OBD II port perhaps?

OBD II port perhaps?

If there is an OBD II port, there are cheap HUDs that work great if the speed can be extracted by it. Does anyone know if the OBD port exists?

sosmerc | 31 juli 2017

That is a great question. I thought that OBDII ports were required on vehicles built after 1996....but this may apply only to ICE. I know my Volt has one.

johnse | 31 juli 2017

There have been threads on this before, you can use a site-constrained search like that at to find them. Here are some:

These suggest that the OBD port may not have the necessary data.

gavinmcc | 31 juli 2017

Hmmm, Navdy is already mentioning their HUD for the 3 on facebook

Can't link, thinks it's spam


ReD eXiLe ms us | 23 augusti 2017

catiamedic: The EPA PDF document (Certification Summary Information Report) that was 'leaked' some time ago regarding the Model 3 testing procedures seems to indicate that the car would be exempt or something from OBDII requirements, so no port, assuming it was accurate...

OBD Compliance Type: CARB
Test Group OBD Compliance Level: Full - no deficiencies
OBD Deficiencies Comments: Battery Electric Vehicle - No OBD requirements
OBD Demonstration Vehicle Test Group: HTSLV00.0L13
Number of Test Group OBD Deficiencies: 0 | 23 augusti 2017

I've tested the ODB-II port on the Tesla Model S (Classic and Refresh editions). It doesn't provide any useful data. Any device that plugs into it for anything more than power is unlikely to work.

eeb9 | 23 augusti 2017

I got an email from Navdy last week indicating that they fully support the Model 3. That would indicate either irrational wishful-thinking or the ability to extract useful date from the OBD port

We'll find out over the next few months

jordanrichard | 24 augusti 2017

Every car sold in the US has to have a OBDII port. The OBDII standard came into existence in 1996. Prior to that it was OBD I. The beauty of OBD I was that you could clear the faults/check engine light, but simply removing the negative terminal of the battery for about 5 mins and then reconnect.

zhangxitian | 21 november 2017

I have used LAUNCH CREADER 4001 for a long time, it saved me time and money, which is so great.This scan tool has many functions in such a cheap price. It can support turning off Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), reading Freeze Frame and data stream and erasing DTCs, I/M Readiness Status. I appreciated that Amazon can provide me with such a wonderful product. When the engine light comes on, I can fix it without anybody else.

Yodrak. | 21 november 2017

You can fix the light, or you can fix the engine?

WantMY | 21 november 2017

LOL, there is no OBD port on Model 3. What planet have you being all this time? | 22 november 2017

@Yodrak - The good news, you'll never get an ODB fault to clear in your Tesla! (ODB is really for environmental and ICE engine faults).

In all Teslas including the Model 3, the ODB-II has no useful information, and any device you connect to it will not show anything useful either. This includes things like diagnostic tools, insurance monitoring modules and aftermarket HUDs. You can draw power from it, which can be useful for a dashcam.

As funny aside, Tesla does have a check-engine light (as mandated by regulations). As far as I know, other than lighting up when the car turns on, it never will light up again since there is no ICE engine to have a fault! If there is a problem with the vehicle, Tesla provides a message in clear English (or language of your country). So much nicer than having to use a scan tool, and look up strange codes - often hidden by the manufacturer.

eeb9 | 22 november 2017

It would be, well, *friendly* of them to provide some useful data for third-party add-ons (I'm thinking Navdy, but there are others). While I understand that there's a hacking risk, the risk applies equally to the Tesla diag port. Given this, providing a subset of data to the OBD port doesn't increase the "surface area" exposed to a potential hacker.

At least I can get power off the port, which can be useful to some add-on devices...

eeb9 | 22 november 2017

On the "Check Engine" light - the Model 3 has a motor, so why would they *not* have the Check Engine light apply to that?

If they have to have it anyway, why not make it useful?

Tesla2018 | 22 november 2017

Guess Flo wont be able to give me a Progressive Snapshot discount. Kind of sucks since I saved 30% on my other cars that had it.

mos6507 | 22 november 2017

The thread that will never die... You have "ODB is a useless stub" and on the other side Navdy swears that you'll be able to HUD up your Model 3. Both can't be true.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 22 november 2017

eeb9: It is unlikely that there is any encryption or digital signing of OBD ports. So, no, there would not be 'equal' exposure by providing access to the same data with an OBD instead of or in addition to the proprietary connector.

