CAN Archives - Import Car
Honda Civic: Failed PCMs And CAN System Diagnostics

This case study involving three failed PCMs in a 2002 Honda Civic illustrates the real-world complexities of diagnosing on-board modules linked together by a bus communications network.

Bringing Down The Bus: Battling A BMW No-Crank

I arrived at the shop and verified the no-crank condition. The dash lit up brightly, but no starter action was forthcoming. Beginning with the basics, I tested power supply at the ignition switch, behind the Car Access System (CAS). This is the module in which the key is inserted. Power and ground was intact; I tested at the starter and found actuation voltage unavailable for starting.

Tech Feature: Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus Topology

At the typical repair shop, six-year-old vehicles (and there are 184 million of them on the road today) are some of the most common vehicles driving into the bays. And, since these vehicles are out of warranty, they will fuel service opportunities for the aftermarket and require more attention from independent repair shops like yours. In particular, one growing service area is diagnostics, especially as it relates to the expanding electronic content in today’s vehicles.

Training Tip: Maximize Use of Your Scan Tools

Delphi combines the importance of education and scan tools by providing training courses such as its Gasoline Powertrain Training Seminar Series, which specifically incorporates diagnostic scan tools for troubleshooting and diagnosis. The following courses are examples of Delphi’s scan-tool-related offerings.

Diagnosing Common Pattern Failures on Mercedes-Benz Vehicles

Mercedes-Benz cars have long been associated with fine design and manufacturing quality. The proof for me is its use as hired transportation (taxi and bus) in many Third World countries. But for the U.S. market, the addition of power accessories and electronics is much more prominent than in other parts of the world. A quick overview of the most common complaints and repair patterns points to electrical problems as a serious problem for many M-B models produced in the last 15 to 20 years.

Tech Update: Can ‘Add-Ons’ Affect CAN Systems? Yes, They Can!

Get any teenager their first car and the first thing they want to do is modify it with new wheels, a different exhaust, seat covers or, the most important and popular upgrade, the stereo. You know, when they have to get to school with all their buddies in the car, they’ve got to have those tunes. They can’t be seen around town with a dull factory radio or wimpy stock wheels.

Ford Reflash Tech Tip: PC Settings

So, you’ve just finished up a Ford, and you’re about to try and start it up. However, it needs programmed. You’ve decided to use a J2534 tool, but there are certain things you’ll need to consider before purchasing that subscription at

Gonzo’s Toolbox: Second Guessing a Second Opinion

Who out there knows everything about automotive repair? Who out there has seen it all, and wouldn’t be surprised if something so common to do now turns out to be not so common? Well, one thing is for sure, it is not me. I learn something new about this crazy car business every day. Especially when it comes to the electronics in today’s cars.

Tech Feature: Courage Under Misfire

Generally, when a customer brings a vehicle into a shop that has a misfire concern, they will describe it as bucking, jerking or loss of power. They also may describe it, depending on the cause, as a jerking when they take off from a start, but smoothes out once the vehicle gets moving. They may tell you the check engine light has been flashing.

Tech Tip: GM PASSLOCK Relearn Procedure

Vehicle will not start after the original ECM has been replaced. The original ECM has a security code (PASSLOCK) stored in its memory that matches the vehicle’s instrument panel cluster or security module (if so equipped). The replacement ECM can only receive the PASSLOCK code after it is installed in the vehicle and a relearn performed on the ECM.

Tech Feature: Finding Electrical Shorts on Multiple Circuits

When I was a kid, I saw a movie called the “Juggernaut” with Richard Harris as the main character. It was about a cruise liner that was about to blow up because a terrorist had planted 55 gallon drum bombs all over the ship. The premise of the story line is that Richard Harris was going to save all the people on the ship by defusing the bombs. All through the movie, there were references to the different relays and electrical circuits.