Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

NO THANKS OBD III... Seems I will keep my OBD 1-2 vehicles for a LONG TIME thank you very much

While trying to help people out here on the forum…we often discuss engine codes…OBD2 engine codes usually. They serve as a guide sometimes…and other times they nail the problem with the quickness. While discussing these codes I often wondered when the next diagnostic system will be unleashed upon us and how good it will be in diagnostics and troubleshooting… I never really thought about it in a BAD way… UNTIL NOW…

Technology can be a great thing…But when it evolves into something that can generate fines and tickets when you never got stopped by the police for an infraction is where I draw the line. I guess I’m old fashioned in that manner… I like to have the opportunity to at least explain myself or defend my situation if I am possibly guilty of an infraction of some kind. Sort of like when I am driving down to the shop to inspect my own vehicle…and get stopped for expired stickers…I can at least tell the officer that i am literally enroute to doing the needed inspection…and it is basically a “Non issue” so to speak. Either avoiding a citation alltogether or having the option to show inspection is completed and nullifying the ticket or fine.

Hey I’m a sensitive individual, a man like me requires a little mental stimulation in addition to just the physical actions… Haha…take that any way you like. Basically If you are going to screw me…I like a little face to face dialogue first if you know what I mean… But this? This new “fine me ahead of time” system? All I can say is…Thanks…but NO THANKS…

What do you guys think? I say you can keep it… or at least provide me the ECU Pinouts so I can “monitor” the transmit wire…


England is starting to look pretty good. I always liked England. :smile:
Yeah, IMHO our federal regulatory agencies are completely out of control. Some have gone way, way, way beyond their mandates. I wish I had a suggestion… other than to move to England. It’s great there. Or maybe I’ll move to one of those old people communities in Florida where everyone drives golf carts.

Federal regulatory agencies’ function is supposed to be the mechanism by which the executive branch enforces the laws passed by congress. Don’t laugh, that was the original design as documented in the Constitution. Clearly they’ve taken on lives of their own.

George Orwell must be rolling over in his grave.

I’ve been seeing hand wringing about OBD3 since at least 2002. Hasn’t happened yet. Probably won’t happen. The public outcry when people find out their own car will turn them in for speeding would be astronomical.

If anything, the speeding thing would actually make people pay attention to government invasion of privacy for once.

Whenever Obama Speaks About Gun Control, Gun And Ammunition Sales Climb Through The Roof.

I Think That If This Comes To Pass, It Will Have A Similar Outcome.

Perhaps a more reasoned approach would be a renewed push for states to secede from the Union.
The Feds need us more than we need them.

OH MY… Whilst sitting here reading your replies… What comes on the news? This precise subject! I sat and smiled at how Vanilla the reporter made it sound. She mentioned Obama several times in the report. Its being touted as a wonderful information sharing SAFETY device or a means toward safety. Nothing was mentioned about the metrics getting into the Insurance companies hands, law enforcement, tickets, fines…none of it.

If I didnt know better and was one to be waiting for the next fear inducing item on the news… I would actually think I wanted this to happen. Seems they are pushing it as a safety concern…It will help to prevent or save those drivers who are wont to throw their hands over their eyes, while screaming and careen out of control and off a cliff. Thelma and Louise may have been onto something…If OBD3 turns as sour as it could…I may take a page from Thelma.

I need this like I need another hole in my head. The public at large just may be stupid enough to welcome this… Nothing is out of bounds anymore. No thank you…no thank you…no thank you.


Flo is pushing ahead of OBD III @Blackbird. Just plug her monitor into the OBD II port and then count your savings. But of course the dealers and Flo can get together to force the public to get costly repairs done immediatly to keep insurance premiums from increasing $IGNIFICANTLY. If the average car needs brakes at 60,000 miles Flo might require that all her policy holders get a complete 4 wheel brake job done before reaching 65,000 miles. And you don’t want to make Flo mad. She does open carry that gun.

