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Author Topic: CEL codes explained  (Read 7452 times)

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lil goat

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CEL codes explained
« on: January 13, 2010, 03:51:23 PM »
I stumbled on this, who new there is actually a science to a CEL. This is not a listing of codes, just how to read them.

FAQ: OBD2 Codes Explained

OBD-II codes consist of a number of parts. Here is a sample OBD2 code:


Here is a breakdown of what each digit of the code means:
First Character - System

The first character identifies identifies the system related to the trouble code.

    * P = Powertrain
    * B = Body
    * C = Chassis
    * U = Undefined

Second Digit - Code Type

The second digit identifies whether the code is a generic code (same on all OBD-II equpped vehicles), or a manufacturer specific code.

    * 0 = Generic (this is the digit zero -- not the letter "O")
    * 1 = Enhanced (manufacturer specific)

Third Digit - Sub-System

The third digit denotes the type of sub-system that pertains to the code

    * 1 = Emission Management (Fuel or Air)
    * 2 = Injector Circuit (Fuel or Air)
    * 3 = Ignition or Misfire
    * 4 = Emission Control
    * 5 = Vehicle Speed & Idle Control
    * 6 = Computer & Output Circuit
    * 7 = Transmission
    * 8 = Transmission
    * 9 = SAE Reserved
    * 0 = SAE Reserved

Fourth and Fifth Digits

These digits, along with the others, are variable, and relate to a particular problem. For example,a P0171 code means P0171 - System Too Lean (Bank 1). To lookup your particular code, visit http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/

Offline DeepBlueGXP

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Re: CEL codes explained
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 07:25:12 PM »
Thanks, stuck this thread

Offline G8TR

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Re: CEL codes explained
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 09:26:54 PM »
Great quick explanation. I hadn't seeen this before, thanks Comedian!

Offline Critterman

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Re: CEL codes explained
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 11:12:59 PM »
good find
GONE: (but not forgotten) 2006 Cool named BIXABEL (BISH-AH-BEL) Mayan for "Good Roads"

StageIII intercooled Supercharger, Wisco ceramic coated pistons, Carrillo rods, superTech valves and Springs
Ported and polished head
Exedy Stage II Clutch
big brake kit, slotted/drilled Rotors w/Porterfield pads & blue juice
Backbone, Probeam, Cross Strut Brace
Underhood, trunk, & door Lights
ZOK suspension

Center console, door inserts, & dash
Seat bolster & lumbar support

Focuztech Tri-Y Header & hi-flow cat
Solo Performance SQR-2
Norm's Rear facia
Heated Seats
Black Cat inserts

Offline Graywolf

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Re: CEL codes explained
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 11:14:57 PM »
I now respect you. This a great find and it makes you as a customer let the service personnel know your not just another smuck off the street!  A comment about On Star. I had a engine light come so for the fun of it pressed the On Star button. The nice lady said she would run a diagnostic on the car. She said yes it showed I had a engine problem.  I asked her for the code number and she said that Gm does not allow her to give out that information. So no more on star for me! Thanks
Bates cylinder sleeves/oil pump,Carillo Rods,Wiseco pistons,Ferrea valves/springs,CNC Race Ported head,Neutral balance shafts,CustomATI Damper,ZOK suspension,Custom Roll Bar and Wind Splitter by Chassis Concepts,6 pt Schroth harness,Extreme Dimension nose,Fidenza Flywheel/Spec3+ clutch,OZ ultrleggra wheels,Hoosier A6/R6 tires,Norms Fiberglass side vented fedders,side skirts and rear race bumper/fascia

Offline GXPinKC

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Re: CEL codes explained
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2010, 11:12:16 AM »
Since there have been a number of threads pertaining to CEL codes lately, thought it was a good time to bring this old thread back begun by The Comedian asa lil goat.  DeepBlueGXP made this thread a sticky.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 01:20:01 PM by GXPinKC »
Code 1100, Order#KCPDVV 04-28-2006, Delivery: 12-27-2006 

2007 Aggressive GXP, 5-speed, Ebony Leather seats w red accent stitching, Chrome Wheels, Air, 6-Disc, Monsoon, Sport Metallic Pedals & Premium Headliner.

MSRP $30,300 less $1,000 GMMC credit.  Deal: $28,180. ($2,120 under MSRP).

DDM Race Backbone, Probeam, & Red Cross Bay Brace
JPM Leather Center Console
MRZ Performance Billet Caps
Beach Party FBC
Solo Mach Exhaust

Offline scanner

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Re: CEL codes explained
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2010, 07:21:09 PM »
U type DTCs are actually network DTCs. They identify problems between control modules. It is common to get many U codes at one time rather than just one because when one CM acts up many will report it by setting codes.

Offline scanner

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Re: CEL codes explained
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2010, 06:36:06 PM »
Here is a link to a pretty good DTC search tool. It covers industry standard and manufacturer specific DTC definitions: http://www.aboutautomobile.com/DTC/


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