Cleanly tapping a power wire?

I need to hook something up to an existing power lead in my car. I’d like a cleaner and more easily-removed solution than stripping the insulation from part of the lead and wrapping my new wire around it (I don’t have access to the end of the lead).

I’ve seen kits that come with a small clip that you can place around a lead and snap shut. It has a metal contact that penetrates the insulation, and a terminal to attach your wire to. Anyone know what these are called, and where I can buy them individually? I gave RadioShack a call, but the guy was useless.

I think they’re called vampire taps. Radioshack doesn’t seem to know what that is though.
This guy appears to be using what you want.

They are called a wire tap, You can buy them at any automotive store.

I would only use one on a vehicle I didn’t intend to keep. I’ve spent too much time trouble shooting problems resulting from thier use.

If the load draw significant current (say, a marker light) the connection will develop increasing resistance over time. Eventually, there will be too much voltage drop to run the load. You’ll disconnect the load, and measure the voltage either with a meter or a very small test light, and not find the problem because the resistive connection will look OK as long as you are not trying to draw current through it. Hopefully, I don’t know you, or it will be me that you will ask for help when you can’t figure it out. I’ll figure it out as soon as I see that GD running tap.

The first methode you discribed, with some solder (rosin core 60/40 or 63/37) wrap some self-amalgamating rubber tape (AKA 3M splicing tape) and your good. Just make the splice in a location where it won’t be subject to repeated flexing.

They are known generically as IDCs or insulation displacement connectors, and by brand name as Scotchlok® connectors. 3M part number 560B handles wire from 14-18 AWG according to the website of a distributor. Call electrical and electronic wholesalers in your area to for availability and pricing.