BMW Carsoft 6.5 Review: E36 diagnostics & programming

Finally, after 3 months of experimenting, copying and deleting files, computer hard drive purging and reprogramming, I have succeeded in making BMW Carsoft 6.5 SP1 work with my E36!
I can now conduct diagnostics and read live data and have access to all of those nice little extras like door lock programming etc..


I can view O2 sensor readings, timing, vanos advance, rpm, coolant temperature, airflow, injector signals etc. all using the 20 pin connector under the hood. OBD2 was not adopted as a standard on Australian cars until recently.


BUT I tried unlocking the OBC and running a diagnostic with it unlocked – no change in the number of modules accessible. The only modules I have not been able to access are the LCM (this information – VIN number, distance travelled since last service etc is available on my car by running a cluster test), EWS (I don’t have an alarm fitted) and ABS/ASC. For the cost of the interface, it is still the best value around as I can diagnose and reset DME, Aibag, ZKE, EGS and Instrument cluster fault codes as well as initiating autolocking options, changing between display units (temp in F or C, distance in miles or kilometres etc.), viewing live data and resetting service and oil change intervals.



I am using the 20 pin diagnostic port under the hood as my vehicle does not have an OBDII port. And the interface is marked “BMW compatible interface V6.5” and has LED’s for Power, Service Interval, K-Line Pin 20, K-Line Pin 17 and L-Line Pin 15.

BMW-Carsoft-6.5 BMW-Carsoft-6.5-pcb

I purchased Carsoft 6.5 from a vendor off and downloaded SP1 direct from the Carsoft Web site.



The final tip-

Carsoft v6.5 was only designed to work with cars built before April 2004. Later versions (i.e. after v7.0) require a security dongle to work at all – I won’t go through my thoughts on the later versions here, but there are lots of better options available. The software is 32 bit and requires a true serial port to work correctly – as virtually every copy of v6.5 software I have ever seen is a pirated version, the functionality varies from zero to 100%. The only way I can imagine you installing this software successfully on a 64 bit system, would be to install it to run in compatibility mode for Windows XP SP3. You need to install Carsoft v6.5.0, then SP1, which will update the software to v6.5.06.
Personally for the amount of functionality you will get from the software, I would suggest using your Carsoft interface as a wheel chock. If you want a computer based diagnostic software solution, consider purchasing either an ADS/OBD (199*-2006) or inpa K+DCAN cable (2000 – 2010) and using INPA (and/or DIS) or ISTA/D (DIAGNOSTICS only). For a wireless solution, look at BMW Icom a2 which will do good at diagnostics, coding and programming. ICOM A2 will give the fullest model coverage: old and new cars (up to the 2017 year).


About eobd21

I am a car lover and like to repair car by myself, and know more info about car diagnostic tool and other obd2 tools, share these info with everyone.
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