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HomeTips & GuidesAutomotive Wire Crimping – Everything You Need to Know

Automotive Wire Crimping – Everything You Need to Know

About Automotive Wire Crimping: When transferring current and information from one car’s electrical circuit to the other, you need a wire. 

However, for these wires to connect to the electrical device, you must fix connectors at their ends through crimping.

 How well you crimp your connector to the wire determines the quality, reliability, and longevity of your connection. 

Here, we discuss the steps for your automotive wire crimping, but before that, let’s see the tools you require.

Tools You Require

For any successful crimping, you must have the connectors to fix the wire and a wire of the correct gauge. 

The connector’s size and type and the wire will help you choose the other tools you need. 

Remember, in any automotive connection, always use a stranded wire to ensure flexibility when routing. 

In addition, depending on the installation environment, ensure that both the wire and the connector can withstand harsh conditions.

Crimping tool

Before you can think of any crimping, a crimping tool/ crimper should be the first tool on your list. 

The crimper is the tool that you press to connect the wire to the connector, thereby making a joint. 

Remember, there are different types of crimpers, and you need to check your car connectors to choose the appropriate crimper. 

You may also check with your connector manufacturer to know the crimper they recommend for such connectors. 

Alternatively, you can buy a multifunctional crimper, but make sure it’s for car connectors.

A type of universal crimper

A type of universal crimper

Wire Striper

You use the wire stripper to remove the insulation from the end of the wire to reveal the core. 

Once you strip, the wire can contact the connector, which is necessary for the current to pass through. 

Remember, when stripping, leave the insulator at the end of the wire so you can remove it by hand. 

This step ensures the wire strands do not fray, which in turn helps you insert them smoothly into the connector. 

A good quality stripper helps you achieve this while ensuring you strip the correct length. 

A manual wire striping tool

A manual wire striping tool

Stripping Your Wire

Now that you have gathered all the tools you require, you will begin your crimping journey by striping the wire ends. 

Here, remember to strip only when you are ready to crimp, rather than keeping the wire for later use. 

Doing so prevents wire fraying which can bring you problems when inserting the wire to the connector cleanly. 

Once you are sure you want to use the wire that instant, take your wire stripe and locate the appropriate hole. 

The whole you choose on the crimping die should depend on your wire gauge (diameter). 

Again, ensure you strip the correct length, which should equal the size of the connector barrel. 

Typically, the stripping length is about a quarter to one inch, but I recommend checking the connector barre first. 

When determining the stripping length, place the wire inside the stripper and apply pressure on the handle. 

Ensure it is perpendicular to the wire strand, then pull it to remove the insulator and expose the wire core. 

After that, grip the exposed wire with your forefinger and thumb and twist it to make it compact and firm.

 A hand stripping a wire

 A hand stripping a wire

Attaching the Connector

Trusting you have stripped the correct length, insert the stripped core in the connector. 

Ensure you continue inserting until the insulator touches the connector barrel and some length comes out on the other side. 

After that, place the connector in the appropriate gauge crimping tool hole while the wire is still inside. 

Here, the connectors should be in the crimping tool slot horizontally, such that the barrel side is facing up. 

Hold your crimper perpendicularly to the connector and squeeze the handles with enough force. 

Seal the Splice

In some connections, you may need to seal the splice, which is the resulting joining. Doing so makes your connection sturdy and reliable while preventing dust and short circuits. 

To do this, you will need either an insulating tap/electrical tape or heat shrink tubings. If using electrical tape, place a few rounds over the joint to seal it completely. 

For those using heat shrink tubing, place it on the splice and then heat gently. Make sure not to overheat and burn your wire in the process.

Why Soldering Is Bad?

As you may know, cars experience a lot of vibration, especially when driving through bumping roads. 

For this reason, it’s always good to use stranded wires, as I mentioned above. Stranded wires can tolerate these vibrations without breaking or disconnecting compared to a single-core wire. 

Now, when you solder, the solder melts and makes the stranded wire solid. Doing so interferes negatively with the integrity of the connection as I have discussed above.

Again, crimping makes the joining stronger than the wire, meaning it’s better than soldering. Lastly, compared to soldering, crimping is easy, safe, and fast if you have the right tools.


With my extensively researched steps, I now trust you can crimp any of your car connectors to its wire appropriately.

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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