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The Renault OBD3 — is the New Renault OBD Standard Coming Soon?


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For months, actually years, more and more rumors about the new Renault OBD3 standard have been emerging. Although the California Air Resource Board has not yet released any official information on a new standard, it appears that it is time for on-board diagnostics to be brought into line with current technical standards.

In this article, we will take a closer look at whether a new standard is needed and how it might affect Renault OBD.

The history of the Renault OBD standard

The on-board diagnostic (OBD) system must be integrated in new vehicles so that constant emission control can be performed. The first generation of OBD regulations was introduced in California in 1988. In the U.S. state, all new vehicles were required to be equipped with OBD beginning in 1991. Today, OBD is mandatory in all American states and most European countries.

The Renault OBD 1 Standard

On-board diagnostics were introduced by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 1988 due to the severe environmental impacts in California metropolitan areas. In this way, the U.S. authority sought to ensure control of exhaust emission regulations over the entire life of a motor vehicle. Manufacturers have been required to permanently monitor some components of vehicle emission control systems. The OBD 1 system became mandatory for all automakers in the U.S. state beginning in 1991. The first version of the standard was not yet as effective as the legislators had envisioned. One reason for this was that only a few emission-relevant components of the vehicle could be monitored. Calibration to a specific emission level was not yet possible with the first version of the standard.

Das Renault OBD 3 – kommt der neue Renault OBD Standard bald? Das Renault OBD 3 – kommt der neue Renault OBD Standard bald?

The Renault OBD 2 Standard

The second version of the OBD standard was developed primarily to correct the errors of the first version. As more electronic components have been used in vehicles over the years, the standard has been designed to be more efficient. In addition, the second version should ensure that the system is more user-friendly for service technicians. The more stringent version of the standard was introduced back in 1994 and became mandatory for all vehicles sold in California beginning in 1996.

Following the implementation of OBD regulations in California, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted the regulations at the federal level. The standard became mandatory for light commercial vehicles, from year of manufacture 1994 and since 2005, also for heavy commercial vehicles and engines up to a permissible total weight of 7.5 tons.

In Europe, this regulation applies to motor vehicles with gasoline engines from model year 2001. Vehicles with these engines must be equipped with the OBD from the year of manufacture 2004.

What does the Renault OBD do?

California light and heavy duty vehicle regulations establish some general requirements. These include a malfunction display, general error codes, monitoring of the entire exhaust system, as well as maximum values and standardized communication.

Nowadays, the on-board diagnostic function is integrated into the hardware and software of the on-board computer in most Renaults. This makes it possible to monitor all components of the vehicle, and only those that can influence the vehicle’s emission behavior. The components of the exhaust system must be checked by a diagnostic routine to ensure that they are functioning properly. If a problem or malfunction is detected, the Renault OBD 2 system, can turn on the warning light on the vehicle’s instrument panel. This is only activated in the event of serious malfunctions and normally indicates that the engine should be checked. The OBD2 system stores all important information about the detected malfunction,

so that with an OBD scanner, the problem can be quickly identified and fixed.

OBD 2 error codes and function control light

The function indicator light must be integrated in the instrument panel in every vehicle in order to visually indicate a malfunction in the vehicle. In order to be able to guarantee a functional test, it must light up for 15 to 20 seconds with the ignition switched on before the engine is started. When the vehicle is in operation, it lights up only when the Renault OBD system has detected and confirmed a malfunction.

Before the function control lamp lights up, some important steps must be completed. If it has been detected in the system that a malfunction has occurred, a temporary error code is stored with the current motor data. At this point, the function indicator light is not yet lit. It is activated only when the error is also confirmed in the next test cycle.

If the malfunction is no longer detected in three test cycles, the function indicator lamp is switched off. However, the actual error code will still be at least via

40 engine warm-up cycles stored to ensure complete control. Error codes can be cleared with an OBD scanner.

