BMW Coding and aftermarket scan tools. What am I missing?

Sam Mobile Technician Flint, Michigan Posted   Latest  

A little bit of history 1st. I used to be the Autologic rep in Michigan and prior to that I had done 0 BMW coding or programming, I have not been the rep for about 4 years and Have taken the OE tooling stance with many manufacturers including BMW. I use my Autel to do some fast easy coding. 

SO now the the latest puzzle. I get called to a (what I consider) Very fluent Euro shop. They are claiming they are unable to code an SZL Module on a 2002 BMW 740iL. Asking if I can assist. I was convinced they had a car problem prior to my arrival. I know I should not prejudge a diagnosis. 

The SZL Module has been previously installed by another shop. (I know what you are thinking. The other shop is also what I would consider top notch euro. )They have attempted to code this module with multiple tools prior to my arrival. 1. Autologic blue box, 2. Autologic drive pro. 3. Autoland Scientech Iscan 3. 4. Autel MS908 elite. 5. BMW ICOM next clone. Every scan tool see the module differently. On both autologic and the Iscan 3 the SZL is not even on the codeable module list. The Autel it is codeable but it fails. I am pretty confident I have a communication issue, I decided to start as I would with any BMW programming and coding. I log onto BMW site give them $30 and go to ISTA-P with my genuine Icom. The SIM Module come up with essentially saying it needs a programming to continue. I forget the terminology. Anyway I program the SIM module and almost as fast as it programs the wipers stop going. ( they would not shut off.) Now I am pretty sure I am on the right track. After it is done programming the SIM Module I have an option to code the SZL module. It codes fine and is successful. 

SO now my question. The shop had tried every tool in their arsenal. Everyone failed one way or another. Start to finish I was at shop less than an hour. If every aftermarket tool has this kind of problem on a 2002 why would you use and/or trust the aftermarket tools? I know this is probably an anomaly, But this is a 2002. I feel that both of these shops were shops I would recommend. Their commitment to tooling is pretty straight forward. Why wont shops spend money on OE tools and will spend much more on aftermarket tooling? Is it ease of use? 

I am not looking to bash 1 tool or another, I am just asking everyones experience with BMW and coding modules. Maybe this was just the odd ball car. I really don't think so. They are pretty popular cars. 

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Marlin Technician
Estacada, Oregon
Marlin
   

When you find the answer to why "professionals" install parts made by Standard, Cardone, and Dorman, I suspect that you will have the answer to both questions. I don't get it either.

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Standard, Cardone, Dorman........ thems fightin words!

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Marlin Technician
Estacada, Oregon
Marlin
 

Haha! Explain. Tell us what you really think!

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Recently I have had a couple diags from a used car lot I deal with. Two different cars and two faulty "NEW" dorman secondary air check valves. One was a stalling Malibu and it turned out that the NEW secondary air valve sensor was corrupting the 5v ref circuit. I have also seen defective dorman purge valves, modules etc. Basically, anything electrical. It's got to the point that part of my…

+3 Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Oh and I forgot to mention the numerous failed dorman techm's from the local tranny shop. After 4 or 5 bad ones they will no longer buy them.

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Marlin Technician
Estacada, Oregon
Marlin
 

Wow, that is a lot work! I just cannot fathom consciously installing that trash in such a situation. Incredible.

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Cliff Diagnostician
Santa Maria, California
Cliff
 

Let's not leave out the Dorman Hybrid High Voltage battery packs...

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Bill Owner/Technician
Jackson, Michigan
Bill
 

I hate to say it Bob but I have begun to do the same thing... When I am called upon to diag or program issues from other facilities and car lots that have installed new modules I always ask what was the brand of that module you installed?? If the answer is Doman I advise the customer programming fees will not be waived or discounted for faulty modules... I have seen too many issues with them and…

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Brandon Technician
Medina, Minnesota
Brandon
 

I first tried programming/coding BMWs with my CarDaq-M, I think we all know how good J2534 tools work with F-/G-chassis cars and MOST buses. I moved on to a Chinese ICOM clone and Rheingold ISTA, the clone stopped communicating through Ethernet within a month, before that it bricked a few modules. Now I ONLY use my ICOM Next and an ISTA script straight from BMW. There are some extra tricks in…

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam
 

I won't program anything with my autel either. I do some coding. Very little though.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Sam, From what you described it sounds like the SIM module was corrupted during a previous session and had to be re-animated or reprogrammed. This could be due to almost anything. There is a reason BMW forces you to update certain modules before others. There are dependencies of one module upon another. I normally use Autohex II when I can. The tool is far faster than any other tool I have…

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam
 

Mike, I am convinced that the SIM was corrupted by one of the other tools. How would I have known it needed to be re-animated if I had not determined a measures plan with the ICOM? It is the only tool that suggested anything with the SIM that I know of. Like I stated I started with the ICOM. I am not opposed to using aftermarket tooling. I just wonder how much time was wasted over $30

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Sam, In this case you are correct in that the ICOM ended up being the only choice to repair the problem. You have a good point in that the other tools did not pick up on the problem. I am not sure if the Autohex II would have. It does show the current and updated coding numbers for every module queried. The question would be if the module does not respond does it pass it by or alert you to the…

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam
 

As stated it did not populate on either autologic or the iscan. It did populate on the autel and it failed. I am confident now that the SIM Re-animation is what fixed it.

