You’ve got engine problems with your BMW? Or you just want to connect to your BMW’s advanced diagnostics systems? A BMW scan tool is the right tool for you.
What you will find in this article are detailed reviews of BMW scan tools for BMW owners, DIY, and professional mechanics in 2019.
Learn all about OBD2 scan tools and read reviews of the 5 best OBD2 scanners for BMW below.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best BMW Scan Tools Review
- 2 Recommendation
- 3 Do I Need A BMW Scan Tool?
- 4 Using an OBD2 Scanner for BMW To Save Money
- 5 Will My Scan Tool Last?
Best BMW Scan Tools Review
1. FOXWELL NT510 BMW Diagnostic Tool with ABS/SRS/EPB/Transmission Service Functions
Why Taking Foxwell NT510?
Foxwell NT510 offers a great blend of features at a reasonable price. You can access most specific information with this BMW scanner.
It does more than that, however.
Offering a whole host of special functions, like brake de-activation, battery registration, and oil light information, this diagnostic tool is practically a must-have for anyone who plans to service a BMW vehicle.
You’ll get both generic error codes and manufacturer specific information, which makes NT510 great for anyone doing a lot of auto work.
Because of the full functionality of this BMW OBD scanner, you won’t need to buy anything else. You don’t need a phone or a separate app.
Beside BMW vehicles made from 1987, Foxwell Nt510 BMW scan tool can work well on MINI (from 2002) and Rolls-Royce (from 2003).
How about other makes?
In case you want to use this scanner on other car makes, remember to get it updated with the appropriate software. It’s got a variety of first-party software patches that allow it to work with almost all the popular car makes as well.
Shortcomings of FOXWELL NT510
You have to pay for software patches in order to use this scan tool to its full potential with non-BMW vehicles. It’s not a huge fee, but it is an additional cost you should be aware of.
While the interface on this BMW scan tool is simple and practical, it’s not as detailed as the interface you see on scanners that work with your phone. In practice, this isn’t a problem, but you might have trouble reading some of the more advanced graphs.
Finally, this scanner doesn’t support “coding” or “programming”. If you want to change settings on your car, you may have to go to a dealer or choose another scan tool.
Who is Foxwell NT510 Built for?
Advanced features like a datastream viewer and manufacturer-specific error codes make Foxwell NT510 perfect for BMW owners who want to save money while diagnosing car problems or those who often work with BMW, MINI, and/or Rolls-Royce vehicles.
Extra features offered by this BMW diagnostic tool such as battery registration or Brake Deactivationmake many DIY maintenance headaches vanish.
Overall, Foxwell NT510 is the best BMW scan tool in this list for those who want to do car maintenance at home or even BMW mechanics.
A video about Foxwell NT510 BMW scan tool:
2. MAOZUA V7.7 Creator C310+ BMW Code Reader
Why Taking MAOZUA V7.7 Creator C310+ BMW Code Reader?
MAOZUA V7.7 Creator C310+ is an inexpensive BMW code reader made for all BMWs made after 2000. This BMW code reader is not as fully featured as some other models, but you can still clear trouble codes and view lots of live diagnostic data.
Most of the time, all you need to do is to figure out why one of the dashboard lights is on. This BMW fault code reader is perfect for doing just that.
Creator C310 Plus supports ABS, SRS. The code reader also reads and clears your check engine light codes. Moreover, you can view lots of diagnostic data provided by your car’s OBD-II system.
The free software patches via USB cable will allow you to use this code reader on any BMW cars.
Shortcomings of MAOZUA V7.7 Creator C310+ BMW Code Reader
You can’t program your vehicle with this tool, nor can you register a battery or de-activate your brakes. What this means is it’s not the best choice if you’re more serious about car maintenance.
While this scanner is pretty cheap, it’s not made in the US. The manual and interface can be somewhat confusing for native English speakers to read. This isn’t a major issue in practice, but it will take you a few minutes to figure things out for the first time.
Who is MAOZUA V7.7 Creator C310 Plus built for?