Vehicle manufacturers may also use other techniques to diagnose faults. However, the general functions of the OBD regulations must be observed and the alternative strategy must be approved.

The following are the monitoring requirements for a Renault OBD 2 system mandated by California authorities.

Fuel systemFuel system pressure control
 Injection quantity
 Injection timing
 Feedback control
Combustion misfireDetect continuous combustion misfires
 determine the percentage of misfires per 1000 engine cycles
 (2013 and later engines)
EGR (exhaust gas recirculation)EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) low flow rate
 High flow rate
 slow response
 Operation of the EGR cooler
 EGR catalyst performance
 Feedback control
Boost pressureToo little boost pressure
 slow response
 Charge air under cooling
 Feedback control
NMHC catalystConversion efficiency
 Provide DPF heating
Provision of SCR feed gas (e.g. NO2)
 NMHC cleaning after the DPF
 Provision of ammonia purification
 Aging of the catalyst
SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction)NOx catalyst Conversion efficiency
 SCR reducer:
 Delivery performance,
 Tank level,
 Quality and
 Injection control
 Aging of the catalyst
NOx adsorberNOx adsorber performance
 Desorption function Fuel supply
 Feedback control
DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter)Filter performance
 frequent regeneration
 NMHC conversion
 incomplete regeneration
 missing substrate
 active regeneration fuel supply
 Feedback control
Exhaust gas sensorsfor air-fuel ratio and NOx sensors:
 Circuit error,
 Feedback and
 Monitoring function
 Other exhaust sensors
 Sensor heating function
 Error in the heating circuit of the sensor
VVT (variable valve timing)Target error
 slow response
Cooling systemThermostat
 Error in ECT sensor circuit
 ECT sensor circuit out of range
 ECT sensor circuit rationality error
CCV (Canister Closed Valve)System integrity
comprehensive component monitoring 
Cold start emission reduction strategy 
other monitoring of the emission control system 

Although the monitoring of these specific components of a vehicle is precisely specified in the OBD 2 standard, comprehensive monitoring of all electronic components not specifically mentioned in the regulation must also be ensured. This integrates components into the monitoring system that provide input to or receive commands from the on-board computer, especially if they can affect emissions under all reasonable operating conditions. In addition, systems must be integrated into the diagnostic strategy if they themselves are used as part of the diagnostic strategy for other monitored systems or components.

Renault OBD system malfunction criteria

The failure criteria for any of the above listed components or other electronic components in a motor vehicle, vary depending on the system or component as well as the individual parameters being monitored. For example, simple functional criteria, such as pass/fail, can be used with sensor rationality checks and checks for circuit faults. In other cases, physical parameters must be used so that the Renault OBD system is able to detect when certain limits are exceeded. This is the case, for example, with the fuel system, exhaust gas recirculation and the physical parameters of the turbocharger. Here, it must also be determined when deterioration or other changes cause emission levels to exceed a certain limit.

As with setting their own fault codes, vehicle manufacturers have the option to simplify monitoring requirements. The prerequisite is that the failure or deterioration of the parameters does not lead to the emission limit values being exceeded. For the controlled parameters, such as temperature, pressure and flow, a fault only needs to be indicated if the specified settings cannot be achieved. For post-treatment equipment, a fault need only be indicated if the component has no conversion or filtering function.

To address the fact that current technologies may not be sufficient to achieve all fault functions with the required thresholds, some flexibility has been built into the Renault OBD 2 standard. For example, automakers can apply for a higher emission limit for any monitoring device if the most reliable monitoring method developed requires a higher limit. In this way, the criteria for filter faults can also be changed if this excludes the detection of certain types of faults. Especially when the developed most reliable monitoring method is not able to detect such disturbances.

Exceptions include the ability to disable on-board diagnostics monitoringwhen outside temperatures are too cold or the vehicle is at an extreme altitude.

Das Renault OBD 3 – kommt der neue Renault OBD Standard bald? Das Renault OBD 3 – kommt der neue Renault OBD Standard bald?

