How do you read a car electrical diagram?

It’s frustrating dealing with my old Jeep Cherokee, not knowing what’s wrong with it, and constantly taking it into the shop. I think it’s time that I step up and learn more about how cars work, like their computer and electrical systems. Can you tell me how to read my car’s electrical diagram?

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Answer provided by
Tara Malenfa
Answered on Jun 09, 2022
When it comes to cars, electrical issues are the worst. With a greater knowledge of your Jeep, hopefully, you’ll be able to enjoy it for many more years to come!
Reading a wiring diagram can seem like a puzzle in a different language. But even if you’re not a techie, it’s still possible to understand an automotive wiring diagram. Recognizing the different symbols and codes can help speed up the inspection process and give you a better idea of where the issue stems from.
Here’s what we know about reading an electrical diagram for your car:
  • Identify common symbols including connected wires, non-connected wires, battery/power source, fuses, and grounds.
  • Next, learn the symbols for toggle switches, push-button switches, selector switches, relays, light bulbs, and resistors.
  • Lastly, it’s good to know the symbol for diodes, motors, solenoids, color codes, and connector numbers and locations.
While this advanced knowledge is a helpful skill set as a mechanic, it can also be a way for the layperson to get to the root of their car’s electrical problems much faster. And being able to read a secret code is just plain cool.
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