If you want to have more control over your BMW X5 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 OBD2 scanner!
With an OBD reader, you will finally know at all times what is going on with your car. And depending on the OBD reader that you get, you can even:
- Make your BMW more unique through car coding
- Read real-time data
- Avoid unexpected repair fees by performing your own diagnostics
- conduct your own maintenance
- Detect car fraud
The best part is that you can get your OBD2 scanner for your BMW X5 for an affordable price and avoid relying on mechanic workshops at all times! Let’s get started and show you what is an OBD2 scanner and all you can do with it.
What is an OBD2 scanner?
OBD refers to onboard diagnostics. An OBD2 scanner (also called a diagnostic scanner or OBD reader is a vehicle diagnostic device that can be used to read faults and data that is recorded on your car’s systems.
Basically, an OBD scanner allows you to make a connection between your BMW X5 and a mobile application or diagnostic software. Once the connection is established, if you are using a mobile application, you can quicly access all of your vehicle’s information from your mobile!
Additionally, if you do not own an OBD reader for your BMW X5, you can carry out diagnostics for your vehicle at a workshop for a fee.
They usually use a handheld device, advanced scanners, or OBD cables with a computer. But usually, this equipment is more expensive and complex to use.
So, for beginners and even professionals, OBD readers are the best tools out of all, since they are:
- Pocket-sized (unlike handheld scanners or heavy OBD cables)
- Easy to carry and use
- No additional diagnostic equipment (ex. computer software, cables)
- Let you do more than just diagnostics
Now that you have an overview of what are OBD2 scanners, 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 X5 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 X5.
So with an OBD2 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 fault codes are bad. But it is quite normal that cars have errors.
Furthermore, there are codes that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but having them present is normal. Only a handful of error codes that can lead to serious issues.
The most critical ones are engine codes since the engine is one of the main systems of a vehicle and repairs are usually costly. For example, of a trouble code related to the engine is the check engine light. However, if you perform your own car diagnostics on a monthly basis you can easily save money on car maintenance and repairs.
How can I read my BMW X5 error codes with an OBD2 scanner?
faults can be easily read out using an OBD reader and its corresponding app. The fault codes will then be displayed on your phone’s screen and you will be able to clear them as well.
In the case of the Carly app, you can also see 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 will save thousands of dollars per year on vehicle maintenance and repairs.
What can an OBD reader tell you about your BMW X5?
With an OBD reader, you can read out a lot of data. However, the type of information will depend on the OBD scanner and mobile app that you are using.
The most common data that OBD scanner let you read are:
– Diagnostics (fault codes) and/or
– Real-time data
There are some scanners that only provide this data related to the engine. This feature is usually called “OBD level diagnostics”. So for example, you can only read out engine-related codes such as the check engine light.
However, there are other OBD2 readers 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 X5 such as ABS, airbag, transmissions, and more!
Moreover, other OBD 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 scanners.
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 X5
For example, the ‘used car check’ feature is always helpful if you want to purchase a used BMW and want to check if you are not being scammed with mileage fraud. So, with Carly, you can really look under the hood and get a better feeling for the condition of the vehicle, avoiding negative surprises.
Try car coding on your BMW X5
Moreover, with the car coding feature, you can customize 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 X5
Another extremely useful feature that that Carly gives you is Smart Mechanic. You can get deep information about your BMW written by expert mechanics. For example:
- Professional error code description written 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 vehicle than ever and get independence from car mechanics.
Do your own car maintenance on your BMW X5
With the car maintenance function, you can perform basic repairs yourself that usually, mechanics can charge you (a lot) for. For example, carrying out 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 scanners that mechanics use.
OBD vs. OBD2
The OBD2 interface is used in newer cars and was introduced in Europe in 2001 and 2004 to have a standard system for vehicles. 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.
Beofre, only certain diagnostic devices could were compatible with 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.
Later, the OBD2 connector was actually introduced in 1996 to standardize the system. Now, with the same OBD2 reader you can access many different car brands.
How do I know if my car is OBD2 compliant?
Most OBD2 readers are only compatible with vehicles built-in 2001 or later (gas/petrol) or 2004 or later (diesel).
If you have a vehicle from 1996 or earlier, you might need a special extension to use the OBD2 reader.
In the case of the Carly OBD2 scanner, it can be used with most car brands and the majority of vehicles manufactured from 2001 onwards. So, for example, if you own a BMW and a VW that was built after 2001 and 2004 respectively, you only need one OBD2 reader instead of two!
Where is the OBD interface located?
The OBD interface, or OBD port, is normally located under the steering wheel. However,this varies depending on the car manufacturer.
In older cars, the OBD port can also be found in the trunk or near the handbrake. Once you have found the port, you can easily plug the OBD2 reader in and the connection between the car 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 car.
Which OBD reader is the best?
Value and price
The best scanner tool will let you access the most features, with accuracy, and at a great price. Some readers 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 scanner that can connect to your phone over Bluetooth.
Compatibility with your BMW X5 and phone
The next point for choosing your OBD2 scanner! Make sure that the reader and app that you select are compatible with your phone. Some diagnostic scanner apps might only be compatible with Android or Apple devices.
Additionally, ensure that your BMW X5 is also compatible with the scanner since some are only compatible with certain car brands.
Warranty of the OBD2 reader
Finally, a last point to consider is the warranty included in your purchase. It’s common for most OBD2 readers to include a short 1 to 3-year warranty. However, OBD2 readers are meant to last longer, so you should get a lifetime warranty.