The History of OBD2

In 1966 the state government of California mandated the use of emissions control systems to combat the formation of smog in the Los Angeles basin. The United States government made this a federal policy in 1968. Then, in 1970 the United States Congress passed the Clean Air Act and founded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA initiated a series of increasingly stringent emission standards and maintenance requirements for extended periods of time. To meet these standards, automotive manufacturers turned to on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems that electronically control engine functions and diagnose engine problems.

At first, there were few standards and each manufacturer had their own system. In 1988, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) set forth a standard connector plug and set of diagnostic test signals. The EPA adopted an expanded set of standards based on the SAE standardized on-board diagnostic system, known as OBD-II, and mandated it be implemented on all gas powered cars and light trucks built for sale in the United States after January 1, 1996.

Why Do We Need OBD2?

OBD2 provides emissions standards against which the EPA can evaluate manufacturers to ensure we have air quality levels that are safe. Furthermore, OBD2 provides a universal inspection and diagnosis method to ensure vehicles are performing to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications and help pinpoint problems, such as what that pesky check engine light means.

Does My Car Have OBD2?

If your vehicle runs on gasoline, was made after 1996, and sold in the United States, then yes your car is equipped with OBD2! To be sure, you can check here.

Where Is My OBD2 Port?

The EPA mandates that the OBD2 port be located within three feet of the driver and it must not require tools to be accessed. To find where your OBD2 port is located, click here.

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