Some make the case that ownership means you can do whatever you want to your car. The problem is, that while you can, the courts have shown you may not have to take responsibility for doing something stupid. If Tesla allows a completely open interface to the car, some unlicensed, untrained, unaffiliated third parties might come up with really cool accessories that make life for Tesla Owners grand. Some others would unlock features that if tweaked incorrectly would result in a car that spontaneously combusted destroying your property or that disabled or bypassed safety systems resulting in serious injury or death.

Afterward, their Family and Lawyers will not be suing that third party, they will be suing Tesla, alledging they didn't do all they could to prevent such irresponsible behavior. Tesla Naysayers the world over would have their, "See?!? I told you so!!!" moment, and Tesla would have to do damage control for months or years.

Always ask, "What's the worst that could happen?" What if someone were to purposefully distribute a supposed 'performance upgrade' to Tesla cars that was in fact malicious and paid for in full under-the-table by corporate competitors or financial terrorists? That wouldn't be the leading story on I'mWitlessNEWS. It would be that, "Tesla Cars KILL -- News at 11!" That segment would be bookended by so many Chevrolet, Ford, AUDI, Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz advertisements it would be ridiculous.

Yodrak. | 22 november 2017

"you'll never get an ODB fault to clear in your Tesla! (ODB is really for environmental and ICE engine faults).

In all Teslas including the Model 3, the ODB-II has no useful information, and any device you connect to it will not show anything useful either."

It's a shame that Tesla does not provide useful information with its ODB-II. My Leaf has an OBD-II port, and there's a great app that reads from it and can show all kinds of useful information that Nissan didn't feel inclined to provide in the dash or touchscreen displays. The app can also change a number of useful settings through the OBD-II that Nissan does not provide access to with the dash or touchscreen.

WantMY | 22 november 2017

Tesla Model S/X have TPMS on the OBDII bus only, so TPMS Smart Tool could be used to reconfigure TMPS system.

So it makes it a bit of mystery how to deal with TMPS when swapping tires summer/winter on Model 3. I guess you have to go to Tesla service center to reset TPMS.

acemandinga | 22 november 2017

I'm not sure what exactly Navdy is promising for the M3, but keep in mind anyone can add a "HUD" to their car by installing one of the many apps that show your current GPS speed in reverse on the screen of your phone, and then you set your phone on the dash so the reflection in the window displays your speed. Granted, that's kind of hacky and low-tech but Navdy could easily be a fancier version of that with integrated nav etc.

Point is, you don't HAVE to have an OBD port to provide a secondary interface showing useful information. Why is everyone so focused on OBD as the only way to provide more info on another screen? I get all that info and more on my phone simply using Waze.

acemandinga | 22 november 2017

For example: com/us/app/hudway-go/id1080193989?mt=8

(replace space with period obviously).

So Navdy doesn't have to use the OBD port for anything at all - they appear to be using it only for power, but they can also just develop their display to use 5V and power it with USB.

mos6507 | 23 november 2017

GPS doesn't work well inside tunnels.

Haggy | 25 november 2017

"On the "Check Engine" light - the Model 3 has a motor, so why would they *not* have the Check Engine light apply to that?"

Codes are very specific and almost all of them apply to things that the Model 3 does not have. It would be impossible to use a code that doesn't apply and it makes no sense to make one up, especially since Tesla already has a computer to plug into the car to get diagnostics.

There are maybe 3-4 codes that could apply, but would serve no practical purpose.

WantMY | 25 november 2017

The only reason for OBDII port on earlier models was TPMS service, Model 3 has automatic TMPS configuration, no need to waste money on SmartTPMS tool or visit service center after wheel swap/replace. It detects new sensor(s) and reset TMPS with new set of sensor(s) automatically.

Yodrak. | 25 november 2017

"(ODB is really for environmental and ICE engine faults)"

Maybe, just maybe, the ODB for an EV could provide data relevant to an EV?

If a Nissan Leaf can do that, certainly a Tesla can.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 25 november 2017

If Tesla can build a 100% fully electric lineup, certainly GM, Chrysler, Ford, AUDI, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota can each offer 1% of their annual worldwide production capacity as fully electric? | 26 november 2017

@Yodrak - What ODB data do you want? Oxygen sensor status? Fuel to air ratio? I'd rather Tesla continue to spend time on making a great car than have the engineering team spends months of work on producing fake data for the ODB port. There are no ODB standards for EV information such as battery temperature, SOC etc.

