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Auto wire: Getting to Understand different types of Auto Wire

About Auto wire, Do you have an interest in automobiles or work in such an industry? If that’s the case, then among other things you need to know, automotive wires are one of them.

But what is an automotive wire? In short, an automotive wire is an elastic wire consisting of stranded conductors and finds heavy usage in plenty of low-voltage automotive systems. 

From this article, you’ll learn more about auto-wire, from the different types of auto-wire available to the types of insulation used in these wires, and how to choose the best electric and auto-wire. 

Table of Contents

Different Types of Auto Wire

Are you aware of the types of automobile wire(s) out there? If not, here are the different types of automobile wire you need to know:

“1015,” “Hook-Up,” or “Motor” Wire

The “1015” “Hook-Up” or “Motor” Wire finds heavy usage for internal automotive wiring. Something ideal about these wires is that they can withstand high voltages of up to 600 volts.

They increasingly find plenty of use in automotive applications since they resist oil, grease, solvents, acids, and fungus

SXL wire

The SXL wire consists of a polythene jacket cross-linked and can withstand abrasion, aging, and heat better than GPT (General Purpose Thermoplastic) wire.

If you are looking for some of the most durable auto wires, the SXL Wire is the best choice. 

A roll of SXL Wire on a white background

(A roll of SXL Wire on a white background) 

Speaker Wire

A paired stranded wire, the primary role of the speaker wire is for audio applications. As the name suggests, this wire transmits sound from a stereo receiver to the speaker(s). These wires are ideal for low-voltage use and never for carrying a load. 

on a black background

(on a black background) 

Battery Cable

Heavy and larger in gauge, these wires connect the battery to the vehicle’s electrical system, primarily the starter and ground. A big disadvantage of battery cables is that they are more prone to corrosion. 

Battery Cable

(Battery Cable)

Trailer Wire

Typically Primary or GPT wire, the Trailer wire is configured and colored for standard trailer applications. If you are keen enough, you’ll notice that most trailers use traditional coloring systems such as Green, Brown, Yellow, and White for some lighting functions. 

A photo of trailer wires on a white background

(A photo of trailer wires on a white background)

Types of Insulation Used in Auto Wire

If you aren’t aware yet, two main categories of auto wire exist – VC and Cross-Linked, with the major difference being the temperature range.

Technicians create the PVC by heating it and extracting it through some die. Here are the main types of PVC wire:

  • GPT Wire – Rated to 80 degrees, GPT finds heavy usage in general circuit automotive wiring. 
  • TWP Wire – Rated to 105 degrees, is a thin-wall, lead-free automotive wire. 
  • HDT Wire – Rated to 80 degrees, HDT is one of the heaviest wall automotive wiring wires. 

Besides PVC, there’s cross-linked insulation achieved by extracting polyethylene under pressure and heat through a tube. The three main types of automotive cross-linked wire are:

  • GXL Wire – Rated to 125 degrees, this thin wall is the most popular type and is used with the most standard connectors. 
  • SXL Wire – This standard wall wire is rated 125 degrees. 
  • TXL Wire – Also rated to 125 degrees, they are an extra thin wall wire ideal for applications that require minimal weight and size. 
A photo of GXL Wire on a clear white background

(A photo of GXL Wire on a clear white background)

Choosing the Right Automotive and Electrical Wire

Choosing the best automotive and electrical wire shouldn’t be a complicated task.

For the right electrical and automotive wire, you must factor in the following important elements:

  • Materials – Aluminum and copper are two common auto-wire materials. While copper is conductive, elastic, and less likely to corrode than aluminum, on the other hand, copper is slightly heavy and prone to changes in price. 
  • Amperage – The total amount of electricity that flows through the wire is the amperage. Overloading a wire isn’t a good idea, and you must ensure you know the current rating of all wires you’re selling in your shop. 
  • Gauge – Are you aware of your automotive wire gauge? You need to note that if a wire’s gauge is low, the thicker the size of the wire. Note that you need a low-gauge wire with a huge electrical current. 
  • Connections – Two main auto wire connections exist – soldered and solderless. For solderless connections, the main requirement is terminals (crimp terminals being the most common) to ensure a connection. The most important to note is that solder is a harmful hot metal. That said, be sure of the best connections to suit your needs. 
  • Wire color – If you intend to make your business entity orderly while ensuring that you make regular construction and repair effortless, you may want a different color for every type of auto wire. That way, you’ll save time running up and down looking for the auto wire you need. 
All kinds of electrical wiring in cars

(All kinds of electrical wiring in cars)

Common Type of Wire Used in Many Automotive Applications

Auto cross-link wire is the most common type in many automotive applications. The other one is the primary automotive wire.

But in under-hood auto wiring applications, especially with those hard-to-fit areas, you may want to consider using General Purpose High-Temperature auto wire

As noted earlier, these wires are highly resistant to grease, oil, moisture, and several other damaging solvents due to their abrasion-resistant design.

Furthermore, this wire works properly with traditional automotive connections and is ideal in engine compartments where excessive high heat resistance is necessary by SAE J1128.

A phone with a general-purpose high-temperature auto wire

(A phone with a general-purpose high-temperature auto wire)

Differences between Welding Cable and Battery Cable

Welding and battery cables differ in some ways, as indicated in the table below. 

Welding Cable Battery Cable 
Designed to connect grounds and welding equipment. These provide many benefits in a battery management system, ensuring there’s power and avoiding battery drain 
.They are high-voltage cables designed for elasticity to ensure technicians don’t carry stiff and heavy cables as they work on them. It’s manufactured using heavy gauge copper. 
Its other benefits include high voltage and flexibility, high-temperature capabilities, and battery cable options. They are mostly insulated using PVC or XPLE. 


Whether you’re looking for an electrical or automotive wire, having the right parts is crucial. Are you seeking the best cables to suit your automotive or electrical needs?

We are here to help you find the right electric cables and wires anytime.  

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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