BMW: Due to an internal software issue in replacement DME modules for the X5 and 3 Series with the N55 engine it is not possible to program the new DME with ISTA/P. This problem affects both dealer and independent workshops. While a solution is being developed for those vehicles, any DME replacements can only be completed at a BMW Center by having a field engineer come in to complete the work. We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. (March 2, 2016)

SAE J2534

For access to SAE J2534 information go to the BMW service information website:

Registration and a subscription are required to enter the website. To  register select “Subscribe now" (under the Log In window) and enter your information. You can then select the appropriate subscription.

Refer to the heading “J2534 Reprogramming and Diagnostics” for additional information. The link will direct you to an “Overview of the BMW Group Online Service System (OSS)”.

VIDEO: Reflashing demo of a BMW 3 Series using ISTA/P (14 min)

Which models and model years of vehicles can be reprogrammed?

ECU reprogramming was phased-in starting with the 1992 model year 3 series.

1996 and newer vehicles are compatible with SAE J2534 reprogramming.

How does a technician determine whether a reprogramming event is needed for a particular vehicle?

To determine if reprogramming is needed the technician must establish a connection to the vehicle via OEM equipment or J-2534 interface and run the software update program.  An interactive, web based version of this program is available on the website.


What OEM equipment is available to reprogram vehicles? 

The OSS (Online Service System) has been developed specifically for independent automotive workshops to provide an extensive range of resources. OSS consists of a desktop or laptop PC connected to BMW over the internet. To connect to the vehicle you can use the BMW authorized diagnostic interface "Integrated Communication Optical Module (ICOM)" or use a J2534 "Pass Thru Tool (PTT)".

For configuration and set up of OSS for the PC, refer the “Minimum System Requirements” heading on the main page, and click to view “Installation Guide to OSS”.

ISTA/P Online - Control Module Reprogramming

Through the OSS application, Integrated Service Technical Application/Programming (ISTA/P),  you can reprogram the onboard control modules that are capable of software reprogramming. For ISTA/P, a data interface, a power supply and an Internet connection are required. The data interface can be a BMW Group ICOM interface or a "Pass-Thru Tool (PTT)" that fulfills the requirements of the SAE J2534 standard.

How does a technician obtain the Calibration?

The data needed is available to subscribers at

  1. Click on the OSS tab
  2. Select “Vehicle Programming”
  3. Select INSTA/P
  4. Click on the “Start” button and the software will launch the INSAT/P application
  5. Select the “Create a new session” button
  6. Next, select the J2534 device
  7. Once the vehicle information has been identified, the “Process Control Module” tab will allow you to choose the module to be programmed
  8. Then click “Determine Measures Plan” to review selections
  9. Then click “Accept Measures Plan” to start the downloading process.

Identify computer system requirements needed to support reprogramming.  

Under the Minimum system Requirements heading is a link to view the “Installation Guide to OSS.”


Revised 11/16/2015