How to Design Automotive Electrical Systems Efficiently

How to Design Automotive Electrical Systems Efficiently

An efficient automotive electrical system design is often sought after by many car enthusiasts who are keen on technical specifications. However, for a lot of people who are passionate fans of the automotive industry, building your own vehicle as a side project is not something new. Customizing your car to fit your preferred standards is something that most people nowadays seem to enjoy as a hobby. Modifying both the interior and exterior elements of a car may take lots of research or may prove to be extensively laborious, but the result is typically rewarding and something that you can take pride in. 

Designing your electrical system can be a challenging task and finding the proper parts and components takes time. Although many seem to enjoy this process, it’s still best to be well prepared and carefully plan your design especially when it comes to laying out the electrical system of your vehicle. Many factors need to be considered when it comes to automotive electrical system design. Since a custom wire harness is uniquely made to fit the driver’s needs and preferences, making sure that you have all the necessary parts before you assemble your electrical system is necessary for a successful project.

Parts to Consider for Your Automotive Electrical System Design

A typical electrical system or wiring harness design is comprised of numerous components. Depending on the requirements you want for your vehicle, a wiring harness may consist of hundreds if not thousands of parts. Knowing the different parts that make up your car and having the knowledge on how to properly implement them in your design helps to streamline the entire building process. Here are some of the most fundamental parts of an automotive electrical system design.

Wires and Cables

Understandably, the wires and cables are the backbones of the entire electrical system or wire harness. The wires are usually made of copper coated with insulation that may vary in material. All wires must be able to withstand the required power that is transmitted throughout the vehicle. They signal electrical currents specifically needed for the automotive electrical system design.

Insulation Material

When choosing the proper insulation material for your automotive electrical system design, several factors must be considered such as the environment and temperature of where the harness will be installed in. Insulators usually come in several colors. It is designed to secure and protect the wires from possible damage caused by external components.

Terminals and Relays

Terminals protect the automotive electrical system design from short circuits. They connect wires to the block terminals and connect a system of different circuits. Terminals can also be made from different materials, depending on the design. They are usually made from metal, carbon, alloy, or silicon. Relays, on the other hand, control inconsistent currents that can damage or adversely affect electronic cables. 


Considered as a safety device that protects the entire electrical system, fuses regulate and stop excessive currents. Automotive electric system design requires a separate fuse, depending on the amount of energy necessary for the wire harness to function.

Prepping for Your Automotive Electrical System Design Project

Now that we’ve had a quick review of some of the most fundamental components in an automotive electrical system design, it’s important to consider a few factors before you get started with your project. Being well prepared for both your design and building project eliminates possibilities of failure so awareness is the key to a successful output.

Simplicity Is Key

An automotive electrical system design can be made simple without sacrificing functionality. This is beneficial both in terms of the assembly process and production costs. Sometimes moving terminals and switches can save a lot of money on materials. A simplified design can also save you effort in assembling all the parts and help to avoid any confusion during the installation process.  If a single component works the same as multiple components, you may want to consider a less complex option. It may also be useful to consider the functionality of each part.

Take Your Time

When tackling a project that requires a vast amount of time and patience, it’s important to never rush your work. Since an automotive electrical system design consists of multitudinous parts and components, precision and accuracy are very important. An automotive electrical system design may be at risk of short circuits if not installed correctly. Crimping is an essential part of the assembly process. If crimping is not properly done, there is a high chance of wiring malfunctions which can lead to failures post-assembly.

Research for the Best Materials

Some materials may be incompatible with your automotive electrical system design. It’s always important to consider the environment and temperature where the harness will be installed. OEM materials are cheaper, but it’s always better to invest in high-quality parts that save you more money on future repairs. Any material that is of poor quality will not last long. An efficient automotive electrical system design will last as long or even exceed the lifespan of the car. 

Never Forget to Test

An automotive electrical system design should include a series of fail-safe mechanisms. These components will protect you from serious accidents while the vehicle is on the road. Once the car’s wiring has gone through the testing process, you can be sure that it will work effectively when you start driving. Since automotive electrical system design must work without any fail post-assembly, testing is always the last step before installing the harness into your car. This allows you to make any necessary changes and modifications before putting your design into action. 

Check Everything Before Finalization

Before getting started with your building project, check the route of each wire and cable in your automotive electrical system design. The electrical system must effectively distribute electrical signals in the vehicle. If the components are not properly placed and routed, parts of the machine may not work at all. In addition, all components of the automotive electrical system design must be secured to prevent any parts from becoming detached while the vehicle is in motion.

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