Best OBD2 Scanner for BMW

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For those looking for a tool that can help read, analyze, and clear diagnostic error codes, investing in a high-quality OBD scanner is a good idea. By adding this to your kit, you make sure that you don’t always have to head out to the automotive shop to fix problems with your vehicle.

After you have connected the code reader to your vehicle, you will be able to see fault codes that the electronic system within the car has recorded. The OBD2 scanner will display these engine codes, and some of these scanners will have a description of them within the system itself. Or you can simply Google it and find the code explanation so that you can solve the problem.

There are multiple types of OBD scanners, but the one that handles the more modern vehicles is the OBD2, and it covers a wide range of models. For instance, if you have a BMW, it will pay to know that not every scanner will work on your vehicle. That is why their specific scan tools have been crafted for BMWs and only BMWs.

So, if your BMW has started showing some error codes or even a few of the BMW proprietary codes, you may be on the hunt for an OBD2 scanner. To help you out, we have constructed a comprehensive list of some of the best OBD2 scanners on the market today.

Comparison Chart

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Foxwell NT510 Elite Scanner
AUTOPHIX 7910 Enhanced BMW Full Systems Diagnostic Scan Tool
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Creator C310 OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner Tool
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iCarsoft Car Diagnostic Tool
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Autel Scanner MaxiCOM MK808 OBD2 Diagnostic Tool

OBD2 Scanner for BMW Reviews

Foxwell NT510 Elite Scanner

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For those looking for a cost-efficient and time-saving scan tool, the Foxwell NT510 Elite OBD2 system scanner comes with a ton of additional functions that give the stool added value. That is why it is the best FOXWELL OBD2 Scanner for a BMW owner looking to provide stellar maintenance and upkeep on their beautiful vehicle.

This is one of the scan tools that work on BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce from 1987 to 2022. The FOXWELL NT510 Elite Code Reader is compatible with global OBD1 /OBD2/EOBD as well as 10 OBD test modes. When it comes to the advanced functions of the tool, it can read, clear, and turn off codes as well as record live sensor data. The FOXWELL NT510 Elite can also do active tests on components and specific systems.

This scanner is a handheld unit designed in a compact frame for improved portability. Its inclusion of older models back to 1987 makes it versatile, but on top of that, it has a paid patch that you can purchase to create even more versatility as it allows access to a wider range of manufacturers.

The overall functionality of the Foxwell NT510 Elite Scanner is quite impressive as well. It has all the standard features, but it’s the advanced features that make it stand out. These include things like BMW-specific codes as well as battery registration, brake deactivation, and several service reset functions. 

There are different ranges of vehicles, and this can bring some complications when it comes to compatibility. This is why it is important to inquire about the compatibility of the scanner before purchasing it. You do not want to encounter compatibility issues that usually arise from the different vehicle models. Therefore, it is recommended to provide the year your car was manufactured, the vehicle identification number, model (BMW), and any other vital information concerning your car. This will help you to get the most compatible system reader for your car. 

This diagnostic tool scanner comes with more than 31 special service functions. These special service functions will help you navigate your car with little stress as the machine helps in day-to-day vehicle maintenance. Besides the special functions, the scanner comes with an auto-VIN which helps you know the important information about your car. From its model to the year of manufacture, you will be able to match the right software for your car. 

When it comes to the FOXWELL OBD2 scanners, the FOXWELL NT510 Elite Full Systems Scanner is not perfect, though. In fact, the FOXWELL NT510 Elite Code Reader may cost a bit more on the back end, especially if you’re looking for it to be able to be used on other models from other manufacturers. Along with this, the FOXWELL NT510 Elite Professional Automotive scan tool also has a fairly intricate graphing system that some find difficult to decode.

