Tool Review: Bosch 3824 ESI[truck] Expert Scan Tool

June 11, 2018
This well-designed scan tool is made even better by the included tech support, the reviewer says.

The Bosch 3824 ESI[truck] Expert Scan Tool features heavy duty vehicle coverage to scan, diagnose and repair trucks. This tool offers OEM-specific coverage, manual DPF regeneration capabilities, component actuations and actuation tests. The 3824 also offers brake, transmission and trailer ABS coverage, as well as system info, technical info, parameter configurations, change calibrations, wiring diagrams, injector coding and service schedules. This tool is designed to cover all major HD truck, MD truck, engine, transmission and brake system combinations with diagnostics, component actuations, special tests and automatic module identification for Class 6-8 trucks. This tool comes as a 10.1" rugged Windows tablet or as a PC kit.

The review

Howard Flowers, owner of Tallahassee Truck and RV Service in Tallahassee, Florida, says that the Bosch 3824 ESI[truck] Expert Scan Tool is a one-tool-fits-all solution for his shop. The shop services all different makes and models of heavy duty trucks, and Flowers says that he’s yet to find one that can stump this scan tool.

“It’s very reliable,” he says. “It saves us a lot of time just from the pure fact that it has the ability to interface with all makes and models.”

Flowers notes that while there is a bit of a learning curve with a device as advanced as this, the tool is also very intuitive and user-friendly, providing step-by-step instructions and tips to the user. When going through the steps of diagnosing a vehicle, Flowers says the 3824 provides “a full detailed photo of the actual plug [and] the actual buttons to press.”

“Say, for instance, we plug into a Volvo,” Flowers says. “It’ll give you a picture of the Volvo software, the Volvo plug, the location [of the port] on the truck. It’s just light years [ahead].”

If he does get stuck or has a problem with the device, Flowers says that Bosch’s technical support is “unbelievable.”

“You can TeamView with Bosch tech support,” he says. “They’ll come right online with TeamViewer and they’ll troubleshoot your tool and test your tool, and that’s free. Tech support is there every time, and they have never left us hanging.”

Flowers praised the packaging of the device, saying that the case it comes in has sections to secure all of the pieces that come with the device, even the cords.

“I took it out in the field twice today,” he says. “You can open up the case and set it up on the bed or the floorboard of a truck. It’s just packaged so nice.”

As for the design of the scan tool itself, Flowers says that there are handles molded into the protective rubber molding that are formed to fit the user’s fingers and thumbs when holding it.

The device has the ability to recognize the vehicle and all of its modules simply by connecting it to the diagnostics port. However, Flowers notes that if the device doesn’t recognize the vehicle automatically, the user can manually enter the VIN.

“Ninety-nine out of 100 times, you enter the VIN and it automatically identifies every single module on that truck: the transmission, the ABS, the brakes, the engine,” Flowers says.

Flowers also appreciates that the software includes all makes and models, whereas with OEM devices, he would have to purchase software for each one every year.

“[With OEM devices,] every year you have to renew your software with Cat, Cummins, Allison, Detroit, Mack, Volvo,” Flowers says. “When you do your once a year [Bosch] renewal, you get all of that new software every year, all on one [device] versus 10.”

The only thing Flowers would change about the device would be to add “a simple cover that you put over the screen” to make it easier to see in direct sunlight.

Other than that minor detail, Flowers finds the 3824 to be “a jewel.”

“If more shops knew about the capabilities of this tool, every shop in the United States would have one of these sitting on their desk,” he says.

About the Author

David Brierley | Editor | Fleet Maintenance

David Brierley is the editor of Fleet Maintenance magazine.

Brierley’s education and career have been based in the publishing industry. He is an award-winning writer and comes from a background in automotive, trucking, and heavy equipment. Brierley joined the Endeavor Business Media vehicle repair group in 2017 as managing editor for Fleet Maintenance, PTEN, and Professional Distributor magazines, as well as VehicleServicePros.com. In his current role, he writes for and oversees production of Fleet Maintenance magazine. He has worked in the publishing industry since 2011.

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