If your car horn is not working or the sound it makes is barely audible or high-pitched, you can easily fix the problem. Generally, a bad horn is related to a blown fuse or possibly a bad relay. Locate the fuse box and see if the horn fuse or relay needs to be replaced. If the problem is the horn itself, you can unplug it and remove it from the car to install a new one.
Method 1 of 3: Install a New Fuse in the Horn
Step 1. Make sure the car is off
Before starting work on the car's fuse box, you need to turn off the engine and remove the keys from the ignition. Electricity flowing through the fuses could electrocute you, so it's important to make sure the car battery is not active.
Step 2. Check under the hood or instrument panel of the car to find the fuse box
Most cars have at least 2 fuse boxes, but the horn fuse is likely under the hood or the instrument panel near the steering wheel. Look for a black box with a removable lid that contains the individual fuses.
- The fuse box in the instrument panel will likely require you to remove a panel in order to access it. Find a small handle on the instrument panel that you can pull and open the panel.
- Consult your owner's manual for the location of the fuse boxes. If you don't have your owner's manual, you can search the internet for the location of the fuse box for your make and model of car.
- The car's fuse box with the horn is probably located in the glove compartment.
Step 3. Locate the fuse for the horn in the diagram above the cover in the fuse box
Inside the fuse box cover, you will find a diagram that indicates the fuses. Find the horn fuse on the diagram and look for the correct one on the box.
The diagram will likely contain a list that corresponds to a letter and a number on the fuse. For example, it may indicate that the horn fuse is M3. Find the fuse in the box labeled M3 to identify the one for the horn
Step 4. Use needle nose pliers to remove the fuse
Car fuses are small and can be difficult to hold with your fingers. Use needle nose pliers to grasp the top of the fuse and pull it straight out of the fuse box.
Avoid shaking or bending the fuse, as you could break a part in the box that will be difficult to remove
If you don't have needle nose pliers, you can use a pair of tweezers to remove the fuse.
Step 5. Check the fuse for a broken filament inside
Hold the fuse up to the light and find a thin wire that connects both sides of the fuse. If the wire is broken or a section of the wire has blown, then the fuse has blown. If the wire between the 2 sides is still complete, then the fuse is fine and you can reinstall it in the box.
- If the plastic on the fuse looks cloudy or cracked, then the fuse is blown.
- If the fuse works, it means that the problem could be the relay or the horn itself, so it will need to be replaced.
- Sometimes you can't tell if a fuse is bad just by looking at it. Try to replace the fuse anyway if the horn doesn't work.
- If the fuse is not damaged or blown, you can put it back in the slot you removed it from.
Step 6. Install a new fuse that matches the one that blew in the fuse box
If the fuse is blown, replacing it is a simple solution. Insert a fuse with the same amperage into the horn's fuse slot. Make sure it is fully inserted. Then close the fuse box cover and test the horn to see if it works.
- The diagram on the inside of the fuse box cover should list the fuse's amperage so you can find the correct replacement fuse.
- Take the blown fuse to an auto supply store to make sure you get a replacement fuse with the same amperage.
- The fuse should snap into place inside the fuse box, but don't try to force it in as you could damage the box or the fuse.
- Shake the cover of the fuse box with your hands to make sure it is secure and to prevent it from falling off while driving.
Method 2 of 3: Check the Relay and Horn Connections
Step 1. Turn off the engine before working on the car
When you start the car, electricity flows to the horn. To avoid accidental electrocution, you should turn off the car's engine and remove the keys from the ignition.
Step 2. Make sure the wires are properly connected to the horn
This element draws power from the battery through 2 wires. Locate the horn behind the front grill. This is a small metal disk with 2 wires attached. Next, check the wires to make sure they are connected to the horn.
- Look online for a diagram or consult your owner's manual if you are having trouble locating the horn.
- If the wires are loose or not connected, reconnect them to the horn by pushing them into their connections. Then test it by pressing the steering wheel.
Step 3. Find the horn relay in the under-hood fuse box
Open the hood of the car and find the fuse box. Remove the cover and check the fuses and relays. Relays look like bigger fuses. Inside the fuse box cover, there is a diagram that indicates all the fuses and relays found in the box. Find the fuse relay above the diagram and then check where it is plugged into the fuse box.
If you can't find the fuse box, you can check your owner's manual for its location or search the internet for the make and model of your car to find the box
Step 4. Replace the horn relay with a matching one
Pull the relay straight out of the fuse box. Plug a new relay into the same slot and close the fuse box cover.
- You won't be able to tell if the relay is activated just by looking at it.
- Make sure to replace the relay with one that has the same amperage.
Take the recalled relay to an auto supply store so you can get a new one with the same amperage.
Step 5. Test the horn by pressing the steering wheel
After installing the new relay, press the horn button on the steering wheel. The horn should work properly. If the horn doesn't chirp after checking the wires and replacing the relay, you may need to replace the horn itself.
Method 3 of 3: Replace the horn
Step 1. Make sure the car's engine is off
Electricity running through the motor powers the horn and could electrocute you. Before starting work on the horn, make sure the engine is off and the keys are out of the ignition.
Step 2. Remove the grill from the front of the car
The car's horn is located behind the front grill. To access and replace it, you must remove the grill. Each car has a slightly different grill that can be removed by unhooking the clips or brackets that hold it. Insert a screwdriver into the crease between the grill and the hood and apply pressure to pry it out.
- It may be easier to remove the grill by opening the hood so you can push it from the inside.
- Some cars may have screws that must be removed to remove the grill.
Step 3. Locate the horn behind the grill
The car horn will look like a small metal disk with 2 wires attached. After removing the grill, find the horn mounted above the screen that was behind the grill at the front of the car.
The horn can be found to the left or right of the front display
Step 4. Disconnect the wires from the old horn
Look for 2 small black wires connected to 2 ports on the back of the horn. Gently pull on the cables to unplug them and turn off the power to the horn. The cords should hang in place after unplugging.
Do not try to pull the cables or let them fall further back into the motor if they are loose
Step 5. Unscrew the connections around the horn
The horn will have 1 or more screws or bolts that will connect it to the car. Unscrew the bolts or screws and remove the old horn.
Make sure you don't lose the screws so you can replace them
Step 6. Buy a new horn that is compatible with your car
Most car horns can be installed in any vehicle, but before you buy one, make sure it works in your car. Check the horn packaging to see if it is compatible with the car.
- Take your old horn to an auto supply store for a similar one.
- Check the details of the horn on the packaging or read the product information if you ordered it online to make sure it is compatible.
Step 7. Install the new horn to the connections
Place the new horn where you installed the old one. Screw in the bolts or screws to fix them firmly.
- Avoid tightening them so much that you risk breaking the connections.
- Make sure the horn is secure by waving it with your hands so it doesn't move or bounce while you drive.
Check your horn kit packaging for specific installation instructions.
Step 8. Insert the wires into the newly installed horn and test it
Once the horn is secure, connect each of the wires to the ports on the back of the horn. Insert the 2 cables into the ports the same way they were connected to the previous horn. After connecting the cables, try pressing the horn to test it and make sure it is working properly.
The cables must fit securely in place
Step 9. Reinstall the grill over the front of the car
When you've finished installing the new horn, reinstall the grill to complete the job. Put it back in place if you need supports or screw it back to its original position.