Using Bavarian Technic

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Using Bavarian Technic

Bavarian Technic is equipped with many of the same capabilities included with the BMW factory tools. The following sections guide you through the many available features so you can get the most from your kit.

Customer / Vehicle Information

Customer Vehicle Information window
Customer Vehicle Information window

Upon starting the program, the Customer / Vehicle Information dialog appears. At this time, the program automatically attempts to communicate with the car to access the car’s VIN. If the program is able to access the information, the last seven characters appear in the VIN field of the dialog. The program then attempts to decode the VIN automatically using an available internet connection.

If the software cannot access the car’s VIN, you can enter the last seven characters of the VIN manually. Decode the VIN by clicking the Decode VIN button that appears. An internet connection is required for decoding.

Complete the Customer / Vehicle Information screen by entering the car’s odometer reading and applicable customer information as desired.

You can hide the Customer / Vehicle Information screen during start-up by selecting the Don’t show this screen on startup option and clicking OK. You can open the dialog again at any time by selecting Add Customer Information from the Tools menu option found at the top of the main user interface.

Click OK to save the information for the current session or Cancel to close the dialog without saving. The software does not save VIN details or customer information after closing the program.

Choose Vehicle

Choose Vehicle window
Choose Vehicle window

The next dialog to appear after launching the program is the Choose Vehicle dialog. Here you can choose a car by make, model, chassis type, and year. If you decoded a VIN on the Customer / Vehicle Information screen, the software automatically pre-selects the matching model for you.

Alternatively, you can choose specific control units from the list of all supported control units from the Individual Control Modules tab of the Choose Vehicle dialog.

Choose Equipment

Choose Equipment window
Choose Equipment window

If the model you select includes equipment variations, the Choose Equipment dialog appears with a list of selectable equipment options such as engine, transmission, stability control, and airbags. Select the appropriate option(s) for your model and click OK.

The program can automatically determine the equipment variations in some cars. When it does, the program displays and automatically selects the detected equipment.

Main User Interface

Main User Interface
Main User Interface

The main user interface now appears. When you select a model from the Choose Vehicle dialog, the program displays a list of supported control units in the left-hand pane. If you select a single control unit from the Individual Control Modules tab of the Choose Vehicle dialog, the software displays only that control unit. Double-click a control unit in the left-hand pane of the main user interface to reveal available functions for that control unit. Alternatively, click the “+” sign next to any of the control units to reveal the same list of functions.

Screen Layout

The Bavarian Technic screen displays several key points of information, including software version, selected model, status of the cable connection, and the control unit selected.

Menu options

  • File
    • Start over – opens the Choose Vehicle dialog to select a different model
    • Open work log – opens a Browse window for the selection of a previously-saved work log (see Work Log section for details)
    • Open ECU file – opens a Browse window for the selection of a stand-alone ECU file. Used by Bavarian Technic technical staff for troubleshooting purposes.
    • Print – not currently used
    • Print setup – not currently used
    • Exit – closes the Bavarian Technic program
  • Functions
    • Short test all modules– used to return current fault codes from all supported control units of the selected model
    • Clear faults in all modules – used to clear all fault codes in all supported control units of the selected model
    • Refresh current view – used to request updated fault codes are live data from a control unit
    • Set workshop information – opens the Set Workshop Information dialog (see Set Workshop Information section for details)
    • Condition based service – opens the Condition Based Service feature for models that support condition based service (see Condition Based Service section for details)
  • Tools
    • Tool information – opens the Tool Information screen that provides cable type, cable status, cable serial number, and software / firmware version details
    • Logging
      • Logging enabled – enables logging for troubleshooting purposes
      • Send log to Bavarian Technic – opens the Send Communications Log screen (see Send Log to Bavarian Technic section for details)
    • Add customer information – opens the Customer / Vehicle Information dialog (see Customer / Vehicle Information section for details)
    • Check for update – uses an available internet connection to check for software updates (see Updating the Software section for details)
  • Help
    • Documentation – opens this guide in PDF format
    • Bavarian Technic WIKI – uses an available internet connection to open the Bavarian Technic WIKI pages that cover car-specific troubleshooting information and more
    • About… - opens information about the program and the program version


Icons at the top of the Bavarian Technic user interface provide access to common functions. From left to right, these include:

  • New – opens the Choose Vehicle dialog to select a new vehicle
  • Open – used to open saved work logs
  • Print – print the current page
  • Print Preview – preview the current page prior to printing
  • Refresh – refresh the current view
  • Short test all units
  • Clear faults in all units
  • Condition based service – opens the Condition based service screen - highlighted only for cars that support this feature

Control Unit Functions

Each control unit supports one or more of several different functions. You can access these functions by expanding the list under each control unit. In order of appearance, these functions include:


The Identification function is available for each unit and displays information about the control unit such as part number and supplier name.


You can find the Information function under control units that support it. This options displays information such as the vehicle’s VIN and assembly number.

Fault Codes/Shadow Fault Codes

Fault codes, shadow fault codes, their descriptions, and fault status information are included in the display when supported by the control unit. The fault codes displayed are the same fault codes used by the factory tool. Bavarian Technic is different from generic OBD2 tools that only show emissions-related engine problems. When displaying fault codes, Bavarian Technic displays all faults and displays any additional fault information if it is available from the control unit.

To find additional information on faults, troubleshooting steps, and repair information, refer to the factory service manuals. Erase Fault Codes/ Erase Shadow Fault Codes To clear fault codes or shadow fault codes from the control unit’s memory, click on the Erase Fault Codes or Erase Shadow Fault Codes option, respectively, for the control unit selected. Alternatively, you can select to erase fault codes in all units at once by selecting the Functions menu option and clicking Clear faults in all units.

