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Old 01-14-2016, 11:01 AM   #1
WinterBeemer
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ECS Schwaben Scanner Tool Review

This review will unravel slowly because;

1) I'm very busy
2) It's cold as sh*t out here in Wisconsin
3) Post up your requests on what you would like to see this scanner do

I'll be adding to this first post as I go, but let's start with...

[/URL]









As you can see above, the scanner comes with the following items;
- Zip-up carrying case
- Foxwell Diagnostic Scanner
- Instruction booklet / CD
- USB / Memory Card Reader


I purchased this item for a couple of reasons;
1) I bought a 2004 325Xi as a winter vehicle and it has quite a bit of miles on the ODO (190K right now). I wanted to be able to diagnose any potential issues on the fly and do as many DIY fixes myself as possible.

2) The price point for this item was just right and according to ECS, I'll be able to add manufacturers to the device in the near future (i.e.; GM & Audi/VAG). i'm not the type of person looking for a tool in order to code or dive into the vehicle ECU

To begin, I'm going to go through the basic functions. Below is the start-up screen as soon as the device is plugged into the OBDII port (The unit will power-up as soon as it's plugged in). It gives you four options;
1) OBDII
2) Manufacturer Specific
3) Setup or Settings
4) Playback for previously saved data

The device is easy to use and set-up is pretty self explanatory. You cycle through the scanner using the arrow buttons and enter/back buttons.


If you choose the OBDII function, it'll immediately cycle through an auto-scan of your vehicle for any DTC codes. As you can see below, my scan came back with no codes found.

Once the scanner completes the scan and you press OK, it'll send you to the diagnostic menu. Here you will be able to view in-depth descriptions of any codes that may have popped up and save and/or erase them.


If you choose the vehicle specific option, you will cycle though a handful of menus until you get to your exact make & model.















After you've selected your model specific vehicle, you will be given four categories to choose from;

1) Maintenance
2) Drive
3) Chassis
4) Body



Maintenance Function


Drive Function


Chassis Function


Body Function












Today I needed to do some live monitoring on my heater. It's -10 degrees here and I noticed some dripping from underneath the car. The fluid appears to be clear and odorless, so I'm not sure if it's condensation or something else. I wanted to see if the heat exchanger was functioning correctly. I plugged the tool in and allowed the car to warm up. With the live monitoring feature, it did graph out in real-time that the heater was functioning correctly (going from 41F degrees and climbing to 65F before I shut-off the vehicle).

Next, I'll post up some graphs, sensors can monitored and modules that can be activated via the scan tool.
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Last edited by WinterBeemer; 01-18-2016 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:05 AM   #2
Bmw_3er
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Does the manual say anything about reading Abs and srs codes? Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:13 AM   #3
WinterBeemer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmw_3er View Post
Does the manual say anything about reading Abs and srs codes? Thanks.
On page 32 of the manual it discusses ABS/Airbag Services;

ABS/Airbag service menu let you use the scanner temporarily to activate or control anti-lock brake systems and air bag or components

Test options include;
- ABS Control module tests
- ABS motor tests
- ABS Version test
- Actuator tests
- Auto-Bleed tests

The scanner should be able to read any codes that would be stored in the ECU

Here is a link to the O&M manual (click the install instructions)
https://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Sit...111/ES2975699/
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Last edited by WinterBeemer; 01-14-2016 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:52 AM   #4
ajg999
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Thanks for posting this. I'm interested in a BMW scanner. I've had an Actron OBD scanner for several years and it had paid for itself many times over. I'm especially interested in the option programming features. Looking forward to your review.
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:19 PM   #5
SoCalZman
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Im definitely curious. Like can it change options that PA Soft can, like the function of the Alarm, doors, lights, etc. And how it exports sensor data (assuming it can) so we can show the e46 experts here for troubleshooting.

Hope you are planning on doing a video tour of it.
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalZman View Post
Im definitely curious. Like can it change options that PA Soft can, like the function of the Alarm, doors, lights, etc. And how it exports sensor data (assuming it can) so we can show the e46 experts here for troubleshooting.

Hope you are planning on doing a video tour of it.
I would be VERY surprised if this tool will code modules for features. Also many of the features may not be available until a software update in April.

I would be very interested in things like can this tool read the following.

1. Oil Temperature
2. Transmission Temperature
3. Radiator Outlet Temperature.
4. Fuel System Status for Bank #1 & Bank #2.
5. Will the current software clear/reset Adaptations, if so which ones?
a. Fuel Trims
b. Throttle
c. Transmission
6. Can it command the following item On
a. Fuel Pump
b. Cooling fan - multiple speeds
c. SAP pump and solenoid
d. DISA
e. EVAP solenoid
f. LDP

So this tool says it records Live sensor data, can this data be easily exported and how many PID's or sensors can be recorded at one time?

As for graphing, the tool states if can graph sensors/Live data, however, like ANY tool regardless of the price I would not expect much of the on tool graphing, but if you can graph some O2 sensors and post a picture it would be useful to get an idea as to how well this tool may work.

Can you to through the Menus and take some pictures of what options the tool supports? This is usually the best way to figure out what the capabilities are even if they are not fully functional.

