Car horn is one of the most interesting components of your vehicle. It is, in fact, the only way to communicate with other drivers at any given moment while driving. It isn’t just for warning, but it is a way for saying a lot of different things, from simple “hello“ to “watch out“. In some countries, drivers use the horn as much as the brakes and despite all advanced electronics aids and radar cruising systems on modern cars, the old-fashioned horn is still a part of every vehicle. Most car horns are very loud since they just have to be, and they produce around 100 decibels. Trains, buses or trucks are required to have louder horns and they are around 110-120 dB. But what should you do if you don’t like the powerful sound of your horn or you live in a quiet residential area where such loud sounds are prohibited? There are several solutions which could help you soften your car’s honk.
1. Replacing the horn
If your car horn is too loud you can always replace it with a smaller one. The power of the horn can easily be determined by the size of it. Simply, the bigger the horn assembly, the louder it is. Since it is a simple bolt-on component, you can always replace it with a smaller one, preferably from the same make of the car and it should work perfectly. Smaller horn will provide weaker sound, and you will have your horn in case you need it again, and still, you won’t wake up your neighbors at night. Used horns can be found cheaply in scrap yards or online, and the process of replacement shouldn’t be hard.
2. Wrapping the horn
Some drivers are wrapping the horn in order to soften the sound of it and even though it is a common way of dealing with a loud horn, we are not sure it is a good idea. Here is why. The horn is placed in front or just behind the car’s radiator on the front of the vehicle. By wrapping it in plastic or cloth or placing a mat in front of it, you are not only blocking the horn, but you are blocking the air going into the radiator as well. If the wrapping of the horn is not done properly, your vehicle can overheat and break which is a big risk for such a novel decision. On the other hand, if the horn is behind the radiator, the plastic foil or cloth can mess with the ventilator and cause it to stop working. Ultimately, this will also cause the engine to overheat and break. In fact, anything that will affect the airflow through the radiator and the engine is not a good idea.
3. Reduce the power
Since car horns are powered by electricity, you can reduce the power delivered to the horn and thus limit its power. Of course, you should know a thing or two about electricity and if you don’t, we suggest you to go to the professionals. The idea is simple, if you limit the power of the horn, you will limit the sound and to do so, you need a different set of fuses, transformers, and wires. Be advised that tampering with the electronic system of modern cars can cause warranty issues, but if you have an older vehicle, there is no problem. This way you can soften the sound of the horn easily and you can even install a switch between two horn modes – one soft and one powerful.