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King of Smart Gadgetry
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I have begun to research my Torque App. JWight is right , to buy the Pro version of this software is only $4.99. I thought I got such a great deal on my Atoto Android radio because it came with that software already installed! But anyway Researching the App invariably brings up the issue of needing an Elm327 compatible dongle to plug into your ODBII port so that the Android radio can communicate with your car's computer, in our case CANBUS to the ECU is a more accurate description. Well I mentioned in another post that Max is parked inside the garage which is the basement area of my house. So my laptop, phone and tablet all pick up the bluetooth signal from the Elm327 dongle. It is a cheapie one from Ebay that I think may have cost me $4.99. But almost all the dongles use "0000" to connect to bluetooth to communicate from your car's CANBUS to your Andriod device(s) of choice.
Well one review of the Torque App brought up an interesting situation that I don't know the answer to. It stated that most bluetooth ELM327 compatible dongles have no built in security. So as a scenario they stated you could be parked in a parking lot or pull up to a stop light and someone could connect to your dongle using "0000" and monitor your CANBUS. Well I suppose reading your info wouldn't neccessarily be a problem, but I'm not sure the limitation on the capabilities of the dongle. Could someone tamper with or alter your vehicle with access, or even shut your engine down as you sit at the light? Or maybe even disable the engine to the point that it wouldn't start when you get in to leave?
The Fortwo has a pretty much plastic body that doesn't impede the Elm327 signal the way a metal automobile would. Range is very good. I can pick up my dongle well over 30 feet away. The ODBII is powered all the time, it doesn't shut off with the vehicle. I don't want to have to unplug the dongle everytime I exit the vehicle as over time it would really wear the ODBII connector, and the radio would constantly be having to reconnect to the dongle, which isn't a problem, the phone connects to the radio bluetooth everytime I enter the car and disconnects as soon as I am out of range. If the dongle doesn't have sufficient privileges on the bus to change settings then all is probably okay. Alot of it is read only and such privileges as reseting codes are standard to the dongles, but not sure what else they can do with a crafty user. DCO
 

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I’m not so sure on our smarts, but on something more computer controlled like a BMW or Tesla which can self drive it might cause harm.


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CANBus connection

So I just happen to have received one of those PX3 type Android head units that I'm going to install in the car. It also comes with Torque and I've seen the whole ELM327 link possibilities. I think I may have one lurking in our Mazda...

However, I did notice on the head unit's main connector that there are CANbus+ and CANbus-. There are also factory control settings and profiles for various vehicles, including Benz(Smart).

Anyone know if those would work? Hard wiring the canbus connection would avoid the security issues but I've only ever heard of folks using the ELM units to monitor things.
 

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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #4
Blaine I had the same conversation with the Atoto (Android radio) tech about wiring in to the CanBus. The tech told me the Canbus + and - are provided to allow a brand specific adapter to be connected to allow the radio to be controlled by the steering wheel buttons. That means volume up and down etc,... I was really curious about it because I had installed a Android radio in my brother inlaws Jeep Commander. It uses CanBus and has some sort of adapter labelled as Canbus already. As I understand it, as cars because more sohpisticated in safety, climate controls and power window/door lock controls etc,...Android radios will supposedly become more sophisticated and through Android specific Apps the driver could install programs to give additional controls to CanBus controlled items. The reason is less wires in a vehicle. The advantages is like you could hit your remote start to go to work in the morning, you car will preheat the cabin, adjust your seat, brake and gas pedals and tune to radio to your favorite station at your preselected volume. You could also add in turning on your eletric seats if the car senses outside temperature is below 4o degrees. If your wife started the car with her remote it would default to her favorite settings. But just hooking in those wires can cause all kinds of CanBus errors and problems without the proper adapters. Since the Fortwo doesn't have any radio buttons on the steering wheel I just opted to buy the bluetooth steering wheel controller. It's not an optimal solution, but it does work.DCO
 

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DCO,

Thanks for the info regarding your Atoto.

