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Does My Car Have OBD-II?

All cars and light trucks built and sold in the United States after January 1, 1996 were required to be OBD II equipped. In general, this means all 1996 model year cars and light trucks are compliant, even if built in late 1995.

Two factors will show if your vehicle is definitely OBD II equipped:

  1. There will be an OBD II connector as shown below, and
  2. There will be a note on a sticker or nameplate under the hood: “OBD II compliant”.

The Connector


Pin 2 – J1850 Bus+ Pin 4 – Chassis Ground Pin 5 – Signal Ground Pin 6 – CAN High (J-2284) Pin 7 – ISO 9141-2 K Line
Pin 10 – J1850 Bus Pin 14 – CAN Low (J-2284) Pin 15 – ISO 9141-2 L Line Pin 16 – Battery Power

Where is the connector located?

The connector must be located within three feet of the driver and must not require any tools to be revealed. Look under the dash and behind ashtrays.

The Five Flavors of OBD II

While the parameters, or readings, required by OBD II regulations are uniform, the auto manufacturers had some latitude in the communications protocol they used to transmit those readings to scanners. Naturally, each felt they had the one true way, so we have five different OBD II communications protocols in use.
The big scanner consoles costing thousands of dollars include the decoding software and firmware for all five protocols in their units, making them universal. Less expensive units, for home or small shop use, are usually customized for a specific communications protocol. Be sure the scanner you are using suits the protocol of your car.

What Communications Protocol does my vehicle use?

As a rule of thumb, GM cars and light trucks use SAE J1850 VPW (Variable Pulse Width Modulation). Chrysler products and all European and most Asian imports use ISO 9141 or KWP2000 circuitry. Fords use SAE J1850 PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) communication patterns. All 2008 and newer model year vehicles use CAN.
There are some variations among captive imports such as the Cadillac Catera, a German Opel derivative, which uses the European ISO 9141 protocol. If you have first hand knowledge of other such variations, please email to us.

On 1996 and later vehicles, you can tell which protocol is used by examining the OBD II connector:

  • J1850 VPW –The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 2, 4, 5, and 16, butnot 10.
  • ISO 9141-2/KWP2000 –The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 4, 5, 7, 15, and 16.
  • J1850 PWM –The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 2, 4, 5, 10, and 16.
  • CAN –The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 4, 5, 6, 14 and 16.

If your vehicle has this style connector, but doesn’t have these pins populated, you probably have a pre-OBDII vehicle. To add some confusion, even having the connector with the contacts shown above is not a guarantee of OBD II compliance. This style connector has been seen on some pre-1996 vehicles which were not OBD II compliant.

Information on Pre-96 Cars

A reader with the California Air Resouces Board provided this list of pre-96 OBD II engine designations. Note that CARB recognizes engine series, rather than vehicle models, so the engine designations are the true key, with the vehicle models provided as a courtesy.

California Air Resources Board List of Certified OBD II Complying Engine Families and Models

1994 Model Year Certifications

Engine Family Manufacturer Model(s) Fully Compliant?
RAD2.8V8GFEM Audi 100 No
RFM3.8V8G1EK Ford Mustang No
RFM4.6V8G1EK Ford T-Bird, Cougar No
RMB2.2VJGCEK Mercedes-Benz C220 No
RMB3.2VJGCEK Mercedes-Benz C 280, S 320, SL 320 No
RNS2.0VJGDEK Nissan G20 Yes
RTY3.0VJGFEK Toyota Camry, ES300 No
RTY2.7HGEEK Toyota T100 No
RTY2.42HGEEK Toyota Previa, Previa All-Trac No
RVW2.8V8GFHM Volkswagen Corrado No
RVV2.3VHGFEK Volvo 850 Turbo No

