What Does OBD2 Stand For ?

February 10, 2020

What is OBD ? 

You’re driving along the road one day, when out of nowhere, your car decides to get your attention with that cheery “ding” noise. You look at your dash and the “Check Engine” light is shining. “Oh no,” you think, “what does this mean? What’s the problem and how can I solve it?”

The check engine light is the signaling device for your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics or OBD system. The Environmental Protection Agency requires vehicles to have onboard diagnostic systems to warn drivers about problems that affect their emissions. The system also records other information that can make it easier for you or a mechanic to find and fix problems with your car.

What Does OBD2 Stand For
What Does OBD2 Stand For

The first onboard diagnostic systems were proprietary to different carmakers. In 1991, California required that new cars have some sort of OBD system. Different manufacturers used different systems. These are usually referred to as OBD I systems today. In 1996, the US government made a standardized system mandatory for new cars. This system is OBDII. After 1996, all vehicles sold in the US use the same system, with the same connector, to be read with the same tool, with the same diagnostic codes. That makes diagnosing car problems easier across the board. We’ll walk you through how the OBDII system works, and how you can read the codes it uses.
























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