EOBD System Check: Do You Need To Do It?

EOBD System Check: Do You Need To Do It?

 If you know a bit about OBD, you might wonder how it differs from EOBD. Both of these are basically systems used to monitor your car for any errors and faults.

What is EOBD? EOBD stands for European On-Board Diagnostics.

You might wonder if you need to worry about doing EOBD system checks on your vehicle. How does it differ from OBD, if at all?

Here’s what you need to know about EOBD and how it affects your vehicle.

What Is The EOBD System?

What Is The EOBD System?

The EOBD system refers to all diesel and gasoline vehicles that were sold in Europe since 2003 and 2001 respectively.

Cars that are EOBD-compliant have a standard port in them, similar to the OBD2 port that’s located close to the steering wheel, so that car scanner tools can be plugged into them to monitor the health of the vehicles.

Usually, when you plug the car scanner into this port it will communicate with your car’s onboard computer to give you information about the wellbeing of your car.

When EOBD first hit the scene, it’s goal was to reduce emissions from cars and ensure that they were at a safe level.

However, EOBD works in the same way as OBD2. It stores data that the car collects via its sensors.

When there’s a fault in the car, the system will give you a diagnostic trouble code (DTC).

You can make use of many features from EOBD, such as information about what those codes mean, repair recommendations, and live sensor data about your vehicle. 

EOBD also offers car owners a platform so they can gain the fault codes regardless of the make or model of their cars. This makes it universal. 

What About EOBD2?

What About EOBD2?

People sometimes mistakenly assume that EOBD2 is a later version of EOBD, in a similar way in which OBD2 is an upgrade from OBD, but that isn’t the case.

The truth is that EOBD2 stands for Enhanced On-Board Diagnostics, 2nd Generation, and it’s basically made up of manufacturer-specific features that car manufacturers add to EOBD and OBD2 tools.

EOBD2 gives you features that you can access from your car that you wouldn’t be allowed to with the other tools. But, the catch is that they’re specific to the make of your car.

So, if you’re using an EOBD2 tool for your Ford, it won’t be able to work on a different car brand. Still, it can be useful to give you more specific information about your car so you can keep it in good condition.

Is OBD2 And EOBD The Same Thing?

Is OBD2 And EOBD The Same Thing?

Just because their names are quite different, the truth is that OBD2 and EOBD are pretty much the same system.

The only real difference is that OBD2 has been made for cars and other vehicles in America, while EOBD is designed for vehicles that are sold in Europe.

You’ll find that the two systems operate in the same way, and provide the same data from your car, which is why you’ll see that car scanning tools are sometimes referred to as EOBD/OBD2 scanners.

What About The Differences Between OBD1 And OBD2?

OBD1 and OBD2 systems are quite different, even though they seem to be similar because of their names. OBD1 came before OBD2, and was installed in cars in the U.S. in 1991.

While it was a breakthrough in the realm of car diagnostics, it was quite limited when it came to what it could do. 

This is why a few years later, in 1996, OBD2 became the industry standard. Since then, all modern vehicles have this system installed in them.

One of the best features about OBD2 is that it offers real-time information to the car owner, so this makes it more efficient at monitoring vehicles.

Another important feature of OBD2 that makes it better than OBD1 concerns its scanning devices: these offer you more options when it comes to how you can connect them.

You’re not limited to using a hardwire but rather can connect via apps, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth

What To Know About EOBD Languages

What To Know About EOBD Languages

EOBD is not a single “language,” but rather it combines five different languages.

No, we’re not talking about languages like English or Spanish here, but rather languages that car manufacturers use for how their cars communicate with diagnostic tools.

Here’s a rundown of the EOBD languages:

  • PWM: This was most common on petrol Ford cars from 2001 to around 2003.
  • VPW: This is a language used on Isuzu and Chrysler vehicles.
  • ISO 9141-2 / KWP 2000: These languages were both used on most European and Asian gasoline vehicles from 2001 and diesel vehicles from 2004. 
  • CAN: You’ve probably heard about CAN, but what does it stand for? CAN stands for “Controller Area Network.” This is a new, fast system and it’s used on all cars since 2008. It’s become pretty standard because many car manufacturers are migrating their cars to the CAN language and have been doing so since 2003.

What Can EOBD Do For Your Car?

What Can EOBD Do For Your Car?

EOBD scanning tools can read fault codes and emission information that’s sent by the car’s on-board computer to the devices. The fault codes are either generic or manufacturer-specific.

EOBD standards also enable advanced test equipment to display information from the engine’s sensors, such as when it comes to the throttle position, oxygen sensor wellbeing, and temperature sensor readings.

Modern EOBD car scanning tools give you diagnostic trouble codes and interpret them so that they’re easier to understand.

They also provide you with car repair recommendations and give you live sensor data so you can better maintain your car.

The EOBD diagnostic systems are pretty standard. The car will have a fault code memory that the scanning tool will be able to access.

As long as you purchase a high-quality tool that has all the features you need, you’ll have a lot of access to your car’s various systems, such as its emissions system.

As is the case with OBD2, EOBD offers uniform fault codes that don’t depend on the make or model of the car in question.

This allows both mechanics and DIY auto enthusiasts to use the codes to do their own car maintenance and repairs.

Understanding The EOBD Codes

Understanding The EOBD Codes

Let’s take a bit of a deeper look into popular EOBD codes and what they mean.

It’s always worth finding a car scanning tool that will provide you with information pertaining to code definitions, though, as this will make your job easier when trying to find out what’s wrong with your car.

MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp)

If this comes on, the following data should be saved in a freeze frame:

  • Engine speed
  • Fault code that caused the freeze frame data
  • Fuel/air regulation fuel trim
  • Fuel pressure
  • Inlet manifold
  • Vehicle speed
  • Engine coolant temperature
  • Fuel-control system status

The diagnostic connector will be able to provide information on the following:

  • Diagnostic trouble codes
  • Engine coolant temperature
  • Fuel control system status
  • Air flow rate
  • Fuel trim
  • Ignition advance
  • Intake air temperature
  • Manifold air pressure
  • Engine and vehicle speed
  • Throttle position sensor
  • Secondary air status (such as if it’s upstream or downstream)
  • Fuel pressure 

How The EOBD System Can Be Interpreted

How The EOBD System Can Be Interpreted

Linked to the earlier point about the usefulness of choosing an EOBD device that will be able to inform you of what the trouble codes mean, it’s good to know how EOBD/OBD systems work.

Basically, after the scanning tool receives data from the vehicle’s computer, it will give you characters, such as “B” for body, or “C” for chassis.

Then, you’ll get a number, such as “0” for standard code, or “1” and “2” for manufacturer codes. The third character will also be a  number.

This will provide more specific components that are involved in the problem. So, for example, you might get “7” or “8,” both of which refer to transmission-related faults; or you might receive “3” for misfire detection.

Related Questions

What is freeze frame data?


This is basically data that was captured when the diagnostic trouble code occurred.

What OBD system is in your car?

The general rule is to go according to when your car was manufactured and where, as that will tell you if your car has OBD2 or EOBD, or OBD1. 


If you’ve heard of EOBD, chances are you’ve wondered how it differs from OBD and what it means, as well as if your vehicle needs to undergo an EOBD system check. 

In this article, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about EOBD.

It’s clear to see that EOBD is pretty much the same system as OBD2, and it’s focused on keeping your car in good condition by alerting you to its performance and any faults it might be experiencing.

If your car is foreign and comes from Europe, it will likely have EOBD onboard. 


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