Category Archives: Diagnostics

How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 7: Customer support, ESI ticket and KTS product enhancement

KTS Diagnostics Made ‘ESI’ from Robert Bosch

This regular series of technical articles from Bosch focuses on how to get the best out of its ESI[tronic] 2.0 software, which is used in conjunction with the KTS range of diagnostic tools for vehicle fault diagnosis and service function procedures.

In this issue we’re going to explain the various ways that you can get support from the Bosch Automotive team, if you happen to find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you encounter a problem with the Bosch KTS diagnostic tool or ESI 2.0 software.

Obviously we’re biased when we say the Bosch KTS is a great diagnostic tool and we’re very proud of the vast range of vehicle diagnostic coverage that can be accessed by the ESI 2.0 software. However, with new vehicle technology enhancements and vehicles being fitted with more new electronic systems, such as ‘driver assistance’ aids, we strive to continually improve the KTS tool with the development of new model and system coverage, diagnostic functions and technical information within the Bosch ESI 2.0 program.

The Bosch Automotive team has more than 350 ESI[tronic] software development engineers around the world working on new diagnostic systems coverage and enhancements for the 180 vehicle brands that we cover with KTS. All of our software is thoroughly tested on the relevant vehicles before it is released to the customers, but with the many variants of the vehicle models on the road today it is simply impossible to guarantee that a diagnostic feature or connection problem will never will be faced. We can only fix a problem or give advice on the situation if we know about it, so that’s why customer feedback is important to us.

Bosch technical support hotline

Our UK-based technical support helpline for technicians using Bosch equipment has two dedicated teams that provide help with hardware or software installation queries and technical vehicle problems that technicians may face. In most cases we recommend a call to our Bosch technical hotline first, just in case the problem can be resolved there and then while you’re working on the vehicle. This would be the best outcome as it will minimise any delays in the workshop and for the vehicle owner. We can talk you through many aspects of using Bosch diagnostics and, if necessary, remotely access your computer to make any checks or changes.

Registered Bosch customers can call the vehicle technical helpline on 0344 6931023 and, for enquiries relating to Bosch garage equipment and software, call 01895 878077.

ESI Ticket

This function is unique to Bosch and is your direct online link to the Bosch ESI[tronic] service team. ‘ESI Ticket’ can be used to submit suggestions or requests and to describe the remaining fault or error that you may potentially encounter, despite our thorough testing.

If you’re using the Bosch KTS on a vehicle and encounter a problem with a feature, function or any information on the tool, then help is at hand!In many cases a quick call to the Bosch technical hotline can give the required solution, but if this doesn’t resolve the issue then an ESI Ticket may be the route to receive the right answers. One example situation where an ESI Ticket could be raised to help us to find a solution is when a task you want to perform isn’t offered or didn’t work successfully on the vehicle.

How to raise an ESI Ticket

The ESI ticket must be created whilst connected to the vehicle in question; it’s imperative not to do this in ‘demo mode’ as important data won’t be collected. When you select ‘ESI Ticket’ from the main menu (see Fig 1) a new window pops up on your screen with many of the data fields pre-filled with information such as your user details, software version, PC specifications and even the vehicle data that you’re connected to (see Fig 2).

Fig 1 Ps
Fig 1.
Fig 2
Fig 2.

The top part of the ESI Ticket screen contains your details which are taken from the ‘company data’ tab under ‘user settings’ in the main menu. The ESI Ticket offers two ‘drop down’ selections where you can choose the type of fault and the area within ESI 2.0 in which the problem has been faced e.g. Operation & Diagnosis.

Just below this there are four tabs on the ticket screen that allow you to send as much information as possible so that we can analyse, answer and rectify the situation. The first tab is the ‘Data’ section which shows important information about the vehicle and system chosen. A crucial piece of advice here is to ensure the chassis number (VIN) of the vehicle has appeared in the relevant field. If not then you must type it in manually. The second tab is ‘Program’ which gives data on the ESI 2.0 software installation level (see Fig 3), firmware version in use and also the licence status.

Fig 2
Fig 3.

The third tab is ‘System’ which includes specification data about the computer and windows version being used. The fourth tab is the ‘Attachments’ option that enables the KTS user to include more valuable information in the ticket, such as screenshots, operational log files and additional files from your PC.

This supplements the description of the issue as the more information we receive, the better we can understand the problem. The lower part of the ticket screen contains two open text fields where you can type any other details to help describe the problem further and explain what would be required for a solution.

Known problem

Once all of the mandatory fields have been completed, the ESI Ticket can be previewed (see Fig 4) or sent directly if you have an email client setup on your PC.

fig 4
Fig 4.

If not, you can save the file into a folder and attach it to an email to be sent to saa.technicaladmin@uk.bosch.com. The ESI Ticket then goes into the Bosch system and will be dealt with by a dedicated team. If the matter is a known problem, you’ll receive an answer with a proposed solution quickly (if sent within office working hours). Sometimes the solution is just a matter of installing an online software update or selecting a different vehicle variant. If the issue isn’t so straightforward, the ticket will be sent to the development team responsible for the brand of vehicle that it concerns. The matter will then be investigated and an answer will be given back to the customer as soon as possible.

Product enhancement

If the computer running your ESI[tronic] 2.0 is able to connect to the internet then we have a feature called ‘product enhancement’ that will stream usage data from the tool back to the Bosch servers, in a similar way to which your PC or smart phone relays information to the manufacturer. If the check box in the user settings is selected then the feature will be active (see Fig 5).

fig 5
Fig 5.

Essential information is fed back to us anonymously (in accordance to the ‘Data privacy declaration’) that enables us to clearly understand the expectations and issues encountered on a day-to-day basis. Similar to ESI Ticket, this process allows us to better tailor Bosch ESI 2.0 to fulfil our customer’s needs.

How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 5: ESI 2.0 software – Keeping your KTS up-to-date

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’ from Robert Bosch.

This regular series of technical articles from Bosch focuses on how to get the best out of its ESI[tronic] 2.0 software, which is used in conjunction with the KTS range of diagnostic tools for vehicle fault diagnosis and service function procedures. Because of the vast range of features available through the software, Bosch’s technical team will be breaking things down into bite-sized chunks, starting at a beginner level and progressing through to more advanced functions.

Last time out we described how you can make your work simple when reading ‘Actual values’ to correctly analyse readings from the ECU on the vehicle using ESI[tronic]. In this issue, we want to show you how to maximise the capabilities of the tool in your workshop by keeping your software bang up-to-date.

