Category Archives: Smart

Bosch and Baidu sign strategic cooperation framework agreement on joint development of smart mobility in China

Bosch and Baidu are further strengthening their cooperation: on June 1, witnessed by Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the two companies signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement on smart mobility in China. Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, and Lu Qi, Group President, Vice Chairman of the board of directors and Chief Operating Officer at Baidu, attended the ceremony and signed the agreement.


“China is the biggest automotive market in the world, and also among the leading countries worldwide in the development of the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).”

Bosch board of management member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel

“China is the biggest automotive market in the world, and also among the leading countries worldwide in the development of the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). We are pleased to have the opportunity to cooperate strategically with Baidu in this way. Combining the know-how of a high-tech internet corporation with our expertise as the world’s biggest automotive supplier, the alliance will promote the development of smart mobility in China,” Hoheisel said.

As a cooperation partner, Bosch will be involved in Baidu’s “Apollo” project, which aims to provide open, comprehensive, and reliable software for the development of automated vehicles. Among other things, Bosch will contribute its sensors and the “Bosch Road Signature” for vehicle localization. Moreover, Bosch and Baidu will provide their technical expertise to support the drafting of legislation relating to automated driving in China.

In April 2017, Bosch established partnerships with leading Chinese map providers, including Baidu, to cooperate on HD maps for automated driving, and to jointly introduce the “Bosch Road Signature” as an accurate localization service in China. This service will combine high-definition maps with Bosch’s advanced camera and radar sensors to ensure the stable positioning and localization of automated cars even in adverse weather conditions.

Baidu, the largest Chinese search engine and internet service provider, has built up expertise in many core technologies relating to automated driving, such as environmental perception, behavior prediction, trajectory planning, smart connectivity, HMI, accurate localization, and HD maps. Baidu has been involved in R&D related to automated driving technology since 2013. “Developing autonomous driving and intelligent cars is a vast collaborative endeavor that requires tremendous efforts from all participants to advance the industry. AI technology is Baidu’s core competency, and Bosch is a leading technology and service provider. Through working together, the two companies will upgrade the intelligent systems of the automobile industry and create an entire new ecosystem for intelligent and autonomous driving cars,” stated Qi Lu.

Bosch has been working on the development of automated driving since 2011. Today, some 3,000 Bosch engineers are working on automated driving worldwide. With driver assistance systems, the company generated sales of more than a billion euros for the first time in 2016, as well as winning orders worth 3.5 billion euros. In China, Bosch is committed to the stepwise realization of automated driving, and is working with many OEMs on driver assistance, braking, and steering systems. Following Germany, the U.S., and Japan, Bosch is now also testing automated driving in China. For partially automated driving on Chinese freeways, Bosch and Baidu have set up a test vehicle on the basis of a Jeep Cherokee. The test vehicle is equipped with numerous Bosch components. These include, among other things, five mid-range radar sensors and a multi-purpose camera for environment recognition, as well as an ESP braking control system and electronic power steering.

A guide to understanding and offering a safe hybrid service

Regulatory demands for better fuel economy and reduced emissions will continue to drive the increase in hybrid vehicles on the road in the future.

In fact, by 2020, it is projected that volumes will nearly triple from the two-million vehicles produced in 2012, so there is no doubt we will continue to see an increase in the number of hybrids entering the aftermarket once the warranty period ends.

Due to the high-voltage circuits contained in most hybrid vehicles, proper service takes on a whole new approach. Improper handling of the hybrid system may result in electrocution and damage to vehicle components, so it is important to closely follow the service procedures found in the approved VM repair manual when servicing these vehicles.

Each hybrid is unique and the proper processes need to be followed for locating/removing or switching off service plugs/switches prior to servicing the vehicle. There are a variety of tools required to help diagnose and service hybrid vehicles.

First, and foremost, a quality diagnostic scan tool is critical for accurate repairs. Additionally, a Category III DVOM is a must for diagnosing high voltage hybrid vehicle circuits. Meters such as the Fluke 1587 allow for insulation testing as well as performing all the other functions of a CAT III meter.


1. Always wear high-voltage insulated gloves rated to 1,000V (minimum) while diagnosing and servicing hybrid vehicles and systems. Use gloves that are in good condition, even as pinholes, can be very dangerous. One way to ‘method-test’ a rubber glove for leaks is to blow into the glove and hold it tight by squeezing or rolling the open end tight. If the glove has a leak it will deflate.

