A BMW scan tool is a must-have for any DIY mechanic or BMW car owner. All of them allow you to diagnose engine problems in your home garage. Many also give you access to programming and calibration tools that can spare you the expense and hassle of a visit to the dealership.
While a professional automotive diagnostic scanner is expensive, a home mechanic can save themselves a lot of money by buying a scanner specific to your manufacturer. All the BMW scan tools reviewed here are well within the budget of a hobbyist, and you’ll be surprised by some of the professional features they offer.
Editor’s Top 3 Picks of BMW Scan Tool:
|Editor's Pick||Runner-up||Best Affordable|
4.3 / 5
4 / 5
4.2 / 5
|Product Dimensions||9" x 4" x 2.5"||7.9" x 1.5" x 3.9"||9.6" x 6.2" x 2.7"|
|Read & Clear All Codes||✔||✔||✔|
|ABS, Airbag Service||✔||✔||✔|
|Engine, Transmission Service||✔||✔||✔|
|Oil Service Reset||✔||✔||✔|
AUTOPHIX 7910 is the best BMW scan tool today. It’s a perfect choice for you if you want to have various functions from a reliable scan tool to diagnose and fix issues in your BMW/MINI/Rolls-Royce.
Foxwell NT510 is an excellent scan tool for those who want to do car maintenance at home and for BMW/MINI/Rolls-Royce mechanics who code injectors frequently.
Creator C310 Plus is the best affordable BMW code reader for those who want to find out why their dashboard error lights are on.
Table of Contents
- 1 Editor’s Top 3 Picks of BMW Scan Tool:
- 2 Best BMW Scan Tool
- 2.1 1. Foxwell NT510 BMW Scan Tool
- 2.2 2. AUTOPHIX 7910 BMW Diagnostic Scanner
- 2.3 3. Creator C310+ V11.7 BMW Code Reader
- 2.4 4. AUTOPHIX 7810 BMW Diagnostic Scanner
- 2.5 5. Foxwell NT510 Elite BMW Scan Tool
- 2.6 6. BlueDriver OBD2 Scanner for BMW
- 2.7 7. Carly for BMW Universal Diagnostic Adapter
- 2.8 8. iCarsoft V2.0 OBD2 Scanner For BMW
- 2.9 9. MAOZUA C110+ Latest V4.5 BMW Code Reader
- 2.10 10. iCarsoft BMW/Mini i910 OBD2 Scan Tool
- 3 BMW Scan Tool Buying Guide
- 4 FAQs
Best BMW Scan Tool
1. Foxwell NT510 BMW Scan Tool
The Foxwell NT510 is a full-service BMW code reader with a wide range of reset and diagnostic functions. It reads all OBD2 and OBD1 codes, including pending and manufacturer codes, as well as supporting all 10 OBD2 modes. In addition, it diagnoses systems not included in OBD2 diagnostics, including everything for transmission and anti-lock brakes to the climate control and tire pressure.
Bonus: It’s recommended that Foxwell NT510 BMW Scan Tool should go with a Protective Case for Foxwell NT510 .
Even more impressive, the Foxwell NT510 allows bi-directional and active testing of components like actuators and valves. This makes it a lot easier to locate and repair the underlying cause of any trouble codes.
BMW drivers can perform a wide range of repair and maintenance tasks using the Foxwell NT510. The ability to reprogram the tire pressure and IMMO systems allows you the freedom to make more DIY repairs, saving you money at the mechanic.
- Read and clear trouble codes for all major systems
- Bi-directional and active testing of most systems
- Programs TPMS and IMMO
- Record, playback, and print diagnostic data
- Ready to use with BMWs directly out of the box
- Can read OBD1 codes from BMWs made from 1987-1996
- Compatible with newest 2019 BMWs
- Higher cost
- Scans more slowly than other BMW scan tools
While the Foxwell NT510 is on the higher end of the price spectrum, it’s worth the investment if you want advanced features in an easy to use BMW scan tool.Check Price at Amazon
2. AUTOPHIX 7910 BMW Diagnostic Scanner
The AUTOPHIX 7910 BMW Diagnostic Scanner is another option that will work for both home garages and as a quick scanner for professional mechanics. The drop-proof case and silicone keypad resist damage, even in high-use situations.