If you want internal vehicle data, it is all available on the CAN buses, which you can access via the diagnostic connector. Tesla has at least 5 separate CAN buses because there is so much data being sent arround the car. That's what I tapped into to get various car states, SOC, charging data, and more on my Model S for my Tshow lighting project.

bj | 26 november 2017

@TeslaTap - "What ODB data do you want"?

Well on a Nissan LEAF, which is what Yodrak was referring to, the OBDII port provides all sorts of interesting information about the vehicle including detailed stats and diagnostics on the battery and individual battery packs. Look up "LEAFspy" app in your favorite App Store to see what it shows.

I fully expect that to trigger some responses, Carl Thompson style, that the only reason Nissan provides that data is because the BMS is so pathetic (i.e. the naysaying response, finding a negative angle)

I do find it amusing that where another BEV does something Tesla does not do, a common response is not "well done" or "cool" or "great" but the negative "not important", "Tesla has better things to do" or "who cares".

I got a similar response when I pointed out that the LEAF uploads all sorts of trip data, including the amount of power regenerated, to the Nissan server so that the driver can download it and spreadsheet it to their heart's content and find out all sorts of interesting things about their driving patterns. Teslas don't do this. Response? Right out of the "not invented here" playbook. Apparently if Tesla does not do something, it is by definition unimportant.

Carl Thompson | 26 november 2017


Not sure whether you're insulting me there!

But I agree it would be nice if you could get useful information from the OBD II port.

Yodrak. | 26 november 2017

"If you want internal vehicle data, it is all available on the CAN buses, which you can access via the diagnostic connector. ... That's what I tapped into to get various car states, SOC, charging data, and more on my Model S for my Tshow lighting project."

I get that kind of information from the OBD-II on my Leaf. Please tell me more about the "diagnostic connector" on your Tesla. Sounds quite similar to an OBD connector but with a different name.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 26 november 2017

bj: Rather than complaining on a Tesla forum about how Tesla fans are not interested in or impressed by the accomplishments or features of non-Tesla products, you could simply expound upon why you are interested and impressed by them and why you believe Tesla should offer similar capabilities and features. Just note that some will respond favorably while others may state, "So what?!?" "Who cares?" or "Not invented here, therefore irrelevant." The purpose of internet forums and bulletin boards is to state your own opinion, not to garner respect, admiration, or agreement for your opinions.

finman100 | 27 november 2017

I'll concur with the Leaf OBD port. I've used Leafspy for 3 plus years to see battery temps (120 degrees F once while DC charging for the fifth time in a day with ambient temps above 95 F! Yikes.) Yeah, a sealed can of batteries is NOT a TMS. Also, Leafspy shows individual cell voltages, balanced cells, pack Ahr. And most importantly pack kWh remaining, since the miles remaining gauge is wildly optimistic. and the percentage display doesn't quite equate to what's really left in the pack. All these displays disappear when below 6%. Way to go Nissan. Just when I need to know the most basic of info to not get stranded, you make it all asterisks? Seriously. asterisks show up.

Anyway, it has proven invaluable in a short range EV to know how much is left in the tank (kWr). Also charging speeds are part of Leafspy. Just a very useful app via the OBD port. Maybe it's geeky stuff that few would use on a Model 3, but I'd love to see more than miles left. It's interesting to me. And VERY valuable currently with my Leaf. I can squeeze out 77 miles with the proper info! Yeah, I'm SOOOOOO looking forward to a longer range Tesla. Go Elon!

ReD eXiLe ms us | 27 november 2017

finman100: +21! There you go! Exactly the best way to make a case for something Tesla does not currently do or allow. By pointing,out the useful reasons and applications of the features involved. Thank you.

Yodrak: I believe it was determined some time ago that Tesla uses a proprietary diagnostic connector on their cars that turned out to be an Ethernet cable with a different physical interface. I believe that is what TeslaTap is referring to. A lot of the data accessed through an OBD II Port is communications via a CAN Bus. That is sort of a mini information highway between various onboard systems in a car.

[ "Automotive Controller Area Network System. The Controller Area Network (CAN, also known as CAN Bus) is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow electronic control units and devices to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer." ]

Apparently TeslaTap has learned to access that data through the Tesla diagnostic port instead of the OBD II Port. That is, if I understand his post correctly. Basically, the data you want can be accessed from the car, just not using off-the-shelf devices from automotive stores. You have to 'dig deeper' in a do-it-yourself manner.

eeb9 | 27 november 2017

It would be both interesting and useful for the good folk at Navdy to be able to both query and display some of the data from the CAN bus on their HUD.

