Tool Review: Bosch ESI[Truck]

March 10, 2016
The reviewer says the Bosch ESI[Truck] scan tool provides his shop with "unmatched" efficiency compared to other scan tools.

The Bosch ESI[Truck], a heavy duty (HD) truck scan tool, offers a solution to independent repair shops and fleets seeking a single scan tool for all heavy duty and medium duty (MD) trucks. The intuitive, easy-to-use ESI[Truck] covers all major HD truck, MD truck, engine, transmission and brake system combinations with diagnostics and embedded repair information.

In addition to the ESI[Truck] running parameter resets, conducting bidirectional diagnostic tests and maintenance adjustments, it has wiring diagrams, component information, electrical specifications and step-by-step troubleshooting for common causes of error codes for increased shop efficiency. The tool includes basic OBD-II scan for light duty trucks 1996 and newer.

The Review

The reviewer says the Bosch ESI[Truck] scan tool provides his shop with "unmatched efficiency" compared to other scan tools. Paul Schmitt, daytime service manager for Fleet Maintenance, Inc., a company specializing in commercial vehicle service out of Eden Prairie, Minn., says when connected to WI-FI, the tool simply needs to be plugged into the vehicle and the vehicle information comes up automatically. 

Schmitt has used this tool on many occasions. Recently, he used the ESI[Truck] for a cylinder balance test on a Peterbilt with a Cummins N14 Plus that was experiencing a "running rough problem." He says with the tool, "we could pinpoint the cylinder and injector that was giving the issue. That saved a lot of time."

The customer brought the Peterbilt in complaining that the truck died on him several times but always would restart. Schmitt says: "So when we got the truck in the shop, we looked it over. All checked out okay – all fluids were good, no warning lights were on and it ran fine for us."

When Schmitt's team hooked up the ESI[Truck], it gave them a high-temperature code with 10 occurrences. His team knew the coolant level was good because it was something they had already checked, so they started looking at other high-temperature problem areas. This led them to the water pump, which turned out to be bad – the impeller was not turning. Once the water pump was replaced, they cleared the codes and the problem was fixed. 

Schmitt says there are many things he likes about this heavy duty scan tool, including the Windows-based platform. "The Windows-based setup is really easy to use," he says. "It asks the questions it needs to know for which direction we want to go in. It’s like having a new iPhone. It’s really easy to work with."

He also likes the automatic VIN feature and the 10" touchscreen, and he especially likes that these features increase ease-of-use for technicians.

Schmitt has used similar heavy duty scan tools from other companies, but this tool provides his company with features he hasn't yet seen. Compared to other tools, he says it offers "a bigger screen, more capabilities, a touchscreen and more information. They’ve done their homework and there’s a wealth of information available."

He adds that there isn't really anything that he doesn't like about this tool. "Charging is okay. Battery life is good. We haven’t had any complaints about it."

Fleet Maintenance works on every kind of truck, says Schmitt, and even though this tool can't do everything that factory tools can, such as reprogramming, it offers well-rounded coverage for many models. "For what we’ve found, this offers the best coverage for the package."

He says this tool can also be used for diagnostics on trailers, with a trailer adapter accessory (No. 3824-0), which he says will be extremely helpful. 

The ESI[Truck] came packaged in a blow molded case, but Schmitt says they leave it plugged in on the shop counter so it is easily accessible and ready to use. 

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