OBD Scan Tools For ALDL or OBD1 Cars

Some cars that do not have a compatible OBD-II protocol can still be diagnosed using a suitable scan tool or software.

Are you looking for ways to diagnose an ALDL or OBD1 car? In this page, we'll provide some information on how you can do that. But, before we go into that, there are some facts you need to know. 

What's the difference between OBD2 car compared to an ALDL or OBD1 car?

Unlike the standardised Onboard Diagnostics II (OBD-II), cars with earlier OEM-specific ALDL or OBD1 systems use manufacturers’ specific communication protocols. This means that connectors, pin locations, error codes and bus-communications varied considerably from one manufacturer to another.

Also such systems are limited in quality, quantity and speed of reported data. For example, OBD1 cars can report up to 300 data parameters (PID’s) compared to 15,000 possible data parameters for OBD2 cars. So, the type of data reported by OBD1 is not suitable if you’re after monitoring real-time gauges or diagnosing a complex DTC! To give you an idea, here’s a sample of the data stored and transmitted through the OBD1 interface:

  • Catalyst converter system and alert below 60-percent efficiency
  • Engine missfire monitoring
  • Evaporation emissions system
  • Secondary Air Injection (AIR) system
  • Air Conditioning System
  • Excess Fuel Trimming
  • Oxygen Sensor Performance
  • EGR System

As trackable data, stored codes and their definitions varied between car makers; diagnosing an OBD1 car is not as easy as diagnosing an OBD2 car. In order to diagnose an ALDL or OBD1 car; you would require a special scan tool that could adapt to myriad connector type as well as different data sets.

Here are some ways to diagnose your ALDL or OBD1 Car

Buy ALDL or OBD1 Diagnostics Scan Tool

Luckily, it's now possible to diagnose some ALDL or OBD1 compatible cars with an affordable diagnostic code readers. Instead of getting an expensive scan tool with price range of $3-15,000, some of our single car scan tools like the CARECAR Scan Tools and FOXWELL scan tools offer a great and affordable way to diagnose some OBD1 cars.

If your car uses the older OBD1 protocol and it's among the list provided in the table below, then you can use FOXWELL scan tools to diagnose, read and clear trouble codes from your car. 

  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Mercedes Benz & Sprinter
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan 
  • GM General Motors
  • Holden 
  • Dawewoo
  • VW
  • Kia
  • Honda
  • Fiat
  • Peugeot
  • Citroen
  • Mazda
  • Toyota (17 pins and 22 pins)

Buy a PC-based ALDL or OBD1 Diagnostics Software

The other option is to buy a suitable software such as TOAD OBD Software. You just need to download it on your PC and connect it with your car through special the 12-pin or 16-pin ALDL cable. If your car has a special OBD1 plug shape, then you’ll also need to get an extension cable and plug it with the ALDL cable. Even for OBD2 cars, TOAD offers a complete all-in-one package that will let you perform powerful and thorough health and performance checks on your car. It extracts 50-90% more fault codes and critical operations data then Android/IOS apps or generic hand-held scan tools.

Before you buy TOAD, make sure it does work with your car. To read more or purchase TOAD Click Here

Comments (40)

Peugeot Boxer 2001 2.8HDI

By: on 8 April 2018
Common rail turbo diesel with Bosch injection system. This van has a green 2-pin connector and another 3 pin connector next to it. It is not OBD2 but I do not know what it uses of what device you might have to communicate with it. Thank you.

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Unfortunately there is no scan tool in our product range that is compatible with your vehicle.

Holden Calibra 1995 2.0i

By: on 3 April 2018
Which code reader do I need for the Calibra , it has a 10 pin socket?

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Unfortunately there is no scan tool in our product range that is compatible with your vehicle.

Which scanner for a 2005 Alfa Romeo 156?

By: on 26 March 2018
Not sure which one would be best - the Foxwell NT510 or the iCarsoft FTII. It must be able to read airbag and ABS codes.

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Would recommend Vident iLink400. Item code (iLink400) It offers diagnostics on most systems and has 3 years free update. Foxwell NT510 also works fine. Similar software to iLink400.

Toyota Hilux 2.5TD Pick Up D4D - KDN165R - MK5 (20

By: on 21 March 2018
Hi, is it my car OBD1? my Data Link Connector has a 22 pins, If so, will be compatible with OBD2? which handheld scanner would you recommend!

