OBD1 vs OBD2? find the difference between them & which one should buy

difference between obd1 and obd2When it comes to diagnosing a vehicle, there are usually two terms that come into view which are OBD1 and OBD2. These car diagnostic systems have their own differences which we will discuss further in this article. OBD refers to on-board diagnostics. It enables the car to report or diagnose itself on the problems it might be facing. This in turn allows the mechanic to tackle some of the problems that your car might be undergoing. Here is some basic difference between obd1 and obd2. If you are in hurry then i can tell you that obd2 is the best tool for scanning a car over the obd1.

Summary of Contents

OBD1 VS OBD2 Explanation and Which one better?

Manufacturing date

When looking at the year these scanners were built, the OBD1 was introduced way before the OBD2. The OBD2 was started in 1996, while the OBD1 was started way before that. The OBDII is a greater system, in the sense that it offers standardized codes for vehicle owners who undergo engine issues.

Engine inspection

In a wide range of application, the use of OBD2 is synonymous with term check engine light. This aspect alone has the power to go directly into the places of the fault and sometimes even assist with its eventual correction. Thus, it has the power to put the user away from the eventual dangers posed. On the other hand, the OBD1 scan tool lacked the power to pinpoint, as it just read the codes. Although, quality diagnosis car scanner price is high but it is worth to buy.


The OBD1, which was first discovered before the OBD2, was formerly set up below the car’s dashboard. The OBD2 scanning tool is normally installed the drivers compartment where reaching isn’t a hard task at all.

Engine performance

Knowing how your engine performs is very important. Also, being in a position to easily identify problems that might be facing it is an added advantage. Even though the OBD1 scanner was able to offer particular technology based features to do with the vehicle engine, the OBD2 has been observed to be more effective. This is true especially when it comes to acquiring data that is linked to engine efficiency and effectiveness.


Since the OBD1 was not capable to meet the diverse need for the information, it leads to the creation of the OBD2 scanner. The creation of the OBD2 scanner was as a result of the need for the user to access user data for the healthy use of the car. The OBD2 scan tool offers data and many more.


Scanners can be anticipated to offer the most relevant and fast data that a mechanic can utilize in correcting the trouble codes. The system places it above the old generation model which had very limited capacity to provide quick information. Furthermore, the information covered by the OBD2 is not comparable to that of OBD1 scanner.

Software specifications

The OBD2 scanner has some of the most useful software best suited for the 21st century. The features that are found on their software make them be easy to install and use. In addition, the software in the OBD2 category is in most cases an open source. The OBD1 was a bit difficult to get in terms of software and even the tool itself.


Even though it is known that most OBD2 scanning tools are software based formations that function on a certain range of protocols, their capability to offer fast information rests on the embedded chip. To adapt to recent times, the chip is reprogrammed or updated but is neither replaceable nor removable. It is in such a place that all the important information is kept. The alternative of replacing the chip in OBD1 scan tool made them weak to offer data or as information storage.

User satisfaction

Utilizing the OBD 1 was somehow challenging as they were manufacture based tools which could be accessed from specific vehicle manufacturers. So, the engineering society proposed the creation of universal OBD 2 scan tools that could be used by different car manufacturers.

It is evident that between the OBD1 and OBD2 scanning tools, the OBDII is the more sophisticated and effective tool on the market. It can be used in various cars and it has the latest technology.

Kevin Nicholas is an automotive technician who is a genius at software and hardware-related issues. He manually tested more than a hundred OBD scanners and gave his honest opinion on whether the device was worth the money or not. His in-depth OBD review articles help people choose the right product, whether it is a European, American, or Asian vehicle. He completed his Automotive Specialized Training Course at Universal Technical Institute and has more than 15 years of experience in the field.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top