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Difference Between OBD1 and OBD2

car_jetta_pdOBD1 vs OBD2

When you’re buying a vehicle, two terms that will often confuse you are OBD1 and OBD2. Naturally, these will be taken in the automotive context.

The acronym refers to On-Board Diagnostics. Basically, it defines a vehicle’s capability to diagnose, or report itself. For example, if you have a high-tech OBD system in your car, and it has a problem, the OBD system will be the one to self-diagnose, or ‘tell’ the repair technician what is wrong with the engine.

With advancements in technology, came the improvements of OBD systems, and the latest ones use a standardized digital communications port that provides real-time data. This results in faster diagnostics of a vehicle’s problem, and more efficient remedies can be provided for the problem.

Now, here’s the difference between OBD1 and OBD2. With OBD1, the goal was to develop a diagnostics system which focuses on the emission control systems of a vehicle. When it came to its effectiveness, the OBD1 was not really that successful in forcing drivers to pass the emission control system’s test.

OBD2, on the other hand, is a definite improvement to the OBD1. OBD2 has better signalling protocols and messaging formats. When used in emission control system tests, it can provide better results for a vehicle’s parameters.

Meanwhile, when considering their manufacturing dates, OBD1s were introduced long before the OBD2 models, which only started in the early 1990’s. The OBD2 is a better system, in the sense that it provides standardized trouble codes for car owners who experience engine problems.

Finally, OBD1 is typically connected to the console, so that the port can be diagnosed and data can be read. OBD2 is remotely used to diagnose ports, and reads data through a Bluetooth connection. As such, it is easier to diagnose a problem remotely if you have a car made with an OBD2 system.

Summary:

1. OBD1 is connected to the console of a car, while OBD2 is remotely connected to the vehicle.

2. OBD1 was used during the earlier years of the car manufacturing industry, while OBD2 was only introduced in car models produced in the early 1990’s.

3. OBD1 has good diagnostic capabilities, while OBD2 has better signalling protocols and messaging formats.


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4 Comments

  1. I found on wikipedia that the OBD-II specifies a standardized hardware interface [connector] with a standardized pinout [signals] which helps a scan tool to read out the DTCs being reported [via any communication protocol like CAN]. Here in your article , you say that OBD-II reads the DTCs remotely via bluetooth. The OBD-II specifications incorporate the SAE’s standard specifications.
    So i do not agree with your information about the ‘remotely read data via bluetooth’ info.

    • Concur with Amol. There are Bluetooth readers, however these readers are 2 piece combinations. A transmitter is plugged into the ODBII port. A receiver (maybe a smartphone) provides the codes to the technician.

  2. I need to find what to do if my truck is not having any more emmissions issues but while doing its first smog check they put something that made my 1992 ford 2.3 liter obd 1 computer see two parimiters that’s only made to see on obd2 cars obd1 does not apply my driveAbility problems are corrected but now the mil light came on and wont reset due to the smog testing and what their diagnostics did caused the obd1 think on obd2 scale seeing two issues that keep my mil light confused and my truck cant pass smog due to the smog test and the computer test while they failed it 1 AND now it cant retest after I fixed the lean condition knock and exhaust leak now it runs and responds without any problems whatever they did is not allowing my mil light to reset to retest codes are 117 ect fault at ground and 542 fuel circuit ground fault circuit 1 ? the truck reads these and they do not apply at all.

  3. Can I plug a obd2 chip to a regular obd

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