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CAN Test Box

can test box


Continuing with our mission to make vehicle diagnostics easier and faster…the new CAN Test Box gives you easy access to the 16 pins of the diagnostic connector that is fitted to all modern vehicles. Depending on the configuration of the vehicle, this may allow you to check power, ground and CAN Bus signal quality. With the test leads supplied you can connect your PicoScope lab scope to the CAN Test Box to monitor signals such as the CAN High and Low. More.....

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We have just posted a few new Automotive Tutorials and Case studies Here is the latest:
Honda Rattle

New Kvaser white paper discusses ways to maximise CAN’s efficiency in next generation vehicles

By using a Virtual CAN Bus, we separate the control task from other tasks. The distributed embedded control system can be developed using standard CAN Controllers and transceivers in a traditional way with well proven tools.

Other tasks such as encryption, transmitter authentication, re-flashing, etc. can be developed by experts in these fields and carried out by using other protocols. With modern technology, the different tasks can run in parallel and simultaneously communicate on the same physical layer.

It is a great advantage to separate the control problems from other problems. The control problem can be solved once and for all by the control experts and other problems by experts in their respective technology fields.


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2001 Audi TT Quattro CAN Bus Fault

By Mark Banks
Holmer Green Service Centre

A 2001 Audi TT Quattro arrived in the workshop with a complaint from the customer of an intermittent ESP light. At first the fault was not obvious at all. We had heard that the ABS modules could be a common failure but I had to be sure before fitting. A quick scan of the fault codes revealed CAN Bus comms errors: not a lot of assistance, but as usual a place to start.

The fact that the fault was intermittent didn’t help either. If the fault was present, the ESP light would go out on initial start up but then come back on as soon as the car was driven down the road.

When the ESP warning light was on, the bus line signals looked like this:

figure 1

See how the signals go from opposing each other to pointing the same way but still trying to maintain the voltage differential (almost).

figure 2

After a good visual inspection of the wiring, following the twisted pair as much as possible, and the high-to-low bus resistance checks, I made sure the fault was present. Then, thinking that it was transmission-related as the car had to be driven to produce the fault, I scoped the bus lines with the ABS module diconnected. Unfortunately the scrambled signal was still present.

I reconnected the ABS and took a logical step along the transmission to the Haldex module on the rear diff. (Remember, this is the four-wheel-drive Quattro version of the TT). Disconnecting the module and scoping the twisted pair finally displayed a good set of bus signals.

figure 3

With ignition on and the Haldex diff controller unplugged, the bus line signals were fine.

I stripped down the old module to check the circuit board with a magnifying glass and could not see any obvious water ingress, dry joints or meltdown problems. Ah, don’t you just love electronics!

A new Haldex controller (about £600/$950/€880) cured the problem!


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