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VEHICLES IN THE CASTROL WORKSHOP. REPAIR AND DIAGNOSTICS OF NEW AND UNDER WARRANTY VEHICLES, MAINTAINING THE STANDARDS OF AUTHORISED BMW AND MINI SERVICE STATIONS

At present, full diagnostics of new or under warranty vehicles is a major challenge for independent workshops. It is becoming more and more difficult to find a universal diagnostic tool that enables comprehensive support for all functions, parameterisation, adjustments and adaptations in a given brand. The constant development of technology means that the functions and possibilities are still increasing, and many problems are solved by updating ECUs.The solution to these problems is the use of the SAE J2534 standard, the so-called Pass Thru, i.e. the ability to connect online by using a universal VCI diagnostic tester (compliant with this standard) with the vehicle via the manufacturer’s platform. BMW provides its registered users with the possibility of using diagnostics, programming ECUs using the ISTA software and provides service documentation using the AIR (Aftersales Information Research) application, additionally enabling you to make entries of performed inspections to KaSIO, i.e. the Digital Service Book. This article will show you the registration process, account setup and how to navigate through the applications on the BMW AOS portal. The access purchase costs presented below were valid as of the date of writing this article.
1. Registration on the BMW AOS portal
In order to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the BMW and Mini car manufacturer, you must first register on the AOS (Aftersales Online System) portal. The registration process is presented on the example of a workshop in Poland. The details of the requirements and registration process may vary from country to country, so be sure to strictly follow the instructions.
Fig. 1. Start page of the BMW AOS portal
Fig. 1. Start page of the BMW AOS portal  
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/
In order to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the BMW and Mini car manufacturer, you must first register on the AOS (Aftersales Online System) portal. The registration process is presented on the example of a workshop in Poland. The details of the requirements and registration process may vary from country to country, so be sure to strictly follow the instructions.First of all, in order to access the platform, you must complete the basic registration process. After selecting “Register Now” from the BMW AOS portal home page, the registration form page will be loaded. Despite the selection of the Polish language in the upper right-hand corner of the page, the description of the registration fields remains in English. In the first drop-down field, select the type of business you run. In this case, select “Independent workshop/dealer”, i.e. an independent workshop (NOTE! – when registering as a workshop, you cannot make a mistake and select an independent motorcycle workshop “Independent motorcycle workshop/motorcycle dealer”) (Fig. 2), after which another selection field will automatically be displayed, in which you should select the country (Fig. 3) where the workshop operates. The next registration fields will be displayed.
Fig. 2. First step of the registration process
Fig. 2. First step of the registration process
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]
Fig. 3. Second step of the registration process
Fig. 3. Second step of the registration process
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]

The next step is to provide the details of the workshop applying for access to the BMW/Mini platform (Figs. 4,5). In this step you should specify:
a) Name and legal form – full name of the company, i.e. the one provided during official registration of the company (recorded in CEIDG [Centralna Ewidencja i Informacja o Działalności Gospodarczej, Polish Central Register and Information on Economic Activity] or KRS [Krajowy Rejestr Sądowy, National Court Register] – in the case of Poland).

b) Street address – street and number from the address of the workshop (in accordance with CEIDG or KRS).

c) Post code and town – post code and town of the workshop (in accordance with CEIDG or KRS).After filling in the above data, additional fields “Billing address in English language” will be displayed – contact details in English, in which you should re-enter the workshop address.d) In the NIP [Tax Identification Number] field, enter the European VAT Number* – it will be checked electronically (comparison of the registered company name with the one entered in the form).*European VAT number (i.e. NIP [Tax Identification Number] number starting with the abbreviation of the country, e.g. PL – in the case of Poland), which can be obtained from the Tax Office (according to the law in force in Poland, in any other EU country this authority may be different) and checked on the website of the European Commission, in the confirmation of the VAT number (VIES) tab. Providing a European VAT number will cause that when shopping, no French tax will be added, and the purchase amount will be charged with 0% VAT.e) In the next field “Phone number” – you can enter your contact phone number – remember to enter the country code, in this case +48... (this field is optional).

