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CANbus Equipped CPU Vehicles and Non-CANbus Certified Lighting Solutions Explained

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Hello Fellow OPT7-ites,

Most 00+ European makes and many late model year Hyundais, Mazdas and the SIlverados have a very specific type of CPU called CANbus. It has a lot of major benefits over traditional CPUs but one drawback in regards to lighting conversions is the very specific checks it runs on the headlights. Most CPU run a simple pass/no pass test; essentially is feedback being received by the CPU or not. If not, it activates the check headlight warning or BOW (Bulb Out Warning); so the user can check the headlights to replace the bulb. 

The CANbus CPU on the other hand also runs a check but it has a programmed set parameter; for the sake of presenting the concept of feedback it is looking for a range of 4-8. In this case, it is checking for the common levels of feedback associated with the original halogen bulbs. Herein lies the problem HID and LED lighting solutions are more efficient that halogen bulbs and so the feedback they send is lower; usually, lower than the set parameters the CANbus CPU is programmed to accept; let's say a 3 on the scale. Which is why we always recommend CANbus CPU equipped vehicle's seek out CANbus certified lighting solutions like our Boltzen AC 35W CANbus kit or our Fluxbeam LED Conversion Kit. These types of lighting solutions include a built-in or external module of a very specific strength of capacitor to help the kit match the feedback the CPU is programmed to accept.

Common symptoms of a non-CANbus certified lighting solution installed in a CANbus equipped vehicle include: flickering, flashing and eventual shut down or non-operation.

Now non-certified HID or LED lighting solutions can be made to work but not always. Very often non-CANbus lighting solutions can be made to work in a vehicle with a CANbus CPU by adding feedback manipulating accessories like a capacitor(s), resistor and to some degrees a relay. However, there is no guarantee that adding these accessories in any combination will allow the kit to match the feedback the vehicle is looking for. Generally, this is due to the feedback parameters and the lighting solutions feedback levels not being the same across all CANbus equipped vehicles and the specifications of the non-CANbus certified lighting solution being installed.

Until Next Time,
The OPT7 Customer Experience Team