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​How Does OBD-II Work

Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) are stored in the computer system. Codes can vary from one manufacturer to another. However, anyone with an OBD-II scan tool can connect to the port and read the diagnostic trouble codes from the computer.

How Does OBD-II Work

The reason any OBD-II scan tool can read the codes is because of the standardized pinout. Scan tools can read from any of the protocols listed above. The standardized pinout is as follows.

Pin 1: Used by manufacturer

Pin 2: Used by SAE J1850 PWM and VPW

Pin 3: Used by manufacturer

Pin 4: Ground

Pin 5: Ground

Pin 6: Used by ISO 15765-4 CAN

Pin 7: The K-Line of ISO 9141-2 and ISO 14230-4

Pin 10: Used only by SAE J1850 PWM

Pin 14: Used by ISO 15765-4 CAN

Pin 15: The K-Line of ISO 9141-2 and ISO 14230-4

Pin 16: Power from the car battery

OBD-II scanners can connect to these ports and identify the trouble code from any manufacturer that uses one of the OBD-II protocols.

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