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Advanced Diagnostics
Advanced Diagnostics
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Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:05
Advanced diagnostics with the Car Kracker 3

You can use the Car Kracker 3 to read advanced diagnostics in your car - you can read and clear detailed error logs for every device in the car, actuate solenoids and valves, and read real-time data  Here's a demo of INPA, one of the more popular tools;

Other programs are available, as well.  Here's how to do it;

Set up the Car Kracker

In the Kustomizer, begin by setting the default boot mode to 'Diagnostics'


Connect to your car

The trunk connection lets you connect to most computers on the car, but not the engine or transmission. If you need to connect to the Engine or Transmission, you'll need to connect to the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port.

There are 3 bus connections on the Car Kracker, they're marked on the circuit board D (Data), + (Power) and - (Ground);

With some spare wire, connect these to your car's OBD port.  Older cars have a DLC (Pac-Man) style connector under the hood.  Cars made after 2001 have an OBD port under the steering wheel, above the driver's feet.  Here are the connections;

(Click to Enlarge)

Again, it's only necessary to connect to the OBD port for Engine / Transmission diagnostics.  You'll also need your computer to connect to the Kracker;


Hardware setup is all done.  Now on to your software choices;

Software Options


NavCoder is designed mostly for setting / reading accessory options (Radio, A/C, Lights) — you'll use it while connected to the trunk.  It's not as powerful as other programs, but it's very easy to use, especially for setting Radio/Nav options and other customizations.


INPA is my favorite, it's an internal program used by BMW to do vehicle production testing, and has a simple, fast interface.  INPA also includes NCSexpert, which we'll use to set car customizations later on.

To set up INPA, begin by downloading it (600MB) and unpacking the zip to a new folder.  Start setup by double clicking on Programminstallation\setup.exe. 

If you're using Windows 7, before you run setup.exe, select Properties >> Compatibility and set 'Run this program in compatibility mode' >> 'Windows XP SP 3';


You want to set the hardware interface to STD:OBD, the only other setup question you need to pay attention to is the port settings;

inpa1Select the Car Kracker's Com port, and check ''USB-to-serial adapter'.  Once the setup completes, reboot your computer.

After your computer reboots, run  \Referenz.2005\INSTALL\Instprog.exe.  This will update your installation with the necessary scripts for your car.  NOTE: Instprog.exe can't be within a folder that has a space in its name.  c:\users\John Doe\INPA won't work.  Copy the referenz.2005 directory to a folder without spaces, like c:\users\docs\INPA.

On the first screen, just click 'OK', and select English as the install language.


Select BMW Group Recertification Programs UK and click OK;


Finally, select Update / Complete on each item;


All done!  Plug your Car Kracker into your car and open INPA(_.IPO). default install; C:\EC-APPS\INPA\BIN\INPALOAD.exe. Your ignition has to be on to read Transmission / Engine data. 


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