For the money it looks to be a decent tool, but we are dealing with E46 owners and they rarely will drop a few hundred on a scan tool of any sort from my experience. What is the cost for additional software support/updates after the 18 month of free updates is over?

I would still recommend even if you get this tool, to have OBDFusion as a tool that is KNOWN to be able to record all the standard PID's and allow them to be exported as .CSV files. As I continue to say on a regular basis there is not one single tool that does everything, so might as well have the tools available and ready when you need them.
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Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Last edited by jfoj; 01-14-2016 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:53 PM   #7
SoCalZman
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All good points, jfoj. As far as "value," theoretically this should work with newer BMWs too right? So some day (it'll come, guys!) if we get a newer BMW we can still use this. OR, sell it.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:03 PM   #8
jfoj
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A note about this tool, apparently how this platform is designed you should be able to purchase at least one other platform beyond BMW. I heard VW/VAG is one option.

Unclear how much the additional modules would cost, it is looking like the $100 range??

Unclear if the Schwaben line is something specific to ECS or a 3rd party supplier.

Foxwell claims this their NT510 will support these manufacturers:

Available applications are for BMW, Mercedes, Fiat, PSA, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and more.

Again, unclear if the Schwaben brand item will support all of these models.

http://www.amazon.com/Foxwell-NT510-...=foxwell+nt510
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Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Last edited by jfoj; 01-14-2016 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:54 PM   #9
Geo31
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Schwaben is indeed ECS's house brand.
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Old 01-15-2016, 02:50 PM   #10
WinterBeemer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalZman View Post
All good points, jfoj. As far as "value," theoretically this should work with newer BMWs too right? So some day (it'll come, guys!) if we get a newer BMW we can still use this. OR, sell it.
Yes it'll work with newer BMWs. In regards to the 3-series, it'll work with;
- e30
- e36
- e46
- e90/e91/e92/e93
- F30/F31/F35
- F34

I've started to mess around with the scanner a little bit more. I'll have some feedback over the weekend. So far, it's very user friendly. It operates like a scan gauge / code reader. I'll try to focus in on some of the more detailed functions tomorrow.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
I would be very interested in things like can this tool read the following.

1. Oil Temperature
2. Transmission Temperature
3. Radiator Outlet Temperature.
4. Fuel System Status for Bank #1 & Bank #2.
5. Will the current software clear/reset Adaptations, if so which ones?
a. Fuel Trims
b. Throttle
c. Transmission
6. Can it command the following item On
a. Fuel Pump
b. Cooling fan - multiple speeds
c. SAP pump and solenoid
d. DISA
e. EVAP solenoid
f. LDP
Since these are trivial to reverse engineer from INPA (for the M52TU/M54/M56 at least) I'd sure hope that any BMW scan tool worth its salt would support these functions.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:46 PM   #12
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Need photos of the device in use and a comparison to OBD Fusion before I will even consider it. Most likely it is another waste of money.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:58 PM   #13
jfoj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
Need photos of the device in use and a comparison to OBD Fusion before I will even consider it. Most likely it is another waste of money.
I do not think this tool will be a waste of money, OBDFusion has its strong points and is not a tool to discount or store in the back of the kitchen junk drawer.

I would expect this tool to support DME/EGS/ABS/EPB & Airbags at a minimum, however, they clearly state it can clear Service Intervals, possibly change Service Intervals, supports Body modules. Even if you were to by this Schwaben tool, you would still benefit from and still use OBDFusion, I know I would.

This tool appears to be OE for ECS by Foxwell of Australia. They at least appear to be a legitimate company and not some Asian company that are working around copy written material and stealing IP to come up with a tool?? I just have never had my hands on one of these tools or spoken with anyone who has had one of these tools. Not sure if any of the major Pro tool trucks have ever OE'ed any of their tools from Foxwell.

But overall it seems very promising and for a $200 standalone tool that is somewhat manufacturer specific with the option to add other manufacturers for a few is not so bad. I just would like to know what the long term software support cost is. After 18 months you have to pay for software updates and what is this cost annually.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Last edited by jfoj; 01-15-2016 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:22 PM   #14
Geo31
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Actually, they appear to be based in Shenzhen, China (basically a suburb of Shanghai - 30 minutes I'm told by colleagues who have been to Shenzhen).

But you're right, they don't seem to be hacking other people's software.

I've been reading up a bit on this tool (I just printed the manual today and have been reading it tonight). It sounds interesting. I'm looking forward to a full review. I'm good with mechanical stuff, but somewhat electronically challenged. Anything that makes the interface and job easier (especially if it has more functionality) sounds great to me.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:36 AM   #15
BaliDawg
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I was just baiting OP into providing more information.

$200 is a lot to spend though. Hopefully we get the lowdown soon.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo31 View Post
they appear to be based in Shenzhen, China
they don't seem to be hacking other people's software.
Wait...what? Not sure both of those are possible.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:50 AM   #17
jfoj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
I was just baiting OP into providing more information.