2. High-voltage circuits are typically identified by bright orange cables or wires. The wiring may also be covered by bright orange covers or conduit. When hybrid vehicles are in a workshop, the vehicle may need to be moved, so it’s important to remember that if you’re rolling a vehicle in the garage, with the drive wheels on the ground, the motor generator may be providing power to these circuits. To avoid this condition, wheel dollies are recommended to move hybrids around the workshop.

3. Always remove all jewellery, including watches, necklaces and earrings, when working on a hybrid vehicle. Metal objects conduct electricity and could be a hazard if it inadvertently contacts a voltage source. You should also wear the appropriate protective clothing (high-voltage rubber gloves, face shield, insulated boots, protective coat or apron) when servicing these vehicles.

4. During diagnosis, do not drive the vehicle when it is in “Service Mode”, as it may damage the transmission or other components of the hybrid system. To reset the vehicle, shut it off and restart.

5. If a hybrid is equipped with a “smart key” system, technicians need to be sure the system is disabled prior to performing any servicing work. When in “Ready Mode”, the engine can start at any time, which could create a safety concern if this occurs during vehicle service.

General drive systems maintenance

In 1990, Gates introduced the PowerGrip timing belt kit for Synchronous Belt Drive Systems (SBDS) to the market. At that time, only 6% of installations were timing belt kits. Since then, drive belt technology has been enhanced and timing belt tensions have increased as improvements in the belt materials have allowed replacement intervals to be extended. Today, 90% of installations are belt kits and it is accepted that changing the metal parts at the same time as the timing belt is good preventive maintenance practice – except when it comes to the water pump.

Drive development
High performance engines increasingly depend upon the reliability of drive systems that are designed to run for between 80 and 100,000 miles or more. The routing of the belt and the drive system layouts often differ between models in even the same range. What’s more, OE manufacturers make adjustments to replacement components for existing drive systems or update their recommendations about component installation. Sometimes, this may demand a completely different approach to the installation of the belt or tensioner.

Until recently, water pumps were ignored when it came to regular checks and replacement procedures. However, the water pump bearing is likely to have done just as much work as all the other bearings in the drive system.

Checking water pump bearing in the SBDS

Water pump change
By their nature, drive systems are hostile environments. Premature failure is often caused by dirt thrown up from the road or water ingress, so a leak from the water pump could prove catastrophic to the SBDS. Over the long-term, it makes sense to change the water pump at the same time as the belt because:

1) Prevention is always a better policy than rectification;
2) To replace the water pump, the timing belt has to come off anyway;
3) A used belt cannot be re-fitted;
4) The water pump is subject to wear.

A complete preventive maintenance approach can guarantee customer satisfaction for years to come and there are other advantages. For example, Gates supplies a water pump kit, complete with pump, belt and all the metal parts required to perform an SBDS drive system overhaul. Sourcing the belt kit and the water pump from the same supplier in this way is a smart move. In the event of a problem, technical support is just one phone call or inspection away.

We recommend that kits should always be installed, rather than just belts. Changing the water pump as part of the belt kit makes economic sense both for the customer and the garage. It may save the cost of re-visiting the drive system to replace the water pump in a few months time.

Accessory Belt Drive Systems (ABDS)
ABDS drives are so much more sophisticated, these days. If it is becoming accepted that a drive system overhaul is the route to complete SBDS maintenance, the same argument applies to the ABDS where the number of components has increased.

For example, Torsional Vibration Dampers (TVD) and Overrunning Alternator Pulleys (OAP) are becoming integral parts of the drive system, but the function of OAPs and TVDs is not always fully understood.

TVDs have been designed to take out vibrations produced by other associated parts. Unfortunately as they themselves begin to wear, problems occur elsewhere in the drive that may be incorrectly attributed to the belt or tensioner. Belt replacement alone will not resolve the issue.

More parts in the ABDS means more checks for wear

Technical workshop programme
Increased product knowledge and regular inspections of each drive system – as part of a preventive maintenance policy – is vital. Gates has been working with motor factors and garages to help installers appreciate the benefits of preventive drive system maintenance, understand the pace of technological developments and avoid common installation errors. They also help to explode many myths relating to drive system maintenance at the same time.

