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Peake BMW Research R5 Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

OBDII tools don't work on my BMW, is the R5/FCX-3 an OBDII type tool?

Which Lights will the Peake Research R5/FCX-3 reset?

The FCX316 doesn't reset the CBS lights - what are those?

How do I know what the codes mean?

I am not a technical person, I only need the oil tool, right?

What is the difference between the R5/FCX-3 and the basic R5-A or B?

How long has Peake Research been producing the R5?

Is Peake Research a well recognized brand name?

Does my BMW have SI lights?

Does Peake Research make reset tools for other cars, like Volvo or Mercedes?

What Are SI lights and what are they trying to tell me?

Does the R5 need batteries or other special parts that wear out?

Can the R5 damage my Car?

Which lights will the Peake Research R5-A or B reset?

Which connector does my BMW have?

I have lost the code manual for my tool, how do I get a new one?

My SRS/airbag light is on, is the SRS tool a good choice for me?

Does the R5/FCX.. work on BMW motorcycles?

Will my old R5 work on my new BMW?

I have multiple cars, which tool is best for me?

I'm a mechanic and I require broad compatibility, which tool is best for me?

Your part numbers are confusing, what does -16 -U mean?

I saw the OBD connector under my dash, do I automatically require the -16 tool?

Does the R5/FCX-3.. read and reset codes on my Mini Cooper too?

I got a code with a "6" or a "b" in it, but that code does not appear in the code table.

How do I convert the two digit R5 codes to three digit decimal?

I do not understand the definition of the code shown in the manual.

Does Peake Research make an airbag/SRS tool for BMWs built prior to 1994?

If your important question does not appear above: Call us at 866-553-8116


Answers To The Above Questions:

R5/FCX-3 vs. OBDII tools:

1.) The R5/FCX-3 is not an OBDII device, it is a factory-code scanner. Meaning, it reads the full range of detailed BMW factory codes (which are the same codes the dealer has access to.) In contrast, OBDII tools use a government-mandated, generic code language, and do not read any BMW factory codes. OBDII is not inherently bad, but for BMWs and other European makes, OBDII tools suffer significant limitations. The two most common complaints about OBDII are a.) "unknown code" messages, or misleading codes that prompt unnecessary replacement of perfectly good engine components, and b.) the OBDII device would not reset the service reminder lights.

2.) Our R5/FCX-3 resets the BMW Oilservice and Inspection maintenance reminder lights. OBDII tools absolutely will not reset those, as the BMW service lights are manufacturer specific, not generic.

3.) If your BMW is a 1995 model or earlier, you will require the R5/FCX-3. As OBDII devices are simply not compatible with BMWs of that era.

 

CBS stands for "Conditions Based Service": The CBS system became standard equipment on many models in 2005, and all models made 2006 and later, and all 745's. People often confuse the Oilservice and Inspection lights with the CBS system, however, they are entirely different. Our tools will not reset the CBS maintenance lights. If you have a 2005 or later it is important to be able to tell CBS from SI. The most notable difference between the CBS system and the SI (oilservice and inspection) system is the oil change reminder:

CBS: will just say "oil" (The R5/FCX316 can not reset it)
SI: will say "oilservice" (the R5/FCX3 can reset it)

Other visible differences exist to help you tell CBS from SI: such as a more detailed listing of the maintenance that needs to be done: Where the SI system will simply say "Inspection", the CBS system will list detailed items on your dash, such as fluids, belts, etc...

 

How to get a replacement Code Book / User's Manual: Please click here to go to our manual download page.

Which Lights will the Peake Research R5/FCX-3 reset? The R5/FCX-3 code tool will reset the Check Engine light, Service Engine Soon light, the non-CBS maintenance indicator (i.e. the Oilservice and Inspection lights and the Maintenance Mileage indicator,) and it can often reset other lights by association. What that means is that there are other systems in the car that check the health of the main ECU (also called a DME), if the DME's got a problem then the light for the other system comes on too. For instance the automatic transmission light will come on when there is a sudden fault in the DME. Resetting the faults in the DME, which Also reset the Engine light, will bring the DME back to normal status and all systems monitoring it.

How do I know what the codes mean? We supply a code definition book with each R5/FCX-3, R5/SRS and R5/EMX. Our devices have a small, two digit display screen which displays the fault codes (example: tool shows "F6". Simply look up "F6" in the book to see the meaning of the code.)

 

Should I get the Oilservice reset tool or the R5/FCX-3 ( or -16) ? Most people who order the low cost Oilservice reset tool end up buying the R5/FCX-3 later. Why? Because Check Engine lights (also known as the MIL or "Service engine soon" light) are simply unavoidable in BMWs. And unless you have the R5/FCX-3 you are put in the position of relying on or paying a third party to read the codes; usually at a cost of about $100, which happens to be the price difference between the Oilservice tool and the R5/FCX-3! Sometimes you find out that the MIL was on for nothing more than a loose gas cap. But, when faced with a large, hard to understand repair bill and overly technical explanation, it becomes clear that the extra money for the R5/FCX-3 would have been money well spent. Scan tools are popular for a good reason! People who think that code scanning is too technical have not tried the R5/FCX-3 - it is fool proof - using one compares in difficulty to checking your oil!

And for the shop techs reading this, you probably already know that if you can not read a customers codes, they will be forced into your competitor's shop.

 

What is the difference between the R5/A or R5/B and the R5/FCX-3? The R5/A or R5/B only resets the service reminder lights known as Oilservice and Inspection, and were designed to be compatible only up to 1999. The R5/FCX-3 is far more capable and has compatibility past 1999. Of course the R5/FCX-3 will reset the Oilservice and Inspection (also known as the non-CBS maintenence lights), but its main strength is its ability to read and display all engine fault codes, and reset the "Check Engine" and "Service Engine Soon" lights. Please click here to learn why most people buy the R5/FCX-3 instead of the R5/A or R5/B.

