Q:

What are some common automotive electrical connectors?

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Quick Answer

Common automotive electrical connectors include butt, ring terminal, quick disconnect and closed-end automotive wire connectors. Butt connectors, the most common crimp-style connectors, make end-to-end connections between two wires, while a ring terminal, another common crimp connector, is useful for terminating a wire at a connection point, such as a bolt on the rear of an alternator. The spade terminal, another type of crimp connection, also allows this, but without requiring the bolt to be removed.

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Full Answer

Quick disconnect connectors are useful for removable switches or lights in a dash panel. There are two types of quick disconnect connectors, bullet and push-on, both available in male and female versions. These connectors are suitable for low-current use under the hood. Closed-end connectors are similar to twist lock connectors and sized according to wire gauge.

Automotive connectors either come with a vinyl or nylon insulation on top of the connector or are non-insulated and require insulation after crimping. Connector insulation is either straight or flared at the end, which typically fit better. Some insulated connectors feature heat-shrinkable insulation that provides a weather-tight connection. These connectors contain an active adhesive that, when heated, can seal multiple wires and reduce wire pull-out.

Manufacturers of these and other automotive electrical connectors include Dorman, available at AutoZone, Waytek, available at WaytekWire.com, and Metri-Pack and Weather Pack from WhiteProducts.com.

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