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HomeTips & GuidesAuto Electrical Terminal Block: Types and Auto Terminal Block Applications

Auto Electrical Terminal Block: Types and Auto Terminal Block Applications

Auto electrical terminal block play a cardinal role they play in auto circuitry. So what exactly are they, and what makes them so important? 

We’ll cover types of terminal blocks and what to consider when choosing the right type for your auto. Take a look. 

What is an Auto Terminal Block?

It’s an insulated module that is handy for terminating a single pole wire and facilitating connection to other circuit parts. 

In addition, they come in different ratings and unique designs. They facilitate easy circuit repair and part replacement in a circuit because they are easy to disassemble. 

Types of Auto Terminal Blocks

A Terminal Block. 

A Terminal Block. 

Screw Terminals

They have a screw hole, whereby you run the screw that holds the wire in place. Often, they use flat-head screws, and such terminals are synonymous with moderate/low current applications. 

The screw joint is remarkably firm despite having no solder making it a dependable auto terminal that can withstand the car’s vibrations. However, beware of applying excess pressure on the screw, as it will destroy your wire and damage the screw hold.   

Push-fit Terminals

Spring Type Terminal Block. 

Spring Type Terminal Block. 

It entails pushing the wire inside, and that’s all. The wire cannot come out because the terminal block has a spring lever allowing wire entry in one direction. In addition, removing the wire is impossible because of the one-way lever. 

The push-fit is a better alternative to the screw terminal as you cannot overtighten the terminal. Unfortunately, Its apparent downside makes it unsuitable for semi-permanent joints. 

Barrier Terminals

They are modified screw terminals that ensure better convenience than the conventional screw terminals. One of their standout features is the small lids that add an extra layer of insulation/cover. 

Moreover, they are unique for their multiple termination points, thus making it easy to disengage cables.  They’re simply sophisticated screw terminals, and this makes them ideal for high-voltage wiring where arcing is possible. 

Also, the extra insulation is ideal for curtailing shortcircuiting, which can be fatal in high-voltage circuits. 

Pluggable Terminals

Different type DIN rail terminal block for electrical connector. 

Different type DIN rail terminal block for electrical connector. 

They are similar in makeup to the push-fit terminals but have a pluggable output, allowing easy plugging. 

Therefore, they’re the ideal terminal for hot-swap connections or simply want a connector that allows easy servicing. 

We have the above terminal blocks, each with its fair share of features. But the most common one you’ll encounter is the screw terminal as it’s low cost. It is easy to use, making it a worthwhile option, and its connection is firm. 

Other common types include the following: 

  • PCB Mount
  • DIN Rail Terminal Block/Feed-Through
  • Barrier Strips

Electrical Considerations When Choosing Auto Terminal Blocks

Terminal Block Icon. 

Terminal Block Icon. 

Current Rating/Requirement

The terminals in a given terminal block have a conductivity threshold and matching cross-sectional area. Therefore, pushing more current than the threshold can overheat them and destroy them. 

Therefore, we recommend always considering the terminal’s current rating when making connections. The rule of thumb is that the terminal must handle at least 50% more than the expected current. 

Voltage Rating/Requirement

A voltmeter. 

A voltmeter. 

You must also consider the dielectric strength of the terminal block’s housing, as it’s a primary determinant of the voltage rating. Note that passing excess voltage voltage will destroy the auto terminal block. The result would be a voltage leak between the terminal blocks. 

Therefore, we recommend passing a voltage lower than the terminal’s rating. However, unlike the current rating, this is not a significantly important consideration in car circuits. Voltage becomes a significant issue when it’s above 100V. 

All in all, to be on the safe side, operating below the rating is essential. 

Pole Count

How many wires do you have in your circuit? In the terminal block’s context, refer to wires as poles, which means the number of your wires is the total pole count. You should choose a terminal block that matches the number of your poles. 

Wire Types

Multiple Core Wires. 

Multiple Core Wires. 

Does your wire fit into the terminal block you’re using? You must consider this because it also affects the type of terminal you’ll use. For instance, you cannot use a single core wire in a screw terminal. The ideal type for the terminal is a push-fit terminal. 

But for multiple core cables, the screw terminal will make the best joint. Therefore, beware of these differences.  

Environment of Use

Military Cars Convoy. 

Military Cars Convoy. 

Don’t ignore the operation environment when choosing a terminal block; there’s no one type-fits-all. Some do great in a high-voltage circuit, but that doesn’t mean they are ideal for militaryware. 

Moreover, not all wire terminal types are suitable for environments with vibrations, such as the car hood. 

Wrap-Up

Terminal blocks are an irreplaceable electrical component in a car’s wiring work. Thanks to their primary role, they make connections blissful and make it easy to conduct repair work and inspection. 

Hence, if you’re a DIY wiring assembly hobbyist looking to wire your car’s system, you must choose the right type.

I am Lillian Yang, having been a sales manager for over 10 years.

I have received many positive reviews from customers. They have praised our excellent service, on-time delivery, and high-quality cable assemblies.

For your projects, please provide cable assembly files/images/smples, etc., so that I can send you a quotation within 24 hours.

Contact me now and let’s get started on building your wire harnesses!

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