1995 Model Year Certifications

Engine Family Manufacturer Model(s) Fully Compliant?
SBM5.4V8GAEK BMW 750cl(V12), 850ci(V12) No
SCR2.0VJGFEK Chrysler Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon No
SCR122VJG2EK Chrysler Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon No
SCR2.0VJG2GK Chrysler Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon No
SCR2.0VJGFEL Chrysler Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon
SDS2.0VJGFEK Diamond Star Eagle Talon, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Avenger No
SFM3.828G1EK Ford Windstar No
SFM3.8V8G1EK Ford Mustang No
SFM4.6V8G1EK Ford T-Bird, Cougar No
SFM4.6V8G1GK Ford Grand Marquis, Town Car, Crown Victoria No
SFM2.318G1EK Ford Ranger No
SFM3.028G1EK Ford Windstar No
SFM3.018G1EK Ford Ranger No
SFM3.028G1FK Ford Ranger No
SFM4.018G1EK Ford Ranger No
SFM4.6VJG1EK Ford Continental No
SFM4.028G1EK Ford Ranger No
S1G3.8V8G1EK GM Camaro, Firebird Yes
S3G4.319GFEJ GM S10 Pick-Up, Jimmy, Blazer No
S3G4.329GFGJ GM S10 Pick-Up No
SIG2.3VJG2GK GMC Cavalier, Sunfire
SHN2.7VJG1EK Honda Accord LX, EX (V6) Yes
SHN2.7VJGFEK Honda Accord LX, EX (V6) Yes
SJC4.0VJGAEK Jaguar AJ16 (SC) Yes
SJC6.0V8GFFK Jaguar V12 No
SKM1.8VJG1EK KIA Sephia No
STK2.3VJGFEK Mazda Millenia No
STK2.5VJGFEK Mazda Millenia No
STK1.5VJG2EK Mazda Protege No
STK1.8VJG1EK Mazda Protege No
SFM2.318G1EK Mazda* B2300 No
SFM3.018G1EK Mazda* B3000 No
SFM3.028G1FK Mazda* B3000 No
SFM4.018G1EK Mazda* B4000 No
SFM4.028G1EK Mazda* B4000 No
SMB3.6VJGFEK Mercedes Benz S 320, C 280, SL 320 Yes
SMT1.5VJG2EK Mitsubishi Summit, Mirage No
SMT1.8VJG2EK Mitsubishi Summit, & Summit Wagon, Mirage, Expo, LRV No
SMT2.4VJG2EK Mitsubishi Summit Wagon, Expo, LRV No
SNS2.4VJGFFK Nissan 240 SX Yes
SNS2.0VJGFFK Nissan G20 Yes
SNS3.0VJG1EK Nissan Maxima No
SNS3.0VJG1FK Nissan Maxima No
SNS2.4VJG2EK Nissan Altima Yes
SNS1.6VJG2EK Nissan Sentra/200 SX Yes
SNS2.0VJGFEK Nissan 200SX SE-R Yes
SNS3.0VJG1EK Nissan Maxima No
SLR4.0H8GOEK Rover Range Rover New Model No
SFJ2.2VJGFEK Subaru Legacy Yes (A/T models only)
STY3.41JG1GK Toyota T100 2WD Yes
STY3.42JG1GK Toyota T100 2WD & 4WD Yes
STY3.0VJGFEK Toyota Camry, Camry Wagon, ES300, Avalon Yes
STY2.42HGJEK Toyota Previa, Previa All-trac No
STY2.71HGEEK Toyota T100 2WD Yes
STY1.5VHGFEK Toyota Tercel No
STY4.0VJG1GK Toyota LS 400 No
STY2.41HG1GK Toyota Tacoma 2WD No
STY2.71HG1GK Toyota Tacoma 4WD No
STY3.41JGFEK Toyota Tacoma 2WD/4WD No
STY3.42JGFEK Toyota Tacoma 4WD No
STY4.55JGFEK Toyota Land Cruiser No
SVV2.3VJGFEK Volvo (TC) 850 Turbo Sedan/Wagon No
SVV2.4VJGFEK Volvo 850 Sedan/Wagon Yes


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