I am thinking to invest and buy an OBD-II scanner. Before I do that, I need to know for how long automakers will comply and support OBD-II standard. I am asking since I am planning to buy a 2019 Toyota Hybrid model, and if I know that it won't support OBD-II, I would not buy such tool.


OBD-II has been mandated in every vehicle sold in the US and produced from 1996 onward. Europe has something called EOBD, which uses the same protocol and connector as OBD-II. Japan calls theirs "JOBD". I suspect it will be relevant for a very long time.

While OBD-III is in the works, it is still OBD-II at it's core. The protocols may be different in OBD-II, so it is questionable whether OBD-II scanners will have any functionality on OBD-III equipped vehicles.

When? No time soon. The biggest advance in OBD-III is it's ability to transmit emissions data (and failures) via satellite and other broadcasts. This enables random enforcement from "Big Brother". As soon as a CEL or SES "Check Engine Light" appears, the vehicle can immediately rat you out to authorities. There have also been some proven exploits of the technology, which enable remote "hackers" to gain control of certain vehicle systems.

Obviously this doesn't sit well with people who believe in privacy and the 4th Amendment of the US constitution. Similar attempts at "un-witnessed" enforcement have failed in the courts - things like a speeding ticket based on time difference between two toll stations with synchronized clocks.

The upshot is that OBD-II is here to stay. Incredibly powerful scantools can be had for $100-$130 US; Autel is a brand that comes to mind. These tools not only read all sorts of protocols for generic P0xxx codes, but can also read and interpret OEM P1xxx codes, Bxxxx body codes, Cxxxx chassis codes, Uxxxx network codes, perform monitor readiness checks, display and graph PID Parameter IDs, diagnose SRS and ABS problems, and other neat tasks. For a mere ~125 bucks from Amazon or eBay.

Any OBD-II scan tool will work to some extent on a 2019 Honda Hybrid, but Hybrid vehicles have some additional modes and codes that the tool may not support. Still, do your research - I am very familiar with the Autel brand, but there are many others. Manufactures will specify what level of additional "hybrid" support the tool is capable of.

I honestly cannot imagine not having a tool like this. I also have a Snap-On Solus with Domestic/Euro/Asian software and adapters, but many thousands of dollars later, I just grab the Autel for most jobs.

  • You don't have to spend $100 or more on a tool to get codes, bluetooth scanners can be had for $20 or less and there's cheap and even free android software to pair with them.
    – GdD
    Jun 19 '19 at 7:24
  • Thank you Steve for the comprehensive answer. I appreciate it.
    – Allan Xu
    Jun 19 '19 at 16:05
  • @GdD: I am talking about BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro scanner.
    – Allan Xu
    Jun 19 '19 at 16:07
  • @GdD If all you are after is some of the codes, I agree. But the $20 bluetooth scanners combined with free cellphone software often leave you crying - especially those early ELCOM ones. They are nice in that you can carry it in your pocket. The OP was looking for a tool specifically in concert with a new hybrid; so I suggested perhaps to spend some more and get a tool that is proven to get the most out of hybrid OBD-II data.
    – SteveRacer
    Jun 20 '19 at 3:00
  • 1
    Newer cars are starting to use ethernet and FlexRay to communicate on their intranet, but the OBD2 standard is quick enough I would imagine it will stick around for at least another 20 years. I would not be concerned that you won't get your monies worth on an OBD-II tool.
    – Damon Earl
    Jun 20 '19 at 3:46

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