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BMW Diagnostics and Procedures FAQ: Check Engine Light

If the BMW Check Engine Light (CEL) is, or has been, on there will be stored codes pointing to what is wrong. It is critically important that these codes be read with the proper diagnostic system. That means a dealer or very well equipped BMW indie shop. The entire car needs to be scanned, especially on later cars as there are a lot of electronics and they interact. Examples of proper diagnostic systems would include:


BMW's DIS/TIS ("GT-1")... ('07 and older)

BMW's newer systems, known by various names: ISIS, ISTA and ICOM



SnapOn systems with the proper BMW S/W

Matco Launch with the proper BMW S/W


Understand that the fault codes are not necessarily to be taken literally. In many cases a particular fault code just tells you what the car is unhappy about, not necessarily what the real cause is. And that is where the experience and skills of a pro are important in interpreting what the codes could mean.


While P codes below 1000 are federally mandated, the codes above that are left to the vehicle manufacturer to define. They frequently vary by model, year, and engine. BMW diagnostic systems don't use P codes, but the generic OBD do. Generic OBD code readers can't scan everything and they frequently produce invalid or misleading results because they don't have tables for the variants in codes for the various model, year, and engine. So that is usually a meaningless exercise.


In states that require emissions testing it isn't uncommon for part of the test to include a scan for codes. In that case the car will fail if any codes are found. Which means that the fault(s) must be fixed, the DME cleared of codes, and the car driven long enough for the DME to go "ready" which requires that all of the conditions of the "Federal Test Procedure (FTP) Driving Cycle" have been satisfied. The car won't pass testing until the DME is in a "ready" state.

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Encypt CAS lost ISN value, solved with VVDI Prog


Have an BMW X5 here with all keys lost CAS3+, read the CAS with rosfar as usuall

Tries to make a key from file and get these errors ”Detect encrypt CAS version. But CAS lost ISN value. Continue prepare key may cant start engine. ” and the second picture error “Can not find useful combine data, please check the EEPROM file.”



Working Solution:

This bmw eeprom don’t have enough data for combine test

For this car, you need read ISN from engine with other tool, the best working tool which can read BMW ISN from engine is VVDI prog made by Xhorse Company. 


The Procedure to Read BMW Engine ECU ISN with VVDI PROG

YouTube video:



Open VVDI PROG software.

Select type: 3-ECU  Brand: BMW_F_ENGINE  Device: MEVD172(N20) 

Click “Wiring Diagram”


Wiring Diagram is open, it prompts NO.2 connector. 


NO.2 connector picture as follows.


Pull down the wiring diagram, attention: the left corner is NO.33 pin, and the right corner has pin, follow its pin number and order to connect the cable.


This is real BMW Engine ECU 


All of pin numbers are marked as follows.


Next, to plug the cable into VVDI PRO 


Firstly, connect red power cables, there are 2 power cables, one is No.1 pin, one is NO.22 pin.



Next, connect GND cable, it is NO.10 pin.


Finally, connect blue CANH cable and yellow CANL cable.


This group of cables are connected well.


This is Bootm line.


Open a hole on Engine ECU and locate the pin position by following the wiring diagram, then use Boot line to point at this pin and to read data. 


Note: an external power adapter is necessary for VVDIprog, because it reads Engine ECU.


Close wiring diagram on VVDI Prog 


Select “New Create”


Select “Read”


Wait until the data is read out successfully. 


Select “Save” to save data.


Last note: 

If BMW CAS4+ all key lost, firstly read CAS data then Engine ECU data, when it asks for ISN code, just load Engine ECU EP data to generate dealer key.



Hope this helps.


How to update Ford VCM2 IDS to V97 (V97.1)

Ford VCM2 IDS software has newly updated to V97 (23/09/2015). Here is the instruction on updating your Ford IDS to V97.1. 


NOTE: IDS V97 is compatible with Ford VCMII scanner SP177-1, SP177-C, SP177-C1 and SP177-C2. Do not work on other VCM2. 


Software version: IDS V97.1

Operating system: Windows XP/ Windows 7 on VMware (recommended)


Free download Ford IDS V97.1 software

You can download form the link directly or download from Thunder (enter URL to download directly), because the software is huge. 


How to update VCM2 IDS to V97?

1.Have old V81, V91 IDS installed 

1) First install C81 Calibration files and then V86 IDS

2) Then install V91 IDS, if the software displays 3 day trial prompt, then continue to install IDS V96, otherwise quit software installation and change another laptop to re-install software 

3) After well install V96 IDS, install IDS V97 software 

4) Update VCM2 firmware (following instructions below)


2. Have IDS V96 installed 

If you already have VCM2 IDS V96 installed, then directly install V97 IDS and update VCM2 firmware. 


How to update Ford VCM 2 scanner firmware?

1) Press the power button on VCM2 scan tool main unit 


2) Long-press on the power button, connect VCM2 with power supply, wait for all 4 indicators turn on, then release the button. Then connect VCM2 with computer via USB cable 


3) Run IDS software, software will prompt to update firmware. Wait the update procedure is done.



4. Restart computer when firmware update is completed. Connect VCM2 kit with vehicle to start diagnosing or programming functions.