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OBD2 Freeze Frame Data Interpretation

OBD2 Freeze Frame Data.
Credit: OBD Focus

Do you also feel like you’re trying to decipher ancient hieroglyphs every time you look at the OBD2 freeze frame data on your scan tool? Well, no need to worry because we’re here to tell you exactly how to read OBD2 freeze frame data. Once you’ve gone over this short article, interpreting freeze frame data will be as easy as pie.

Being able to read the freeze frame data is an integral part of using an OBD2 scanner for the diagnostic system in your vehicle. Just like how the OBD2 system pinpoints where the fault lies in your car, the freeze frame data can further narrow down what the problem is.

Read ahead to learn more how to interpret OBD2 freeze frame data.

What is OBD2 Freeze Frame Data?

Before we get to understanding what freeze frame data is, we need to go over how the OBD2 system works in your vehicle. Whenever there is a problem in any part of your car, the OBD system notifies you through the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) or the Check Engine Light (CEL).

Then, using an OBD2 scan tool, you can read the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) produced by the OBD system to figure out exactly where the problem lies.

As helpful as that is already, Freeze Frame Data takes it a step further. The freeze frame data presents a list of the Parameter IDs (PIDs) and their values when the OBD system produces a DTC.

To put it simply, what this means is that the freeze frame data shows a snapshot of what all the other components of your car were doing when the one part detected the fault.

Accordingly, this data or information proves to be very useful in learning the causes behind different issues in your vehicle.

How Can You Access a Freeze Frame?

Now that you understand what OBD2 freeze frame data is, the next step is to learn how to access and view this data. The vehicle creates and stores freeze frame data the same way as it produces and stores the DTCs. So, the first thing you need to access the freeze frame data is an OBD2 scan tool.

The better the scan tool and the more features it has will make it easier to access the freeze frame data. Moreover, a better scanner will also help in obtaining more information, regarding the freeze frame data and otherwise. Therefore, considering how crucial this information is, we recommend investing in a good scanner for this job.

Once you’ve got your scanner, you will need to connect it to the OBD2 port under your dashboard. After that, depending on what kind of scanner you have, you will see a diagnostic menu with lots of options like reading codes, erase codes, data streams, etc. Among these options, you will find the prospect of freeze frame or freeze frame data.

After that, you need to select the freeze frame data option, and you will find a list of all the components’ and sensors’ information. In other versions, for example in a PC-based scanner, you might have to select the freeze frame option and then select a specific DTC to view the relevant data.

How to Read Freeze Frame Data?

Learning how to read the freeze frame data will not only help you use your OBD2 scanner properly, but it will also save you lots of time and money when you go for your car repairs. Moreover, as mentioned before, a good OBD2 scanner will make even reading the freeze frame data easy. However, if you have an OBD2 code reader, all you’ll see are acronyms and values that mean nothing to you.

Therefore, we’ve compiled this chart so that you can quickly read and interpret your freeze frame data with one look. We are sure interpretation will get much easier for you with the help of this table.

DTC P0261The usual diagnostic trouble code
Load PCT 89Amount of air entering the engine is below 100%
VSS 52Speed of the vehicle when the DTC was triggered
IAT 55Intake Air Temperature when the DTC was triggered
Fuel SYS1 CLFuel injector in bank 1 was in close loop mode when DTC was triggered
Fuel SYS2 N/AFuel injector in bank 2 not available
ECT 223Engine Coolant Temperature when DTC was triggered
Long FT1 – 3.0The Oxygen sensor has not switched to long-term fuel trim
RPM 1300Engine’s Revolutions per Minute when the DTC was triggered
Map kpa 25Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor reading when DTC was triggered
Upstream O2S VoltsReading of oxygen sensor for monitoring performance
You can quickly read and interpret your freeze frame data with one look at this freeze frame data chart.

Although these codes can vary slightly from vehicle to vehicle, generally, this chart is good to go by.

How to Use Freeze Frame Data?

Freeze frame data might seem useless right now. After all, why would you care about the air temperature or car speed when the problem lies somewhere else. Despite that, this information does prove to be very useful.

By looking at the conditions in which the vehicle generated the DTC, you can get an idea about why it happened. For example, if you noticed the CEL was turned on, you check the DTC and the freeze frame data. The freeze frame data shows that the battery voltage was at 7V when it was supposed to be 12V.

By identifying this information, you know which area might have caused the problem. Moreover, you can start your repairs by fixing that part first.


After reading all that, you must realize how crucial OBD2 freeze frame data is. As important as it is to understand how the OBD2 system works in your car and learn how you can use an OBD2 scanner to read the DTC, it is equally important to acquaint yourself with other elements involved in OBD2 technology. For instance, elements such as the OBD2 freeze frame data.

Moreover, the freeze frame data can provide you meaningful insights into the reasons for your vehicle’s issues. Therefore, it can help you prevent those problems from occurring again.

OBD2 Freeze Frame Data Interpretation.
Credit: youtube.

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