By November 7, 2007 9 Comments Read More →

Cost to Replace Wire Harness


What would be the avearge cost for repairing a wiring harneess (parts & labor) for a Toyota sedan?



Howdy Paul,

Hummmmm, that is a very tough question. Seldom…I mean seldom do you see the need to replace the wiring harness. I can really only remember replacing 2 or 3 harnesses in my life time, and both were due to an under hood fire.

You might just need 1 piece of the harness, like a connector for something that has corroded or burnt. If that is the case and you can not buy a new connector to splice into your old harness then you might want to visit your local junk yard with a pair or wire snips and cut off what you need.

If you are sure you need the complete harness, then you will only be able to buy the part from Toyota (or a used part from a junk yard) and the labor cost could be as high as $750 depending on how much of the harness you want to replace. I would bet that Toyota gets a pretty penny for the part, and would have to be special ordered I am sure.

If you can get me a more detailed description of what part of the harness you really need to replace I can try to assist…….but I would highly suggest you visit a few local junk yards and cut off what you need.


Austin Davis

Reader Follow up


Actually, it’s the entire harness. What happened was the starter became ‘stuck’ in the on position taking out the starter, battery & harness. There was some smoke, but no flames.

But the price $750 in labor was close to what the dealer quoted, which was $700.

Thanks, Paul


Hello again Paul

I was afraid you were going to say something like that. I think the real problem is…..the dealership really does not want to do the repair, its not a fun job. I think they are shooting you a high ball number in hopes that you go away.

I still feel though, you really probably only need a small part of the harness. I don’t see how the starter motor section of the harness doing any damage to the other parts of the harness….not associated with the starter motor. The dealership is also in the business of selling new parts….not saving you money installing used parts from a junk yard.

I would suggest one of these options.

1. Call your auto insurance company and see if they will accept the claim…they should if you have comprehensive coverage. How much of the deductible amount will you have to pay will be another story, but would be worth a phone call to see if you are covered and what your costs will be to file the claim.

2. Go to another repair shop….and independent family owned type of place and ask them if they are willing to use used parts in this situation. I would get them to give you a Max amount of hour’s labor they will charge you to solder in the needed harness from a salvage yard.

For example, I would bill you $70 a hour labor with a max 4 hours labor time plus the parts. I have a feeling this is going to be a pretty simple repair…..IF you can find a shop that is willing to work with you….dealerships don’t understand that concept very well.


Austin Davis


Hello again Austin,

Thanks for the Great info. I did file a claim with my auto insurance, and all but the starter will be covered (minus the deductible). The shop did show me the harness, or should I say what was left. There was damage to most of the wiring. But since the insurance covers it, it’s not a big deal. But Thanks again for the excellent advice.

Best Regards,

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
  • dsullie2

    i have a 1994 chevy cheyenne truck the wiring has been spliced many times but it still runs good problem is first start of the day i have to use starter fluid .HELP



  • T Savage

    I have a 1994 cavalier and it was vandalized at a friends house. I would like to know how much it would cost to put a new complete harness in it

  • Aarti vig

    Hi Austin

    Recently one of the headlight of my car stopped working. It’s a 2013 Nissan altima 2.5 S. The bulb was fine. I took it to dealership n they tell me they wud need to replace the entire wiring harness ! Is it really possible that an entire wiring harness b replaced just coz one of the headlights is not working? N it’s just the low beam light, the high beam still works fine.


  • Jstig722

    I know this is an old post–initially from 2007, but all of the above
    suggestions saved me almost $2500. I had my alternator short out in my
    2006 Highlander and it completely “melted” my engine wire harness and ruined my
    battery. My insurance is covering the engine wire harness and battery. I
    appreciate the suggestions–especially the suggestion to contact my
    auto insurance provider–because I, naively, didn’t even realize that my
    comprehensive policy included electrical malfunctions in the car (I
    think it was covered under the “fire” portion of the policy). I don’t
    know if anyone will read this, but I thought I’d post thanking you all

  • Austin Davis

    That code is usually dealing with the ignitor, and or distributor. You have replaced just about everything that I would recommend you do via email, so I am afraid you are going to have to go back to the dealer and have them do the diagnosis again and see if they come up with the same recommendations after you replaced all the parts. The car is a little old, so a loose or bad wire connection in the wire harness is very possible.

    Here is some good information on the code

  • Jorge

    I have Toyota corolla 1996 dx 1.8L my when it warm up after 10 minutes driving the car die, I did bring the car to the dealer for a diagnostic for $120 they make me buy (of course I didn’t buy from them)the igniter, the electrical distributor, the spars plug, the spars plug wire, the craft shaft sensor, the EMC computer, they check the gas pump, and any of those thing fix the car and the car still with the same issue, their last guess was the maybe is the wire harness that is maybe not working properly , oh they didn’t charge me anything because they didn’t find the issue, I just spent all that money for nothing buying new parts, so I did bring the car to another mechanic he said he cant find what is provoking this things the (code is P1300) and that the engine die after get hot, what do you thing should I do with this night mare?

    you can communicate with me trough the email



  • austin

    Murray, to my knowledge this is not a common problem and I am unaware of a recall for it. I don’t keep emails for privacy reasons so not sure what happened to the readers problem/solution. My gut tells me you had a bad starter motor which “hung up” and caused to much current to flow through the wire harness. This used to be an issue on older Ford Trucks and replacing the starter was the solution.

  • Murray

    My wife’s ’96 Corolla had it’s starter stick and burned the wiring harness also.
    Q1: Is this common? (Recall?)
    Q2. What ever became of Paul’s car? (If you could forward my email to him and let him decide to contact me or not.)
    Q3. Why isn’t there a fuse for this?!