Car model and year: 2011 BMW E93 335is with 46K miles
First the hardtop stuck in the trunk
no lights on the cluster, and the message “Lighting System, Stop Carefully” pops up.
checked the fuses, they are all good. Cluster lights went black, windows and mirrors don’t work.
If you are a “DIY guy”, you probably already have these concepts, but for those who don’t:
The faults you have listed would save Fault Codes in the Memory of your CTM & FRM (Convertible Top Module and Lighting Module). You need a scan tool or software & cable that provides the capability to “connect to those Modules” via the OBD II Socket, read those codes, and perform tests related to “Inputs” received by the Module, or “Activate” things connected to the Module, by creating “Outputs” from the Module.
You are familiar with the concept of connecting a generic scan tool to the OBD II Socket, connecting electronically to the Engine Control Module (called DME for Digital Motor Electronics on petrol BMW), and (a) reading Fault Codes saved in Module Memory, and (b) reading Parameters (Live Data) which are “Inputs” to the DME.
FRM, Lighting Module Example: BMW Software such as INPA allows you to connect to the FRM, and
(1) Read any Codes saved in FRM Fault Memory, along with Fault Details or Freeze Frame Data (a snapshot of conditions WHEN code saved) such as Mileage at which code saved, system conditions such as Voltage, etc.
2) See/Read “Inputs” to the FRM such as the Position (on/off) of each light switch to test for switch or wiring faults (F5, Status or Parameters).
3) Activate or test operation of “Outputs” or voltage supplied to each bulb to test wiring from FRM to bulb, grounds, sockets, bulbs, etc. (F6, Activations/Steuern).
WHAT to Get?
What you need NOW is to be able to (1) determine WHAT MODULES your Foxwell can connect to, other than the DME (a man’s gotta know the limitations, & capabilities, of his tools ;-); and (2) what additional scan tool or software makes sense for you given any DEVICE: laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc. you already have, what you want to be able to do, and how much time you are realistically able to spend. I try to describe what I think is the best solution for me (INPA), and its PROS & CONS. If that is NOT for you, indicate information applicable to YOU per (2) above, and someone can suggest an alternative more suitable to you.
1) I would start by referring to any documentation/manual that came with your Foxwell, and Listing All Functions that it claims to be able to perform, trying to identify the Module in your vehicle to which it should connect to be able to perform that function, as you understand it. Problem with that is most Vendors these days figure they’ll sell MORE$ whizbangs if the sucker, er customer, doesn’t completely understand the capabilities (NOT to mention the limitations) of the tool. Even IF the documentation is written by someone who speaks technical English, knows BMW systems, and wants you to correctly understand the capabilities of the tool (highly unlikely 😉 you will STILL have to test it yourself to SEE what it can do.
2) So read & then test the capabilities of your Foxwell, to see exactly WHAT MODULES it can connect to (to read codes or Parameters).
ANYONE wanting to play along at home with whatever Scan Tool you have, you can increase your own knowledge, and that of the forum collectively, by doing 1 & 2 above, and posting the capabilities of your particular Scan Tool or Software, noting the Modules to which it can connect, and the specific Year & Model of the vehicle to which you connected.
WHAT Device/Cable do you already HAVE?
If you have a Windows 10 Laptop, or can get a used one for less than $200 on Craigslist/E-bay, you can get what appears to be the best K+DCAN cable available for $45 (connects the OBD II Socket to your computer USB Port). Then you download INPA (included in BMW Standard Tools) and/or ISTA (Rheingold) from the MEGA site.
I have NOT yet used ISTA, but I HAVE taken the time to test INPA and SaveAs jpg most of the screens for each module in my E91 (sorry, NO CTM experience). That allows me to actually see (and often test) each of the functions that INPA can perform related to a particular module.
I have engineering training, and try to understand how systems work, and what causes a particular fault code to be set, so find INPA to be excellent in providing virtually ALL of the information the Module is able to provide. Con: it takes time to learn how INPA works, and I am NOT aware of any available Help or User Manual that walks you through what functions it can perform when connected to each module (so I made my own). Pro: there are a number of people on this forum and E90Post who use INPA and post screens and exchange information/ questions related to its use.
While INPA is the BEST route for me (so far 😉 it’s NOT for everyone. If you don’t care how a system works and just want to “get ‘er done”, then the Flow Chart (Trail of Breadcrumbs) approach of ISTA should be more to your liking. ISTA is in ALL English AFAIK, while INPA requires use of Google Translate or such to translate German Fault Definitions, technical terms & “Labels” to English in many cases, although the Menus are mostly in English.
If you want to have the best technical info available, and just learn it ONE Module at a time, with help from forum members or “INPA groupies” like me, if you download & install it, we can show you how to retrieve/read Fault Codes in ALL Modules in an hour or less (only takes about 5 minutes or less, including connecting to OBD II Socket once you’ve done it).
Another hour or less and we can show you how to connect to any Module to Read Fault Code Definitions, Details & Freeze Frame Data, and show you how to navigate Module MENUS.
If you don’t want to go the Windows 10 Laptop route, post back with info of what you DO have and what causes you to want to investigate Scan Tool or Software OTHER than INPA, as there ARE other options.
after replaced the footwell module, it fixes everything including the hardtop.
FYI, i was gonna say I have the foxwell scan tool and I’m positive it can read the FRM module.
Thanks to @ Raptorman5174 & @ gbalthrop (www.bimmerfest.com/forums/)
Foxwell NT520 tech support is always available at www.foxwelltool.com