My first encounter with a car that had an onboard diagnostics was in 1996 on a 1982 Pontiac J-2000. A little car I stumbled upon at a tiny little dealership while looking for my next project car. Before this, I had only had vintage cars the closest to the ’82 Pontiac was a 1978 Chevy Monza. There were no computers in the 70’s cars and before for the most part. So this was new territory for me and a greater challenge.
Now this one is only the O.B.D 1 Plug if you look closely you can see the difference between them. The O.B.D. 1 is more square and doesn’t have that solid line in the middle like the OBD 2 does which makes unrelated and less to diagnose in the engine dept.
But I had to get me something to drive. Taking on this car I found out how to retrieve the codes from the ECM (Engine Control Management system)
On one of my trips to Auto Zone, getting parts for this little car, a guy mentioned to me that they offered a little metal key and a book to help retrieve the codes from this little car. Now how the key works, it shows me in the book where to insert the key in the OBD-1 plug under the dashboard.
And all I had to do is look at the service engine light and watch how many times it blinked to know where I need to start looking. To understand the codes, I had to pay attention to how many numbers it would blink. FIRST, it would flash a code twelve which meant it has made a connection. Then you wait for the next code and when you see that code you must have your repair manual open and have a note pad available in case multiple codes show up, to write down the code numbers. This made it easier so you are prepared if this happens.
Now this one I’m posting just to show the difference between O.B.D 1 & O.B.D.2 this one is Number 2
The best-detailed repair catalog that you can get for your repairs on any vehicle, I would suggest is Haynes. They seem to be the most complete ones for most makes of cars from the 80’s vehicles. I also will picture in here an updated version of the code scanner that came with an anti-lock braking system function that also came with a book that came out in the later ’80s. I’m hoping that with these they will help anybody that has any GM vehicles or Ford or a Chrysler in the eighties as it has helped me.
It’s a bit of “old school” but it is a tried and true way.