What is OBD 2007?

OBD 2007 is a software program providing diagnosis and statistical analysis for any automobile that is OBD II compliant. OBD 2007 supports all protocols based on the international standard ISO 15031-5 or SAE International J1979. OBD 2007 supports all protocols ISO 9141-2, ISO 14230-4, SAE J1850 and ISO 15765-4(CAN). OBD 2007 interfaces to any scan tool based on the ELM327 chip from www.elmelectronics.com.

OBD 2007 has been tested with the following scan tools, OBDPro from www.www.obdpros.com, OBDKey from www.obdkey.com, All-In-One from www.obd2allinone.com and the ElmScan 5 familiy of scan tools from www.scantool.net. OBD 2007 should work with older ELM chipsets but has not been tested with them. As the downloadable program is a combined demo and the full product (activated by registration) feel free to test the earlier chipsets. OBD 2007 will automatically search for the correct protocol on connection to your vehicle – there is no need to know the protocol of your vehicle.

Note for Car-Pal users. OBD 2007 does not work correctly with earlier versions of this unit. Versions that do work report Elm327 as the interface, versions that don't work report Car-Pal as the interface.

Note for OBDKey users. OBD 2007 does not work correctly with OBDKey v1.1x. OBDKey does not contain an Elm327 chip, but does attempt to emulate it. Unfortunately it does not emulate all the AT commands of the Elm327 1.2 chip that OBD 2007 uses. We have been assured by KBM Systems Limited that this problem will be rectified shortly.

OBD 2007 now fully supports OBDKey with the release of OBDKey v1.3. It was decided between KBM Systems and ourselves not to attempt to support OBDKey v1.1x versions.

OBD 2007 supports all services $01 through $09 of the above standards. Please note that not all OBD II compliant vehicles support each service. OBD 2007 will report which services the vehicle doesn’t support.

What do you get?

OBD 2007 is software only. You get the software and help manual – scan tools can be purchased from the above suppliers and their distributors.

What is OBD II?

OBD stands for On-Board Diagnostics. This is a computer based system built into all vehicles from 1996 (in the USA) and 2001 in Europe and Japan. OBD II monitors the performance of the major components of the engine, including emission controls. The system provides an early warning light, known as the Check Engine Lamp or Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL). OBD II not only protects the environment but also the car owner by identifying minor problems before they become major problems. OBD II stores fault information and helps a technician diagnose and repair a vehicle. OBD II consists of an ECU, (or multiple ECUs) a MIL, a Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC) and the wiring that connects the different elements. The OBD scan tool connects to the DLC and the computer connects to the scan tool via a serial interface

How does it work?

  1. You need to connect the interface (scan tool) to the OBD II plug of your vehicle – located within 1 metre of your steering column using the supplied OBD II connector cable.
  2. Connect the other end of the scan tool to your computer via a serial cable – usually a USB/Serial cable converter on a modern laptop.
  3. Install our OBD 2007 software, and select the correct Com port and baud rate for your scan tool.
  4. Turn the ignition to the on position. Click the Connect button of OBD 2007.

How do I know if my vehicle is OBDII compliant?

This is a question we get asked every day and it is not a particularly easy question to answer because the answer can vary for the same vehicle in different parts of the world. The following is a general guideline for various countries. The following applies to light passenger vehicles generally of up to 2500kg.

The following list is for the countries that have regulated for OBDII compliance. If your country is not on the list and you know the compliance rules of your country, please contact us and will add your country to this list.

USA

OBDII compliance started in the United States in 1996. The rules are simple in the US; all vehicles in the US have been compliant since 1996.

European Union

The EU countries regulated for OBDII compliance starting with petrol vehicles 1st January 2000 for any new model and all existing models from 1st January 2001. A similar regulation was made for diesel vehicles starting 1st January 2003 for new models and 1st January 2004 for existing models.

Of course countries entered the EU over different years; therefore the above only applied to countries that had joined the EU on the above dates.

So in summary the rules for the EU are:

2001 or newer model year petrol vehicles. 2004 or newer model year diesel vehicles.

Japan

All vehicles since 2004.

Australia & New Zealand

All vehicles since 1st January 2006.

Brazil

All vehicles since 2008.

We obviously have a lot of experience with Australian vehicles. Even though Australia didn’t regulate for OBDII compliance until 2006, we have many diagnostic log examples of imported vehicles that are compliant well before 2006. One of the vehicles we test regularly is a ’99 BMW 323 which is OBDII compliant. Obviously there is a lead time for vehicles to make a particular regulation date, be it for vehicles imported in the US or the EU countries. In the case of our BMW, a year before OBDII compliance was required in Europe. Similar sorts of examples exist with our locally made vehicles. All the Fords and Holdens produced in Australia started to become compliant during 2004 and 2005.

However our experience with Japanese vehicles imported into Australia indicates that they only became compliant very close to the compliance date.