The Bosch Technical Hotline frequently receives calls from technicians working on newer cars, asking for troubleshooting advice, for instance, on how to perform a service-related task on the new vehicle. In many cases their KTS can, in fact, already perform the task, but often the software they’re using has not been updated to the very latest version available.
Currently, Bosch ESI[tronic] subscribers will receive a set of installation DVDs three times a year; these will be labelled 2016/1, 2016/2 and 2016/3. These DVDs must always be loaded straight away. It is a common misconception that if you’re running online updates (as described later in this article), that you no longer need to load the DVDs. This is not the case, so let us explain…

The DVDs contain the full coverage of the latest possible data every four months. However, certain priority functions are needed sooner than that, so the online update boosts the current software version to allow you to gain access to the priority functions as soon as they’re released without waiting for the next DVD. No doubt, with technological advances in the future, we’ll be able to use, install and update Bosch ESI diagnostics and data solely on the internet, so watch this space!

The best way to check the ESI 2.0 software version that you have is to open the program and click in the top right hand corner ‘Main menu’, then ‘system information’ and then ‘software information’. This will confirm which version of ESI 2.0 is installed on your computer, the level of subscription and the status of the licence (see Fig 1). If your base DVD software version is out-of-date, please try to rectify this as soon possible by checking you have received the discs in the post; if you have any queries or concerns, then its best to call the Bosch hotline.

How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 5: ESI 2.0 software - Keeping your KTS up-to-date
Online updates

Approximately every two weeks there will be an intermediate update for ESI 2.0 available to download. These online updates will include new priority systems coverage and enhancements to existing diagnostic systems. It makes a lot of sense to use this online update feature, especially if you’re serious about diagnostics and want to be working on newer cars. This will ensure that you’re not missing out on any functional diagnostic coverage or information and can complete as many tasks on your customer’s cars as possible.

It is easy to set up a wired or wireless connection to the Bosch server to keep your ESI 2.0 updated. From the main menu selection in the top right hand corner, click the ‘Online update’ button (see Fig 2). This will open the Bosch – Diagnostic Download Manager (DDM) in a new window, where you need to login with your customer number and password if you’ve not already done so.How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 5: ESI 2.0 software - Keeping your KTS up-to-date

If your internet connection is provided via a networked company server, it may be necessary to enter the proxy settings into the relevant fields. The ‘Test connection’ soft key must be used to verify a solid link to the Bosch download server and then two more tabs are automatically added to the selection list once you’ve logged in. In the ‘Automatic updates’ screen you can set how frequently the DDM searches the Bosch server for updates e.g. every Monday morning, or you can check on demand, by clicking the ‘update’ button.

Once the Diagnostic Download Manager is configured, the intermediate updates will be downloaded in the background (see Fig 3).How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 5: ESI 2.0 software - Keeping your KTS up-to-date
The DDM lets you know if there are new updates ready via a ‘pop up’ message on the task bar (see Fig 4). If you’re interested to know what’s included in the latest update, all you need to do is click on the ‘info’ button from the ‘Downloads’ tab of the DDM and the available updates will be listed with details of all the new vehicles and systems being added with that version (see Fig 5). It is then just a case of selecting ‘execute’ and following the on-screen instructions to install the new data.

How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 5: ESI 2.0 software - Keeping your KTS up-to-date

How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 5: ESI 2.0 software - Keeping your KTS up-to-date

You now have the benefit of the very latest diagnostic software that has been produced by the Bosch Data Engineering teams around the world for the 180 brands of vehicles that we cover!

Help is at hand

If you’re new to using Bosch automotive diagnostics or still finding your way around the tool, another really useful feature is the ‘ESI[tronic] 2.0 Online Help’ tool. It is accessed by clicking the ‘question mark’ (?) button in the top right hand corner of the screen. Although it is called ‘online’ help, you don’t actually have to be on the internet to use it!

A searchable and interactive help library will open in a new window and assist you on many KTS/ESI topics (see Fig 6). ESI 2.0 is a huge software program, so for the best speed and performance we recommend using a PC device with at least 4 GB of RAM and a 1.6 GHz or higher processor. Currently, the Windows operating systems that are supported are: Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows 7 (32/64 bit) and Windows 8/8.1 (32/64 bit). Additionally there is more good news as from the 2016/1 DVD version onwards Windows 10 is now officially supported as well.
Help is at hand If you’re new to using Bosch automotive diagnostics or still finding your way around the tool, another really useful feature is the ‘ESI[tronic] 2.0 Online Help’ tool. It is accessed by clicking the ‘question mark’ (?) button in the top right hand corner of the screen. Although it is called ‘online’ help, you don’t actually have to be on the internet to use it! A searchable and interactive help library will open in a new window and assist you on many KTS/ESI topics (see Fig 6). ESI 2.0 is a huge software program, so for the best speed and performance we recommend using a PC device with at least 4 GB of RAM and a 1.6 GHz or higher processor. Currently, the Windows operating systems that are supported are: Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows 7 (32/64 bit) and Windows 8/8.1 (32/64 bit). Additionally there is more good news as from the 2016/1 DVD version onwards Windows 10 is now officially supported as well. Another occasional obstacle that you might experience when updating your software from Bosch is that your anti-virus software application may trigger an automatic block of an installation file. If problems are experienced, you can always call our Bosch ESI[tronic] support helpline for advice. Our technical team will do their best to get you up and running again as quickly as possible. To find out how you can get in contact you should log on to: www.boschworkshopworld.co.uk. Online licensing feature As with many technology-based solutions, the internet brings us more convenience and the online licensing feature is a great example of this. It is accessed from the main menu and is a reliable way to instantly activate or renew your annual ESI 2.0 software subscription at any time on the internet with a valid customer number and password. If you don’t have a current subscription, you should call your local equipment supplier to set up or renew your contract.

Another occasional obstacle that you might experience when updating your software from Bosch is that your anti-virus software application may trigger an automatic block of an installation file. If problems are experienced, you can always call our Bosch ESI[tronic] support helpline for advice. Our technical team will do their best to get you up and running again as quickly as possible. To find out how you can get in contact you should log on to: www.boschworkshopworld.co.uk.

Online licensing feature

As with many technology-based solutions, the internet brings us more convenience and the online licensing feature is a great example of this. It is accessed from the main menu and is a reliable way to instantly activate or renew your annual ESI 2.0 software subscription at any time on the internet with a valid customer number and password. If you don’t have a current subscription, you should call your local equipment supplier to set up or renew your contract.

