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FAQs Concerning Wire Connectors
Is your audio system cutting in and out?
If so, there’s a good chance that an electrical issue is at work. As soon as the problem becomes apparent, park your vehicle and lift the hood. An examination of the electrical system may reveal wires that are frayed or disconnected. In some cases, you may detect one or more wire connectors have melted.
Do I have the tools necessary to get the job done?
Fortunately, you don’t need to solder to make a connection. All you need is a wire connector tool, a crimper and heat shrink tubing set to help you accomplish the job.
How easy is it to connect wire connectors?
Very easy. All you need to do is to match the correct color wires.
Types of Wire Connectors
There are more than a dozen wire connector types. Fortunately, most vehicles use the first type, which also comprises types 2, 3 and 4.
- Type 1: Spade — Spade type connectors are often referred as disconnects and are what you’ll usually find and use in cars. The three subsets are fork, male and female with most utilizing a standard size.
- Type 2: Fork — Used for connecting wires requiring clamping in place.
- Type 3: Male — The blade side of spade connectors.
- Type 4: Female — The socket side of spade connectors.
- Type 5: Ring — Typically used for ground connections, ring connectors may also serve as battery connections.
- Type 6: Barrel — For wire-to-wire connections.
- Type 7: Butt — An odd name, butt connectors are very useful for radio installations in your car.
- Type 8: Cap — Also used in audio system installations, crimp caps are ideal for twisting wires together and placing inside the cap then crimping.
- Type 9: Bullet — Older cars often feature bullet connectors and include male and female sections, but they’re difficult to connect.
- Type 10: Taps — When you need to connect to another source, taps are useful.
- Type 11: T-Taps — Often a better take on taps are t-taps, which make it easy to tap into a wire. One possible drawback is a loss in voltage, such as when powering a rearview camera.
- Type 12: Side-by-Side Tap — Used exclusively for emergency repairs, a side-by-side tap is a temporary solution when no other parts are available.
- Type 13: Threaded — Often used to conduct emergency repairs, threaded taps provide a secure connection with no tools required.
How to Install Wire Connectors
Installing a wire connector is easy to do and can typically be completed within 10 minutes once you have the part and your tools handy. Follow the instructions that come with the connector to get this job done:
- Step No. 1 — Remove the defective connector. At the point where the wire meets the connector, look for a bracket that fits into the step inside the connector to keep it in place. Remove any protecting tubing.
- Step No. 2 — Take a wire connector tool and line up the proper-sized end to fit the connector. Push the end into the connector to move the bracket. Once done, the wire and connector will disconnect.
- Step No. 3 — With the correct wire connector sizes specifically for your car, you’re ready to make a new connection. Strip the end of the wire, then stick it in the barrel of the connector and crimp.
- Step No. 4 — Attach the heat shrink to the end of the wire and use a heat shrinking device to secure in place. Don’t neglect this step as you need to protect your work and ensure everything stays connected.
Where can I find the right wire connector for my car?
That’s easy! Simply include your vehicle information in your search — make, model, trim and model year — and Advance Auto will narrow the list accordingly.
How long is my wire connector guaranteed?
Depending on the manufacturer, you’ll usually find 30-day, 1-year and limited lifetime replacement warranties.
What else should I check beside the wire connector?
Start with the fuse, especially if the connector blew one as it failed. If you still have lighting issues, then the battery, alternator or the voltage regulator may be an issue.