Explore some of the best auto wire harness tape alternative from this detailed guide.
Electrical tapes are critical in the auto industry. They shield the high voltage carrying conductors, thus preventing an electrical hazard/accident.
Also, their presence ensures no interferences affect the current carrying cables’ functionality.
But there is an extensive array of wire harness options in the market.
So finding the one that best fits your application may be quite tricky.
This article will help you determine which one suits your application.
Table of Contents
- What Are Some of the Tapes Used in the Automotive Industry?
- Five Alternatives To Electrical Tape
- What If You Have None of The Above Electrical Tape Alternatives?
- Electrical Tape Substitutes You Should Never Use
What Are Some of the Tapes Used in the Automotive Industry?
Below are the main types of tapes in autos wiring systems.
Wire Harness Tape
Wires covered in electrical tape.
It commonly trades as PVC electrical tape. Among its remarkable features is that it’s a general-purpose tape with exquisite durability.
Also, applying it is straightforward as you don’t require any special skill set.
Moreover, with the wire harness tape, you’re guaranteed top-class electrical insulation. Even if you use it in a moisture-prone environment, the tape will wade the condition as it’s waterproof.
Finally, it is resistant to abrasion and is also chemical-exposure-proof. Hence this is the ideal tape for harsh environmental conditions.
Cloth Electrical Tape
A tape reel.
As per its name, the outer cover of this wire is woven cotton cloth. It has a resilient coating hence ideal for use in high-temperature conditions.
Moreover, the tape is renowned for its great flexibility, so you can apply it in tight settings.
Again, this type is abrasion and heat-proof, like the wire harness tape.
Silicone Amalgamation Tape
It is the go-to type of tape for protecting electrical parts in engine compartments.
Primarily, it has excellent moisture and heat resistance properties. Its other key feature is that the tape barely corrodes on chemical exposure.
Quality polyimide tapes.
So resilient is this tape that it’s the most ideal for covering components in the hottest auto parts.
Therefore, it’ll perfectly cover the nears near the exhaust systems and car engine.
Rubber Mastic Tape
A rubber mastic tape roll.
If you have an electrical connection that you’d like to shield from moisture, this is the go-to type of tape. Its other main property is its great flexibility. So you can wrap it even around parts that are in tight spaces.
Five Alternatives To Electrical Tape
You may not always have electrical tape to cover your wires. But if you find yourself in such a scenario, don’t fret; they are other like-for-like alternatives.
Auto Wire Harness Tape Alternative: Heat Shrink Tubing
Wires covered in heat shrink tubing.
It’s a thermoplastic cover that is straightforward to apply and forms high-quality insulation.
All you need is the material and a heat source as a heat gun. Alternatively, you can use a hair dryer as the heat source, although this one will be slower.
Why use heat shrink tubing? Its standout feature is its abrasion resistance.
Also, it’s ideal for covering bare wires used in environments with temperature fluctuations.
The simplistic application of heat shrink tubing means anyone can apply it.
Hence, it’s a popular option for those looking to organize wires that would otherwise be lying around in a mess.
Auto Wire Harness Tape Alternative: Cold Shrink Tubing
It works similarly to the heat shrink tubing, but there’s no heat used in this case.
It is highly advantageous in situations where heat can have catastrophic effects.
Nonetheless, heat shrink tubing forms a better cover than cold shrink tubing.
Auto Wire Harness Tape Alternative: Wire Connectors
These are arguably the best alternative to electrical tapes because of their reusability. Their other remarkable features include:
- They are available in different colors, which helps you color code and thus helps identify the wires they’re carrying.
- Also, they have a UL certification. Hence, they’ve undergone rigorous tests and passed fit for covering current conductors.
- Finally, they provide an excellent secure connection. Disassembling them is also a breeze, and you can reuse them repeatedly. It will save you a lot of money.
Liquid Electrical Tape
It’s a versatile tape useful in coating electrical cables and sealing crevices.
The tape is a flowing liquid that you apply onto the wires you want to cover. Its fluid nature means it can enter into points no other tapes can work.
Also, it builds a shield against corrosion in wires as once it dries, the corrosion key elements cannot enter.
You probably know the typical tape tennis players apply to enhance grip on the racket. It is the friction tape.
Although it is not so popular today in electrical works, it was essential at some point.
Due to its excellent insulating features, it is a perfect fit for covering electrical wires.
Its outer layer is rubber-like, which makes the tape quite abrasion resistant.
But it cannot withstand very high temperatures; hence, it’s not ideal for coating wires near the engine.
Still, it’s a great electrical wire alternative in typical applications.
What If You Have None of The Above Electrical Tape Alternatives?
All-purpose duct tape.
If you don’t have electrical tape, duct tape is a great stand-in alternative because it guarantees insulation.
Further, duct tape doesn’t conduct electricity, forming a proper shield like the best electrical tape.
Duct tape is also excellent in its makeup, arguably because of its cotton fabric.
Hence, it’s ideal for shielding electrical wires from corrosion.
Although you may use it in power lines, it’s not an electrical-rated tape.
Therefore, knowing the top voltage that it can withstand is quite a challenge.
So ideally, use duct tape for low voltage applications and when it’s the last resort.
Sports Friction Tape
Again, this is not rated for use in electrical insulations. But it is one of the options you’ve got up your sleeve on a rainy day when you can’t find the above alternatives.
So ensure you replace it with quality electrical tape when you’re out of your fix.
Lastly, you can use flex paint for the short-term fix. But after application, allow it to dry.
Electrical Tape Substitutes You Should Never Use
Having covered the handy alternatives to electrical tapes, you’re probably wondering what not to use.
You may be tempted to apply foil tape owing to its moisture and flame resistance features.
Nonetheless, refrain from using it as its base material is a conducting aluminum foil.
Hence, it will conduct electricity when used as a cover and can lead to electrical shorts.
Typical Scotch tape rolls.
The adhesive backing of scotch tape is something to behold. This feature may encourage you to use it as an electrical tape alternative.
But avoid it at all costs primarily because it’s poor in electrical insulation.
It is another tape similar to scotch tape, renowned for its versatility and ease of removal.
But it is only important for general household applications rather than electrical work.
It also doesn’t have the ideal electrical insulation features synonymous with quality electrical tapes.
There you go with the best electrical tape alternatives. One theme that’s all too familiar in all the options is that they have excellent electrical insulation.
Also, they are resistant to high temperatures and can withstand abrasion.
But we’ve also covered tapes with similar features but without an electrical rating. Refrain from using these unless you’ve run out of options.
Also, only use them in the short term and replace them immediately if you find a quality alternative.