Looking at Your Car’s Wiring

Hello and welcome back to our series on automotive tools and how to guides for the new weekend warrior auto mechanic. This isn’t meant for the professional, but rather the average Joe who is looking to get his hands a little dirty on the weekends. In the past, we have covered a lot of tools but in today’s article I’m going to cover a brief explanation on how to look at your car’s wiring. Over time, the plastic or nylon insulation that covers your car’s wiring can crack. This leads to possible electrical shorts and other general chaos.

Of all things, electrical issues plague auto mechanics far more than other problems because of how hard they are to find and track down. In addition, intermittent shorts cause conditions where it’s hard for you to duplicate the problem to find the fix the cause. That’s why it’s best to make sure that you take a peek around each time you are under your hood. Until you have become a true Jedi Master for car wiring, I do suggest that you have a professional do any re-wiring or re-running of wires as it can become a real nightmare if you aren’t careful. Even just one incorrectly connected wire can cause the car not to run, or worse, cause catastrophic damage to the engine or the car’s electronic control unit.

If you do decide to go at it on your own, take this one piece of advice with you. Clearly mark where each wire came from and where it goes. In addition, when I’m doing this type of work, I make a journal of the wire colors and how many pins the connectors had. However, I would once again caution you to have a profession do any rewiring. However, at least you now know how to stop a potential problem before it becomes series.