What is the OBD-II port and why is it there in every car?

O.B.D, if you are hearing this for the first time, it isn’t a medical term; it actually stands for On-Board Diagnostics. It looks somewhat similar to your Monitor DVI cable and is located under your car dashboard.


Is it available in every car produced/plying in India?

Every car or truck manufactured/imported for Indian Roads after Jan 1st 2010 are OBD II compliant.

An OBD registers and reports issues that may occur, or have already occurred within the system. It provides a finite number of diagnostic information, which helps us monitor:

  1. Emissions
  2. Mileage
  3. Error codes
  4. Real Time Data


So why does every car have an OBD-II port?

OBD ports were introduced for the sole reason of standardization and to detect and minimize emissions. The way OBD-II can communicate is via the Check Engine Light a.k.a. MIL ‘Malfunction Indicator Lamp’. If you see this glow, then the OBD has detected some issue and requires immediate attention. Sometimes, you might notice that the Check Engine Light glows and it automatically turns off. This will happen when the OBD system evaluates a component or system three consecutive times and no longer detects the initial problem.


For example, if a fuel cap is not properly tightened after refueling, the OBD system may detect vapor leakage and turn on the MIL light. If the fuel cap is tightened, the OBD system will recognize this and the MIL light will be turned off after a few days of driving.

OBD Devices

An OBD Device acts as an interface between the car’s computer (ECU) and the general user.

These devices are plugged into your OBD-II port and synchronize with your Mobile/Tablet/PC via Bluetooth/WIFI/Direct Cable. These devices can be plug and play or semi-permanently connected to the vehicle. The latter are smaller and often screen-less devices that stay with the vehicle as it is driven about.

How can these devices benefit you, lying dormant, connected to your car?

Let us taken an example, If your kid/friend decides to break 160 km/hr. on the highway, you’ll know about it–although, obviously, after the fact. Fleet managers can use similar technology to keep tabs on the manner in which their fleet vehicles are being driven.

Does this give you some picture?

If you think this entire post is some jargon, then you are either a motorhead who is too experienced or a regular guy who doesn’t know to drive a car. But if you felt this post to be somewhat informative and would like to read more such stuff, Subscribe to our blog on the right panel “Menu” .



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