Learning, Wiring,

How to Wire a Winch with a Toggle Switch?

Toggle switches are becoming more popular in vehicles. This is attributed to their winching efficiency. They (toggle switches) are installed adjacent to the driver’s seat. So, anyone can comfortably operate on/off switches for off-road lights, heated seat switches, power supply switches for winches, and other accessory functions in a car.

In this step-by-step guide, I will teach you how to wire a winch with a toggle switch. As an automotive engineer, I have years of experience with this and I can help teach you to wire the switch in the easiest way possible.

Quick Summary: To wire your car’s winch with a toggle switch, you need to follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. First, turn off the ignition.
  2. Mount the toggle switch housing using the necessary tools.
  3. Proceed to connect three wires to the toggle switch accordingly (match the colors of the wires). Route the wires, and snap the same-color wires together.
  4. Finally, complete the wiring by testing the winch operation.

Safety Precautions and Tips Before You Wire the Toggle Switch

Follow the following instructions before you attempt to wire the winch toggle switch. You will be working in an electrical environment, so, the following tips will come in handy: (1)

  • Keep the ignition of the vehicle off. Identify the toggle switch and the wires connected to it (three wires). Verify that there is no electrical power flowing in the toggle switch.
  • Go ahead and release the clutch on the winch.
  • You can easily access the sections you are working on by opening the car’s hood
  • Disconnect one of the green or yellow connectors that’s included in the kit. That’s because you will use wire splices in the place of the spade connectors.

How to Wire Your Toggle Switch

wiring toggle switch
Video | 4×4 Brothers

The following instructions will help you install the toggle switch. Proceed carefully.

Step 1: Mounting the toggle switch housing to the tube

man mounting the toggle switch
Video | 4×4 Brothers

Position the Tube Clamp-on handlebars conveniently and then mount the housing of the toggles switch to the Tube Clamp. Use the capscrew, flat washer, locknut, and shake-proof washer, and then push the three wires (green, red, and yellow wires) through the back section of the Toggle Switch. Go ahead and install the Gasket to the toggle switch.

Step 2: Connecting the three wires of the toggle switch

toggle switch manual for easy installation
Video | 4×4 Brothers

To the toggle switch, connect the yellow wire to the top terminal, the red to the middle terminal, and the green wire to the bottom terminal.  

Push the wires into the loom, and slide it (the loom) behind the switch housing. Go on and snap the toggle housing and the switch together.

Step 3: Route the wires

Starting from the toggle switch, thread the wires down the handlebars. Ensure there’s plenty of clearance by turning the switch right and left.

motor / battery wiring diagram
Video | 4×4 Brothers

Next, route wires to the toggles switch. And then match them to their corresponding counterparts on the toggle switch. Now place the matched pairs of the wires into pliers, and snap them together.

Step 4: Completing the Toggle Switch wiring

man preparing the toggle switch for wiring
Video | 4×4 Brothers

Make sure the winch clutch is disengaged, and press your toggle switch to “out”.  With the ignition OFF, the winch should not operate.

Spool a few feet of the cable out (with your hand), and then engage the clutch. When you turn the toggle switch on, the winch must spool out the cable (you may verify the continuity of your wires with a multimeter if that’s not the case). Finally, lose the wires across all the surfaces. A tight connection can damage car components; you may anchor the wires on cable ties.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Toggle Switches


  1. Toggle switches control the flow of the electrical current properly
  2. They are cheap
  3. And they use less power when compared to rocker switches.


  1. When compared to rocker switches, toggle switches are bulkier.
  2. Toggle switches are not universal; hence they are not as common as rocker switches.

Why Do You Need a Toggle Switch?

The toggle switch is not as popular as the rocker switch, but they are the best for switching the state of a system’s functionalities and preferences. You, therefore, can have the freedom to decide which one to apply depending on your situation. (2)

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) electrical environment – https://nap.nationalacademies.org/
(2) freedom to decide – https://www.routledge.com/Freedom-to-Choose-How-to-Make-End-of-life-Decisions-on-Your-Own-Terms/Burnell-Lund/p/book/9780415784542

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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