Fleet Maintenance - 36


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ยป The IOSiX ELD Connector, to the left of the clutch petal, is plugged into a Deutsch 9-pin port on a Freightliner Cascadia.
This telematics device is used to monitor hours of service, analyze fuel consumption and driver behavior, and can
perform diagnostics.
Photo courtesy of IOSiX

All scan tools are
not created equal
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A look at the differences between basic
and advanced diagnostic scan tools.
As vehicles on the road today
become increasingly more reliant on
computers and data, diagnostic tools
have evolved as part of the frequently
used tools for shop technicians.
Questions from professional technicians, fleet managers, and consumers
often come up about the difference
between the vast array of different
automotive and heavy duty scan
tools available on the market. A quick
review of the general differences
between basic versus advanced diagnostic systems may help clear up some
of the confusion.

Differences in source

Original equipment manufacturer
(OEM) diagnostic scan tools are becom-

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36 Fleet Maintenance | August 2019

By Robert Vogt

ing increasingly available to shops
and individuals through time-based
licensing directly from manufacturers.
These tools typically require a J2534- or
RP1210-compatible interface and run
on a Windows PC.
In general, these tools have the best
support for a given manufacturer's
vehicles. However, OEM scan tools are
not as flexible as aftermarket tools and
usually cost quite a bit more. This cost
can add up, especially when a fleet
needs to have one license for each
make serviced in the shop.
Aftermarket diagnostic scan tools
are created from data licensed through
each OEM, combined with extensive test
and validation work done by the tool
manufacturer. This article will focus on
aftermarket diagnostic scan tools.

Voyomotive is a provider of advanced telematics system for industry partners and consumers. Vogt has been designing and building
advanced diagnostics equipment for the automotive industry for the
past 15 years. He serves on the board for the Equipment and Tool
Institute (ETI), the data licensing body for aftermarket diagnostic scan
tools; and on the SAE J3138 cybersecurity and J1978 scan tool committees. He is also the chief executive officer of IOSiX, a manufacturer
of miniaturized telematics and ELD hardware.

Differences in
Aftermarket scan tools fall under
two different categories: basic and
advanced. Basic diagnostic scan tools
or systems, sometimes referred to as
generic scan tools, typically can only
read data from the engine control unit
(ECU), and possibly the transmission
control unit (TCU), or hybrid controller. Basic diagnostic tools provide emissions-related data only. In reference to
the ECU, TCU, or hybrid controller, the
controller in this case essentially means
computer. These controllers will run
and manage the operation of different systems on a vehicle. The number
of controllers varies by car model, but
there are generally 20 to 50 different
controllers on a new car, and 10 to 30
controllers on a new heavy truck.
Most basic scan tools or systems
only decode SAE-standard diagnostic
trouble codes (DTCs). This diagnostic
tool category has little to no support
for advanced manufacturer-proprietary test modes or data. In other
words, general code readers will not
provide specific diagnostic information on a vehicle manufacturer or
name plate. As a result, these basic
scan tools may miss up to 90 percent
of DTCs present on a modern vehicle.

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Fleet Maintenance

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance

Uptime: Is assessing cost-per-mile enough?
Do you know your TCO?
Vehicles: How to ensure optimum air system performance
In the Bay: The ABCs of ADBs
Shop Operations: The importance of managing fluid dispensing in the shop
Training: Invest in the future
Diagnostics: All scan tools are not created equal
Management: Are you good at PM?
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial: Cold weather solutions for fleets
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime: Is assessing cost-per-mile enough?
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Do you know your TCO?
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - 12
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - Vehicles: How to ensure optimum air system performance
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay: The ABCs of ADBs
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - 24
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations: The importance of managing fluid dispensing in the shop
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - 30
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - Training: Invest in the future
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - Diagnostics: All scan tools are not created equal
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - Management: Are you good at PM?
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 40
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - 44
Fleet Maintenance - 45
Fleet Maintenance - 46
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - 48
Fleet Maintenance - 49
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial: Cold weather solutions for fleets
Fleet Maintenance - 51
Fleet Maintenance - 52
Fleet Maintenance - S1
Fleet Maintenance - S2
Fleet Maintenance - S3
Fleet Maintenance - S4
Fleet Maintenance - S5
Fleet Maintenance - S6
Fleet Maintenance - S7
Fleet Maintenance - S8
Fleet Maintenance - S9
Fleet Maintenance - S10
Fleet Maintenance - S11
Fleet Maintenance - S12
Fleet Maintenance - S13
Fleet Maintenance - S14
Fleet Maintenance - S15
Fleet Maintenance - S16
Fleet Maintenance - S17
Fleet Maintenance - S18
Fleet Maintenance - S19
Fleet Maintenance - S20