://www.ukobd.co.uk/site/catlist.asp?id=9) to supplement our more generic codes scanners for this very reason.

    Peake tools support the 20-pin and 16-pin sockets for most BMW's (exc. diesel) from 1987.

    Hope that this helps.

    Gareth
    UKOBD

  2. #32
    FLAC chut's Avatar
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    Thanx!,

    I've got the FCXII model for work in the garage. It actually helped me when I had a cam shaft sensor go down. Thank Bob it wasn't the Vanos.

    Take Care
    Peter


    Quote Originally Posted by UKOBD
    Hi,

    Just reading through your posts, I thought that it was important to mention that generic scantools such as those using the ELM323 chip will only enable you to retrieve generic codes (P0) codes. BMW makes significant use of its own proprietry codes (P1) codes.

    To do this you need a factory code scanner. We became the UK distributor of the Peake Research tools (http://www.ukobd.co.uk/site/catlist.asp?id=9) to supplement our more generic codes scanners for this very reason.

    Peake tools support the 20-pin and 16-pin sockets for most BMW's (exc. diesel) from 1987.

    Hope that this helps.

    Gareth
    UKOBD
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  3. #33
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    Aren't these the BMW-specific P1 codes?

    UKOBD has mentioned several times in various posts that BMW P1 codes are not available unless using the Peake or some other tool.

    I don't understand. I've seen people asking questions on BMW bboards for years, posting their DTCs and asking for translation. All you have to do is go to one of a number of sites that have the BMW-specific table..

    I've found them using google many times. Here's one mentioned in another post in this forum...

    http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/bmw/index.php

  4. #34
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    I don't follow.

    Why cannot a cheapo (like a Harbor freight $40 generic OBD-II scanner) or an interface with software (like an ELM (323 or 327) based system) read those codes? Is there something that prevents it?

    I thought that you could obtain the codes with these tools. I downloaded a freeware package (name forgotten - wish I remembered) a year ago that required a cable/interface purchase to actually use, and it allowed loading manufacturer specific tables for correct translation, and the website provided a BMW file for download/install.

    This makes me think that OBD-II interfaces like ELMscan and software apps that are compatible with them can read the BMW-specific P1 codes, but may or may not provide the correct explanation text. But the P1xxx code itself should be correct, and the correct explanation can be found by referring to the BMW-specific table.

    What am I missing?

  5. #35
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    OK, but why can't they read the manufacturer specific Powertrain DTCs? Also on wikipedia (thanks for that pointer), I found this quickee discussion of Mode 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OBD-II_PIDs It doesn't show any low-level protocol details, but makes mode 3 seem like a simple, single request to receive all DTCs, regardless of P0, P1, etc. Is there some kind of secret code or something that has to be sent to receive the P1xxx DTC codes?

    I found the software I mentioned before that claims offers manufacturer specific table for my car's BMW engine (S52) "non-uniform diagnostic trouble codes (mode 3, 7, 13, 14, 33, AE)".

    The product is OBD-2 Vehicle Explorer - http://obd-2.com/#download

  6. #36
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    P1 codes, etc.

    Hi Greenmachine,

    You are likely to be able to access many of the codes via a generic scan tool, but they are by nature just that - generic. As such many manufacturer-specific codes are not accessible.

    It is also important to note that depending on your location the vehicle's compliance with OBD2/EOBD may be different. Also the US supplied vehicles (petrol) had to be compliant by 1996, this is 2001 for the EU (petrol) and 2004 (diesel).

    Hope that this helps.

    Gareth
    UKOBD

  7. #37
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    You guys are confusing DTC codes with manufacturer specific sensor data. You can access all DTC codes, regardless of whether they are manufacturer specific or not (generic software will just not give you a description for the code). You, however, are limited on what sensors you can work with in regards to manufacturer specific sensor data ~ again in most cases software related, but this is not always the case.

    To expand on this a little bit, to make myself more clear. The DTC codes are retrieved through a Generic Mode/PID request ($03), there is no seperate request to retrieve error codes specific to the make and model of the vehicle. The error codes are returned (the vehicle will return any error codes through this request, it does not matter if it is generic or not). It is then up to the software to translate this code. Generic software tools most of the time do not have the ability to do this simply because their DTC database is not broad enough, however, all software tools do have access to display all error codes regardless if they have information on these codes or not (if there is a software application out there that doesn't do this then it was not designed correctly).

  8. #38
    Constant Bitrate joeyoravec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digimotojoel View Post
    To expand on this a little bit, to make myself more clear. The DTC codes are retrieved through a Generic Mode/PID request ($03), there is no seperate request to retrieve error codes specific to the make and model of the vehicle. The error codes are returned (the vehicle will return any error codes through this request, it does not matter if it is generic or not). It is then up to the software to translate this code. Generic software tools most of the time do not have the ability to do this simply because their DTC database is not broad enough.
    GMLAN and GM Class2 have a separate command to get more DTCs. So does Ford SCP and CAN.

  9. #39
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    Relative to the current discussion, this does not apply. However, I appreciate the extra information. Can you expand on this a bit, are these DTCs you are speaking of specifically related to manufacturer specific DTCs or simply another request to retrieve DTCs in general? Is this used specifically for storing DTCs that are not related to Powertrain, Body, Chassis or Network? Is it used to store DTCs that are not capable of being retrieved through mode $03 due to memory restrictions?

    Even if you wanted to access these DTCs through non generic requests, I do not see how that is a limitation of the hardware. It seems to me, again, this would be a limitation on the software. To say you need a specific tool to request DTCs (and more to the point, to translate these DTCs) is incorrect, unless the protocol being used by the vehicle itself is not compliant with the scantool.

  10. #40
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    Exactly my point. The protocol of the tool, interface, software, etc should be able to obtain the code, regardless of whether the software has a stored human readable text description of it's meaning.

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