Also referred to as a cable harness, a wiring harness is a bunch of wires put together that connect in the same area. The engine wiring harness connects to various components that need electricity to function, such as the starter, battery, and alternator. The harness starts at the engine and connects to the fuse box. Wires branch off to their various components here, then they return back to the engine.

Just imagine all of the components in your car that are run by electricity, from the lights to the blower to the windshield wipers. All of these parts need wiring to connect them to the source of their electricity.

Benefits of a wiring harness

One of the primary benefits of the wiring harness is that the wires last longer than if they ran individually. They hold up better to vibrations and even moisture. This design proves the old adage “there’s safety in numbers.” While individual wires may become frayed and damaged, the harness is stronger and more durable. The likelihood that you’ll have to replace the entire harness is low. If you have a problem, you may end up replacing a portion of the wiring to an individual part.

If you had a fire under the hood of your car, you might need to replace the entire harness. Anything short of that and you shouldn’t be faced with such a situation. This design is built to be indestructible and keep your car running.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Do Wiring Harnesses Last? and was authored by Joyce Morse.


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