What is the difference between OBD and OBD2?


Can you imagine suddenly your car breaking down in the middle of the road, and you have no idea what's wrong with it? Well, it can happen anytime, and therefore, using a scanner tool to diagnose and troubleshoot issues can be very beneficial. You can use OBD or OBD2 to monitor the performance of major engine components.

OBD is a hardware detection computer-based tool that can significantly help to reduce your vehicle-related issues. It helps to introduce the fault codes associated with vehicle-related issues. However, there are two types of OBD systems available- OBD1 and OBD2. Both of them contain vast differences in features, standardization, reliability, and connectivity. We will show a perfect comparison between OBD and OBD2, continue reading this article.

What is an OBD?

OBD or onboard diagnostics means an innovative electronic system that provides vehicle self-diagnosis and reporting capabilities. It offers technical knowledge by analyzing repair needs and access to subsystem information for performance monitoring. The OBD gives the vehicle a proper ability to perform self-diagnosis and reporting.

It helps to find out if anything is wrong with the engine or not. After complete scanning, OBD will show you a “report” of the issues. It was primarily developed to reduce emissions by observing the performance of the engine’s main components.

Basically, it is made up of ECU, sensors, and actuators. The ECU or Electronic Control Unit collects input from the car sensors and then uses it to control actuators. There are two types of OBD, the first one is OBD1 and the second one is OBD2. When you compare a test with FIXD and OBD, then you can easily recognize the best scan tool for you.


Comparison Chart Between OBD And OBD2

Here we have included a comparison chart between OBD And OBD2. This summarization will help you find out core differences quickly.





Introduction Year








Universal interface


Retrieve diagnostic information and inform drivers of engine problems

Retrieve diagnostic information and inform drivers of engine problems


Californian standard

Federal standard








Supports only corded OBD1 scanners

Corded and wireless


Poor with no detailed explanations of the code

High with detailed code explanations


Main Difference Between OBD And OBD2

Lots of people want to know the difference between OBD and OBD2. Here we have arranged a comparison between OBD and OBD2 scan tool, take a look.

-        Interface Type

When it’s about the interface type of  OBD and OBD2, then yes, there you will find differences. Both scanners have different interface features and OBD is considered as a California standard system and OBD2 as a Federal universal system. If you want to use OBD to scan multiple cars, then you will need different OBD scanners.

Because OBD does not work with all cars. On the other hand, you can use OBD2 as a  universal scanner for all US cars. OBD scanner completely depends on the car’s manufacturer’s type, and OBD2’s interface is compatible with different cars and vehicles.

-        Connection

OBD and OBD2 offer different connection systems. If you are using OBD then it will require a corded connection with the vehicle’s console. On the other hand, OBD2 offers a different connectivity feature. The good thing about OBD2 is it can connect perfectly without any wire linked. You can connect OBD2 through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

-        Quality

When it’s about quality, then OBD2 will surely be on the top. That is because OBD2 offers higher accuracy than OBD, and it can also display specifying the type of code. On the other hand, OBD can only display CEL messages without showing code details.

You can easily identify the issue when you will get a piece of proper code information during diagnosis. Moreover, OBD2 can also monitor - Fuel Control, Climate Control, Catalyst Accuracy, Heating Circuits. Therefore, when it’s about quality, then OBD2 performs much better than OBD.

-        Reliability

When it’s about reliability, then OBD2 will ensure more reliability than OBD. That is because it offers multiple diagnostic tests at the same time to test your engine performance. On the other hand, OBD requires a component to completely fail to check the engine light. In short, OBD Not so reliable, and OBD2 is completely reliable in every single aspect of diagnosis.

What OBD Does Your Car Have?

If you wonder what type of OBD has been installed on your car, you can find it easily. There are two easy ways that you can follow to find out the OBD version of your car. The first one is you can manually check under your car’s hood. The second one is to know what year your vehicle was manufactured.

First, lift the hood of your car where you will find the “Vehicle Emission Control Information'' card. There you will clearly determine the types of  OBD your vehicle has. Secondly, check the white card on the driver’s side door to find out the manufacture date. If your car was manufactured before 1996, it uses OBD, and a vehicle made after 1996 should use OBD2.

Can You Use an OBD2 Scanner for OBD1?

Lots of car users can ask a simple question and whether they can use an OBD2 scanner for OBD. Well, the official answer is yes, you can use the OBD2 scanner on your OBD supported car. You just need to use an OBD1 to OBD2 connector. However, some OBD2 scanners can scan both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles. So it’s clear that you can use an OBD2 scanner on an OBD supported car.

Final Thought

Vehicle owners always need to be aware of their vehicle systems to find out engine performance and engine faults. When you check the engine light and if the OBD shows any trouble codes, solve the issue immediately. However, above we have shown a reliable overview of the OBD2 scanner and OBD scanner.

Both are good at their work, and for modern vehicles, the OBD2 scanner helps to enhance fleet and safety. Our comparison will help you to determine which is better between OBD and OBD2. OBD2 lets you check the engine light, then shows you error codes or fault codes to get yourself ready before starting your journey.

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