These cover:

  • Available technical support
  • Increasing workshop efficiency
  • Reducing fitting times
  • Installation issues, diagnostic techniques and solutions.

The technical workshop programme for 2012, developed in association with local motor factors, is currently being drawn up. Speak to your local Gates distributor to find out if one is taking place near you.

Timing belts – what to change at the scheduled replacement interval

The VW was travelling north on the M1 when the water pump collapsed. Water poured out in spectacular fashion. It had seized, good and solid. Ian Barber, from Nottingham, takes up the story. He took the call for help from his son – a passenger in the car when it broke down. Later, once the drive system cover had been opened, this is what he saw:

“The belt had not slipped off or broken, but there wasn’t much left of it. Incredibly, the engine had continued to run perfectly after the seized water pump had stripped all but a 4mm wide tooth left on the timing belt. It had lost so much material that it was literally hanging by a thread.”

Amazingly, the cam was still timed to the crank. What’s more, the engine had been re-started several times.

“I couldn’t believe the belt was still intact,” says Ian. “Its sheer strength must have saved the engine, otherwise the repair bill could have cost upwards of around £1,000.”

Although the timing belt had been replaced just over a month earlier, the water pump had not been replaced as part of the job. Impressed with the belt’s “lifesaving” achievement, he took the trouble to report his findings via the Gates website, adding: “As it was a Gates belt that had clearly saved the engine, I made sure that it was replaced with another Gates belt.”

Technical expert’s view

Gates Technical Training and Support Team’s belt diagnostician, Andrew Vaux, is called in by motor factors to inspect belt related installation issues. He explains that once a water pump in compromised, drive system damage is inevitable:

“Once it seizes, the belt continues to run, but the stationary teeth on the water pump will usually shear the teeth completely from the belt. Drive system failure is usually immediate and engine damage is normally inevitable. The quality of the belt this time made the difference.”

He adds that a worn bearing on the water pump will cause the belt to track to one side, make contact with either the engine block or drive system cover and quickly wear down. If there is a coolant leak, the water contamination will cause the tensile cord to fail. “Unchecked, the consequences for the engine in each case is usually catastrophic,” he adds.

Supplier’s view

Gates advocates the drive system overhaul. It has led the way on water pump replacement in Synchronous Drive Belt Systems. Introduced in 2005, the Gates Kit Plus Water Pump range provides garages with peace of mind. There is a part number for a VW Golf 1.9 of this age. Installing it would have prevented water pump failure in this case. Moreover, the garage is assured that as the water pump and the belt kit are both supplied by Gates, there will only be one inspection in the event of any subsequent issue.

Good workshop practice

The vehicle is around ten years old and was due for a timing belt replacement and it’s a good bet that, on examination, the water pump “looked ok”. Some installers may take the view that there is money to be saved in trusting the existing water pump. This case proves unequivocally, that even though the water pump seemed sound when the timing belt was changed, the correct course of action is to replace the belt, the tensioner, the idler and the water pump all at the same time.

Smart installers always replace the water pump and it’s a good bet they have fewer warranty issues and less rectification work. Advise the customer that the pump must be replaced as part of a drive system overhaul. According to all reputable data books and technical sources, there is no difference between the standard time for a belt kit installation and the standard time for the job when a water pump is fitted at the same time. It could be argued that the additional cost of the water pump is a small price to pay to insure against £1,000 worth of vehicle repair bills and a lot of inconvenience. Few end users will be as lucky as this VW driver.

Scopes – Why, when and how?

Oscilloscopes are an accepted part of the arsenal of diagnostic tools required for effective fault finding, however I’m still frequently asked ‘Why, Where, When, What and How’ during my training courses.

To try and answer these questions effectively I’ll focus on a series of simple case studies:


The information systems suggest that possible causes for such a fault could be the following:

  • Faulty throttle position sensor
  • Throttle position sensor harness is open or shorted
  • Throttle position sensor circuit poor electrical connection
  • Faulty Engine Control Module (ECM).

The easy option here is to simply replace the pedal (it’s a relatively common failure) but it’s much better to test the component as well as the power, ground and signal wires before condemning any parts or control modules. Obviously this may take longer than just picking up the phone and ordering the suspected part, but it is a vital step in the diagnostic process that could prevent you from making costly mistakes.

