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Ok what would a "53" 2.2HDI executive have. I know what can bus is, but googling van bus tells me nothing
 

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In the not so old days all switches and relays were all connected via a multidude of wires so typically there could be anything up to 24 wires just going to the switches on the steering column.
With Can bus there is a Comms 2000 unit under the steering wheel, a BSI (body system interface) unit containg a multidude of fuses etc under the dashboard and a BM34 engine fusebox and relays. These 3 are the main Can bus components connected together with just a few wires so saving massively on copper as well as providing the facility to add functions such as cruise with little additional work. Just about everything else on the car is hard wired in the normal way to these 3 although items such as the engine, ABS and airbag ecu all use Can I think.
To give you an example how it works, the headlights are turned on on the stalk connected to the Comms, Comms sends a pulse via the BSI to BM34 that reacts by triggering the built in relay feeding the headlamps, when the lamps are switched off Comms sends a different pulse down the same wire to BM34 that de-activates the relay.
Scary it is and faults are difficult to trace without Planet but the system is pretty reliable as long as water is kept out, earths and battery are good, the system does hate spikes so avoid bump starting another car with your engine running and use a third battery when changing the battery so power is not lost.
All current cars use a similar system to this.
Someone else will have more idea than me, this is just what I have picked up,
 

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VAN was basically the first network protocol used in vehicle. Vehicle Area Network was introduced as a way to simplify connecting all the new electronic devices used in vehicles when the radio was no longer the only electronic device to be found in a car, van or truck.

By using this new communications protocol it made it simple to produce cars that had differing specifications. A car with ABS or Cruise Control could be wired exactly the same as one without and simply telling the controller it was either present or not was the only difference.

As more components were added and they got more complex there was a problem with data throughput. VAN simply could not handle the data traffic efficiently enough so other protocols were designed. CAN (Controller Area Network), LIN (Local Interconnect Network) are two such protocols. CAN is the one that PSA and others decided to use.

Decent write up here which is where I got some of this info from
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies, it was a good read and explains it better. So basically VAN is the earlier CAN system.

Thank You
Dean
 
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