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HomeTips & GuidesAutomotive Wire Terminals and Connectors: Choosing the Best Connectors for Your Vehicles.

Automotive Wire Terminals and Connectors: Choosing the Best Connectors for Your Vehicles.

About Automotive Wire Terminals and Connectors, All vehicles have automotive connectors that undergo constant movement and vibrations. As a result, their contact points wear out over time.

 Also, these connectors face chemicals and other contaminants such as oil, moisture, or road salt, which leads to their corrosion over time. 

Any failure or damage to a connector may lead to electrical issues in your vehicle. 

These issues may include a vehicle stall, a defect in the fuel pump, a faulty ECU (engine control unit), problems with lights, or loss of braking.

Thus, if you notice any faulty connector in your vehicle, replace it immediately to ensure safety.

Table of Contents

Automotive connector understanding:

Electrical accessories in your vehicle work with the help of automobile connectors. 

All modern automobile accessories are becoming automatic, more connected, and energy efficient. 

Thus, you need connectors to ensure high-speed connectivity in modern, easy-to-install, and lightweight designs.

Also, people want their vehicles to be more comfortable, safe, intelligent, and environmentally friendly. 

As a result, the use of electrical devices in automobiles is increasing. With this, the requirement for automotive connectors in various applications is also increasing.

Wiring harnesses and cable assemblies

Wiring harnesses and cable assemblies

The basic structure of automotive connectors:

Automotive connectors constantly change form and structure. However, they comprise four structural components: contacts, shells, insulators, and accessories.


The main part of the connector is responsible for electrical connection. It comprises a male and a female contact piece, and the electrical connection completes when these two pieces are inserted into each other.

  • The male piece is rigid and can be cylindrical, square, or flat. They are either made of phosphor bronze or brass.
  • The female piece is like a jackal, forming the key part of the contact. The jack’s elasticity determines how close contact forms when the male pin inserts into the female jack. Jacks are of many types, such as tuning forks, cylindrical, folding, box, hyperboloid wire springs, or cantilever beam types.

The shell:

This outer covering of the connector ensures mechanical protection for the built-in plate and pins. 

It also ensures the right alignment while connecting plugs and sockets, allowing for firm connector fixing to the device.


You can also refer to them as connector bases or inserts. Insulators adjust the contacts to the needed space and position. 

They are also responsible for insulation performance in the shell. When choosing insulating materials, manufacturers look for voltage performances, high insulation resistance, and ease of processing.


Accessories are of two types: structural ones and installation ones. Structural refers to things like positioning pins, coupling rings, guide pins, gaskets, retaining keys, etc.

 Installation accessories include nuts, screws, spring rings, etc. Mostly, accessories have general parts and standard parts.

Complex car wiring harness

Complex car wiring harness

How to select an automotive connector?

  • The mechanical and electrical properties. 
  • The contact segment size, terminal type, and plating.
  • The gauge, length, and material of the wire.
  • Density, space and circuit size
  • The ease of connecting and disconnecting wires
  • Compatibility with vibration and fluid
  • Temperature bearing capability (the temperature in the sealed engine compartment is greater than 105 degrees Celsius, while the temperature in the unsealed passenger compartment is less than 85 degrees Celsius).
  • Sealed or unsealed connector: one that can withstand a high-pressure jet splash or one capable of immersion, etc.
  • The type of connection, i.e., board-to-board, board-to-wire, or wire-to-wire.
Wiring harness socket 

Wiring harness socket 

Pigtail wire harnesses for easy and fast repairs:

Earlier, people used to replace the complete harness if any issue occurred in the wire harness connectors. 

However, replacing an entire harness was costly. Also, it made production lines slow and needed a lot of labor. 

All thanks to the introduction of the pigtail harness, you can now replace only the damaged connector. 

A pigtail harness comes with a connector compatible with the engine control unit at one end and pigtail wires (individual stripped wires) at the other.

 A standard pigtail harness is about 6 feet long; however, 12-foot options are also available.

 These harnesses not only allow you to replace the damaged connector but also enable you to add devices to an existing harness.

 For example, suppose you want to add an LED light to your vehicle. With pigtail harnesses, you can connect these lights in the same terminal.

Pigtail wire harnesses

Pigtail wire harnesses


Finding the right connectors and repairing them can be difficult. We at Cloom aim to deliver high-quality, specialized wiring harnesses for your automotive needs, ranging from small pigtail harnesses to the most intricate ones. 

We also provide custom solutions for your racing cars, motorcycles, mining machines, scooters, agricultural machinery, etc. Contact us for detailed information.

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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