We Tested the best OBD2 car scanners for BMW that will help you diagnose your BMW easily

    We Tested the best OBD2 car scanners for BMW that will help you diagnose your BMW easily

    Maintaining the performance and diagnosing issues with your BMW efficiently, having the right OBD2 (On-Board Diagnostics) scanner is essential. BMWs, known for their advanced engineering and technology, require equally sophisticated diagnostic tools to address any car troubles and maintain its optimum condition.

    Why Choose a BMW-Specific OBD2 Scanner

    Compatibility and Comprehensive Diagnostics: BMW cars come equipped with advanced electronic systems and proprietary software. A generic OBD2 scanner may not be fully compatible with these systems or may only provide limited information. BMW-specific scanners are tailored to read and interpret the unique codes and can access all the diagnostic capabilities that BMW installs into its vehicles.

    Access to Proprietary Codes: BMW vehicles use specific fault codes that are different from those used by other manufacturers. A BMW-specific scanner can provide detailed explanations of these codes, which can be crucial for accurate troubleshooting and repairs.

    Access to Proprietary Codes: BMW vehicles use specific fault codes that are different from those used by other manufacturers. A BMW-specific scanner can provide detailed explanations of these codes, which can be crucial for accurate troubleshooting and repairs.

    Cost-Effective Maintenance and Repairs: With the detailed information provided by a BMW-specific scanner, owners can diagnose issues accurately, potentially reducing diagnostic time and costs at a repair shop.

    Enhancing Longevity and Performance: Regular and precise diagnostics help maintain the optimal performance of a BMW. A dedicated scanner ensures that all aspects of the vehicle's system are monitored and maintained, which can help extend the vehicle's lifespan and keep it running efficiently.

    A BMW-specific OBD2 scanner is an invaluable tool for any BMW owner, offering tailored diagnostics that maximize the potential of their vehicle's advanced systems.

    ANCEL BM700 car scan tool helps diagnose BMW car problems

    What OBD Protocol Does Bmw Use?

    On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) is a vehicle's self-diagnostic and reporting capability that provides access to the status of various vehicle subsystems.  BMW, like other automotive manufacturers, utilizes these protocols to ensure their vehicles maintain compliance with emissions and performance standards.

    OBD2 Protocols Used by BMW:

    ISO 9141-2

    This protocol is prevalent in older BMW models and those from other European and Asian manufacturers. It primarily facilitates the communication of diagnostic information related to the engine and transmission.

    ISO 9141-2 uses a single wire for communication and operates at a baud rate of 10.4 Kbaud. It initiates communication with a slow initiation sequence, which is sufficient for basic diagnostic functions and error reporting.

    ISO 14230-4 (KWP 2000)

    An enhancement over ISO 9141-2, KWP 2000 is used in many BMW models manufactured in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It supports more complex diagnostics and configurations.

    KWP 2000 can operate over the same physical layer as ISO 9141-2 but at higher speeds. It offers both fixed and variable baud rates, making it more flexible and faster in data transmission. This protocol is particularly effective in managing the interaction with advanced vehicle subsystems beyond just the engine and transmission, such as airbag systems, and other integrated safety features.

    ISO 15765-4 (CAN)

    Modern BMW vehicles are equipped with the CAN protocol to accommodate the increased data volumes from advanced vehicular technologies and the need for faster communication between ECUs. CAN supports a much higher data transmission speed and is more reliable for networking multiple ECUs together, which is essential for hybrid and electric vehicles, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and other modern automotive technologies. It operates at speeds up to 1 Mbps and has robust error detection and correction mechanisms.

    Related Reading: Common BMW Fault Codes and What They Mean

    How Much Should You Spend on an OBD2 Scanner for Your BMW

    The cost of an OBD2 scanner for BMW can vary widely based on the complexity and range of features offered.

    Budget-friendly options may range from $50 to $150, and are typically sufficient for basic diagnostic tasks such as reading and clearing codes. These devices are ideal for BMW owners who need minimal insights into their vehicle's systems.

