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When Does a Car Need Complete Rewiring, and How Much Does Rewiring Cost?

Mechanics and Auto Professionals  ·  March 8, 2023

When Does a Car Need Complete Rewiring, and How Much Does Rewiring Cost?

Cars are made up of hundreds, if not thousands, of parts, each playing a crucial role. The parts keeping them connected and powered are the electrical wires. People don’t think much about wiring because they’re hidden away.

Car rewiring is not an ordinary repair task but becomes a necessity for all vehicles at some point. For example, wires, insulation, and connectors deteriorate after a decade. Cars constantly experiencing electrical problems for no apparent reason may need rewiring, and so do classic cars that need to update their electrical system. 

In all these cases, a complete rewiring is an excellent idea, if not an urgent necessity.

Read through this article to understand the circumstances that require car rewiring and how much that process will likely cost you in Australia.

When Does a Car Need Complete Rewiring?

Replacing car wiring is not something that you’ll often do. You might have to replace sections of damaged wiring in your vehicle due to an electrical fault.

For example, your headlights might not work because a short circuit caused the wires to burn out. In that case, you’ll only have to rewire those headlights.

However, having to rewire a whole car from front to back is rare and typically only done as a last resort.

Here are some of the situations where rewiring your entire vehicle would make sense:

1. The Car Is More Than a Decade Old

The first reason your car would need a rewiring is if it is over ten years old. The wires in a vehicle typically only last that long before they begin to deteriorate.

Old wires deteriorate in several ways. Firstly, the insulation wrapped around those wires will slowly come undone. That will leave the wires completely exposed, potentially coming into contact with other metal objects and causing short circuits.

Besides that, the wires themselves will also deteriorate and eventually break, causing disruptions in the electrical current running through them. With unreliable electricity supply, the car’s electrical and electronic components may suddenly start having problems as well.

Lastly, think about the electrical connectors and plugs. Even if the wires and insulation are still in good condition, connectors will wear out and come undone.

Without a strong connection, the electrical power and signals won't reach where needed.

Rewiring your vehicle when it reaches this point is the most practical way going forward. That way, you won’t have to look for problematic wires, insulation, or connectors one by one.

On top of that, you can also think of it as preventive maintenance. 

Even if some wiring sections are still alright, they’ll likely wear out soon. Replacing them altogether will prevent you from having to deal with this problem again in the near future.

2. Constant Electrical Problems

Another scenario where a complete rewiring would make sense is when your car has constant electrical problems. If you’ve ruled out all possibilities yet still failed to find the root cause of the problem, it might be practical to consider car rewiring.

This is a last-resort type of solution rather than something on the top of your troubleshooting list.

It’s only when all else has failed, and you’re sure there’s no other logical explanation, that replacing the wires becomes an option.

3. Fire Risk Concerns

Somewhat related to the two reasons above is the increased fire risk associated with old electrical wiring. This concern is legitimate and applies to other applications, such as household electrical wiring.

Even if your car's wiring is still functional, rewiring it as it ages will reduce its overall fire risk by avoiding electrical faults like short circuits.

4. Retrofitting Classical Car

Some older vehicles can also benefit from classic car rewiring. Classic cars are beautiful vehicles that still hold plenty of value today. For that reason, buyers still want to purchase and drive these vehicles on the road.

Unfortunately, these cars were built decades ago and don’t have many of the electrical or electronic perks that late-model vehicles enjoy.

Thankfully, there are automotive specialists providing classic car rewiring services. They remove the vehicle’s existing wiring and retrofit them with a modern electrical system.

Doing so also enables them to fit your classic car with modern amenities like air conditioning, better in-car entertainment systems, dash-cams, and more.

In simpler terms, you can pay specialists to rewire your classic car and bring it into the 21st century.

How Much Does It Cost to Rewire a Car?

The cost of a car rewiring service is not universal, so it’s impossible to give you a number upfront. Like many other car repairs, the price depends primarily on your car’s make and model.

Some car models have significantly more wiring than others, and obviously, you need to spend more for materials and parts. On top of that, having more wiring means the technician will require more time, adding more to the labour charges you’ll pay.

That’s especially true with late-model vehicles with many more electrical and electronic components and, therefore, much more wiring than older models.

Older models are generally more straightforward, with less wiring to be replaced, so the car rewiring cost is lower.

As a general estimate, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 or more to rewire an entire vehicle. A technician can give you a more precise estimate for your car model in particular.

Can You Rewire a Car Yourself?

Yes, rewiring a car yourself can be risky but possible if you understand the vehicle's electrical system. 

However, it’s always best to hire a car rewiring service to do it. A professional technician will understand your car wiring's layout in much greater detail than you do.

Not only will they get the job done quicker and more effectively, but they’ll also do it safely.

Finding automotive specialists can be challenging, but not anymore, thanks to CarpartAU’s Directory. Browse the directory to find precisely the kind of automotive businesses you need in your area and use their contact details to get in touch instantly.


By Ray Hasbollah

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