Over the last three years we have built an extensive library of diagnostic logs from vehicles from all over the world and it is quite obvious that many manufacturers build vehicles that are deliberately built non OBDII compliant, if they are to be exported into countries where OBDII compliance is not mandated. Therefore it is quite common to come across a vehicle that is compliant in one country, because of that country’s compliance regulations, but not in another even though the vehicle is the same year and model.

If your dealer can’t advise and the vehicle importer won’t advise then the only way to know is to test with a scan tool using OBD 2007 or OBD 2007 Lite. Unfortunately if you receive the message UNABLE TO CONNECT then it is very likely that your vehicle is not OBDII compliant.

Many of our recommended scan tool manufacturers have a return policy for their scan tool if the scan tool doesn't connect to a vehicle. Please check with the manufacturers before you purchase.

We are happy to try and help you out. Every connection with either OBD 2007 or OBD 2007 Lite produces a diagnostic log. If you send the diagnostic logs together with the other details we request (see our OBD 2007 Lite Programming Guide, page 18 for details) we will endeavour to ascertain whether your vehicle is OBDII compliant. Please help us to help you, by supplying the details we request in our programming guide.

How many PIDs does OBD 2007 support?

The ISO 15031-5 standard documents 90 separate Parameter Identifications (PIDs), consequently OBD 2007 supports those 90 PIDS. They are 0x01 through 0x5a. Please note that most vehicles only support a subset of those 90 PIDS.

Which Protocol to use?

There are five different OBD-II communication protocols:

  • J1850 PWM
  • J1850 VPW
  • ISO9141
  • ISO14230 (also known as Keyword Protocol 2000)
  • CAN (ISO15765)

From 2008 all automotive manufactures will use the same CAN protocol ISO 15765.

It is not necessary to know the protocol of your vehicle as OBD 2007 automatically uses the protocol detected by your Elm 327 scan tool.

If OBD 2007 is unable to report a protocol when you connect your scan tool to your vehicle, then you can be sure that your vehicle is not OBD II compliant. Your scan tool when controlled by OBD 2007 will cycle through all of the above protocols until the protocol of your vehicle is found. If at the end of that cycle a protocol is not found, then you can conclude the vehicle is not OBD II compliant.

Is there a free/demo version of OBD 2007?

OBD 2007 as a download from our website does double duty. When you download OBD 2007 it installs in evaluation mode. The evaluation version of OBD 2007 is fully featured, and therefore requires activation via our web server. OBD 2007 runs for 7 days before the evaluation license expires. To convert OBD 2007 into the full product requires the purchase of a license for OBD 2007 from our website. When you purchase OBD 2007 you will receive a registration code via email. The registration code can be pasted from our email into the registration window of OBD 2007 and at the completion of the registration process, all the demonstration/evaluation restrictions will be removed the next time you start OBD 2007.

Will OBD 2007 work on more than 1 computer?

The OBD 2007 license is limited to 1 computer. If you require further copies of OBD 2007 for other computers, then you will require a license for each of those computers. Discounts for multiple copies are available, please contact us for pricing of multiple licenses.

Will OBD 2007 work on my car?

If your car is OBD II compliant OBD 2007 will work. All cars and light trucks produced in the USA since 1996 are OBD II compliant. Other countries such as most of Europe and Japan introduced an equivalent standard EOBD or JOBD in 2001. In some countries such as Australia the regulation didn’t apply until 2006. If in any doubt ask your automotive reseller. Our website does not carry a list of compliant vehicles, but there are websites that do attempt to maintain such a list. OBD 2007 is not designed to work with the pre 1996 earlier version of OBD, i.e. OBD I.

Can my car be damaged by OBD 2007?

OBD 2007 is designed to retrieve and diagnose your vehicle’s information. It can not write data back to the ECU of your vehicle and therefore can not in any way damage your vehicle.

Is there a specific PID for fuel consumption ?

No there isn’t, but fuel consumption can be calculated if the vehicle supports PID 0x10 the Mass Air Flow sensor - MAF. While we don't display fuel consumption on the Pid tab, the Dashboard tab of OBD 2007 for PC does include a instantaneous fuel comsumption gauge.

What are the typical PIDs that most cars support?

This is a reasonably difficult question to answer, because PID support is so varied between different makes and models. The later the model of the vehicle, the more likelyhood it will support a greater number of PIDs. Typical PIDs include engine rpm, vehicle speed, fuel system status (open or closed loop), engine coolant temperature, intake air temperature, ignition timing, short and long term fuel trims, oxygen sensor voltages, intake manifold pressure, fuel rail pressure, time since engine start, distance travelled since MIL activated etc. For a full description of all the 90 available PIDs, it would be necessary to purchase either ISO 15031-5 or SAE International J1979. However a warning, these documents are very technical. The easiest way to find out which PIDS you car supports is to use OBD 2007. Our software reads the PIDS that your vehicle supports on connection and only lists the PIDS that are supported by your vehicle.

Is it possible to read information other than the standard PIDs?

