The color codes for different automotive wires help you quickly identify which one is in a particular part of a wire harness or a connecting component. These codes are used in combination with the information in a car’s wiring diagram to help you identify the parts.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no set standard for the colors of wires in a car. The specific colors of wires can vary depending on the model, make, and even year of the vehicle. Understanding the basics of reading an electrical diagram is the best way to determine which wires to pick.
How to read a car’s wiring diagram: the basics
A basic electrical diagram consists of four symbols, which represent the various components of a car’s electrical system. These include the switch, battery, ground, and resistor. Advanced diagrams show the circuit path and amps. Having a copy of this diagram is the best way to keep track of all the details in a car’s electrical system.
In advanced electrical diagrams, the size and color of the wire are represented by the symbol ORN.The ORN codes are usually spelled out in full color, making it easier for those with only four letters to understand. They can also be spelled out as BLCK, which is an easily understood abbreviation.
A two-character code is also used to add the color of wires in a diagram. The first letter refers to the main color of the wire, while the second letter represents the part’s stripes. For instance, a green wire with a red stripe would be marked GR.
Common Car Wiring Diagram Color Codes
British Car Wiring Diagram Color Codes
This is commonly used British automotive wiring diagram color codes.
Chrysler Wire Color Codes
Table of common Chrysler wiring diagram color codes.
Toyota Wiring Diagram Color Codes
Common Toyota wiring color codes shown below.
Lucas automotive wiring color codes
These tables below show typical Lucas automotive wiring color codes.
Indian Automotive Wiring Diagram Color Codes
This standard specifies color codes for automobile cables that comply with IS 2465: 1984 Cables for motor vehicles (second revision), which are used in major electrical circuits in automobiles such as starting, charging, signaling, lighting, tell-tale warning, and safety devices.
This standard excludes electrical circuits such as air conditioning, electronic carburation, anti-skid braking, automatic transmission, and so on.
BMW Wiring Diagram Color Codes
The following diagrams are those that are typical and most frequently required because it is not possible to include all wiring diagrams for every model year covered.
Models covered :
- 3-Series (E30) 316 (83 to 88), 316i (88 to 91), 318i (83 to 91), 320i (87 to 91), 325i (87 to 91). Also Touring and Convertible versions of these models
- 5-Series (E28) 518 (81 to 85), 518i (85 to 88), 525i (81 to 88), 528i (81 to 88), 535i (85 to 88), M535i (85 to 88)
- 5-Series (E34) 518i (90 to 91), 520i (88 to 91), 525i (88 to 91), 530i (88 to 91), 535i (88 to 91)