AUTOPHIX 7910 starts by reading and defining trouble codes clearly and easily. Like other professional car diagnostic tools, it doesn’t stop at engine codes but shows diagnostic information for all major systems. You can run one easy scan to see everything causing issues in your engine.
The robust special features of the AUTOPHIX 7910 exceed those of any other hand-held scanner available for home garages. It can reset the oil light, clear adaptations, or bleed ABS—22 special functions in all. These are available for all BMW models, regardless of make or model year.
- Includes 22 special functions
- Rugged drop-proof case
- Diagnose all major systems
- DTC lookup library provides code definitions
- Easy to use and navigate
- Wide compatibility for BMW vehicles
- Requires Windows 7, 8, or 10 to update
- Manual isn’t well written
The AUTOPHIX 7910 BMW Diagnostic Scanner is a rugged and fully functional option for both professionals and hobbyists.Check Price at Amazon
3. Creator C310+ V11.7 BMW Code Reader
The Creator C310 Plus is built specifically for BMW and MINI and supports all the functions a home mechanic needs. Along with reading and erasing codes related to the engine, transmission, airbag, and ABS, the help function on the Creator C310 defines them, speeding your diagnosis. It also supports live data in both graphic and text formats.
The Creator C310 resets all dash warning lights, not just the check engine light. It also supports the calibration of the steering angle sensor and allows component testing on the SRS and ABS systems. You’ll save yourself hundreds of dollars a year at the mechanic with the Creator C310.
- Easy to use
- Resets all dash warning lights
- Supports steering angle sensor calibration
- Very portable
- Help function explains code definitions
- Free updates for life included
- Will require an adapter for BMWs made 1997-2000
- Doesn’t read all BMW specific codes
The Creator C310+ is the best BMW OBD multi-system scan tool for DIY-ers on a budget.Check Price at Amazon
4. AUTOPHIX 7810 BMW Diagnostic Scanner
The AUTOPHIX 7810 is a professional BMW scan tool with intuitive navigation that also makes it suitable for hobbyists. It diagnoses engine codes on all vehicles. For BMW, it goes a step further to include ABS and SRS diagnosis, as well. Full OBD2 support also lets you run EVAP system or I/M readiness tests. It updates free for life, so you’ll always be up to date with the latest diagnostic information.
One helpful function you’ll find on the AUTOPHIX 7810 is battery management. This enables you to replace and register the battery without a visit to the shop. Other advanced features include steering angle sensor calibration and clearing adaptations.
- Supports full OBD2 test functions
- Compact and affordable
- Diagnoses ABS and SRS systems on BMW
- Repair Solutions function provides verified fixes
- Extended functions include battery management and DPF
- Calibrate SAS and clear adaptations
- Not compatible with vehicles made prior to 1998
- Can crash if you run too many processes at once
If you like the AUTOPHIX 7910 but don’t need the full range of professional features, the AUTOPHIX 7810 has a similar performance at a lower cost.Check Price at Amazon
5. Foxwell NT510 Elite BMW Scan Tool
The Foxwell NT510 Elite is the best BMW scan tool for professional-level diagnostics and repairs. It has the compact, rugged build a working mechanic needs, with an intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate out of the box.
The Foxwell NT510 Elite has similar diagnostic abilities to the Foxwell NT510 reviewed above. Its biggest advantage over the standard 510 for diagnostics is speed. It provides full OBD2 functionality as well as all-system diagnosis and bi-directional testing much more efficiently than other BMW scanners.
The Foxwell NT510 Elite is an all-in-one tool for BMW repair and maintenance. It allows you to perform tasks like ABS bleed and DPF regeneration in any garage. Along with expanded IMMO functions, the Foxwell NT510 Elite also adds the power to recalibrate or configure the engine computer after repairs.
- Read and clear codes from all major systems
- Fast diagnosis of codes and live data
- Compatible with all BMWs from 1987 to the present
- Bi-directional testing of most engine systems
- Can program new key fobs (IMMO) and tire pressure (TPMS)
- Durable build can stand up to professional use
- Records and prints data
- Most expensive option
- Registration through the website is frustrating
The Foxwell NT510 Elite takes the professional functions of the Foxwell NT510 a step further, adding coding and key programming to the impressive range of options.Check Price at Amazon
6. BlueDriver OBD2 Scanner for BMW
BlueDriver is a convenient way for drivers to stay on top of their vehicle’s health. Once it’s plugged into your OBD2 port, you can leave it there full-time without draining the battery. You’ll know the instant a code triggers, and it continuously monitors emissions, alerting you to developing issues.