So CANbus as I understand it, is a multi-master network within the car. I've accessed it from the OBD port on the smart using a ED_BMSdiag program with an adapter I assembled. Odyssey's software is able to read the 451 ED battery status. This also works while the car is in motion. I don't really need most (all?) of the stuff from Torque because its not there on an EV.

I would assume that if the head unit CANbus connections are properly terminated then software in the head unit should be able to read stuff off the bus. Which i'd love to see, but its not doubt a huge amount of software work.

On the unit I have there are connections for Key1, Key2 and Gnd in addition to the CANbus leads. My understanding from the unit provider and some reading is that these read the steering controls by determining a resistance change based on the button pressed. It is of course different by vehicle, so adapters are frequently required.

However, I could see vendors making the key state available from a microcontroller that reads the keys and emits some kind of codes onto the CANbus.

I may fish some leads from those connectors down to where the OBD port is so that I can experiment without taking the radio in and out.
 

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These dongles are not the most secure things in the world. Thankfully, hacking a car takes a wealth of programming knowledge and/or extreme patience. Since smarts aren’t desirable in America, I doubt anyone is going to take the time to hack the CANBUS.

Regardless, the majority of car hacking to date has been more annoyances (like changing temperature on the heater, blowing the horn, or turning on the wipers) than catastrophic. I think you’re relatively safe using your dongle. :)
 

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These dongles are not the most secure things in the world. Thankfully, hacking a car takes a wealth of programming knowledge and/or extreme patience. Since smarts aren’t desirable in America, I doubt anyone is going to take the time to hack the CANBUS.

Regardless, the majority of car hacking to date has been more annoyances (like changing temperature on the heater, blowing the horn, or turning on the wipers) than catastrophic. I think you’re relatively safe using your dongle. :)
'Since smarts aren’t desirable in America.' :eek: Bite your tongue


:D
 

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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #8
DCO,

Thanks for the info regarding your Atoto.

So CANbus as I understand it, is a multi-master network within the car. I've accessed it from the OBD port on the smart using a ED_BMSdiag program with an adapter I assembled. Odyssey's software is able to read the 451 ED battery status. This also works while the car is in motion. I don't really need most (all?) of the stuff from Torque because its not there on an EV.

I would assume that if the head unit CANbus connections are properly terminated then software in the head unit should be able to read stuff off the bus. Which i'd love to see, but its not doubt a huge amount of software work.

On the unit I have there are connections for Key1, Key2 and Gnd in addition to the CANbus leads. My understanding from the unit provider and some reading is that these read the steering controls by determining a resistance change based on the button pressed. It is of course different by vehicle, so adapters are frequently required.

However, I could see vendors making the key state available from a microcontroller that reads the keys and emits some kind of codes onto the CANbus.

I may fish some leads from those connectors down to where the OBD port is so that I can experiment without taking the radio in and out.
Yes the Smart uses a similar setup on the shift paddles. Both shift paddles and the horn all use the same circuit. The difference is in the resistance depending on which button is pressed. There are also posts concerning having factory cruise control as opposed shift paddles. European Smarts get both, but we don't. The reason is that the US has 8 airbags and that used up the "channels" that could have been used for shift paddles AND Cruise buttons. The European version had less airbags.
Blaine please use caution when trying to insert connections into the ODBII connector because it is a low voltage connector and it is very easy to do costly expensive damage to the CANBUS system. Because the CANBUS is set up in layers like computer networks, only certain functions are available by default to be accessed at the ODBII connector. Also there is a very limited number of addresses that the system can allow for add ons. That is if I understand it correctly. My reading and understanding of CANBUS is an on going thing. Lol. DCO
 

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Discussion Starter #9
These dongles are not the most secure things in the world. Thankfully, hacking a car takes a wealth of programming knowledge and/or extreme patience. Since smarts aren’t desirable in America, I doubt anyone is going to take the time to hack the CANBUS.

