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      10-01-2018, 06:04 PM   #1
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Decent, Cheap Code Reader? 60k Maintenance?

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My wife's 2011 128i "Service Engine Soon" light just came on. Could it be because she's approaching 60k miles? Can anyone recommend a decent, cheap diagnostic tool that I can check for codes and clear them, if appropriate? Also, approaching 60k, what does everyone recommend for maintenance? Already had plugs, ignition coils, serpentine belt, and oil filter gasket. I don't believe we've ever had fluids changed (except for oil). Thanks.
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      10-01-2018, 08:42 PM   #2
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Carly. About $80 for the device.
Basic software to read codes is free.
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      10-01-2018, 08:52 PM   #3
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Agree... works great & can code various features, code a new battery.
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      10-02-2018, 10:02 AM   #4
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Thanks. I'll check one out.
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      10-02-2018, 11:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSM F30 View Post
My wife's 2011 128i "Service Engine Soon" light just came on. Could it be because she's approaching 60k miles? Can anyone recommend a decent, cheap diagnostic tool that I can check for codes and clear them, if appropriate? Also, approaching 60k, what does everyone recommend for maintenance? Already had plugs, ignition coils, serpentine belt, and oil filter gasket. I don't believe we've ever had fluids changed (except for oil). Thanks.
Definitely Carly, otherwise you can get a free scan at nearly any shop and then just post the codes up here and we'll tell you what they translate to. Sometimes they don't apply too accurately to their general descriptions.

SES light does not come on for maintenance items, only for reported faults in the computer.
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      10-02-2018, 11:52 AM   #6
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I didn't think Carly would show BMW specific codes without the subscription fee??
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      10-02-2018, 12:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjm120 View Post
I didn't think Carly would show BMW specific codes without the subscription fee??
Incorrect. Code reading is free with the "lite" app. Coding and other features require you to buy the full app.
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      10-02-2018, 03:15 PM   #8
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Bimmergeeks protools is also good and you can get a coding pack that is way better than carly
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      10-02-2018, 03:20 PM   #9
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I am waiting for my long searched N55 135i M Sport pkg 6spd convertible to ship out from CA to TX and starting to make preparations. I already have the Torque app for Android (full version) and a good OBD2 scanner I used on my previous cars like 2010 Jetta and 2013 ATS. i also have OBDeleven which is VW specific for my mk7 GTI, and Durametric for 987 Porsche Boxster. Do I really need to buy another specific hardware to read codes and reset for the 135i or can I just use Torque+OBD2scanner ? TIA
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      10-02-2018, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teaberry View Post
I am waiting for my long searched N55 135i M Sport pkg 6spd convertible to ship out from CA to TX and starting to make preparations. I already have the Torque app for Android (full version) and a good OBD2 scanner I used on my previous cars like 2010 Jetta and 2013 ATS. i also have OBDeleven which is VW specific for my mk7 GTI, and Durametric for 987 Porsche Boxster. Do I really need to buy another specific hardware to read codes and reset for the 135i or can I just use Torque+OBD2scanner ? TIA
Any OBDII scanner will work, some just give more/more relevant info than others.
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      10-02-2018, 03:43 PM   #11
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I bought the Foxwell NT520 for my 997S to do some coding for $180. I download loaded the BMW software however I haven’t used it yet.
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      10-02-2018, 04:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus91 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by teaberry View Post
I am waiting for my long searched N55 135i M Sport pkg 6spd convertible to ship out from CA to TX and starting to make preparations. I already have the Torque app for Android (full version) and a good OBD2 scanner I used on my previous cars like 2010 Jetta and 2013 ATS. i also have OBDeleven which is VW specific for my mk7 GTI, and Durametric for 987 Porsche Boxster. Do I really need to buy another specific hardware to read codes and reset for the 135i or can I just use Torque+OBD2scanner ? TIA
Any OBDII scanner will work, some just give more/more relevant info than others.
you need to have a cable that works with bmw
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      10-02-2018, 06:24 PM   #13
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Carly app and Bluetooth dongle. Don't waste your time on anything else.
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      10-02-2018, 10:39 PM   #14
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BMW 1 series doesn't use a regular obd2 port?
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Originally Posted by Droptop986 View Post
you need to have a cable that works with bmw
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      10-02-2018, 11:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teaberry View Post
BMW 1 series doesn't use a regular obd2 port?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droptop986 View Post
you need to have a cable that works with bmw
yes and no you can read and clear some codes but for full comparability you need a BMW INPA K+DCAN cable. kind of like on a boxster you can clear some codes with torque and a generic dongle but others like airbags you cant.if you have any plans on tuning through mhd or coding you will need the bmw cable
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      10-03-2018, 09:08 AM   #16
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Thanks, I will look into it. So the Carly app + BT dongle that people mention doesn't do the same? I will start with a Torque Pro + BT scan when the car arrives but I always do get a more full diag tool for the cars to help with more specific issues (for instance on 987 Boxster, only with Durametric I was able to reset power windows modules that sometimes get confused)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droptop986 View Post
yes and no you can read and clear some codes but for full comparability you need a BMW INPA K+DCAN cable. kind of like on a boxster you can clear some codes with torque and a generic dongle but others like airbags you cant.if you have any plans on tuning through mhd or coding you will need the bmw cable
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      10-03-2018, 12:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teaberry View Post
Thanks, I will look into it. So the Carly app + BT dongle that people mention doesn't do the same? I will start with a Torque Pro + BT scan when the car arrives but I always do get a more full diag tool for the cars to help with more specific issues (for instance on 987 Boxster, only with Durametric I was able to reset power windows modules that sometimes get confused)
I have a 986 boxster and use the durometric tool as well. Carly is a very good app for scanning etc, and I have the full version. Protools let me code out my adaptive headlight faults, airbag fault and is easier to code stuff with....protools just came out a couple months ago so there's not a lot of info out there on it....
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      10-03-2018, 12:37 PM   #18
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I have torque (cost $5 when I got it) and a OBDII to bluetooth device (less than $20). I have not had a code on any of several vehicles including a couple BMWs that it could not read and clear. I have also done coding with a cable and software on a laptop. I have also constructed virtual gauges with torque - it's a nice app and very inexpensive. You can create a gauge for any of the data coming out of the OBDII port - any of the sensors on your car.

