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What is OBD?


OBD is short for On Board Computer. Modern vehicles contain a computer brain which is used to monitor and control various sensors and controls in your vehicle. A portion of this computer operates and controls your engine function.


The use of OBD readers has emerged to be very useful and is now found on most of the modern vehicles. It will be important that you first understand what exactly an OBD reader is before thinking of using it. In the simplest terms possible, it is an electronic device that enables you to access technical information from your car the moment you plug it into your computer diagnostic port. Trouble shooting the predicament and malfunctioning of your car has never been that easy as this particular reader allows you to view most of the stored diagnostic trouble codes.


If you have a check engine light displayed for your car and you are not sure why exactly the problem is, it is advisable to check with one of our tools first.  If you you are taking your vehicle  to the mechanic, then it is great time you embrace this gadget so that it does not appear as the case of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing. On the other hand the OBD stands for on board diagnostics with the latest technology giving you the OBD II that operates mostly on the 1996 vehicles and beyond. With the ability to read the entire information from the vehicle, the OBD readers perform the role of monitoring almost all engine controls and to some extend it goes as far as some other parts outside the engine such as the chassis and general body. In general, the most crucial and vital part to you as a driver is the ability of this gadget to read the information from your vehicle. Moving on you will find that the OBD readers come in many shapes, varieties and even sizes but this will depend on the type of vehicle that you are using. To some extend you will find some being compatible enough to work with a laptop computer and a number of softwares and the only thing you need to do in this case is to purchase a cable and software and proceed to read the information from your car. Alternatively you might find other OBD readers being one complete unit that is handheld but doing all the same functions as one neat and portable package. The features of the OBD readers is something amazing and no sooner will you start embracing this latest technology than you will realize what your car has been missing in terms of analyzing the mechanical problems that is becoming part of every car owners life. The reader has LCD screen readout to facilitate the viewing of the diagnostic trouble codes (DTC).Far from that, it has the ability to reset the codes and go further to clear them. It is also possible for you to read and comprehend what was going on at the time the code was triggered by simply getting the snapshot data. Imagine having a reader that is capable of displaying other languages apart from English? Well some of the advanced OBD readers are capable of doing this and go to the extend of giving code definitions on the unit. They are also capable of displaying freeze frame data. This is definitely the best way to avoid being shortchanged by mechanics as this latest gadget will interpret the problems of your car before you think of engaging a repairer.


Types of OBD Systems

  • OBDI - 1991 and later will have some OBD capability
  • OBD - 1.5 - Some vehicles  by GM 1994 and 1995 and some Mitsubishi cars of 1995-1997
  • OBDII - Improvement over OBDI is used on most vehicles 1996+ within the USA
  • EOBD - A version of OBDII required in europe since 2003 for diesel vehicles and 2001 for gasoline vehicles.
  • EOBD2 - Stands for enhanced OBD2 which some manufacturers use, which are not part of the standard.
  • JOBD - A version of OBDII for vehicles in Japan