How to read car electrical circuits? How to read circuit diagrams correctly?

Circuit is a specialized graphic image, which shows the icons of various elements that are in a certain order in the circuit, as well as connected in parallel or in series. It is worth noting that any such drawing does not demonstrate the actual location of certain elements, but is used only to indicate their relationship with each other. Thus, a person who knows how to read electrical circuits can at a glance understand the principle of operation of this or that device.

What do they contain?

In the scheme there are three groups of elements:

  • power supplies that take on the function of current generation;
  • various devices that are responsible for further energy conversion;
  • nodes transmitting current (conductors).

The source can be a variety of galvanic cells, characterized by low resistance. In this case, various electronic engines are involved in energy conversion. At the same time, it is rather important to know the symbols of each individual object of which this scheme consists, since it is difficult to read electrical circuits without this knowledge.

how to read electrical circuits

What are they needed for?

Many people often wonder why they are needed at all. However, in fact, it is important for every motorist to understand them, because if you know how to read electrical circuits, you can subsequently save a lot on professional services. Of course, it will not be easy for you to carry out independent repairs of any particularly complicated faults, without attracting qualified specialists to this work, and in principle, this is fraught with further complications. But if you need to make a correction of some minor malfunction or to connect the headlights, computer, battery and other elements, you can even do it yourself, if you knowhow to read electronic circuits.

Why are they a motorist?

Often people want to introduce a variety of electronic devices into the circuit, including a radio tape recorder, an alarm system, an air conditioner, and many other devices that greatly simplify the procedure of driving and make our life more comfortable. In this case, it is also important to understand how to learn to read electrical diagrams, because in the majority of cases they are necessarily attached to almost every device.

This is especially true for owners of cars with a trailer, because often there are a variety of problems with its connection. In such cases, it will be necessary to use the electric circuit of the trailer of the car, and at the same time be able to understand it, since learning to read electrical circuits in a short time will not work.

how to learn to read electrical diagrams

Basic concepts

In order to understand the principle on which this or that device works, a knowledgeable person can simply look at his electrical circuit. At the same time, it is rather important to take into account several basic nuances that will help even a beginner to read such drawings in detail.

Of course, no device can operate normally without current flowing through the internal conductors. These paths are indicated by thin lines, the color of which is chosen in accordance with the actual color of the wires.

In the event that a sufficiently large number of elements are included in the electrical circuit, the route on it is displayed as gaps and segments, and the places of their connection or connection must be indicated.

In addition, the numbers that are indicated on the nodes must also fully correspond to the real numbers, since it would be meaningless to read the electrical circuits (designations) otherwise. The numbers indicated in the circles determine the places of the "minus" connections with the wires, while the designation of the current-carrying tracks makes it easier to search for elements located on different circuits. Combinations of letters and numbers fully correspond to detachable connections, while there are quite a large number of specialized tables, with which you can simply identify the elements of any circuit. Such tables simply enough to find not only on the Internet, but also in various manuals for specialists.In general, to understand how to correctly read the electrical circuit diagrams is not so difficult. The main thing in this - to deal with the functionality of the various elements, as well as be able to properly monitor the numbers.

how to learn to read electrical concepts

Useful tips

To understand how to read automotive electrical circuits correctly, one must not only understand in detail the conventions of the various components, but also be well aware of the way in which they are formed into blocks. So that you can understand the features of the interaction between several elements of an electronic device, you should learn how to determine how the signal is transmitted and transformed. Next we look at how to read electrical circuits. For beginners, the instruction is:

  1. Initially, you need to familiarize yourself with the scheme of allocation of power circuits. In the predominant majority of cases, the places where the supply voltage is applied to the instrument stages are located closer to the top of the circuit. Power is directly supplied to the load, after which it passes to the anode of the electron tube or directly to the collector circuit of the transistor.You should determine the place where the electrode is combined with the load output, since in this place the amplified signal is completely removed from the cascade.
  2. Install input circuits on each stage. You should highlight the main control element, then examine in detail the auxiliary, which are adjacent to it.
  3. Find capacitors located near the input of the cascade, as well as at its output. These elements are extremely important in the process of ac voltage amplification. Capacitors are not designed to pass through a direct current through them, as a result of which the value of the input resistance of the next block will not be able to bring the cascade out of a stable state of direct current.
  4. Start exploring those cascades that are used to amplify a particular DC signal. All kinds of elements that form the voltage are combined with each other without capacitors. In most cases, such cascades operate in analog mode.
  5. The exact sequence of stages is determined in order to establish the direction of the signal flow.Particular attention in this case will need to be paid to the detectors, as well as all kinds of frequency converters. You should also determine which cascades are connected in parallel and which are connected in series. When parallel cascading is used, several signals will be processed completely independently of each other.
  6. Besides the fact that you figure out how to learn how to read electrical concepts, you should also understand the connection diagrams attached to them, which are commonly called assembly diagrams. Features of the layout of the various components of the electronic device will help you understand which blocks in this system are basic. In addition, the wiring diagram makes it easier to determine the central component of the system, as well as to understand how it interacts with the auxiliary systems, since it is difficult to read automotive electrical diagrams without these values.

how to read wiring diagrams

How to learn?