Standardization requirements of the OBD 2 standard

  • the standardized Renault OBD diagnostic connector
  • the standard protocol for communication with an OBD scanner
  • Tracking the power ratios in operation and tracking the engine runtime
  • Vehicle manufacturers must provide emissions-related service information.
  • standardized function must be ensured to enable readout with universal OBD scanner.

The standardized functions include:

  • Indication of operational readiness – for each monitored component it must be indicated whether it is fully or not fully monitored.
  • Data stream – a set of specific signals must be provided to the OBD diagnostic connector.

  • Error codes – the results of the last monitoring of the components and systems, as well as the test limits set for monitoring the respective components and systems, are stored and made available via the data connection.
  • Software calibration identification: Software calibration check number
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Diagnostic information: the emission-related diagnostic information can be deleted when requested by an OBD scanner (generic or extended) or when the power supply to the on-board computer is interrupted.

What do the different modes of Renault OBD mean?

To enable reading of as much data as possible with Renault OBD Scanner, 10 different test modes have been defined. With them all functions of the

On-board diagnostics can be called up:

1.     Fahrzeugspezifische DiagnosedatenIn diesem Modus können Datenwerte und Sensordaten in Echtzeit abgefragt werden. Mit dieser Funktion kann auch der „Readiness Code“ abgefragt werden, der in einem 12-stelligen Binärcode alle im Fahrzeug verbauten Komponenten anzeigt.

2.     Fehlerumgebungsdaten oder Freeze Frame DataWenn die Steuergeräte einen Fehler erkennen und die Warnleuchte aktiviert wird, werden dazu Standbilddaten (Freeze Frame) erfasst und gespeichert. Zum Zeitpunkt des Fehlers sind sie eine Momentaufnahme der Daten der Komponenten und Sensoren. Diese können bei der Diagnose des Defekts helfen, da alle Daten von dem Zeitpunkt des Auftretens des Fehlers angezeigt werden können.

3.     Permanente Fehlercodes, die zum Aufleuchten der Warnlampe führenIn dieser Funktion können alle Mängel abgerufen werden, die zu einer Aktivierung der Warnlampe im Armaturenbrett geführt haben. Fahrzeughersteller haben auch die Möglichkeit, eigene Fehlercodes zu definieren, die das Auslösen der Warnlampe hervorrufen können und in diesem Speicherbereich abgelegt werden.

4.     Löschen der abgasrelevanten Fehlercodes und FehlerumgebungsdatenIn diesem Modus können mit dem Porsche OBD Scanner alle emissionsrelevanten Daten gelöscht werden. Dazu gehören die Fehlerspeicher und die Freeze Frame Daten. Unter Umständen lassen sich hier auch die herstellerspezifischen Fehlermeldungen löschen.

5.     Überwachung der LambdasondeMit dieser Funktion kann die kontinuierliche Überwachung der Lambdasonde abgefragt und die Testergebnisse angezeigt werden.

6.     Nicht kontinuierlich überwachte SystemeIn diesem Bereich werden Fehlermeldungen gespeichert,durch die die Warnlampe nicht aktiviert wurde. Die Fehler wurden festgestellt, haben aber keine systemrelevanten Konsequenzen, um die Warnlampe zu aktivieren. 

7.     Kontinuierlich überwachte Systeme, Warnleuchte nicht aktivAlle Daten, die nur in einem Arbeitszyklus eine Fehlermeldung ausgelöst haben und nicht ausreichend waren, um einen Fehlercode zu speichern, können in diesem Modus abgefragt werden. Sie können dabei helfen, potenzielle Fehlerquellen zu identifizieren.

8.     Herstellerspezifische TestfunktionenIn diesem Modus können Hersteller eigene Testfunktionen einbinden. Diese Funktion wird aber von europäischen Marken in der Regel nicht genutzt.

