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OBD2 scanner for your BMW X1 – Easy Guide and How It Works.


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If you want to have greater control over your BMW X1 and save money on repairs you’ve made it to the right place. We’ll introduce you to a small yet powerful tool that every BMW driver needs: an OBD reader!

With an OBD reader, you will finally know at all times what is going on with your car. And depending on the OBD2 reader that you get, you can even:

  • Customize your car through car coding
  • Read real-time data
  • Prevent costly repairs by performing your own car health check
  • conduct your own maintenance
  • Detect vehicle fraud

The best part is that you can get your OBD2 scanner for your BMW X1 for an affordable price and avoid relying on workshops at all times! Let’s get started and show you what is an OBD2 scanner and everything you can do with it.

What is an OBD2 scanner?

Carly OBD reader

OBD stands for onboard diagnostics. An OBD2 scanner (also called a diagnostic scanner or scan tool is a car diagnostic device that can be used to read faults and data that is stored on your vehicle systems.

Basically, an OBD scanner allows you to build a connection between your BMW X1 and a mobile application or diagnostic software. Once the connection is established, if you are using a mobile application, you can quickly and easily access all of your vehicle’s information from your smartphone!

In addition, if you do not own an OBD scanner for your BMW X1, you can perform diagnostics for your vehicle at a mechanic workshop for a fee.

diagnostic tool

Mechanics usually use a handheld device, advanced scanners, or OBD cables with a computer. But usually, these tools are more expensive and complex to use.

So, for beginners and even professionals, OBD2 readers are the most convenient out of all, since they are:

  • Pocket-sized (unlike handheld scanners or heavy OBD cables)
  • Easy to use
  • No additional diagnostic equipment (ex. computer software, cables)
  • Let you do more than just diagnostics

Now that you have an overview of what an OBD2 scanner is, let’s show you what you can do with it and how it can help you get more control over your car.

How does an OBD2 scanner for your BMW X1 work?

Every modern vehicle has a ‘fault memory’. This memory is responsible for storing technical defects or any trouble code that arises in your BMW X1.

So with an OBD reader, you can access the data stored in the fault memory, and read out the fault codes in order to correct them.

A common misconception is that all error codes are bad. But it is quite normal that cars have errors.

Moreover, there are codes that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but having them present is normal. There’s only a handful of error codes that can lead to serious complications.

The most severe ones are engine codes since the engine is one of the main systems of a vehicle and repairs are usually expensive. For example, of a trouble code related to the engine is the check engine light. However, if you carry your own car diagnostics on a monthly basis you can easily save money on car maintenance and repairs.

How can I read my BMW X1 error codes with an OBD2 scanner?

OBD2 scanner for BMW

faults can be easily read out using an OBD reader and its corresponding app. The errors will then be displayed on your phone’s screen and you will be able to clear them as well.

fautl codes

In the case of the Carly app, you will also get all the code definitions for every fault and get deeper insights into what they mean.

If you use an OBD2 scanner often and carry your own diagnostics every 2 months, you can save thousands of dollars per year on car maintenance and repairs.

What can an OBD reader tell you about your BMW X1?

With an OBD scanner, you can read out a lot of data. However, the type of information depends on the OBD scanner and mobile app that you are using.

The most common data that OBD2 scanner let you read are:

– Diagnostics (error codes) and/or
– Real-time data

There are some readers that only provide this data related to the engine. This feature is usually called “OBD level diagnostics”. So for example, you can only be able to read engine-related codes such as the check engine light.

On the other hand, there are other OBD2 scanners that let your read data for every system of your car, and not just about the engine. This feature is called “Manufacturer-level diagnostics”. So for example, you can read error codes related to other critical systems of your BMW X1 such as ABS, airbag, transmissions, and more!

Moreover, other OBD2 readers let you do more than just reading out data. For example, you can personalize your car through car coding, perform basic maintenance repairs, and detect car scams.

What does the Carly OBD2 Bluetooth reader and app do?

The Carly app allows you to get a lot out of your car for an affordable price by reading out the data transferred via the OBD readers.

And in many ways, the Carly Universal Adapter is unlike other OBD2 scanners. This is because, besides diagnostics, you can access many other features that are typically only included in a high end or expensive scanner.

