How do we measure OBD-II output?
Pre-OBD-II cars had connectors in various positions under the dashboard and under the hood. All OBD-II cars have a connector located in the passenger compartment easily accessible from the driver's seat. Check under the dash or behind or near the ashtray. A cable is plugged into the OBD-II J1962 connector and connected to AutoTap or another scan tool. AutoTap is available in PC/laptop or a Palm PDA versions. Other scantools on the market range from simple hand-held meters that display trouble codes, up to a large console computer-based unit costing thousands of dollars.
What good does it do to measure OBD-II output?
OBD-II signals are most often sought in response to a "Check Engine Light" appearing on the dashboard or driveability problems experienced with the vehicle. The data provided by OBD-II can often pinpoint the specific component that has malfunctioned, saving substantial time and cost compared to guess-and-replace repairs. Scanning OBD-II signals can also provide valuable information on the condition of a used car purchase.