Regardless, the majority of car hacking to date has been more annoyances (like changing temperature on the heater, blowing the horn, or turning on the wipers) than catastrophic. I think you’re relatively safe using your dongle. :)
That's true Miss Mercedes. I do enjoy sitting in my living room and accessing the ELM327 with my laptop and reading battery voltage on the Smart that is setting in the garage dormant on a battery tender. I guess I just need a life. But there isn't enough Fortwos around to bother to hack them unless you are in Seattle or San Francisco. Lol DCO.
 

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DCO, I don't know about there being that many smart cars in the Seattle area. Since we got ours this past June, I think I have only seen a small handful out on the roads, certainly less than 20 different ones. I do see the same ones fairly regularly though.

It is kind of cool driving around such a unique car. I always notice other drivers looking, or maybe it's just a stare down because they are larger.

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes back last summer I saw a few 451's running around Parkersburg, one was even towing a small trailer as it was leaving the Rural King Parking lot, but most of thise have disappeared. I have saw 2 453's, one going the other direction on I-77 down at Charleston and the other I saw a week ago being towed behind a motorhome from another state.

I would have not guessed back in 2015 when I bought Max that they would pull the plug so soon. Didn't investigate the Smart ahead of buying mine. I had wanted one for several years and when the wife spotted Max on a used car lot in Parkersburg, the next morning we owned it because we just knew there wouldn't be many more around here.

I have gone from driving my rare novelty car to worrying how long I will be able to replace parts on him. I guess AMC, Hudson and Studebaker owners all wondered the same thing. I gotta keep this little beast running for quite a few years yet if I'm gonna be buried in it. Hey it's a smaller hole to dig than for a full sized vault. Hey wait a minute, there may not be room to bury me inside it if I'm standing up when I kick the bucket and rigormortise sets in. DCO
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I always notice another Smart Car. As we pass we usually both wave. They toot their horn "beep" "beep", and then I hit my air horns "honk" "honk". I need one of those locomotive train horns that Jetfuel was telling me about at last years April Fools Rally. Seems someone towed a tiny trailer behind their Smart and mounted a locomotive train horn under the trailer. It was EXTREMELY loud and it found it's way to some large Smart Car event and posted FEAR in many people. I guess many were cleaning out their underpants. Ha ha. Maybe Jetfuel, Jwight could relate the story again. DCO
 

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The difference with the smart is that Daimler will still be a functioning company and parts will be available for many years into the future. The other companies you mentioned either went out of business or were bought out.
 

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Seeing that all these OBD2 dongles can access the guts of our little babies. I'm more concerned about them tampering (not with bad intentions) with the car's electronics, compromising safety. Is it possible that a fawlty device could, for example, desactivate an airbag, block the ABS, play with the stability control, disable the wiper, modify any electronics controling the engine, cooling... or whatever the car is doing.
Tell me I'm being over-paranoid! :)
 

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Is it possible that a fawlty device could, for example, desactivate an airbag, block the ABS, play with the stability control, disable the wiper, modify any electronics controling the engine, cooling... or whatever the car is doing.
Tell me I'm being over-paranoid! :)
You are being overly paranoid.

A faulty device might damage CANBus connected controllers in the car. But so could a faulty diagnostic tool at a service center.

It is highly unlikely that an OBD device that was faulty would generate perfectly formatted commands on the system bus that would cause system components to self destruct.
 

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You are being overly paranoid.

A faulty device might damage CANBus connected controllers in the car. But so could a faulty diagnostic tool at a service center.

It is highly unlikely that an OBD device that was faulty would generate perfectly formatted commands on the system bus that would cause system components to self destruct.
Oh, thank you for easing my mind!
I was really worried. Only thinking about having a 3$ dongle in the car like having a parasite or something that destroys it from within (and then I crash and not even the seatbelt or the tridion cell were there anymore! haha).
 
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