Rewiring a car's electrical system may sound daunting, but with some basic tools and components, it can be done on a budget under $50. A rewired electrical system can provide more reliable power to your lights, stereo, phone chargers and other accessories.

In this comprehensive guide, I'll walk through all the steps needed to fully rewire a car's electrical system for less than $50. I'll cover:

So if you want to upgrade your ride's electrical system without breaking the bank, let's get started!

Assessing Your Car's Electrical Needs

The first step is figuring out what electrical circuits and features your car needs. Bold some key questions to consider:

Thoroughly assessing your car's electrical needs will ensure your new system is designed to power all the essentials.

Creating a Wiring Diagram

Next, you'll want to map out the new system with a wiring diagram. This visual layout shows:

Having an accurate diagram makes installation much simpler. You can draw it yourself or find a diagram online for your specific car make and model.

Gathering Required Tools

Rewiring a car requires some specific tools for cutting, stripping, and connecting wires:

Having these basic tools on hand will enable you to complete all required wiring tasks.

Buying Electrical Components

Here are the key electrical supplies you'll need to rewire a car's system for under $50:

The total cost can be kept low by getting universal wiring harnesses, bulk packages of connectors, and sticking with standard fuses. Check wrecking yards for very cheap used components.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Now let's get to the hands-on part - installing your new automotive wiring system. Follow these key steps:

Disconnect the Battery

Before touching any wires, always disconnect the negative battery terminal. This cuts all power and avoids getting shocked.

Remove Old Wiring

Start stripping out the old wiring harnesses and components. Remove dash panels and trim to access hard-to-reach wires.

Mount New Fuse Box

Install a new fuse box or relay center in a spot that's protected from moisture. Attach it securely to a metal surface.

Run and Connect New Wires

Route your new replacement wiring through the car following your diagram. Cut each wire to length and connect to lighting fixtures, switches, and components.

Insulate and Protect Connections

Once wires are attached, thoroughly insulate each connection point with heat shrink tubing or electrical tape. This prevents shorts.

Reinstall Panels and Covers

With all new wiring installed, reattach removable panels and engine bay covers. This protects wires and gives a tidy appearance.

Reconnect Battery and Test Circuits

Reconnect the battery and test all electrical circuits one by one. Check for full functionality before buttoning everything up.

Taking it slow and methodically will result in a professionally rewired car electrical system.

Testing the New System

Once installation is complete, it's crucial to fully test your rewired system. Here are the steps:

Only after passing all tests should you consider the new system good to go. Taking the time to test thoroughly avoids overlooking issues.

Troubleshooting Tips

Despite best efforts, you may encounter some problems with a DIY rewiring job. Here are some quick troubleshooting tips:

In most cases, wiring issues can be fixed with close inspection of connections and wire routing. Having patience pays off.


Rewiring your car provides reliability and options for new accessories. By following the steps here and working safely, it can be done for less than $50 in parts. The key is having an accurate diagram, quality tools, patience, and attention to detail. Take it slow and double check your work. Then enjoy your revitalized vehicle electrical system!