While it doesn’t have every feature you might want, it’s still perfect for BMW owners who want to save a bit of money on car maintenance.
This BMW code reader is the best BMW code reader and perfect for those that want to figure out why their dashboard error lights are on.
Picking up this code reader is less expensive than a visit to most mechanics. So, even if it’s your first time with a check engine light, you can probably save money with this tool!
A video about MAOZUA V7.7 Creator C310+ BMW Scan Tool:
3. Original Carly for BMW Wifi Adapter
Why Taking Original Carly for BMW Wifi Adapter?
Original Carly for BMW is one of the best BMW scan tools that allows you to connect an app on your phone directly with your car’s computer.
While this BMW scanner doesn’t come with a “pro” app, it will let you view error codes right out of the box. Once you buy the app upgrade you can reset error codes and access quite a bit of advanced functionality.
The improved usability of Original Carly for BMW makes it much easier for most people to use. The apps you can connect have intuitive interfaces and make full use of your phone’s high-resolution screen and touchscreen controls.
Shortcomings of Original Carly for BMW Wifi Adapter
You have to pay an additional fee to use the pro app that pairs with this device. The “free” version only lets you view codes, not clear them. This means that there are some hidden costs associated with this device that you’ll need to pay in order to unlock its full functionality.
Additionally, you may some issues with software updates and this device.
Who is Orginal Carly for BMW built for?
If you want to use your phone‘s interface instead of a few basic rubber buttons to view data from your car, this BMW scanner is perfect for you.
The adapter plus app combo means that you can access data in a much more convenient way and even e-mail yourself copies of the results.
A video about Original Carly Wifi BMW Scanner:
4. Vgate Creator V6.2 C310 Plus BMW OBD2 Scanner
Why Taking Vgate Creator V6.2 C310 plus?
This is the same scan tool as the Maozua V7.7 Creator C310 plus above with different branding. It uses the same form factor, the same software, and is often at a comparable price.
There aren’t really any advantages or disadvantages over the Maozua above, so feel free to get whichever one is slightly cheaper.
You can figure out why your dashboard lights are on or view diagnostic data. This will let you fix your car yourself or simply make a more informed decision with your mechanic.
This BMW OBD2 scan tool is pretty cheap and comes with everything you need to pull error codes from your car.
It’s incredibly simple to use, too. You just turn the car on and press a few buttons to figure out everything you need to know.
Shortcomings of Vgate Creator V6.2 C310+
The user manual of this scan tool isn’t good. It’s pretty easy to figure out how to do most things, but if you want to access more advanced features, you might have trouble deciphering the manual.
About advanced features, this BMW scan tool is somewhat lacking. You can’t access every part of your car’s computer with this simple scanner.
Who is this BMW OBD2 scan tool built for?
This BMW fault code reader is one of the best code readers for BMW and perfect for those who need basic functionality to clear dashboard lights at home.
If you want advanced features or the ability to program your car, you definitely want something else.
A video about Vgate Creator V6.2 C310 plus BMW OBD2 scanner:
5. VXDIAG MULTI DIAG Professional BMW Scan Tool 12 in 1
Why Taking VXDIAG MULTI Professional BMW Scan Tool 12 in 1?
This professional BMW diagnostic tool allows you to plug directly into your car.
While it’s not the most user-friendly option and you may have to purchase additional software, the BMW diagnostic tool is one of the few solutions that gives you access to every feature your car offers. This means you can program your car, use special BMW engineer software, or simply do basic tasks like reset your check engine light.
If you want full, professional access to your car’s computer systems, VXDIAG MULTI Professional 12 in 1 BMW Scan Tool is the best pick. You can use the BMW software meant for vehicle engineers to get user-friendly access to advanced systems which include programming modules, advanced diagnostics, coding, and access to functions normally hidden from scan tools available to the public.
While this BMW diagnostic tool doesn’t display information on its own, for many users, this is a plus. You have access to a much larger screen on your laptop, phone, or tablet, enabling you to easily read complicated graphs and control advanced software with a mouse, keyboard, or touchscreen. This makes VXDIAG MULTI Professional BMW Scan Tool easier to use than the other small, standalone handheld scan tool.
