HomeCar RepairWhat Type of OBD is My Car?

What Type of OBD is My Car?




Several times, people have asked me if their vehicles are compatible with car diagnostic scanner. Being a challenging question, the first thing I ask them is when their vehicle was made. If it is a new car, then it should be compatible with OBD2. The car scan tool is compatible with vehicles that are compatible with ELM327. This is because ELM27 is compatible with OBD2 compliant vehicles.

In this post, we are going to help you identify if your car is OBD2 compatible or not.

What is OBD2?

OBDII is a set of rules and requirements that must be matched by a vehicle in order to be able to diagnose errors linked to the possible danger to the environment. As a matter of fact, the OBD2 standard is primarily created to prevent the environment and also to diagnose other problems.

What communication protocols does my car utilize?

The OBD2 standard includes requirements for the hardware and software of the vehicle. Two factors will indicate if your vehicle is OBD2 fitted or not. These are the OBD2 connector and a note on a sticker or nameplate under the hood.

Even though the parameters or readings needed by OBD2 regulations are the same, the auto manufacturers had some latitude in the communications protocol they utilized to convey those readings to scanners. Typically, every manufacturer felt that they had the one true way as a result; there are five different OBD2 communications protocols in use.

As a rule of thumb, GM cars and light trucks use SAE J1850 VPW, Fords use SAE J1850 PWM, Chrysler products & European & most Asian imports use ISO 9141 or KWP2000 circuitry, and all 2008 or newer car models vehicles use CAN.

On 1996 or newer vehicles, you can determine the protocol that is used by inspecting the OBD2 connector:

  • ISO 9141-2 – the connector should have metallic contacts in pins 4, 5, 7, 15, and 16.
  • J1850 VPW – the connector should have metallic contacts in pins 2, 4, 5, and 16, but not 10.
  • J1850 PWM – the connector should have metallic contacts in pins 2, 4, 5, 10, and 16.
  • CAN – the connector should have metallic contacts in pins 4, 5, 6, 14, and 16.
  • ISO 14230 KWP – the connector should have metallic contacts in pins 4, 5, 7, 15, and 16.

In case your vehicle has this kind of style connector but doesn’t have these pins populated, there is a high chance that you have a pre-OBDII car. Also, even having the connector with the contacts indicated above is not a surety of OBD2 compliance. This kind of connector has been seen on some pre-1996 cars which were not OBD2 compatible.

What vehicles support the OBD2 standard?

It is important to know if your vehicle is OBD2 compliant or not. You can tell this by knowing when and where your car was manufactured. To begin with, in 1996, the OBD2 standard was introduced as a must for all vehicles made for the US market. This means that cars made from late 1995 are as well OBD2 compliant.

In Europe, it was made mandatory for all petrol cars made from 2001, and diesel vehicles made in 2003 to be OBD2 or EOBD compliant. So, all the vehicles sold in the EU during that period are OBDII compliant.

While for the Chinese market, the standard was a must to be met by all vehicles produced for the Chinese market from 2008. So, all Chinese vehicles produced from 2008 are OBD2 compliant.

In the Japanese market, the standard is not mandatory in their domestic market. But Japanese vehicles built for the USA, EU or Chinese market meets the OBD2 compliance.

Other countries that implemented this rule include Canada – 1998, Israel – 2003, Argentina – 2009, Japan – 2002, Hong Kong – 2006, Brazil – 2007 (gas), India – 2010, New Zealand – 2006, and China – 2009.


In short, most cars built from 1996 or newer are OBD2 compliant. Also, it is good to be clear that if a car is meant for the US market, whether or not it is built in the USA, it should be OBD2 compliant. This applies to other countries from the date they implemented the policy in their countries.


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