A quick look under the hood or behind the dash can quickly overwhelm anyone not familiar with a cars wiring system. The wiring system in vehicles has continually become more complex and understanding is essential to diagnosing problems and repairing cars. While the details vary from one manufacturer to the next, there are three key components of a cars wiring system everyone should understand.
The first component is the wiring itself. The purpose of the wiring is to distribute power from the battery to devices located throughout the vehicle. As a result, there are a variety of different types of wires ranging from those which carry almost no current to those that provide the power required by electric motors. Every wire has four properties which affect how much current it can carry. They are the length, composition, gauge, and bundling.
Every type of wire has a specific amount of resistance per foot, which means the longer the wire, the more power it can carry. A majority of wires are composed of fine copper strands. The finer the strands, the more current it can carry. The gauge or size also determines how much resistance there is. Bundling allows wires to dissipate heat in order to carry more current without the threat of melting.
The second component is the fuses. They protect the wiring and often connect it to different types of car connectors. Most cars have fuse panels which houses the fuses for all of the major devices such as cooling fans and the engine control unit. Most fuses have two blade connectors made of a metal with a lower melting point than the wiring.
The car connectors should be considered the most critical element in today’s vehicles. Without functioning car connectors, it is nearly impossible to service a vehicle. A car connector is a component of the car which wires pass through. It can be removed in order to make repairs to wires. A single car connector often houses more than 100 wires.
Some of the most commonly used car connectors include hsg connectors, fuse connectors, and plug connectors although there are a variety of other car connectors as well. Connectors must be waterproof and corrosion proof in order to provide good electrical contact throughout the life of the vehicle.
Cars now have thousands of circuits which rely on all three components in order to operate efficiently and reliably. While every component has a variety of individual characteristics based upon its specific purpose, they can all be classified as wiring, fuses, or car connectors.