What is OBD?

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On-Board Diagnostics (OBD):

On-board diagnostics (OBD) is an automotive term relating a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. OBD systems give the vehicle owner or repair technician access to the status of the assorted vehicle sub-systems. The quantity of diagnostic information available via OBD has varied widely since its introduction within the early 1980s versions of on-board vehicle computers.

Early versions of OBD would simply illuminate a malfunction indicator light or “idiot light” if the problem was detected but wouldn’t provide any information on the character of the matter. Modern OBD implementations use a standardized digital communications port to produce real-time data. Additionally to an identical series of diagnostic trouble codes, or DTCs, which permit an individual to rapidly identify and remedy malfunctions within the vehicle.

 

Kinds of OBD:

There are two varieties of on-board diagnostic systems: OBD-I and OBD-II.

 

OBD-I:

OBD-I refers to the primary generation OBD systems that were developed throughout the 1980s. These early systems use proprietary connectors, hardware interfaces, and protocols. A mechanic who wanted to access diagnostic information typically had to shop for a tool for each different vehicle make. OBD-I scan tools that support multiple protocols are furnished with an array of various adapter cables.

 

OBD-II:

In the early 1990s, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and International Standardization Organization (ISO) issued a collection of standards that described the interchange of digital information between ECUs and a diagnostic scan tool. All OBD-II compliant vehicles were required to use a typical diagnostic connector (SAE J1962), and communicate via one of the qualities OBD-II communication protocols.

OBD-II has first introduced in model year (MY) 1994 vehicles and has become a requirement for all cars and lightweight trucks starting with MY1996.

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