About this blog
So I thought I might do a bit of a review for those who are thinking of getting the above to do some DIY fault checks, etc.
PA Soft Scanner 1.4.0
Bought online (approx 20 incl shipping and 16 to 20 Pin connector)
Use: I struggled a bit to get it working on my laptop. Its designed for Windows XP but got it to work on Win7. Theres a loooong discussion on this on e46fanatics.com. Just use google. Upload drivers and you should be fine. Once the admin is out of the way its very easy to use. Switch car on to key position 2 or start car. Connect to laptop and start program. It will give you all the info on your car at startup like type, true mileage, etc.
Pros: This scanner reads 99% of all faults and with a click of the button the error codes can be cleared. Gives a good description of where the fault lies. Example: my airbag light came on this weekend and it told me its the front left passanger airbag. Most things can be programmed like at what speed the doors must automatically lock, alarm sounds, lights to switch on with alarm etc. Cheaper than high end scanners.
Cons: Its a bit of an inconvenience to carry the laptop and connect everything. No live data. As everything can be customised and programmed be aware that if you "write" over the existing programs it could end in tears with the car not working and a visit to the dealers to try and reset the ECU. This adaptor only works on certain BMW models.
ELM 327 Bluetooth
Bought this little connector last week.
obd365.com 7.99 incl. shipping. Allready have 20 pin connector.
Use: Very easy. Just connect to the car. Activate Bluetooth on cellphone. Use downloaded app.
Pros: Very easy to use. No cables and laptops necessary. Gives live data while driving. Example: air intake temp, coolant temp, RPM, 0 -100 times, bhp estimate, distance travelled, etc. WORKS ON MOST CARS (Even non bmws). Cheaper than high end scanners.
Cons: Don't know if its the programs or just my car but it shows no faults when scanning (even with airbag light on), where the PA Soft system showed a few. You need to downlaod the full version of app or download free app from sellers. Not a train smash as its like $10.00 to $15.00 per program but still more money spent.
For the price of these gadgets I think its well worth getting one. To think that most garages charge 100-200 bucks just to scan your car once. And at the same price I can scan the car whenever I want. And when you do take the car in you will know if someone is trying to rip you off by telling you its something else thats much more expensive to fix.
I have not tried any INPA systems but I hear good reviews. If anyone wants to chip in here they are more than welcome. Hope this helps.