The OBD-II is a second-generation display tool that plugs into the OBD port of every vehicle produced in the United States since 1996. The tool reads diagnostic trouble codes generated when the onboard computer detects a problem in the engine. One use for the OBD-II is to read trouble codes in a shop environment as a diagnostic tool. The readout also mounts permanently in the vehicle to monitor its performance for a single user, if desired. In either case, the OBD-II only takes a matter of seconds to connect.
- Locate the 16-pin OBD port. The port is located within 3 feet of the steering column on most cars. The port is easily accessible by anyone without having to use tools or take anything apart to get to it. It may be located under the dash, in front of the passenger seat, behind the ashtray, behind a small access panel in the dashboard or in or around the center console, if the vehicle is equipped with one.
- Remove the cover on the OBD port.
- Slide the rectangular 16-pin connector of the OBD cable into the OBD port.
- Plug the round 16-pin male connector from the OBD-II display into the round female side of the OBD cable, completing the connection of the OBD-II.