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BMW INSIGHTS


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Wiring-Harness






Wiring Harness

The wiring harness, also known as the physical on-board power system, is one of the most complex systems in a BMW and represents a new kind of automotive nervous system.

It includes all hardware components and electrical connections, like cables, plugs and grommets, that safeguard the energy and signal flow between the electrical and electronic parts of a BMW. 

Inside the wiring harness are various sub-systems responsible for different areas, e.g. the audio system, the cockpit or the bodyshell. The increasing use of driver assistance systems in the realms of safety and driving comfort, as well as audio, entertainment, navigation and in hybrid vehicles, adds to the performance requirements of the vehicle on-board power system. The more comprehensive the electrical equipment in the car, the longer and heavier the wiring harness. Depending on the equipment, this means the physical on-board power system of a modern BMW can comprise up to 3 km of cable and thus weigh up to 60 kg. As such, it is one of the largest, heaviest and most complex electrical and electronic components. 

There are basically two types of wiring harness: modular wiring harnesses are assembled and pre-produced corresponding to fixed equipment packages. Forty varieties with differing levels of complexity are available to cover the entire spectrum of equipment, from minimum to maximum, with which a vehicle is fitted and, based on this, an appropriate modular wiring harness is installed for the scope of equipment. 

In contrast, the tailor-made wiring harness is made entirely according to customer specifications. Only connections necessary for the required vehicle configuration are built. In a car like the BMW 1 Series, this means approximately 50 million different configurations are possible. This approach reduces weight and costs while increasing the logistical complexity of production. A large benefit of this model: changes in the vehicle’s equipment can be made up to 5 days before installation starts with no delay in delivery. 

Due to their high complexity, wiring harnesses are only manufactured in an automated process in very small runs. Approximately 95% of the manufacturing is done by hand on so-called design boards.


Wiring-Harness






Wiring Harness

The wiring harness, also known as the physical on-board power system, is one of the most complex systems in a BMW and represents a new kind of automotive nervous system.

It includes all hardware components and electrical connections, like cables, plugs and grommets, that safeguard the energy and signal flow between the electrical and electronic parts of a BMW. 

Inside the wiring harness are various sub-systems responsible for different areas, e.g. the audio system, the cockpit or the bodyshell. The increasing use of driver assistance systems in the realms of safety and driving comfort, as well as audio, entertainment, navigation and in hybrid vehicles, adds to the performance requirements of the vehicle on-board power system. The more comprehensive the electrical equipment in the car, the longer and heavier the wiring harness. Depending on the equipment, this means the physical on-board power system of a modern BMW can comprise up to 3 km of cable and thus weigh up to 60 kg. As such, it is one of the largest, heaviest and most complex electrical and electronic components. 

There are basically two types of wiring harness: modular wiring harnesses are assembled and pre-produced corresponding to fixed equipment packages. Forty varieties with differing levels of complexity are available to cover the entire spectrum of equipment, from minimum to maximum, with which a vehicle is fitted and, based on this, an appropriate modular wiring harness is installed for the scope of equipment. 

In contrast, the tailor-made wiring harness is made entirely according to customer specifications. Only connections necessary for the required vehicle configuration are built. In a car like the BMW 1 Series, this means approximately 50 million different configurations are possible. This approach reduces weight and costs while increasing the logistical complexity of production. A large benefit of this model: changes in the vehicle’s equipment can be made up to 5 days before installation starts with no delay in delivery. 

Due to their high complexity, wiring harnesses are only manufactured in an automated process in very small runs. Approximately 95% of the manufacturing is done by hand on so-called design boards.