When a code does come up, BlueDriver’s Repair Report function shows both the code definition and suggested fixes for your specific vehicle. Saving data and code reports to your phone is simple, and you can send them via e-mail when you want to share the reports with mechanics.
BMW is one of the manufacturers supported for BlueDriver’s enhanced codes. This allows scanning of all electronic systems, including ones often neglected by hand-held scanners, such as climate control.
- Enhanced diagnostics for ABS, SRS, climate control, and more
- Provides repair reports from certified mechanics
- Can be used with Android, iOS, and Windows devices
- Easily save data straight to your phone
- Allows continuous monitoring without draining the battery
- Free lifetime updates
- Enhanced codes only available on BMWs made after 2005
- No bi-directional testing or programming functions
The BlueDriver adapter and app pair together into one BMW diagnostic tool that runs through your smartphone or tablet.Check Price at Amazon
7. Carly for BMW Universal Diagnostic Adapter
Similar to BlueDriver, the Carly Universal Adapter communicates wirelessly with a smartphone or tablet. One advantage of Carly is that it can be used with third-party apps as well as the official Carly app, expanding its diagnostic potential.
The Carly adapter can be plugged into a BMW OBD2 port full-time, letting you easily scan for trouble codes and read live data at any time. Since it uses your phone or tablet, saving and exporting reports is easy. The Carly Universal Adapter quickly and accurately reads all BMW trouble codes.
The Carly adapter is capable of doing any repair or diagnosis that goes through the OBD2 port. Your only limitation is the functionality of the app you pair it with. With the Carly-brand apps, anything beyond OBD2 diagnosis requires a paid subscription. Having said that, you can also use other apps with the Carly adapter, which may give you access to those features for less.
- Full OBD2 modes and code reading
- Compatible with Android and iOS devices
- Can be paired with Carly app or other 3rd party apps
- Lite version of Carly app available for free
- Capable of programming and repair functions with enhanced diagnostics
- The full version of Carly app requires a paid subscription
- Coding not available for all BMW models
The Carly Universal Adapter pairs with a range of OBD apps for a blend of flexibility, functionality, and convenience.Check Price at Amazon
8. iCarsoft V2.0 OBD2 Scanner For BMW
The iCarsoft OBD2 Scanner is a BMW scan tool built to make diagnosis easy for home mechanics. Perform fast, accurate scans of all the vehicle’s electronic systems with this hassle-free BMW OBD2 scanner.
The iCarsoft OBD2 Scanner reads and clears all OBD2 codes, including pending codes, and defines them in the DTC library. Full OBD2 functionality means you can also run oxygen sensor and EVAP system tests, as well as viewing freeze frame and live data.
Diagnostic functions of the iCarsoft go beyond OBD2 to include electronic systems like the transmission, airbags, and anti-lock brakes. You can also see information about your BMW’s battery, throttle, and diesel particulate filter.
- Accurate, fast full-OBD2 diagnosis
- Diagnoses 8 non-OBD systems
- Compatible with all BMWs made after 1996
- Includes a DTC look-up library
- Easily save and print diagnostic data
- Higher cost
- No bi-directional testing
With the iCarsoft OBD2 Scanner, you’ll get a complete picture of your engine’s operation, with advanced tools like bi-directional testing.Check Price at Amazon
9. MAOZUA C110+ Latest V4.5 BMW Code Reader
The Maozua C110+ is a compact and fully-functional BMW scan tool. It’s the best BMW code reader for multi-system diagnosis at an affordable price, though it does have some compatibility gaps.
Most BMW code readers in this price point can only read OBD2 codes and data. The Maozua C110+ diagnosis all electronic systems, including climate control and dash instruments. This goes above and beyond even most enhanced readers, which often stop with the big 4 systems (engine, transmission, SRS, and ABS).
The Maozua C110+ can scan codes on the majority of BMWs made in 1997 and later. For advanced system codes, though, the compatibility is more limited. It doesn’t read ABS codes from high-emission cars made 1997-2000, for example, and can only read and clear codes for F-series vehicles. Double-check the compatibility for your BMW before buying.
