OBD3 – Does It Exist?

OBD3 - Does It Exist?

You’ve heard about OBD1 and OBD2, but what is OBD3? Is this something that is set to change the future of your car’s on-board diagnostics?

While it’s an exciting idea, it’s just that at the moment – an idea – but it holds a lot of promise for car owners in the near future.

What, exactly, is OBD3? This is a program that will be used to reduce the delay between the detection of emissions malfunctions by the previous OBD2 system and repair vehicles.

But, it will have many other features. Put simply, OBD3 will still make use of some aspects of OBD2, but these will be taken up a few notches – and maybe not cater to everyone’s taste.

With that in mind, let’s explore more about OBD3 and what it’s going to be about, as well as its pros and cons.


What Will OBD3 Be Able To Do?

OBD3 is a program that will change the way car owners are able to maintain their cars. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest features that we could expect from OBD3.

Car Faults And Repairs


It’s great to be able to read OBD2 data and receive fault codes so that car owners can make quick and immediate repairs on vehicles. If you own an OBD2 scanner you know all about this.

With OBD3, faults will be detected via a monitoring technology, before being reported to a regulator. The car owner will then be forced to get the repairs done on their car. Yes, you read that right! 

While an OBD2 scanner for your car will give you error codes in the vehicle’s engine and allow you to go ahead and repair the faults, either yourself or by enlisting the services of a mechanic, no other people gain access to this information.

That will change with the arrival of OBD3 because it will scan your car, give you an error code about what needs to be repaired, and then a notification will be sent to the authorities to ensure that you do the repairs on your car if they’re urgent.

If you don’t go ahead and do them, you’ll probably get a fine. Or, there could be more extreme measures in place, such as court orders.

What about erasing codes? As you probably know, with OBD2, you’re able to erase and remove error codes via an OBD2-compatible scanner.

Say, for instance, that your “check engine” light comes on and won’t go away. When you do the repairs on your car that are causing the light to come on, the light magically goes away.

You can also erase the codes (although doing this before you’ve repaired the car will only buy you a bit of time before the light comes back on to alert you of a problem).

With OBD3 you won’t have the chance to erase the “check engine” light because this light will only disappear when you have gone ahead and done the repairs.

This also means that authorities will be able to tell when you’ve done the repairs, so you can expect that OBD3 will bring with it much more surveillance, which is not necessarily a good thing in all cases.


OBD3 will also play a big role in car emissions and preventing them. OBD in general is especially useful when it comes to limiting vehicle emissions to ensure that they are at a safe level.

How this will happen via OBD3 could be quite different from what we’re used to experiencing. For example, there could be satellites used to monitor and detect malfunctions.

These would work by making use of a cellular phone. The vehicle would get an alert via a phone and the VIN, OBD2 data, date, and location would be returned to the satellite beacon.

There is also talk about OBD3 making emissions tests that you have to do for your vehicle annually outdated.

Instead, the on-board computers on vehicles will monitor how many emissions are being released by the vehicle. If they are greater than the allowed limit, this will activate the “check engine” light.

That means you’d have to get your emissions tested, probably within a certain time period, otherwise face fines or other penalties.

Other OBD3 features can include the following

  • You will be able to connect the OBD3 to your car completely wirelessly instead of having to use your car’s port. We’ve already seen wireless OBD2 scanners on the market that are used to monitor your car’s engine for faults, and which make use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but not having to use the car’s onboard port will be a game-changer.
  • You will be able to make use of tuning your vehicle remotely, thanks to the above point. This will make it more convenient than ever for car owners to be able to monitor, diagnose, and tune their cars.
  • Your vehicle manufacturer will be informed by the OBD3 software about any faults experienced in the car. This is great because it can improve the design and development of cars on the road.
  • OBD3 is said to be capable of transmitting data, such as your driving speed, to your insurance companies and even the police. This is another feature that forms part of the surveillance we were talking about earlier. Now, it’s not a large stretch of the imagination to envision this playing out in a few years. After all, we currently already have car insurance companies that can monitor your speed and driving habits.
  • OBD3 could result in roadside pullovers. Earlier, we mentioned that authorities would be notified of car repairs that need to be done, but this could be taken to an even more extreme level, such as in the form of law enforcement officers pulling cars off the road if they haven’t had their required repairs. In addition, the vehicle owner could have to have their car tested at a testing center by a certain time otherwise they could suffer penalties.

Legal And Privacy Issues Surrounding OBD3

Legal And Privacy Issues Surrounding OBD3

It’s clear to see from the above features that we can possibly expect on OBD3 that there would be legal issues linked to them.

Some people would worry about mass surveillance of the private property, such as specifically regarding their cars and driving ability.

Others worry that search and seizure functions deployed by the police could arise. This could be a bit brutal, depending on the situation.

Privacy concerns are also rife with a system such as OBD3. If you’re always going to be monitored, you have to wonder what other information insurance companies and authorities will get to know about you.

This will certainly feel like a violation of privacy for many people. With less privacy comes the greater risk of hacking. If you’re not making use of wired systems to use OBD3, then this will make hacking much more of a reality.

What Are The Benefits?

While there are obviously cons linked to OBD3, such as the sending of information to car insurance companies if you break the law, this does have the advantage of ensuring that people don’t get away with unlawful behavior on the roads and it encourages better driving practices.

If you’ve done something that violates the rules of the road or results in your car being unsafe for use, the OBD3 system could help to prevent accidents and people being injured or killed as a result of driver negligence.

Related Questions

Is the OBD3 information that’s out there just rumors?

At this stage, it’s worth mentioning that there are many rumors related to OBD3 and its unveiling. Nothing has been finalized about what OBD3 will really entail.

When will OBD3 arrive?


It’s still unclear as to when OBD3 will be installed in cars. Some people think that when electric cars become more mainstream, OBD3 will trickle into our society.

It will be able to monitor these cars’ batteries to ensure greater energy usage.

How would that work?

When electric car batteries begin to wear out, they require more energy.

This puts pressure on the grid. Therefore, OBD3 would send you notifications that your battery is getting too old so you could prevent electricity wastage. 


While OBD2 has been exciting, from the conversations that are occurring about OBD3 it’s clear to see that it will be much more interesting and a bit controversial, bringing up legal and privacy issues.

That said, it will have some advantages, such as making it even easier to diagnose and monitor one’s car as well as prevent negligent and dangerous cars from being on our roads. 


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