What is OBD tuning?

OBD reading and writing is perhaps the most common and popular tuning method. It has revolutionised the industry making the accessibility of tuning available to a wider audience. OBD is the "on board diagnostic port" that is used to access the ECU from within the vehicle. It is often located under the steering wheel or around the glove box. It is designed to allow for fast and easy fault diagnostics which assist mechanics with finding problems by scanning the engine control unit for codes. Some cars allow you to take full data reads though the OBD and others will only allow for a partial read. In some newer cars the software is locked and some tools offer VR files which are essentially original files stored on a server that match the software version within the ECU. The tool is then able to bypass the tuning protection and write your modified version of the file. 

On-board diagnostics, or OBD, is an automotive term referring to a vehicle's self-diagnostic and reporting capability. OBD systems give the vehicle owner or a repair technician access to state of health information for various vehicle sub-systems. The amount of diagnostic information available via OBD has varied widely since the introduction in the early 1980s of on-board vehicle computers, which made OBD possible. Early instances of OBD would simply illuminate a malfunction indicator light, or MIL, if a problem was detected—but would not provide any information as to the nature of the problem. Modern OBD implementations use a standardized digital communications port to provide real-time data in addition to a standardized series of diagnostic trouble codes, or DTCs, which allow one to rapidly identify and remedy malfunctions within the vehicle.

OBD stands for On Board Diagnostics and basically is the communication method to make  communication possible between a computer and the ECU of a vehicle. It is the most common manner for vehicle workplaces, car companies and tuning companies to make connection with a vehicle in order to do diagnostics and make adjustments.

The OBD port (On-Board Diagnostics) is basically a plug in the vehicle which can be connected to which has a self-diagnostic and reporting ability. The OBD port enables the vehicle’s owner or vehicle’s technician to access information relating to the health state of various vehicle sub-systems.

It is also the easiest and most applied manner for tuners or tuning companies to get the software out of a vehicle’s ECU in order to adjust the ECU software and unlock the true potential of a vehicle's engine. Nowadays, the most tuning tools allow OBD as read method but sometimes car manufacturers and ECU manufacturers will improve the security of ECU software by trying to block the external communication possibilities, also known as tuning protection. In that cases there are other read methods to make the connection possible which we will treat later on this page. 

Many see the modern crop of Turbocharged diesels as the future of road car tuning. Even in North America, a nation famed for its love of the petrol engine is starting to come around to the benefits of turbo diesel passenger cars in particular. These engines offer fantastic potential for reliable low cost tuning without removing any of the appeal of buying and running a turbo diesel powered vehicle, such as economy, reliability and longevity.

Turbocharged petrol engines have always been regarded as the sports flagship engine for good reason. They boast far higher power & torque figures than a non-turbocharged power-plant with similar displacement and are usually fitted to the manufacturer's flagship models. They are also ideal candidates for remapping as the ECU also controls the wastegate (turbo boost pressure control).