Perform a used car check on your BMW X1

For example, the ‘used car check’ feature is always helpful if you want to get a used car and want to check if you are not being scammed with mileage fraud. So, with Carly, you can look under the hood and get a better feeling for the condition of the vehicle, avoiding negative surprises.

Try car coding on your BMW X1
obd2 scanner for bmw

Moreover, with the car coding feature, you can personalize your car and make it more unique using your Carly scanner and your phone. You can code the welcome lights, deactivate the start-stop function, and more! With Carly, time-consuming (and expensive) workshop visits are a thing of the past.

Professional insights on your BMW X1

Another extremely valuable feature that you can get with Carly is Smart Mechanic. You can get deep information about your BMW written by expert mechanics. For example:

  • Professional error code description curated by expert BMW mechanics
  • Direct access to original plans of components, just like the ones used in the workshop
  • Detailed repair tips to know the cause of issues and fix them yourself

With this feature, you will really have more control of your BMW than ever and get independence from car mechanics.

Do your own car maintenance on your BMW X1

With the car maintenance feature, you can carry out basic repairs yourself that usually, mechanics can charge you (a lot) for. For example, performing a vehicle battery reset is easy if you have the proper guide to follow! And with Carly, this is possible.

Usually, only a professional automotive reader that costs over $3,000 would include all of these advanced features. So the Carly OBD2 scanner is much more affordable than the professional readers that mechanics use.

OBD vs. OBD2

The OBD2 interface is used in newer vehicles and was introduced in Europe in 2001 and 2004 to have a standard system for cars. In essence serves as an interface between the ECUs of a vehicle and the diagnostic device. However, there is a big difference between OBD and OBD2.

Previously, only certain diagnostic devices could be used for certain cars. For example, an OBD code reader from BMW only worked with BMWs, because each car brand had a different connection. However, this made it difficult for workshops to make diagnoses for several car brands.

Afterward, the OBD2 connector was actually introduced in 1996 to standardize the system. Now, with the same OBD2 reader you can access many car brands.

How do I know if my car is OBD2 compliant?

Most OBD2 scanners can only be used with vehicles built-in 2001 or later (gas/petrol) or 2004 or later (diesel).

If you have a vehicle from 1996 or earlier, you will need a special extension to use the OBD2 reader.

In the case of the Carly OBD2 reader, it can be used with most car brands and the majority of vehicles manufactured from 2001 onwards. So, for example, if you have a BMW and a Volkswagen that was built after 2001 and 2004 respectively, you only need one OBD2 scanner instead of two!

Where is the OBD interface located?

The OBD interface, or diagnostic port, is usually located under the steering wheel. However,this varies depending on the car manufacturer.

Where is the OBD2 port in my BMW 3 E90 (2005-2013)

In older cars, the OBD port can also be found in the trunk or near the handbrake. Once you have found the interface, you can easily plug the OBD2 reader in and the connection between the vehicle and the diagnostic device will be established.

Afterwards, the error memory can be read out and the different faults will be displayed on your screen.

Can you drive with an OBD reader plugged in?

Yes! It is safe to leave your OBD2 scanner plugged into your car’s OBD port. With other tools such as handheld scanners, you don’t have the option of leaving it plugged into your vehicle.

Which OBD reader is the best?

Value for price

The best scanner tool is the one that lets you access the most features, with accuracy, and at a great price. Some OBD2 scanners only focus on diagnostics, whereas others also include additional functions such as car coding and real-time data.

Equipment and Bluetooth

Some OBD2 readers require extra equipment, such as cables or a computer to run the diagnostics software. However, the best option is to get a wireless OBD2 reader that can connect to your phone over Bluetooth.

car diagnostics
Compatibility with your BMW X1 and phone

This brings us to the next point for choosing your OBD2 scanner! Make sure that the scanner and app that you get are compatible with your phone. Some diagnostic scanner apps might only be compatible with Android or Apple devices.

Additionally, ensure that your BMW X1 is also compatible with the scanner since some are only compatible with certain car brands.

Warranty of the OBD2 scanner

Finally, a last point to consider is the warranty that is included in your purchase. It is very common for most OBD2 scanners to include a very short 1 to 3-year warranty. However, OBD2 scanners are meant to last longer, so you should ensure to get a lifetime warranty.

Keep in mind, that every car has different software and modules built-in. Therefore specific features will vary with every model.

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Ready to have complete control over your car’s functioning and health monitoring? Your OBD2 scanner is waiting for you!