Wire shorts on an in-vehicle controller area network (CAN) impact the communication between electrical control units (ECUs), and negatively affects the vehicle control. The fault, especially the intermittent fault, is difficult to locate. In this paper, an equivalent circuit model for in-vehicle CAN bus is developed under the wire short fault scenario. The bus resistance is estimated and a resistance-distance mapping approach is proposed to locate the fault. The proposed approach is implemented in an Arduino-based embedded system and validated on a vehicle frame. The experimental results are promising. The approach presented in this paper may reduce trouble shooting time for CAN wire short faults and may enable early detection before the customer is inconvenienced.