Remember the pods horror show? That’s England now and even Canada followed them. I’d pick a different place.

At any rate, along with the red light cameras, I don’t think this would be legal in Minnesota. They had to pay back everyone that got fined from the red light cameras. Camera or computer, the same thing. Of course the rental companies already do this.

While agree with the technology may be far reaching…some of you are coming to wrong conclusions.

Yes the OBD-III may send out a signal if for some reason you vehicle isn’t in compliant…but it’s then up to the LOCAL/STATE authorities to do something about it of they so wish. They are NOT being forced to do so. Many states don’t have safety inspections or even emission inspections. So just move to those states. I seriously doubt NH (Live free or die state) would implement a system to randomly check vehicles as they passed. Hell…NH determined that road blocks to catch DUI’s is unconstitutional.

It ain’t just Flo, @Rod Knox…

Verizon is touting a similar thing and OnStar (and similar) does this as a matter of course. Your OnStar car has been sharing location and diagnostics with GM central office for years. All it takes is a court order and The Man has your data. Fortunately the Supreme Court commented on a case back in March '15 that your car GPS data requires a warrant to access.

As for England… I don’t really like the idea of a surveillance camera on me nearly every second I’m outside my home.

If you want to block any of this on a car you own, just disconnect the antenna.

Reminds me of this auto shop where police aggressively ticket cars waiting to be inspected.

Re. OBD-III, how about a 14-30 day grace period?

Some of that is here already. I got a ticket last year for expired tags. It was a new car and for some reason, the state had not sent me the renewal notice. Of course, that does not alleviate my responsibility to keep my registration up, but that is not the point here.

The first time I drove the car after the tags expired, a cop going the other way did a sudden U turn with his lights on already. No way did he see that my tag was expired, it happened too quickly. He had a license plate reader that automatically read my plate, checked with the states database and alerted him.
BTW, we only have plates on the rear so he could not see it as he was coming at me.

I took care of the registration that day and then went to the courthouse and showed it to the clerk and it was dismissed immediately, so no harm done. Its just that some of these things are already happening.

The license plate scanners are especially insidious because they aren’t limited to law enforcement. I saw some skeevy looking guy in a crappy old 90’s Taurus driving around with the plate scanner setup on the roof (they’re really obvious to see once you know what they look like).

I was at a function where the chief of police was a few months later and asked him about that. He said they’d gotten lots of questions about it - turns out the guy works for a repo company and is scanning every plate he drives past. When a repo-flagged car gets pinged, the system calls in the tow truck.

The best part is that these systems are taking pictures of every car and plate they come across, not just the repo ones. These jerks then turn around and sell that giant database of vehicles and their movements to places like insurance companies and law enforcement.

On my summer car, I have a plate flipper on the front bumper which automatically retracts the license plate under the bumper when the engine shuts off. I did it because the car looks ugly with a plate on there, but I’m ok with the idea that these fools can’t track my every movement when I’m in that car as well.

Ugh… I dont like the things that this brings up such as that tag reading thingy in Police cars that Keith just mentioned… Not too sure how that works but I imagine the camera on the Police car is dedicated to a computer that simply reads and processes tags at a dizzying rate of speed. The computer is connected to the DMV and or Court systems…and it alerts the police if something is awry? How does this thing work and what is it called? I recall hearing about it a few yrs ago.

Ugh… Not that I am Twisting my mustache and hatching evil plans or Steadily breaking the law and not paying fines or anything but… I rather like the old…find the bad guy when you are trying to find the bad guy sort of thing. Not a Nanny cam reporting on hundreds of cars a moment with a possible ticket scenario waiting or worse. WTH is happening to the world man? The Ole Cabin in the Woods or Jungle near the Ocean is starting to look even better than it did 5 min ago to me… Might be time for me to jump ship…go surfing for the rest of my days…