Testing the circuit
The best way of testing the complete circuit is to use an oscilloscope, but ‘Why, Where, When, What and How’ should you do this?

Older pedal position sensors use a variable resistance track that changes the voltage sent back to the module, which is then converted into a pedal position. This method uses an analogue signal, which must be converted inside the module into a digital signal for processing. Information systems would suggest connecting up a multi-meter and measuring the resistance as the pedal moved across its full range of movement. A nominal value and a tolerance would then be given.

With this type of sensor I would use an oscilloscope to test the supply voltage (normally 5V), the ground (which must be 0.1V or less) and the signal (which will sweep from 0.6V to around 4.5V). Because the ‘scope draws a picture/waveform you can then study this after the measurement has been taken and examine it for momentary signal failures, or bad sectors on the track. This is very difficult to do using a meter and a momentary glitch could well be missed due to an insufficient sampling rate.

Additional channel
Due to the nature of the input, the signal is often duplicated as a plausibility test and offers a means of failsafe operation. The duplicated signal can be inverted, starting at a high voltage and reducing as the pedal is pressed or a similar signal but at different voltage – sometimes exactly half the primary signal. This can be tested in the same way by employing an additional channel, as shown below.

Analogue Pedal Position Sensor Trace
A good information system will identify the pins on both the sensor and the module; where you test is often down to access, but if the result obtained is incorrect you may have to test at both ends of the circuit to correctly diagnose the fault (open short circuit, module supply and ground faults).

Some newer vehicles, such as this Transit, employ a digital sensor which can be utilised by the module without any further processing of the signal. The sensor output is a fixed frequency variable duty signal and the signal switches on and off very quickly (frequency) with the on-time variable (duty cycle) directly proportional to the position of the pedal, which can be tricky to interrupt using a multi-meter.

Digital Accelerator Pedal Sensor Trace
This test shows that the power and grounds are good, as well as proving the change in pulse width.

An additional measurement, using the ‘measurements’ button, adds the frequency of the signal.

This is a simple procedure that allows you to select the channel, the type of measurement and how long to measure it for. In this case we opted for Channel A, Frequency and Whole trace. The capture below shows a frequency of 216Hz and we can see that the signal is changing 216 times a second.

A good multi-meter doesn’t change its digital display that fast as they’ll typically refresh four times per second.

The problem occurs when checking the smooth transition from the idle position to wide open throttle and this is where the use of a built-in maths channel – to display the duty cycle – is very useful. The maths channels can be used to help interrupt signals that are otherwise difficult to decipher.

To display the Duty Cycle on a PicoScope you need to select Tools>Mathschannels>Create>Advanced>Duty>A>Next>Next>Next>Finish>Ok>

You should then end up with a trace like this:

The black trace is the duty cycle and you’ll notice the smooth transition from closed to wide open throttle. We’ve now tested the signal output, proving the frequency, duty cycle, supply and ground voltages.

I’d recommend that this test should be carried out after you fit any components to ensure the repair was successful. It will also provide a valuable addition to your waveform library.

To see a video of this procedure visit Complete the contact form on the website and GotBoost will send you a free basic oscilloscope guide. 

Are you keeping up? GotBoost can help.
The automotive industry is moving at an incredible pace. Constant demand for increasing performance, comfort and reliability, all whilst producing fewer toxic emissions, has driven the industry forward over recent years.

But are you keeping up? When did you last invest in training for yourself or your staff?

At GotBoost we aim to provide relevant training to help you fix modern vehicles. This will give you the edge on the competition, increase your first time fix rate, and develop the skill-set of you and your staff.

Our training is designed to be inclusive, with levels for everyone from the apprentice to the Master Technician. We want you to learn in an environment designed with the automotive industry in mind.

Most technicians don’t want endless boring lectures; they want to experience the technology from the driving seat of the equipment they will use to tackle the repairs. To help with this we’ve developed a workshop-based learning environment.

Of course you’ll have to understand the basics of the subject first, but we want you to get in the workshop and feel at ease with the tools and technology required to fix modern vehicles.

All of our courses require the learner to get ‘hands on’ so we encourage delegates to bring your their own equipment to try out their new techniques on. You’ll be shown how to do it and can then practice the skills and techniques in a supported environment. Courses include:

Oscilloscope Training: Basic, Advanced, Expert
Diesel Diagnostics: Basic, Advanced, Expert
Vehicle Electrical Systems: Basic Electrical Testing, Smart Charging, Vehicle Networks
Advanced Vehicle Networks & Coding Spark Ignition Diagnostics: Ignition Systems, Port Injection, Direct Injection
Chassis Systems: ABS & Traction Control
Motorsport: Engine Tuning Basic, Engine Tuning Advanced

How does the StARS system work?

The StARS system is a reversible alternator and replaces the conventional alternator and starter motor. The reversible alternator provides the function of alternator and starter combined. The new design allows the conversion of electrical energy into mechanical energy and visa-versa.

The advantages of this new system are:

  • The engine is cranked more rapidly
  • The consumption is reduced at start up
  • Fuel savings are made during normal driving (2-3%) and traffic (up to 15%)

The new system works similar to the conventional alternator where the later applications would have the charge rate controlled by the vehicle ECU (computer controlled and smart charge systems).

The new system now has a separate ECU which administers the reversible alternator and the vehicles engine. When the vehicle is slowed down by the user the ECU analyses the speed of the car and when/if the speed falls under 5mph, the ECU switches off the engine. Once the brake pedal is released, the ECU then gives an order to start the engine again. The reversible alternator plays the part of the starter motor to achieve this.

The system is designed to work in five phases:

1. The vehicle is switched on and the vehicle’s ECU will crank/start the engine. This is done by the battery providing electrical energy and the reversible alternator then acts as a starter motor and helps to crank the engine.

2. During normal driving when the vehicle is not being slowed down the reversible alternator then acts as a conventional alternator by converting the mechanical energy into electrical energy and charging the battery.
3. Once the vehicle speed has been reduced below 5mph by braking the StARS ECU gives an command to stop the engine.

4. Once the brake pedal has been released the StARS ECU then gives a command to start the engine again. The battery provides electrical energy and the reversible alternator plays the part of the starter motor and cranks then engine.

5. The vehicle is switched off and the vehicle ECU will stop the engine.

How do Stop-Start systems work?

The last few years have seen the introduction of Stop-Start systems by many manufacturers across various vehicle models to improve fuel consumption and reduce exhaust emissions.

One of the main problems the introduction of Stop-Start systems has caused is that when the starter is operated the voltage in the vehicle’s electrical system can drop. In normal circumstances this is not a problem, the vehicle is not usually in “driving mode” and it doesn’t matter if some of the vehicle electrical systems do not function during starter motor operation (exterior lights, heating & air conditioning and audio systems, for example). However, during driving this is not acceptable for reasons of safety and driver convenience.

To counter this problem most systems use an additional power supply to ensure that voltage-critical equipment will not stop operating during starter motor operation. For some models this consists of a large capacitor that is charged by the alternator using engine power, or kinetic energy generated during deceleration and braking.

Considerable thought has been given to the safety mechanisms; most, if not all, Stop-Start systems will not operate if any of the doors or the bonnet is open and will only operate if sufficient vacuum is available to ensure the normal operation of the braking system.
As the use of Stop-Start technology is increasingly adopted, there are now as many systems as there are manufacturers, but they can be categorised as follows:

  • Those using a “conventional” starter motor
  • Those using a combined starter motor/alternator

Although some models use a conventional starter motor for cold start and Stop-Start operation, it is usually modified to ensure it can withstand the extra use it will encounter. However, the time taken to start the engine with this system is thought by some to be too long so other models are using a different approach.
Battery technology is also changing, with the extra starting cycles requiring a more robust battery construction. Absorbent glass matt (AGM) batteries, Gel batteries or the slightly cheaper enhanced flooded batteries (EFB) variants can be found in most vehicles with Stop-Start systems. Replacement of these batteries may necessitate programming of the vehicle’s computer system to allow the battery degradation process to be monitored. On many models the Stop-Start system will be disabled for up to 24 hours following battery disconnection or replacement to allow the battery condition to be evaluated.

Which Stop-Start Application Do They Use?
Toyota Yaris

The Stop-Start system of the Toyota Yaris has its starter motor in constant engagement with the flywheel ring gear and then the ring gear is connected to the engine flywheel with a one way clutch. This, together with recognition of the engine’s static crankshaft position, allows instantaneous ignition of the correct cylinder, thereby reducing starting time.

