NASTF Information Requests

Tracking: 317 Status: Closed
State: FL Name: Steve
Category of Request: Reprogramming Manufacturer: 2004 BMW 545I

Have you checked the OEM website?
Description of Repair unable to perform
Coding of above car requires downloading 1540 files 211mb. This takes over 1 hour 50 minutes. When problems occur and it is necessary to restart, the whole process must be repeated. To work on the same car the next day, again the same files and time is required. As an early GT1 purchaser and user of 2G SSS progman coding and programming at will from resident files distributed by disc, the current situation has to be reguarded as an attempt to make these processes unreasonably difficult. Whatever is in those files should either be downloadable one time with my subscription or should be sent by disc. The system till 3G allowed for onsite coding and programming at will. There is no new reason to waste such quantities of time except to hinder our ability to repair.
Description of Information not available
Also with reguard to programming there are enabling codes that used to come with progman discs that are needed to enable new installations and repairs; described as initial enabling and repair enabling. There is no BMW way to aquire these codes other than to bribe a parts man. The process is described in BMW SIB 09 04 09.
Description of steps taken to obtain information (help/contact function on website, websites, etc.)
Our shop does so much BMW that we needed more than one tool. With the help of an IT professional we tried to set up ISTA Lite. The first laptop took a whole day and we gave up. We then did get a desktop to work but the next day it did not. At that time I submitted a case to technical support who then transferred my files back and forth from active to inactive, each initiating a email. Probably 25-30 email were generated and log files were captured and sent. The system started working by itself on the third day but the emails continued for a week. They stated that they wanted to find the issue, and I agreed to help to solve future problems. Eventually they accepted that it was working and just closed the case. I do not know if they gained any insight from all the work. We tried to load two other PCs unsuccessfully. The system is too complicated and too slow and requires open access to my shop network. Due to the inability to easily enter this software system I paid a contractor to set up a laptop to use with BMWs own interface ICOM which I bought from API for $4200. The system has worked for me but still requires two hour downloads before any real work can start.
Other Comments or Concerns
BMW had a decent information system working online for repair info and wiring diagrams up till a few months ago. That info still exists and could be placed back online so that shops other than specialists could use it. It works fine at an efficient speed from any desk top. The new system requires remote user access to my system or a stand alone computer. It is absolutely impossible for someone to have a need and be able to satisfy it the same day. The info system is organized like it were part of a tool and the tool can't just be set up at will. It is an immense operation that will totally shut out casual access to repair and wiring information. This will exclude everyone but dedicated specialists
Mary Hutchinson - 7/22/2010
Dear Mr. Brotherton, Thank you for your service information request #317. In your request you are comparing the online diagnostic and programming system to a hardware based system, this is not a applicable comparison due to the differences in each system. Allow me to explain: You currently own the GT-1 and SSS hardware. This hardware was phased out with the introduction of the ISIS system. Both the ISIS system and the older GT-1 and SSS both use media based software. The current online system, 3G, has taken the place of the older 2G online system. In either system, software downloads were required from the internet to obtain the latest programming data. Please understand that the current download speeds of the 3G online system are not the expected result and we have been working diligently to steadily improve overall system performance. If an enabling, or activation code is required during the vehicle programming session you can request this code by sending the vehicle VIN number along with your request to This procedure is also listed in the FAQ section of the 3G installation manual. Regards,   BMW of North America, LLC.
Mary Hutchinson - 11/18/2010
See subcommittee response (final note) in Information Request number 299 for details on the results of NASTF Service Information Committee subcommittee review of this issue.