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BMW scan tool verses INPA with laptop

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BMW scan tool verses INPA with laptop

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Old 07-12-2017, 04:35 AM
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Default BMW scan tool verses INPA with laptop

I have a 2010 e60 528i sedan.

What is the general sentiment on diagnosing the vehicle using:

a scan tool verses INPA software and a laptop?

Do most of the guys use a scan tool or use INPA with a laptop?

Which is better?

Which is less expensive?
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:41 AM
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I typically use the android app "Torque" and a $5 bluetooth OBD adapter. I've got INPA and a wired scan tool, but both are too cumbersome to bother with. I keep the OBD adapter in my glove box and it's a much quicker and convenient solution for me.

Super Mini Android Bluetooth OBD2 OBDII ELM327 v2.1 Adapter Auto Scanner Torque

https://torque-bhp.com/

You can get Carly if you want to code the car: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...whatFull&hl=en
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:29 PM
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There is nothing more complete and comprehensive than the factory diagnostic software, that goes for all of the manufacturers out there.

That being said, BMWs factory software is a lot less user friendly than many generic OBD tools and apps that are available. I use INPA at home on all of my cars.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:28 PM
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A generic scan tool is for simple diagnosis. INPA is for BMW specific diagnosis. I use both. If I plug my OBD reader in and can see what's wrong if it's enough data for me to fix it I fix it then hook up INPA to clear it from the computer. Most of the time INPA is needed to do a real diagnosis because these cars are more complicated than American cars. It is good to have both. INPA is floating around for free and you just buy the cable for $20. For OBD buy a wifi/Bluetooth OBD reader depending on if you have iOS/Android get Torque and you will be fine. It should not cost more than $50 for everything. But if you own a BMW you should be using INPA or ISTA/p and /d for newer cars.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:17 AM
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Default Good Advise

Gents:

Your recommendations were good, but here's the obvious part that Iím grappling with:
- I buy the K+Dcan cable and get the INPA software
- I pull off all the error codes on the e60 sedan

- I research what the error code means
- Now I try to interpret the error code Egyptian hieroglyphics descriptions


It appears the INPA software is just pointing you in a navigational direction. I might be wrong.


How do you read the error code descriptions and really know what part to replace?


For example, is there a data base somewhere that says, "if your BMW error code is ABC than 9 out of 10 people with ABC error code have had to replace the oxygen sensor?


Thanks,
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:34 AM
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Im understanding what you are trying to get at. A generic OBD reader points you in a navigational direction. Manufacture software gets you closer to the issue with diagnosis. The is no software that will tell you exactly what is wrong with your car. You have to either know how to research or have been working on cars for a leaving. What INPA provides is the actual BMW error codes which can be googled and most of the time find and answer within minutes (depending on how good you are reading). Generic codes will have you guessing for hours unless it is a typical error. This is why i say having both are good because some times all you need is a generic code to get you where you need to be instead of having to pull out the laptop. Working on BMWs is not a simple task and having the BMW codes will get you back on the road quicker with more complex issues.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:37 AM
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If you google any manufacture codes there will be a database with possible fixes. Example. All it takes is for you to search and anything can be found in less than 5 minutes
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by scottalexander View Post


How do you read the error code descriptions and really know what part to replace?
Deductive reasoning.

Any fault code reader, even INPA, is only going to provide you with the symptom, it's up to you to determine the cause. This is where automotive know-how and experience come into play.

Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:28 PM
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Hey all. I’m new to bmw and I’m leaning towards the pc way for diagnosis and coding such as battery change. Digital mph things like that. I’m clueless on what to buy. Like cable and software. I have a 2008 528xi. Any help would be appreciated
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:40 PM
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I bought a Twisted Tuning K+Dcan cable and the BimmerGeeks has standard tools.
Then all you need to do is google.

That cable and the software connected first time easy. Just follow the instructions in the package.
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