Tool Review: Bosch KTS 340 mobile vehicle diagnostic tool
The Bosch KTS 340 is truly a “multifunctional” diagnostic and technical information system. Actually, it does much more than simply “test.” The unit provides so much information, that its range of abilities are difficult to initially appreciate. It’s like having a scanner, troubleshooting guide, service manual, TSB data base, multimeter, record-keeper, vehicle build sheet, vehicle systems tester, and a vehicle-specific expert tech guiding you through every step, all in one hand-held package. And to top it all off, it doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to operate.
The KTS-340 basically does everything for you expect grab a wrench and apply torque. With ease, you can perform in-depth diagnostics, perform resets, and reference a host of maintenance, service schedule, tech bulletins, component locations, troubleshooting guides and steps.
The database in the tool is mind boggling. As far as I can see so far, every vehicle with a diagnostic connection is included. This tool (it’s difficult to refer to it as a mere “scan” tool, because of its enormous capabilities) operates so easily that it’s actually fun to use. Everything is clearly labeled and arranged for ultimate user convenience.
Aside from the on/off power button, there are no additional buttons or switches to mess with. All functions are handled by using the included touch screen pen on the large 8.4-inch touch screen. The screen provides a very large and extremely sharp display (I didn’t even need to wear my reading glasses).
This is way-cool. I’ve never had a “scanner” tool that also worked as a full-range multimeter.
The Channel 1 connections (socket yellow (+) and blue (-) and Channel 2 (socket red (+) and black (ground) offer probe connections. CAS (plus) also makes the multimeter function available directly on the troubleshooting interface (resistance, current and voltage values with automatic target-actual comparison). The measured values can also be displayed as curves.
The KTS 340 package includes a power supply unit, main connection cable, battery charger, OBD adapters, OBD diagnostics cable, Uni 4 adapter, a red measurement cable, blue measurement cable, yellow measurement cable, black measurement cable, red test point, black terminal, USB connecting cable, touch pen and a sturdy carrying/storage case.
A new variable charging tray is also available for convenient unit charging. Simply place the unit onto the tray for a quick recharge. Oh, by the way, the included USB cable can be used to download vehicle info to your PC, or to make a printout. But it doesn’t stop there. The wireless capability allows you to even send info to a printer, and to obtain routine software updates from Bosch using the wireless feature.
Easy and accurate
The operation of the KTS 340 is almost magical. The screen prompts are extremely easy to follow (the unit basically walks you through the entire test, diagnostics and troubleshooting procedures). Using the touch pen, you easily walk through, from a system overview, directly into diagnostics or troubleshooting instructions; then from troubleshooting to specific repair instructions, and verification after repair.
More than just another scanner that reads trouble codes, the KTS 340 software links the error codes with troubleshooting instructions. You are able to quickly jump to troubleshooting or component repair at any time, rather than waiting to complete an existing procedure (you can quickly jump back and forth). This isn’t your typical scanner... the KTS 340 is a very, very smart tool that allows even a novice to perform a scan and to pinpoint needed repairs.
This tool does it all. Not only can you scan and diagnose error codes, you can access just about any information possible relative to the specific vehicle (circuit diagrams, maintenance schedules, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical connection diagrams, location of various system components, etc.). And, you can even quickly access any and all technical service bulletins that have been released by the automaker.
This tool basically tells you everything about the vehicle at hand except what color underwear the driver wore last Tuesday. It’s incredible. The fault-finding instructions clearly show the way to perform a needed repair, rather than simply providing DTCs and their definitions. The tool does the thinking for you. It gets even better: the tool identifies the vehicle at hand, informing you not only of the make/model/year and VIN, but also tells you what equipment (stock or optional) is present on the vehicle, and even tells you where the diagnostic connection is located. Vehicle system information is not only listed, but includes component and system illustrations, as well.
I tried the unit out on my personal 2002 Ford F350 Super Duty (7.3L Navistar turbo diesel). After plugging the cable into the diagnostic port, and after recognizing the vehicle (it knew the VIN and what factory equipment was installed), I used the touch screen “pen” and selected a DTC scan. Within a few seconds, it informed me that the right front ABS sensor was bad (it showed the code, and spelled out in plain English that the right front ABS sensor was at fault).
I cleared the code, replaced the sensor, tested again, and no codes were present. I also used the multimeter function (using probes supplied with the kit), and I could grab numbers or graphs, whichever suited my fancy. With the touch of the pen, I initiated a test mode that ran through the entire vehicle system, testing every sensor and actuator circuit.
Using the wireless capability that’s built-in, I looked for TSBs and found that I could choose factory info, aftermarket repair databases, etc. Even for a dummy like me, this multi-function diagnostic tool is easy to use... it prompts you through every step. I had no trouble navigating through every feature, without the need for an instruction manual. It’s that easy.
I’d love to have the time (and space in this article) to run through all of the KTS-340’s capabilities, but at this point it’s enough to say that the price (in the $5,000 range) is worth admission to this tool’s world of identification, diagnostic, troubleshooting, repair and testing information. The KTS-340 definitely speeds up diagnostics, testing and tech reference access.
KTS 340 specs
• Linux operating system
• 8 GB SD card
• 8.4-inch TFT color display with touch screen
• Screen resolution: 800 x 600 dpi
• Integrated two-channel multimeter, WLAN
• Status indicators: On/Off LED and battery charge status
• Battery service life: approximately one to two hours on 8 AA batteries
• Impact-protected housing
• Dimensions: 11.4-inch W x 8.425-inch H x 2.64-inch D (290 x 214 x 67 mm)
• Operating temperature: 32 degrees F to 104 degrees F (0 to 40 degrees C)
• Weight: 4.4 lbs. (2 kg)
A host of accessories is also available, including adapter cables for all vehicle makes.