You’ve got problems with your BMW and want to know what happened, a BMW scan tool/code reader is the right device for you. What you will find in this article are detailed reviews of the best scan tools for BMW owners, DIY people, and professional mechanics in the market today. But first, check out the best of the best in the Editor’s Picks Comparison below
Table of Contents
- 1 Editor’s Top 3 Picks of BMW Scan Tool
- 2 Best BMW Scanners Review
- 2.1 1. FOXWELL NT510 Full-system BMW Diagnostic Tool
- 2.2 2. Creator C310+ BMW Code Reader
- 2.3 3. Carista OBD2 Bluetooth BMW Scanner
- 2.4 4. MAOZUA C110+ ABS Airbag BMW Code Reader
- 2.5 5. Original Carly Wifi Scan Tool for BMW
- 2.6 6. CREATOR V7.7 C501 Multi-System BMW Scan Tool
- 2.7 7. iCarsoft i910 Multi-System MINI / BMW Scan Tool
- 2.8 8. CREATOR C500 OBD2 BMW Diagnostic Scanner
- 2.9 9. VXDIAG MULTI DIAG Professional BMW Scan Tool 12 in 1
- 3 Do I Need A BMW Scan Tool?
- 4 Using an OBD2 Scanner for BMW To Save Money
- 5 Will My Scan Tool Last?
Editor’s Top 3 Picks of BMW Scan Tool
|Editor's Pick||Also Great||Best Affordable|
4 / 5
4.1 / 5
4.2 / 5
Foxwell NT510 is the best BMW scan tool in this list for those who want to do car maintenance at home and for BMW mechanics.
Creator C310 Plus is the best affordable BMW code reader for those who want to find out why their dashboard error lights are on.
Carista is the perfect choice for those who prefer a Bluetooth BMW Scanner.
Best BMW Scanners Review
1. FOXWELL NT510 Full-system BMW Diagnostic Tool
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 can access almost specific information with this BMW scanner.
Foxwell NT510 offers a great blend of features at a reasonable price. You’ll get both generic error codes and manufacturer-specific information, which makes NT510 great for anyone doing a lot of auto work.
With the full functionality of this BMW OBD1 and OBD2 scanner, you won’t need anything else. You don’t need a phone or a separate app.
Bonus: It’s recommended that Foxwell NT510 BMW Scan Tool should go with a Protective Case for Foxwell NT510
Advanced features like a data stream 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 Deactivation make many DIY maintenance headaches vanish.
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. Also, 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 a professional car diagnostic tool.
Beside BMW vehicles made from 1987, Foxwell NT510 BMW scan tool can work well on MINI (from 2002) and Rolls-Royce (from 2003).
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.
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. 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.
2. Creator C310+ BMW Code Reader
Creator C310+ can read and clear check engine light, ABS light and SRS light. 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 made after 2000.
While it doesn’t have every feature you might want, it’s worth it and perfect for BMW owners who want to save a bit of money on car maintenance.
Picking this code reader is much less expensive than a visit to mechanics. So, even if it’s your first time with the dashboard lights, you can probably save money with this tool!
While this BMW scanner is pretty cheap, the manual and interface can be somewhat confusing. This isn’t a major issue in practice, but it will take you a few minutes to figure things out for the first time.
3. Carista OBD2 Bluetooth BMW Scanner
If you are in search of the best BMW scanner with Bluetooth connection on the market then Carista will not disappoint you.
You can do a variety of tasks with the scanner including reading and clearing Engine, ABS, and airbag codes. Moreover, Carista can also help diagnose problems in the wheel and reset oil light on your BMW dashboard.
Carista is compatible with 1996 and newer BMW cars and some other brands’ vehicles such as Mini, VW, Audi, Toyota, Lexus, and Scion.
This scan tool supports both Android and iOS devices and works quite well thanks to the Carista OBD2 App going with it.
- Free one-month subscription from Carista. Offers torque steering compensation to control traction when at high speed.
- Offers dashboard customization.
- Works with 3rd party apps as well such as Torque.
- Speedometer shows gas consumption, Chrono speed, and real speed.
- Subscription needed for the advanced features after 1 month of a free trial.
4. MAOZUA C110+ ABS Airbag BMW Code Reader
It can be difficult to find a BMW scan tool that’s compatible with BMW models manufactured between 2000-2011 and for it to support all the features. If your car falls among then range then MAOZUA Creator C110+ is for you.
This car scan tool is excellent at reading and clearing trouble codes. It works quite well and helps solve problems in a jiffy.