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
We recommend the iLink400 with the TYT22PIN These should provide access to most electronic system on your car.

What code reader should I purchase?

By: on 18 March 2018
Hi I have a TS Astra 2003 1.8 L petrol, and a VS Comm 1995 3.8 L petrol, can you advise me what i’ll Need? Thank you Tj

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
For your vehicles we recommend iLink400.

Scantool for 1999Vt Calias V6

By: on 8 March 2018
Hi guys need scan tool for 1999 VT Calais V6. Thanks

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, please check item code (iLink400). It covers your car for multiple systems including engine, body and chassis.

93 Falcon 6 cyl and 95 Fairmont V8

By: on 4 March 2018
Do you have or can you recommend a scanner that will do both these vehicles ... 93 Falcon 6 cyl and 95 Fairmont V8

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Unfortunately there is no scan tool in our product range that can diagnose these vehicles.


By: on 29 January 2018
Hi I have 3x vehicles which are 1......1986 Toyota Celica with 17 pin OBD1 petrol engine, 2.......2000 MG F Petrol engine, 3.......2006 Toyota Hilux 4x4 with 3lt Diesel engine. What would be the best scan tool for above vehilcles ?

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Unfortunately there is no scan tool in our product range to cover the 1st two vehicles. For your 2006 Hilux we recommend iLink400 or NT510.

Grand vitara

By: on 27 January 2018
I have 2005 grand vitara XL7 .2.7. V6.Auto It has OBD11 socket under dash.I have tried a few programs with no success. I was told they were not compliant till 2006.What do i need to read codes.

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Yes your vehicle is OBD1 therefore not OBD2 compatible. To diagnose your 2005 Grand Vitara we recommend AETR.

Toyota hilux 2005 and Kia Carnival 2006

By: on 5 January 2018
Hi just wondering what tool I would need to diagnose problems.

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
We have a number of scan tools that suit both cars. If you are mainly interested in covering Toyota and Kia, then please check item iLINK400. First software free. Alternatively, please check iAUTO700 for all car / all system diagnostics but without bi-directional coding and programming functions.

1999 BH Subaru Outback

By: on 21 December 2017
Bought an OBD2 scan tool to work with Bluetooth Android app. Apparently my 1999 BH 2.5 litre Subaru Outback is an OBD1. Can I buy an adapter cable to plug in to the OBD2 scan tool to find faults? If so what cable and plug do you recommend and will it be compatible with the current program app or what program would be used to run diagnostic checks? Thanks. Mark

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Unfortunately the wifi/ bluetooth scanners only work with OBD2 vehicles no matter the app or cable adapter. For 1999 Outback we recommend iLink400 or AETR-SBR.

1999 Nissan Pulsar Plus

By: on 24 November 2017
Hello, what scan tool would work for my nissan? I bought an OBD2 scanner and bought a 14-16 OBD2 adapter and my scan tool doesn't seem to be compatible. Please help.

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
You'll require a scan tool capable of reading older OBD system for Nissan. You'll still need the adapter. Please check the AETR-NISS which is a powerful single make scan tool. You can download the Nissan software to be able to diagnose most systems on the car.

VX Commodore 2001 V6 3.8l Automatic

By: on 14 October 2017
Wondering what Foxwell scan tool is suitable for my car , I have tried the Foxwell NT204 it wouldn't communicate with my car , tried a few different OBD2 Diagnostic Scan Tools none have worked , it has a 16 pin Data Link Connector .

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, your car is not OBDII compatible. Suitable tools would be the NT510 or iLink400 with Holden software which you can download when you receive the scanner.

daihatsu cuore l701 obd2 port but obd1 ecu

By: on 19 September 2017
what sort of scanner can i use?

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, sorry we don't have a scan tool suitable for your vehicle.

Obd1 scan tools needed

By: on 12 September 2017
What scan tools and accessories can i use for my 1994 ef fairmont ghia i need the most possible error diagnotics possible i have and imac computer

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, sorry we don't have a suitable scan tool for 1994 fairmont Ford.

Holden VT Commodore V6

By: on 11 September 2017
What hardwear would I need to be able read for a Holden VT Commodore V6.

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, please check NT510FD scan tool. It does cover most Holden including VT models.