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Paul Technical Support Specialist
Lefkosia, Cyprus
Paul
   

Hi Sam. I would agree with Michael. There is a reason why BMW is forcing you to do some programming or other procedures first before you get to what you want to do. Now, to me is only either Autologic or Online with J2534 or ICOM NEXT. when i do run into any issues with coding etc, i first contact support and send them over as many logs as it is required, at the end of the day i am helping…

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam
 

I have programmed many BMW with either the autologic or the ICOM. I prefer the Autologic and had it cause weird problems that were corrected with the ICOM and a complete programming event. I also have had several modules fail while programming BMW. It is one of the only carlines I have a disclaimer that the shop owner and car owner sign that I am not responsible for failed modules during…

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Byron Owner/Technician
Covina, California
Byron
 

Hi Sam, Can you post your disclaimer?

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Paul Technical Support Specialist
Lefkosia, Cyprus
Paul
 

Sam, the issue in many cases is on the modules themselves. For example, yes BMW can have a few control units fail while programming (mostly infotainment modules and a few others), and mainly this is due to the control units flash or some other hardware which are not "diagnose able" by the control unit. Mercedes does have the same, JLR has its own fair share of failures etc etc. Being part of…

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Todd Mobile Technician
Morinville, Alberta
Todd
 

Hi Sam, could you post your programming disclaimer so I can plagiarize it? Thanks.

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Bill Owner/Technician
Jackson, Michigan
Bill
 

I can not understand how you can recommend or consider these shops top notch Euro shops if they are only using aftermarket tooling?? Are they as well installing the low quality Chinese aftermarket parts too?? When it comes to BMW coding and programming the only professional choice is OE! Why would a true professional risk the wasted time, money, and inconvenience to the customer?

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam
 

this part was from the local BMW dealer. I also sold one of the shops an ICOM. He wasn't convinced he needed 1 until this day.

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip
 

The issue I see for myself is that I cant afford every OE tool and all the subscriptions out their as a starting business. The shop I still work for part time that owner problem is that if he doen't have to buy it then why would he. The techs can buy it even on a lube tech salary cause that is how it should be in his opinion. I would love to own all the OE scan tools but it is not reality. BMW…

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Paul Technical Support Specialist
Lefkosia, Cyprus
Paul
 

Hi Phil In our company we own around 8-10 OE licenses. The issue i see in my market is not the investment (initially this is worrying everyone). The main issue is that each OEM has a different software platform, mentality and generally way of doing things. THIS is the main issue. You have to know not only how to use each and everyone of them, but also their issues, third party depencies etc…

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Nelson Manager
Huntington Beach, California
Nelson
 

Sounds like you didn't get the whole story here. You shouldn't have to program the SIM to code the SZL. We have coded thousands of SZL's on E65 chassis without issues. Was the SIM replaced? Or in an unreprogrammed state? The Autologic CIP initial report should of informed you of any issues with the SIM.

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam
 

I was not the one that used the Autologic,I was told the SZL was not on the report to code. I am unsure of the steps taken. When I got the report on the ISTA-P it stated to re-animate SIM. That is what I did.

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Nelson Manager
Huntington Beach, California
Nelson
 

I see, if possible you can send the CIP logs from the tool and we can take a look. The tool automatically logs all programming sessions on E, F, and G series chassis.

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Nelson Manager
Huntington Beach, California
Nelson
 

Just for the heck of it, i pulled in a 2002 BMW 745Li into the shop and started a CIP session. Here is the menu where you select the initial report. diag​.​net/file/f406ajfig… ​ Here is the initial report where the user would of been informed of any issues with the SIM. diag​.​net/file/f78cnnkgv… ​ Here is the control unit list showing the…

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam
 

As I stated previously I was not the one that used the autologic, I was merely asking a question. I also stated many tools had problems. I wonder if there is an updated part number for the SZL causing the problems? I know everybody thinks I pick on the autologic. I actually think it is a good tool. It just doesnt work for what I do

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Gabriel Owner/Technician
Hialeah, Florida
Gabriel
 

I definitely feel you were not given the full story. Not defending AL here. I own the gray box, and it has been a love/hate relationship with me. Hell, I went on a tangent on IATN about AL when the screen on my unit failed. So much so, I received calls from supervisors on the issue. That said, AL CIP is extremely reliable, and competent. It is the quickest, easiest method to program and code…

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Boyd Technical Support Specialist
Cartersville, Georgia
Boyd
 

Sam I have encountered this a couple of times with the Platinum tool. In both cases they had a coding error in the SIM. After coding the SIM, SZL setup went as expected. Best regards, Boyd

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Scott Manager
Claremont, California
Scott
 

Hi Sam, I noticed that the vehicle didn’t get tagged here and noticed that there isn't a 2002 740iL in the system. I was wondering if you had the VIN so we could see about getting the vehicle identified for future reference?

0 Ð Bounty Awarded