$200 is a lot to spend though. Hopefully we get the lowdown soon.
This is the problem, $200 IS NOT a lot of money to spend in the big picture of things. $200 is a lot of money to spend when people are conditioned to spending $30 or less for software or App, BUT not everyone has the computer hardware and skills to get some of the software based tools up and working.

Also stand alone tools often can be quicker to start up, easier to transport and far less subject to be temperamental. $200 is probably about 2 hours of labor at a repair shop and with this tool if you use it 2 or more times it will have pair for itself.

The problem is the E46's are becoming bottom feeder cars very quickly so many people do not have or want to spend $200. But also many E46 owners may also be stating to move up the BMW product line to newer CANbus models and will find a tool like this very helpful..

The question is this tool really much better than say a Launch CRP-129 with likely will do most of what this tool does but also support 30+ manufacturers for maybe $50-$75 more? It comes down to the Bi-directional capability of the Schwaben tool, assuming it has this capability. Seems that is may with Adaptation clearing, now need to see really how far this tool can and will go.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:04 AM   #18
WinterBeemer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
This is the problem, $200 IS NOT a lot of money to spend in the big picture of things. $200 is a lot of money to spend when people are conditioned to spending $30 or less for software or App, BUT not everyone has the computer hardware and skills to get some of the software based tools up and working.

Also stand alone tools often can be quicker to start up, easier to transport and far less subject to be temperamental. $200 is probably about 2 hours of labor at a repair shop and with this tool if you use it 2 or more times it will have pair for itself.

The problem is the E46's are becoming bottom feeder cars very quickly so many people do not have or want to spend $200. But also many E46 owners may also be stating to move up the BMW product line to newer CANbus models and will find a tool like this very helpful..

The question is this tool really much better than say a Launch CRP-129 with likely will do most of what this tool does but also support 30+ manufacturers for maybe $50-$75 more? It comes down to the Bi-directional capability of the Schwaben tool, assuming it has this capability. Seems that is may with Adaptation clearing, now need to see really how far this tool can and will go.
Exactly. I thought the price of $200 was very reasonable. I don't have any experience with othe programs in which some of you are referencing, so my review is not going to be a comparo. I'm mainly going to talk about features and show a bunch of screen shots.
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:20 AM   #19
jfoj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinterBeemer View Post
Exactly. I thought the price of $200 was very reasonable. I don't have any experience with othe programs in which some of you are referencing, so my review is not going to be a comparo. I'm mainly going to talk about features and show a bunch of screen shots.
What will be most useful is for you to post "current" screen shots of what the tool can support in the way of more advanced diagnostics, bi-directional control and if it can actually do any form of coding or programming. The reason I stated "current" screen shots, is there appears to be a larger software update on the way in late March or early April if the company is on schedule.

The tool should clearly support ABS and Air Bags, but I would expect this type of tool to offer Live/Realtime data for ABS and Air Bags as well as things like Steering Angle sensor reset, ABS Brake Bleeding and other higher level functions.

Some of this tools capability may be a bit new to you, so the screen shots while drilling a bit deeper in the menus is probably the best approach for you.

Thanks for attempting this. I kind of offered to do this is ECS would provide a loaner for me, I might buy the loaner if it would really stand out from other tools in this price range, but I have not heard anything from them!
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:41 AM   #20
Geo31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
This is the problem, $200 IS NOT a lot of money to spend in the big picture of things. $200 is a lot of money to spend when people are conditioned to spending $30 or less for software or App, BUT not everyone has the computer hardware and skills to get some of the software based tools up and working.

Also stand alone tools often can be quicker to start up, easier to transport and far less subject to be temperamental. $200 is probably about 2 hours of labor at a repair shop and with this tool if you use it 2 or more times it will have pair for itself.

The problem is the E46's are becoming bottom feeder cars very quickly so many people do not have or want to spend $200. But also many E46 owners may also be stating to move up the BMW product line to newer CANbus models and will find a tool like this very helpful..

The question is this tool really much better than say a Launch CRP-129 with likely will do most of what this tool does but also support 30+ manufacturers for maybe $50-$75 more? It comes down to the Bi-directional capability of the Schwaben tool, assuming it has this capability. Seems that is may with Adaptation clearing, now need to see really how far this tool can and will go.
Spot on!

I'm OK with computers and software, but I need more "hand holding" than many here. A tool like this, if the interface is simpler for a novice at getting into the electronics (like me), will be perfect. I'll likely be OK if it doesn't have access to all the stuff the PC based software does. Things like ABS bleeding is BIG, as well as some of the other things being discussed.

The price is almost nothing to me. I already have the Peake code reader and airbag tool. Right there, that is more money than this, far more powerful, tool. One of the things that makes this more enticing for me is excellent documentation compared with OBDFusion or the PC based tools. For those I feel like I need the secret decoder ring.

You're right of course that the E46 has become a bottom feeder, but it's also the last platform I truly love. I bought a cream puff touring last summer (literally owned by a little old lady) and want to do EVERYTHING I can to keep it in top form because THIS is exactly the car I want.

If ECS Tuning doesn't give you a loaner, and I pull the trigger, I'd be happy to send mine to you for testing and evaluation. I'd get far more out of it after someone like you (highly knowledgable about what matters and what doesn't) thoroughly explores it.
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