What's the best tag to use for questions with a specific CEL (Check Engine Light) code? I've seen various terms for them on other forums and sites.

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    and how do we enforce the usage of the correct tag? – dave thieben Mar 7 '11 at 23:36

OBD-II means something specific: it's a (US) government standard that started in 1996. The other terms are the same concept, but more generic. If someone says OBD-I, then I know they are talking about pre-96. If they say OBD/CEL/Error code/etc, it's ambiguous.

Before the standardization in '96, Honda's code for misfire may have been X102, and Ford's code for misfire may have been 0x35. The OBD-II code for random misfire is P0300 whether it is a Ford or Honda.

Usually manufacturers don't want a different engine computer for every country, so I believe OBD-II is known around the world.

I'm not sure how useful OBD-II is as a tag. I suppose someone may want to peruse and answer OBD-II specific questions. The actual code (e.g. P0300) should work well as a tag. Over time, code P0300 may have 100 answers, and a professional could see what all diagnostic steps were taken for a wide range of vehicles for that specific code.

  • yeah, so just tagging with the specific code then, that makes sense – travis Mar 18 '11 at 15:30

MIL - Malfunction Indicator Lamp is the official acronym to refer to the check engine light.

I cannot find the reference for that right now and will edit the question with it later. It may only be a USA standardization, but I am pretty sure it's international.

  • interesting, I haven't heard of that one before – travis Mar 18 '11 at 15:31
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    MIL is indeed the official acronym for a "Malfunction Indicator Light", but Travis is actually referring to a "specific CEL Code" these codes are officially called "Diagnostic Trouble Codes" or DTCs. MIL refers purely to the light. The term 'MIL Status' is also often used and this simply refers to the whether the MIL is on or off, this allows tracking of "Distance travelled with MIL on". I realise none of this really makes much difference, particularly if we simply use the DTC as the tag for the question, but I just thought I'd mention it in case someone comes across this in the future. – Scott Nov 17 '11 at 3:37

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