Data Port/ OBD II Port, What's the Difference - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 07:12 PM
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Data Port/ OBD II Port, What's the Difference

I realized today that my car has both a round engine bay data port, which accomodates my Peake code reader and a rectangular OBD port under the steering wheel. I was always under the impression that the engine bay port was used to read the OBD computer. My X3 appears to have an identical rectangular port under the dash that accomodates the newer code scanners. Does anyone know if there is a difference in the function of these two ports?

Thanks!

R. Eric Dawson
'02 X5, '97 528i, '03 Z4
Member BMW CCA

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#2 (permalink) Old 03-14-2006, 10:52 AM
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BMW has used the round under-hood 20 pin connector for years as a diagnostic link for their diagnostic equipment. This 20 pin connector can be used to access every diagnosable module in the car for reading and clearing faults, reading live data.. etc.

The OBD2 port inside the car is part of a federally mandated on board diagnostic system for emissions related components. In mid 95 production BMW started adding these to the vehicles in order to be in compliance with the govt standards. The OBD2 port at this time was much more limited than the 20 pin BMW diag connector only allowing access to emissions related modules for Smog technicians and independent mechanics.

In 2001 BMW decided to delete the 20-pin connector under the hood and use the obd2 connector for diagnosis, coding etc of all modules using the BMW factory test equipment. This is why your x3 has just the obd2 connector and not the 20-pin.

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#3 (permalink) Old 03-14-2006, 01:49 PM
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Thanks!

DT,

Thanks for the response!

R. Eric Dawson
'02 X5, '97 528i, '03 Z4
Member BMW CCA
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