Its not hard to tell that I’m a bit of a car buff, add to that my love of tech and you get this headache related to the on board diagnosis port (“ODB” or “ODB-II”, the second generation of diagnosis ports). Mechanics can invest in the expensive tools required to “communicate” with the ECU as an operational expense, however the general automotive enthusiast can’t really justify that cost–especially if you own vehicles from different car manufacturers.
There are cheap consumer level tools to perform some of the OBD functions, tho they have their limitations, such as working only with certain marques, or having no upgrade-ability–An open source solution would be better. In an ideal world there would be a huge open source community deving tools we can all use to aid us in automotive maintenance, but there are only a handful of dedicated individuals working on these projects.
This post is to put together some of the existing online resources related to OBD, it’s by no means an authoritative source on how to use, make or develop these tools.
From their website: “Freediag is a suite of vehicle diagnostic protocols and an OBD II (mostly) compliant ScanTool, currently for Linux platforms. Multiple graphical user interfaces for scantool are under development – but right now, you have to use a command-line interface to scantool.”. Currently not available on windows.
OpenOBD is no longer in active development, but it does have a windows installer for those users not on a linux platform. According to the projects wiki it only supports the ELM327 device.
OBDToolbox is in early development so its features are a bit limited. Windows installer available.
This is by no means an entire directory of OBD resources, just some software I am currently playing with, hopefully I can put together some more detailed information soon.