OBD-I – What should you know – How do you read it.

OBD-I was used during the earlier years of the car manufacturing industry.

A basic OBD system consists of an ECU (Electronic Control Unit), which uses input from various sensors (e.g., oxygen sensors) to control the actuators (e.g., fuel injectors) to get the desired performance. The “Check Engine” light, also known as the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light), provides an early warning of malfunctions to the vehicle owner.

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To know that systems are working properly, the computer compares the received information with the data stored in memory. If one of the received signals doesn’t match a preconfigured value or range of values, the computer may store a trouble code and turn the engine light on or wait for another drive cycle to confirm a potential problem. This depends on the type of failure it detects. But once your car’s computer confirms a potential failure, it’ll save the specific trouble code(s) and alert you.

Although OBD1 and OBD2 do the same thing, there are some differences between the two. Most importantly, the interface on each one is different. OBD1 has an interface that is specific to each manufacturer while OBD2 has a universal interface, making it easier to connect to OBD2 to communicate with the diagnostic system. OBD2 is also more advanced and car run more diagnostics on your car.

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