Use RaceCapture as a general purpose CAN bus logger and reverse engineer your car’s data

Did you know you can use RaceCapture as a general purpose CAN bus logger to spy on data coming from your car’s CAN bus?

If you have RaceCapture/Pro or RaceCapture/Apex it’s a simple copy/paste of our CAN bus logging script. It’s often the first step in mapping an unknown CAN bus system, and we cover it in our comprehensive CAN bus mapping guide.

Running the script

Before running the script ensure you have a few things set up:

  • Watch for CAN bus activity by checking the orange CAN bus indicator light on your RaceCapture system.
  • Ensure your CAN bus wires are connected properly, including proper CAN bus termination.
  • Ensure the the system is configured for the correct baud rate
  • Ensure you have your CAN wires connected to the correct CAN bus – CAN1 or CAN2.

After connecting to your car’s CAN bus, load and run the CAN bus logging script to observe any data you might be receiving.

If you’re getting data, you’ll see something like this:

racecapture_can_logger_receiving_data
In the output window you’ll see the CAN ID in square brackets followed by the data for that CAN message.

If RaceCapture isn’t receiving any data, you’ll see something like this:

racecapture_can_logger_data_timeout

If you were expecting data, there are a few things to check:

  • Check the wiring
  • Check the baud rate
  • Check the CAN termination
  • Check that the other system is actually configured to broadcast CAN data

Further reading

There’s much more information in our CAN bus integration guide.  Also check our our forums for more conversations around mapping and researching CAN data!