View Full Version : Scan Tool

07-23-2009, 04:18 PM
My car has recently been throwing up the check engine light - I know what its for and I just want to reset it currently.

I usually end up going to Advance Auto, borrowing their tool and resetting it.

But I was wondering what might be a good tool to purchase if I wanted to buy one.

Everyone here talks about the Peake tool (http://www.peakeresearch.com/fcx3.htm) which retails for about 149.99

While there are a few Actron tools that go for $85 onwards. (http://www.thepartsbin.com/catalog/?N=5869+12038&Nr=OR%28AND%28make:BMW,model:M3,year:2001%29,AND%28universal:1%29%29&Vi=1580+9772+4294963856&y=2001&mk=BMW&md=M3)

Advance Auto loans out the $160 Actron and it seems to work fine.

I am wondering
a. What is special about the Peake tool that people on this board seem to prefer it.
b. Are there others that I could look at?

I used to have an old tool for my Jetta which hooked up to a laptop through a serial port - that was good enough for that car back then. Now its more difficult to find a laptop with a serial port!

07-24-2009, 11:57 AM
The peake tool is what you want. Other options include laptop softwares (like the Jetta tool you mentioned), 2 of the big ones are Autoenginuity and Carsoft. These cost a bit more, in the $400-$500 range, but give a lot more features including some limited programability (depending on model) and the ability to read out 'live' (small delay) from various sensors.

The reason you shouldn't (not can't) use the Actron or other 'generic' adapters is that the generic codes don't correspond exactly to BMW's specific trouble codes, which are much more detailed, but require one of these more expensive adapters to read. So, while they can point you to the right neck of the woods, you might confuse the trees for the forest. Also, you'll need a BMW specific tool to clear the codes fully from the DME so that you can properly evaluate errors as they arise, instead of seeing the lifetime of malfunctions your vehicle has experienced.

Good luck, I'll try to answer any other questions you have.