Changes In Diagnostic Routines
In some cases, a new Engine Control system may be similar to an earlier system, but it can have more indepth control of vehicle emissions, input and output devices and it may include a diagnostic "monitor" embedded in the engine controller designed to run a thorough set of emission control system tests.OBD I Diagnostic Flowchart
The OBD I Diagnostic Flowchart on this page can be used to find the cause of problems related to Engine Control system trouble codes or driveability symptoms detected on OBD I systems. It includes a step-by-step procedure to use to repair these systems. To compare this flowchart with the one used on OBD II systems, refer to the next page.
The steps in this flow chart should be followed as described below (from top to bottom).
OBD II System Diagnostics
The diagnostic approach used in OBD II systems is more complex than that of the one for OBD I systems. This complexity will effect how you approach diagnosing the vehicle. On an OBD II system, the onboard diagnostics will identify sensor faults (i.e., open, shorted or grounded circuits) as well as those that lose calibration. Another new test that arrived with OBD II is the rationality test (a test that checks whether the value for one input makes rational sense when compared against other sensor input values). The changes plus the use of OBD II Monitors have dramatically changed OBD II diagnostics.
The use of a repeatable test routine can help you quickly get to the root cause of a customer complaint, save diagnostic time and result in a higher percentage of properly repaired vehicles. You can use this Diagnostic Flow Chart to keep on track as you diagnose an Engine Control problem or a base engine fault on vehicles with OBD II.
Here are some of the steps included in the Diagnostic Routine:
OBD II introduces common terms, connectors, diagnostic language and new emissions-related monitoring procedures. The most important benefit of OBD II is that all vehicles will have a common data output system with a common connector. This allows equipment Scan Tool manufacturers to read data from every vehicle and pull codes with common names and similar descriptions of fault conditions. In the future, emissions testing will require the use of an OBD II certifiable Scan Tool.
Evolution Of Daimlerchrysler Computerized Engine Controls
The evolution of Computerized Engine Controls on DaimlerChrysler vehicles equipped with fuel injection is highlighted in the Graphic below.
History Of OBD Systems
Starting in 1978, several vehicle manufacturers introduced a new type of control for several vehicle systems and computer control of engine management systems. These computer-controlled systems included programs to test for problems in the engine mechanical area, electrical fault identification and tests to help diagnose the computer control system. Early attempts at diagnosis involved expensive and specialized diagnostic testers that hooked up externally to the computer in series with the wiring connector and monitored the input/output operations of the computer.
By early 1980, vehicle manufacturers had designed systems in which the onboard computer incorporated programs to monitor selected components, and to store a trouble code in its memory that could be retrieved at a later time. These trouble codes identified failure conditions that could be used to refer a technician to diagnostic repair charts or test procedures to help pinpoint the problem area.
OBD I System Diagnostics
One of the most important things to understand about the automotive repair industry is the fact that you have to continually learn new systems and new diagnostic routines (the test procedures designed to isolate a problem on a vehicle system). For OBD I and II systems, a diagnostic routine can be defined as a procedure (a series of steps) that you follow to find the cause of a problem, make a repair and then verify the problem is fixed.
OBD II System Overview
The OBD II system was developed as a step toward compliance with California and Federal regulations that set standards for vehicle emission control monitoring for all automotive manufacturers. The primary goal of this system is to detect when the degradation or failure of a component or system will cause emissions to rise by 50%. Every manufacturer must meet OBD II standards by the 1996 model year. Some manufacturers began programs that were OBD II mandated as early as 1992, but most manufacturers began an OBD II phase-in period starting in 1994.
The changes to On-Board Diagnostics influenced by this new program include: