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How to wire a toggle switch

Updated July 19, 2017

A toggle switch is so named because it is a switch with a long handle, or toggle, to control it. A very versatile device, toggle switches are found in everything from boats to heavy equipment. This article will demonstrate how to wire a toggle switch in a car or truck.

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  1. Locate a fused line as near as possible to the proposed location for the toggle switch, using a test light.

  2. Mount the toggle switch. You can use a switch panel for this, or drill a hole for the switch to mount through. Check your switch, this hole will generally be 1/2 inch, but some switches do need a larger hole.

  3. Connect a wire from the fused source to the centre terminal of the toggle switch. Connecting to the fused source is easier if you use a Scotchlok connector. Connections to the switch should be made with insulated solderless connectors.

  4. Run another wire from the second terminal on the switch to the device being controlled by the switch as shown in this diagram. Because cars and trucks use the body as the ground side of the circuit, there is no need to run a second wire for ground.

  5. Tip

    Be sure to tape all connections securely.

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Things You'll Need

  • Toggle switch
  • Wire
  • Test light
  • Scotchlok connector
  • Solderless connectors

About the Author

K.K. Lowell is a freelance writer who has been writing professionally since June 2008, with articles appearing on various websites. A mechanic and truck driver for more than 40 years, Lowell is able to write knowledgeably on many automotive and mechanical subjects. He is currently pursuing a degree in English.

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