There is a lot of different automotive wiring in today’s automobiles despite the talk of changing over to fiber-optic networks.
Automotive wiring explained
Electrical wires are used to conduct electricity to operate the electrical and electronic devices in vehicles. There are two basic types of wires used.
The solid strand wire or single-strand conductor is like what you would see in houses. Stranded wires that are made up of a number of small solid wires twisted together to form single conductors. Stranded wires are most commonly used in automobiles. Electronics such as computers use specially shielded twisted cable for protection from unwanted induced magnetic field voltages that can interfere with computer functions.
The wire length and thickness or gauge size determine the current carrying capacity and the amount of voltage drop in an electrical wire. Standardized wiring sizes were established by the Society of automotive engineers.
AWG stands for American Wire Gauge. A numbering system ranging from zero to 20 with zero being the largest and the number 20 being the smallest thickness of wire identify sizes.
Most automotive wiring ranges from #10 to #18 gauge. Battery cables on the other hand would be about a standard #4 gauge wire. This is due to the battery cables, main function of carrying the high currents for the starter motor and charging system.
Auto electric wiring can also be classified as primary or secondary. The primary wiring carries low voltage to all of the electrical systems of the vehicle. The secondary wiring also called high-tension cable has extra thick insulation to carry high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plugs. This insulation reduces the magnetic flux field created from the high voltage.
When spark plug wires wear down the magnetic fields can affect other areas of the car. Sometimes the first system to be affected is the audio system. Ignition interference can often be heard through the speakers.
Standard electrical wires
With all of this wiring running through the vehicle a way of organizing was necessary. Harness and it’s connectors help divide the vehicles electrical system and provide a convenient starting point for tracking and testing many circuits.
Many harness connectors are located in the dash or firewall area. As the number of electrical and electronic devices installed in today’s vehicle increases so does the need for more wiring to support the devices.
More wiring leads to more weight and also more potential that problems will develop as the vehicle ages. This is why the near future of the automobile will lie in multiplex systems that share wires to communicate with separate systems. This is already being used in limited fashion.
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Reference from YouFixCars.com Retrieved from http://www.youfixcars.com/automotive-wiring.html