BMW INPA software, what hardware cable is the best?


Many FTDI FT232RL based cables can be modified to work with INPA software for BMW diagnosis. And they are cheap as hell. Here list all possible INPA hardware cables.


First of all, INPA software can be downloaded free here:

Bmw inpa software freedown and setup instruction

INPA driver:

INPA software:


List of INPA cables:

BMW INPA K+DCAN cable with FT232RL chip
Ediabas ADS/OBD interface
 Non-ADS Ediabas OBDII RS232 interface
INPA + 140+2.01+2.10 4 in 1 BMW Scanner
Carsoft 6.5 interface
BMW ICOM A2+B+C emulator


Using experience:




This is a typical FTDI based interface. This is the current most used cable for INPA.

With the USB K+D CAN type cables there are a few installation steps, drivers & a little software that you need to make them work properly. This does 2001-on cars right up to & including 2011 cars (may be limited by the hookie software for cars after June 2008 on a diminishing basis as the car gets newer). This cable is a USB enabled device, again you will need to install the USB to serial drivers. However you will also need to install the K+D CAN utility, this allows you the ability to switch it from a K CAN device for pre-2007 cars (see list above) to a DCAN cable. There are two versions of this utility, a fancy GUI & a MS DOS one. I find that the MS DOS one works best.


Hera’s an image of what this cable looks like:



Ediabas ADS/OBD interface Serial Port cable


As mentioned previously the ADS interface is a different protocol, if you don’t have an ADS interface with an e36 then what you’ll be able to read with a regular OBD cable is limited. Unfortunately the ADS interface seems to be the hardest to get & most expensive of all the interfaces. It works fine on the e36, e39 & e63 (note my e63 is pre-March 2007) from my personal experience.


Suitable for e36, e34, e30

Here’s a picture of the Ediabas ADS interface:

Ediabas ADS/OBD interface


Non-ADS Serial port interface


This is a cheap interface & is readily available plus requires no modification. It works just fine on E46/E39 with either the round 20 pin connector under the bonnet or the OBD2 port in the drover’s footwell. Set up of this cable is straight forward, no drivers required.

 Ediabas OBDII Interface


INPA + 1.40+2.01+2.10 4 in 1 BMW Scanner


This is a interface contains four software of BMW scanner INPA K DCAN cable + BMW DASH E6x V2.1.0 + BMW Scanner V1.4.0 + BMW Scanner V2.10 cable. The scanner comes with INPA OBD, ADS interface and none ADS cable for all all systems (K-line and CAN-BUS) of BMW series and OBDII diagnostic system.

 INPA + 140+2.01+2.10 4 in 1


Carsoft 6.5 Interface


CarSoftware interface can be modified to work with INPA, but it is not recommended. When you first got INPA, you have to run a carsoft test to “initiate” the lead every time. What a PITA, stay away from this solution! The black serial cable below only works on OBD1 cars like pre 2001 e39 and this will work for all K CAN (e36, e39, e46, e53, e63).

carsoft 6.5 interface



BMW ICOM A2+B+C emulator


BMW ICOM Rheingold not only comes with basic ISTA-D ISTA-P diagnostic & programming software, it comes with lots of engineering software, INPA, EDIABAS, WinKFP, NCS-expert, NCS-dummy etc. So INPA is well loaded to BMW ICOM A2+B+C diagnostic system, but you need to do some configuration work. This is quite good for experts and technician.

BMW ICOM A2+B+C emulator