When the conversation between OBD1 and OBD2 arises, many people do not fully understand the differences.
Indeed an OBD scan tool is handy when you want to find out the problem in your vehicle. But, you may ask yourselves some questions.
• Is my car OBD1 or OBD2?
• What are the differences between these?
• Which one is better in terms of diagnosing the trouble?
This article will give you detailed information about OBD1 and OBD2 to answer your questions, and tell you which one is for your car.
- 1 OBD1 – CALIFORNIA STANDARD
- 2 OBD2 – FEDERAL STANDARD
- 3 WHY WAS OBD1 DEVELOPED TO OBD2?
- 4 IS MY CAR OBD1 OR OBD2?
- 5 OBD1 TO OBD2: EXCELLENT DEVELOPMENT OF CAR TECHNOLOGY
- 6 SHOULD I TAKE AN OBD1 OR OBD2 FOR MY CAR?
OBD1 – CALIFORNIA STANDARD
Particularly, when it comes to OBD1, it can connect to the console of the vehicle, but it only shows a check engine light (CEL) message. It doesn’t show detailed code to help the mechanics, and vehicle models newer than 1996 are not compatible with this scanner.
In 1991, the California Air Resources Board, or the CARB, started to enforce a new policy for all vehicles sold in the state to have some variety of OBD to work. Specifically, this referred to OBD1 because, at the time, OBD2 had not been created and used among the masses yet.
OBD2 – FEDERAL STANDARD
A few years after the California standard, a federal standard was created for all vehicles to enhance the testing of an OBD scanner and the conversation shifted from just OBD1 to OBD1 vs. OBD2.
The OBD2 years were started with vehicles produced from 1996 to the present day. As the years have gone by, the OBD2 has become a more popular and more purchased option because of cars aging and fewer people spending time renovating older cars. As a result, the OBD2 scanner now used an automatic diagnosing system that had a universal interface.
WHY WAS OBD1 DEVELOPED TO OBD2?
For OBD2, the scanner can pinpoint the problem, where it occurs, and how to fix it.
OBD2 now could do a diagnostic test that would read back trouble codes for mechanics to see
The movement continued, in 1988, as diagnostic tools started to be standardized across manufacturers. The 1988 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended that a standard scanner is made to work with all vehicles at all times.
Of course, the changes of OBD1 came in 1991, and OBD2 in 1996, but what did these changes come about? The main reason is with OBD1, emissions tests were not consistent with different makes and models.
The United States, wanting to create continuity and environmental protection across all 50 states, moved to OBD2 to achieve this consistency model. OBD2 now could do a diagnostic test that would read back trouble codes for mechanics to see.
IS MY CAR OBD1 OR OBD2?
The dates that we talked about earlier give you an idea of what your car uses, but let’s go a step further. Any light truck and car sold in the United States of America after January 1, 1996, use OBD2. So, with vehicles built in late 1995, they specifically use OBD1 technology.
Another way to know what type of OBD your car is involves an OB2 connector shown in your car and/or user’s manual. Additionally, there would be a sticker under the hood reading “OBD 2 Complaint.”
OBD1 TO OBD2: EXCELLENT DEVELOPMENT OF CAR TECHNOLOGY
The difference between OBD1 and OBD2 came in 1996, but the technology dates back first to 1968. Volkswagen originally brought about OBD in 1968, and Datsun also introduced this scanning technology in 1978, with a simplistic type of OBD scanner that was limited in nature.
By 1980, General Motors hopped on board by using engine diagnostic technology using the interface RS-232. However, before everything was standardized across the board, manufacturers had their own tools and models to check their vehicles’ problems.
Difference between OBD1 and OBD2: complete comparison Chart
|Interface||Specified from manufacturer to manufacturer||A universal scanner that works with all makes and models|
|Popularity||Minimal||A high use|
|Accuracy||Only shows CEL info and no codes||Displays messages and codes|
|Supported Vehicles||Anything before 1995 that has OBD functioning||For cars after 1996|
|Installation||Connects directly to the console of the car||Can work with Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth|
|Functioning||Checks sensors and other signs||Performs all that OBD1 does, while seeing graphs and other data for battery usage, smog tests, etc.|
|Usability||Helps with fuel and energy consumption||Uses an improved signal to help with formatting messages|
OBD2 vs OBD1: key differences explained
Now that you know the basics of OBD1 / OBD2 differences, let’s dig deeper. For the OBD1 scanner, it can check emissions, engine performance, and warn you of any upcoming issues. However, these are the basics for OBD1.
No further details are given as to where the problem exists. It is then up to the mechanic to handle the issue from there. However, this is a great tool for extending the life of your car’s engine.
For OBD2, the scanner can pinpoint the problem, where it occurs, and how to fix it. Altogether, this is an upgrade in the realm of automotive technology.
SHOULD I TAKE AN OBD1 OR OBD2 FOR MY CAR?
To this point, you may be asking what scanner you should purchase for your vehicle. Of course, if your car fits into a natural age range, it is easy to know what you need. However, this also depends on what you know about your vehicle. In conclusion, you should answer this question: do you have a good feeling about fixing problematic issues? If you are a good mechanic, you may be good with only an OBD1 because you know what to do next. On the other hand, if you are interested in knowing more about the coding issues, you can use an OBD2 scanner.
Here are some posts that can help you to choose your scanner?
BlueDriver OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner for iOS & Android Review
8 Best OBD1 Scanners Review 2020
Best car diagnostic tool: complete buying guide and review 2020
1 thought on “OBD1 vs OBD2: Definite Interpretation and Comparison”
Great and an informative article!