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WARNING: this is a work-in-progress project. Use it at your OWN RISK

Python OBD-2 library to read information from cars using an ELM327 (or similar) as interface.

The idea is to record as much information as the car support to create graphs and stats with that data about the car.

This software is based on Karmind project ( and its software published under GPL license.

Since I did receive an answer from the original author telling me that the project doesn't have support now I started coding by myself and changing some functionality that I need.

How to use it

>>> from obd2lib.obdconnector import OBDConnector
>>> connector = OBDConnector('/dev/ttyUSB0', 38400, 5, 10)
>>> connector.initCommunication()
>>> connector.run_OBD_command('0100')
('86 F1 10 41 00 BE 3E B0 11 85', 'Y')
>>> connector.run_OBD_command('END')

How to read the answers

All the information needed to decode the answer is in Wikipedia:

and ELM pdf datasheet:

Also, there is a built-in decoder to a human-readable way:

>>> from obd2lib import elmdecoder
>>> from obd2lib.obdconnector import OBDConnector
>>> connector = OBDConnector('/dev/ttyUSB0', 38400, 5, 10)
>>> connector.initCommunication()
>>> answer, valid = connector.run_OBD_command('010F')
>>> answer, valid
('48 6B 10 41 0F 63 76', 'Y')
>>> elmdecoder.decode_answer('010F', answer)
(59, 'Degrees Celsius')
>>> connector.run_OBD_command('END')

Command Line Interface (CLI)

There is a command-line interface available in the respository. It uses obd2lib to collect data at intervals of time from the car and create some nice graphics.

$ ./obd2 --help
usage: obd2 [-h] (--info | --collect-data | --expert-mode | --create-graphs)
            [-c COMMAND_ATTEMPTS] [-t TIMEOUT] [-s] [--convert-to-png]
            [--lazy] [-v]
            [inputfile [inputfile ...]]
Utility to get information from the car using OBDII interface

positional arguments:
  inputfile             log file used to created the graphics

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --info                get compatibility information from car
  --collect-data        collect data at intervals of time
  --expert-mode         interactive expert mode
  --create-graphs       create nice graphs from log file
  -p PORT, --port PORT  port to connect (default: /dev/ttyUSB0)
  -b BAUDRATE, --baudrate BAUDRATE
                        baudrate used to connect to the port (default: 38400)
  -i INTERVAL, --interval INTERVAL
                        interval between queries (default: 1)
                        connection attempts (default: 10)
                        attempts to try an invalid command (default: 3)
  -t TIMEOUT, --timeout TIMEOUT
                        timeout for the connection to the port (default: 10)
  -s, --server          run the obd2lib web-interface
  --convert-to-png      convert graphics from .svg to .png (it requires
  --lazy                decode answer to human-readable in expert mode
  -v, --verbose         show logging.DEBUG into stdout

There are 4 major modes:

  1. --info: this mode connects to the ELM327 and fetchs all the supported information by the car just once and print it into the screen.

  2. --collect-data: runs as a daemon fetching the supported information by the car at --intervals of time. This is useful to check the status of the car while you are driving or to fix some issue.

  3. --expert-mode: launchs an interactive console where you can execute any PID (supported and not supported) to check something specific.

  4. --create-graphs: this mode uses the information collected by --collect-data and create some nice .svg graphs using pygal


I needed to add my user to "dialout" group in Ubuntu 13.04

sudo adduser your-user-here dialout


I borrow the "rs232-obd-sim" from here ( and I'm using it to make some test in the development process. NOTE: I changed some minor things to make it more compatible with obd2lib

It requires "socat". So in Ubuntu I installed it by doing:

sudo apt-get install socat

and then running in the terminal:

$ socat -v -x -d -d PTY: PTY:
2013/10/05 15:19:15 socat[15553] N PTY is /dev/pts/4
2013/10/05 15:19:15 socat[15553] N PTY is /dev/pts/5
2013/10/05 15:19:15 socat[15553] N starting data transfer loop with FDs [3,3] and [5,5]

Now, I can connect the "rs232-obd-sim" to /dev/pts/4

$ python /dev/pts/4 - RS-232 to OBD bridge simulator
Copyright (C) 2010 Miguel Gonzalez, Oscar Iglesias
This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; see the COPYING file for details.


and, for example, the "obd2" into --expert mode to /dev/pts/5

 $ ./obd2 --expert --port /dev/pts/5 --lazy
 WARNING: You are enabling EXPERT mode!

 It allows to perform any OBD command against Electronic Control Units.
 May lead to harm in your car if not used wisely. Do you wish to proceed? (Y/N) Y
 WARNING:root:*** DISCLAIMER: There is absolutely no warranty for
 any action performed by the user from here on ***

 Type "quit" or CTRL-C to exit
 ROOT@KT-OBD> 0105
 48 6B 10 41 05 37 40
 48 6B 10 41 0E 63 75
 48 6B 10 41 0F 63 76
 ROOT@KT-OBD> quit

or, if you want to know WTF those values mean, you can run it with the --lazy option

 ROOT@KT-OBD> 0105
 15 Degrees Celsius
 -14.5 Degrees
 ROOT@KT-OBD> 010F    
 59 Degrees Celsius


OBD-2 library to read information from cars







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