The Evolution Of Diagnostic Equipment

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Not only has BMW electrical architecture changed over the last decade, but so has the equipment to service all of. The equipment has changed, the interfaces have changed and also the complexity of setup and use.

Early tools

Back in the 1990's, the Group Tester One (GT1) was introduced. There were a few versions, like DIS Plus (stationary setup), however the GT1 is essentially the most common and exactly what will be referenced here. The GT1 is a portable device which contained a rechargeable wide array. It has a touchscreen technology for easy purposes. It contained software for Diagnosing and also had software called TIS (Technical Information Display) which may be the Service & Repair Information. Early versions of Diagnostics also contained software called Coding, Programming & Individualization (CIP). So from the same tool, you could Diagnose the problem, look up the best way to replace the component and then perform needed initializations for that new part. Two interfaces were used: EDIC (yellow interface) and the OPS (orange interface). Later versions of the OPS were called OPPS, since they carried additional diagnostics for the Byteflite system and had been holding also yellow, but much bigger opposed to EDIC. Authentic GT1s are on the portable touchscreen unit. There are many "cloned" units out there, adapted to look at a PC. Either genuine or cloned, the interfaces work the same and fasten via an Ethernet port.

Later versions of the GT1 software removed CIP, and moved it to applied for to insure computer (for storage), but still accessible from the GT1. This new software was called Progman (short for Program Manager). This new software contained every the CIP functions and added the latest features like multiple car programming and dual channel programming for every car (DIAGBUS and a lot of bus simultaneously).

Third Generation equipment

Fast forward to about 2008 when 3rd workout Generation (3G) of equipment was released: ISIS. The contents of ISIS are so large, that dedicated servers are installed at the seller. An online version is available to the aftermarket to put together a fee, called OSS. It could be be found at BMW's tech website. With the introduction of ISIS comes a new interface, called ICOM. Previous interfaces (EDIC & OPS) won't along with ISIS. ISIS consists of just a few parts, since it completely replaced GT1 & Progman. The main part of ISIS is definitely used planet shop referred to as "ISTA", may be further broken into two parts: ISTA/D for Diagnosing vehicles and ISTA/P for Coding, Programming & Individualization.


GT1s can be found close to anywhere, including eBay lengthy cheap. BMW realized how the tool was easily cloned and sold worldwide. Many levels of security in order to put into the creation of ISIS to prevent this, in the resident servers and online versions. Tends to make it more difficult for non-dealer shops to function on the newer toy cars. One would think that since the GT1 was discontinued in 2009, you may just keep using that for several more years until the newer system became more available, however, BMW stayed one step ahead! In case a car is programmed but now new ISTA/P, it upgrades the software beyond the level of what Program can recognize. That means, once a car is updated with ISTA/P, you are NEVER use Progman on it again, rendering the "cloned" versions useless on that car. Also, when a whole new module is installed, the software that is pre-installed on that module is also newer than what Program can recognize, that is stop the entire programming process, forcing the automobile to be programmed by ISTA/P.

So can that mean for the BMW investor? As a reaction of the newer systems, many BMW owners can no longer repair scenario themselves. Many aftermarket shops are also sending individuals to dealerships as an end result. However, not all aftermarket shops have fallen behind. Number of obvious a select few of BMW specialty shops that stay on top of manufacturer technology, so that no car is turned away! When looking for a starting point service your BMW, ensure they are able to do ALL associated with repair, including Diagnostics and CIP!