Another important difference is that The R5/B and R5/A are not available in configurations that go past year 2000. So if your car was made 2000 or later, you will need the R5/FCX-3.

How long has Peake Research been in business? Peake Research Corporation has been producing and selling electronic tools for BMWs since May of 1989.

 

Is Peake Research a well recognized brand name? The high quality and low cost of the Peake Research R5 reset tool has gained us recognition from all of the leading service manual publishers. The R5 is shown in use in the Robert Bentley, and Haynes service manuals and is the first choice recommendation of service manual publishers Chilton's and Mitchell's. We are also featured in the popular All-Data CD BMW repair database. Many BMW dealerships use our product and refer customers to us.

 

Does my BMW have Service Lights? The Service Interval lights ("SI" Lights) were introduced in 1982 on the various German models. They were first seen in the US models in 1984. If your BMW was built 1984 or later, it has SI lights. SI lights come in varying forms, some with countdown leds, some with a numeric countdown. Our tools work on all types of BMW service reminder systems, however our less costly R5/B was not designed to work on models past 1999, for those cars you will need the R5/FCX. See our technical explanation of the BMW SI lights.

 

Does Peake Research make reset tools for other cars, like Volvo or Mercedes? We specialize in BMW and the late model Mini Cooper. At this time we do not offer any products capable of resetting other vehicles.

 

Does the R5 need batteries or other special parts that wear out? No, none of our tools have replaceable parts or batteries. It sources it's power from the car's electrical system as soon as it is plugged in.

 

Can the R5 damage my Car? No. Unlike low quality reset tools, our product is made to fit into only one spot in your engine compartment. It can not be plugged in to the wrong place and can not be plugged in wrong. To further assure proper and safe operation we test each and every unit we make. Every unit produced since 1989 has been fully tested prior to shipping.

 

What lights will the Peake Research R5/A, and R5/B reset? The R5 reset tool will reset the Oilservice and Inspection, service reminder lights.

 

Is the R5/SRS; a good choice for me? That depends on your problem. When you consider the value of knowing what is wrong with your car before taking it in for a repair, the R5/SRS is always a good value. But if you are considering performing your own SRS system repairs, the extent of the repairs should play a role in your decision. In general, post-accident SRS system repairs are not DIY procedures, and are best left to people with proper tooling and training, where minor events such as an SRS light caused by swapping in a racing seat for a track day, are DIY procedures.

 

BMW Motorcycles: Unfortunately, we do not offer a scan and reset tool for BMW motorcycles.

 

Will my old FCX tool work on my new car? That depends on the new car. If you have an R5/FCX (built and sold before August 2003) it is very unlikely that it will work on any BMW built past 2000. If you have the old R5/FCX-II, and your car is 2002 or older, it is possible that the AB03 adaptor will adapt the tool. In any of these scenarios it is best to contact us before purchase.

 

I have multiple cars, which tool is best for me? You need the mechanics R5/FCX-3-U tool, see below

 

I'm a mechanic and I require broad compatibility, which tool is best for me? Mechanics, and people with more than one BMW require an adaptor along with a tool. We sell more R5/FCX-3-U tools to mechanics than anything else. The -U designation indicates that it is a R5/FCX-3 with an AB03 adaptor. The R5/FCX-3 covers 1987 to roughly mid-2000, and the adaptor takes the R5/FCX-3 past 2000. The adaptor works in the same way with the SRS tool.

 

Your part numbers are confusing; what does -16 and -U mean? -16 came from the 16 pin OBDII connector located under or near your dash board. If a tool does not have the -16 designation, that means it plugs into the 15 or 20 pin connector under the hood. -U means "universal" indicating that part number (e.g. R5/FCX-3-U) is a tool, such as the R5/FCX-3, plus the AB03 adaptor, which provides a broad "universal" level of compatibility.

I saw the OBD connector under my dash; do I automatically require the FCX3 ending in "-16"? No. All BMWs built 1996 to roughly mid year 2000 have both the OBD connector AND the 20 pin, under-hood BMW connector. The rule here is, that if you have the connector under the hood, you must use the tool that plugs in under the hood. Otherwise, the tool with the OBD plug will plug in and power up, but you will discover that you can not do a service light reset, or in the case of the SRS tool, you will not be able to read or reset SRS codes. If your car is built in or between the years 2000 and 2003, check under your hood to see if your have the round 20 pin connector.

How do I convert the two digit, R5 codes to the three digit dealer codes? The R5 and the factory tool read the exact same codes. The difference is the display size - they use a large LCD screen - we use a small two-digit led screen. To see a numeric, hexadecimal to decimal conversion table, click here.

Does the R5/FCX.. read and reset codes on my Mini Cooper too? The R5/EMX is the proper tool for your Mini Cooper, unfortunately the R5/FCX.. will not work on your Mini, as it is made specifically for BMWs only.

 

I got a code with a "6" it, but that code does not appear in the code table. Your are looking at a "b" not a "6". You know it is a six if the top horizontal segment is lit. See explanation and picture in the manual that came with the tool.

 

I do not understand the definition of the code shown in the manual. Most of the definitions in the manual are straight forward and self explanatory, but on occasion you will get a code that is a little more technical than you are used to, or uses abbreviations that are unobvious. For the abbreviations please refer to the glossary in the back of the tool manual, most of the strange abbreviations are explained there. As for highly technical codes, we suggest you purchase a repair manual for the car, or perhaps buy the factory CD roms from BMW.

 

Does Peake Research make an airbag/SRS tool for BMWs built prior to 1994? Unfortunately, we do not offer an SRS tool for BMWs made prior to 1994.

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