If you want to get more control over your BMW X7 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 OBD2 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:
- Make your vehicle more unique through car coding
- Read real-time data
- Prevent unexpected repair fees by performing your own car health check
- conduct your own basic maintenance services
- Detect vehicle scams
The best part is that you can get your OBD2 scanner for your BMW X7 for an affordable price and avoid relying on repair shops at all times! Let’s get started and show you what is an OBD2 scanner and what you can do with it.
What is an OBD2 scanner?
OBD means onboard diagnostics. An OBD2 scanner (also called a diagnostic scanner or OBD reader is a vehicle diagnostic device that can be used to read out the error memory and data that is inside of your car’s systems.
Basically, an OBD reader allows you to make a connection between your BMW X7 and a mobile app or diagnostic software. When the connection is established, if you are using a mobile app, you can quicly access all of your car’s data from your mobile!
In addition, if you do not own an OBD2 reader for your BMW X7, you can do diagnostics for your vehicle at a workshop for a fee.
Worksops 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, OBD2 scanners are the most convenient 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)
- Provides more features than just diagnostics
Now that you have an overview of what are OBD2 scanners, we will show you what you can do with it and how it can help you get more control over your vehicle.
How does an OBD2 scanner for your BMW X7 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 X7.
So with an OBD2 scanner, 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. However, it is quite normal that cars have error codes.
Moreover, there are error 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 critical 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 out your own car diagnostics often you can easily save money on car maintenance and repairs.
How can I read my BMW X7 error codes with an OBD2 scanner?
faults can be easily read out using an OBD reader and its corresponding app. The errors will then be displayed on your smartphone 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 can end up saving thousands of dollars per year on vehicle maintenance and repairs.
What can an OBD reader tell you about your BMW X7?
With an OBD2 reader, you can read out a lot of data. However, the type of information will depend on the OBD2 scanner and mobile app that you are using.
The most common data that OBD2 scanner let you read are:
– Diagnostics (fault 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 X7 such as ABS, airbag, transmissions, and more!
Additionally, other OBD scanners let you do more than just reading out data. For example, you can customize 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 OBD readers. This is because, besides diagnostics, you can access many other features that are typically only included in a professional or expensive scanner.
Perform a used car check on your BMW X7
For example, the ‘used car check’ feature is always helpful if you want to buy a used BMW 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 X7
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 X7
Another extremely valuable 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 faults 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 X7
With the car maintenance functionality, you can carry basic repairs yourself that tipically, mechanics can charge you (a lot) for. For example, performing a vehicle battery reset is very easy if you have the proper guide to follow! And with Carly, this is possible.
Tipically, 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 would use.
OBD vs. OBD2
The OBD2 interface is used in newer cars and was introduced in Europe in 2001 and 2004 to have a uniform system for vehicles. It basically 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 access certain cars. For example, an OBD code reader from BMW only worked with BMWs, because each car brand had a different connection. But 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 scanner you can access many different car brands.
How do I know if my car is OBD2 compliant?
Most OBD2 scanners 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 will need a special extension to use the OBD2 reader.
In the case of the Carly OBD2 scanner, it can be utilized with most car brands and the majority of vehicles manufactured from 2001 onwards. So, for example, if you have a BMW and a VW in your garage 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 OBD port, is usually located under the steering wheel. Butthis varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
In older vehicles, the OBD interface can also be found in the trunk or near the handbrake. Once you have found the interface, you can easily plug the OBD2 scanner 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 error codes will be displayed on your screen.
Can you drive with an OBD reader plugged in?
Absolutely! It is safe to leave your 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 and 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 features such as car coding and real-time data.
Equipment and Bluetooth
Some OBD2 scanners need additional equipment, such as cables or a computer to run the diagnostics software. However, the most convenient option is to get a wireless OBD2 reader that can connect to your phone over Bluetooth.
Compatibility with your BMW X7 and phone
This brings us to 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 X7 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’s common for most OBD2 readers to include a very short 1 to 3-year warranty. However, OBD2 scanners are meant to last longer than that, so you should ensure to get a lifetime warranty.