Modern cars heavily rely on electronics: injection and fuel mixture parameters are controlled by Engine Control Unit (ECU), security systems have individual controllers such as SRS airbags, EBD, TRC, VSC, recently popular road sign identification and lane assist systems. Not to mention infotainment systems, comfort features (welcome and goodbye-lights timeout) and many other configurable functions. To maintain all of them it is required to perform on-board diagnostics.
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On-board diagnostics (OBD) is an automotive term referring to a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. OBD systems give the vehicle 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 (MIL) if a problem was detected but would not provide any information as to the nature of the problem. Modern OBD implementations use a standardized digital communications port to provide real-time data in addition to a standardized series of diagnostic trouble codes, or DTCs, which allow a person to rapidly identify and remedy malfunctions within the vehicle.
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