Bosch Automotive educates ISN attendees about heavy duty diagnostics

Interested in getting into the heavy duty diagnostics market? Several distributors at the recent ISN Tool Dealer Expo at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. were interested in this market, and they took advantage to learn about it during a training session by Adam McEwen, strategic account manager for heavy duty at Bosch Automotive Service Solutions.

McEwen began the presentation by noting that Bosch will continue to use the OTC brand name for most its diagnostic tools. Bosch acquired OTC earlier this year.

McEwen then noted that scan tools for heavy duty vehicles are different from light duty ones. “It’s nothing like light duty,” he said. “It (the scan tool) cares what engine it’s communicating with, what transmission it’s communicating with. It goes by system, not year, make and model. Heavy duty standard is heavy duty standard.”

The directive that some states have imposed on OEs to make their repair information available to the aftermarket does not apply to the heavy duty vehicles, McEwen noted. He thinks that in time the standardization will come to the heavy duty market, but it is not there yet. He noted that the Massachusetts Right to Repair law will hopefully drive greater access of OE information for heavy duty scan tools.

“You’re still going to be limited once those 2010 trucks filter into the aftermarket,” he noted. “It goes by what laws apply to the manufacturing of that vehicle whether or not the aftermarket has access.”

Because of this, there exists a big need for more information on heavy duty scan tools.
“Price always equals capabilities with our scan tools,” he said.

OTC recently introduced a wireless diagnostic system called EZ TAP-HD. This provides a wireless link from the truck to the laptop. “It saves the price of cabling,” McEwen said. “He (the shop owner) can save the money by not buying their OE cabling. Everything is going PC-based.”

The wireless unit costs from $1,100 to $1,800 retail, depending on the length of wireless access. The unit can provide data up to 100 feet, 300 feet or 1,000 feet, depending on the model.

The EZ TAP-HD also allows the user to program alerts based on parameters such as tire pressure. “Telematics this is,” McEwen said.

He noted that OTC has several scan tools that address heavy duty vehicles, including the OTC 3417, the 3874HD and the 3418.