obd''s

Tyres, exhausts, suspension, strut braces, air filters, brake pads/rotors and anything else for 'dawn raiders'.

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walter05
Joined: Wed 25 Aug, 2010 20:12
Posts: 39

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: belper,near Derby

obd''s

Post by walter05 » Mon 16 Feb, 2015 20:54

Hi, I hope on the right part of the forum.Im looking to buy decent OBD but am confused by all thats on offer. Ive already got one of the cheapos that are available on fleabay,but what to buy and how much to pay for a more comprehensive unit capable of code reading etc. Your suggestions/experience most welcome.. regards.

Big_Al
Joined: Fri 30 Jan, 2015 12:33
Posts: 6

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Birmingham, UK

Re: obd''s

Post by Big_Al » Mon 16 Feb, 2015 23:08

+1. I was wondering the same thing - I need to cancel an airbag warning light, but wondered about getting something more advanced. Unfortunately I have no idea whats available and what is good / bad etc., but hopefully the Z Roadster gurus on here can help!

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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
Posts: 6312

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: obd''s

Post by Southernboy » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 10:14

There's several members who have these units, and it seems common practice to cry "Help".... and ask if someone in your area has a code reader...there generally is one available close by... try that and if you're fortunate, you will also get to see the unit and get some first hand feedback whilst sorting your current requirement... :D
"Normal is overrated"
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Robert T
Site Admin
Joined: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 11:35
Posts: 10004

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: obd''s

Post by Robert T » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 16:22

Before I start, please could both of you set your car model and year in your profile - this helps enormously when giving information.

There are two types of code reader - the handheld sort that give a code that you need to look up - and the computer-based sort that use some form of cable to connect to the car and some software. You also need to bear in mind that there are two distinct sets of electronics on the Z3 (and I am assuming we are talking Z3's here - ask again if you want advice for a Z4), and as far as we know these changed in September 1998 (not at the April 1999 facelift as is often quoted). The later cars were fitted with a standardized ODBII diagnostic port just below the steering column, but this is a PWOT (pointless waste of time) for anything other than engine codes - if you want anything else, you need to connect to the round 20-pin connector under the bonnet.

I don't have much experience of the handheld readers, but a few people on here use them. They vary in price and capability. Probably the comprehensive (and thus expensive) are made by a company called Peake Research. Look very carefully at what models the reader is designed to work with, in particular look for that Sept '98 cutoff date.

For the computer-based readers, there are really three choices of software - INPA, Carsoft and a few smartphone-based apps. You also need a compatible cable, and for cars built before Sept '98 this needs to be a serial-port cable - for cars built after Sept '98, USB cables work just fine, and the one I have is USB-to-OBDII and then I use an OBDII-to-BMW adapter cable. You also need a suitable computer to run the software on - as most of us cannot get a PC anywhere near the car, it really needs to be a laptop. It has been reported that cheapo USB-to-serial adapters do not work, so you want a really old laptop with built-in serial port for older cars.

I have a preference for INPA, and you can see what it can do from my write-up in the knowledgebase. It is BMW software and thus very capable and can even run self test on things like the ABS pump! The legality of it is slightly arduous, and a number of online sellers selling seem to have gone (or perhaps been put) out of business. However, bcables.com does seem to still have it available, along with the USB cable and adapter cable.

As suggested above, it is preferable to try a reader on your car before buying one of your own, and to that end, we have a list of members with diagnostic kit who may be able to help you.

Cheers R.
Arctic Silver '99 Z3 1.9 & Black '59 Frogeye 1275cc
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walter05
Joined: Wed 25 Aug, 2010 20:12
Posts: 39

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: belper,near Derby

Re: obd''s

Post by walter05 » Wed 18 Feb, 2015 10:52

Hi, thanks to Robert T for the enlightment.I will be looking for a suitable unit based on his laptop recommendations. its quite isolated where I am based and the nearest z3 member with a reader is too far away. Thanks to all for the response. Regards.

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