Where Is the OBD Connector on a Maxima?

by Richard Ristow

A Nissan Maxima's second-generation On-Board Diagnostic Connector can be found under the dashboard and to the left of the steering column. It will be uncovered, with no access panels blocking it from view.

OBD-II

For all Nissans manufactured after 1996, the OBD-II access port is called a Data Link Connector. It may not be in the exact same location in all Nissan models. The DLC outlet provides access to the Maxima's diagnostic computer, but accessing the system requires an OBD-II compliant handheld scanner.

How to Access

Connect a diagnostic cable to an OBD-II compliant device. Insert the cable's 16-pin plug into the Maxima's DLC outlet and switch the device on. Turn the Maxima's electrical system on. Some types of OBD-II devices may also need the engine running. Consult the device's manual on how to either pull code or interact with the Maxima's internal sensor array.

OBD-I

Nissan's unique OBD-I system does not use a data connector. Nissan vehicles predating 1996 use a special computer system. The Maxima's central computer module is located inside the vehicle, on the passenger's side. The diagnostic system relays fault codes through a special box outfitted with an LED light. Codes come in two-digit numbers, and the codes are conveyed with long and short LED flashes. For example, code 12 is represented by a long flash followed by two briefer ones.

About the Author

Richard Ristow has written for journals, newspapers and websites since 2002. His work has appeared in "2009 Nebula Showcase" and elsewhere. He is a winner of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award and he edits poetry for Belfire Press. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has managed an automotive department at WalMart.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Car dashboard image by Andrejs Pidjass from Fotolia.com