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HomeTips & GuidesCustom Wire Harnesses: Do You Need One?

Custom Wire Harnesses: Do You Need One?

Custom wire harnesses are essential for electronic devices and appliances requiring electrical connections or power.

Wire harnesses are super important for any vehicle, as your car won’t move without them.

Different types of wiring harnesses are available in the market. So, when looking to buy one, you must consider some factors.

These factors include size, quality, vehicle type, compatibility, and connectors, to name a few. But scanning product after product and checking all these factors can be time-consuming.

For this reason, many people opt for custom wire harnesses.

But is it worth it? That’s what we look to find out here.

Table of Contents

Understanding Wire Harnesses

Wire harnesses are not just one or two wires but an assembly of many. They send power and signals to the electrical components in your car, including the ignition system, starter, alternator, and headlight.

With this, it’s easy to understand why your car can’t move without wire harnesses.

Wire harnesses differ since cars have different electrical components. For example, some vehicles use electric fuel pumps, while others use mechanical ones. Hence, the wiring harness for the latter would be different.

You can differentiate wire harnesses by the number of connection circuits they feature. With a standard wire harness, you get 12 connection circuits.

Others – predominantly harnesses for high-end cars with many electrical components – come with 18 to 25 circuits.

Usually, a wire harness will come with a wiring diagram for proper installation. And the diagram usually differs from one manufacturer to the other.

Wire harness with multicolored wires

(Wire harness with multicolored wires)

Why are Wire Harnesses Important?

The basic function of a wire harness is to transmit electrical power. But any wire can do that. Why, then, do people prefer wire harnesses?

Well, there are many reasons. 

Most important of all is that wire harnesses are easy to manage. Anyone would find it tough to connect single wires one after compared to installing many at a time.

Suppose a wire connection is wrong. It’ll be challenging to find out which if you have loose wires everywhere. But with wire harnesses, pinpointing the faulty line becomes seamless.

Notably also is that the wires get more durability. Wire harnesses feature a sturdy material that bounds each wire.

This material usually is electrical tape, conduit, rubber, or vinyl. Some are even a blend of two or more different materials.

It’s difficult for the bounding material to suffer abrasion, much less the wires. So, with such a covering, the wires last longer for use.

Furthermore, wire harnesses are also crucial for safety. Loose wires can easily mix and cause severe damage, which puts you at risk. Loose wires are a common cause of car electrical fires.

The wiring harness of a car system

(The wiring harness of a car system)

What Is the Value of a Custom Wire Harness?

One harness cannot fit every vehicle. For example, the wire harness a trailer needs differs from that of a sports car.

Even different-year models of the same vehicle may require different wire harness kits.

Manufacturers produce harnesses to fit specific cars, depending on their components. And this is why a custom wire harness is important.

You have two options if you need a custom wire harness for your car. The first is to search the market for one.

Finding a suitable custom harness will be easy if your car is popular.

The second option is to contact a manufacturer to produce a custom harness.

This option is the true custom harness since the manufacturer will produce it based on direct specifications.

For instance, you want a wire harness with a vinyl bounding material but can only find rubber in the market. A solution is to contact a manufacturer to produce a custom vinyl wire harness.

Another reason custom wire harnesses are important is quality. Like other car parts, many substandard wire harnesses are on the market.

So, getting one directly from a trusted manufacturer is safer to avoid wasting money.

Disconnected wire harness

(Disconnected wire harness)

How Much Does a Custom Wiring Harness Cost?

Wire harnesses are not the most affordable car parts. They sell for high prices because manufacturers do a lot of manual work. In particular, they connect individual wires and crimp connectors and run integrity tests. Some harness models even require fiber optics.

As a result, ordering a custom harness from a manufacturer is more expensive than purchasing from the market.

Depending on your car, a new harness from the market will cost around $1,000 to $1,500. If you own a recent car model, expect to pay more.

On the other hand, a custom wire harness from a manufacturer could cost up to $3,000. You may pay lesser if your car doesn’t need many connection circuits.

Besides the harness cost, the installation budget is between $400 to $500. An alternative is to do it yourself. But that’s if you know how and have the tools.

Installation can be too technical for car radio, stereo, or ignition components. Therefore, paying for a professional service is best. If you order a custom one from a manufacturer, they may install it for free.

New custom wiring harnesses

(New custom wiring harnesses)

Wire Harnesses vs. Cable Assemblies

Many people confuse wire harnesses for cable assemblies and vice versa. Both usually feature similar outer covering, so it’s hard to tell them apart. But they are different.

How do you tell the difference? Well, one way is to inspect the wires they feature. A wire harness features individual wires bound together by an outer material. Yet each wire has its outer cover so that you can remove it from the harness.

A cable assembly also features many wires bound together. However, the wires don’t have individual outer covers. Instead, they all depend on a single outer material.

Another difference is their application. You’ll find copper assemblies in your car’s steering wheels, infotainment system, steering wheels, doors, and gearboxes.

Meanwhile, wiring harnesses are usually found around the engine and under the driver’s side dashboard.

Close view of a cable assembly

(Close view of a cable assembly)

Why Are Wire Harnesses Assembled Manually?

A lot of work goes into manufacturing wire harnesses. Due to their importance to cars, these harnesses must meet high standards with minimal room for errors.

As a result, manufacturers cannot automate the production process.

Everything is done manually, from setting up the terminated wires to routing, crimping, and binding them.

Some manufacturers still use automation in cutting, soldering, and stripping wire ends.

Manually assembling a wire harness

(Manually assembling a wire harness)


Wiring harnesses are crucial to your vehicle as they distribute power to various electrical components.

You either purchase them from the market or order custom ones from manufacturers.

Custom wire harnesses offer many advantages in terms of performance and safety. They’ll cost you some more dollars, but they are worth it.

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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