Steps to Using the Proper Tape for Automotive Engine Projects

Auto engine repairs and improvement projects have many unique demands to successfully fulfill, with one of them being the utilization of suitable tape. Whereas, getting the right tape designed to harness your engine’s service life can be a seamless experience, there can be challenges that arise that you did not expect.

There is a real difference, all the difference in the auto world, in how tapes are wrapped on various engine components. If wrongly applied, the tape could fail to proficiently protect the engine compartments of a vehicle from abrasion, high-temperatures, and other environment-related conditions. Unraveled in the subsequent paragraphs are pointers to using the right tape for automotive engine tasks. 

  1. Pick the right tape for the job

One can choose to slog through repair projects, make endless mistakes, waste time and energy, trying out different tapes with uncertainties on whether the tapes will get the job done or not. On the other hand, one can profit from selecting the right tape for the job by scrutinizing the specifications of his or her options. For instance, there is something incredibly powerful about a tape’s stretch, adhesive strength, and resilience. 

When picking an automotive engine tape, you should factor in how effectively the tape can stretch and its power to retain elasticity. A tape that seamlessly stretches but is characterized by poor elasticity will serve loose wraps that cannot protect against heat, abrasion, moisture, and corrosion. On a different note, a tape should be chosen based on the strength of its adhesiveness, preferable one that can be effective under extreme circumstances for long. Concerning resilience, tapes designed for engines should be engineered with resistances for different elements. These include resilience for chemicals and fluids, abrasion, puncturings, moisture, water, extreme vibrations, high-temperatures, and airborne contaminants.

  1.  Consider ease of use

Whether you are insulating your engine’s electrical components or doing minor repairs on your engine components that require some tapping, consider a tape that prefers a seamless experience during application. More often, due to the closeness of various engine components, you will need a flexible tape to maneuver and easy to tear so that you have ample time half-lapping and stretching the tape. A tape that twists or curls during applications can be more challenging to apply. 

  1. The rule of the thumb is to half-lap

Chances are you might have already considered ultra high molecular weight tapes as the right choice for your automotive engine tasks. To properly apply such tapes, you have to half-lap them, consequently achieving a double-layered wrap. Before the many tapping products hit the market, mechanics and electricians relied on conventional tapes for most of their projects. Thus, today’s generation of mechanics, electricians, and do-it-yourselfers may not have the tapping artistry possessed by their predecessors- the half-lap. 

Nevertheless, a mastery of the ‘old-school’ tapping approaches is an integral element to an engineer’s skill-set today. A half-lap entails cloaking every one turn of the tape by a-half the breadth of the tape. An overlapped layer of tape fuses or bonds together to provide adequate protection against most of the aforementioned environmental factors that could compromise the service life of your engine. With such a pristine approach to your engine project, nothing can beat the pleasure of stepping back and appreciating a job well done. 

  1. Provide more protection by stretching the tape as you wind

Stretching describes the extent to which a tape can stretch before breaking once applied. Most tapes come detailed with an elongation rating in percentages. Scrutinizing these ratings will inform you how well the tape can manage the tension that comes with stretching upon application. Stretching of tapes during application strengthens the properties necessary for sealing out moisture, contaminants, and other elements from engine components. 

By stretching the tape, you let it best adapt to the engine component it is being lapped on. Notably, unlike other wraps, the last one should be applied with no stretching to avoid flagging. When wrapping electrical components characterized by low voltage, the tape should be stretched to the extent that its width is reduced to 75% during wrapping. On the other hand, the engine’s medium and high voltage electrical components should have the tape tensile just about its breaking point. 


Today, the market offers engine tapes with advanced properties such as the UHMW to get the job well done. The proper tapping skills, specifically half-lapping and stretching, are mandatory to adopt such proven products to various automotive engine-related projects to adopt such proven products to various automotive engine-related projects.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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