Review: I do like how fast Xhorse VVDI BMW can make a key

So for those who are thinking of buying one Xhorse VVDI BMW of these. You connect it by ODB in the car, hit connect to gather the basic info on the car, cas type, key frequency, vin, bunch of other stuff. Then you should go to the next step, select the protocol which was also told to you after connect. Press “get key info” and hope for the best. If it displays the key info on screen you are set, select a key slot and prepare a key. The whole process should take less than 5 mins…if you can get the key data.

What I find odd about the process is how much is done for you, but then some other steps you have to do that would be quite easy for the application to simply do. For example, you load the app and you’re at Cas Info screen with car type set to auto detect. Press connect and you get a good deal of info, one piece being which protocol to use. Now if you want to go further, you select key learn and for car type you should now switch auto detect to what it said after you connected on the cas info screen. Auto detect was designed to do a very quick scan and gives you all the answers you may have on the car. But it also knows what protocol to use as it just used it to gather the correct info.

I spent quite a few hours getting connection errors because auto detect works within seconds to get your info but it won’t connect to read the eeprom or key info. So when you open the app, hit connect and see what it says for car type. Then move on to the next screen and select that type, then connect again. Now you can get what you want from it. If I could have just one major change (other than it working with all cars as advertised) is to have a forced opening screen which has one button, connect. After it gathers the basic info, it should use that to configure itself to do everything it can without you having to do anything other than choose a direction.

So now that my rant is over. I do like how fast this unit can make a key. If it worked with all E series cars it would be absolutely amazing. But it doesn’t.

I have tried the following to make keys:
2006, 07, 08, 09, 11 E90 3 Series – Works
2007 E70 X5 – Works
2009 E88 135i – Works
2007 E60 525i – Works
2009 E60 535xi – Works
2012 E84 X1 – Works
2003 E65 745i – Doesn’t work
2004 E66 745Li – Doesn’t work
2006 E66 750Li – Doesn’t work
2008 E66 760Li – Doesn’t work
2010 F01 750i – Connects, shows basic info – I didn’t try to make a key but I will tomorrow.

ECU work: I’ve tried a number of things with MSV70 and MSV80’s in car and on the bench, all work no issues.

Transmissions: It says that it can clear and make new the 8HP module. I’ve tested this on the 6HP transmission in the E90 and E65. Those are 6 speed older transmissions and the VVDI read them and was able to clear the units without question.

E and F series programming: Loads in and works – can show and clear DTC’s. It can get complicated quick which is much further than I need to go, for now.



Update on this. The CAS cable they sell for way too much money is crap. The pins won’t stay in the connector so they applied hot glue to help keep them in. Build your own from a harness you can grab at a scrap yard.

Fixed the two pins that were not pushed all the way in on the cas end. Confirmed the cable was wired exactly the way the manual shows. Confirmed all wires are good. But there is no 12V making it to the module. The dedicated 12V you apply to the cable makes it to the ODB part just fine, makes it to the LED to let you know power is ok, but it’s most certainly not ok. It’s not a question of wrong wiring, it just doesn’t work the way it has been made.

Moved the wire in the ODB end and confirmed power and grounds. Hit connect and we have full access to CAS1. BMW E65/E66 2002-2008 745/750 is fully working on the bench.

I would say for any BMW that doesn’t work in the car, use the cas cable on the bench.

Final note, this unit will not read a BMW 760Li pre and post facelift. The module reads as a CAS3 which is wrong and won’t read the info.


Question: Is VVDI BMW good tool to buy? 


Once you’ve tried a car, find out what you need to do and are setup for it, then it’s easy. Buy every cable they offer for it and attachment. Then buy a bunch of spare key fobs and make a bunch of keys. I also intend to remake some of the cables using the real harness out of a junk yard car. The connectors they use are crap.

I came here asking for help as it wouldn’t do what I wanted and Xhorse suggested I buy another unit for another $1k USD. After the sharp learning curve, you can cover all of the E series and F series cars (2002-2016) for $1400 USD. I’ve not tried any G series yet but 7 series and 5 series E and F work. No go for the E66 760 but you won’t see many of those coming in.


Question: May I ask, downgrade CAS3+, any risk? Many does it on bench. For making key.



So far using the VVDI BMW tool, CAS3 will work in the car using ODB2. For CAS3++ which seems to be 2012-2017 some will do keys right away while others will require a patch. The patch is applied for you, just make sure your computer and car are plugged in to a good power source and let the tool do it’s thing.

I’ve narrowed my trouble with this tool to a few variations of CAS1 units that Xhorse most likely hasn’t come across. For anyone making keys for newer cars from 2012 and up it seems to do it’s job well.


Question: I purchased the bench cables when they first came out, worked flawless with VVDI2.. after a while I couldn’t make it work anymore, as of now I have officially purchase VVDI BMW and I bought a new bench testing cable and I can’t get connection!! WTF


For the CAS cable, they have two versions. Download the manual for the BMW VVDI and check the last few pages to see what the cable should look like inside. If it doesn’t match then you have a version one and you should mod it to match. Once it matches you should take the CAS covers off the cable and make sure that all pins are actually making it to the end of the connector. Mine had a few that were in half way. Next without a CAS module plugged in, check for +12v on both large cable ends (you can check them all but 2 will do). Mine didn’t have +12v and even under read, no 12v. I thought that maybe the cable used a switching fet that would apply 12v when you want to read the module, tested that, nothing. I found 12v on the ODB end of the cable, found where 12v from the CAS end comes into the cable and simply moved the CAS wire over to 12v inside the ODB2 end. With 12v, I can read on the bench.

With a confirmed working cable, now comes the real kick in the ass. I can only read CAS1 on the bench. CAS2 modules from the E series (white case) from 3, 5, X series will read in the car perfectly but won’t read with the cable. So the cable is really a CAS1 bench cable. That should work fine for anyone trying to read CAS1 cars from 2000-2006 that don’t read in the car.

I just pulled the complete wiring harness out of a E90 2011 – I will see what on the CAN bus is needed to make this work on the bench. It will take time but I will have answers.

I had a chance to try the BMW F01 750i today. It uses a CAS4 system and it worked without any issues. Key was made in under 5 mins.

A BMW 2014 X1 came in with a CAS3++ today, tried to read the information and it said that feature isn’t supported yet but soon. Went to Key learn and it said it had to flash this type of CAS, would take 10 mins. Didn’t really feel confident in that but went for it. Took 10 mins and it was able to make a key after the flash. In order to make a key for this CAS3++ it said it needed a real key to make it work. So you insert the real key into the programmer, then insert the new key and it was able to make it work. All keys lost wasn’t supported.

So for my needs, I needed to cover the E series from 2002 to 2010. So far the only car it won’t read is the BMW 760 E66. I guess they didn’t have one available to test with. I have another 760 coming in a week or two. When that gets here I plan to take a CAS1 from a 2003 745 and attempt to change the vin, KM, and codes to see if I can start the 760. This one 760 I have now has no fob, just the plastic valet key. The unit can read the ECU and basic info from the CAS so it should be possible to mod another CAS to allow the car to start. No harm in trying.

So far I do like the Xhrose VVDI BMW. If they would have had a bundle with a set of working cables, full detailed info like CAS1 needs to be read in directly, I would have paid more to get it all one shot.


Credits to @ FCross