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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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I'm creating this thread as a tool to explain the various menus and coding options with PA Soft 1.4. If you want to buy a PA Soft 1.4 cable with software, look here. If you are seeking advice on installing the drivers and software, look in this thread. Please keep in mind that your car came with certain safety features in place and there may be risks associated with disabling or modifying these features! Check out this tutorial below from SolidJake for an overview of PA Soft 1.4 and its functionality.

How to use PA Soft / BMW Scanner 1.4 at a glance

Booting into PA Soft 1.4 for the first time:

Step 1: With the car off, connect your PA Soft cable to the OBDII port and the computer.

Step 2: Double click the "BMWScan140" icon to open the program. Your shortcut may say something else, but it should look like this upon opening:

Step 3: Switch ON ignition and press "Continue". Now the program will think and display this screen:

This is the identification process. You can disable this at startup in the settings (I'll go over this later). IKE indicates the instrument cluster and LCM indicates the light control module.

Step 4: Click "close" to arrive at the main PA Soft screen.

Navigating the Menus:

This is your homepage for navigating PA Soft 1.4. Everything you see on the left sidebar (Car ident, Page 1...) can be accessed through the "Scanner" button on top. All of your cars modules (DME, EGS...) can be accessed through "Units". "View Log" will show you the log of your current session (this can be disabled in settings). I've never used "Support" and "Help".

Car ident:
This will run the car identification process, same as it did upon startup.​
Page 1:
This is the page you are on, displaying the list beginning with DME.​
Page 2:

Page 3:

This will scan all modules for errors. You can scan individual modules or look at individual errors by going into the module of your choice.​

Clear DTC:
This attempts to clear all errors.​

From this menu you can see the status of the scanner and drivers. You can also turn off car identification at startup (it isn't necessary to identify every time, as each module will read settings before you can change them), and disable the log saving feature.​


I won't be including every module because a) my car doesn't have them all and b) the menus in many of the modules are similar and therefore redundant. If I skip a module, the information within is probably self-explanatory. You can access the modules from the "Units" menu at the top or by double clicking the name of each module in the list.

This menu contains many delicate settings. I strongly urge you NOT to change anything herein unless you are positive you know what you are doing.​

Read memory:
I have no idea what this does. All I know is it takes about 20 minutes and compiles a .bin file composed of hexadecimal lines.​

This allows you to read and clear present and past errors.​

Live data:
This is a fun one. There are two screens of live data. To get to page 2 you will click "+ data group". The options presented here are fairly self-explanatory.​

This menu gives you the option to write the odometer (it's a clear odometer:yes/no option) and reset EWS-DME adaptations. Resetting the adaptations will come in handy if you flash a new DME in the future (EU2/EU3/EU4, custom tunes done with WinkFP).​

Internal HEX-Editor:
As stated earlier, I wouldn't tinker with the DME values unless you know what you are doing. I'll go over the HEX-editor functionality later for two easy tweaks to the instrument cluster.​

This is your alarm/antitheft menu.​

Coding data:
Clicking this will bring up a dialogue with three options. If you click on "Settings and manufacturer data" it will allow you to select your gearbox type. If you drive a manual you can disable the clutch switch by selecting "manual gearbox".​

This menu allows you to see the status of keys coded to your BMW. Disabling a key can be useful if you somehow lose one, or if one is unaccounted for from a previous owner.​

This is your airbag and seatbelt system. Clearing the errors in here can be useful if you accidentally disconnected an airbag with the battery still on during a project, causing an airbag light.​

Live data:
This will show information about all airbags and restraints.​

Coding data:
This will bring up a dialogue with four options. The third option will be "equipment". If you choose this, you will be able to enable/disable various SRS features. I have not gone deep into these options.​

Under this menu you can select "Crash data". In the following menu is the option to read or clear the "crash data buffer". This is uncharted territory for me.​

This is your instrument cluster. From here I will show you how to enable/disable chimes and key features, adjust your speedometer and temperature gauge for accuracy and more.​

Read/Write EEPROM:
These options allow you to read the current settings on your cluster and write edited settings back on to your cluster. When you read the settings an IKE_wr.bin file will automatically be saved to your log. Take note of this file's location, as it will be your stock baseline you come back to in the event you screw something up later on. In the event that this happens you will use the "open" button in the Internal HEX-Editor settings below to open your stock file, and you will then use the "Write EEPROM" button to restore your cluster to its original settings.​

You will use the Internal HEX-Editor if you intend to modify your temperature gauge or speedometer (below). When you read your EEPROM the blank grey area will be populated with hexadecimal values as seen above. You will then be able to modify those values as need be. Keep in mind that the read/write buttons do exactly that, they read the current settings off of your cluster, and write whatever is currently displayed as new settings. The four icons in the Internal HEX-Editor are "open", "save", "search" and "search". Open/save will allow you to populate the hexadecimal editor with a set of settings saved somewhere as a .bin file (IKE_wr.bin), and save anything that is currently in the hexadecimal editor as a .bin file. Keep in mind that open/save functions independently of read/write, it's a good idea to keep track of the different versions of your EEPROM if you are changing settings. I don't know why there are two search buttons, but they both seem to do the same thing. Clicking either one will allow you to search for hexadecimal strings, a handy feature when you're looking to change an existing string as seen below.​

