Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Which type of wiring kit do I need to buy to rewire the interior fuse box?

asked by on

My headlights have been shorting out for a while and I have replaced then multiple times. My wipers come on when I use the right blinker, my horn will stay on for hours, and my flashers come on periodically. Recently while I was driving home something smelled as if the wires under the dash were burning and my headlights went out first, then the parking lights and tail lights, then the dashboard lights and interior lights. The gauges continued to work though and so did the brake lights. I took it to a local mechanic and he told me that I had a short under the dash but that it would be a labor intensive job and the car wasn't worth the time needed to do the work. This is the only car I have and I have a friend that will help me fix it. He says I need a complete interior fuse box wiring harness kit but I can't seem to find one online and I'm not even exactly sure that I'm looking for the right parts. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

My car has 119000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: I don’t know what the resale value is of yo...

I don’t know what the resale value is of your car, but I tend to believe the mechanic that advised you is correct. Keep in mind you are about to undertake a complicated project that only the most experienced among us should tackle. But if you’ve decided you must take on this project, you should get a harness from a wrecking yard.

Some wrecking yards require you to remove the parts off of the old cars yourself and others will remove them for you. Of course, any labor they do will increase the cost to you. When picking out a harness, make sure the car you are removing it from has all the same accessories as the one you own. Tachometer, speedometer, stereo, A/C and heater controls configuration, manual or automatic transmission, etc. Even after doing this, the harness you purchase may not have everything you need or it may have more. With projects such as this, it is not out of the ordinary to need to add wires to the harness for accessories the harness does not have as well as to have wires that you will not use.

Most likely, the easiest approach to this repair, once you have found a wiring harness, is to remove the entire dash, including the steering column. I would do this before you go to the wrecking yard because in the process of disassembly, you will discover other components that were damaged when the short occurred. You may want to purchase these from the wrecking yard as well.

The hard part of this repair is not the disassembly and reassembly, it is fixing everything that the short damaged once you have a harness installed.

There is a distinct chance that the component that caused the short could short out the new harness. So during reassembly and during disassembly, you will want to keep a look out for the source of the problem to begin with. I have seen projects like this done only to watch the same thing occur right after. It is a sad thing to see.

Keep in mind that this is not an easy project. The time and effort it takes could be better spent figuring out how to get another car.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car idling and running rough

Hello, the engine is equipped with an electronic valve called an idle air control valve. The idle air control valve lets a metered amount of air into the engine at idle to have a comfortable idle and ensure the engine...

Q: Noise from tire on every rotation

Before you go to too much trouble, you need to inspect the tire tread carefully. It's amazing how much noise you can get from a simple thing like a bottlecap stuck in the tread. Jack up the car so you...

Q: Hello. i want the electronic component and circuit of vss ( with detail)

Unfortunately, this is a page meant for questions as to what could be wrong with a system of your vehicle and how to go about the repair. A little bit more information would be needed as to what exactly you...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...