Unknown by many owners, their car carries countless potential fire hazards. Finding them, however, is like looking for a needle in a haystack. That's because these hazards come in the form of loose or unprotected wiring.A car's body wiring harness isn't made to last for a lifetime. Once the harness stops holding wires together, the wires are left just lying around your car's engine bay. The problem worsens when the rubber insulators covering each wire are cracked and worn through.With exposed metal wiring in the engine bay, the risk of shorted circuits and current arcing is increased. It's especially dangerous if broken wires happen to be near your car's fuel delivery lines. The best way to fire-proof your car is to check its body wiring harness and replace it when necessary.Finding a replacement is easy here at Carparts.
• Heavy-duty insulation protects against breakage
• Durable terminals and sockets last longer than stock
• Keeps your car's wiring organized and easy to locate
Things to Consider when Choosing a Body Wiring Harness
The combustion process is not your vehicle's only source of power. For the various electrical components to work, you need an unrestricted supply of electricity in your vehicle. This is where the body wiring harness comes in. Basically, it's an assembly of wires that transfers electricity to the different electric devices in your car, including your headlights, stereo, and power windows. If one or more of these components fail to work, it's probably because your body wiring harness is already worn out. Now, choosing the right harness is the tricky part. But don't worry-we're here to help you out. We've listed a few tips so that you can choose the best body wiring harness for your vehicle.
What to look for in a body wiring harness?
Try opening your dash, and you'll see lots of wires all jumbled together that it's extremely difficult to figure out what each wire is for. Since you can't use a multi-meter to test all wires, you just have to rely on the right type of body wiring harness to ensure the electricity flows properly. There are two types to choose from-basic and specialty body wiring harnesses. If you don't have advanced electrical systems installed, then we recommend choosing the basic body wiring harness. It offers a quick, hassle-free installation because you can simply connect it to your vehicle's factory plug. If you're planning to install a new aftermarket radio, you can just wire up the device without cutting off the wiring harness. Because of its basic design, this type works well for almost all vehicle models. The specialty body wiring harness, on the other hand, is used for vehicles with complex electrical systems, including factory amplifiers, special sound assemblies, and warning chimes. This harness comes with accessory power wires that can provide the required voltage for aftermarket electrical units. It can also automatically detect and digitally switch on factory amplified systems. If you want to go beyond the basics and install special electrical components, then we suggest getting a specialty body wiring harness that's specifically made for your vehicle.
Make sure you get a body wiring harness with color-coded wires for easier installation. Most harnesses come with colored wires, and it's just a matter of determining the specific function of each wire to ensure proper connection. You also need to look for a body wiring harness with additional safety features such as circuit protection, smart switches, terminals, and converters.
What is the cost of a body wiring harness?
Basic body wiring harnesses are extremely cheap and costs less than $40. If you want to use your vehicle's advanced electrical systems, then be prepared to pay at least $90 for a specialty body wiring harness. To save more money, install the wiring harness yourself. You can do this by simply following the diagram and manual included in the wiring harness package so that you can properly connect each wire to the specific device.
Wire It Up: Replacing the Body Wiring Harness
The body wiring harness is basically the king of all wiring connections in your vehicle because virtually all your electrical components are connected to it for unrestricted power supply. When your headlights start flickering and your windows stop locking, there's probably something wrong with the wires and connectors attached to the harness. If there's a burned wire or a busted connector, you need to replace the wiring harness right away before it deals extensive electrical damage to your vehicle. Replacing the body wiring harness can be a bit challenging, but you can get the job done in just a few hours. Here are the tools you need and the steps to follow in replacing a damaged body wiring harness:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools that you'll need:
- Masking tape
- 1/4-inch socket set
- Jack and jack stands
- Screwdriver set
Step 1: Label the wire connections using a masking tape. If the wire colors are faded, consult a shop manual to get a clear picture of the engine wiring diagram. Study the color coding scheme for future reference. If necessary, take several photos of the existing wire connections and routing.
Step 2: Disconnect the battery and remove it from your vehicle. Using a socket wrench, disengage the terminal clamps and take off the hold-down brackets securing the battery. Make sure you remove the negative terminals first before the positive.
Step 3: Remove the main connection of the body wiring harness. This is usually located on the firewall at the point where the harness disappears inside the engine and connects to the computer. Next, take off all clips and retainers securing the harness using a small screwdriver and socket wrench. Detach the alternator and starter wiring as well. Work your way around the individual engine connections.
Step 4: Jack up your vehicle and lower it on the jack stands. Disengage all wiring connections under your engine and remove them.
Step 5: You can now install a new body wiring harness. If necessary, label the new connections to avoid confusion. You need to sort through the tangled wires first before routing and installing them. Once you're done sorting, install the new harness to your engine. Route the wires away from hot exhaust pipes and other moving engine parts to prevent damage. Reconnect your battery and run the engine to ensure proper operation of the new body wiring harness.