What is CAN?

At present, most of the cars sold in the markets use CAN BUS diagnostics as a diagnostic system. But what is CAN? Why is it so important?

CAN is the abbreviation for Controller Area Network, which is an ISO international standardized serial communication protocol. In today’s automotive industry, for the sake of safety, comfort, convenience, low pollution and low cost, a variety of electronic control systems have been developed. The types of data used in communication between these systems and the reliability requirements are different. Several are made up of more than one bus. As a result, the number of wire harnesses increases.

To meet the requirement of reducing the number of wiring harnesses and carrying out a large number of high-speed data communications over multiple LANs, Bosch, a German distributor, developed the CAN communication protocol for automobiles in 1986. Since then, CAN has been standardized by ISO11898 and ISO11519. Now in Europe, CAN is the standard protocol for automotive networks.

Today CAN has been approved to have high performance and reliability and is widely applied in industrial automation, marine, medical equipment, industrial equipment, etc.

CAN communicates with the diagnostic system of the latest Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and Skoda vehicles in a new way. Compared with the ISO 9141 diagnostic communication system previously used by the K line, the new CAN bus system is faster. You must have new hardware and software for CAN diagnostics. Little by little, the K line has been replaced by the CAN bus, so CAN bus diagnostic tools are your only option.

CAN bus diagnostic car models:

Before 2005, all car models in the VW, Audi Skoda, Seat series

Car models must have CAN bus diagnostic system
After 2003 Audi A8, A8L (D3 platform, 4E chassis)
After 2003 the Volkswagen Touran (1T chassis)
After 2004 Audi A3 (8P chassis)
After 2004 Golf (1K chassis)
After 2004 VW Caddy (2K chassis)
After 2004 Skoda Octavia (1Z chassis)
After 2004 Seat Altea (5P chassis)
After 2005 CA After 2005 Audi A4 (“B7” platform) (some control modules)
After 2005 Passat (B6 platform, 3C chassis)
After 2005 Golf Plus (5M chassis)
After 2005 Seat Toledo (5P chassis)
After 2005 Seat Leon (1P chassis)
5 years after 2005 Jetta (1K chassis)
All Golf 5 (A5 platform)

For VW / AUDI, there is a kind of note scanner that can scan CAN protocol called U281 note scanner, which is specially designed for car owners or DIYers to read and clear trouble code on vehicles.

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