If you want to purchase an OBD scanner to monitor your car’s health and diagnose any problems it has, you will need to know what type of OBD system is installed in your car.
Luckily, if your car is fairly new it is likely to have OBD2 installed. You can find loads of different scanning tools that work with this system.
Wait, do all cars have OBD? Although OBD has become standard in cars, not all cars will have OBD.
You therefore want to be sure that your car has OBD before you go ahead and try to scan it with an OBD scanner.
With that in mind, let’s look at what OBD is and what types of OBD there are, so that you can start monitoring your car yourself without taking it to the mechanic.
What Is OBD?
OBD stands for “On-Board Diagnostics.” It’s a system that’s installed inside cars to monitor and regulate how well or poorly the car is performing.
This system gathers data from a variety of sensors that are built inside the car, and then the system uses this information in order to regulate the car and let the car owner know about any problems.
What Are The Two Types Of OBD?
There are basically two types of OBD: OBD1 and OBD2.
It can achieve much more comprehensive diagnostic tests than OBD1 can.
When it comes to diagnosing problems in your car, OBD1 systems only display the “check engine” light (CEL) message without giving you further information.
By comparison, OBD2 systems can give you trouble codes for a variety of problems in your car and you’ll also be able to get detailed information about what could be wrong with it.
In order to find out what OBD system is in your car, take a look at the year in which your car was made.
Basically, if your car was made before 1996, it’s likely to have OBD1 installed in it because this system came about in 1991.
If your car was made in 1996 or later years, it will have OBD2 installed as this system replaced OBD1 and became the gold standard.
When it comes to purchasing scanners for your car, it’s worth noting that OBD1 is not standardized so scanning tools for these cars will only be available for a certain number of car brands and models.
By comparison, OBD2 scanning tools can be used on most OBD2-compliant cars on the market.
However, it’s still a good idea to check the tool manufacturer’s details so you can be sure that the scanning device will work on your specific car brand and model.
Other ways to tell what OBD system is in your car
- Check the OBD interface: Once you’ve located the OBD port in your car, which is usually within close proximity to the steering wheel, you’ll see that the OBD2 interface is a 16-pin connector, and all OBD2 interfaces will be the same. If your car’s OBD interface doesn’t look like this, then that’s a sign it’s OBD1.
- Check underneath the hood: This is an easy way to tell what type of OBD system is installed in your car because there will be a label that indicates if it’s OBD1- or OBD2- compliant.
- Check the owner’s manual: If you don’t come right with the other tips, you should consult the owner’s manual.
What About EOBD?
You’ve probably heard about EOBD, and this stands for “European On-Board Diagnostics.” All gasoline and diesel cars that were sold in Europe since 2003 and 2001 respectively will have this system on board.
The OBD port that these cars will have is pretty much the same one as OBD2 ports.
That’s not the only thing that is similar between OBD2 and EOBD systems. Both of these work in the same way.
The only difference, really, is that OBD2 is for cars and other vehicles that were made in America, while EOBD caters to vehicles that were made in Europe.
If you’ve ever shopped for car scanning tools and seen that they’re marked as EOBD/OBD2 scanners, that’s because they work in the same way and give you the same information about your car.
Do OBD2 scanners connect wirelessly?
Are there scanners you can use on both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles?
There are some scanners that can accommodate both OBD systems and they will have a blend of both OBD1 and 2 features.
OBD is an important system that can completely change the way that you look after your car.
Although OBD1 was ahead of its time when it was first getting installed in vehicles in 1991, it was soon replaced by OBD2 which has helped car manufacturers and car owners better understand and repair their vehicles.
In this article, we’ve looked at what OBD1 and OBD2 are about, as well as how to tell what system is installed in your car so that if you’ve ever wondered “What type of OBD is my car?” you now have your answer.