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Hi guys,

Recently bought myself an e46 318ci :)

The engine light appeared last Friday night while driving on the motorway! Wasn't driving too hard at all.

Everything seems to be running fine, and no loss of power, but it's annoying to have the light on and not know the cause!

I was wondering if ye guys had your own diagnostic readers, and if so what type? I took a look on eBay but there is many different types and not sure what are the main features to be looking for.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Niall
 

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Hey, there's a whole Diagnostics section of the site here, it should give you plenty of ideas:
http://www.bmw-driver.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=93

To start with people are using the following software on this site:
- Peake code readers (basic fault code reader that gives you a number/code to look up, not very informative really)
- INPA (factory software, easiest to set up & buy an interface for)
- GT-1/DIS (main dealer software up to ~2008, works on newer cars with updated "daten" files too. You can use the INPA interface for this as well with the correct research)
- ISIS (latest main dealer software)
- CarSoft (Independent company that markets diagnostics for DIY user as well as for workshops. There are old & new versions out there like "Ultimate Home" for DIYers)
- PA Soft/BMW Scanner (Another independent BMW specific diagnostics software company)
- Bavarian Technic
- There are others on here with other tools too like Autologic (but I don't think any DIYers have this, I would love to get my hands on this one!)

Have a look around & follow some of the links to other coding & diagnostic fora too, the following sites might be useful to you:

- www.bimmerforums.com (a whole diagnostics forum here, lots of info)
- www.bmwcoding.com
- www.bmwcoders.com
- www.bavariantechnic.com (I think user davy_b has this one)
- There are a few more out there as well

Do plenty of reading & research before investing in anything too quickly. Luckily for us BMW owners there are lots of options out there. Also just bear in mind that having the right tool is only part of the battle, knowing how to use it properly is the hard part! In addition to that a diagnostic tool in some circumstances is really only a supplement to competent mechanical skills. It doesn't give you all the answers all the time.
 

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There are times that our vehicle get in trouble. So, we must put attention to it to avoid serious car problem. The check engine bulb is a sign that your automobile will need maintenance soon. The way in which the bulb manifests says a lot about the harshness of the malfunction. Combined with an OBD-II scanner, you are able to diagnose car trouble and save yourself cash. Source of article: Pay attention to your check engine light.
 
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