DETROIT-Chrysler Corp.'s move to make available to the aftermarket an On-Board Diagnostics II test kit for 1997 and later vehicles has been applauded by the Speciality Equipment Market Association, which has called on other automakers to follow suit. The kit will give aftermarket parts makers the information they need to develop OBD II compatible parts and associated calibrations. However, the kit does not give aftermarket firms the means to implement or install the calibrations into the vehicle computer, said Frank Bohanan, SEMA director of technical affairs.
SEMA President Charles Blum said this is the first time any manufacturer has made this information available. He called on other automakers to follow Chrysler's lead.
Currently, aftermarket parts makers rely on their own skills and knowledge and ``reverse engineering'' to create OBD II compatible parts, Mr. Bohanan said. As vehicle technology becomes more sophisticated, this is becoming more difficult, he added.
Said Mr. Blum: ``There has been a battle royal between the aftermarket and original equipment manufacturers over the issue of access to OBD II. Chrysler has extended a hand of friendship by offering this to the aftermarket. It doesn't solve all of our problems, but we are appreciative.''
The price of the kit is not yet available, according to a SEMA spokesman said.
Key elements of the kit:
An enhanced version of Chrysler's new DRBII scan tool that lets manufacturers monitor signals from the vehicle computer in real time. Signals include engine/transmission parameters, fault codes, ``freeze-frame'' data, vehicle configuration data, test-readiness status and the ability to stimulate sensors/systems for testing.
A guide that describes how to design a test program for their products and includes descriptions of emissions systems and components.
Additional limited support from Chrysler's engineering staff by faxing requests to Chrysler.