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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The California Air Resources Board (California ARB) began regulation of On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) for vehicles sold in California beginning with the 1988 model year. The first phase, OBD I, required monitoring of the fuel metering system, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, and additional emission related components. The malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) was required to light and alert the driver of the fault and the need for repair of the emission control system. The MIL must be labeled ‘‘CHECK ENGINE’’ or ‘‘SERVICE ENGINE SOON.’’ Associated with the MIL was a fault code or diagnostic trouble code (DTC) identifying the specific area of the fault. The OBD system was proposed by the California ARB to improve air quality by identifying vehicles exceeding emission standards. Passage of the federal Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990 has also prompted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop on-board diagnostic requirements. California ARB OBD II regulations will be followed until 1999 when the federal regulations will be used. The OBD II system meets government regulations by monitoring the emission control system. When a system or component exceeds emission thresholds or a component operates outside of tolerance, a DTC will be stored and the MIL will be illuminated.

Fault detection strategy and MIL operation are associated with trips and drive cycles. Each monitor has requirements for setting and clearing DTCs and for controlling the MIL.The diagnostic executive is the computer program in the powertrain control module (PCM) that coordinates the OBD II self-monitoring system. This program controls all the monitors and interactions, DTC and MIL operation, freeze frame data and diagnostic tool interface. Freeze frame data describes stored engine conditions, such as state of the engine, state of fuel control, spark, RPM, load, and warm-up status at the point the first fault is detected. Previously stored conditions will be replaced only if a fuel or misfire fault is detected. This data is accessible with the diagnostic tool to assist in repairing the vehicle.​
 
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