It is common for ABS and SRS systems to malfunction in BMWs. Maozua C110+ can keep you safe by helping you solve ABS-related problems. You can also check and fix problems in the SRS (airbag) system with this beauty.
This BMW code reader also offers many other features such as reading and clearing check engine trouble codes, display live data and view vehicle information.
- It is easy to upgrade as it comes with a USB cable.
- It comes with a carrying bag.
- Reads diesel specific codes as well. Codes are easy to read thanks to its 2.4-inch color LCD screen.
- Supports English and German language.
- It only clears the ABS and SRS light once the problems fixed.
- Only read and clear trouble codes feature in F series models.
This scanner will work on BMW and MINI models manufactured between 2000 and 2011. It is built for DIYers who want to diagnose BMW scanners for ABS, SRS, and basic functionalities.
5. Original Carly Wifi Scan Tool for BMW
Original Carly for BMW 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 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.
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.
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.
6. CREATOR V7.7 C501 Multi-System BMW Scan Tool
This multisystem scan tool can diagnose various car systems such as the chassis, body, driver, engine, airbag, SRS, etc. It can read and clear oil engine light, ABS/SRS light, and even scan the A/C system.
Creator C501 can help keep your safety and your car well-maintained as it monitors seat occupancy and seat belts as well. If the seat belts aren’t clipped properly or if there’s an issue in the SRS system, it will read the code and provide an explanation. This BMW diagnostic tool can also read oil engine reset light and help clear it.
This scanner works like a charm on all BMW models manufactured between 2001 to 2016.
- Displays graphical data.
- Supports ABS/SRS diagnostics.
- Streams live data.
- Quick at diagnosing issues.
- Can’t register a new battery.
- Poor manual.
This BMW scanner is for DIYers and enthusiasts who want to find and fix ABS or SRS related issues in their car, perform O2 sensor tests, and viewing freeze frame data, etc.
7. iCarsoft i910 Multi-System MINI / BMW Scan Tool
iCarsoft i910 can read ABS, SRS, engine and transmission codes and also help highlight the causes of the problems. With this BMW reader, you can read and clear warning lights easily. It will aid in reading issues in the airbag and ABS system and clear the light after the issue is fixed on BMW models made from 1997 to 2019.
This scanner also supports key immobilizing so that the engine can’t be turned on without a key. You can calibrate the steering sensors with iCarsoft i910 and check tire pressure control with the TPMS feature, too. You can also perform basic features such as o=I2 sensor test, MIL, CEL, Evap test, etc.
- Free internet updates.
- Buzzer alarm feature.
- Displays ECU information.
- Fast refresh rate
- Diagnoses ABS/SRS faults with great accuracy.
- It doesn’t support computer reprogramming.
- Instructions in the manual are vague.
This BMW code reader is built for home mechanics and DIYers who want to diagnose complex issues such as TPMS, ABS, SRS trouble codes in their BMW models.
8. CREATOR C500 OBD2 BMW Diagnostic Scanner
Like C501, this one is also a multisystem scan tool that supports BMW models from 2001 to 2016. It diagnoses multiple systems including the chassis, body, and drive.
This BMW scanner supports all basic features including O2 sensor test, freeze frame, live PCM data, I/M readiness, VIN, CIN, CVN, DTC, module test, etc. It can also read and erase trouble codes in the ABS and SRS systems and reset engine oil light.
The difference between C501 and C500 is of compatibility. This particular scanner cannot support a few BMW models including:
- X Series: X1_E84,X1_F48/F49,X3_E83,X5_E53,X5_70,X6_E71.
- Series: 2’_F22/F23,2’_F45/F46,2’_F87
- Series: 4’_F32/F33/F36,4’_F82/F83
- Supports ABS/SRS diagnostics.
- Shows live data.
- Processes quickly.
- Fast refresh rate
- No advanced features other than the ABS/SRS.
- Doesn’t support BMW series 2, series 4, and X series.
9. VXDIAG MULTI DIAG Professional BMW Scan Tool 12 in 1
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 it’s not the most user-friendly option and you may have to purchase additional software, this BMW diagnostic tool is one of the few solutions that give you access to every feature in your car.
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.
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.
VXDIAG MULTI Professional BMW Scan Tool is the best BMW diagnostic tool in the market for professional BMW mechanics.
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.
Additionally, you 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.
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 of 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 you 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.
Read more: Honest Review of the Best Toyota Scan Tools