What is CAN and why is it important? 

CAN stands for Controller Area Network. CAN is a new means of communicating with the car for diagnostics used by the latest generations of VW, Audi, SEAT, and Skoda vehicles. Unlike the older ISO9141 system which used a single K-line for diagnostic communications, the new CAN-Bus system uses a twisted pair of wires with differential signaling.   CAN is considerably faster than ISO-9141 (500 kbps vs. 10.4 kbps).   Both new hardware and new software are required in order to communicate with cars using CAN for diagnostics.

What Cars Use CAN for Diagnostics?   (Click on the links of info on each vehicle)

* The New Beetle continued to use the older k-line diagnostics only incorporating CAN for Generic OBD-2 in 2008 as mandated by the EPA. Other holdover models such as the 7V Seat Alhambra, 6L Seat Ibiza/Cordoba, 6Y/5J Skoda Fabia, 1U Skoda Octavia, 5J Skoda Roomster, 3U Skoda Superb and others may have continued to use the older k-line diagnostics into and past 2008. In doubt, contact Ross-Tech via email.

Does VCDS work with cars that require direct CAN access for diagnostics?

Yes!  We have integrated CAN compatibility since the Release 404.0 version of our software, but obviously, an interface capable of communicating via CAN is required.   The  HEX+CAN, the  Micro-CAN, and all of our current interfaces have are capable of communicating via CAN.

Do the CAN-Bus Interfaces also work with older vehicles that use the k-line?

Yes!  The HEX+CAN and all of our current interfaces are fully backwards compatible with older vehicles that use either single or dual K-lines as well, so they work with all VW/Audi/SEAT/Skoda from 1996-current.    

However, our low-cost Micro-CAN interfaces are not backwards compatible with older cars.

I am an existing Ross-Tech customer. Can I upgrade my Interface to work with the vehicles using CAN-Bus diagnostics?

Yes!  Please click here for the Interface Upgrade Section of our Store.

I am not a Ross-Tech customer. How do I buy an Interface and software to work with the vehicles using CAN-Bus diagnostics?

A 1K Chassis Golf-5 connected using a prototype
HEX-USB+CAN Interface -- February 2004

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