That would make it quite a compelling add-on.

I'd still prefer that Tesla do so, but I'll go with a high-end 3rd party add-in if it can access useful data from the vehicle systems. I'd much rather spend money on that than on EAP or FSD...

If it's not on the OBD port, then find a way to get it from the diag port.

Navdy - are you listening? ;-)

jordanrichard | 27 november 2017

I think the reason that Tesla doesn't easily give/display data points like battery pack temps, individual battery cell/module temps is because people would probably start freaking out when something appears to be going out of wack. Sometimes too much info leads to too many questions. I agree it would be neat/interesting to see how many miles the range has been extended via regen, but as is with all of the other things that people cite as "why doesn't Tesla have.......", it is not to say they won't at some point. How many OTA updates has your Leaf gotten?

mos6507 | 27 november 2017

Seconded. Navdy should pull info off the CAN bus and solve the HUD dilemma without incurring any compromises.

eeb9 | 27 november 2017

@JordanRichard - I understand your argument that too much information can be a bad thing.

But I don't agree with it.

I also get that EM *REALLY WANTS* us to treat the Model 3 like a Taxi, with FSD and the Tesla Network and so forth.

But I'm not buying those points of view either.

I look forward to owning the car that sits under/behind those ideas - a car that, based on current reports, should be a blast to *DRIVE*.

I *really* hate being a passenger, so I look forward to some enterprising third-party developer/engineer finding a way to feed me real-time data in a way that helps me to fine-tune my driving to my own preferences (as opposed to how Tesla engineers or designers would prefer that I drive, and whose preferences are baked into the default displays and controls). | 27 november 2017

I (and others) go through the diagnostics connector. It is not the Ethernet connector, which is not useful unless you root the car (which is not recommended). Unlike the ODB port, the diagnostics connector provides access to the 4 main CAN buses and the LIN bus and has 12v power.

The technology to access data is similar to the ODB port's CAN bus on the LEAF. Keep in mind the CAN bus data is NOT documented in most cars by the manufacturer (and I assume the LEAF is no different).

I spent many hours figuring out the data I wanted. Others have done the same thing for battery values, temps and other cool internal details for the Tesla. I documented all that I learned in the Tshow project. What we don't know is if the CAN bus data is the same or different for the Model 3. It would seem smart for Tesla to retain the same data, but that is yet unknown.

If you're interested in Tshow, here's the entire project. Part 9 talks about the CAN bus.

eeb9 | 27 november 2017

@TeslaTap - awesome, and thanks for pointing the way for those "enterprising developers and engineers"


jordanrichard | 27 november 2017

No, Elon does not want you to treat the car like a taxi. Just because he is putting a big emphasis on that capability, doesn't mean he doesn't want people to enjoy the driving aspect of it. Look at all the reviews of the car and how everyone is talking about the steering. If they didn't want you to enjoy the car from a driver's POV, then they would have thrown the steering rack from a '75 Pinto into it. The Model 3 is built for 2 types of uses, FSD/ride sharing and full on "manual" driving.

As for your own driving preferences, I can't speak to what can be done on the Model 3, but there is a lot with regard to driving aspects that you can set. 3 different levels of steering, ride height, acceleration rate (Insane, Ludacris, Chill modes), and 2 levels of deceleration (regen).

Do you think you can buy a new Honda and go in and tweak factory settings without invalidating the warranty?

Carl Thompson | 27 november 2017

I hear you when you say rooting is not recommended but does it void the warranty? What benefits are gained by rooting?

ReD eXiLe ms us | 27 november 2017

I expect rooting would brick the car more often than not, if you find that beneficial somehow. I'm fairly certain that the fine print in the purchase agreement probably forbids such reverse engineering. Which is why those who do it anyway typically use salvaged parts that aren't under warranty any longer. | 27 november 2017

You root the car to get deep access to the binary code, file structures, databases and graphic images of the MCU. You could change the design of the software, but not after quite a bit of reverse engineering. I'm only aware of a couple of engineers who have rooted their cars. There is some risk Tesla may elect to drop the car's connection to Tesla's servers (no maps, streaming, updates, etc.)/

I've not rooted my car and don't have a plan to do it. It could end with a very expensive paperweight! It's also not necessary to monitor detailed data such as the battery or state of charge.

In California, you're legally allowed to reverse engineer, but still if you damage the car, just like if you took a hammer to the hood, it is not covered under warranty. Like any modifications, there could be risks. You have to evaluate what the risk/reward ratio is. A lot of it depends on your expertise level too.

