Thursday, July 30, 2009

OB Want To Know Me, Not

So, staying with the Star Wars theme.....

I posted earlier indicating that I'd found what looked like an OBD-II connector under the steering column on the iLux. (I now know this to be a DLC3 16 pin interface). I'd done some cursory reading on OBD-II dignostics and noted that it was supported in Centrafuse. With the connector there and all indications pointing to it being supported on the HiLux, I went ahead and ordered an OBD-II/USB device to connect the laptop to the car.

It arrived last week along with a Griffin Powermate (more of which in a later post) from

This week I got around to testing and it's been a bit of a disappointment. It's an ELM 327 v1.3 device supporting ODB-II. It works with any of the various free and paid-for OBD-II diagnostic software suites - assuming you have an OBD-II compliant car. I tried many different pieces of software (thanks to Quinny23 at and while all could communicate with the ELM device, none could communicate with the car.

I spent a couple of evenings doing all sorts of things including USB driver updates and even ended up trying to initiate a basic direct connection via hyperterminal following this guide. ame problem. I can communicate with the interface but not the car.

Thinking maybe my laptop was old and did not have onboard USB 2.0, I decided to eliminate the machine as the problem. I took a desktop machine to the garage, installed the latest drivers and connected everything up. Same issues.

My final test will be to take the laptop and OBD-II connector to a car with know OBD-II support and try that out. If it works, I'll know the iLux has no support. In fact, in searching almost the entire internet, I came across this page which is linked to an EFI Scan tool commercially available to talk to cars that do not have OBD-II suppoirt. Apparently, Asian Hiluxes like mine used a proprietary protocol known as MBOD up to 2006. While Hiluxes in other prts of the world had full OBD-II, those from Thailand did not.

I've decided not to stress too much more on this. It would be nice to have had support for diagnostics in Centrafuse but it's not the end of the world if I can't get it to work. I'll save it for iLux v2.0.

In working on this though, I've got to know my car a little better. The engine is a 1KD-FTV model, built in November 2005. I also now have an inkling as to why Toyota main dealers are not too keen to service imported vehicles - I'm sure their diagnostic tools won't interface with it either.

While not giving up on this completely (the guys at have just posted a ton of links to toyota/obd/diagnostics materials so some light reading for me tonight), my touchscreen has arrived so I'll be playing with that for a while.

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