Most people don’t think that a dead car horn is of utmost importance. After all, drivers don’t use it very often and no policeman is ever going to ask to test the horn. However, safe driving means being prepared for emergencies and staying vigilant. And that includes making sure your car horn works. Because if an emergency does happen and you’ll need it, screaming “NOOOOO” as loud as you can just doesn’t cut it.
There are several reasons why a dead car horn occurs. We’ll run through them and give you some advice on what you can do to fix it. These quick fixes and checks can be done by yourself and aren’t’ very costly. But if the reason still eludes you, then take it in to our workshop and we’ll assess it!
Car horn not working? Here’s why!
1. Blown fuse
The horn works using electric power and, just like any other electrics-dependant part, it has a fuse. If the fuse is blown, you’ll simply need to replace it. Modern car fuses have that fork-like look and if the wire between them is broken, then you’ve found your problem. Just replace the (very cheap) fuse with the appropriate coloured one and you can scare people with loud honks again.
2. Bad relay
If it’s not the fuse, there is a strong possibility it’s the relay. They are also very cheap, albeit more expensive than fuses. You will probably not be able to inspect the relay visually. Luckily, most relays are the same, so if you have the same one in the relay box, just swap it to see if the relay is the problem. If so, buy the right one and replace it. Otherwise, check the other possible causes.
3. Broken or bad wire connector
The car horn sits at the front of your car where grime, dust, oils, and other small particles can build up over time. This can lead to build up or corrosion on the connector, resulting in poor conductivity. Sometimes, all you need to do is clean the wire connector and reattach it (good ol’ WD-40 will do thee trick). Do make sure the battery is disconnected when cleaning the connector, and the connector is fully dry before you plug it back in.
4. Broken horn
If the fuse and the relay are good, there is a strong possibility that the horn itself is bad. In order to test that, you need to give it electricity. Connect a probe to the horn wire and use jumper wire to connect one of its ends on the positive battery terminal and the other one on the horn. While you are touching the horn with the other end of the jumper wire, make sure you do it quickly and remove the jumper wire from the horn immediately. This is important because, if the horn works, if will sound and scare the life out of you.
5. Bad horn switch
It is located in the place that you press to sound the horn. In most cars it is in the steering wheel, so if it is broken, you will likely need to visit a mechanic, unless you know how to open the steering wheel and deal with the airbag and the electronics inside. If you do know all this and have the right tools, you probably aren’t reading this article anyway. Moreover, airbags are dangerous and if you accidentally set it off, it can hurt you seriously. If it’s the horn switch and you are not a mechanic, don’t touch it.
6. Airbag issue
An expanded airbag can interfere with the horn operation. This is something you can’t open up to check, but you’ll likely see the airbag dashboard light on if there are any issues. If you’re seeing that, do visit a workshop asap.
Need help fixing your dead car horn? Look no further, and book an appointment at the most trusted and reliable car workshop today!