 

How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 6: Actuators, function tests, adjustments/settings and special functions

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’ from Robert Bosch.

This regular series of technical articles from Bosch focuses on how to get the best out of its ESI[tronic] 2.0 software, which is used in conjunction with the KTS range of diagnostic tools for vehicle fault diagnosis and service function procedures. Because of the vast range of features available through the software, Bosch’s technical team will be breaking things down into bite-sized chunks, starting at a beginner level and progressing through to more advanced functions.

For the sixth instalment in this series of Bosch ESI 2.0 technical articles we want to go into a bit more detail by covering some of the advanced functions that can be performed on the vehicle with Bosch KTS during maintenance or repair.

Once connected to a vehicle system, under the Diagnosis tab, there are several Test Steps, one of which is Actuators. It’s important to explain how this can be useful in a fault diagnosis situation.KTS Diagnostics made 'ESI'

A technician may be faced with an engine fault that could be related to, for instance, an injector. In other tests, such as Actual Values, the engine is required to run in order to produce data for you to analyse. However, if the engine will not run, this is not possible.

The Actuator Test allows you to send a direct command to a specific component, bypassing the switching side of the system, to cause it to operate. The engine doesn’t need to run and you can command the component or circuit to function straight away without waiting. You can therefore see whether there is an issue with the performance or function of the component.

Another good example is if you suspect there is an issue with the engine cooling fan. Without waiting for the engine to reach the required temperature, you can just use the Actuator Test to command the electric fan operation directly. If the fan operates, then you know that it is a problem in another part

of the circuit. If it doesn’t, you can perform further tests on the fan itself, and you have saved some time in doing so. Without this test you would’ve had to wait for the engine to warm up, and also you can’t be sure when the fan would have cut in so you may not be ready to test or observe the operation.

These Actuator Tests could be used to check many other systems (depending on what the particular vehicle supports) such as an EGR valve in the engine management system, a headlamp bulb in the body or lighting control or an electric window regulator in a door control ECU.

Decision making

When fault-finding, the result of an Actuator Test can help your diagnostic process and decision making, depending on the outcome as to whether the fault may be on the input or output side of the ECU in the circuit. You’re in control of the test and can check the operation of a component when you’re expecting it to happen.

You can also simultaneously set up an oscilloscope and/or current clamp to measure the voltage and amps in the circuit when the component operates while the vehicle is static in the workshop. It might not be practical to do this whilst driving on a road test, however.

The Bosch KTS 570 has a built-in two channel oscilloscope/multi-meter in the VCI (vehicle communication interface), which we will cover the use of in a later article. For the expert diagnostic technicians out there who do in depth, advanced system and component testing, we recommend the FSA 500 engine analyser that works in unison with ESI[tronic] 2.0 (see Fig 2); this tool isespecially useful in a situation where parallel testing is required.KTS Diagnostics made 'ESI'

Sometimes, there are certain preconditions required for an Actuator Test to be performed successfully and the on screen instructions must always be followed, otherwise the test may fail (see Fig 3).KTS Diagnostics made 'ESI'Another point to consider is that if the engine is not to be run during the test, a good battery voltage is essential. We recommend that a quality battery support unit, such as the Bosch BAT490, is used.

On most vehicle systems, you can pick and choose the components you want to actuate by selecting them from a list (see Fig 4). Some vehicles offer a pre-determined output test sequence which will operate the supported items one by one; this routine has been designed that way by the manufacturer.

How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 6: Actuators, function tests, adjustments/settings and special functions

In ESI 2.0, most Actuator Tests will automatically show some relevant ActualValues together with the actuation process on screen to give you further evidence of the effectiveness of the test. This is beneficial, as sometimes you can’t physically see or hear the component that you’re testing, such as the heated seat element (see Fig 5). You can also use the F7 (List) soft key to choose your own values to be displayed during the test if you would prefer.

How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 6: Actuators, function tests, adjustments/settings and special functionsYou will notice that once the Actuator Test is complete you have the option to confirm if the test was activated or not. If you click ‘Yes’ then a ‘+’ (plus) symbol was shown before that actuator name, indicating that it is activated (see Fig 6). Pressing F4 (store) when you’re finished will add the actuator results to the protocol report that we mentioned in the second part of this ‘KTS made ESI’ series. You can then print the protocol off to show the results to your customer as evidence of which components were tested.
How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 6: Actuators, function tests, adjustments/settings and special functions

Specific test plan

Next on the main Test Steps selection list is Function tests and this basically does what the name suggests. These tests are diagnostic routines that will use a specific test plan to determine the operation state of a component or system. For instance, in Bosch ESI 2.0 you will see bespoke braking tests for Bosch ABS/ESP systems that are best performed on a ‘roller brake tester’. Other function tests could be available, such as cylinder balancing or a systems output self-test. These can be a valuable aid in fault finding work and then later confirming a repair to the vehicle.

Adjustments/settings are diagnostic procedures where stored values can be reset or changed within the control unit. For example, this could be a service lamp reset or component adaptations; fuel quantity adjustment (injector IMA coding) if a new diesel injector has been fitted; TPMS coding if a tyre pressure sensor has been replaced; or rain/light sensor adaptation if the windscreen has been renewed. A selection of further options are visible in Fig 7.

Specific test plan Next on the main Test Steps selection list is Function tests and this basically does what the name suggests. These tests are diagnostic routines that will use a specific test plan to determine the operation state of a component or system. For instance, in Bosch ESI 2.0 you will see bespoke braking tests for Bosch ABS/ESP systems that are best performed on a ‘roller brake tester’. Other function tests could be available, such as cylinder balancing or a systems output self-test. These can be a valuable aid in fault finding work and then later confirming a repair to the vehicle. Adjustments/settings are diagnostic procedures where stored values can be reset or changed within the control unit. For example, this could be a service lamp reset or component adaptations; fuel quantity adjustment (injector IMA coding) if a new diesel injector has been fitted; TPMS coding if a tyre pressure sensor has been replaced; or rain/light sensor adaptation if the windscreen has been renewed. A selection of further options are visible in Fig 7. Special functions are advanced and specialist operations that require attention to detail in order to perform the tasks. This could be a diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration or ESP brake system fluid bleeding. This type of function should only be performed by qualified and experienced technicians who must follow the tester instructions carefully. Often an assistant is required to help get the job done. Certain routines will only work if the set preconditions are followed (see Fig 8). In the ESI 2.0 Function tests, Adjustment/settings and Special functions, the pre-conditions are always stated in the information text screens that precede the start of the routine. If the KTS detects that the preconditions are not met it will delay the start of the test and display on screen the values that are outside of their expected range so that you can rectify the situation and continue with the function. The Service tasks tab in ESI 2.0 is also a very useful feature which provides a quick link to perform a vehicle service related task by selecting from the categorised function list (see Fig 9). This is helpful, for example, when you’re not sure where to reset the service light. Nowadays this could be in the instrument cluster, body computer or Engine ECU. By using the Service tasks menu the selection provides a Shortcut straight to the correct system and will reduce the number of clicks that are required.