Maryland does not have annual safety inspections. Instead, the police stop cars where they see a safety violation, like burned out light bulbs, and issue a citation. The citation requires that the car owner prove that the item was repaired within a week or two at any police station in the state. There is no cost to the owner beyond the repair unless the owner does not make the repair. Then it is elevated from a warning to a ticket, and the owner must appear in court. I asked the officer why I couldn’t just replace the bulb, and hie said that this program was a compromise. The state assembly mulled over annual safety inspections, and decided to use the program I described above. It costs vehicle owners less than the annual inspections, and does catch burned out lights or other visible violations. I’m not fond of the existing program, but I perfer it to annual safety inspections. At first I thought this wasn’t needed since I would replace the bulb immediately, but then I decided that many (most?) drivers would ignore the warning and end up driving without lights at all. I still see people with no tai lights and very occasionally tail lights but no headlights. I guess we really do need to bust them to keep the rest of us safe.

The argument in Minnesota is how long the plate scanner data can be retained. They scan everyone whether you’re black or white and the information is kept in case they need to do an investigation. Some jurisdictions were holding it for over a year but now they are being limited to 90 days and then they have to dump it. All the while the information of course is a risk of being accessed by clerks and officers for personal unauthorized use. Not unheard of to try to see where ex wives or girl friends were heading to. Yeah its an important law enforcement tool but needs to be highly regulated. I like the idea of a court order to release the information for investigation purposes. Now the next privacy hurdle is all the private security cameras and cell phone cameras recording everything going on and even putting it on youtube. Seems to me you should have to agree to have your face plastered on youtube.

My reaction is…Yawn

For those of us who actually maintain our cars, this possible augmentation to the current OBD technology poses no real threat.
However, for those who persist in driving cars that pollute the air that we all breathe, I guess that this does pose an inherent threat.

As a conscientious person who obeys all laws and regulations, why would I have a problem with this?

Jt, IMHO the Maryland system you describe is a better one. NH has both annual safety inspections and defective equipment citations (the latter of which I have no problem with). More than half of the states (data attached), and there’s absolutely no discernable difference in accidents due to defective equipment. Even in NH, where it’s mandatory and where the inspections are performed by garages licensed by the state to do so, I occasionally see vehicles with current stickers that are clearly unsafe and yet I myself have been rejected for ridiculous reasons.

Rear bumpers are not required on pickup trucks, and I put one on mine made of a 2x12 bolted to a 2x2 steel angle bracket further bolted to the frame with 2x2 steel angle iron brackets. I even cut a relief in the 2x12 so the license plate wouldn’t be covered up. I even painted it white. An inspection station failed the truck because the 2x12 wasn’t hardwood… as defined in the regulations. I told him to cut the bolts holding it to the frame, throw the bumper into the bed, and give me a sticker. Bumpers not being required, it then passed muster.

I’ve seen a sedan failed because the trunk light was out.

I stopped at one station that was on its way to bankruptcy and they checked my headlights… and nothing else… and gave me a sticker.

IMHO annual inspections sound good on paper but accomplish nothing in practice. I know some will disagree.


It may be that private car ownership is on the way out. Auto companies don’t like the idea of people driving their cars for years and years, delaying buying a new one. And fixing their cars themselves to boot, more corporate loot lost. You can sort of see the trajectory by the way the price of replacement parts are going sky high. The way things seem to be going, one day it may be so expensive to own your own car that it won’t be possible for most families to own one. Instead, Uber or maybe even a driverless car will just come by and pick you up when you want to go somewhere. With a fee posted to your credit card of course, all the cars owned by the corporations who rent them out.

I understand your point, George, but in the U.S. commuting is way too common, distances too great, directions too diverse, and we too independent to not have private automobiles. Besides, I wouldn’t want to live in a world where I couldn’t drive (and fix) my own car occasionally.

First time I’ve heard about the plate scanner and the data it can collect. This sounds a lot like the massive data collection the NSA was doing. Collecting data in this manner makes me a little uncomfortable. It feels like it’s in conflict with Amendment IV of the Bill of Rights regarding unreasonable searches:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”