It is interesting to note that the number of starter motor operations is recorded and the calculated “end of starter lifespan” is indicated by a flashing warning lamp on the instrument panel. After replacement of the starter motor the counter has to be reset.

PSA group

Using a conventional type of starter motor for cold start, the Peugeot/Citroen group employs a combined starter motor and alternator assembly (so called reversible alternator) for the Stop-Start system. Connected to the engine crankshaft with the auxiliary drive belt, it provides silent operation and short starting time.

Unlike conventional alternators, diodes are not used; instead voltage rectification and motor operation use metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). Presently, it would appear that it is only the “e-HDi” models that use the aforementioned capacitor.

3 Essential Items That You’ll Need When Servicing Stop-Start Systems

Starters & Alternators 

Used in many modern vehicles, StARS (Stop start Alternator Reversible System) consists of a reversible alternator that replaces the conventional alternator and starter motor. The reversible alternator provides the function of alternator and starter combined with the new design allowing the conversion of electrical energy into mechanical energy, and visa-versa.

StARS works similar to the conventional alternator where the later applications would have the charge rate controlled by the vehicle ECU (computer controlled and smart charge systems). The new variation now has a separate ECU which administers the reversible alternator and the vehicle’s engine.
When the vehicle is slowed down by the user the ECU analyses the speed of the car and if/when the speed falls under 5mph the ECU switches off the engine. Once the brake pedal is released the ECU then gives an order to start the engine again. The reversible alternator plays the part of the starter motor to achieve this.

The system is designed to work in 5 phases:
1. The vehicle is switched on and the ECU will crank/start the engine. This is achieved by the battery providing electrical energy and the reversible alternator then acts as a starter motor to help crank the engine.

2. During normal driving (when the vehicle is not being slowed down) the reversible alternator then acts as a conventional alternator by converting the mechanical energy into electrical energy and charging the battery.

3. Once the vehicle speed has been reduced below 5mph by braking the StARS ECU gives a command to stop the engine.

4. Once the brake pedal has been released the StARS ECU then gives a command to start the engine again. The battery provides electrical energy and the reversible alternator plays the part of the starter motor and cranks the engine.

5. The vehicle is switched off and the ECU will stop the engine

AUTOELECTRO provides a whole array of replacement starter motors and alternators for modern Stop-Start systems and applications.

Servicing Data 

AUTODATA has enhanced its online product offering to include technical information on vehicles with Stop-Start technology.
The technical information provided by Autodata on its online system enables technicians to identify the specific location of key elements such as the main battery, additional battery and the Stop-Start capacitor.

Procedures for disconnecting and reconnecting each element are clearly explained along with additional information for servicing the system.

Replacement Batteries
EXIDE has expanded its coverage of the UK car parc with new AGM and ECM batteries. The new products cover vehicles from VW, Audi, Toyota, Ford and a slew of other brands.
Exide’s AGM batteries are claimed to have around three times the lifecycle durability of standard batteries. Parts of “matching quality”, they are designed for cars with Start-Stop and regenerative braking systems. They are also used in standard vehicles to increase endurance and performance.

AGM battery coverage: Audi A1, A4, A5 and Q5; BMW 5, 6, 7, X5 and X6; VW Golf, Polo and Touareg; Chrysler Voyager; Dodge Caliber; Jeep Cherokee and many others.

ECM battery coverage: Ford Fiesta, Galaxy, Focus, Mondeo, B-Max, C-Max and S-Max; Toyota iQ; Mazda CX-5 and a range of other models.

“ESP saves lives.”

Gerhard Steiger, President of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control Division, charts the development of a now integral part of a vehicle’s safety system.

The end of 2015 will see an EU adoption of the electronic stability program (ESP) as a universal standard. As of November 1st last year, newly registered passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tonnes have to be equipped with the ESP anti-skid system. The regulation will then take effect for all other vehicles one year later.

In 2011, ESP prevented more than 33,000 accidents involving injury and saved more than 1,000 lives in the EU member states (of which there were 25 at the time), even though the system was only installed in an estimated 40% of vehicles. An accident research study by Bosch confirms its effectiveness. After the seat belt, ESP is the most important vehicle safety system; even more so than the airbag. Bosch has manufactured 100 million ESP systems since series production began in 1995.

