Often, however, it is hidden away, perhaps under the dashboard or down in the front knee-well. The car handbook usually gives the location, but without a book finding the box can prove difficult. Get to know where it is before anything goes wrong.
This is called a negative earth system, and when buying an electrical accessory a radio, for example check that it is of a type suitable for your car system. Fitting a radio with the incorrect polarity will damage the set, but most car radios have an external switch for setting the polarity to suit that of the car. Switch to the correct setting before fitting.
Modern cars often need room for many wires in confined spaces. Some manufacturers now use printed circuits instead of bundles of wires, particularly at the rear of the instrument panel.
This means it must be connected using wires thick enough to carry 4 amps comfortably. Often the power consumption of a component will be stated in watts, which are found by multiplying amps and volts. The lamp in the example consumes 48 watts.