If you've ever seen the "Check Engine" or "Service Engine Soon" light
displayed on your instrument cluster, you've experienced a portion of
your car's diagnostic system at work. Your first reaction may be to
panic or to get frustrated. Is it a big problem, or something
insignificant that can be attended to later? Guessing about - or asking
other people to guess about it - isn't worth the time it took you to
read this sentence. There are literally hundreds of possible causes for
the warning to occur, and the only way to determine them is with the
use of a diagnostic tool.
a problem or fault triggers a Check Engine/Service Engine Soon warning
light, the computer also generates a fault code. This functionality is
not unique to BMWs. In fact, all cars sold in the US produced after 1996
were required to have a diagnostic system to let inspectors and service
professionals track emissions related problems. This system is called
OBDII (On Board Diagnostics, second generation). Contained within this
system is a set of parameters to be monitored and the corresponding
fault codes. These government-mandated codes are generic, and any OBDII
reader (like those used by auto parts stores) will read them.
OBDII codes definitely serve a purpose, but their generic and emissions
related focus could leave a lot to be desired. This is especially true
for BMWs, whose complex systems require high tolerance conditions for
peak performance. If one of the hundreds of monitored sensors detects
an out-of-range value, the car's computer wants to alert you that things
are not perfect. This information is not necessarily what the OBDII
system is designed to communicate.
BMW Specific Codes vs. OBDII - What's The Difference?
In addition to the required OBD system, your BMW - and in fact ALL BMWs
as old as 1987 - maintains its own, factory-programmed and BMW-specific
diagnostic system. The parameters monitored by this system extend beyond
emissions related faults, and their corresponding codes translate to
EXACTLY what the factory wants the technicians to know. While some
fault codes will overlap with OBDII codes, many will not. Many more
will be more descriptive/accurate than the corresponding OBDII offering.
More importantly, there are some fault codes that OBDII will simply not
read. For example, in a review of codes for one specific model (2000
323i) there are more than twenty-five BMW Specific codes that are simply
NOT REPRESENTED by the generic OBDII system. This is common for most
models. Therefore, by relying on the readings from a generic OBDII
tool, you are potentially missing important information.
Because of these gaps, as well as codes that are potentially less
accurate, BMW service centers and technicians do not use OBDII tools to
diagnose problems. They solely rely on the factory programmed, BMW
specific fault codes.
Code Tools from Peake Research - The Right Tool For The Job
Don't want to go to the dealer or BMW technician? You can read the
factory programmed, BMW specific codes with an affordable, easy to use
tool. Peake Research has been making code tools that connect directly
to the BMW factory diagnostic system for nearly twenty years. Their
tools are the industry-standard hand-held, BMW specific code readers.
These are NOT generic OBDII tools, and they will only work on BMWs.
Quite simply - the Peake tools are built specifically for YOUR CAR;
OBDII tools ARE NOT.
Why Trust Chain Auto Parts Stores to Diagnose Your BMW?
Some people try to save money by opting for a "free" scan at a local
auto parts store. These stores use generic OBDII tools, not BMW
specific readers. Even if the tool they use presents "Manufacturer
Specific" codes, these are simply extended OBDII codes - not the
accurate, factory programmed codes your Peake tool will read. The kid
at the store doesn't know your BMW - Peake Research does.
Peake Tools - Convenient, Easy to Connect, and Easy to Use
enough to fit in your glove box, Your Peake tool will be ready to read
codes when you need it. The process couldn't be easier! Simply connect
the tool to your car's diagnostic port (cars older than '01 have the
port under the hood, newer than '01 use the 16 pin port under the dash),
set the key, and press the button. Directions are even printed on the
body of the tool! With only two buttons - one to cycle through
functions and one to "go" - a proper diagnosis is at your fingertips.
The codes are revealed with a short series of digits - numbers and
letters that actually instruct you where to look in the code manual,
then which code to look up. With that information, you have the ability
to intelligently decide your next course of action. Whether you choose
to seek a professional mechanic's help or tackle the job yourself, it
all starts with the most accurate information a hand-held scan tool can
Which Peake Tool is Right For You?
Bimmertools.com Specializes in Tools from Peake Research
If your BMW was built between 1987 and 2001, there is a Peake Tool
that's made for your car. Two basic models - one for engine codes and
one for airbag codes - each come in two varieties; one for older cars,
one for newer.
Selecting the right tool is very easy - check out your options on Bimmertool's diagnostic tool page - here.
Why wait for your engine light to come on? Be ready for it with your
own BMW Specific fault code reader NOW. Bimmertools.com is ready to
take your order today. With pricing well below retail, and FREE
Priority Shipping for all domestic Peake tool orders, you can't go
Credit to Peake Research for technical information