How does it work?
Swerving on dry, wet, muddy, or slippery roads often results in severe traffic accidents. Using smart sensors 25 times per second, ESP compares whether the car is actually moving in the direction in which the driver is steering it. If the measured values do not match, the anti-skid system intervenes and first reduces engine torque. If that is not sufficient, it additionally brakes individual wheels, generating the counterforce needed to keep a vehicle on course.

ESP is the logical next step in the further development of the ABS antilock braking system, created by Bosch in 1978. Today, it is much more than a mere anti-skid system. A number of value-added functions now account for most of its performance, including the ability of ESP to prevent a vehicle from rolling backwards during hill starts. It is also able to stabilise swerving trailers and to reduce the rollover risk of sports utility and light commercial vehicles.

Driving assistance
The electronic stability program also plays a key role when it comes to many driver assistance systems and automated driving, which is why its development is always ongoing. With its customised solutions, Bosch supports the worldwide efforts of manufacturers and governments to make active safety systems standard equipment in every vehicle.

Since being launched in 1995, ESP has prevented 190,000 accidents and saved more than 6,000 lives across Europe.

According to independent studies, up to 80% of skidding accidents on the road could be prevented if all vehicles were equipped with an anti-skid system.

Want to see how ESP works with your own eyes? View the animated video:

Why does poor turbo boost occur?

Unfortunately, simply installing a direct replacement may not be the end of the story when a workshop is faced with a problematic turbocharger.

If performance problems in a petrol-engine vehicle persist, even after the replacement has been fitted, the issue may well be due to a malfunctioning recirculation air valve (RAV).

If the RAV is damaged or malfunctioning, the inevitable result is poor engine responsiveness and, to make matters worse, the problem could even lead to the turbocharger failing as a result of it being overloaded.

The RAV is installed either directly on the turbocharger itself or in the pressure side area of the charge air line. Poor engine performance can be caused by factors such as a ruptured membrane on the inside, leaking control lines or corroded plug contacts.

With electronic RAVs, an entry is generally created in the ECU, so checking the fault memory will save workshops a lot of time and unnecessary labour.

What does a RAV do?
The task of the RAV is to take a proactive measure against turbo lag by preventing a backlog of charge air, which can accumulate as a result of gearshifts and causes the deceleration of the rotating assembly.

If the driver suddenly eases off the accelerator pedal at high turbocharger speed, it will cause the throttle valve to close and high dynamic pressure to be generated on the compressor side, which cannot escape. This counter pressure drastically slows down the impeller and leads to high mechanical loads on the turbocharger and the closed throttle valve. Once the gear change is completed and the throttle valve reopens, the turbocharger has to be brought up to speed again, which is why there is a delay.

RAVs minimise the delay following these load changes – commonly known as turbo lag – by releasing the accumulated charge air between the compressor side and the closed throttle valve via a bypass. Once it has passed through the compressor, it is guided back into the intake section ahead of the turbocharger.

This loss of pressure on the compressor side prevents a deceleration of the impeller and when the throttle valve reopens, the RAV closes and the boost pressure increases immediately. Therefore a noticeable drop in performance should always lead technicians to check the RAV before replacing the turbocharger.

Turbo range
Through its joint venture with Bosch, MAHLE Aftermarket is now able to supply the UK aftermarket with an extensive range of OE quality turbochargers for petrol engines developing 45-220 kW and diesel engines rated between 35-165kW.

Latest additions to the MAHLE Original range are part numbers 011TC17498000 for four cylinder 92kW engines fitted to Vauxhall Vectra, Saab 9-3 and various Volvo models, 082TC14411000 for four cylinder 135kW engines used in BMW 3 Series and X5 models and 222TC15242000 for three cylinder engines fitted to the Smart range.

How to improve your KTS diagnostics capabilities. Part 2: System overview and protocol reports

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’ from Robert Bosch.

This regular series of technical articles from Bosch focusses 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. 

In the first instalment of the series we covered the importance of selecting the right vehicle within Bosch ESI[tronic] 2.0 to ensure that you get reliable information from the tool to assist with an accurate diagnosis and repair. In this month’s column we’ll show you a few more features that help to highlight how the Bosch diagnostic system does so much more than just reading and erasing the DTC error memory of an ECU.