Special functions are advanced and specialist operations that require attention to detail in order to perform the tasks. This could be a diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration or ESP brake system fluid bleeding. This type of function should only be performed by qualified and experienced technicians who must follow the tester instructions carefully. Often an assistant is required to help get the job done.

Certain routines will only work if the set preconditions are followed (see Fig 8). In the ESI 2.0 Function tests, Adjustment/settings and Special functions, the pre-conditions are always stated in the information text screens that precede the start of the routine. If the KTS detects that the preconditions are not met it will delay the start of the test and display on screen the values that are outside of their expected range so that you can rectify the situation and continue with the function.Specific test plan Next on the main Test Steps selection list is Function tests and this basically does what the name suggests. These tests are diagnostic routines that will use a specific test plan to determine the operation state of a component or system. For instance, in Bosch ESI 2.0 you will see bespoke braking tests for Bosch ABS/ESP systems that are best performed on a ‘roller brake tester’. Other function tests could be available, such as cylinder balancing or a systems output self-test. These can be a valuable aid in fault finding work and then later confirming a repair to the vehicle. Adjustments/settings are diagnostic procedures where stored values can be reset or changed within the control unit. For example, this could be a service lamp reset or component adaptations; fuel quantity adjustment (injector IMA coding) if a new diesel injector has been fitted; TPMS coding if a tyre pressure sensor has been replaced; or rain/light sensor adaptation if the windscreen has been renewed. A selection of further options are visible in Fig 7. Special functions are advanced and specialist operations that require attention to detail in order to perform the tasks. This could be a diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration or ESP brake system fluid bleeding. This type of function should only be performed by qualified and experienced technicians who must follow the tester instructions carefully. Often an assistant is required to help get the job done. Certain routines will only work if the set preconditions are followed (see Fig 8). In the ESI 2.0 Function tests, Adjustment/settings and Special functions, the pre-conditions are always stated in the information text screens that precede the start of the routine. If the KTS detects that the preconditions are not met it will delay the start of the test and display on screen the values that are outside of their expected range so that you can rectify the situation and continue with the function. The Service tasks tab in ESI 2.0 is also a very useful feature which provides a quick link to perform a vehicle service related task by selecting from the categorised function list (see Fig 9). This is helpful, for example, when you’re not sure where to reset the service light. Nowadays this could be in the instrument cluster, body computer or Engine ECU. By using the Service tasks menu the selection provides a Shortcut straight to the correct system and will reduce the number of clicks that are required.

The Service tasks tab in ESI 2.0 is also a very useful feature which provides a quick link to perform a vehicle service related task by selecting from the categorised function list (see Fig 9). This is helpful, for example, when you’re not sure where to reset the service light.

Nowadays this could be in the instrument cluster, body computer or Engine ECU. By using the Service tasks menu the selection provides a Shortcut straight to the correct system and will reduce the number of clicks that are required.

Specific test plan Next on the main Test Steps selection list is Function tests and this basically does what the name suggests. These tests are diagnostic routines that will use a specific test plan to determine the operation state of a component or system. For instance, in Bosch ESI 2.0 you will see bespoke braking tests for Bosch ABS/ESP systems that are best performed on a ‘roller brake tester’. Other function tests could be available, such as cylinder balancing or a systems output self-test. These can be a valuable aid in fault finding work and then later confirming a repair to the vehicle. Adjustments/settings are diagnostic procedures where stored values can be reset or changed within the control unit. For example, this could be a service lamp reset or component adaptations; fuel quantity adjustment (injector IMA coding) if a new diesel injector has been fitted; TPMS coding if a tyre pressure sensor has been replaced; or rain/light sensor adaptation if the windscreen has been renewed. A selection of further options are visible in Fig 7. Special functions are advanced and specialist operations that require attention to detail in order to perform the tasks. This could be a diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration or ESP brake system fluid bleeding. This type of function should only be performed by qualified and experienced technicians who must follow the tester instructions carefully. Often an assistant is required to help get the job done. Certain routines will only work if the set preconditions are followed (see Fig 8). In the ESI 2.0 Function tests, Adjustment/settings and Special functions, the pre-conditions are always stated in the information text screens that precede the start of the routine. If the KTS detects that the preconditions are not met it will delay the start of the test and display on screen the values that are outside of their expected range so that you can rectify the situation and continue with the function. The Service tasks tab in ESI 2.0 is also a very useful feature which provides a quick link to perform a vehicle service related task by selecting from the categorised function list (see Fig 9). This is helpful, for example, when you’re not sure where to reset the service light. Nowadays this could be in the instrument cluster, body computer or Engine ECU. By using the Service tasks menu the selection provides a Shortcut straight to the correct system and will reduce the number of clicks that are required.

Apec’s EPB Service Tool – Everything you need to know

The new NT415 Electronic Park Brake Service Tool is specially designed to allow the service and maintenance of brake systems on multiple brands of vehicles where electronic brake systems are fitted. This powerful tool is invaluable for every workshop.

EPBtool

Features and Benefits
• Coverage includes 13 manufacturers
• Compatible with global OBDII/EOBD vehicles
• Deactivates and re-activates brake control system
• Retracts calipers for brake pad replacement
• Advances calipers after servicing to the original position
without affecting the current calibration
• Reads and clears trouble codes
• Turns off brake warning light
• Initializes the wear indicator if new pads installed
• Diagnoses EPB/SBC caliper functionality
• Resets the brake pad thickness after AUDI A8 service
• Performs ECU controlled brake fluid change
• Shows ECU information
• Supports all 10 OBDII test modes, including reading/
clearing codes, live data and so much more
• Provides live data graphing
• Merges graphs for easy and intuitive diagnosis
• As easy as 1-2-3 with large TFT colour screen and menu
driven operations
• Multilingual menu options and code definitions
• TF memory card for data backup and software update
• Ergonomic and robust housing

Technical Specifications
DISPLAY Backlit, 240 x 320 TFT colour display
WORKING TEMPERATURE 0 to 60˚C (32 to 140˚F)
STORAGE TEMPERATURE -20 to 70˚C (-4 to 158˚F)
EXTERNAL POWER 8-18 Volts powered by vehicle battery
DIMENSIONS 200 x 100 x 38mm (LxWxH)

Applications
ASIA Honda, Toyota
EUROPE Audi, BMW, Citroen, Jaguar, Land Rover,
Mercedes Benz, Opel, Peugeot, Renault,
Volkswagen, Volvo

Apec_EPB-tool Flyer

Pass-Thru diagnostics explained

The structure of vehicles have changed dramatically over the past few years, with little or no information passed on to the car owner to help them understand exactly how their vehicle works. The easiest way to start is by using basic terms.