Features

There are a lot of amazing features that the NT510 comes with, including:

  • Reading/clearing trouble codes of all major systems
  • Reset control for a wide range of systems 
  • Bi-directional tests operation
  • Advanced features, security access, and coding
  • Freeze-frame capability
  • Ability to playback live sensor data
  • EPB caliper diagnosis capability
  • Transmission code retrieval

Pros

  • Unit is easy to use
  • Compliant with EBD regulations
  • Capable of showing live sensor data
  • Able to get results in many different languages
  • Comes with a lifetime of software updates 

Cons

  • Some have found the graph visual quite complex 
  • Will have to pay for non-BMW model support

AUTOPHIX 7910 Enhanced BMW Full Systems Diagnostic Scan Tool

When your check engine light comes on, most of us begin to freak out. That is when we start looking for a high-quality OBD scanner. But when you have a luxury vehicle like a BMW, that can be challenging, and so the next entry on our list can help you get rid of that anxiety. The AUTOPHIX 7910 is a handheld diagnostic tool that is functional and easy to use

The unit is designed with a silicone keyboard and a color LCD. When it comes to programming, the Autophix 7910 is outfitted with six different test modes as well as the ability to support drive ECM, body BCM, and traditional multisystem diagnostics.

The unit is also crafted with many advanced features, such as the ability to adjust the steering angle sensor and battery management. Along with this, the Autophix 7910 can handle the standard diagnostic trouble codes and BMC specific ones. These diagnostic features are just a few of the amazing features that you can take advantage of for your car maintenance.

The Autophix 7910 is designed to read and clear codes for all the major systems, including the brake, engine, and exhaust systems. This affordable option includes the most common reset and repair functions and an easily updated file system.

Machines are prone to issues, which is no different from the Autophix 7910 scanner. The good news is you can return this tool for free within the next 60 days after purchase for a refund or an exchange. Moreover, this scanner comes with a two-year warranty, so you are assured of quality with this tool. 

Professional mechanics recommend a full diagnosis of your BMW. This scanner has an OBD 2 scanner that reads and removes any car emissions problems, checks your car engine, and ensures that there are no issues that can affect the functionality of your car engine. 

The best thing is that it is a versatile option that gives you extra options for analyzing fault codes in models from 1998 forward. Although there are a lot of great qualities when it comes to this OBD2 scanner, there are a few issues that need to be addressed.

One of the biggest disappointments about this model is that it lacks a BI-DIRECTIONAL/ACTIVE TEST OPERATION. This will limit the versatility of the unit. Regarding versatility, the unit software is not updatable for Mac, nor is it compatible with Mac devices.

Features

  • SRS EPB SAS TPS Active Test OIl Reset Battery Registration
  • EVAP Test
  • Reset Tool
  • CBS correct
  • DME/DDE Engine special functions

Pros

  • Reads/clears codes on all main systems
  • Outfitted with most common reset and repair functions
  • Updates and use of the model are simple
  • Usable on all BMW models after 1998
  • Able to complete ECU reset

Cons

  • Not capable of bi-directional control
  • Unit is not compatible with Mac software

Creator C310 OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner Tool

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Engine trouble codes can be pretty disturbing and cause a lot of anxiety for car owners. But you can be worry-free with this compact OBD2 scanner.

Though the screen is a little bit smaller than other models, it is still outfitted with enough data to get you to the point where you can fix your problems. The button interface might be challenging for some, but overall they are well laid out and have a nice feel to them.

The Creator diagnostic software comes with special service functions. These special service functions include engine oil reset, throttle and maintenance, and battery registration. On top of that, the machine is able to provide you with detailed diagnostics after reviewing the performance of your engine by the data collected throughout the day. 

This is a cabled scanner which means you won’t have as much mobility, but you will have more stability when it comes to the power. The unit is specifically designed for BMW cars and has a very basic code-reading capability.

Though this unit is very simple, versatile is an apt description for it, particularly for the models on which it is usable and the generic codes it can reset. The simplicity of the setup and use is also a great quality, especially for those that are not as handy with automotive tools as others. With the well-designed LCD colorcolor screen, coupled with all the features mentioned, the value of this unit is reasonable considering the price tag.

That being said, a few issues need to be addressed before any final decision is made. Many have found that the updates for the software can be quite challenging and slightly problematic. Along with this, the generic codes have been known to provide issues when trying to reset them.

