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Standard vs Enhanced OBD-II Code Scanning

What’s the difference between Standard and Enhanced code scanning? Which modules do these cover?

Standard OBD-II Code Scanning

The OBD-II specification provides a standard way to scan and reset Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs), commonly also known as a Check Engine Light or CEL codes.

This works universally across all OBD-II compliant vehicles, however is it typically limited to modules related to the powertrain and/or vehicle emissions, such as the Engine Control Module (ECM), Transmission Control Module (TCM; usually only for automatic transmissions), and sometimes certain other modules such as Hybrid systems.

These modules are the main causes of engine or service lights that may appear on the dashboard, and very importantly, trouble codes that may impact emissions readiness. DauntlessOBD supports these, as well as emissions readiness monitors, Mode 06 test data, live OBD-II data streams, and the possibility of enhanced code scanning on certain vehicles (see below).

Enhanced Code Scanning (additional modules)

Most modern vehicles have far more modules than just the engine or powertrain, and it’s very useful to scan codes from those as well. These can include the Brakes (ABS / EBCM), Airbags (SRS), Body Control Module (BCM), Infotainment / Navigation, Instrument Cluster, and many more.

Although these modules are typically accessed via the OBD connector, they are not actually a standardized part of the OBD-II specification, and different manufacturers implement them in various different ways. That means that scantools, OBD apps, and other code readers will have varying levels of support for these modules, if they are even supported at all. You may also find that different tools (or apps) cover different modules than each other, or some seem to pull more codes from the same module.

DauntlessOBD can scan codes from many of these additional modules on supported manufacturers and models, where practical. The catch is that while we do support this for many vehicles and hope to keep expanding on that, each manufacturer or model does take time and resources to develop, and it can change by vehicle model and year, so ultimately we can’t cover everything. What’s available with our device and app can vary by manufacturer, vehicle model and year, and even trim level.

While we provide a free app for this with DauntlessOBD, we’ve also designed it so that you are not limited to just our apps, and have the flexibility to choose from other compatible apps, some of which might offer different or more code scanning capabilities.