Temperature Gauge Mod:
Credit goes to TerraPhantm, Silbervogel and Mr.Philidelphia for this excellent writeup on modifying the temperature gauge parameters. From the factory our E46 temperature gauges are set to rest at twelve o clock when the coolant temperature is anywhere from 75C - 115C. Seeing as our cars operate optimally at 95C - 97C (give or take depending on outside temperature and other variables), this stock buffer is WAY too vague. The guide linked above will show you how to modify your temperature gauge to warn you in advance of overheating, a common cause of engine failure in our cars.​

Speedometer Mod:
Once again credit goes to TerraPhantm for this how-to. Most cars are set from the factory with an optimistic speedometer. The speed shown on the E46 non-M cars is approximately 5.7% optimistic (8.9% on the M3). This guide will allow you to set your speedometer so that it is dead on. With the stock settings my gauge used to display 74 when I was going 70, it is now accurate to within 1mph at up to 70+. Keep in mind that tire diameter, wear and pressure will affect this to some extent.​

Coding data:
Click "Recoding" to access various features of your instrument cluster. The "Standards" menu is self-explanatory. I did not change anything in "Engine" or "Gearbox". I don't know yet what changing the "Distance/speed values" does. For the sake of simplicity, I'm omitting any toggles I'm not familiar with below.​

Check/control, warnings:
C/C outside temperature: Unchecking this will disable the feature where the gauge flashes and beeps if the temperature drops below 37F.
Light on warning: I don't know what this does, but I'm curious. PM me if you have any ideas!​

Other options:
Belt lock contact: Unchecking this will disable your seatbelt light.​
RDC: Unchecking this will disable your TPMS light. Extremely handy if you intend to use aftermarket or steel rims without buying $250 worth of sensors.​

Service Intervals (SIA):
Litres: This corresponds to the number of litres of gas consumed before between inspection intervals. I haven't tinkered with this much since I'm pretty stringent about my maintenance anyhow.​
Kilometres: this corresponds to the kilometres driven between oil change prompts. I changed mine to 12500km, which is about 7500 miles.​
Min time/litres to reset: There are some restrictions on how small these numbers can be. I wouldn't worry about them unless you have some reason to reset your service intervals frequently.​
Display parameters: I believe this corresponds to the "Time, days" setting above. Since I want my interval reminders to be as minimal as possible, I selected "without time inspection". I'm still looking for a way to entirely disable service reminders.​

Acoustic warnings:
My E46 only has the "piezo" sound, the warnings are silent if I set them to "gong".​
Key in lock warning: This will disable the key chime.​
Belt lock contact warning: This will disable the seatbelt warning chime.​
Out. temperature warning: To my surprise, this did not disable the beep that warns of temperatures below 37F. This is why I disabled the "C/C outside temperature" option above.​
RDC warning: I haven't tested it, but I think it's safe to assume this will mute the chime associated with any TPMS warnings. Useful in combination with the "RDC" option above if you're deleting your sensors.​
Parking brake/Reversing gear/ASC warning: These all sound self-explanatory, but I can't recall my car making any noise with any of these three functions. Input on this is welcome!​
Speed limit warning: Once again, no idea what this does, but I would love to know. Perhaps it's a euro feature?​

Service intervals: I presume this screen corresponds to the current intervals remaining until next inspection and oil change. It's slightly confusing because it only shows "Litres, current" and nothing about kilometres. I haven't been successful in resetting my intervals with the buttons on the right. This menu doesn't interest me much, but I would be open to input on it's functionality.

This is your light control module. In here you can access the menu by selecting "Coding data" then "Light coding".​

Cold/Hot check, BC message, PWM value:
This is uncharted territory for me. I know this has some functionality with how your car checks for bad lights and that some people have had luck disabling certain checks with aftermarket lights that throw errors, e.g. LED tails.​

Lighting options
There many options here, but the only ones that work on my car are "Daytime running light US/turn sign./turn sign. 2.​

This is your Central Body Electronic module. From here you can select "Coding data" then "Recoding" to tinker with window, locking and alarm functions.​

Equipment and options:
These indicate options on your vehicle. This menu can come in handy if you are retrofitting or wish to disable any of these options.​

Convenient opening/locking:
By default "Locking (remote control) will be unchecked. Checking this option will enable you to roll your windows/sunroof up with the key fob.​

Central locking functions:
"Mechanical lock" indicates the physical door keyhole and "Remote control, key 1-4" correspond to available key fobs. Selecting "No" will unlock all doors at once. "Selective" will unlock the drivers door first, and all other doors with a subsequent unlock command. "Entr. aid" will roll down the drivers window when unlocking the doors, a feature I don't quite understand.​

Automatic locking:
From here you can choose whether you want automatic locking all the time, or just with certain keys. "After starting (lock) will make automatic locking the default regardless of keys. "Terminal R" indicates reverse, and will lock the doors upon reversing, where all other options will lock the doors at a certain speed.​

Antitheft system (DWA):
This is where you can enable/disable the factory alarm system, or just individual components. This is useful if you're retrofitting an OEM alarm system, or installing an aftermarket system in place of the OEM system. "DWA interior sensor, rear" only corresponds to convertible models.​
Acknowledgement: You can select your car's behavior upon arming/disarming here (associated with locking/unlocking). For some reason I only had partial functionality of the acoustic/optical arming/disarming when I checked "Arming, doors closed- acoustic/optical", for this reason I left them unchecked and everything works great. My car chirps and flashes as it's supposed to.

