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Advice & Tips - What is EOBD

It is the abbreviation for European On Board Diagnostics for motor vehicles.

There is a port on vehicles to allow general access to engine/ emission diagnostic fault codes and serial information.

This was instigated as a European (legislative) requirement to make vehicle manufacturers supply a common diagnostic port as previously there wasn’t any cohesion between them and most manufacturers had their own type of port, which needed specific connectors, equipment and software.

Because of Mot emission testing and having the ability to carry out repairs in this area without being forced to go to the main dealer, it was felt necessary to allow other people outside the dealerships this connectivity as well.

Easy access to the engine computer for diagnostics and repair was seen as a prime requirement to allow everybody to diagnose and interrogate the engine control unit ECU.

This was set up for petrol engine vehicles from 2000 and for diesel engine vehicles from 2005.

A lot of emphasis is placed on the diagnostic capabilities of the modern vehicle through fault codes access and retrieval along with serial information.

Fault codes can give quite a realistic starting point in most cases for the diagnosis of problems, but they are not always the be all and end all in every case, and sometimes can be a red herring.

There are many components and situations that may cause a fault code to flag up but they may not always actually be linked to the specific problem that is present.

Sometimes there can be issues with the vehicle and no fault codes are found, it could be easy to assume in that case there isn’t an issue as there are no codes.

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