Fig. 4. Third step of the registration process
Fig. 4. Third step of the registration process
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]
In the “Attach file” field, upload a file from your computer in the form of a photo in .png format or a document in .pdf format with data confirming that the registered company is an active vehicle repair workshop (Fig. 5). In the case of Poland, such a document is a printout from CEiDG or KRS. In the event that the uploaded files are insufficient, BMW may request additional documents during the verification process
Fig. 5. Fourth step of the registration process
Fig. 5. Fourth step of the registration process
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]

Subsequently, in the “Details about legal representative” tab (Fig. 6):

a) Select the title from the drop-down field, and then enter the Name and Surname of the person who will be the data controller on the AOS portal in the fields below.

b) The language and time zone fields will be selected automatically.

c) In the “E-mail” field, enter your e-mail address. It is recommended to provide an e-mail address with the first name initial or first name and surname (e.g. j.kowalski@..., e-mail domain is not important). 

d) In the “Password” field, enter the password you created, and repeat it in the next field. Please note that the password must include:

  • between 8 and 99 characters
  • 3 of the rules below

i. Must contain a number

ii. Must contain a lowercase letter

iii. Must contain an uppercase letter

iv. Must contain one of the special characters 

 

When filling in the above fields (except for the password field), it is forbidden to use the following special characters: <, >, /, , ", ;, , =, #, *, $, % 

Next, you should read and confirm with the checkbox the rules regarding the use of the platform, technical requirements and information regarding data processing. Once completed, send the registration form using the “Send registration” button.

Fig. 6. Fifth step of the registration process
Fig. 6. Fifth step of the registration process
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]
When the registration is complete, a message will be displayed confirming that the registration is correct (Fig. 7). Next, an account activation link will be sent to the e-mail address provided during the registration process (the link is valid for 48 hours – if the link expires, you should repeat the registration). If you do not receive an e-mail within a few minutes of registering, please check your SPAM folder or contact technical support. The registration confirmation link will be sent after the company has been verified by the system.
Fig. 7. Confirmation of registration
Fig. 7. Confirmation of registration
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]
2. Login to and use of the BMW AOS portal
Login is done by using the “Already registered? Go to Login” button on the home screen of the BMW AOS Portal. Then the page goes to the login window (Fig. 8), where you must enter your login details (e-mail address and password set up during registration).
Fig. 8. BMW AOS portal login page
Fig. 8. BMW AOS portal login page
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]

After logging in to the BMW AOS portal (Fig. 9), the home page is displayed, by default on the “Start” tab. The following tabs can be found at the top of the page:

1. Start – in this tab, you can manage the account (e.g. change data, purchase tickets, or check current tickets).

2. Applications – in this tab there are paid and free applications for BMW/Mini cars (they will be described later in the article):

 

a. AIR (Aftersales Information Research) – application containing technical information on BMW/Mini cars (paid application)

b. BMW ASE (BMW Assistant for Service Events) – application that allows you to work as roadside assistance for BMW cars (paid application, requires RMI [Repair and Maintenance Information] – BMW authorisation)

c. Dealership Cockpit – application for operating the BMW ConnectedDrive system and updating services in the vehicle (free application, requires RMI – BMW authorisation)

d. Connected RMI Services Administration – application that allows you to register your company as a workshop authorised by BMW – administration portal (free application)

e. ECU validation – application that allows validation (assignment) of ECUs after their replacement, when required by ISTA [Integrated Service Technical Application] (free application)

f. EPC (Electronic Parts Catalogue) – (free application)

g. Required emissions test data – application that allows you to check the emission standards for each car model of the BMW group (free application)

h. Commercial equipment catalogue – application that allows you to check and purchase special tools for repairing cars of the BMW group (free application)

i. Navigation map update – application allows you to update maps in the navigation of BMW group cars (free application)

j. IRAP Next – application enabling remote technical support (free application, technical support inquiry required)

k. ISTA – application that allows updating, programming and diagnostics of ECUs in BMW group cars (paid application, the ability to check the operation of the software free of charge)

l. ISTA/P – application for programming ECUs (paid application, the ability to check the operation of the software free of charge)

m. BMW KaSIO – application that allows you to make entries from inspections or repairs to the Digital Service Book (free application)

n. PTI [Periodical Technical Inspection] Data – application with technical data enabling the performance of the main test in accordance with the EC 2014/45 standard (paid application)

o. RDC Tool – application that allows you to operate the original BMW device for the TPMS [Tyre Pressure Monitoring System] system (free application)