‘System Overview’ feature 

We like to think of this great feature as a ‘complete vehicle diagnostic check’. In our opinion it is a good idea to perform this function on every vehicle that comes into the workshop for a service or repair. Firstly it could highlight any intermittent or pending electrical or mechanical problems in a system on the vehicle that the customer may not be aware of. Secondly it is a useful way to check that the vehicle has a clean bill of health when it is returned to the owner after any service or repair work is completed.

In ESI[tronic] 2.0, under the Diagnosis main tab, the System Overview can be performed by clicking on ‘System search’ F12 soft key in the ‘System Overview’ sub tab. The KTS will perform a full ‘Control unit search’ of all communicating systems fitted to the vehicle and then populate a list of ECU’s that are present and the number of fault codes (if any) in each one.

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

Many newer vehicles will now support a fast CAN Bus search of all of the ECU’s on the vehicle system communication network. The results of the system overview can vary from car-to-car due to some vehicle manufacturer differences and, as such, some full diagnostic scans are very fast. Certain vehicle brands can have up to 60 ECU’s that can all be checked in less than a minute, which makes it really quick for the technician to be able to assess the diagnostic state of the vehicle. With some other cars the process may take a bit longer, as the KTS will have to check each ECU one by one for presence and fault status in each group.

When the system overview is complete you will see a list of all ECU systems that are communicating and an indication if any fault codes are present. This can be very useful when analysing a vehicle before any in-depth diagnostic testing as certain faults – such as traction control and ESP problems – can log a DTC in more than one ECU (engine and ABS).

The ‘F3’ save button can be used to store this complete list into the job report (‘Protocol’ – we’ll talk about this later). Then, if the ‘F5’ fault details button is clicked, a specific list of DTC’s and descriptions (where available) is then shown which again can be saved to the job protocol with the ‘Save’ F3 soft key. At this point the ‘Delete all faults’ F7 soft key can be used to see which trouble codes will clear and which ones are static faults at that moment.

Going back to the overview list, if required, any of the system names in the categories can be double-clicked for direct access to the ECU diagnostic functions for further investigation and testing. If the fault code is erased at this point, the overview list will refresh when you return to it, meaning that you can save a ‘before’ and ‘after’ status of the job that you’re working on to show to the customer.

Using the protocol report (described in the next section), it is very simple to use the system overview to produce a professional and accurate vehicle report which can be used to justify any repairs that have been carried out in the workshop to the vehicle owner.

‘Protocols’ feature

This is another great feature in Bosch ESI[tronic] 2.0. Whilst using the diagnostic features of the KTS, if you see the ‘Save’ or ‘Store’ (F2 or F4 soft keys) along the bottom, any data on the screen at that time will be added to the job protocol. This report will show the whole process followed by the technician during any diagnostic fault finding work.

This could include a whole host of information, including the ECU system names and identification details, the number of trouble codes stored and descriptions, which trouble shooting (SIS) repair instructions have been followed and the results of any direct multimeter measurements made from the test plan. Other data includes the erase error memory function, actual value parameters in numerical format or time profile (this consists of a screen shot of the AV graphing) and also which actuators, function tests, adjustments/settings or special functions were performed.

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

The amount of information that is saved in the protocol can be defined to suit your preference under ‘User settings’ in the main menu, along with your garage details that will appear on the report. One of these features is an operation time stamp which could be useful if you’re justifying a lengthy repair process, or it can be turned off, if not needed.

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

Under ‘Main menu’, ‘Protocols’ the list of stored reports can be accessed and, by clicking on ‘edit’ the customer details, job number, technician’s name and vehicle info can be added, along with any advisory comments to be reported to the customer.

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

At any point the protocol file can be previewed and saved in .pdf format to another folder or to be printed. The printed protocol report looks extremely smart (especially if printed in colour) and is great to attach to the invoice of a job that involved any diagnostic interaction so that the customer can see what was found and subsequently repaired (if necessary) to solve the problem.

Every time a different vehicle is selected and some information is saved a new protocol report will be generated with the relevant details. This is then added to the list in the main menu. A new feature in ESI[tronic] 2.0 is that you can now continue saving data to a previous protocol in the ‘last 30 vehicles’ list if you return to an unfinished job after working on other vehicles.

KTS diagnotics made ‘ESI’

We hope that these short explanations help you with these great Bosch ESI 2.0 features and if you’re not using them already, what are you waiting for?