Automotive Wire, Electrical Wire and More
How to Choose the Right Automotive and Electrical Wire
Understanding the basics of automotive and electrical wire is the first step in choosing the right product, especially considering how wide of a selection there is to choose from. Read on to see the five main components of choosing the right automotive or electrical wire.
Copper and aluminum are the most popular types of automotive wire materials. The difference between the two is that copper is more conductive, flexible, and unlikely to corrode than aluminum wire. But copper wire weighs more and is currently more prone to price fluctuations, so you'll need a good distributor to keep your costs low. Aluminum is lighter and cheaper, but it's less durable and more likely to corrode or develop more electrical resistance over time.
Amperage, or “amps”, is the total amount of electricity that can flow through the wire. You should know the current rating of every single wire that comes into your shop and ensure that it's clearly labeled, because overloading a wire is extremely dangerous for both your staff and your customers.
The next step to be aware of is automotive wire gauge. The lower the number of a wire's gauge, the thicker a wire is. As a rule of thumb, the further your wire needs to go in your design or repair, or the more electricity that needs to flow through it, the lower the gauge needs to be. For reference, see our 12VDC wire sizing chart. For help in determining the correct battery cable based on voltage requirements, see our Battery Cable Load Charts.
There are two kinds of automotive wire connections: Soldered and solderless. Solderless connections often use terminals, most commonly crimp terminals, to make connections. Solder can be dangerous, since it's hot metal, so you should make sure to ask what kind of connections you’ll need.
5. Wire color
One of the best ways to organize your shop and make common repair and construction jobs easy to do is to choose a different color for each type of automotive wire.
What is the most typical type of wire used in most automotive applications?
The most typical type of wire used in most automotive applications is automotive cross-link wire and automotive primary wire. General Purpose High Temperature automotive wire is ideal for under-hood automotive wiring applications with hard-to-fit areas. The abrasion resistant design is highly resistant to moisture, oil, grease, and other damaging solvents. This type of wire works well with standard automotive connections and is specified for use in engine compartments where high heat resistance is required by SAE J1128. Cross-Link structure reinforces the polyethylene insulation for enhanced durability and resistance to heat and abrasion.
What is the Difference Between Welding Cable and Battery Cable?
Welding cable is designed and intended for connecting welding equipment and grounds. It is a high voltage cable built for flexibility so the welder doesn't have to drag a heavy, stiff cable while working. The transportation, vehicle and heavy equipment industries have recognized the benefits of welding cable's high flexibility, high voltage, and high heat capabilities and are using it as an alternative to battery cable.
The battery cable is among the most important cables in a battery management system, as it ensures you have power, stay on task, and avoid battery drain. When sizing your battery cables, you must reference gauge charts to avoid improper installations, and factor in wire length. Taking the time to make sure you are selecting the right length and wire gauge for your battery cable will pay dividends in the long haul.
Types of Electrical Wires
The most typical types electrical wires are Automotive Cross-link, Primary GPT Wire, Brake Cable, Battery Cable, Marine Grade Wire, Service Cord, Shielded Cable, Trailer Cable and much more.
Waytek has one of the most comprehensive offerings of wire and cable products for automotive, marine, commercial, lawn & garden, RV, trailers and many more applications, making us the ideal choice for many applications.
Types of Electrical Cables
The most typical types of electrical cables are:
- SGT Battery Cable
- SGX Battery Cable
- SGR Battery Cable
- Marine Battery Cable
- Parallel Battery Cable
- Welding Cable
- EPDM Welding Cable
Check out our blog post for more information about automotive and electrical wire.
Whether you’re looking for an automotive or electrical wire, it’s crucial to have the right parts. Waytek carries a wide range of wires and cables like automotive cross-link wires, battery cables, service cords, and more. To view Waytek’s huge selection of wire-related products, click on the links below.