The act of making a modification does not void the entire car's warranty. For example if you blow out the MCU, the MCU would not be covered under warranty, but that doesn't invalidate the warranty on other unaffected areas of the car.

eeb9 | 27 november 2017

@JordanRichard - “chipping” ICE cars has a long and honored history. Whether just for accessing data or changing some control fundamentals. The previous owner of my current ride did more than a bit of “fine tuning” which had exactly zero impact on the warranty and the ability of MINi to sell it as a CPO car.

In some cases, it can and does invalidate warranties - but not innnearly all cases as my own experience indicates.

I’m looking forward to similar opportunities with Tesla.

Haggy | 27 november 2017

I don't see the point of Tesla spitting out codes through a common port, given that there's no standard lookup for anything that might be useful. If they are going to do that, why not just have a diagnostic screen that displays a list of unformatted numbers? One answer is that most owners wouldn't want it unless they published what the codes are for. But if they do that, it's not much more trivial to give a lookup table and give messages instead that give status for errors. I can imagine a wealth of information that I might want to see, but I can't think of a reason that I'd want to get it through that port.

Yodrak. | 27 november 2017

TeslaTap, thank you for the explanation. Now if someone with the appropriate expertise would create an app on the order of LeafSpy that would be fantastic! And they could make some money selling the app.

eeb9 | 27 november 2017

@Haggy - accessing data through the port is really only applicable to two use-cases:

1. Display on a 3rd-party device (Navdy, for instance)

2. Making visible/accessible data and/or settings that are not available through the standard instruments/display (TeslaTap's use for the LED display is a perfect example of this)

I agree with you on all other counts - unformatted raw data is not particularly useful without a means to put it into context

bj | 27 november 2017

@Red - "you could simply expound upon why you are interested and impressed by them and why you believe Tesla should offer similar capabilities and features"

Well I did once here regarding regeneration stats, which the LEAF provides. I used to think regeneration was a bit of a gimmick, you know, used in a sales pitch and sounds cool but something that doesn't add a lot of real value. I thought regen might add 10% to range.

So after a few months of driving I downloaded the stats and put them into a spreadsheet. For every trip (i.e. Between presses of the on/off button) gross power, regen power and net power data is provided. So dividing regen kWh by gross kWh you get the regen percentage, i,e. How much of the power used on any given trip came from regeneration.

I was absolutely flabbergasted with the data - regen provided anywhere between low 20s to high 40s of the trip energy. The long term average on my LEAF after 3 years is 37%. The best ever recorded on a single trip was 50%. Regen is no gimmick - it's incredible.

I would be really interested to know if Tesla regen is as effective as it is in the LEAF - better or worse? It would be a very interesting measure of the fundamental design of the car. We know Model 3's efficiency is close-ish to the LEAF (I'm averaging 140 Wh/km - I think Model 3 is getting about 160) but it would be great to know how much of that is CD, drivetrain efficiency, or regen efficiency. But so far with a Tesla, there is no way to get that data.

Carl Thompson | 27 november 2017

Thanks for the description. I've rooted and customized the OS on pretty much every Linux-based device I've owned including phones (going back to the G1), routers, drones, TiVos, etc, etc, etc for the last 20+ years.

Rooting a car would be intriguing except for the part about potentially killing myself or others if some modification I make causes a control system in the car to fail when I'm driving. But if I don't root it it'll eat away at my psyche as a mountain left unclimbed. Linux's license usually means that companies that use it grudgingly accept that people will modify their systems. But the companies don't have to make it easy. Somewhere Tesla must have source code for their kernel and modifications published (the license requires it) so I'll check those out and start Googling to see if it might be worth doing.

Who knows, maybe I can turn my Model 3 into a P75 by changing the software! | 27 november 2017

@Carl - Like you, the engineer in me really would love to play at that level! I've only rooted my phones, but it's a cool process.

One other reason to perhaps skip rooting the car is I'm fairly sure it requires physically getting into the MCU and modifying some hardware. You need to get an Ethernet connection, and only the internal bus via the gateway allows it prior to rooting. The diagnostic Ethernet connection by itself is not good enough as Tesla disables it. Once rooted, I would expect you can use the diagnostics port.

I don't know the exact hardware modifications. I can say the Tesla wiring diagrams will not be helpful, as the MCU is just a black box. This means a little bit of circuitry tracing (i.e. reverse engineering) will be necessary on the MCU.