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Read out fault memory on BMW

Error memory on the BMW and the cost of reading it out in the workshop

Modern vehicles today have countless systems that serve safety, driving comfort and the environment. Various control units in the BMW have long since taken over the monitoring of these systems. All irregularities or malfunctions are logged in an error memory. This BMW fault memory can be read out during a diagnosis via an interface. The error memory read out accordingly names the respective error source. Find the master workshops in your area for a cheap and quick readout of the error memory.

Error memory in modern BMW models

The interface for the fault memory is a special socket in the car that enables a diagnostic device to be connected. Due to the design, accidental connection of other cables is not possible. On BMW models up to 2001 this was a round connection socket with 20 individual poles. To protect against dirt and oil, this black socket in the engine compartment was provided with a screw cap. A uniform socket has been used for all makes since 2001. This was first used in common models such as the BMW E53, BMW E36 and BMW E39. The fault memory is now read out via a 16-pin OBD diagnostic socket.

Access to the fault memory on the BMW

There are now also differences in access. The E31 - E34 series still has the socket in the engine compartment, while in the E38 series it is hidden under the center console. In the BMW E36, the Mini or the BMW E46, the interface from the fault memory can be found under the instruments on the driver's side and in the BMW E39 directly next to the steering column.

What happens when reading out?

The safest way to get a reliable diagnosis is to have the BMW fault memory read out in the workshop. The interface of the car is connected to a diagnosis device with a special cable.
With such professional diagnostic devices and the corresponding software, all relevant data and information are read out. The errors are output in encrypted form. With BMW, there are usually four-digit combinations of letters and numbers that can then be interpreted using a list.

Requirements for reading out

When reading out the fault memory on the BMW, it is important that the cable, the connections, the software and the diagnostic tool harmonize with all relevant data protocols. At the same time, the BMW's fault memory can be re-encoded if required. It is also possible to completely delete data that is no longer required.
A self-diagnosis with the commercially available devices is not advisable for several reasons. For example, the compatibility of all components cannot be guaranteed. The results are also not always reliable and accidental deletion cannot be ruled out.

Readout costs at BMW

And then there is also the question of cost. Reading out the error memory takes just a few minutes. However, the professional software has its price, of course, and the diagnostic devices can also cost more than 3,000 euros. In exemplary contract workshops, reading out the memory should still be part of good service. As a rule, there are no extra costs if the identified faults are corrected in the same workshop. Find the right workshop for reading out the fault memory on your BMW right here.