How to Preserve and Protect Electrical Wires Around a Car Engine

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The electrical wires in your engine compartment need protection from the elements of heat, cold and moisture. Proper protection will prevent cracking and break down which will help insure that all the electrical power you need will be there for you, not forgetting to mention that loose unprotected wires can be dangerous as well being prone to sparking and catching fire.Plus, your engine compartment will look so much tighter and neat once your wires are all in place and under wraps!

Things You'll Need

  • Electrical Tape
  • Wire Loom in various sizes (sold in auto parts stores)
  • Household Scissors
  • Wire Ties
  • WD-40
  • Rags
  • 320 grit sandpaper (Optiional, if you need to clean bad connections)
  • Disconnect your negative battery terminal cable before starting this job to eliminate the risk of any shock or sparking. Work one section of wires at a time. Start by sorting them out and deciding if there is a group of wires that can be run together that are going in the same direction as you organize and sort the wires out. Be careful not to tug much on the wires because you may pull them out of connection and will then have to repair, although it is a very good idea that you check out all connections possible.

  • If you find any bare wire spots where the insulation has broken, burnt or worn away it is important that you tape around the damage with electrical tape. Usually 3 to 4 wraps will suffice. If you find that you have any connections harboring corrossion, now would be a good time to clean them up. Sandpaper will help to remove corrossion and oil from the connections. The object here before you proceed to cover up the wires is to be sure they are in good condition and connected properly to where they belong.

  • Spray a little WD-40 on a rag or cloth and run over the wires as you go along to clean debris and oil off the wires and offer some lubrication and protection as well.

  • Some wires will run individually on their own route in which case you will use a smaller dimension size wire loom. Run the loom next to the wire(s) you wish to cover and then cut off the proper length with scissors, always leaving an extra inch or two of the loom which you can trim down later. The wire swill slip in between the loom from the side with simple pressure from your fingers, and always start at one end and work your way to the other.

  • Wires that are running together in a bundle will require a larger dimension of loom and the same principal will apply as in the previous step, pushing the wires into the loom working from one end to the other, always being careful not to tug on a wire and run the risk of disconnecting it.

  • Now use the wire ties to attach the looms with the wires within to safe out of the way places, avoiding loom from touching the engine block where the extreme heat can burn through the plastic. Never attach the loom to a moving part of the engine. You may need to use two or three ties per loom to insure they are secure.

  • Remember to re connect your negative battery cable after all the wires are protected in the looms. Your engine should look much neater now with confidence that your wires are safe and secure!

Tips & Warnings

  • Work one section at a time when looming the wires together.
  • Be prepared to possibly disconnect bad connections and repair them to obtain proper connection.
  • Always disconnect negative battery cable before working with wires in the engine compartment.
  • Never pull on wires to avoid risk of pulling them out of connection.
  • The wire loom should never be touching the engine block.

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