Features/Benefits

  • Compatible with BMW models between 2001 and 2017 without an adaptor
  • SRS/engine/transmission diagnoses scanner
  • Read airbag fault codes and ABS problems
  • Ability to check stability controls

Pros

  • The versatility of the unit allows for saving money
  • Designed to allow for code resetting
  • Value vs. price outweighs many of its competitors
  • Designed with an easy-to-read, high-quality LCD screen
  • Simple setup and use makes it good for any experience level

Cons

  • Some have found that the software updates can be problematic
  • Issues with resetting generic codes

iCarsoft Car Diagnostic Tool

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This next BMW Scanner is crafted with an ergonomic design. This updated version of the previous model has additional advanced functions available so that you will be able to maintain your car’s performance more thoroughly. The unit comes with a cable as well as a carrying case and manual.

This OBD2 professional scanner and diagnostic tool are compatible with BMW models from 1996 to 2017. Not only can it read and clear all trouble codes, but it is outfitted with 10 different mode operations and a wealth of advanced features. Designed to be used in multiple languages, the unit is built to perform dynamic tests, including the ability to read pending DTCs.

The use of this scanner can help reduce the cost of repairs when it comes to your BMW. That’s why the designers decided to add special features like throttle body adjustment and O2 sensor testing. But just because it has all these amazing special functions doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few issues that need to be addressed – both good and bad.

This OBD2 scanner is definitely something that would be labeled as an expert model. On top of the extra features such as steering angle sensor calibration and the ability to look at data in multiple languages, this system is a superior vehicle system coverage option. All that, coupled with the carrier pouch and easy storing ability, makes it a great investment.

The diagnostic software of this tool is quite impressive. It has fifteen dealership diagnostic features that make sure you are alerted if your car has any issues. This machine will assist in reviewing the collected data of your car, oil service reset, battery management, and more. 

Unfortunately, with just as many wonderful advantages as you can benefit from, there are a few issues. The unit itself is not designed to allow you to print out the codes. So this could be an annoying situation if you’re trying to take down the codes for someone else to handle. Also, though it does come with updates, these updates are only for Windows, which means those with a Mac lose out.

Features

  • Electronic Parking Brake advanced functionality
  • 10 modes of operation
  • Read live data
  • ECU diagnosis
  • Dynamic test capabilities
  • Battery registration
  • Throttle body adjustment
  • DPF regeneration
  • O2 sensor test
  • Evap system test

Pros

  • Unit comes with a carry pouch for easy storing ability
  • Steering angle sensor calibration feature
  • Outfitted with multiple languages
  • Ability to offer live data, including graphing
  • Superior vehicle system coverage

Cons

  • Unit is not outfitted with a print option
  • Lifetime updates are only available via Windows, not Mac

Autel Scanner MaxiCOM MK808 Diagnostic Scanner

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This Autel scanner is designed to look and feel like the tablet we’re also used to using nowadays. Crafted with touchscreen capabilities that you can use to navigate through the device and its functions, it is an easy-to-use option when it comes to OBD2 scanners. On top of this, the unit is outfitted with groups on either side of the scanner to improve the feel and comfort of use. 

The unit uses an Android OS for simplistic use. This Autel Scanner is a corded option but comes with a built-in battery. That means you have to have it connected when you are reading your diagnostic, but once it is done, you can unplug it. This allows you to also connect via Wi-Fi so that you can download updates and check repair links to find the answer to your problem.

No matter what the engine system is, when it comes to BMW, this unit is outfitted with the ability to diagnose problems. Different from many, this option offers possible fixes once you have the codes in place. Along with this, you are able to reset the oil change date and have unlimited access to diagnostic tools and resources.

There are a lot of great benefits to investing in this OBD2 scanner system. Everything is designed to make your upkeep that much easier, from the interval and responsive system design to the ability to look at online manuals to find the fixes for problems. Along with this, it is crafted in a tablet and is designed for a more comfortable feel. It is designed with many advanced features including the components used in its construction which offer a fast result when diagnosing your vehicle.

