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2021 GLC300 and 1987 560SL
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CAN bus stands for Controller Area Network. It's just what it says: a network that the computer control modules use to communicate with each other, on a single bus running all over the car. There are standards for the protocols and electrical signaling, but you don't care about those unless you're making something to talk on the bus.
 

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2002 E430 4-Matic
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Since I'm not an engineer but I am a computer guy, I'll give you my simple answer. First separte CAN and BUS.
BUS is simply a way to get electronic components to talk to each other and this can be done in one of two basic ways. Parallel (multiple wires carrying different parts of the transmission) or serial (one wire carrying the entire message). Keeping it simple there are three major components of a message. The address of the component the message is intend for. The actual message. The timer to synch up listening and transmitting. So a simple sequence would go like this. If timer bus is active "on", look at address bus and check if it matches my address, if it does, capture transmission from the message bus. Act on message. If timer bus "off"....wait.

CAN uses a serial bus where one "wire" is used for all of three components of a transmission. It specifies a protocal for the actual way the network devices communicate over the network. Much like the English Language specifies how the mouth and ear work together as a wireless serial bus to communicate.

The CAN BUS is physical wiring and software working together with a specific application in mind.

I checked the cloud and found that CAN uses priority based messaging. Meaning that if an ABS command collides with a message that your brake light bulb is defective....the brakes will get their message before you get yours.
 

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1999 E320 4MATIC
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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1999 Mercedes Benz E430 Elegance, 2001 Mercedes Benz E430
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29 Posts
Thanks for the understanding. I'm looking at changing the lights in my car to LED's and their is a difference in some of the lights saying can bus. See example...

1999 Mercedes Benz E Class With Hid Headlamps Dome Light LED Lights | LED Replacement Bulbs for Cars | 12v | Super Bright LEDs

What concerns do I have when looking at these lights?

Stacey
That just means that the LED has a small computer in it that it suppose to keep the computer in the car from thinking a bulb is out because you are not using a OEM bulb. Although some still dont do what their suppose to do. :(
If you are just doing the interior lights you shouldn't have much to worry about as far as errors.
 

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2021 GLC300 and 1987 560SL
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I've seen those ads. I'm not at all sure how a bulb that only has +12 and ground connected to it can affect the CAN bus. The closest I can think is that it has a little microcontroller in it to control the current passing through the LEDs to make it look like it's a bulb with the same resistance characteristics.

I've thought about installing those, but there aren't a lot of places for them to go (license plate bulbs, and what else?), and the hokum factor in the advertising is putting me off.
 
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