Cars today are like an office on wheels. In an office there are many computers that are connected together in a network. The magic then starts as they talk to each other – ensuring there is no longer the need to pass memos from desk-to-desk. To understand vehicle systems on a car, it is important to look at them in the same way as the aforementioned computers in the office, with the CAN BUS line performing the function of the network that links ECU-to-ECU. Each of the systems (desks) need to get periodic updates, in the same way that Microsoft will provide updates for your computer.

It is normal practice that car manufacturers update the software in vehicle ECU’s rather than making expensive recalls. Faults or adjustments are made (online), though because many of these are done under warranty, word of these adjustments is not brought to the attention of the aftermarket garages. Aftermarket diagnostic tools work in a different way, as generally there is a database with lists of commands to perform one function or another. This database (coverage list) is purely at the whim of that particular diagnostic company – something which is fine for general servicing and service repairs.

‘Pure’ diagnostics
This said however, it is important not to mix this up with ‘pure’ diagnostics or programming. When using an ‘aftermarket-type’ diagnostic tool you are given the choice of the units (Engine, ABS, Airbag etc) and once selected you are able to read fault codes, live data, actuations, register and/or ECU identification. This is all good stuff but you
really should know the answers before you start working with this type of tool.

The alternative – ‘Pass-Thru’ diagnostics – is a proven way to work on 33 makes of vehicle through use of technical bulletins, wiring diagrams, diagnostics, programming and a technical help line from the manufacturer. Some people have seen and used it before but there are also many that are still unfamiliar with the concept. This is understandable as it is only recently that manufacturers have opened specific European sites – rather than connecting through a US site – but this has proved difficult, as some manufacturers are yet to convert.

Pass-Thru works by subscription on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis (you choose) and the contract is between the technician and the manufacturer each time they subscribe. Coverage is 100% and there are no periodic updates; the subscription cost is the main expense to the user, but this should be negigible if the cost is passed on to the customer.

It is strongly recommended that training is undertaken to use and get the best out of Pass-Thru diagnostics and, as such, ICT Workshop Solutions runs specific training courses to help delegates understand and master Pass-Thru testing/programming.

Turbochargers – diagnostic techniques

The effects of turbocharger faults differ slightly from petrol to diesel. The theme of this article deals predominently with diesel, which is by far the most common application.

Please note: the following procedures and data are generic and should not be used instead of manufacturer’s procedures and data.

Turbocharger problems fall into two distinct categories: the turbocharger and the turbocharger control system. Other lack of performance issues, which point to the turbocharger, may distract the technician from the true source of the problem. With this in mind diagnosis is best done when all the information is considered.

A modern turbocharger should last as long as the engine itself and, other than inspection of pipes and hoses, doesn’t require any special maintenance. What is essential is that correct service schedules are met and the correct lubricants are used.

Mechanical problems
It is worth noting that most mechanical issues can be diagnosed without serious dismantling or removal, although access to turbochargers fitted to the rear of the engine can often hinder inspection. Mechanical problems may be accompanied by noisy operation.

Firstly, look at the inlet compressor by removing the inlet pipe. Spin the shaft and feel for excessive shake or roughness. Hold the centre of the shaft and move it up and down to check for radial wear and push and pull for axial end float – some play is normal. This is the oil clearance that allows the shaft to float on a film of oil.

Typical values are:

  • Radial clearance – 0.07mm-0.15mm (0.003in-0.006in)
  • Axial clearance – 0.02mm-0.06mm (0.001in-0.003in)

Excessive free play can cause the compressor or turbine to scrape against the casing, so feel for resistance as you turn the shaft whilst pushing and pulling the shaft. Inspect the blades of the compressor, looking for cracks and nicks which may throw the assembly out of balance. Look for oily deposits which may indicate shaft seal problems. If the turbo is difficult to see, try using an illuminating webcam or one of the proprietary inspection scopes.

Checking turbo boost pressure
This is best done using a vacuum/pressure gauge but can be monitored on your scan tool. If boost pressure is low, check the air flow corresponds. If the air flow is higher than boost pressure indicates, then suspect a leak in the induction tract. Inspect the intercooler pipes and induction manifold. A smoke machine leak tester is a very useful tool for this sort of problem. If both airflow and boost pressure are low, check for a blocked exhaust.

A quick calculation for airflow in kg/hr is:

  • Engine capacity x RPMx 60 x MAP2000
  • Where MAP is measured in bar absolute i.e. 700mb = 0.7bar
  • This calculation assumes the EGR is disconnected.

Turbocharger wastegate
Try to observe the operation of the wastegate – connect a vacuum pump and gauge to the waste gate actuator and operate the wastegate. making sure that it opens and closes without sticking. Look at the gauge and check there is no pressure drop. At this point you will need to familiarise yourself with the operation of the wastegate. Some wastegates default to the open position and some to the closed. This means that those with a normally open default need to have a vacuum applied to close the wastegate. This is done to avoid over-boost problems should the vacuum system fail. Conversely the normally closed wastegate will only have a vacuum applied if boost pressure is to be regulated.

Checking a normally open wastegate
Check a normally open wastegate with the vacuum gauge T’d in between the VSV and wastegate actuator. With the engine running you should read around 15 in hg. Now disconnect the electrical connector – the vacuum should disappear.

Checking a normally closed wastegate
A more conclusive check for a normally closed wastegate is to connect the vacuum gauge into the pipe between the vacuum solenoid valve (VSV) and the actuator using a T piece. Disconnect the electrical connection on the VSV. Apply a vacuum and watch the operation of the wastegate. Check that the vacuum is held and there are no leaks in the VSV, pipe work or actuator diaphragm. Now refit the electrical connection and using your scanner’s ‘active test’ function, operate the wastegate – the vacuum should disappear.

