Car Horn Problems: Diagnosis and Repair
When the vehicle in front of you backs up a little too close, what would you do? Would you step out of the car to confront the driver? When a car cuts in front of your lane without warning, would you roll down the window and yell at the motorist? Or, would you simply honk at him to call his attention and move on?
When the car horn eventually breaks, you'll have trouble communicating with other motorists on the street. And this can be very frustrating. You can't easily warn them or call their attention in case they make a wrong move. So if you think the part is failing or defective, do something about it. Here are some tips on how you can properly diagnose and fix the problem:
If the horn has a low-volume sound
- Listen to the sound that your car makes when you honk. If the volume of the sound is lower than usual, chances are, one or more horns are dysfunctional.
- Clean the horn's different components. You can usually find this part near the car's grille or on the radiator core support. The next thing to do is to remove not just the wire connector but also the mounting and spade lugs, the ones connected to the wiring. Clean all these before reattaching them and then check if the sound is back to normal.
- Replace the broken part if cleaning the components doesn't fix the reduced volume. The new part should be an exact match to the old one, a direct fit to your vehicle.
If there is no sound
- Locate the fuse box for the said part. Use the owner's manual as a guide.
- Carefully pull out the fuse using pliers or other tools and check for a broken metal strip inside it. If the fuse has a broken strip, then this has to be replaced to make the car horn work.
- Check if the airbag light on the dash is on if the fuse isn't faulty at all. Problems with the airbag can affect the horn's function. An expanded airbag, for instance, may get in the way of the clock spring, which lets power to get to the horn's button from the relay coil.
- Have a mechanic properly remove and install the airbag. If you don't have the right tools and mechanical knowledge to fix this by yourself, let a professional handle this for you.
Reminders and warnings
- The problem may also be caused by a damaged clock spring. The clock spring not only lets the steering wheel turn but also allows electrical charge to get to the horn.
- The replacement for the blown fuse should have the same amperage.
- The blown fuse does not only affect the horn's function but may also indicate other automotive problems that need to be checked.
- Certain adjustments have to be made when using a universal horn as a replacement. The universal kind may produce a different kind of sound.