OBD diagnostic stands for on-board diagnostic system. This system is a self-contained unit that is built into the car engine. This unit contains all the components of the car including the diagnostic computer and the mapping system. It is designed to monitor the car’s engine performance, transmission performance and emissions condition. The system was originally developed by Bosch and was first used on large diesel cars and engines.
On-board diagnostics is a generic automotive term meaning the self diagnostic and detailed reporting ability of a car’s internal computer system. OBD systems provide the car mechanic or car owner direct access to the overall condition of the car’s various engine sub-systems.
By using an obd2 scanner, a mechanic can monitor many parameters that are normally monitored by a computer program such as fuel system pressure, temperature control, tire pressure, oil pressure and others.
Automotive aftermarket vehicle data scan tools or “ODD” devices are designed to be used with a vehicle data loggers or OBD II scanner. These devices can detect any error codes or problems with your vehicle’s diagnostic system. With the use of a vehicle code reader, the OBD II scanner can display the codes in the scan results and then the vehicle data loggers or OBD II scanners can process this information to give you the diagnosis for the error that is being encountered.
Most vehicles manufactured have a standard set of codes that are monitored. However, certain vehicles have chips that implement additional controls and additional features that are exclusive to that vehicle. These types of vehicles are referred to as “supercharged” or “tour” vehicles.
Some of these vehicles have what are called OBDII ports that are used to send a diagnostic scan code to the electronic control unit or ECU. Other vehicles have a serial port that is used instead of a serial cable. Regardless of which type of port is utilized, the purpose of this port is to connect the electronic control unit to the OBD diagnostic tool itself and from there, to communicate with the diagnostic scan tool.
The OBD diagnostic tool is made up of a combination of hardware and software that run both at the car’s initial setup and once the car is running. The primary goal is to provide consumers with real-time data that can indicate a wide range of misfortunes and possible problems. For example, the primary goal is to let the driver know if they have detected a malfunction indicator light in real time when they are driving their car.
In some cases, this light could be a red light indicating a failure to flush the emission control unit filter or it could be green indicating that the sensor has detected a positive pulse of exhaust gas pressure.
Not all vehicles are compliant with the legal requirements outlined above. However, the majority of vehicles manufactured today are. The manufacturers are required to perform an on-site inspection and the codes contained within the manufacturer’s manual are followed in every installation of electronic system components. Additionally, compliance is maintained by on-site emissions testing services that are inspected and certified by EPA, Underwriter’s Laboratory.
As a result, these vehicles remain compliant with the legal requirements that govern the safe operation of passenger vehicles manufactured for on-road driving.