 

3. Service – the tab contains applications that can be used to download e.g. RDE data, emergency cards, etc.

4. Assistance – the tab contains applications that can be used to contact the support department and technical support.

5. CEN navigation – the tab contains information on the operation of the portal and applications on the BMW AOS portal

Fig. 9. BMW AOS after logging in
Fig. 9. BMW AOS after logging in  
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/
In order to purchase tickets for all paid features and applications on the AOS portal, e.g.: AIR, ISTA, ISTA/P, PTI Data (Fig. 10), in the “Start” tab, select “My tickets” from the list, then select the available ticket option and proceed to payment using the “Continue” button. The cost of access to diagnostics depends on the duration of access, as shown in the table below:

Access Type/Time

1 hour

1 day

1 week

1 month

1 year

BMW BASIC

EUR 9

EUR 30 

 EUR 100

 EUR 350

EUR 3,575

Fig. 10. BMW AOS, purchase of tickets
Fig. 10. BMW AOS, purchase of tickets
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]
The availability of a given application (whether it can be used) can be checked by means of coloured squares in the application start windows. In a situation where the application is unavailable or you have to first purchase a ticket, a red square will be shown in the application start window (Fig. 11). An example of such an application would be AIR, which requires a ticket to run it.
Fig. 11. BMW AOS paid app – AIR
Fig. 11. BMW AOS paid app – AIR
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]
If the application is free or it is possible to check whether it works properly for free, a green square will appear in the application start window, and the “Start” button will be visible next to it. An example of such an application would be KaSIO, which is a free application (Fig. 12). An example of an application that allows you to check whether it is working properly is ISTA.
Fig. 12. BMW AOS free app – KaSIO
Fig. 12. BMW AOS free app – KaSIO 
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/
3. Access to BMW AOS Apps
The BMW AOS Portal provides a general overview of the individual applications. In order to run them, select the “Applications” tab, and then select the desired application using the icons or menu on the left side of the portal (Fig. 13). The BMW portal will then launch the start page of the respective app. If the application start box does not load, make sure your browser does not block pop-ups. If your browser blocks pop-up windows, allow for their display. 
Fig. 13. BMW AOS Apps
Fig. 13. BMW AOS Apps
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]

3.1. AIR application

The AIR (Aftersales Information Research) application is a system containing technical documentation for BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce cars (Fig. 11), which consists of such elements as:

  • Repair instructions
  • Bodywork instructions
  • Wiring diagrams
  • Vehicle equipment
  • Repair times

Access to the application is paid. After purchasing a ticket, a green square and the “Start” button appear in order to run the application. At the bottom of the page in the “Download” field is the AIR handbook, which you should read before using it.

 

3.2. ISTA and ISTA/P service system applications

Diagnostics and programming of BMW group cars is carried out using the ISTA application starting from the F series. Programming of the E series ECUs is carried out using the ISTA/P software. You should remember that ECU programming functions should be performed in cars that have not undergone modification, i.e. ECU software has not been changed to non-factory one, and the car has not been additionally equipped outside of authorised service workshops (no record in the car’s equipment codes). Both ISTA and ISTA/P applications are paid applications. However, you can check the correctness of its operation and connection to the server free of charge after installing the software, because the ISTA software is operated online.In order to run the ISTA application, in the “Applications” tab, select the “ISTA service system” from the menu. After loading the page, download and install the “ISTA Client installation file” and “BMW PTD Driver” from the “Download” field – an application to select the VCI diagnostic tester supporting SAE J2534 for diagnostics using ISTA. Please note that you must select the device each time before running the ISTA or ISTA/P application. Otherwise, it will not be possible to connect to the car. In the “Download” field, there is also a handbook for the ISTA software, which you should read before using the application. For the ISTA application to work properly, you must install the Java 32-bit plug-in from the “Technical requirements” field (it may not work properly on a 64-bit system), Visual C++ and .NET Framework 4 software. In case of problems with Java, set an exception with a high protection scope in the Java Control Panel for: https://onl-osmc-b2i.bmwgroup.com. When programming ECUs using ISTA, remember to update it to the latest version before using it.You should download and install the ISTA/P application for programming ECUs in BMW E series cars from the “Applications” tab in the “ISTA/P – E series Programming” menu from the “Download ISTA/P installation file” field. If the “BMW PTD driver” is already installed, there is no need to reinstall it; it is the same software as for the ISTA application. In the same field, you will find the instructions for installing and using the ISTA/P software.Operating the software requires a good and stable internet connection. According to BMW recommendations, the correct transmission speed is 100 Mbit/s with a maximum delay of 100ms. Remember to maintain the continuity of the IP address during the diagnosis.


