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Reading Automotive Wiring Diagrams

Learning how to read automotive wiring diagrams can help you pinpoint electrical problems in your car. Wiring diagrams are technical drawings that use symbols to represent a car’s electronic system. Whether your vehicle is old or new, such a diagram can be irreplaceable for helping you diagnose wiring problems.

You will need to start with a basic understanding of the electrical symbols you will encounter as you peruse the automotive wiring diagrams. The symbols are arranged in a circuit to illustrate the power state, function, and location of various components.

Google the symbols to get a good understanding of the basics like the battery symbol, switch, resistor, and ground. After the basic symbols, variations of these symbols represent more complicated parts. For example, a variation of the battery symbol is the variable battery symbol and a variation of the ground is the case ground symbol.

Symbols generally resemble the actual component or the component function. For example, the ground symbol is a vertical line with a round end on the bottom touching the first of three horizontal lines indicating touching ground.

You can look up All-Data, which is a depository of electronic auto repair schematics related to models. Each of the sections has a diagram that can help you figure out the diagram for a specific vehicle’s electronic system. Make sure you have a solid understanding of the symbols, before you attempt to diagnose your vehicle’s wiring problem.

1 Comment to “Reading Automotive Wiring Diagrams”

  1. Good info. Wiring diagrams can be so confusing, but as you start reading them more they start making more sense. The best thing to do is just jump in and start learning about them. Start with easy ones first, then work on harder ones.

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