OBDII and service mode

Modern cars are technologically advanced machines, whose proper functioning depends on complex diagnostic systems. Learn more about the differences between OBDII and service mode, their application and the benefits of their combination, which is the foundation of modern vehicle diagnostics.

What is OBDII and why was it introduced?

OBDII (On-Board Diagnostics II) is a standard diagnostic system that was introduced in the mid-1990s to standardise diagnostic systems in cars. Its main purpose was to monitor exhaust emissions and improve engine performance monitoring. With OBDII, mechanics and vehicle owners can use a single diagnostic connector to read diagnostic trouble codes (DTC – Diagnostic Trouble Codes) and monitor various vehicle parameters on the engine.

What is service mode and why was it introduced?

Service mode is a more advanced diagnostic system used mainly by authorised service stations (ASOs). Its purpose is to ensure detailed vehicle diagnostics, including not only exhaust emissions and engine operation, but also other vehicle systems such as safety systems, comfort and multimedia.

What does SDPROG do in service mode?

SDPROG is an advanced diagnostic tool that in service mode offers a number of functions that OBDII does not enable:

Advanced DTC error code reading

Allows you to read more detailed error codes.

DTC reading with status

It allows you to read error codes with their current status, which makes it easier to understand which problems are still active.

DTC reading from all modules

Allows diagnostics of all vehicle systems, not only those related to emissions and engine.

DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) reading

Allows monitoring of particulate filter status, which is important for diesel vehicles.

Injection adjustment reading

It allows monitoring and analyzing fuel injection adjustments.

How is OBDII different from service mode?

Scope of diagnosis

OBDII offers basic emission and engine-focused diagnostics, while service mode includes diagnostics of all vehicle systems.

Operation of diagnostic monitors

OBDII enables the operation of diagnostic monitors, which is a key tool for tracking the technical condition of the vehicle from the time of cleaning the fault codes, ensuring that all diagnostic systems have been tested and functioning correctly.


OBDII is widely available and works with multiple diagnostic interfaces. Service mode is usually only available for authorised services and requires specialized hardware and software.

What’s the same thing?

Basic parameters

Both OBDII and service mode allow reading of the basic parameters of the vehicle.

Some DTC errors

Both systems can read some basic error codes, although service mode offers more detailed information.

What are the advantages of service mode?

More precise diagnostics

It offers detailed diagnostic information and allows advanced service operations.


Provides access to all vehicle systems, which allows for more complete diagnostics and repair.

What are the advantages of OBD?


Standard system available in most cars, compatible with many diagnostic interfaces.


It allows monitoring of exhaust emissions and basic engine parameters, which is crucial for basic diagnostics.

Why not compare OBDII directly with service mode?

OBDII and service mode are two different diagnostic systems that perform different functions. OBDII is a standard diagnostic tool that provides basic diagnostics available for everyone. Service mode offers more advanced tools and is designed mainly for authorised services. Both systems have their specific applications and should not be directly compared.

The greatest possibilities thanks to the combination of OBDII and service mode

Combining the possibilities offered by OBDII and service mode gives the most comprehensive picture of the condition of the vehicle. OBDII provides basic information that are useful for quickly diagnosing and solving simple problems.
Service mode offers advanced tools necessary for deeper diagnostics and complex service operations. Together, these two systems provide the most efficient approach to vehicle diagnostics and servicing, combining the versatility of OBDII with the precision of service mode. Therefore, both modes are located in SDPROG, which distinguishes this product from the diagnostic market.

OBDII has this advantage over service that is more universal, service mode is dedicated to a particular model.

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