2001 subaru outback h6 3litre

By: on 23 August 2017
hey guys need a hand please. need to find a device to scan my 2001 subaru outback H6 3Litre model. i had thought Toad would work but apparently its not compliant. cheers

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, the AETR-SBR would be a suitable one. It will be back in stock in few days. Please use notify me button to receive a notification when it's back in stock.

jeep grand cherokee 1994

By: on 22 July 2017
Hi, I want to know if your software work in my jeep zj grand cherokee 4.0 1994 OBD1. thanks in advance

Will Foxwell NT510 work for 1995 Camaro OBD1 syste

By: on 12 June 2017
I have what they call the transitional 1995 GM Camaro. It has the 16 pin OBDII type connector but is an ALDI (OBDI?) system. My OBDII scanner will not talk to this system. Will the Foxwell NT510 scanner work for me?

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, yes the NT510 should work fine with your car.

au falcon

By: on 8 June 2017
i have an 1999 au falcon with obd2 conector but is obd1 car what program/scan machine do i use

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, if looking to cover most Ford up to 2013/2014 models with rich diagnostics the AETR-AUFD would be a suitable one.

2001 vu v6. 2001 vx v6.

By: on 30 May 2017
I have 2 commodores that are v6. 2001 is the conection i need aldl?

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, your cars should have the standard 16 pins OBDII shape port. However you'll require a scan tool capable of reading the specific codes like the Foxwell NT510 Holden https://www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au/foxwell-nt510-obd2-scan-tool-for-holden-abs-srs-oi

VX 2001 V6

By: on 22 March 2017
Which scan tool reader hand held, would suit this vehicle ? Thanks

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, please check the Foxwell NT510 scan tool for Holden. It covers VX Commodores for multiple systems. https://www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au/foxwell-nt510-obd2-scan-tool-for-holden-abs-srs-oi


By: on 18 March 2017
Hi, iv got a 01/02 daewoo lanos hatch with 12pin obd1 port & I have a snapon solus ultra diagnostics tool with a obd2 connector.. my question is really this, what would happen if I was to force the connector on to perform the diagnostics test? Or if anyone has any suggestions on how to bypass the embolisor for the new ignition I recently fitted? Cheers

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, KIA OBD1 vehicles should usually have 20 pins OBD port. If so, you can get a cable adapter to connect the scan tool to the car. Please check it here https://www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au/for-kia-obd1-20-pins-to-obdii-16-pins-diagnostic-a

Ford Fairmont AU1 1999 6Cyl 4litre

By: on 12 March 2017
Hi, what reader is supported for my Ford Fairmont AU1 1999 6Cyl 4litre? Many thanks in advance.

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, the Carecar for Ford should work fine with your car to diagnose multiple systems including PCM, ABS, BEM, ICM and more. Copy and paste below link or search AETR-AUFD in the search bar above. https://www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au/carecar-aet-i-retail-obd-scan-tool-all-system-diag

Obd1 scanner for silverado

By: on 10 March 2017
Will the nt510 fox worth work for a 1990 Chev Silverado 5.7 v8 4x4 k1500 obd1 l know l will need adapter cable thanks greg

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi Greg, sorry it does not cover your car.

au ford scan tool

By: on 23 February 2017
I know it's obd1 , please find suitable reader

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, can you please let us know the type and year model of your vehicle.

EB Falcon v8 1991

By: on 24 January 2017
Needs some help please, is there an OBD to fit an EB Falcon v8 1991? Plus other ford and Holden models up to 1997. Thanks peter

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, sorry we don't have a suitable scan tool for 1991 Falcon. However, the Carecar scan tool will work with older Ford and Holden vehicles but will not cover older Falcon. https://www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au/carecar-aet-i-obd-scan-tool-for-holden-actuation-c

97 BMW obd scan tool

By: on 23 December 2016
Just wondering how I can scan my car with the obd II tool, but my e39 has the round connector in the engine bay. Will a obd II tool work if I had a connector that fits to the rectangular connector, if so, where can I buy? Thanks Justin.

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, not any OBDII scan tool will work with your car as it requires a scan tool capable of reading OBDI BMW specific scan tool. You also need the BMW cable adapter. Please check our BMW scan tools here https://goo.gl/fesA51 (Note: they all will work with different features except the IOBD2 for smartphone this one requires OBDII protocols)

Commodore VT 3.8L 2000

By: on 14 November 2016
hi, Reader for the above?

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, please check the CARECAR AET-I Retail Scan Tool For Holden or the Foxwell NT510 Scan Tool for Holden. Both should work fine with your car.