Check that there is no vacuum when the engine is running. Any indication of VSV failure should be followed up by an electrical check. The VSV valve is operated by a pulse width modulated signal so check the integrity of the signal using an oscilloscope. If the signal is good, check the resistance of the solenoid windings (usually around 12 ohms).

Checking the vacuum pump
Vacuum pump failure will normally be accompanied by a hard brake pedal, but in systems with power brakes there will be little indication of any problems. Start by T’ing the gauge into the pipe between the engine’s vacuum pump and the VSV. Start the engine and check the vacuum – it should produce around 20-25 in hg.

Turbocharger over-boost
Over-boost problems are usually associated with wastegate issues. They are generally caused by stuck wastegate valves or faulty boost pressure control systems. Getting the wastegate to open can require boost pressures of around 2 bar and this can often only be achieved on a road test or on a dynamometer. To observe the boost pressure you will need to use your scan tool in ‘graphing’ mode so you can analyse the data safely or have an accomplice. On engines which do not have a MAP or boost pressure sensor, you will need a boost pressure gauge on a long pipe carefully routed through to the engine bay. Maximum boost pressure should never exceed manufacturer’s data.

Over-boost problems associated with variable geometry turbochargers. The VGT does not normally have a wastegate, but instead can vary the angle of nozzle vanes to control boost. A common problem is carbon build up around the nozzle vanes. This is usual in vehicles which are used for short journeys or engines that are producing excessive black smoke for whatever reason. When this happens the actuator struggles to move the vanes in response to command; this normally causes temporary increases in turbo boost pressure.

To protect the engine from damage, the boost pressure is monitored and, should excessive boost pressure be detected, the turbo vanes are commanded to the steep position and the turbo boost is lost. Depending on the strategy of the management system it may also put the engine into ‘limp home’ mode. This causes dramatic power loss.

It is normally reset with the ignition and an ‘excessive boost pressure’ DTC is set. The repair of this unit is not as difficult as it may seem and is certainly cheaper than buying a replacement. Some companies are offering a chemical decarbonising process but at present we have no information of how effective it is. As always, the underlying cause of the carbon build-up should be investigated.

Product test – Diagnostic Associates DA-ST512 Service Tool

With JLR models a regular fixture in his workshop, Darren Cotton of AVC UK in Surrey was only too happy to put a new, specialist diagnostic servicing tool through its paces.

When it comes to identifying the right diagnostic tool for your business, there are many choices available to workshops. Some may be ‘all-makes’ or ‘universal’ in their coverage, while others are specifically designed for the more specialist user.

Either way, with most tools making pretty bold claims in terms of their capability, it always helps to be able to try them out first. I was happy, therefore, to take the DA-ST512 Service Tool from Diagnostic Associates for a test drive this month, and to let PMM’s readers know my thoughts.

This unit certainly falls into the ‘specialist’ diagnostic category and has been derived from the popular range of service ‘dongles’ that Diagnostic Associates launched to market in recent times. Specifically designed (and approved) for Jaguar/Land Rover vehicles, it is a dedicated servicing tool that also doubles up as a ‘Pass-Thru’ unit to work with SDD (Symptom Driven Diagnostics). 

Tool basics
The DA-ST512 comes as a handheld unit that connects directly to the OBD2 diagnostic connector and, using its simple menu structure displayed on the back-lit LCD screen, it will perform a vast amount of applications on JLR models (2005 onwards).

The device is very easy to use, extremely quick and has a high quality feel to it. It also benefits from a long lead that is attached to the diagnostic socket to make manoeuvring light work.
The unit will power up instantly when connected to the OBD2 socket and, with the ignition on, it identifies the vehicle within seconds, displaying the vehicle details and VIN. Using its dynamic menu system, it is able to identify which of the installed applications are suitable for the vehicle it is connected to, meaning you can go straight into the function you desire.

Available functions
The basic operation package consists of six applications:
1. Service Interval Reset (SIR)
2. DPF Dynamic Regeneration (DPFDR)
3. DPF Adaption Reset (DPFAR)
4. Electronic Park Brake Release (EPBR)
5. Tight Tolerance Mode Toggle (TTMT)
6. VCI Gateway Module (J2534)

It also features another 17 applications that are available for a small fee, however all can be used on a ‘trial’ basis for a maximum of three times before the function is made unavailable (until you pay for it that is!). This is a great feature because if you were looking to add an application you can ‘try before you buy’ – something I’ve not seen on many tools before.

Putting it to the test
So what sort of use did I get out of the applications? The short (and honest) answer is ‘plenty’. Here’s a quick overview of the types of task I was able to undertake during the test period:

Electronic Park Brake Release (EBPR)
This function will force the brake to move back to its mount mode and release the brake pads from the disc, enabling you to replace the brake pads safely. In the case of Land Rover vehicles it can also perform the ‘un-jam’ function before moving to the mount position. The device again made a rapid connection and readers will no doubt agree that functions like this save a lot of time in the workshop.

Diesel Particulate Filter Dynamic Regeneration (DPFDR)
Having this on the tool is very handy, as it negates the need to tie up SDD or any other device you would use for this operation. Like all the applications on this device, it only takes around 30 seconds to start the procedure. Once the vehicle has reached target temperature, and if the soot content is higher than 60 grams, the unit will emit an audible sound for three seconds at 10 second intervals. This now means the vehicle must be driven above 40kph for 15 minutes before a short, high-pitched sound confirms the process is performing correctly.

Service Interval Reset (SIR)
This was the most popular application that I made use of. Other tools on the market seem to struggle with resetting JLR service lights after servicing but the DA-ST512 had no such problems. Within 30 seconds of connecting the device, the application will remove the service warning from the instrument cluster and reset the counters (including oil counter reset, where applicable) and this worked every time…

Read/Clear Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs)
This function allows you to read and clear the DTCs for all the ECUs on the vehicle or you can select an individual network such as: H Can, Low Can and MOST. It’s very quick and displays the codes correctly, along with manufacture code and description. Adding the live data viewer to the device will also give you some quick assistance and information to aid your diagnosis.

Tight Tolerance Mode Toggle (TTMT)
If you carry out wheel alignment in your workshop then this application is vital. The vehicle’s suspension (on some associated models) will need to be locked at a known level to allow geometry checks and adjustments – this is where you will need to use TTMT.

Headlamp levelling
Which is a typical task for body repair shops – can’t be done correctly if the conditions are not met, so the tool again proved very proficient in this area. The process can take up to two minutes to enter or, if you walk away and leave it in TTMT, a “PROCEDURE COMPLETE” message will be displayed.