3.3. KaSIO application

The KaSIO system enables the entry of inspections carried out by an independent workshop. KaSIO, that is the Digital Service Book in the BMW group (Fig. 12) has been successfully used by the manufacturer for several years. An inspection carried out by an independent workshop with an entry in KaSIO, compliance with procedures and the use of OEM parts (original parts) or PJ (parts of comparable quality with OE) ensure that the manufacturer’s warranty is maintained, if the vehicle has one. In the KaSIO system, it is also possible to decode the car’s VIN number, equipment codes, service actions to be performed and the history of repairs and inspections. Independent workshops authorised by BMW (RMI) can purchase a Key Reader and read data from car keys. The “Download” field contains the KaSIO system handbook as well as software and drivers for the key reader.In order to run the KaSIO application, in the “Applications” tab, select “BMW KaSIO” from the menu, and then start the application using the “Start” button. The application will run in a new browser window or tab. In order to start using the KaSIO application, first read the terms of use (Fig. 14) and confirm with the “Next” button.

Fig. 14. KaSIO system
Fig. 14. KaSIO system
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]

Next, enter the VIN number or read it using the Key Reader, if available. Confirm with the Enter button or the magnifying glass button. Next, on the following page, the car data are loaded (Fig. 15). In the respective tabs you can read:

  • Important information about the car
  • Key data – if the workshop has a Key Reader
  • Vehicle data• Teleservices – online service functions
  • Equipment options
  • Service actions – to be performed only in authorised workshops
  • History – the history of repairs and maintenance
Fig. 15. KaSIO system – car data
Fig. 15. KaSIO system – car data
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]
In the KaSIO application, as an independent workshop, you can enter an inspection or repair in the Digital Service Book. In order to make an inspection entry, in the upper left corner of the page, under the VIN number of the selected vehicle, press the “Create a new entry in the Digital Service Book” button or, if you want to enter the repair, “Create a new entry in the repairs history”.Next, a new window will open, in which you should enter the mileage of the car in which the inspection was performed (Fig. 16). By default, the last known mileage of the car from the system is saved. If a reading was taken using the ISTA application, the mileage should be updated to that found on the car’s instrument cluster. If the values differ, enter the mileage manually. The date is set by default to the day the entry was made. In the “Comments” field, you can save information about the inspection performed, and then confirm with the “Next” button.
Fig. 16. KaSIO system – entry in the Digital Service Book
Fig. 16. KaSIO system – entry in the Digital Service Book
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/]
In the next step, mark the activities that have been performed on the car (Fig. 17). List of designations in the table below:
form
You can also send the performed activities to the system in the car by ticking the checkbox (if the car supports this option). After completing these steps, confirm with the “Create entry” button.
System KaSIO – wpis w elektronicznej książce serwisowej, wybór czynności
Fig. 17. KaSIO system – entry in the Digital Service Book, selection of activities 
source: [https://aos.bmwgroup.com/
In summary, access to the BMW AOS portal consists of several separate applications. Each of the applications has a separate use and operates fully online, so be sure to configure your browser correctly and have a good internet connection. Access to the AOS platform gives full capacity to diagnose, program, service and repair BMW and Mini cars, and in addition access to KaSIO – Digital Service Book, allows the servicing of cars under warranty without the risk of losing it.