The OBD2 Port is How You’re Able to Plug In a Code Reader, But the Locations Can Differ Based On the Year, Make, and Model of Your Car. Here’s How to Find Your Car’s OBD2 Port (with Video)!
If you’re new to the DIY world of auto repair, diagnosing a check engine light might seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, the FIXD scanner and smartphone app makes easy work of vehicle diagnostics and repair using the factory OBD2 port. Whether you’re a professional mechanic or a DIYer, the OBD2 connector is critical in performing diagnostics, and here’s how to find it.
What Is the OBD2 Port?
Your car’s OBD2 system is a lot like a home computer. The computer itself can perform many tasks, but you need a screen to be able to see what the computer is doing. An OBD2 scanner like FIXD is that display. The OBD2 port is a trapezoid-shaped connector that is universal across all makes and models allowing any code reader to be used in any OBD2-equipped vehicle, which is 1996-newer gasoline-powered passenger vehicles and 2008-newer diesel vehicles.
Knowing how to properly use the OBD2 system allows you to do various tasks ranging from simply resetting the check engine light to performing in-depth diagnostics using the live data from your vehicle’s computers.
Where Is My OBD2 Port Located?
Knowing where to plug in your car code reader is the first step in getting your check engine light diagnosed. While the location of the OBD2 port can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, these connectors are always found inside the car.
The most common place to find your car’s OBD2 port is under the dashboard on the driver’s side.
Most vehicles have the connector under the instrument panel (aka, the dashboard) on the driver’s side, but some can be found near the center console area or even on the passenger’s side of the car. Additionally, some OBD2 ports are exposed and easily found, while others are hidden behind a cover. Keep in mind that since the connector is under the dash, you will likely need to be outside the vehicle to get low enough to find it and connect your scan tool.
If you’re still unable to locate your OBD2 port, consult your owner’s manual or enter your vehicle information into our OBD2 port locator.
How Does the OBD2 Port Work?
Regardless of the make and model, all gasoline-powered passenger vehicles produced since 1996 (and diesel trucks produced since 2008) come equipped with an onboard diagnostics system (OBD2). Connected to this system is the OBD2 port, which allows you to “speak car” and understand what’s going on with your vehicle when there’s a check engine light.
This connector is universal, and it provides the power, ground, and communication capability for scan tools such as the FIXD sensor. This design means that all you have to do is plug the scan tool into the OBD2 connector, and it will power up and be able to read any diagnostic trouble codes that are detected.
What if My OBD2 Port Isn’t Working?
For any scan tool to operate, the vehicle ignition must be turned on, and for proper diagnostics, the engine must be running. If the OBD2 port still isn’t working with the ignition on, chances are you either have a faulty scan tool or damaged connector and/or wiring.
What Is the Best OBD2 Reader?
There is a wide variety of affordable OBD2 readers and scan tools on the market. At the very least, these scan tools have to be able to read and clear any diagnostic trouble codes that have been triggered by the car’s computer, but the best OBD2 readers should be a true multi-purpose tool allowing for in-depth diagnostic capability.
For everyday drivers to car enthusiasts, FIXD is a great fit and a versatile scan tool that does more than just read and reset the check engine light. Check out our top 10 best OBD2 scanners for more on how to pick the right OBD2 reader for your needs.
DIY diagnostics and repairs of a check engine light or other driveability concerns start with the OBD2 port, so it’s important to know where to find this connector and how to use it.
Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals