BMW 5 Series Owners & Service Manuals

BMW 5 Series: General information

Electronic control devices are installed in the vehicle.

Electronic control units process data they receive from vehicle sensors, self-generate or exchange with each other. Some control units are necessary for the vehicle to function safely or provide assistance during driving, for instance driver assistance systems. Furthermore, control units facilitate comfort or infotainment functions.

Information about stored or exchanged data can be requested from the manufacturer of the vehicle, in a separate booklet, for example.

Personal reference

Each vehicle is marked with a unique vehicle identification number. Depending on the country, the vehicle owner can be identified with the vehicle identification number, license plate and corresponding authorities. In addition, there are other options to track data collected in the vehicle to the driver or vehicle owner, for instance, via the ConnectedDrive account that is used.

Operating data in the vehicle

Control units process data to operate the vehicle.

For example, this includes:

  • Status messages for the vehicle and its individual components, e.g., wheel rotational speed, wheel speed, deceleration, transverse acceleration, engaged safety belt indicator.
  • Ambient conditions, e.g., temperature, rain sensor signals.

The processed data is only processed in the vehicle itself and generally volatile. The data is not stored beyond the operating period.

Electronic components, e.g. control units and ignition keys, contain components for storing technical information. Information about the vehicle condition, component usage, maintenance requirements events or faults can be stored temporarily or permanently.

This information generally records the state of a component, a module, a system, or the environment, for instance:

  • Operating states of system components, for instance, fill levels, tire inflation pressure, battery status.
  • Malfunctions and faults in important system components, for instance lights and brakes.
  • Responses by the vehicle to special situations such as airbag deployment or engagement of the driving stability control systems.
  • Information on vehicle-damaging events.

The data is required to perform the control unit functions. Furthermore, it also serves to recognize and correct malfunctions, and helps the vehicle manufacturer to optimize vehicle functions.

The majority of this data is volatile and is only processed within the vehicle itself. Only a small share of data is stored in event or fault memories based on an event.

When servicing, for instance during repairs, service processes, warranty cases, and quality assurance measures, this technical information can be read out from the vehicle together with the vehicle identification number.

A dealer's service center or another qualified service center or repair shop can read out the information.

The socket for OBD Onboard Diagnosis required by law in the vehicle is used to read out the data.

The data is collected, processed, and used by the relevant organizations in the service network.

The data documents technical conditions of the vehicle, helps with the identification of the fault, compliance with warranty obligations and quality improvement.

Furthermore, the manufacturer has product monitoring duties to meet in line with product liability law. To fulfill these duties, the vehicle manufacturer needs technical data from the vehicle.

The data from the vehicle can also be used to check customer claims for warranty and guaranty.

Fault and event memories in the vehicle can be reset when a dealer's service center or another qualified service center or repair shop performs repair or servicing work.

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