What is OBD?
The On-Board Diagnostic computer, or OBD system, is a series of controls and monitors that work to ensure your vehicle is running at peak performance. The system controls most of the vehicle engine's processes as well as other aspects of the vehicle's body and auxiliary components.
If a problem arises in one or more of the components, the OBD computer will sense it and will record a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) to keep track of the issue. It will also let you know of the problem by illuminating the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), more commonly referred to as the Check Engine Light. If the light remains on while you are driving the vehicle, this is an indication that the OBD System has detected a problem. You should have your vehicle diagnosed and repaired by a qualified mechanic. OBD certified mechanics generally have an ASE L-1 Certification. Ask your repair facility if they have properly trained personnel and appropriate diagnostic equipment.
The OBD system helps ensure that the vehicle is running as efficiently and smoothly as possible. A clean running engine prolongs the life and health of the vehicle, allowing you more time to enjoy a stronger running car.
By continuously monitoring the well-being of the vehicle's components, the OBD system is able to identify minor problems that can be repaired easily before they become major problems that would require more time and money to correct. In addition to repairs, a vehicle running at its most efficient will get better gas mileage, saving you money at the pumps.
In addition to checking for problems, the OBD system helps to ensure the complicated control-systems installed on 1996 and newer model year vehicles are running smoothly at their most fuel-efficient ability and are emitting a minimum of harmful emissions. Motor-vehicle emissions account for a large portion of the total pollutant emissions released into the atmosphere in the United States. By keeping your vehicle running well, everyone benefits.