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What Is a Data Port Lock? – Important Things About OBD

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

what is a data port lock

For your vehicle security, there are many things you need to know. Among those is ‘what is a data port lock?’

A data port lock is a cap that encases the OBD port, preventing thieves from bypassing your car. This device is useful since thieves can access the onboard computer. It’s because a car’s onboard diagnostic (OBD) is universal.

Using a data port lock will be tough for anyone to access OBD’s port and hack the information that will open the car. It is difficult to remove the car data port lock without a code, even with brutal force.

What Is OBD?

An On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) is a system inside the vehicle that provides a diagnosis. It is beneficial in monitoring the condition of your vehicle, especially if it is experiencing problems. The system works by getting the data from the car’s components.

Instead of checking your car manually, technicians nowadays use the OBD port to know the car’s condition. This method is a lot easier and faster. Since the 1980s, OBD has been useful to control emissions. Using electric components became more prominent.

Some of the components of OBD are electronic control unit (ECU), sensors, diagnostic trouble code (DTC), and malfunction indicator lights (MILs). The EUC collects the DTC code and data. It can be accessed through the diagnostic link connector (DLC).

As of now, many rely on OBDs because they are helpful for faster and easier diagnosis. Aside from that, they provide more accurate information. These systems also lessen the maintenance costs of commercial vehicles by skipping manual check-ups.

What Is a Data Port Lock?


A data port lock is a metal covering that protects the OBD port. A key or a code is needed before it can be removed. Forcibly removing the vehicle data port lock will only damage some components of the car that may affect its performance.

Thieves know how difficult it is to remove the data port lock. They never want to risk being caught while trying to access your OBD port. So instead of stealing your car, they will move to another vehicle.

The types of OBD locks may vary. For example, physical data port locks cover the OBD ports with protective metal. Meanwhile, electronic port locks are more sophisticated. If hacking is detected, the car will turn off by activating the engine immobilizer.

Before getting a data port lock, check if you are still in warranty. If yes, ask the manufacturer if installing the OBD lock won’t make changes to your warranty coverage. Aside from that, make sure that technicians can still plug into the port for maintenance.

How Do Thieves Steal Cars Through OBD Ports?

Although an OBD is beneficial in many ways, thieves use this system to steal cars. The OBD II ports, equipping vehicles made after 1996, are hacked to clone car keys and steal cars.

Once thieves break into your car, they can easily access the OBD II port. Then, through an advanced reader, they can get information about the vehicle. The data obtained will be used to get the unique car key code and clone a key.

Through the tactics used by the thieves, they may steal your car without even noticing it. Knowing these, you may be worried about parking your car or leaving it anywhere else. But you shouldn’t have to. An onboard diagnostics lock can secure your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the benefits of a data port lock for car?

A data port lock for car prevents unauthorized people from accessing your OBD port. Plus, it guarantees maximum security while you are parking your vehicle. Most of the data port locks are also easy to install and don’t require the help of specialists.

Is it possible to move the OBD port?

Yes. But with its harness length, it isn’t easy to move your OBD port. So although you can remove the port and plug it into the extension lead, the thieves can still determine where the OBD port is.

Besides installing an auto data port lock, how can I prevent OBD port theft?

Aside from installing an auto data port lock, you can prevent an OBD port theft by never allowing an unauthorized person to access your OBD port. Also, always lock your vehicle when you have to park or leave it unattended.

Where can I find my OBD port?

The OBD port is typically located under the dashboard of your car. It can be seen on the driver’s side. However, the location of the OBD port may vary, depending on the model of the vehicle. If you cannot find it, you can ask the manufacturer where it is located.

What kind of information does the OBD port provide?

Some of the information that the OBD port provides are speed emission reports, mileage, and problems with the car. Some also use it to add GPS tracking devices to their vehicles. Through this, they will know where their vehicle is and how it is driven.

How will I install a data port lock on my vehicle?

An OBD port lock has a metal mount and a lock.

  • Remove the OBD mount and socket.
  • Next, slide the OBD socket into the mount of the OBD port lock.
  • Insert the mount to the portion where the OBD mount and socket are placed initially. Secure it with screws.

Once done, you can now install the lock.

  • Place the key to the keyhole, then slide the mount from the sides to the top.
  • Secure the lock in place by putting in some hex screws.
  • Put the top plate over, then remove the key from the lock.

As a piece of advice, position the keyhole in a difficult way to access. The installation procedure may vary, depending on the data port lock you have. You can check the manual and look for the procedures on installation.


Knowing about “what is a data port lock” can secure your car. OBD ports are beneficial in tracking the performance of your vehicle. Unfortunately, thieves use these systems to obtain the data from cars to clone the keys.

With the help of a data port lock, your OBD port can be protected from unauthorized persons. Aside from the security it guarantees, it is also easy to install. Even without a specialist, you can put the lock on your OBD port.

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