Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Electrical Wires in Your Car

When you purchased your vehicle, you likely had a maintenance contract. You may even be someone who keeps up with your maintenance religiously, taking your vehicle in for oil changes, tire rotations, coolant refills, air and oil filter changes and testing your lights. However, have you ever considered maintenance on your electrical wire connector and wires? If not, you may find that you need to replace your wires at some point.

Gathering Initial Information

Before you start pulling wires, you should gather a few valuable pieces of information. First, you need to know the gauge of each wire you need to replace. You should also find your electrical component amperage. Calculate the length of wire you need to replace your old, damaged wires.

You should also gather the tools necessary to replace your wires efficiently. Pick up wire stripes, a soldering iron and a crimper. Include a test light that allows you to test the circuit and a volt meter to test power, voltage and resistance within your vehicle’s circuits.

If you need to remove any corrosion or contaminants, consider picking up a wire brush. Don’t forget your fuses, relays and circuit breaker. Also, consider your insulation needs. An electrical wire connector kit may have some of these components as well as the connectors you need. Make sure you choose wires that can handle the vibrations of your vehicle.

Identifying, Labeling & Removing Wires

After you turn your car off, disconnect your battery cables, but set aside the wires so they do not touch each other or other metal components. Then, remove the rest of the wires from your battery. To protect yourself, cover the ends with insulating or electrical tape. Then, remove the wiring harness from your vehicle by cutting the wire that connects it to your engine bay.

Next, create a diagram of your wiring harness and installation. Label each circuit and how it gets routed. Then, identify what wires go to the different parts of your engine and components. Remove the wires from your wiring harness.

Connecting and Securing Wires

Search for the products you need, e.g., 13577534, to connect your wires. Then, begin to reattach your wires. Your owner’s manual will be an important tool for this process because you need to attach your wires in a specific order. Follow your diagram and the instructions in your owner’s manual to connect everything properly.

You can use your existing wiring harness if it is in good shape, but you may need to purchase a new one. Make sure your wires fit securely into the grommets. Be patient because this process takes time. Take your time and do it right. Reinstall the wiring harness and reattach the battery wires and cables.

Test Your Wiring

Before you put everything back where it goes, including your trim panels, test your wiring. First, flip on your headlights and look for the lights on your dashboard, especially any warning lights. Turn over the engine and look at your dashboard lights again. If you see any warnings, turn the vehicle off, disconnect the battery and search for any loose or improperly connected wires. Continue testing until all your wiring is correct.

If you have not worked on cars previously, consider getting help with this process, and follow the owner’s manual carefully.


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