Is Your Car Horn in Need of a Fix?

Has your car horn stopped working properly? If so, you can often repair a malfunctioning horn rather quickly, usually without any tools, exotic or otherwise, and rarely at a cost of more than a few dollars. In a moment, you will learn how you can fix your silenced car horn.

Granted, when a car horn stops working, some people quickly joke, “Good riddance!” This is often because car horns can be terribly annoying as too many people use and abuse them to get your attention or simply to signal their irritation.

But a car horn has many useful purposes, too, from alerting an animal or person to an oncoming vehicle, another driver to a hazard, or to summon help in an emergency. For this reason as well as the fact that most states require your car horn to work in order for the vehicle to pass inspection, you should fix it as soon as possible.

Before you do anything else, check that some damage has not occurred to the steering wheel where the car horn button (usually a very large one) is located. Even a small piece of plastic that sometimes breaks off one part of the steering wheel can lodge in the space between the horn and the main part of the steering wheel. Dislodge this piece of plastic or other debris and you may be able to depress the car horn button and make the horn sound. If this is the situation for you, the car horn is now fixed.

In most cases, however, it is usually a burned-out fuse that causes the car horn to stop working. To repair the horn, you need to replace the fuse.

The first place to look is in your owner’s manual. This manual will not only tell you where your car horn button is located, since some models do actually make this a button or lever separate from the steering wheel proper, but what fuse is involved. You should also learn from the manual where your auto fuse box is located and the exact type of fuse you need to replace to get your car horn operational again.

Next, locate your fuse box. A vehicle fuse box is frequently found in one of three places:

1. Right below the steering wheel, often between the wheel and the driver’s door in the lower section of the dash.
2. Elsewhere in the dash, again usually in the lower half.
3. Under the hood of the vehicle, often close to the windshield.

Once you find the fuse box, remove its cover and, through the information you glean from your owner’s manual, locate the exact fuse that works the car horn. If your fingers are large, you may need a device of some type to help free the fuse or find someone with smaller fingers or well-defined fingernails who can pop the fuse out. Auto fuses are usually small cylinders with a piece of metal at either end.

Next, it’s time to visit your local auto parts store. If your owner’s manual for some reason does not specify the replacement fuse type, you can often find the fuse type printed directly on the fuse itself. If not, the auto parts store can usually look up the needed replacement car horn fuse based on the year, make, and model of your vehicle.

When you have the replacement, you simply pop it into place. Make certain the fuse is in securely and orientation of the fuse may matter, so look at other fuses to determine how yours should be inserted.

Once the fuse is in place, test the horn. If the horn does not sound, recheck your installation of the replacement fuse. A reversed fuse may be the source of your problem. Yet it is also possible that the replacement fuse is no good so you may need to try another replacement fuse.

In the rare situation where a fuse has not caused the problem and a stray piece of plastic or other debris does not block your ability to depress the horn, there is the possibility that the wire that runs from the horn assembly has been severed. If so, it’s usually time to have your garage – or a friend who is very good at vehicular wiring – do the work.

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