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OBD-II J1962, SAE J1979, SAE J1850 standards, and 2008+ CAN standards
On-Board Diagnostics, or "OBD," is a computer-based system built into all 1996 and later light-duty vehicles and trucks, as required by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. OBD systems are designed to monitor the performance of some of an engine's major components including those responsible for controlling emissions.
While there are OBD-II electrical connection protocols, the command set is fixed according to the SAE J1979 standard.
There are five basic OBD-II protocols in use, each with minor variations on the communication pattern between the on-board diagnostic computer and the scanner console or tool.
While there have been some manufacturer changes between protocols in the past few years, as a rule of thumb, Chrysler products and all European and most Asian imports
use ISO 9141 circuitry or KWP2000. GM cars and light trucks use SAE J1850 VPW (Variable Pulse Width Modulation), and Fords use SAE J1850 PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) communication patterns.
CAN is the newest protocol added to the OBD-II specification, and it is mandated for all 2008 and newer model years.
Regulations Requiring Onboard Diagnostic Systems on Highway Heavy-duty Engines used in Large Trucks; Revisions to Onboard Diagnostic Requirements for Diesel Highway Heavy-duty Engines used in Smaller Trucks
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