iPhone to CAN bus anyone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by KD7IWP, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    American living in Canada
    I was thinking that it would be incredibly awesome to see someone create a hardware/software solution for the iPhone that could connect to the CAN bus in newer vehicles. Seriously, what if you could switch engine maps, control vehicle functions, look at live data, etc from your iPhone screen!! I wish I was good enough to develop for hardware, so far all I have is limited c#/asp experience.
  2. ifonz macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
  3. w3cum macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2008
    I believe a CAN BUS is the connection point on the newer cars and trucks that you can hook a diagnostic computer to. its usually under the dash on the drivers side.
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    So this guy wants to view his cars "Check Engine" light error codes on his iphone?
    What else are we going to hear? :D
  5. R.Youden macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    What you mean is the OBD port. It would be very neat is someone could do this yes.

    More information here:

  6. w3cum macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2008
    ok then I stand corrected... so what is a CAN bus?
  7. jc1350 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    CAN bus is the bus used at least in newer Chrysler cars for what I call the infotainment systems (connects GPS, radio, DVD player, etc to each other). It does a lot more, though. I believe it's also used with the engine's systems communications as well.

  8. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    That would be nice to have.

    For the auto technicians to leverage the advatanges of the iPhone as a diagnostic tool, and online access to the service manuals, serevice bulletins, as well as support from the call centers, OEM, etc...
    A hardware interface would be required. Technically it is feasible.

    Some years ago, there was a product to do some of that (read, clear DTCs, and read sensor data) for OBDII in Palm OS, using the Springboard port of the Handspring Palm OS PDAs.

    To make it commercial viable probably it has to be focused on specific markets. Even standards are used, every car manufacturer has their own versions for specific control units.

    Anyway, how much would you expect to pay for a CAN BUS kit?
  9. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005

    I have seen a device that does this already or was coming out soon. It was a cable, and then software or access to the internet for diganostics and tracking.

    I think it was over on the mbworld.org forums.
  10. ifonz macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
    link please:rolleyes:. this sounds perfect!
  11. outcastrc macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    BC, Canada
    I checked out that link and my only concern is that it would be a lot of money to spend before you would know what that app could or can't do for your vehicle. I would want to know EXACTLY what I would get before I shelled out 40us for the app and who knows how much for the wifi port adapter.

    I do want to be able to access my trouble codes. But I want ALL of them, not just a few of the basic ones. I really don't care if its thru my Iphone or a laptop. I just want a product that will tell me what it does up front and follow thru...

    My vehicle uses the CAN bus (2004 Ford Superduty) as well I believe.
  12. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005
    not the one

    That link above is not the diagnostic tool I was talking about, it seems more like a performance tool.

    I'll do some research on the diagnostic tool, it was a CES 2009 announcement that showed it off.
  13. Slarti Bartfast, Nov 21, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  14. Slarti Bartfast, Nov 21, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  15. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Well, the iPhone can do it... all you need is the proper accessory and the accompanying application.

    With with OS 3, you can pretty much use any accessory.
  16. hchung macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2008
    The problem with getting a real CAN module for an iPhone is actually that there's no standard for this stuff.

    The CAN messages are different for each manufacturer, and likely different for each car model.

    How many of you here would actually be interested in hooking something up to your car, downloading the raw messages, and then trying to find patterns in the messages and taking a guess as to what they mean?

    If so, get this first.

    Been tempted to do it, but I got so many other projects in line. Anybody else here have a VQ35DE (Nissan engine)?
  17. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    The car manufacturers have been trying to keep people from finding out what the info means; they want people to go to the dealers with problems. IIRC, they are even trying DMCA to prevent people from sharing info about what the codes mean.
  18. OCS12 macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2012
    I've seen lots of blue tooth OBDII adapters to let you connect your car connect to an iPhone. I've never looked into what apps are out there though. I could see how that'd be a nice toy to have.
  19. tooraj macrumors newbie


    May 31, 2016

    Can be done with Android, iOS, not sure!

    Here is the hardware you'd need:

  20. willmtaylor macrumors G4


    Oct 31, 2009
    Welcome to the forums, and thanks for posting.

    However, when searching the forums (or after arriving here from a Google search), please check time stamps of threads. You've just revived a thread from 2009 that hasn't been replied to in 4 years.
  21. tooraj macrumors newbie


    May 31, 2016
    I did check the date and noticed there no one had answered the original question or even had understood the original question. So a reposnae was justified even if the question was an old one.

    I have answered half of the question (the hardware required). I'd be happy to get an answer to the other half in four years time!

    Your response however is not contributing to the original question whatsoever!!!

    If you feel so passionate about leaving old questions unanswered perhaps you should try get the old threads removed or locked so no one can reply to then!
  22. willmtaylor macrumors G4


    Oct 31, 2009
    I'm sure they've been waiting on the edge of their seat. (Especially since a Google search shows several obvious results in ~.5 secs) :rolleyes:

    Thanks for stopping by to bestow your knowledge. Look forward to seeing you in 4 years. :cool:

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23 June 25, 2009