J2534 Symptom Driven Diagnostics
This function is one of the tool’s hidden gems: one minute it’s a quick service unit, carrying out all of the aforementioned functions, and the next it will double up as a Pass-Thru device which can work in conjunction with SDD to give you main dealer capabilities.

For the function to work you just download the driver from the Diagnostic Associates website. This is very simple to do and works very well, however the instructions for installing and connecting must be followed precisely. Again, this is all featured on DA’s website.

Device registration and updating
This process couldn’t be any simpler and only takes a few minutes. Once registered, you can download the DA App Hub (a PC-based application) from the Diagnostic Associates website and this will allow you to update the current applications you have on the device (for FREE). It’s very easy to navigate and will instantly display the updates that are available on the home screen. Furthermore, you can purchase a raft of additional applications (such as suspension height calibration) as you see fit. All of these cost between £15 and £55 and represent excellent value-for-money.

VERDICT: A cracking, cost-effective unit that I’d recommend to any workshops that want to improve their JLR servicing capabilities!

Diagnostic troubleshooting – Full throttle pedal issue

This vehicle came to me on the back of a customer recommendation and had a problem that proved to be anything but simple to resolve. The engine would start first time but any attempt to apply throttle was getting no response unless pumped or pushed to the floor. Once we acquired the right amount of fuel for a reasonable road/fuel pressure test, I noticed that the car ran extremely well at all constant speeds but the problem occurred in stop-start situations. With all this in mind I ruled out a fuel pressure problem.

As with every car, they all have their own history, so it was time to dig up the first clue. How did this all start? The man had owned the car for just over two years and made sure it went in for its annual service. He explained the problem had begun intermittently but progressively started to get worse. It was taken to a local garage, fitted with new plugs and coils but surprise, surprise the problem was still there.

Initial impression
Whilst in the workshop I had decided, for a change, to check the tail pipe emissions first as it is a quick and easy thing to do. My initial impression was good as they looked well within their limits and if there was a problem with fuel enrichment the emissions readings would be higher than normal (hence an open loop situation). Let’s save this information for later!

It was time to connect my scan tool and check on any fault codes – I found three faults stored. The first read ‘intake manifold pressure sensor short’. To assess this fault, tests were carried out on the MAP sensor and everything was working well within specification. The second (‘fuel injection’) and third (‘incoherence between two switches’) faults however, began to unravel a bit more of a story. The next step was to print and then clear the DTCs, restart the engine and see which of them returned. After a number of restarts one of them reappeared. The code in question was our third reading: ‘incoherence between two switches’ – just as I had suspected!

I couldn’t recall such a DTC from the past and I had to think about all the things I had on my side so far. The symptoms of the car were pretty straightforward: there was a severe situation by the ECU from throttle command or a delayed response to this. The next step was to try and identify the meaning of this very unusual DTC.

I decided to thoroughly examine the throttle to see what I could find from the cause. Firstly I looked at the throttle potensiometer which operates on a twin trade. One side operates or ‘drives’ the throttle body motor, the other side informs the ECU of the position the throttle pedal is in. Both sockets at the pedal were properly secured and it was easier to make the checks at the far end of the ECU. I wasn’t surprised that the voltage output was spot on!

Further checks
One useful thing to note is that a throttle position sensor of this type would close the system down or the limited operation system RPM would be fixed at around 1,250. On earlier systems, where the TPS system is fitted on the throttle body, these spots were quick and easy to find/check as when flat spots would occur during acceleration, complete lack of power would be evident and emissions would be high on idle.

While the engine was hot I noted the idle at around 650 RPM; ideally the motor should be running at 850 but at that point the emissions reading was still low. The next check was to visually monitor the throttle motor operation. A number of tests were carried out and to my surprise I found nothing out of the ordinary and everything was running perfectly. However, now that the engine was running, the story changed when the throttle command was applied. The butterfly began to open then it returned back to idle position.

After sitting down and thinking it all through, the evidence pointed towards a faulty ECU, but I wasn’t going to condemn it just yet. A few weeks previous to this job I was presented with a car that had a minor fault. I discovered a DTC fault that showed a faulty ECU however it’s normal that, when certain adaptations reach maximum limits, an ECU related DTC will be stored. Time to get the scan tool out again.

The adaptions were all reset and the next step was to re-align the throttle potensiometer to the ECU by following this process:

  • Key on
  • Engine off
  • Press the accelerator pedal to the floor
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Press the pedal to the floor
  • Turn the ignition off for one minute

Once the final step had been underaken the engine started promptly. So there we have it – a full throttle pedal command restored!

Diagnosing a tricky MOT failure

When an older model Mercedes failed the MOT test on excessive emissions, the resulting trouble code proved less than straightforward in its attempt to explain the cause of the fault.

Steve Carter is a training specialist who heads up the team at Train4Auto – the sole UK and Ireland training provider for eXponentia.

A 1996 Mercedes E36 AMG was brought into the workshop after it failed its MOT. Apart from a few minor niggles, its main failure was that the emissions (both CO and HC) were a bit high. As a result of these two readings being excessive, it was also obvious that the Lambda was wrong as well.

The car appeared to drive well and was not suffering any major misfire and a 10 minute inspection of the engine bay did not reveal anything untoward. It was now time to see if there were any fault codes stored in the vehicle’s engine management ECM.

Fault code read
The system fitted to the vehicle was a Bosch Motronic M 3.4.2 and, although this vehicle is over 14 years old, the on-board diagnostic system seemed quite advanced for its years. The fault code retrieved was somewhat convoluted, reading: “Dwell angle end of control stop reached”.

Having established our fault code, it was now necessary to drill down further to understand the code definition. The engine management system on this particular vehicle, given its age, controls both fuelling and ignition in one.

So the dwell angle, or the amount of time the coils are being charged under the control of the engine ECM, had reached its limits and the engine ECM could not increase this time any further. This engine management system utilises three double-ended coils which are mounted directly between the camshafts, leaving very limited access for testing the secondary side of the coils. Instead, we focused on the primary side of the coils.

As you can see in Fig 1, there was a textbook primary wave pattern on two of the coils. Just prior to the firing line you can see the current limiting hump, indicating that the coil had become fully charged, and that the engine ECM had stopped charging this particular coil.


Fig 1: Two of the coils in the Mercedes were perfect,
as can be seen in this textbook coil primary trace.

