The Most Popular Control Cable Types and Their Application

One of the most ubiquitous objects that are essential to our everyday lives are cables. Luckily, with the advancement of wireless technology and the popularity of wireless devices being on the rise, there are not as many cables to be seen around as there were years ago. This does not mean they are about to go out of use though. However, one place where cables are going to be used in years to come is the automotive industry.

For building and maintaining land, sea and air vehicles, control cables are a must. A control cable carries signals to regulate automation and control processes in planes, bikes, cars, trucks, boats and even lawn mowers. They undergo wear and tear during the automation process and owners may have to replace them. When it comes to control cables, one type doesn’t fit every application. As a consumer, you have to purchase the right type of control cable in order for your vehicle to function properly.

control cable

Control cables are made of two basic components – the inner core which is the actual cable, and the outer sheath which acts as conduit. Both ends of the inner core have a termination on them. These terminations fit into the mechanisms which the control cables are supposed to regulate. The conduit has a part called a ferule and wiper shields on both ends to protect the inner core.

Control cables can be found in three main varieties with significantly different functions. Shielded flex cables (SY), screened flexible cables (CY) and unshielded control cables (YY) – all fit under the flexible instrumentation cables banner, and they have distinct differences in use and function. Screen flexible cables control transmit without interference and are designed to be protected from magnetic and electromagnetic stressors. Shielded flex cables are the toughest of all types and are designed to be protected by high levels of mechanical stress. Unshielded cables can withstand low amounts of mechanical stress, but are suitable for many conditions.

Various control cables regulate functions in many parts of vehicles. Consumers who can identify the problems within particular functions can often times troubleshoot by checking the control cables associated with the said vehicle functions. For instance, a hood release cable regulates the closing and opening of the hood; kick down cables downshift the transmission upon acceleration; transmission shift cable sets the transmissions and gear in position; window regulator regulates the position of the window in cars with power windows; trunk release cable regulates the opening and closing of a trunk; parking brake cable activates the car’s hydraulic brake system, etc.