- Very compact design
- Full code reading and OBD2 tests
- Ready to start scanning straight out of the box
- Easy to read color LCD screen
- Diagnoses ABS, SRS, transmission, and IMMO system
- Updates free for life
- Can’t test battery
- Not compatible with all BMW models (8 series not supported)
- Requires PC for the update
The Maozua C110+ is an affordable BMW scan tool, though it does have some compatibility gaps compared to other options.
10. iCarsoft BMW/Mini i910 OBD2 Scan Tool
The iCarsoft i910 BMW Scan Tool is an affordable and portable hand-held scanner. You can take your diagnostics beyond OBD2 without a hassle and at a great value thanks to the iCarsoft i910.
The iCarsoft BMW/Mini i910 has full OBD2 functionality. Despite its small size, it has a very easy to read the screen, with a full-color display that’s especially helpful for viewing live data and freeze frame data. It’s very convenient, too, weighing less than a pound and easily fitting in a glovebox.
ICarsoft i910 is one of the most affordable ways to diagnose four major systems: engine, transmission, SRS, and ABS. Figuring out how to use this BMW diagnostic tool can be tricky, as the included instructions aren’t great. Once you’ve learned what it can do, though, you’ll be impressed by the iCarsoft i910.
- Full OBD2 test modes and code reading
- Read and clear transmission, ABS, and SRS codes
- Easy to read the full-color screen
- Excellent value for included features
- Compact and portable design
- Not compatible with all BMWs
- The instruction manual is hard to understand
The compact iCarsoft i910 is easy to read and use, making it the best BMW scan tool that’s small enough to fit in your pocket.Check Price at Amazon
BMW Scan Tool Buying Guide
Now that you’ve seen Foxwell NT510 reviews, a Carly for BMW review, and the other best BMW scan tools, it’s time to choose your favorite. The most important factors to think about when you’re making your decision are:
Does it work with my vehicle?
Compatibility is the first and most important factor to consider. Most BMW scan tools can at least read codes and run OBD2 tests on all vehicles made after 1996. However, all of the scan tool’s features may not be available for all model years and engine styles. If your vehicle was made prior to 1996, look for a scan tool with OBD1 capability.
Which systems can it diagnose?
The OBD2 diagnostic protocol is specific to engine problems. It doesn’t include all trouble codes related to other systems, such as the transmission, airbags, battery, or brakes. For the most complete picture of your vehicle’s health, get a BMW scan tool with all-system diagnosis.
Does it allow bi-directional communication?
OBD2 scan tools without bi-directional communication can only diagnose by reading codes. They can’t send information or commands back to the engine computer. If you want to run active component tests, make keys, or reprogram the ECU, look for a BMW scan tool with bi-directional communication.
Do I need a BMW scan tool?
Yes, if you want to read your vehicle’s diagnostic information. That’s helpful knowledge even if you don’t plan on doing DIY repairs.
When the check engine light activates, it could mean there’s a serious issue—or it could just mean your gas cap is loose. A quick scan at home lets you know if you need immediate repairs or if it’s a minor issue that can wait.
Can using an OBD2 scanner for a BMW save me money?
Absolutely. Mechanics and dealers charge anywhere from $50-$200 just to run a diagnostic. They also charge for services like battery registration or TPMS reset that many of the scanners on this can accomplish. Having knowledge of your engine before walking into the repair shop will also reduce the chance of being fleeced by disreputable mechanics.
How long will my scan tool last?
If you’re not too rough with it, a well-built scan tool can easily last ten years or more. The part most prone to damage is the OBD2 connector, specifically the pins, which can be bent or broken off. Protecting this part of your scan tool is the best way to extend its lifespan.
The Bottom Line
So what’s the best OBD2 scanner for BMW? Taking all the factors together, our top choice is the Foxwell NT510 Elite because of its expansive professional features. Having said that, many people appreciate the convenience of BlueDriver, which still has all the functions most drivers need.
The truth is, all ten of the scan tools above are reliable options for reading BMW trouble codes. The question comes down to which features you want beyond those OBD2 basics. No matter which way you go, an OBD2 scan tool will more than pay for itself in the long run by saving you money on repairs. You really can’t lose with any of these impressive BMW scan tools!
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