It is not possible to erase only one fault code. If faults remain after attempting to clear them, it indicates problems still exist. For example, if the fault code you see is “Seat belt buckle receptacle,” and you have not repaired the problem, you will not be able to clear the fault.

Actual Values

With Actual Values, also known as “diagnostic requests,” you can monitor in near real-time live data values managed by the control unit. The available value options are predominantly the same as those available in the latest BMW factory tool. In many cases, the Bavarian Technic tool supports many more value options than the factory tool. Upon selection of a value or multiple values, the data automatically appears on a graph and/or in digital format as seen below.   To use actual values:

  1. Select a control unit from the left-hand pane.
  2. Click Actual Values (found on supported control units only).
  3. In the right-hand pane under the Available Actual Values tab, select a listed value. Live data values will appear in graph and digital format automatically.

Note: Avoid selecting more values than needed. The Actual Values process is very resource intensive for the control unit and the computer running the program. Selecting more options than necessary can seriously degrade program performance. For this reason, the program is limited to the selection of ten values. Also, note that sample rates vary by control unit. The newest control units sample much faster than earlier versions. Faster sampling rates require more computer resources.

There are three tabs found on the Actual Values screen:

  • Available Actual Values
  • Activations
  • Options

The tabs pane can be hidden to view a larger graph. To hide the tabs pane, click the Hide Selection link. To reveal the tabs pane, select the Display Selection link.

The Available Actual Values tab gives you a list of values supported by the control unit. Select a value or multiple values to request the data from the control unit. Data sampling begins automatically.

The Activations tab provides an easy access point to activate vehicle components that the selected control unit manages. You can use the activations to affect the Actual Values data output, giving you truly comprehensive troubleshooting capabilities and greater ease of use. Read more about activations under the Activations section of this document.

The Options tab provides access to editable settings of the Actual Values feature. Editable settings include display options and sampling rate adjustment.

Options tab settings and controls include the following:

  • Display Type
    • Both digital and graph – shows data values in analog (graph) and digital format
    • Digital display only – shows data values in digital format only
    • Graph only – shows data values in analog (graph) format only
    • Show multiple graphs – shows each value selected on separate graphs
    • Show graph toolbar – opens a toolbar to aid in viewing graph details (see Graph Toolbar section below)
  • Refresh Rate – controls the sampling rate of the program and helps balance the need for greater detail with the available resources of the computer and control unit being sampled
  • Export Data – used to export sampled data values to a Microsoft Excel®* spreadsheet or comma-separated values (CSV) file for further analysis. (Requires the Microsoft Excel application.)
  • Other
    • Stop / Start – controls sampling by stopping the process if it is running, or starting the process if it is not running
    • Clear samples – clears previously sampled data values from memory
    • Save settings – saves to an XML file the current settings based on the control unit selected
    • Recall settings – opens a Browse window to select an XML file containing previously saved settings

The graph toolbar provides additional controls for use with Actual Values graphs.

From left to right, the graph toolbar includes:

  • Crosshairs – used to hover the mouse over a graph position to see the exact values of a point
  • Zoom in/out – used to alternately magnify or diminish an area of the graph to show detail. Left-click and drag the mouse over the section you want enlarged.
  • Zoom out all – used to zoom the graph back to full size
  • Stop – used to stop sampling data values to view an event more closely
  • Save – captures the current graph view to a graphic file
  • Export data – saves sampled data values to a plain text file
  • Page setup – portrait / landscape orientation settings for use with Print
  • Print preview – displays preview of screen details to be printed
  • Print – captures and sends a picture of the current graph to an available printer

Input Signals

Input signals are the digital diagnostic requests made by Bavarian Technic to determine the status of model components. The data output is much like the output of actual values, but are represented as Boolean text values such as “On/Off,” “Open/Closed,” or “Yes/No.” The program sends a request to retrieve all values available and displays the details, at once, in the left-hand pane.


The Activations option allows you to start and stop supported available components within the car for troubleshooting purposes. The tool supports components ranging from the engine fan to injection valves. For example, to confirm all indicators of the instrument cluster are working properly, use this feature to turn them on, or “activate” them. To activate supported components:

  1. Select your model.
  2. Select a control unit that supports activations.
  3. Select Activation
  4. Click the Start button found to the right of the components listed in the right-hand pane.

Warning! Use Activation options with caution and only with complete knowledge of their function. For example, it is not a good idea to activate the coolant shutoff valve of a hot car for risk of damaging the engine.


Available in the Professional kit only, the Coding option provides a way to back-up, restore, and change settings within supported control units. For example, you can save the settings of an old control unit you must replace and restore those settings to a new control unit. Bavarian Technic relies on internal part numbers and metrics to ensure you do not restore settings to unintended, incompatible control units. Coding options on supported control units vary.


Many control units support the ability to receive single, non-repetitive requests to alter the status of settings. Separate from coding changes, the Commands feature includes such control unit requests as adaptation resets. On many models, you will use the Commands feature of the Instrument Cluster to reset the service interval.

Command Console

Available in the Professional kit only, the Command Console is a means to send low-level, manually configured requests to a control unit and see the response. Intended only for those who understand the low-level communication language of BMW control units, you can use this feature for a deeper level of troubleshooting.  

Reset Service Reminders

Later-model cars have service interval indicators (SII) for oil service and inspections on the instrument cluster. These cars display the reminder when service is due. Depending on the model, you can reset the service interval in one of two ways: 1) via the Commands option for the instrument cluster, or 2) via the Condition Based Service (CBS) option if your car supports CBS. To reset the service reminder via the Commands option:

  1. Select your model.
  2. Select the instrument cluster.
  3. Select Commands.
  4. Click Start next to the Service Interval Indicator option you want to reset.
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