What is OBD?
OBD I was the first generation of On Board Diagnostic. This was developed by the California Resource Board in 1988 to better monitor the emissions coming from your vehicle. The second version OBD II was developed due to technology and the desire to expand the diagnostic capability. The OBD computer monitors the performance of the engine and emission systems and will provide an early indication of a malfunction that has occurred in a certain subsystem. If a problem is detected, then the system will illuminate the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) and store the important information. The stored information can then be retrieved by an OBD scanner.
What is CAN?
Controller Area Network (CAN) is the latest communication protocol that is being used by most of the major vehicle manufacturers since 2006, some as early as 2003. This communication protocol will be mandatory from all vehicle manufacturers starting in 2008. The advantage of using this protocol is it runs at around fifty times the speed of earlier OBDII protocols. The speed improvements coupled with the addition of new diagnostic parameters will give technicians the ability to see more information faster. If you are looking for a OBDII reader that that will work on late model vehicles and vehicles that you may purchase in the future, then we would recommend you getting a tool that is CAN enabled.
Does My Vehicle have OBDII or EOBD?
All cars and light trucks built and sold in the United States after January 1, 1996 were required to be OBD II equipped. In general, this means all 1996 model year cars and light trucks are compliant, even if built in late 1995.
All petrol cars sold within Europe since 1 Jan 2001, and diesel cars manufactured from 2003, must have on-board diagnostic systems to monitor engine emissions.
My vehicles's ECU is displaying trouble code P0000. What part should I replace?
The code description is just a guide to help you narrow down the issue and may or may not be a direct indication on what to replace. Any codes above P1000 will be defined differently by each manufacturer and is not part of the generic code system. If you receive one of these codes, then you can contact your local dealer, internet forum, or vehicle manual for help.
What Protocols does my car have?
Here is a rough guide for communication protocol for each of the manufacturers.
Fords – J1850 PWM (Pulse Width Modulation)
GM – J1850 VPW (Variable Pulse Width Modulation)
Chrysler, European, and Asian Imports – ISO 9141