Advanced Tools to read BMW ISN

The reason for starting this topic is to hopefully help others in deciding what would be the best BMW diagnostic tool for their needs. I’m hoping that this will help you to be more clear about the difference.

So, there’s is a good amount of info available for these scan tools in websites, but you have to do a lot of digging and research to determine the finer points . in some of your opinions may neither one is perfect (although they are very, very good in their own right).

I suppose it’s impossible to make an exhaustive list between the two, but this is what I’ve managed to determine so far.

Based on my budget of 5500 $, this is how these products compare. My main requirement is around working on cars with Continental and Bosch ECUs.

BMW Explorer:

  • Basic package, with the addition of the Cas Key module and the Continental Ecus. As part of this I’m adding ecu explorer to the mix as well.
  • This can do pretty much any BMW E series ecu. But for each additional type you need to add 200 euro. This doesn’t bug me that much, as I can easy read ISN from most Bosch ecu, but it may be a problem for others.
  • For doing anything on F series, you’ll have to add 2000 euro at minimum.
  • To do ISN of EGS (6hp) is another 600 euro
  • ECU explorer allows full cloning of any Tricore ecu. You need the Continental module of BMW Explorer to clone a Siemens/Continental Tricore ecu. This is a powerful feature, although to make it work on f series Siemens you might have to add the 2000 euro F series option in BMW explorer.
  • Only 1 developer. If something had to happen to him, there would be no future updates.
  • PayPal is not accepted.

Autohex II:

  • Autohex II locksmith package, around the same price as above.
  • Comes with Hitag BMW key programmer
  • Can do pretty much all e and f series ISN read, except for F series Continental (currently not possible for Autohex)
  • Can already do ISN of EGS (only 6hp)
  • It has no similar cloning ability like ecu explorer
  • There’s an issue with changing the power class on Continental Tricore ECUs, although I believe they are working on a fix for this. I do not know if this is an issue for BMW Explorer.
  • The online programming function to determine the zusb from the VO is very powerful, although you have to pay another $1000 for that. I do not think BMW Explorer has this feature
  • A $750 annual subscription. As far as I know, you don’t have this for BMW Explorer. I can understand the need for this from Autohex, but it does add to the price over a few years of ownership.
  • They accept Paypal.
  • Seems like they have a team of developers, so subjectively safer as far as company future is concerned.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply