Are There Any Universal OBD Codes?


Quick Answer

There are two primary types of on-board diagnostic codes: generic (or universal) and manufacturer-specific. The first digit of an OBD code specifies the related system: powertrain, body, chassis or undefined. The second digit states whether the code is generic or manufacturer-specific. The last three digits specify the issue itself.

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Full Answer

The OBD system was designed to standardize the process of troubleshooting between all vehicles. All vehicles made after 1996 are required to have a standardized on-board diagnostics port and use the OBD code format. Common components, such as gas caps or oxygen sensors, utilize the generic codes, while components unique to a certain vehicle or manufacturer use the manufacturer-specific codes.

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