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History Of On - Board Diagnostic System And Future
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History Of On   -   board Diagnostic System And Future

All 1996 and newer year model, passenger cars and light trucks are obd2 equipped. A vehicle's computer watches conditions of the engine by collecting reading of various sensors mounted on the engine. When one or more readings get out of specification Check Engine light or MIL comes on to warn a driver that there is a problem with your vehicle and you need to have the problem identified and fixed. This system is obd2 system currently used for reducing pollution and safe drive-ability. The system has been developing for several decades since the fuel injection system was introduced. Here is a brief history of obd system.

The origins of obd2 is back to 1982 in California, an organization called Air Resources Board (ARB) began developing regulations that would require all vehicles sold in CA starting 1988 to have obd system to detect emission failures. We now call it obd1 to distinguish current obd system (obd2).

obd1 had some problems. Because of lacking standardization, mechanics had to have different adapters to scan on different makes and models. Another problem is that it couldn't detect any kinds of failures on catalytic converters, cylinder misfires and evaporative emission system. On top of that, obd1 simply turns on MIL but you can't access sensor's readings. Because of these problems, ARB developed the next generation of obd system (obd2). Using the same shape of connector with specific pins for specific functions so mechanics can scan a vehicle with the same adapter, common diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) and common descriptions.

And obd3 is currently under development. It will be added telemetry feature like automatic electronic toll collection systems. obd3-equipped vehicles would have radio transponder. The transponder would be able to report emission problems to regulatory agency via antenna for cellular system and/or satellite. Consequently, an annual or biannual state inspection would be no longer necessary as long as vehicles have no emission problems. As for now, polluters, who are ignoring MIL, can avoid having the problem repaired for up to 2 years. In some states with no inspection programs, there is no way to find them. But under obd3 system, it would be hard to avoid detection.

obd3 system could also work with GPS to know the whereabouts of vehicles. This would make it possible to track down criminals or keep an eye on suspected drug dealers. And what's more, the police might be able to shut off the engine by accessing vehicle's computer without any physical link. So you would no longer see news of car chases on highways, either.

There is a lot of advantages of obd3 system, however, some issues would be raised such as "Tracking vehicles is invasion of privacy." or "Does the police or regulatory agency have the right to do so?" These issues will need to resolved before obd3 is adopted.

For now, take advantage of the current obd2 system. Since car is controlled by the vehicle's computer, the computer knows engine's condition. You can access and get these information through an obd adapter. When a car has problem the computer also stores the information where the problem occurred. You can see this information through the adapter, too. It helps diagnosis and keep your car in good shape.


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