As technology evolved and the desire to improve the On-Board Diagnostic system increased,a new generation of On-Board Diagnostic system was developed. This second generation of On-Board Diagnostic regulations is called “OBDII”. The OBDII system is designed to monitor emission control systems and key engine components by performing either continuous or periodic tests of specific components and vehicle conditions. When a problem is detected, the OBDII system turns on a warning lamp (MIL) on the vehicle instrument panel to alert the driver typically by the phrase of “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon”.
The system will also store important information about the detected malfunction so that a technician can accurately find and fix the problem. Here below follow three pieces of such valuable information:
1) Whether th Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) is commanded ‘on’ or ‘off’;
2) Which,if any,Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) are stored;
3) Readiness Monitor status
Location of the Data Link Connector (DLC)
The DLC(Data Link Connector or Diagnostic Link Connector) is the standardized 16-cavity connector where diagnostic scan tools interface with the vehicle’s on-board computer. The DLC is usually located 12 inches from the center of the instrument panel (dash),under or around the driver’s side for most vehicles. If Data Link Connector is not located under dashboard,a label should be there telling location. For some Asian and European vehicles,the DLC is located behind the ashtray and the ashtray must be removed to access the connector. If the DLC cannot be found, refer to the vehicle’s service manual for the location.