Even if a person thoroughly understands the various conventions that are used in electronic circuits, this does not mean that he will immediately be able to understand how signals are transmitted between components.That is why, in order to learn not only to name specific components in the diagram, but also to determine their interaction with each other, you need to master a certain number of techniques on how to read circuit diagrams.

Types of chains

First of all, you need to learn how to distinguish standard power supply circuits from signal ones. You should pay attention to the fact that the place in which power is supplied to the cascade is almost always displayed in the upper part of the corresponding circuit element. A constant supply voltage in almost all cases initially passes through the load, and only over time is transmitted to the anode of the lamp or to the transistor collector. The point of connection of a specific electrode with the lower output of the load will be the place where the amplified signal is taken from the cascade.

how to read circuit diagrams

Input circuits

Often, for those people who approximately understand how to read the electrical circuitry of a car, the input circuit of the cascade does not require any explanation. In this case, you should note that the additional elements located around the control electrode of the active component are much more important than it might seem at first glance.It is with these elements that the voltage of the so-called bias is formed, with which the component will be introduced into a much more optimal mode for direct current. It should also be remembered that the different active components have individual characteristics of the method of feed bias.


Be sure to pay attention to the capacitors located both at the entrance and at the output of the cascade, which amplifies the alternating voltage. These capacitors do not conduct DC, and therefore neither the input impedance nor the input signal can bring the cascade out of DC mode.

Amplification cascades

Next, be sure to pay attention to the fact that certain cascades are used for DC amplification. In the design of such cascades there are no specialized voltage drivers, while they are interconnected without the use of capacitors. Certain instances are capable of working in analog mode, while some others work only in key mode.In the latter case, the minimum possible heating of the active component is ensured.


If the system uses several cascades at the same time, you will need to learn how to understand exactly how the signal passes through them, since you cannot read the car’s electrical diagrams correctly without this knowledge. It is necessary to develop the skills of determining the cascades that are engaged in certain transformations in relation to the signal, for example. It should be borne in mind that in one scheme there may be simultaneously several parallel cascade chains that process several signals completely independently of each other.

It is impossible to immediately describe all the subtleties, without the knowledge of which it would be possible to understand how to read electrical circuits correctly without any errors. It is for this reason that many people who do this professionally are studying specialized textbooks on circuit design.

How to draw?

Accordingly, before installing any electrical circuit, it is mandatory to draw its image, but it is worth noting that manufacturers often do not always apply the electrical circuit to these or other devices.If you are engaged in assembling electronic equipment with your own hands, you can complete this scheme completely independently. With the help of modern computer programs, this procedure has become extremely simple, and it is conveniently performed even by beginners.

 how to read automotive electrical circuits

What is needed for this?

To carry out this procedure, you will need only a few things available:

  • Paper.
  • Standard pencil.
  • A utility from Microsoft called Office Visio Professional.


  1. Initially, you need to draw a schematic image of a specific design of the device on paper. The scheme made in such a way will provide an opportunity to put together the various elements of the system as correctly as possible and arrange them in the correct sequence, as well as to combine the conventional lines between them that reflect the order of connection of certain electronic elements.
  2. For a more accurate numerical presentation of your electronic circuit, you need to use the Visio program above. After the software is fully installed, run it.
  3. Then you should enter the “File” menu and select the “Create Document” item there.On the presented toolbar, select items such as Snap and Snap to Grid.
  4. Configure all page settings in detail. To do this, you need to use a special command from the File menu. In the window that appears, you will need to select the format of the image of the scheme and, depending on the format, determine the orientation of the drawing to be drawn up. Best of all in this case will use the landscape layout.
  5. Determine the unit of measurement in which the electrical circuit will be drawn, as well as the required image scale. At the end, click "OK."
  6. Go to the "Open" menu, and then - in the library of stencils. You should transfer the necessary form of the main inscription, a frame and a lot of other additional elements to the drawing sheet. In the latter, you will need to make labels that will explain the features of your scheme.
  7. To draw the components of the scheme, you can use both already prepared stencils that are in the program's library, or any of your own blanks.
  8. All kinds of blocks of the same type or components of the scheme will need to be depicted by copying the presented elements, making the necessary additions and edits later.

how to read electrical diagrams for newbies

After the work on the scheme is completed, you should check how well it was compiled. Also try to correct the explanatory labels in detail, then save the file under the desired name. The finished drawing can be printed.

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