Which reader for 97 holden barina

By: on 20 October 2016
Hi Not sure what reader to buy has a 16 pin old port

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Sorry, currently we do not have a suitable scan tool to cover 97 Holden Barina

1994 FORD TX5 2.5L V6 (MAZDA 626) / 1995 FORD LASE

By: on 9 October 2016
Hi hoping you can tell me which scanning tool would do my above vehicles diagnoses. I read about TOAD but not sure it will work on these vehicles as it only showed the OBD2 compatible vehicles on the page I read.Hope you can help but otherwise still a great page and looks very helpful to the comments. Regards Macca

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, The CARECAR AET-I Retail has a powerful AU FORD coverage including 1993 TELSTRAR, LASER and many others. Price includes one free software. You can purchase Mazda software to cover all vehicles on the list. https://goo.gl/U81vul

diagnosis cars 1990 up to 2000

By: on 19 August 2016
Dear l have a maxisys ms908p autel scan tool but it's unable to daignosis old modles look like Hyundai avanti 99 or Kia 94,95 , so what did you recommend for that problem since I have a computer based daignosis workshop? Thanks. Jamal.

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi Jamal, If looking for a scan tool to cover KIA and Hyundai only and can do older models with OBDI protocols then check the Foxwell NT510 For Kia and Hyundai.

94 honda accord

By: on 11 August 2016
What scan tool for this car?

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, The Foxwell NT510 Honda is a suitable one for your car. If your car has the 3 Pins OBD port, then you need to get the Honda 3 Pins cable adapter as well.

1997 Toyota Corona Absolue ST191

By: on 11 August 2016
Dear Sir, Which Foxwell diagnostic tool product exactly is suitable for the 1997 Toyota Corona Absolute ST191 ? I understand that it uses JODB/ODB1. Thanks a bunch

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, If looking for a scan tool for Toyota and Lexus only then you can go for the Foxwell NT510 Toyota. Make sure your car has the 16Pins OBD port. If it has the 17Pins or the 22Pins, you'll need to get additional cable adapter accordingly. If you prefer to have a scan tool to work with your car as well as other cars make, you can choose any Multi System Foxwell scan tool (depending on systems on functions you want to cover).

Which scan tool for a 93 chevy

By: on 7 August 2016
I have a 93 K1500 Chevy suburban with a Tbi 5.7 motor.. Does that use a aldl scan port? Oreillys and advanced auto parts don't have the right cable.

HELP can not find 6pin aldl anywhere

By: on 1 July 2016
Please can someone help me I need a 6pin plug scan tool or adapter for VP V8 commodore cant find any anywhere just going round and round in circles please im begging can anyone help me, thanks

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, Sorry we do not stock the 6 Pin connector for ALDL. However you may search for GM connectors as they have similar systems and connectors as Holden. Hope this helps.


By: on 11 June 2016
What will read codes on a holden vy

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
<p>The <a href="https://www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au/obd-diagnostic-scan-tool-for-holden-abs-srs-oil-service-reset">Foxwell NT510&nbsp;</a>will access and diagnose multi systems on VY series&nbsp;Holden 2003 - 2004 year models.&nbsp;</p>

Code reader

By: on 2 May 2016
What code reader do I need for mitsibishi pajero nj model

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi, Please let us know the year model to determine the communication protocol. If it is newer than 2007, you can buy any OBD2 scan tool depending on the functions you want. If it is older, then you'll require a scan tool like the Foxwell NT414 or Foxwell NT644 to work.

2005 vz crewman obd11 ?

By: on 29 December 2015
seems the 2007 vz crewman is obd11 compliant but not the 2005 vz crewman, what problems am I likely to have with a basic $100 scanner, thanks Chris

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
Hi Chris, the generic OBD-II scanners will not connect to your car at all. It uses a different communication protocol (ALDL) which are usually sold as software to be used with PC in order to be able to access the ECU and diagnose trouble codes.

Will it work in partrol 3DZmotor 2000 modle

By: on 16 September 2015
Will it work in partrol 3DZmotor 2000 modle

www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au Response
<p>Hi, Your car uses the OBD1 protocol and thus you'll require a scan tool that is able to communicate with it. You can check our Foxwell OBD1 & OBD2 code readers. If you prefer an affordable OBD1 scan tool for your Nissan Patrol, you can check the <a href="http://www.fueleconomysolutions.com.au/obd-all-system-code-reader-reset-scan-tool-with-ecu-coding-and-programming">NT510 Scan Tool</a></p>

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