You may have seen CAN bus bulbs on our website and were unsure of what that meant or if they were compatible in your vehicle. Not every vehicle is CAN bus equipped, so refer to your vehicle’s manual to be sure. If your vehicle is CAN bus equipped, read on to see what that means when selecting bulbs for your car.
LED CANbus Bulbs are available in many different varieties and applications
What are CAN Bus LED Bulbs?
CAN Bus LED bulbs are LED bulbs which are made specifically for CAN Bus-equipped vehicles. These bulbs work with your vehicle’s advanced computer system, so when your vehicle’s computer reads them, they respond back correctly.
What does CAN Bus mean?
CAN Bus means Controller Area Network Bus. This system monitors your vehicle and reports operating conditions. CAN Bus systems are commonly found in European vehicles such as BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Porsche, and in many American vehicles. While most late model American vehicles have CAN Bus systems, it is always good to check with your vehicle dealer to see which system your vehicle has before purchasing electrical products.
Will CAN Bus LED Bulbs Prevent “Bulb-Out” Indication?
Each vehicle has different requirements that the CAN Bus system is looking for, but in most cases CAN Bus LED bulbs should prevent a “bulb out” indication in areas such as tail, brake, and running lights. If you use a standard LED bulb that is not a CAN Bus application, you would consistently get a “bulb out” dashboard indicator because your system can’t communicate with a standard LED bulb.
Will CAN Bus LED Bulbs Prevent Hyper-Flashing?
CAN Bus bulbs will not prevent hyper-flashing of turn signals. These bulbs are communicating with the CAN Bus system, but the relay still needs an appropriate amount of load to operate correctly. Your electrical system could require load resistors or an electronic flashing relay to stop hyper-flashing. The factory relay causes the hyper-flash when it thinks there is not a bulb working. For more information, see our blog post How To Fix Hyperflashing Turn Signals.
Can you use CAN Bus LED bulbs in non-CAN Bus applications?
CAN Bus LED bulbs should not be used in non-CAN Bus applications because in most cases they can cause other vehicle circuits to have problems. Electrical systems are much like the flowing water in a river. If a log or other obstacle is placed in its path, the water backs up, but then finds another route. A CAN Bus LED bulb presents more resistance than the stock bulb due to built-in resistors and may cause feedback into other circuits in the non-CAN Bus electrical system.
How do I know if my car is equipped with CAN Bus?
If the vehicle warns you when a bulb is out, it is equipped with CAN Bus. The easiest way is to contact the vehicle’s supplier or dealership. If you’re still not sure, we normally tell customers to remove a light and drive the vehicle to see if it gives a warning. For example, remove a rear parking light – one that is not a brake light or turn signal also and drive the vehicle around during the day with the parking lights on. If the vehicle gives the bulb out warning, it is CAN Bus. If no warning, no CAN Bus.
To view our selection of LED CAN Bus Vehicle Bulbs, click here.
Also see our latest CAN Bus Festoon bulbs.
For technical questions, don’t hesitate to call us toll free at 866-590-3533. Our customer service and technical support teams are available from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT Monday-Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT on Friday.