I have a harbor freight reader that also clears codes but I haven't used it since getting torque.
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      10-03-2018, 04:37 PM   #19
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So I got the Carly. Just using the free Lite version right now. One fault code showed up - "Shorted Radio Antenna"??? So, two questions: 1) Would a code like that cause a "Service Engine Soon" light? Weird. 2) Can I clear that code with the lite version? I could find no option to clear a code. Everything I clicked on directed me to the full version.
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      10-04-2018, 03:29 AM   #20
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Carly, about $80. works great and have various features
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      10-04-2018, 02:15 PM   #21
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BSM F30,

I think you have discovered the drawback of the "lite" version of Carley. I used to think it was worthwhile but then I saw they want to charge an annual fee. I would find another alternative if that is how they market it now. I use NCSExpert which is free and a cable that I paid about $100 for. I think there are cheaper versions of the cable. It is not as easy to use but will do more than Carley.

With respect to 60K maintenance, I changed my manual transmission oil for the second time at a little past that point. I will do the rear end sometime reasonably soon but I need a vacuum pump for that and just haven't gotten one. I used a cheap one before and wasn't very happy with it. If you have an automatic, changing versus not is not as clear cut. There seems to be some evidence that it can cause issues to change the fluid. But I would still do it.

Another point people make about our cars is the electric coolant pump. I am a little over 75K and still haven't done it. I'm fence sitting. I can see the point, they sometimes fail before 75K, but they sometimes go much longer too. So far, I haven't decided to do it.

If you haven't done brakes yet you should check them (regardless of the silly BMW system). But if you check, it is better to do that on the corners without the BMW supplied sensor (so you do not damage it).
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