Undoing electrical plugs.

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Apr 28, 2017
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I really struggle to undo the electrical plugs found on modern vehicles and I wonder if i am the only one.

Occasionally i can push the litte tab in and the plug comes apart. But mostly i have to resort to forcing the plug apart with a screwdriver or using side cutters to cut off the locking mechanism. If its hard to undo i always cut off the locking mechanism and tape up the connecter with electrical tape so i wont have the same problem again.

Am I the only one who does this? Or is there a trick to undoing plugs that I dont know about?
My experience is that they are difficult and I'm sure other forum members will agree. I have had mixed outcomes as you have had however spraying the harness connections with WD40 or something similar does help free them up. But it seems the older they get the more brittle the become. I have also used cable ties to help retain the in place if that helps but tape works well too I think. I have also thought about using the chemical bonding electrical tape used in marine and water environments which will provide a superior all round protection I think.


I hate them. Sure, they are meant to be made so they stay together and don't rattle undone, but crikey some of them are a complete @#$%&^&$ to undo, especially when you can't get two hands in there.
Yeah, you often need a tool to help release the clips. I have found a small bit of the stainless steel strips that are part of some wiper blades to be good, you can put a bend in them to access the clip.

Best off not cutting the clips off if you can help it, nothing worse than intermittent faults coming form a connector that looks fine.
Took me about 20min to get the plug off the back of the headlight last night. Couldn't work out where the clip was. Couldn't see it properly. Didn't want to break the globe.

Turned out not to have any clip on it, just needed a decent pull.

On another rant: Why is it designed to take off the grill AND the bumper to remove a headlight? Trying to fix my headlight adjuster last night, wanted to pull out the healdight to make it easier to access, no go as I wasn't pulling off the nudge bar and bumper. Finally fidgeted around and got the adjuster back in after loosening the headlight but not removing it.
I guess it's not as bad as the forester I had that required removing the grill and headlight to change a globe!
Haha! Reminds me of trying to change the globe behind my heater slider in the dash. I rooted around for ages trying to unscrew or un-bayonet (is that a word?) the blown globe after finally being able to get a couple of fingers on it. Just pulled out in the end��
often a hook/pick can help , also understanding what sort of clip it is, a push vs pull tab if you know what i mean. But remain patient and slowly work at it , and it will come.
I've had similar experiences, and found a good dose of wd40, and wriggling the connection about.. and flicking the tab multiple times has freed most... There is one connection into block? above oil cooler behind the two injector pump connections (scv and temp) that's got me stuck. It's wrapped In a rubber/foam fabric.. any tips

Like above this is for an engine swap...
'The older we get, the more brittle we become' There is your answer. As you get older getting anything IN or OUT becomes harder;)