Take a peek under your hood and you’ll see a massive amount of wires running here and there. Some go to the alternator, others to accessories like windshield wipers, but all connect to the engine - their source of power. They all also face many hazards that can cause them to short out, stop working, and possibly even damage your engine or other parts. Protecting them is an important task.
Both heat and cold can cause wires to break down or crack. Moisture is another culprit that can require you to replace your electrical wires. Besides not working, a serious concern is the possibility of fire. Dirt and debris can also get to the wires, causing them not to work or to short out. You need to know how to protect the engine wiring for safety and performance.
Options for protecting Electrical wires
Many wires come with insulation to keep them away from the hazards. If you want to provide further protection to your electrical system, you’ll need special heat shields. They slip on and insulate the wires from getting too warm, which is beneficial since the engine area can become very hot. They act as sleeves that go over any existent coverings to provide more insulation.
Wires should go through a grommet if they are near sharp edges or fiberglass. If the cover on a wire becomes damaged or torn, it should be sealed with electrical tape to prevent further damage.
Next to moisture and heat or cold, vibration is another major danger to the wiring system. Wires are often tied to a solid surface so they can’t move and get cut or worn. If they move around too much, the connections can be loosened until the electricity doesn’t flow to whatever components are attached to the wires.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Are Car Wires Protected From Damage? and was authored by Joyce Morse.