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The Origin of Automotive Wiring Harness

Jun. 07, 2024

The English name of the automobile wiring harness is Wire harness.

The invention of the automobile replaced the horse-drawn carriage, so the earliest cars were similar to horse-drawn carriages, and the engine was equivalent to a horse. So far, the unit of power is still expressed in horsepower or horsepower.

In 1908, the Americans first used battery ignition systems in automobiles, opening a new era of automobile electrification. In 1912, Cadillac successively adopted DC generators and starters in cars. Soon after, cars began to gradually adopt lighting systems, electric horns, audio, air-conditioning, etc., and car circuit wiring systems became more and more complex.

Car electrical appliances need wires to connect. Since the application of the ignition system, several wirings have appeared around the car engine. These lines remind people of the harness of a horse-drawn carriage, so the wire is figuratively called the harness. Therefore, in English, the word Wire harness refers specifically to automobile wiring harnesses, and other electrical, electrical and electronic wiring harnesses are not called a harness. Usually called wiring system or circuit group, etc.

Automobile Wiring Harness

The authoritative standard for electrical engineering, IEC 60050 "Glossary of Electrical Engineering," does not have the term "wiring harness", but includes the term "wiring system" (No. 826-15-01). The excerpt is as follows:

Wiring system

Assembly made up of one or more insulated conductors, cables or busbars and the parts which secure their fixing and, if necessary, their mechanical protection

It can be seen that the IEC's definition of wiring systems is also appropriate for wiring harnesses.

The title of the earlier IEC standard IEC60783:1984 for automotive high-voltage wiring harnesses is Wiring and connectors for electric road vehicles, and there is no mention of the harness.

Since the word harness is a common name, it is generally not often used on formal occasions in English. Even the terminology related to the automotive standard is currently almost impossible to find the word harness.

ISOTC22/SC32 is a standardization subcommittee on-road vehicle electrical wiring harnesses and related components. Its organizational name is Electrical and electronic components and general system aspects.

In short, the car wiring harness is the main body of the car circuit, and there is no car circuit without the wiring harness. Wire harness refers to a component that is formed by crimping contact terminals (connectors) made of copper material with wires and cables, and then plastic insulators or metal shells are added to the outside to form a connected circuit.

The above information is provided by automotive harness manufacturers.

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