You won’t have to spend thousands of dollars on repair when you use the Autel Scanner. This affordable tool has tonnes of key features that many BMW owners desire. The features include injector coding, battery management, and registration, and also comes with an anti-theft system. 

Many vehicle owners are concerned about the latest software for their scanners. You don’t have to worry about the Autel scanner, as you can perform a software update to ensure the tool works well with your BMW. 

Though this model is by far one of the best options, there are some things that could cause you to rethink investing your money in it. It cannot take all aspects of maintenance issues though it does detect quite a bit of them. Also, several people had problems with the keys functioning properly or being able to reassign them.

Features

  • 25 plus fitness functions
  • All system diagnosis
  • Capable of being used on any car model
  • Access to possible fixes for repairs
  • Designed with auto vent technology
  • 7-inch LCD touchscreen
  • 64G memory

Pros

  • Design with an intuitive and highly responsive system
  • Outfitted with online manual links for repairs
  • Crafted in a tablet-style for a more ergonomic feel
  • Comes with advanced features like Autobleed test
  • High-quality processor for maximizing speed

Cons

  • Not able to detect all aspects of maintenance issues
  • Some have had problems with the keys

How to Choose an OBD2 Scanner for BMW

But how do you know which BMW scanner is the best onboard diagnostic tool for you? In order to do this, you have to understand what you’re looking for, and we have put together a quick buyer’s guide to help you do just that.

Features

One of the most important aspects to really pay attention to is the advanced features that the unit is outfitted with. OBD2 readers will help you identify the standard codes as well as the proprietary BMW-specific fault codes.

But along with these, there will be additional advanced functions that could help you identify the problem in a timelier fashion.

Standard features might include:

  • Check engine light reset
  • Freeze frame data
  • Live readings
  • Data export

Advanced functions that could be available in the scanner are:

  • SRS EPB SAS TPS Active test oil reset battery registration 
  • Bi-directional /active test operation 
  • Idle up manual control test
  • Actuator tests
  • Other advanced options

Connectivity/App

Connectivity and a smartphone application are also something to look into. There are two different options when it comes to these diagnostic tools: you have a wire version vs. a wireless version.

Of course, a wired version may be more cost-effective, and it does have some benefits, but most look to invest in one that offers Bluetooth connectivity and supports other devices. Bluetooth OBD2 scanner offers more benefits. Having the ability to utilize your smart devices to monitor and use your scanner can be quite helpful. This is why a lot of OBD2 scanners come with a third-party app that does just that.

Price

Like with anything else, you may be looking for something that fits your budget, which means you’re probably looking for their portable option that gives you extra features for increased value. 

The more advanced features the unit has and the more capabilities that are built into the design will inevitably lead to a higher price point. In the end, only you can decide what this scanner is worth to you.

FAQs

How to choose the best scanner for BMW?

When it comes to choosing the best scan tools for your BMW, you want to pay attention to the special functions. The truth is you’re looking for a tool that will help you reduce your need to visit the auto repair shop, and that means doing a lot of good research. 

Why do you need a BMW scanner?

Investing in a BMW scanner will allow you to take control of your maintenance and upkeep. By allowing you to analyze your engine trouble codes, you’ll be able to come up with a solution to your problem with relative ease.

Where do you plug in a scan/diagnostic tool on a BMW?

The port is found under the dashboard on the driver’s side when it comes to BMW vehicles. You should see a port just above the hood release handle when looking there.

Conclusion

Any of the OBD2 scanners on this list are fantastic choices and will be reliable and suit your needs. The Foxwell NT510 Elite Full systems scanner is probably the best for BMWs or even other models from Rolls-Royce. 

If, however, you’re dealing with a tight budget, the Creator C310 has all the functionality of many other options but with a smaller price tag. In the end, the decision is up to you, but we certainly hope that this quick guide of the best OBD2 scanners for your BMW has helped you with your decision-making process.