 In Fig 2, the circumstances are far different. You can see straight away that there is no current limiting hump; in fact, 2ms into the coil charging time, the engine ECM stopped charging this coil, or what was more likely happening was that the insulation on this coil was breaking down.


Fig 2: One of the coils in the Mercedes was obviously faulty –
the result of a short to earth through the coil insulation.

Replacing the coil
The breakdown of the coil insulation created an earth path, and prevented this one coil from charging properly. Also note that the burn time was only half the time of the other two coils, and that there are no coil oscillations, therefore indicating a discharged coil. The faulty coil was replaced, the code was cleared and the emissions returned to normal.

Although this particular fault was on a 15 year old Mercedes, I’m sure many other vehicles will be suffering similar faults. However, we expect that the engine management system can recognise these faults and then give a text description that we can actually comprehend and then work with.

As cars get ever more complicated, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the text description of the fault code following the same pattern.

How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 1: Selecting the correct vehicle

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’ from Robert Bosch.

Over the next 12 months Bosch will be running a series of technical articles, focused on how to get the best out of its ESI[tronic] 2.0 software, which is used in conjunction with the KTS range of diagnostic tools for vehicle fault diagnosis and service function procedures. Because of the vast range of features available through the software, Bosch’s technical team will be breaking things down into bite-sized chunks, starting at a beginner level and progressing through to more advanced functions.

ESI[tronic] 2.0 is the windows PC based diagnostic software platform that replaced the original classic software version in 2012.

This update gave us huge improvements in the ease of use with greater speed, efficiency and functionality. The ESI 2.0 software is used in conjunction with KTS 5xx series of VCI (Vehicle Communication Interface) hardware such as KTS 540 or 570 that will connect wirelessly to your PC device.

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’ For the first instalment in this series we’re going to show you some of the different ways available to select the correct vehicle that you want to work on in the ESI[tronic] software. Some readers may find this topic a bit basic but it’s important to remember that this is a crucial first step to ensure accurate results. If you need to perform any task on the vehicle which requires a serial diagnosis interaction with the Bosch tool, or any technical data or maintenance info look-up, it’s essential for the tool to give you information that you can trust.

Every vehicle listing in ESI[tronic] has an identifier code called an ‘RB key’ – this is unique to Bosch and typically consists of two or three letters and up to four numbers, for instance a 2014 Mercedes E220 BlueTec diesel has an RB key of ‘MB5743’ and a 2011 Vauxhall Astra 1.6i petrol is ‘VAU815’. As we cover more than 180 brands with many models you can imagine that there are quite a lot of RB keys to choose from.

Once you’ve selected a vehicle you then have access to the ‘Vehicle Info’, ‘Diagnosis’, ‘Troubleshooting’, ‘Maintenance’, ‘Circuit Diagrams’ (depending on your subscription level) and ‘Equipment’ (parts) tabs that will guide the user through all of the relevant functions and data that we have for that vehicle. If the wrong vehicle is selected by mistake and the diagnostic ECU system that you need is not fully identified, then some diagnostic functions may not work properly.

Warning message
In this case you’ll see a ‘Basic Program’ warning message on screen and the possible functions available may be reduced. If you continue with this you may see unknown DTC’s or Actual Values that are not accurate or even supported. Also the service related information and technical data could be wrong, which is not going to help any technician to do their job well. Our automotive technical hotline team will often ask callers which RB key they have selected so that they can look at the same information on their computer and understand the problem to help find a solution.

The first few ways of selecting a vehicle can be done before connecting the KTS VCI to the car. This is especially useful if you do not know where the 16 pin OBD connector is, as once you have chosen a vehicle you can select the ‘Diagnosis’ tab and click on the ‘diagnosis socket’ soft key which will open up a help file new window containing detailed descriptions and diagrams of the OBD connector type, location on the vehicle and individual pin assignments, if needed.

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

One point to note here is that sometimes the OBD socket location is only shown for a LHD vehicle, so for RHD the connector may be on the other side to that shown in the file.

On the second row of tabs, the first option to select a vehicle is ‘By Description’. Here you will use the drop down boxes to choose the Country (can be useful for imported vehicles), Vehicle Type (Car), Drive type (fuel type, hybrid or electric), Make, Model Series, Type and Engine Code. Depending on the model, this way can take a little longer but you don’t have to select an option in every field. Of course the more detail that is given at this stage will ultimately help to reduce the number of RB keys to choose from.

Correct information

When you think about how many different variations there are of a VW golf, for example, details such as engine code, year of manufacture, body style (saloon or estate) and kW (engine power output) will help you to choose the exact vehicle to get the right ECU diagnosis systems and information.

Going back to the example of the aforementioned Astra, if I select ‘Gasoline/Vauxhall/Astra [J] 2009on’ and click ‘search’ I’m then presented with a choice of nine RB keys, however just one more selection of the engine code (A16XER) brings this choice to just one RB key. Once your desired vehicle selection is highlighted in blue you can carry on with the job by selecting one of the main tabs across the top.

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

If you already know the correct RB key of the vehicle in question (it may be a common car that you work on) then the second option for vehicle selection is super quick. You can directly input the vehicle identifier code under the ‘RB key’ tab, and then highlight the vehicle before continuing with your work.

Thirdly, the ‘Last 30 Vehicles’ tab is a useful feature if it is a car that you were previously working on and have gone back to. As the name suggests, the list will show you the last 30 vehicle selections for you to quickly choose from.

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

The fourth option we have for vehicle selection is the ‘VIN Identification’ tab. This is a function that needs to have the VCI already plugged into the vehicle and, in most cases, it will quickly retrieve the VIN details by serial diagnosis from the mode 9 of Global OBD II. The VIN is then referenced in our databases and the possible vehicle selections are shown.

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

Vehicle selection

Some manufacturers work better than others with this feature, for example the VIN on some cars doesn’t contain model-specific details and the list of vehicles offered could be quite long so selection ‘By Description’ would be better. In most cases the VIN readout will generally give a list of 1-3 RB key possibilities to choose from which can speed up the initial stage of vehicle selection. We have, however, seen some models that don’t even store the VIN in mode 9 of Global OBD II. In this instance you could manually type in the VIN and search the database for an RB key that way.

Once you’re happy with your vehicle selection you can use the main tabs across the top row of the screen to navigate through the software to perform the wide range of diagnostic testing and service related tasks and functions with the tool. As you can see, there are various ways to find the right vehicle within the Bosch software and with experience you will learn which way is best for you and the car you’re working on.