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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: port arthur texas
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OBD I & 2 its effect on the auto industry
So what is OBD? It is a communication protocal or universal language for the computer. No big deal you may think but far from it. It revoloutionized the auto industry.
Before OBD each brand of car/truck spoke it's own language and only it's own language. Different scan tools were needed for each one. FORD could only speak to Ford, GM only to GM and neither could talk to each other. All of the others were the same way.
The dealerships loved this, if you had a computer problem the dealership was the only choice.
If you were a independent shop you would have to tie up a lot of money just in test equipment.
I remember at one time I had several grand tied up just in scanners and assorted test equipment.
This was a lot of money back then. The computers weren't very sophisticated back then but you still needed something to talk to it.
Now the OEM's and the aftermarket industry have been at war since the aftermarket industry came into existance each trying to gain the upperhand. Each had a strong lobby in the government so power sesawed back and forth as the political climate shifted.
Keep in mind the industry was constantly evolveing, computers got smarter and more complex and you often had to buy a new more expensive scantool every few years to just keep up.
OBD was a concept of a universal language common to all automobiles so that with one scanner you could talk to every brand of automobile no more proprietary information an attempt to break the strangle hold held by the major manufacturers. This move was initiated by the aftermarket industry and the independent shops. They had a slight edge on the power struggle at that time.
By the time OBD was enacted into law power had shifted again and the OEM's forced thru legislation that allowed them to keep some information proprietary. Almost before the ink was dry on the laws they had mostly been circumvented. OEM was able to keep much of it's information secret.
A major byproduct of this was the ability of the owner to do his own work on his own vehicle up to a point. At some point you were back to the mercy of the oem's. By law they had to share but were able to choose what they would share and what they would not.
OBD not a big deal well may be but then again without it A&E couldn't exist or Scangauge II or any other monitors even Tuners would not exist as we know them or any of the aftermarket scanners.
As far as that goes the 6.0;6.4 and 6.7 wouldn't even exist. And who knows what tomorrow may bring.
Lord I shall lead them to the water but I will not try to make them drink