(OBD) “On-board diagnostics” is an automotive term, this refers to a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. OBD systems give the car owner or repair technician access to the status of the various vehicle sub-systems. The amount of diagnostic information available via OBD has varied widely since its introduction in the early 1980s’ versions of on-board vehicle computers. Early versions of OBD would simply illuminate a malfunction indicator light should a problem be detected but would not provide any information as to the nature of the problem. These days we use OBD implementations as a standardised digital communications port to provide real-time data in addition to a standardised series of (DTCs) “Diagnostic trouble codes”.
There are 3 different categories in which data / equipment are divided into:
Information from the software – from a book or CD / DVD.
This one will only give you data to use and has limited functions like technical information / services specs and data etc.
Interface cables that get connected from a PC / laptop to your vehicle.
This one will do most diagnostic functions information via PC / Laptop. It connects to the vehicle.
A Diagnostic tool scanner that has its own software built in.
It is free standing and can diagnose faults and erase faults on vehicles, connects to vehicle.
Different makes of vehicles use different connectors to connect to the vehicles plug.