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Posted by Elizabeth Davis on

BMW DIS / SSS Diagnostic Interface Options

The BMW GT1 / BMW DIS V57 was originally designed to use a specialist multiplexed BMW Interface often referred to as the BMW Yellow Head or BMW Orange head interface. These, just like the original BMW GT1 Factory Systems are now very expensive and very rare to source. There are a few Chinese based companies who sell copies of the BMW GT1 Yellow and Orange diagnostic heads, but even these can cost upwards of £200 and being cloned designs, there have been many reports relating to poor quality products and because they generally originate from Asia, there carries the risk of very little chance of a refund or getting any technical support if things go wrong or the interface does not work correctly – if it works at all.

For this reason, we sell a complete BMW DIS / SSS V32 software package which consist of a DVD Disc set and contains simple, easy to follow instructions which enable the software to be installed on a standard laptop and is already pre-modified to work with either the EDIABAS / ADS Interface or the  K+D-Can interface – both of which cost a fraction of the price of the Yellow or Orange head factory interface, and are also far easier to find and buy online.

Next, we describe each type of Bmw Interface and advise which type will be the one which is the most suitable option for the various BMW Models. It is very important that you carefully select the correct interface cable for the vehicle(s) that you are intending to use the diagnostic software with, otherwise you will get communication errors. 


This is possibly the most common and popular aftermarket interface for 2000 – 2005 BMW Models, such as the E46, E85, E53 etc, it will also work with Early Mini vehicles manufactured to 2005, including the R50, R52 and R53.

Originally designed for use on the EDIABAS system (which runs the main DIS / SSS platform), it is the first choice of the home mechanic for its ease of use as it is completely “plug and play” and requires no additional software drivers or port configuration.

Just like the early ADS Interface above, The EDIABAS OBD interface requires a serial RS232 9 pin ‘D’ connector to plug into the laptop, so, if using this interface you will need to ensure that the laptop on which you will be using  the Diagnostic Software, has a serial port fitted.  Serial ports were generally fitted to older IBM , DELL and Toshiba laptops.

The full list of BMW models which are compatible with the interface are:-

– BMW 1 Series E87
– BMW 3 Series E30 E36 E46 E83 and some pre 2006 E90 models
– BMW 5 Series E34 E39 E53 and some pre 2006 E60 E61 models
– BMW 6 Series E63 E64
– BMW 7 Series E38 E65 E66
– BMW 8 Series E31 E52
– BMW X Series E53
– BMW Z Series E85 E52
– MINI Series R50 R52 R53


BMW K+ D-CAN Diagnostic Interface

The Bmw K+D-CAN Interface is a slightly more complex interface protocol which is designed to work with newer, late model Bmw vehicles, which use a faster diagnostic protocol known as D-Can (also known in Automotive Electronics as ‘Can-Bus’).

Being a much newer protocol, this interface also uses a standard USB style connector to attach to the laptop, and so it is more suited to those using a newer laptop which only has USB ports.

The  K+D-Can interface, as its name suggests, is also ‘backwards compatible’ with most 2001 – 2005 K-line equipped vehicles, which would normally use the older EDIABAS OBDII interface. However an additional connector adapter is required for when using this cable with 2001 – 2005 vehicles, although some cable have a built in switch which links the pins 7 & 8 together, and so will not require the adaptor when used with any BMW which has the 16 pin OBD Socket.

However a K+D-CAN interface is the only interface which can be used by owners of  BMW Vehicles manufactured after 2005 as these newer cars will not work with any of the previous interface cables.

D-Can only equipped vehicles include:-

  • E60, E61 Bmw models since 2007+
  • E83 Bmw models since 2006
  • E81, E87 Bmw models since 2007+
  • E90, E91, E92, E93 Bmw Models since 2007
  • E70 (new Bmw X5)
  • R56 (new MINI)

Because of its dual compatibility, the K+D-CAN interface should also be considered if more than one vehicle is likely to be tested, such as in a commercial garage or workshop environment as this one, multi platform interface can test both the K-Line (2001 – 2005 vehicles) as well as the newer D-Can vehicles (2006 to 2017)

The procedure for setting up the K+D-CAN interface is included in our BMW DIS & SSS Software package 

Important Note:- There are some K+D-Can cable interfaces flooding onto the market which use a substandard / faulty Chinese FTDI chipset, these interfaces will not connect to the vehicle, and will give constant communication errors. Many of these interface cables can be identified by the presence of a white PCB, viewed from inside the translucent case shell at the connector end. So it is important to check with the vendor, that the interface cable you are about to purchase is the type which has a Green PCB, and not a White PCB.

Finally, here is a quick guide as to which interface to choose

* If your vehicle has a round 20 pin connector in the engine bay (under the hood), you will need the serial ADS Interface – this is the only working option for this vehicle.

* If your vehicle has a rectangular 16 pin connector, and was built before 2005, you can use either the Serial Ediabas Interface or the USB K+D-Can interface

* If your vehicle was built between 2005 and 2009 then you will need to purchase the K+D-Can interface

If you are in any doubt as to which diagnostic interface to purchase, then assuming that your vehicle has an oblong 16 pin connector in the cabin of the vehicle and no round connector in the engine area, then the my advice is to buy a Switchable K+D-can interface.

Still confused about which Bmw diagnostic interface to buy?. No Problem!, simply use the Enquiry Form, and send us a message for advice on which interface to purchase. Please make sure that you also tell us the Bmw Model & Chassis Type (e.g e46 320i, E90 335i, X3 3.0i etc) & the Factory Build Date of the car which you will be using the software with.



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