I have a 1999 BMW 316 compact auto (e36) with a minor engine problem, I think it goes into "get you home mode" until it has warmed up. I also have a cheap Elm327 WiFi OBDii Interface Diagnostic Tool. The connectors do not match, but there are cheap adapter cables available.

If I buy one of those adapter cables, will I be able to read the fault codes and get at least an idea of what is going wrong?

  • The EU didn't become EOBD compliant until MY2001, so I'm betting the ELM 327 won't work on your '99 model, with or without the adapter cable. Commented Nov 5, 2023 at 12:16
  • 1
    Apparently it depends on the manufacture date of your vehicle which you should be able to find out via its VIN. From 01.06.1999 onwards, they used CAN for diagnostic communication and your existing cable should work (though the adapters can be unreliable at times - I retrofitted the second diagnostic line to my E39s interior OBD plug instead). For older models you'll apparently need an "ADS" diagnostic interface.
    – towe
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 9:48


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