HomeTips & GuidesHeavy-duty Toggle Switch: How Does it Work on an Auto Wiring Harness

Heavy-duty Toggle Switch: How Does it Work on an Auto Wiring Harness

About Heavy-duty toggle switch, When working on an automotive wiring harness project, a switch is one of the most common components you will need.

 While there are many designs of switches, the “toggle switch” is the most popular. 

We have compiled this guide to help you understand how a heavy-duty toggle switch works on an automotive wiring harness.

Table of Contents

Where is a heavy-duty toggle switch used in a Vehicle?

A toggle switch turns a specific accessory, featuring OFF and ON.

It works by connecting or interrupting the current flow to a specific accessory. 

Turning the toggle On places the metal contact to the circuit, closing the circuit and allowing the flow of electrical current.

On the other hand, turning the toggle switch OFF removes the contact from the circuit, breaking the current flow through it.

You can get toggle switches on all types of electronics, including audio equipment, electric toys, fax machines, etc. As for the automotive industry, heavy-duty toggle switches are common in older cars. 

Meanwhile, most recent cars only have heavy-duty toggle switches because car drivers and owners like the feel and look of toggle switches

So, toggle switches are customizable and come in different sizes, styles, and colors.

Here are the common uses of toggle switches in automotive:

  • Vehicle lights
  • Air conditioning
  • Power windows
  • Power door locks
  • Trunk release
  • Fuel pump

Connecting a toggle switch is a common upgrade among automotive owners and drivers.

Besides, a toggle switch can be a perfect fix for broken switches since it is easy to install and cheap.

Also, connecting a toggle switch gives you the freedom to include additional modifications, such as an ON delay timer.

Car door lock toggle switch

Car door lock toggle switch

Wiring a heavy-duty toggle switch (take the power windows, for example)

What you require:

  • Window motor
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire nuts
  • Jump starters
  • A toggle switch
  • 20 amps in-line fuse
  • Yellow wire for ground connection
  • 16-18 gauge red wire for power connection

Step 1: Kow about how power windows work first

A toggle switch is a momentary switch that works via a push button or projecting lever that moves sideways or down and up. 

Other than the ON and OFF positions, the toggle switch doesn’t latch in a set position, making it a perfect switch for power windows.

The power window motor has two wires connecting its negative and positive terminals through a toggle switch to form a power source, usually a battery.

When you flip the toggle switch, the window motor’s polarity is reversed, causing the window to ascend or descend depending on the wiring of your power window.

Step 2: Test your power window using a jump starter

You do not need to remove the motor to do this.

  • Disconnect the power window motor wires. 
  • Connect two cables to the two terminals on your power window motor. 
  • Ensure the two wires do not touch each other to prevent potential shock or damage.
  • Activate your power window motor and bypass the protection circuitry using a jump starter or a 12-volt battery.
  • Connect the negative cable from the window motor’s negative terminal to the negative clip or wire from the jump starter. 
  • Repeat the same to the window motor positive wire.

If the window moves up, swap the positive and negative wire connections and observe the movement of the window. If your window moves down, your power window motor is fully functional.

Step 3: Add connecting wires to your power window motor

In this step, you will use a red wire for the power connection and a yellow wire for the ground wiring.

  • Get your red and yellow wires and use a stripper to strip off around an inch of the insulation layer.
  • Attach the wires to their corresponding negative and positive terminals on the power window motor.
  • If the motor of your power window is already wired, add pigtails to the ground and power wires by twisting these wires together. We advise using colored wire caps to nest the twisted wire ends so you can easily identify the wire’s polarity.

Step 4: Wire your power window motor to a toggle switch

Connect the window motor’s yellow (ground) and red (power) wires to the ground and power wires on your toggle switch. 

Usually, the white and black wires on the toggle switch represent power and ground wires.

Make wire connections on either end of your toggle switch.

Step 5: Lowering and raising the window

Make multiple wirings on your toggle switch, which will allow you to raise or lower the windows.

You can do this by connecting one of the power wires to the other side of your toggle switch. Repeat this on the ground wire.

Step 6: Connect the in-line 20 amps fuse

When there is a power surge, a fuse will protect your switch from breaking.

Therefore, make sure you install a fuse between the red wire coming from the positive terminal of the battery and the white wire coming from your toggle switch.

Link the fuse by wrapping one of its ends to one terminal of your positive wire and the other end wrapped to another wire. This forms one continuous electrical line, thus the name in-line fuse.

You can insulate your connection points using duct tape to ensure optimal safety.

Step 7: Connect your toggle switch to a 12V battery

The power window motor needs a power source to work. Therefore, strip around one inch of the insulation on the black and white wires from your toggle switch.

Then, attach the white wire to a red alligator clip and hook it to the positive terminal of the battery

Next, attach the black wire to a black alligator clip and hook it to the negative terminal of the battery.

Step 8: Test your power window

Test your toggle (momentary) switch by pressing the toggle on one side to see if the window moves up or down. 

Flip it again to the other side and observe the movement of the window.

The inclination of the toggle lever that moves your car window up represents the ON position. 

The other inclination is the OFF position. A toggle can either move to the ON or OFF position, and it can not get stuck.

Depending on your specifications, you can choose to solder things up or maintain wire nuts in the wires’ connection points.

Moreover, you can prevent any confusion that may cause short-circuiting by using the standard AWG color codes.

Car light toggle switch

Car light toggle switch

Want to change your toggle switch wiring harness?

The internal delamination or failure of a toggle switch is a common problem. 

Fortunately, you can replace it with a plug-and-play switch wiring harness to proactively prevent potential problems going forward.

 It also helps you to correct or replace a switch that has already failed.

Factory switch wiring harness

Most people have a car that has a built-in switch. So, you only need to go on the internet and find the wiring diagram for the car. It will show you where each wire should go.

Steering column switch

Steering column switch

Aftermarket switch wiring harness

Some of you have a car that does not include a factory switch.

In such cases, using an aftermarket switch wiring harness is the easiest method.

However, some individuals do not like the feel and look of an aftermarket switch wiring harness unit. 

So, they want to hide it. The good news is that it is easy to hide your aftermarket unit under the seat, by the shifter, etc.

Custom switch wiring harness at Clooms Tech

The custom wiring harnesses from Cloom connect to the factory plug using correctly sized connectors. 

Therefore, you don’t need to splice or cut the factory wires, which ensures a long life of trouble-free operation and delivers a superior connection all the time. 

These custom switch wiring harnesses at Clooms Tech are perfect for operating things like control panels, horns, headlights, power tonneau covers, linear actuators, sunroofs, door locks, power windows, and more.

They are ideal for a variety of 12V industrial, marine, and automotive applications.


We understand that all automobiles are not the same, so we manufacture a range of custom-designed wiring harnesses and cable assemblies for particular vehicle makes and models. 

Therefore, if you need a heavy-duty toggle switch wiring harness, Clooms Tech has got you covered!

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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