What Type Of OBD Is My Car? – Let’s Find Out

Only OBD1 and OBD2 are being used in the automotive industry. If you don’t know which type of OBD is in your car, read this complete guide.

This guide will clarify everything about OBD1 and OBD2. You’ll learn the advantages and disadvantages of both types of OBD.

Also, we’ll learn the easiest method to detect what type of OBD is my car?

Let’s understand more about On-board Diagnostics!

What is OBD?

OBD components
Credit: OBD Solutions

OBD stands for Onboard Diagnostics, a computer placed inside your vehicle to keep track and regulate your car performance, fuel economy, fault detection, etc.

Earlier, the automobile industry was dependent on the mechanical process. Now, everything is controlled electronically.

An OBD system has an ECU, sets of sensors and actuators, and a malfunction indicator lamp (MIL).

The sensors detect any error and send the information to ECU, which processes the information and sends a signal to MIL (malfunction indicator lamp), and hence your Engine Check Light starts glowing.

When Did OBD System Started?

History Of OBD

Due to the competitive market, every automobile brand started implementing new technologies and innovations to enhance the user experience; Volkswagen invented the concept of OBD in 1968.

The invention of OBD was the first step to a revolution in the automotive industry.

It uses an ECU (engine control unit) to keep track of all data and errors. ECU is also known as the vehicle’s brain that stores all information such as model and other vehicle data.

History Of OBD

YearEvent
1968The first OBD computer was introduced by Volkswagen.
1978A simple but non-standardized OBD was introduced by Datsun.
1979The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended a standardized diagnostic connector.
1980General Motors (GM) introduced a simple OBD with an RS-232 interface with the Check Engine Light feature.
1988A standardized OBD was introduced with a standard connector and set of diagnostics as per SAE recommendations.
1991The state of California required all car manufacturers to implement a standard Onboard Diagnostics system referred to as OBD I.
1994The state of California mandated all vehicles sold after 1996 should have OBD II. The OBD II had a standardized set of diagnostic trouble codes.
1996OBD II became mandatory for all cars sold in the United States.
2001EOBD (European version of OBD) became mandatory for all gasoline vehicles in European Union.
2003EOBD became mandatory for all diesel engines in European Union.
2008An OBD-II with Controller Area Network as specified by ISO 15765-4 became mandatory for all vehicles sold in the USA.

When Did OBD II Became Mandatory?

If you know the history of OBD, you must be aware that- in 1996, OBD II became mandatory for all car manufacturers in the United States.

Later, in 2001 European Union made EOBD (European version OBD) mandatory for all gasoline engines, and just after two years, in 2003, EOBD became mandatory for all diesel engines in European Union.

What Type Of OBD Is My Car?

What OBD is My Car

If your car is manufactured in the USA after 1996, it has an OBD2. Hence, you should purchase an OBD2 scanner to find out the trouble code and read other information about your vehicle.

Any vehicle manufactured before 1996 could have OBD1. After 1996, any car sold in the USA have an OBD2 port.

You can detect the error code yourself if you’ve got an OBD2 scanner. We have already written a detailed guide on using an OBD2 scanner.

What Are The Differences Between OBD1 and OBD2?

OBD-II Vs OBD-I

OBD-I was a non-standardized Onboard Diagnostic system used prior to 1996. It has limited features, and compatibility was the biggest issue.

So, the state of California made it mandatory for all vehicle manufacturers to use a standardized connector and provide diagnostic trouble codes as per SAE recommendations.

Let’s have a look at the differences between OBD-I and OBD-II:

OBD-IOBD-II
No standardized connector was used.It has a standardized connector for all vehicle manufacturers.
It has limited features to detect errors and monitor performance.It has more features that allow for detecting errors and improves engine performance.
No standard diagnostic trouble code was used.The OBD II had a standardized set of diagnostic trouble codes.
It doesn’t have a wireless connectivity feature.It connects via Bluetooth and Wifi.

These are some basic differences between OBD-I and OBD-II. However, there are many other improvements have been done in OBD-II.

Conclusion

All the cars manufactured after 1996 has OBD-II. So, if your car model is manufactured after 1996, then it has an OBD2 port where you can connect any OBD2 scan tool. I have also explained some basic differences between OBD1 and OBD2.

Hi, I'm Richard, an ASE-certified mechanic in Florida, USA. I love to optimize car ECU for better fuel economy and troubleshoot engine code errors and fix them.

Leave a Comment