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HomeTips & GuidesAutomotive Electrical Connector Kit – How to Choose and Relace Your Car Connectors

Automotive Electrical Connector Kit – How to Choose and Relace Your Car Connectors

About the Automotive Electrical Connector Kit: Did you know your car uses various electrical systems to control your wheels, brakes, engines, and all other functions?

Yes, these electronics connect via a wiring harness to ensure your car functions as intended while providing safety and comfort.

Interestingly, for these systems to connect, you will need various types of automotive connectors. Join me as we dissect the automotive electrical connector kit topic to help you choose the right connector for your car.

What Is an Automotive Electrical Connector?

As I have hinted above, automotive electrical connectors are simply designed fitting to connect one system to the other. Their main purpose is the create a bridge that facilitates communication between your car’s electronic systems and circuits.

Doing so ensures information and commands flow from one system to the other to ensure the execution of the intended function. Apart from communication, connectors also ensure current flows to power the devices needing power.

Finally, your car connectors also hold the connected harness securely in place to prevent function disruptions.

Types of Automotive Electrical Connectors

You can expect your car to have hundreds of connectors depending on the make and model. All these connectors vary in size and shape, which helps you customize them for specific uses. With that said, let’s see a few examples of automotive electrical connectors.

You can classify automotive electrical connectors based on the following aspects,

  • Electrical functions include the car computer, temperature sensors, audio, AC harness, and lamp holder connectors.
  • Then you have installation location connector classification such as safety, engine, chassis, instrument panel, and other system connectors.
  • Another aspect is connection structure like wire to wire, board to board, wire to board FPC (flexible circuit board)
  • From there, you can have classification based on the size and shape e.g., rectangular, square, circle, small, medium, and big connectors.
  • Then there is the specification classification like normal, coaxial, sealed, and unsealed connectors.
  • Finally, you may have functioning frequencies such as low-frequency and high-frequency connectors.

Note that several other types of connectors depending on your car model and the features present. For example, some cars will have RF connectors, optical fiber connectors, printed circuit connectors, and many others.

Several types of connectors

Several types of connectors

How to Choose the Right Electrical Connectors

As you know, at some point, you have to choose the right connector for functionality and longevity. When that time comes, I recommend you follow the aspects below to ensure a reliable connection:

Signal type and frequency

First, you must ensure the connector you choose can support the frequency of your connection. While here, also ensure you know if you’re using analog, digit signal, or a combination of both for better results. Knowing these aspects ensures you choose the correct pinout, connector gauge, and insulation.

You should note that connectors for high-frequency data have thick insulation compared to others.

Operating voltage

As you may know, if you exceed the rating of your connector, it will likely melt. For this reason, ensure you go for a connector that can withstand the terminal’s current rating.

Most of these connectors have their rating inscribed on them, but you can also check the quality or insulation. Here is also where you check the connector pin construction to ensure it can pass the current you want successfully.

Working environment

Your car typically has different environments, some of which are prone to heat, vibrations, and other abuses. When selecting connectors, the environment comes into play for durability and short-circuit prevention.

For instance, you may go for shock- and vibration-resistant connectors that can withstand heat, especially near the engine. While here, you might also want to check environmental sealing factors such as dust-proof and splash-proof (IP rating).

Construction

Here, connectors are made from brass, bronze, copper, and aluminum, while others have some kind of plating.

All these materials have different durability and conductivity, which in turn affect the performance of your connectors. For example, copper has a higher conductivity than aluminum, but aluminum is lightweight.

The connector material you choose must be corrosion-resistant and flame-resistant, depending on the usage location. While on the construction, also check to ensure the insulating material can withstand the conditions of the installation environment.

Budget

Last, consider the cost of the electrical connector you want to buy. As you may know, some are expensive, while others are cheap, depending on usage and connection sophistication.

Here, I recommend finding a balance between durability, functionality, and price. Note that if you buy very cheap ones, you will need to buy replacements now and then.

How Do You Use a Solder Splice Connector?

Before I show you how to use a solder splice connector, you must have the following tools. A wire stripper, butt terminal, and soldering flame.

From there, use your wire stripper to cut the insulation about 4mm and the end of your wires. Then, insert one of the wires through the but terminal so it comes out through the other.

Once you accomplish that, connect the two wires end to end and push them inside each other so that their strands overlap. Now, twist gently until you achieve a complete uniform joint.

After that, pull the wire through the butt terminal until your newly made joint is at the center of the terminal. Finally, take your soldering flame and heat the terminal, starting with the heat shrinks on either side of the joint.

Then, heat the solder ring at the center until it melts. 

Colored butt terminals

Colored butt terminals

How to Replace a Broken Car Electrical Connector

As you may expect, your electrical connectors may break at some point due to stress or old age. Whatever the reason, here is how to replace them once damaged. 

  • First, you must purchase an exact match of the broken connector. Then, gather simple tools like a utility knife, screwdriver, and wire cutter.
  • Once you have the above materials and tools, disconnect the culprit wire and connector from its circuit. 
  • Then, use your wire cutter or a utility knife to remove the insulation from the connector. Be careful not to cut any wire. Also, ensure you remove the entire insulation head until you expose the inner components of the connection. 
  • You can see the wires and their terminals connected to the damaged connector. You will have to use a screwdriver to remove the wire terminals from the connectors. Do not worry; even if you destroy the connector, long wires and their terminals are okay. 
  • The last step is to insert the terminals into the new connector now. But before that, you will need to insert a heat shrink tubing into your wire. 
  • After tightly inserting the terminals into the new connector, roll the tubing over. Finally, heat it gently to ensure a reliable joint and that you have replaced the electrical connector.

An electrician working on car connections

An electrician working on car connections

Conclusion

As I promised above, you can now choose the right automotive electrical connector for your car. In addition, you can even repair yours using the steps above if it gets damaged.

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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