cover image

On-board diagnostics (OBD) is a term referring to a vehicle's self-diagnostic and reporting capability. OBD systems give the vehicle owner or repair technician access to the status of the various vehicle sub-systems. The amount of diagnostic information available via OBD has varied widely since its introduction in the early 1980s versions of on-board vehicle computers. Early versions of OBD would simply illuminate a malfunction indicator light (MIL) or "idiot light" if a problem was detected, but would not provide any information as to the nature of the problem. Modern OBD implementations use a standardized digital communications port to provide real-time data in addition to a standardized series of diagnostic trouble codes, or DTCs, which allow a person to rapidly identify and remedy malfunctions within the vehicle.

Various angles and details of a "MaxScan OE509" - a fairly typical onboard diagnostics (OBD) handheld scanner from the first decade of the 21st century. Used to connect to the SAE J1962 Data Link Connector (DLC) found in many cars of the era.

Oops something went wrong: