You’re driving down the road, blissful as ever, and “Ding!” there goes the check engine light on your BMW.
Maybe that’s not even the case. Maybe you’re just the kind of person who likes to do your own BMW repairs rather than seeking out a BMW mechanic.
It can be cost-effective as well as satisfying to be able to fix or even just identify car problems.
If this sounds familiar, what you need is a BMW scan tool.
First and foremost, we’d like to show you why it’s important to have one of these instruments in your arsenal. Then, we’ll tell you all about the five best BMW scan tools on the market.
Why Should I Use a BMW Scan Tool?
Your BMW is most likely one of your pride and joys, and just like anything that’s cherished, you probably baby it.
Good for you! Whether it’s a BMW or the roof over your head, you should appreciate and take care of the things that take of you.
When problems arise, though, it’s easy to panic. Something as simple as a BMW code reader can at the very least put your mind at ease.
As long as you know what’s wrong, find the right service repair manual for your specific BMW model and get yourself on the right track to a repair.
If you’re a motorcyclist, though, there are plenty of service repair manuals for BMW motorcycles as well.
Cars are complex machinery and a lot can go wrong in a lot of different ways. The biggest battle you face is just figuring out what’s wrong in the first place.
Now, there are a lot of diagnostic tools on the market, and if you’re a BMW owner, a specific BMW scanner tool is a must.
All car manufacturers are required to have generic trouble codes that come up when you use a scan tool on the OBD2 port of your car.
This will give you a lot of the information you need, but it may not always show the specific codes made by certain manufacturers.
BMW, in particular, has a lot of very specific codes for when something goes wrong.
Only a BMW-specific tool will be able to read these codes that you wouldn’t necessarily see if you just read the generic codes through a generic code reader.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tools with BMW diagnostic software out there.
1. Foxwell NT510
This is probably one of your best bets for a BMW scanner tool.
The Foxwell NT510 is interesting for a number of different reasons:
- Midrange price point
- Compatible with older and newer models (1987 to present)
- A number of extra features
Like any good diagnostic tool, the Foxwell NT510 will automatically detect your BMW model, read specific codes, and clear them if necessary.
It doesn’t stop at the basics, though. This tool comes with extra features such as brake deactivation, ABS module activation, battery registration, and active testing to help you determine repair steps.
This one has a little bit of everything, and while not the absolute cheapest BMW scanner tool on this list, it still comes at an affordable price point.
BMW mechanics use this tool, so if you’re looking to DIY BMW repair, it’s an excellent choice.
2. MAOZUA V7.7 Creator C310+
This Creator C310+ by MAOZUA is currently on version 7.7 and good for a number of reasons:
- Works on BMWs manufactured after 2000
- Can read OBD-2, ABS, DSC, SRS, and more
It’s not quite as fully stocked as some of the other BMW code readers on this list, but it still allows you to view a lot of diagnostic data, clear codes, and update through a USB cable.
This will mean you’re insured for any future BMW models as it can easily be updated.
For just reading and clearing codes, this is probably one of your best bets.
3. Carly for BMW WiFi Adapter
Carly is a company that has created BMW diagnostic software for your smartphone, both Android and Apple iPhone.
This is an interesting concept since you most likely already own a smartphone and have it on you at most (if not all) times.
Turns out you already have a capable device sitting in your pocket!
You will need to find the Carly WiFi Adapter specific to BMW and your phone, but it’s a very easy and convenient way to connect and read and remove codes.
4. Autel MaxiDAS DS808
This is a professional-tier diagnostic tool that may be on the slightly expensive side but will serve you well.
The Autel MaxiDAS DS808 is used in a lot of shops, so you know you’re buying something comprehensive.
On top of detecting and resetting codes, it has coding and programming capabilities all on a large tablet reader that makes for a good user interface.
It even covers cars other than BMW if you are a multi-car owner or want to share this with friends or family who have different cars.
The only drawback here will probably be the price point. Otherwise, it is a complete and comprehensive option even used by mechanics.
5. Creator C310+
This diagnostic tool from Creator is almost exactly the same as the MAOZUA branded one above, but slightly cheaper.
The screen is the same, the button layout is the same, and the functionality seems to be largely the same.
They claim that if your BMW is pre-2000 then you may need to buy an adapter. That could be a drawback, if true.
Still, you save a few bucks, and if you’re really pinching pennies here, this still may be a very solid option.
Unlike the Foxwell, you may be missing out on some helpful extra features like that battery registration or brake deactivation.
If you’re really only looking to read and clear codes, you still get that here.
Easy DIY Car Fixes With BMW Diagnostic Software
If you’re a BMW owner looking to diagnose and fix problems on your own, then any of the suggested BMW scan tools on this list should help you get started.
If you have more questions or want more advice, read what we’re all about and discover what other ways we can help!