In the 1980s, the automobile industry introduced electronic fuel injection into modern vehicle designs. Suddenly cars started coming with miles of insulated copper veins under the hood. For many, this change was met with revulsion and confusion as the electrical wire harness found under the hood seems complicated and esoteric. In truth, wiring or re-wiring a car, or installing a new harness, requires very little talent, knowledge or advanced training.

The wire harness is to your vehicle’s electrical system, as your blood vessels are to your body. They carry electricity component to component to make sure that everything runs properly. However, wire harnessing can vary greatly in design in order to accommodate a number of different purposes. This guide will help you understand the elements and functions of your car or truck’s engine wire harnesses.

The Heart of the System

Carrying the blood-electricity analogy a step further, your car’s electrical system’s heart is your battery. The battery supplies all of the power to keep the entire electrical system running, with the assistance of the alternator which ensures that the battery maintains its power. The initial portion of your engine wire harness carries electricity from the battery t the fuse box where it is further distributed.

The Fuse Box

As you know, electricity travels in a current. The purpose of the fuse box is to stop the electrical current if it becomes to strong, thereby avoiding an electrical fire. The wire harness carries the current from the engine back to the fuse box, usually found under the driver’s side dashboard. When power reaches the fuse box, it is then redirected to the various different electrical components of your car, including back to the engine, to the overhead light, to your instrument panel and to hundreds of other vital components.

Understanding Your Electrical System

The key to installing, troubleshooting, and repairing your own electrical system is simply making sure you have the right information and steps, and paying very close attention to detail through every step of the process. At a minimum, you should use a shop manual for your vehicle to analyze the engine wiring diagram and try to identify the wires by color under the hood. Unfortunately, the colors of the wire insulation may fade over time, so if your car is older, this task may be made more difficult.

Avoid Making Mistakes

After studying the electrical system and identifying the various wires and cables, it may be helpful to take extensive photographs of all of the current wiring harnesses. The more detail you can capture as to the way the wires are routed and connected, the more likely you are to avoid mistakes by referring to these photographs on the re-install. You may even choose to label each of the wires with a small piece of masking tape for quick identification.

Important Safety Precautions

Before performing any work on your vehicle always be sure to disconnect and ideally, remove the battery from the vehicle. You should be able to take off the negative, then positive terminal clamps with a socket wrench, and then set the battery somewhere cool, out of the sun, and away from your work space.

If your thing is customizing every inch of your vehicle, then you can order an electrical wire harness custom designed for your vehicle in terms of color, pattern, and quality from LoDan Electronics today.