OBD 2007 includes what we term as the Terminal tab as it performs a similar function to the HyperTerminal program found on every PC, although unlike HyperTerminal it requires no setup. In this window you are able to issue any valid ELM 327 command or issue any valid ECU request to whatever ECU. Obviously it assumes that you are conversant with the ELM 327 command set and the necessary ECU commands of your vehicle.

Should I go for a USB or Serial scan tool?

With early model Elm327 scan tools (prior to v1.2) speed was not really an issue because the scan tools were only capable of a maximum speed of 38,400 bps. It really didn’t matter if you used serial, USB or a Bluetooth connection, for the speed at which the data was received was about the same. The baud rates of 9600 or 38,400 baud were quite appropriate for all the vehicle protocols at that time.

However when vehicle manufacturers started using the CAN protocol (2004/2005) on a high speed 500k baud bus, these low speed baud rates became an issue.

The Elm327 v1.2 chip introduced baud rates up to 500k baud to match the baud rate of the CAN bus of the vehicle. CAN vehicles most definitely benefit from faster baud rates – most CAN bus equipped vehicles operate at 500k, so ideally, so should the scan tool. CAN messages, especially Service 06 can be very long responses, which can easily overwhelm the small 256 byte buffer of the Elm chip, resulting in BUFFER FULL errors as reported by the Elm chip. The software developer has no control of the Elm buffer, therefore if a BUFFER FULL error is contained within a response, that response has to be discarded because the complete response was not received and obviously a partial response is not of any value. If the software is communicating at 500K baud, the same speed as the bus, then it is possible to eliminate BUFFER FULL errors. (Note these problems were overcome with the OBDPro v1.2 chip even at low baud rates, with its unique double buffer message queue.)

Non CAN vehicles, gain virtually nothing from a scan tool running at a higher baud rate. The old protocols are slow, so that the original baud rates of 9600 or 38,400 are fine – going to a higher baud rate for those vehicles really does not gain you anything, for the old protocols only push out short messages and of course they are transmitted quite slowly in comparison to the CAN protocol.

However, again that is not the end of the story, the only Elm327 v1.2 chipped scan tools that can run at 500k are USB scan tools. Serial scan tools usually require a USB serial cable adapter to connect to a modern laptop, and not many of those USB serial cable adapters are capable of running at above 230.4k baud, so BUFFER FULL errors will still occur when using a USB serial cable adapter on a CAN vehicle. The problem is not with the serial scan tool, as serial scan tools can be connected to special high speed serial ports at 500k, but those types of high speed ports are not commonly found on most modern laptop computers. Modern laptop computers, don’t have a dedicated serial port, they use a virtual serial port provided by a USB driver via a USB connection plug on the computer.

Bluetooth scan tools are limited to 34,800 baud and therefore they are even more likely to experience BUFFER FULL errors when connected to a CAN vehicle.

The release of the Elm327 v1.3 chip (August 2008) addressed the above issues. The new developments of the v1.3 chip are primarily aimed at the CAN protocol, not the older protocols. There are some new features that the older protocols can take advantage of, but the improvements in speed are only marginal for non CAN vehicles. Naturally enough as the CAN protocol is now the universal protocol (all vehicles from Jan 1st 2008) the development of the Elm327 chip is now biased towards the CAN protocol.

The Elm327 v1.3 chip eliminated the need to junk your older scan tool if you required it to be connected to a CAN vehicle. Now all types of scan tools Serial, Bluetooth and USB can handle CAN vehicles without having to worry about BUFFER FULL errors. Bluetooth and Serial scan tools (connected via USB serial cable adapters) are still restricted to baud rates of 38,400 and 230.4k baud respectively, so if you want maximum speed output (pids/sec) then a USB scan tool is still the ideal choice.

Obviously to gain all these new features of the Elm327 v1.3 chip, the software you use has to support the new features of the Elm327 v1.3 chip. OBD 2007 fully supports all the new commands of the Elm327 v1.3.

We recommend a Bluetooth connection for our product OBD 2007 Pocket PC.

What are the differences between the PC version and the small device versions?

The code for OBD 2007 is split into 2 parts – a user interface (UI) part, which is the windows of the program that you can see and a second part that contains the OBD code. The OBD code is common to all platforms. Therefore the only difference between platforms is the UI.

Obviously the small device units have considerably smaller screens and the screen sizes differ between PDA and Smartphones. However we provide exactly the same functionality for all platforms. The PDA and Smartphone version also offer the convenience of portability as compared to the desktop/ laptop version, but lack no features of the desktop/laptop version. Usually a Bluetooth interface is utilised with the small devices, but it is also possible to use cables if required.

Does GLM Software produce software for Palm devices?

At this stage we have do not have any plans to produce an OBD 2007 product for Palm devices.

About GLM Software

GLM Software based in Melbourne, Australia is a leading producer of vehicle diagnostics software for the automotive industry. The principal of GLM Software has over 20 years of automotive experience as well as 20 years of software development experience.