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Why it’s vital to correctly install automotive electrical accessories

If you’re into DIY, chances are you’ve tinkered with your car more than once.  You may have replaced faulty or worn components or fitted accessories to improve your vehicle setup.

However, some things may be best left to trained experts, and this is often the case with the electrical accessories in your vehicle.

Car electronics are a complicated beast and one simple slip up can take a lot of work and cost to fix. Replacing on-board computers and wiring harnesses due to incorrect installation is not uncommon and can end up costing thousands.

  1. Plan ahead

If you plan on installing your own electrical systems into your vehicle make sure you plan ahead.

Before you start consider what possible future items you may want to install, where they will be located and how they will be wired in. What you have planned for the future can affect things like the size of cable you will run, the amount of cables you need to run, where to locate components like solenoids and circuit breakers and much more.

  1. Don’t drop the voltage

Voltage drop is a common issue we diagnose in work done with some DIY and more concerning, with B grade installers.   Some examples of when voltage drop will occur are when undersized or long lengths of cable are used or when there are poor connections in the installation.  A quality installer will factor in the length of cable run, amount of current draw expected, not only constant draw but ‘start up’ or ‘in rush’ current of components.  All connections will be solid and sealed preventing corrosion.

  1. Keep your electrical work tidy

Take your time when installing new wiring and accessories. Messy wiring not only looks bad for future resale, it also makes future diagnosis much more difficult. Often installing components involves cutting holes in the vehicle dash and panels so you only get one shot at this so get it right, use the old builders rule and measure twice, cut once.

It might take longer to do it the right way, but it’ll save you a lot of time and hassle in the future.

  1. Labelling makes life easier

One way to improve your wiring process is to label each item as you go, so you can identify where your accessories are, such as circuit breakers or fuses. Fuse banks are a great way to wire in and label multiple systems tidily.

  1. Harness your wiring

Allow harnesses to have a loop or flexibility so they are not straining under any pressure at any point and ensure wiring is adequately protected with conduit or sleeving.

Also avoid running wiring over sharp edges and make the harnesses secure as this will stop the wiring from rubbing. If the wires rub on the vehicle body, a short to ground can occur bowing the fuse or damaging the harness or component. Wires must also not rub on any other components like coolant hoses, brake lines or fuel lines.

  1. Weather proofing

Weather proof connections will generally be a better option for wiring outside of the vehicle cabin. Moisture will corrode connections and cause various issues including current draw or battery drain issues among others.. Where wiring travels through panels suitable grommets or cable glands must also be used to stop wiring rubbing through and moisture entering the vehicle.

  1. Auto electrics aren’t a rush job

You need to take your time with car, vehicle and equipment electrics.  Whether installing dual batteries, electric brakes or a reverse camera, take the time to get it right. There are many points that if not done correctly can cause costly future repairs and issues from poor crimping to incorrect circuit protection and cable size. Of course if possible we recommend getting a professional to carry out the job for you. Electrical installation is an art and even a lot of qualified technicians produce substandard work.

Yes, it will take you longer to do a proper job, but you can be confident the install will be of a high standard and cause you fewer issues in future. Plus, getting it right can potentially add greater value to your vehicle for its resale, and lead to easier repairs and replacements.

Need assistance with dual batteries, solar panels, driving lights, fridge wiring, camper lighting, light bars, work lights, reverse cameras, brake controllers, charge circuits or anything else on your wish list?  We complete these jobs for our customers on the Gold Coast daily.

At GCCEM our expert Auto Electricians use the highest quality practices and products, for all our electrical work. Contact us today to ensure you get the right product for your vehicle installed correctly.

We offer special pricing when packaging a number of items together and Interest Free Finance on your wish list may be available.  See here for more information.

If you’re spending the money on quality accessories make sure they are installed by experts!

Contact us with any queries you have or a quote on your dream package.