    Mid-range scanners, priced between $150 and $500, offer a better balance of functionality and price. They usually support a wider range of diagnostic capabilities, including live data streaming, service reset functions, and more extensive support for various BMW models. This price range is suitable for dedicated enthusiasts or freelance mechanics who regularly work with BMWs.

    Car Scanner | ANCEL
    ANCEL BM700 Full System Car Scanner CBS ABS ASC Reset For BMW

    Best Value OBD2 Scanner For BMW: ANCEL BM700

    The ANCEL BM700 stands out as a multifunctional OBD2 scanner tailored for BMW vehicles.The BM700 is just $109.99 (Orignial at $148.99) !  This is best BMW scan tool that you don’t want to miss out.

    BMW Battery Registration

    Replacing a car battery in a BMW requires a special procedure known as battery registration. The ANCEL BM700 facilitates this for newer technology batteries, ensuring the car’s electrical system recognizes and properly integrates the new battery. Notably, older models such as the E46, E39, E38, E83, E53, E36, E85, E86, MINR52, R53, and R50 do not need this procedure—simply replace the battery and you are good to go.

    Steps for Battery Registration:

    • Open the dashboard but do not start the engine to ensure the reset process works.
    • Connect the ANCEL BM700 to the vehicle, select the correct chassis model by referring to the number found near the hydraulic support rod under the hood.
    • Navigate to Special Functions -> Battery Management -> Register Battery Replacement. The process completes successfully when a confirmation message displays.

    ABS Bleed Feature

    The ABS Bleed function is critical after any brake system repairs. It ensures that all air trapped in the system is removed, maintaining the effectiveness and responsiveness of the brakes.

    Transfer Learning Capabilities

    This scanner also excels in diagnosing transmission issues, displaying real-time data such as fluid temperature and pressure, which is vital for assessing the transmission's health and performance.

    DPF Regeneration

    The Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) function is a significant feature for diesel BMWs. It includes comprehensive management of the DPF system from code retrieval and erasure to active management of the filter’s regeneration process, ensuring optimal function and longevity.

    Oil Service Reset

    After an oil change, resetting the oil service reminder is crucial to prevent engine damage from impurities and to calculate the next oil change interval accurately based on the vehicle’s usage and operating environment.

    Airbag Reset

    For safety systems like airbags, the ANCEL BM700 provides detailed diagnostic capabilities, including reading and clearing fault codes, and assisting in the resolution of issues that trigger airbag warnings.

    Injector Coding

    After replacing fuel injectors, it is essential to code new injectors to replace the old numbers, ensuring smooth engine performance and efficiency.

    ANCEL BM700 is the best car scan tool for BMW ownner

    How to Update ANCEL BM700?

    Software Update Instructions

    Step 1: Visit the website ANCELTECH.com.

    Step 2: Use the search function to find "BM700" and download the update pack.

    Step 3: Place the TF card into a TF card reader and then connect it to your PC. The serial number should be detected automatically.

    Step 4: Click on [Device Upgrade] to access the registration page. Enter your email address and find the "Register Code" under the 'Help—Tool Information' menu on the device.

    Step 5: Remove the TF card from the device, attach it to the provided USB TF card adapter, and plug it into your computer's USB port.

    Step 6: Launch the ANCEL Update Suite again, select the updates you want to install or choose 'select all', then click 'Download'.

    Step 7: After completing the updates, reinsert the TF card into the device. Connect the device to a power source either through the USB in your computer or the OBD2 port in your vehicle. When prompted by the device, press the OK button to start the upgrade.


    An OBD2 scanner is an essential tool for any BMW owner.The most affordable car scanners are at ANCEL! There is no need to hesitate among the many brands, ANCEL is the most recommended choice for auto body repair professionals!


    What is the best OBD2 scanner for BMW models?
    The best scanner depends on your specific needs and the model of your BMW. Look for ones that offer extensive coverage and compatibility.

    How often should I use an OBD2 scanner on my BMW?
    It's wise to use your scanner regularly, such as during routine maintenance checks or when you notice your car behaving unusually.

    Can using an OBD2 scanner void my BMW's warranty?
    Using an OBD2 scanner will not void your warranty as long as it's used only for diagnostics and not for altering the vehicle’s software.


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