I’ve been thinking for a while about what to write about next and then it hit me, what have I been doing a lot of lately with the E53 X5 and before that the E39 530i, I have been playing with different coding options. I have also done some coding for other people at various meets.
I started off when I got the E39 buying the software and cable from http://www.cable-shack.co.uk/ as I wanted to be able to program the remote central locking to make a sound when locking and unlocking the car.
The cable shack software was OK and I got the INPA software to connect to the car and I took a look at NCS expert but couldn’t get my head around it. Coding with NCS is not for the faint-hearted. All the messages are in German, you have to know what modules you have available and where things are to export the current settings, modify them in a text file and then import them back in to the car again. This was all a little too complicated for me. I do still use INPA for testing PDC.
BMW Scanner is much simpler to use for coding. You simply pick the module you want to look at from the list presented, go in to the coding section, change the options you want and write them away. Job done.
For more details on BMW Scanner, visit http://bmw-scanner.com/
You can purchase BMW Scanner from a popular trading site by simply searching for “BMW Scanner”. For my E39 and E53 I use BMW Scanner version 1.4.0
One thing that is asked a lot on the many group pages is whether BMW Scanner can run on Windows 10. The simple answer is Yes. I have this running on Windows 10 Professional. There is a registry hack to allow the drivers to be installed but after that it installs and works as well as it does on Windows XP or Windows 7.
As an example of how easy BMW Scanner is to use I will make the most frequently requested coding change, to have the indicators act as sidelights. Most people think that this is the Daytime Running Lights option but it isn’t.
Coding the Turn Signals as Sidelights Using BMW Scanner
When you first start BMW Scanner it will interrogate the car and provide you with a list of details about the car. This can be turned off in the settings if you don’t want this to happen every time you start the application but I like to keep it on so that I know the software is communicating with the car.
You will be presented with a list of all the possible modules. At this point you can perform a scan which will go through all the modules and tell you if they are present or not and will show you if there are any errors reported by the module.
Double-click on the errors column to see what errors are currently known by the car and be able to clear them.
To code a module, double-click on the name of the module.
The screen for the module will be shown. We want to double-click on the Light Check Module.
Click on the Coding Data Button. The screen of coding options for the module will be displayed.
Here you can tick and untick the options that you want to code.
To have the indicators act as sidelight, place a tick in the Front Turn Signals as Side Lights option and click on the Write button. Now when you put on the side lights the indicators will also illuminate.
It’s as simple as that. All point and click.
I have heard that Carly BMW which runs on your mobile phone is also able to perform coding and various other functions. I do keep having a look at this but the price for the software and being required to use their Bluetooth adapter makes this option a little too pricey for me based on the feedback I have seen on the Android Store. I have used the lite version with the cable shack cable and this was able to talk to the car but with the lite version you can’t actually do anything useful.