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What is OBD1?

What Is OBD1?

Very often we get questions based on OBD1 & OBD2. What is my car and will this tool work my car.

OBD stands for On-board diagnostics. The two main types of diagnostic systems in vehicles is OBD1 and OBD2. OBD1 was used in vehicles up to as late as 2006 and anything newer will be OBD2.

As for your car and what protocol it is varies from every make and model (we do have a list of cars to confirm yours click the link below


If your car is newer than 2006 your vehicle will be OBD2

Some vehicles manufactured earlier than 2006 are still OBD2   For example: You own a 2003 Toyota Corolla, this is OBD1. If you owned a 2004 Toyota Corolla this will be OBD2.

Meanwhile, when considering their manufacturing dates, OBD1s were introduced long before the OBD2 models. OBD2 is a better system, in the sense that it provides standardised trouble codes and more information is availble from the on board diagnostics system.

If your vehicle is OBD1 you will require a more comprehensive tool to communicate with your vehicle. Cheap OBD2 readers will not work. If a scan tool is compatible with OBD1 protocols then it will always read OBD2 also.

See our range of OBD1 scan tools here 

If the scan tool is for OBD2 only it will not work with an OBD1 car even with an adapter. Common confusion around adapters and compatibility. Just because you have brought an adapter, this does not mean your car is now OBD2 or OBD2 capable, you still need an OBD1 capable scan tool.

Also some vehicles with a standard OBD2 shaped 16 pin plug are not OBD2 compliant, they still run an OBD1 protocol and a OBD2 reader will not work with your vehicle.


Please ensure you confirm what OBD protocol your vehicle is and ensure the scan tool is suitable to this protocol.


Some vehicles that run OBD1 will require an adapter cable. The easiest way to find out if you need an adapter is to check your cars OBD port. With OBD1 most of the ports are located under the dash on the drivers side. Some OBD1 ports are located in the engine bay.

We supply a range of OBD1 adapter cabler here 

An example of a14pin adapter cable below required for older Nissans


              nissan 14 pin adapter



The Nissan 14-pin DLC is often found behind the fuse panel cover



Toyota OBD1 22pin port in the engine bay 

 toyota 22 pin obd port


The required adapter for this type of port is the Toyota 22pin OBD1 adapter 

Below is what a standard OBD2 port looks like. Any scan tool will plug directly into this port with no adapter required however if your car is older than 2006 please check our guide to ensure your vehicle is actually OBD2 compliant.

4 Responses

Peter Pyers

Peter Pyers

November 12, 2023

Hi, I am wondering what scanner I can use on my 1999 Holden rodeo 3.2 petrol ute.
Can you help please

Thomas West

Thomas West

November 05, 2023

Do you have an OBD device which would be compatible with my vehicle Renault Master 2 2005.

Philip Chryssikos

Philip Chryssikos

October 03, 2023


I’ve a 1990 Mitsubishi Galant 2.0 GLSi (UK model). Do you have an OBD device for this vehicle, please?

With best wishes



March 26, 2023

Hi there ,I have a 97 dihatsu move, with a obd socket similar to the Toyota, after buying the adapter found that its not compatible, do you have a solution, thanks jas.

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