9.     FahrzeugidentifizierungIn diesem Modus können wichtige Daten von dem Fahrzeug abgerufen werden, die in verschiedenen Steuergeräten hinterlegt werden. Dazu gehört unter anderem auch die Fahrzeug-Identifikations-Nummer (FIN) und Marken- und Typenspezifische Informationen.

Why would a new Renault OBD standard be useful?

Vehicle technology has developed rapidly in recent years. More and more electronics are being integrated into motor vehicles to make them safer or more comfortable. Although it is already possible today to address all ECUs in a vehicle through the Renault OBD diagnostic connector, new technologies could be integrated for monitoring vehicle electronics.

In the rumors that are currently being spread about the OBD 3 standard, there are more and more reports about a connection via satellite. It is feared that faults in the exhaust system can be directly forwarded to the relevant authorities and, accordingly, an immediate repair of the vehicle must be carried out. There are also more and more reports about querying the current speed and automatic penalties due to excessive speeds. In general, such a system could detect defects that are normally only uncovered during the main inspections. For environmental protection, this would of course be very advantageous, because defective plants do not burden the environment for so long via fees. Technically, however, such systems would not be easy to implement. Large-scale monitoring with satellites cannot be implemented technically and would also be far too expensive. The antennas in the vehicles would have to be very large to guarantee wide-area coverage. In addition, a clear view of the sky would always have to be ensured.

Even with Wi-Fi or GSM communication, constant data transmission of the OBD 3 standard could not be guaranteed. Now, technologies that can maintain constant communication with a motor vehicle cannot yet be used. So we can assume that a new OBD 3 standard will not offer direct communication with authorities or other entities. In addition, data protection conditions must be observed in Germany and throughout Europe, which is no longer guaranteed by the collection of a large amount of personal data.

More interesting is the use of Bluetooth technology, which makes it possible to query vehicles via mobile devices. The Carly Renault OBD Scanner already uses this technology. All you need to do is plug an adapter into the OBD diagnostic connector and install free software on a mobile device. As soon as the

Bluetooth connection has been established, all data and information can be read from the vehicle electronics. The Carly OBD scanner can thus benefit from the computing power of modern smartphones or tablets and perform analyses that can only be performed by very expensive systems. In addition, updates can be made at regular intervals to use manufacturer-specific codes as new vehicles come onto the market.

What are the advantages of Renault OBD 3 scanner?

As specified in the OBD standard, each manufacturer must ensure that information can be read from the on-board system. This makes it possible not only with USB scanners of the vehicle manufacturers to read the information from the

Vehicle electronics read out. Devices from the accessories trade that support the OBD standard can be used.

In general, Renault OBD scanners can be used for the following tasks:

  • read out the error codes
  • Clear the error codes
  • read out the current data

Additional functions can be used with a Carly OBD scanner:

  • Access from smartphone or tablet
  • Basic diagnostics with traffic light signals
  • check for mileage manipulation
  • retrieve live data
  • Prediction of likely sources of error
  • Repair instructions with the Carly Smart Mechanic
  • Access to diagrams and drawings
  • Changing settings depending on vehicle manufacturer

Renault OBD Conclusion

Due to vehicle electronics, it is almost impossible to visually identify sources of error in modern vehicles. If defective components cannot be identified externally as the source of the fault, the on-board electronics must be used to locate potential problems quickly and effectively.

On-board diagnostics allows Renault OBD scanners to be used to quickly identify sources of faults using the fault codes generated by each ECU. When modern equipment is used, many special functions can also be used. For example, the Carly Renault OBD Scanner can check used vehicles for manipulated mileage, which many sellers use to try to get higher prices. The possibility to access repair instructions also speaks for the Carly OBD scanner, which can be used with any smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth.

So using the Carly OBD Scanner pays off not only when repairing a vehicle. It can be used for used car purchase and occasional inspection of a vehicle to ensure roadworthiness.

Keep in mind, that every car has different software and modules built-in. Therefore specific features will vary with every model.

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