How do I know whether my vehicle is OBD2 compliant?

1996 or newer model year vehicle sold in the United States

United States legislation requires all cars and light trucks model year (MY) 1996 and newer to be OBD2 compliant. More information is available on the EPA's website.


2001 or newer model year gasoline vehicle sold in the European Union

Commission Directive 70/220/EEC, Annex I: 8.1.

Vehicles with positive-ignition engines With effect from 1 January 2000 for new types and from 1 January 2001 for all types, vehicles of category M1, except vehicles the maximum mass of which exceeds 2500 kg, and vehicles of category N1 class I, must be fitted with an on-board diagnostic (OBD) system for emission control in accordance with Annex XI. [...]

Note that here "European Union" means countries which were members of the EU in 2000.


2004 or newer model year diesel vehicle sold in the European Union

Commission Directive 70/220/EEC, Annex I:

8.2. Vehicles with compression-ignition engines Vehicles of category M1, except - vehicles designed to carry more than six occupants including the driver, - vehicles whose maximum mass exceeds 2500 kg, from 1 January 2003 for new types and from 1 January 2004 for all types, must be fitted with an on-board diagnostic (OBD) system for emission control in accordance with Annex XI.

Note that here "European Union" means countries which were members of the EU in 2003.


Other vehicles

Other regions passed laws requiring OBD2 compliance for newer vehicles. Here is an approximate list of countries and model years where laws require OBD2 compliance for light duty vehicles.

Argentina 2009
Australia 2006 (gas), 2007 (diesel)
Brazil 2007 (gas)
Canada 1998
China 2009
Chile 2013 (diesel), 2014 (gas)
European Union 2001 (gas), 2004 (diesel)
Hong Kong 2006
Israel 2003
India 2010
Japan 2002
Mexico 2006
Morocco 2011
New Zealand 2006
Russia 2012
Taiwan 2008
Thailand 2013
United States 1996

If your vehicle does not fall into any of the above categories, look under the hood and try to locate a label (Fig. 1) that explicitly states that the vehicle was designed to comply with OBD-2 legislation.

OBD sticker
Fig. 1 - Vehicle Emission Control Information Label

In this case, OBD2 is used as a general term and can mean any of the following:

  • OBD II (California ARB)
  • EOBD (European OBD)
  • JOBD (Japanese OBD)

You may also consult your vehicle's owner's manual and perhaps contact your local dealer. However, be aware of the fact that many dealers do not know the difference between OBD and OBD2. If the vehicle is not OBD2 compliant, you cannot use a generic OBD2 scan tool such as ElmScan to obtain diagnostic information from your vehicle.


But my car has the 16-pin OBD connector, shouldn't it be OBD2 compliant?

No, not necessarily. A lot of European and Asian manufacturers equipped their vehicles with D-shaped 16-pin connectors long before they began installing OBD2 systems on those vehicles. One curious thing to note here is the fact that most non-EOBD compliant vehicles had a DLC that does not fully conform to SAE J1979.


Some of this information is courtesy of ScanTool.net

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