I was wondering if it is possible to send commands through the OBD-II on my car via an Arduino Uno Rev 3 with a CAN-BUS Shield from SEEDStudio. I am just going for basic functions i.e. lock control, window control, lights nothing really outside of those basic functions. My shield is currently in the mail and I was hoping anyone could shed light as to if this is even possible. My car model is a 2004 Mini Cooper S. Thanks.

  • The question, as-is, is off topic. Yes it is possible to use an Arduino to communicate on a CAN bus via some kind of shield. However, the root of your question is whether or not it can be done for your specific car, which is a question better served by some form of car enthusiast site, perhaps one dedicated to Mini Coopers.
    – Jake C
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 0:29
  • Did you try google? google.com/…. Looks like a "yes". Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


Technically, yes: If you hook up this shield to the car buses through OBD-II, and know which messages to send (e.g., ones that the car will accept and work with), then it will work.

The problem is: There are some "official" messages, basically emission related stuff, that are mandatory on every cars. There are lists of these out there. Unfortunately, most messages are OEM dependent (including those that may control the basic features you mentioned), and they don't want you to mess around this. Said differently: The semantic of CAN frames/messages varies from one car to another.

Being able to send receive CAN frames (which this shield is) is like being able to emit sounds & hear them: Mandatory, if you want to discuss with someone, but useless/not enough if you do not speak the same language.

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