Shortcomings of VXDIAG MULTI 12 in 1
This BMW scanner isn’t the easiest to use. While you can plug other scan tools into your car, turn the key, and instantly view diagnostic data, this scan tool requires a connection to another device with the right kind of software involved.
If you do the setup, you get the most powerful scan tool on the market, but it’s definitely a bit more work.
Additionally, you actually need to have a computer, phone, or tablet you can hook up. If you don’t have an appropriate device, this scan tool is quite a bit more expensive than its listing price.
Who is this BMW scan tool built for?
This car diagnostic tool is for professionals and advanced enthusiasts. If you’re not specifically looking for the ability to program your BMW or access advanced diagnostic features, there’s nothing wrong with buying another scanner.
If you know what you’re getting into, however, this diagnostic tool offers the best access to your car’s internal computer.
VXDIAG MULTI Professional BMW Scan Tool is the best BMW diagnostic tool in the market for professional BMW mechanics.
Below is the comparison chart of Editor’s Top 3 Picks of BMW Scan Tools for an easy purchase.
OXWELL NT510 OBD1&2 Multi-System Automotive Scanner for BMW
MAOZUA Latest V7.7 Creator C310+ Airbag/ABS/SRS Diagnostic Scan Tool for BMW
Vgate Latest V6.2 C310+
4.1 / 5
4 / 5
4.4 / 5
|Pros||A Multi-system OBD1&2 Scanner with free software updates; Foxwell NT510 offers several service functions (ABS/SRS/EPB/Transmission, OIL Service Reset, ABS Reset.)||It supports airbag, ABS, SRS, and your check engine light codes.||This BMW scan tool is pretty cheap and comes with everything you need to pull error codes from your car.|
|Cons||Cannot recognize new battery that is different from the original||You can’t program your vehicle with this tool, nor can you register a battery or de-activate your brakes.||Speaking of advanced features, this tool is somewhat lacking.|
|Bottom Line||Foxwell NT510 is the perfect OBD2 and OBD1 scanner for a professionals, especially those who often work on BMW vehicle.||This scan tool is a great budget option for someone who wants to figure out why their dashboard error lights are on.||This budget offering is perfect for BMW owners who need basic functionality to clear dashboard lights at home.|
Do I Need A BMW Scan Tool?
BMW vehicles have an uncommon configuration in their OBD-II serial ports. This means that they’ll work inconsistently with non-BMW scan tools.
The OBD-II system also will give additional information that can only be read by scanners with special BMW-specific software.
In other words, a generic OBD-II scan tool MIGHT work, but it may need special software to deal with weird pin configurations and it might not read all of the data your car can send.
A BMW-specific scan tool solves these problems without any hassle!!
Some of these are inexpensive pieces of hardware that allow you to talk to your car on a level normally reserved for professional mechanics. Some are built ONLY for BMW mechanics.
They’re not more expensive than generic scan tools, either.
The only downside is that these scan tools may require a software patch to interface with non-BMW cars. Some manufacturers force you to pay for this software patch, so this can add a bit to the expense of your scan tool.
Using an OBD2 Scanner for BMW To Save Money
All of these scan tools are pretty cheap.
For the cost of a couple hours of your mechanic’s time, you can get a tool you’ll have for a long time that will let you talk to your car and retrieve diagnostic information.
Whether you choose a cheap tool with simple functionality or an expensive one that lets your program your BMW, you’ll save lots of cash by figuring out what’s wrong with your car at home.
With a little luck and some Google skills, you can even fix the problem yourself without needing to visit a mechanic!
Will My Scan Tool Last?
OBD-2 is a universal format.
While BMW puts a few extra bells and whistles into its cars, you can still use your BMW-specific OBD2 scan tool with other makes and models of cars.
This means that purchasing a tool today means that you’ll have one on hand to help with any car problems that your family and friends might have in the future.