How to Disconnect Auto Electrical Connectors

by Cassandra TribeUpdated July 11, 2023
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Germes Online

A car's electrical system is one of the most important parts to maintain in order for your vehicle to function correctly. Disconnecting auto electrical connectors is essential to being able to do this. While it may seem like an obvious skill, auto electrical connectors are designed to stay connected under high speeds and vibrations from the engine. It is far easier to damage the connection then to disconnect it unless you understand the basic design of their locking system. Once you understand this, you can disconnect auto electrical connectors of any type.

Things You'll Need:

  • Small Scissors
  • DeoxIT D5 Connector & Contact Treatment

1. Pull the connection you want to disconnect up and away from the other wires around it

Pull the connection you want to disconnect up and away from the other wires around it. If you need to, use a pair of small scissors to cut the small plastic wire ties that may be holding the wires coming from the connection to the other bundles. You don't need much room but you will want to be able to get both your hands on the connection easily.

2. Look closely at the connection

Look closely at the connection. There will be a "female" end and a "male end". The male end inserts into the female end. Once you have identified which is the female end, look for a tab on the top or sides of the connection. If one is present, hold the female end in one hand and push down or in on the locking tab to release it. If there is no tab, hold the female end firmly in one hand.

3. Pull the male end from the female receiver

Pull the male end from the female receiver. Make sure you are grabbing the male end by the plastic of the connector and not the wires.

Tips and Warnings

If your connector is heavily corroded, spray a little bit of DeoxIT D5 Connector & Contact Treatment on it and wait for 5 minutes to let it penetrate and then pull the connection apart.

If you need to use DeoxIT D5 Connector & Contact Treatment, make sure the car is turned off and the negative cable to the battery is disconnected to prevent the possibility of fire.

Video: How to Disconnect Electrical Connectors GM/Chevy, Dodge/Chrysler, Ford, Honda

Helpful comments on this video:

  • Thanks for a great selection of different types of disconnect mechanisms. These are always a pain, because no matter how many you come across, I always seem to find another type. When they are difficult to see, and must be done by feel only, they can drive me nuts. I have one right now, on my Land Rover LR2's throttle body, that has held me up for an hour. Hopefully it is similar to the throttle body you show here... we will see.
  • Very helpful brother - Thanks a lot, you have covered a wide variety of connectors. Keeping a Lisle 13120 is also handy on multiple occasions where the connector is covered with dirt. Applying dielectric grease while putting them back has pretty much eliminated my woes over the years.

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