You can access the menu for your radio through "Coding data" then "Recoding". From here you can choose if you want RDS (text display) and AF (automatic tuning) enabled. You can also opt to have your radio settings memorized with different keys. I don't know what the option for "REG (0..4):" does, but I would be interested to hear any ideas!​

This concludes my tutorial on PA Soft 1.4!

I'll update this thread with new information as I come across it. If you have any questions, or see anything out of place, please speak up! I hope this has been helpful and answers some of the questions on the basic functions of PA Soft 1.4.

Thank you for reading!

1,472 Posts
Nice thread; will be a great resource for others. :thumbup:

Below are some other threads/posts that people may also be interested in after coming across this one.

Popular places to buy the BMW Scanner for around $20:

My BMW Scanner came with a broken/blank/missing disk. How can I download online/verify a legitimate version?

How do I install P.A. Soft on a Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit machine?
Post #1: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=942966
Post #7: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/foru...1-4-0-on-Win-7-64-bit&p=23146094#post23146094


Haven***8217;t seen this mentioned anywhere, and it seems an appropriate place to share a fun fact. Between the hours of hours of 2am and 6am, P.A. Soft***8217;s BMW Scanner will politely ask if there aren***8217;t other things you should be doing, changing the title bar to include, "Maybe it's time to sleep?" :rofl: Doesn't have an impact on the program***8217;s functionality, but a fun "Easter egg" nonetheless.



342 Posts
This is great! Thank you

177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nice thread. I have a question though: when I try to go in and change the settings for my mirrors (because I can't get them to tilt down when I engage reverse), those options are grayed out as well as the locking conditions section of the ZKE coding window.
I'm not sure why your locking conditions would be greyed out, can you send me a screenshot sometime?

As for the mirrors tilting in reverse, I don't think that's a setting in PA Soft 1.4. I believe the mirrors only tilt if you have memory mirrors. Is the mirror adjusting switch to the left when you're trying this?

2,975 Posts
I'm not sure why your locking conditions would be greyed out, can you send me a screenshot sometime?

As for the mirrors tilting in reverse, I don't think that's a setting in PA Soft 1.4. I believe the mirrors only tilt if you have memory mirrors. Is the mirror adjusting switch to the left when you're trying this?
My passenger-side mirror tilts down when I engage reverse, or at least half the time. It doesn't tilt back up either and I always try to set it at the right angle and program it back into the seat memory.

// Quandt AG (Retired) //
3,580 Posts
Nice job Nallman. To answer your question about this section from your prior post:

Instead of disabling useful hot or cold light bulb checks (which are either when the car is running or not) and to accommodate various technologies or modded lights you can modify the PWM values to eliminate LCM errors & cluster light warnings.

For example replacing the stock bulbs in the corner lights (labelled as front turn signals) with LED bulbs will normally activate an LCM error (& cluster warning light) as the resistance value will not match the expected result.

Changing the factory PWM value (20) to a more suitable value for LED (I.e. 46) will allow a cold/hot check to occur without error.

You may need to try different values based upon the specific type of bulb you are installing.

Edit: Should also mention the BC message check box is for other models (I.e. E53, E70 etc) that display a text error line(s) that you can scroll through using the Stalk and they display between two sentinels [>error here<] on the cluster for errors in memory) You can turn off the checks you do not wish to have displayed on the cluster.


2,975 Posts
Here's a little tip for those who didn't know: if you're doing an HID retrofit, you can set the car to xenon options through PA Soft and that will bypass the use of a canbus. My second canbus went bad and because the car is coded to think it had xenons from the factory, I plugged it in without the canbus, my light turned on fine, and I don't have a light-out error.

Premium Member
28,878 Posts
There is something with PA Soft and Live DME data.

I have tried using PA Soft on a number of cars and Live DME take is always greyed out and the button is not active.

I believe there are only some DME's that PA Soft can read Live DME data on.

So I would like to know what cars - year, model and DME people are able to get Live DME data for with PA Soft.

As useful as the Live DME data may be using PA Soft, also note that a generic OBDII that supports Live/Realtime data is a far more useful tool than PA Soft for drivability issues. Smart phone/tablet Apps are far more useful for drivability at the end of the day.

Premium Member
28,878 Posts
I cannot get Live Data on my 2006 330cic, nor on my 2003 E39 M5.

I also recall looking at a few other E46 that I could not get Live Data on either.

I might try to check on any other E46 that I look at in the future, I have just not even bothered to even try to look for Live Data with PA Soft since I have not good luck with it in the past.

Glad I was not dreaming about this one.
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