In this introduction, I would like to say thank you to BMW. For a regular information leakage in the past. How would we diagnose our lowed BMW’s if there wouldn’t be INPA? How would we program them if there would be no WinKFP? How would we work with the register data if there would be no Tool32? How would we change the config if there would be no NCS? And finally – what would it be like without eSys?
I would say thank you to the BMW for a perfect situation: ICOM and the necessary software can be legally purchased, and in addition – for mega reasonable costs!
In the age at E series, INPA possibilities were supplemented by Testo’s tool for data logging. Now BMW itself offers such an option. True though, it is available only for the newest DME’s; this functionality was not introduced for older ones (used in the E series).

How to activate the Expert mode?
a. create the connection with the car, its identification and full test should be completed;
b. open Vehicle management/Service functions;
c. choose Power train/Engine electronics;
d. choose Expert mode from the list;
e. choose ABL type divider in the menu on the right side; choose option “Display”.

Several notes before starting the job

All test blocks offer two basic scenarios:
a. the car is parked;
b. the car is driving.

For mode “Car is parked”, some test conditions are usually offered, such as idle/1000/1500/2000 RPM.

If the user chooses the data logging while driving, additional options appear. It is possible to choose (and change) a range of conditions by which data recording will be started. It is done for a purpose: ICOM can be placed in the customer’s car, the car can be returned to the owner, and the BMW service specialist doesn’t have to worry if and when the data recording will happen. In addition, a large amount of unnecessary data is avoided if, for example, you have to wait for the engine to warm up or when the car will start to drive on the highway.
BMW has intended special support for the ICOM, which connects in the child seat connectors. ISTA gives several warnings regarding safety on the road, etc.
My suggestion: if you work with a car, which you are driving yourself (or the codriver is doing that), choose the first option – data logging for a parked car. If you choose ” idle ” in the menu regarding RPM, you will be able to log the data when driving. Of course, observe traffic safety requirements!

General remarks regarding test blocks

Note: at this time – in all pictures, only a list of tests, more details regarding each test block I will tell in the next blog entries.

a. the graphic environment is developed by the engineers. When opening the data viewing, you will travel back in the past for at least several tens of years. Why – it is not clear for me, because the libraries of buttons, icons (including ones free of charge, if BMW is short for several tens of EUR) are available more than necessary! GUI is not convenient, but it is possible to work;

b. It is not clear what to do for persons who have a color perception problem (daltonic)! Unfortunately, for example, the color choice for the curves is not thought of. I would be happy regarding the idea: red/pink for one cylinder, green/light green for the next one, yellow/orange for the third one, etc. No, the colors are chosen chaotically. For example, misfires and Rough run data of the 1-st cylinder could be red and blue; analog data of the 2-nd cylinder – light blue and green, etc. Data are not grouped; the user can not activate fast and easily, for example, data of only one cylinder. You have to make some 20 .. 30 clicks on 15 icons to do that.

c. Sometimes, when the data logging is started, the preview window freezes and stops to display data. For me, it happened 2 times (in 2-hour session), but for both times, the data actually was stored. So – the error only in data displaying.
Performing Zoom in/out, the choosing time moment is lost. The choice of the necessary timeout is a nightmare. A true engineer tool!

d. scrolling via X-axis is inconvenient; the “jumping” via displayed “window” info is not intended, not even talking about some larger step or some conditions (events).
I could name more and more flaws, but I will not do that because the Expert mode anyway is a huge step in the right direction. I am thrilled that such a tool is available now.

Here, how the moment when the ISTA starts data logging looks like:

Bonus: ISTA offers to view also data, which are stored in the memory of the equipment and/or computer:

After storing the data, additional options for the data viewing appears:
a. Zoom in/out options of both axis;
b. scrolling options via both axis;
c. each parameter can be colored in Bold or switched off from the graph.

Example of the data stored by ISTA: