Informational Guide

Car Horn Not Working (Causes & How To Fix)

Is your car horn not working? Our guide covers everything from causes, easy fixes & costs when it stops working.

Our car horn is used in many ways, to alert others to danger or to yell at a fellow driver. However, this little part is often taken for granted until it doesn't work anymore. If you've been saying, "the horn on my car is not working," we can help. Our guide covers what to do when your car horn stops working and also how much to fix a car horn.

Some people think that today's cars are way too complicated for home mechanics, but that doesn't always need to be the case. If the car horn does not work, you might be tempted to neglect fixing it, but this component is valuable.

Using a car horn is the only way you have to communicate with other drivers on the road. Because the horn is loud, you can alert other drivers to danger and possibly prevent an accident. If the horn in a car is not working, you want to fix it.


Signs Your Horn Isn't Working Properly

Non-functioning horn

The most obvious sign that something is wrong is when you say - my car horn is not working. With a broken relay, the horn can't receive the power it needs to operate.

Car horn sounds weak

What about when the car horn is not working properly, but you can still use it? This could be caused by a relay, connection or fuse that's going out.

Clicking sound from the relay

Another sign of a faulty relay is a clicking sound under the hood. Not only will this indicate that the relay has failed and requires replacement, but it will also prevent you from using the horn.

Burning smell from underneath the hood

The horn relay can create a burning smell when it goes bad. In severe cases, you might even notice some melting. To get the horn back in working condition, you will need to replace the relay.

How A Car Horn Works

How To Fix A Car Horn: Top Tips From A Mechanic

5 Most Common Causes of a Car Horn Not Working

  • 1. Blown fuse 
    Start with the fuse, as this is one of the most common issues. With a blown fuse, the horn can't receive the power it needs.
  • 2. Relay problems 
    The relay is another component that is needed to supply power to the horn. Without it, the horn can't operate.
  • 3. Dirty wire connector 
    Because the horn is wired in, you must have a solid connection for the signal to travel.
  • 4. Horn Defects 
    Any defect with the horn itself can lead to performance issues.
  • 5. Airbag issue 
    Because the airbag is located within the steering wheel, a defective part can cause trouble with the horn.

How to Fix a Car Horn That Won't Work (Step by Step Guide)

Supplies Needed
  • Replacement fuse
  • Two clamps
  • In-line fuse holder
  • 16-gauge wire
  • Possible horn relay
Steps To Fix Horn
  1. 1
    If you want to know how to fix a horn on a car, start with the fuse. If you aren't sure where to find the fuse, look in your owner's manual. If the fuse is bad, a simple replacement will fix your problem.
  2. 2
    Otherwise, you need to jump power to the horn with a jumper. You can make one with two clamps, an in-line fuse holder and 16-gauge wire. Connect a clamp to the terminal on the horn and touch the other end to your battery's positive terminal very quickly.
  3. 3
    If the fuse blows, your horn is bad. If it makes a clicking sound, it could be a bad ground connection instead. Just clean the connection and try it again.
  4. 4
    If the horn works when power is jumped, the problem will be found upstream. We recommend swapping out the horn relay. Otherwise, you might need to take it to a mechanic.

What if the car horn is not working after a battery change, but it was fine before the replacement? It's possible that your car battery might not have enough charge to power your horn.


How to Fix a Car Horn That Won't Stop Honking

Are you asking - how to fix my car horn when it won't stop honking? Here are some basic steps that you can follow to try and resolve the issue. Some must-have tools might come in handy when checking these. 

  1. 1
    Press the horn; it might just be stuck.
  2. 2
    Turn off the engine and pull the fuse for the horn. Does a car horn have a fuse? Yes, you can find the location in your owner's manual.
  3. 3
    If the horn continues to blow, open the hood and disconnect the wires from the back of the horn.
  4. 4
    If you can't see the wires to the horn, disconnect the battery cables for a few seconds. Hopefully, this will reset the horn switch.

If none of these steps work, you will need to see a mechanic. Having a car horn honking by itself is not a condition you want to deal with.

Car Horn Not Working

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much does it cost to repair/fix a car horn?

How much to fix a horn on a car depends on what needs to be done. For the most part, your car horn repair should cost between $100 and $200 when done by a mechanic. However, if they have to figure out how to fix car horn wiring or do something more complicated, it could be more expensive

Is it illegal to sound your car horn? Can you get pulled over?

Car horn state laws dictate whether or not you are allowed to blow the horn. In some states, you are required to use your horn only in emergency situations. While it's not likely that you will be pulled over for using it, you can get a ticket anytime you break the law.

What is the loudest legal car horn?

You need to check your local laws. Most don't establish a decibel limit but state that the horn cannot be used to be excessively disruptive.

Can I put a truck horn in my car?

As long as your local laws allow for it. Swapping out the car horn isn't complicated. Just unplug the terminals and install the new horn in its place.


Conclusion

Now you know what to do if your car horn is not working. In most cases, you aren't facing a complicated issue, and you should be able to fix it yourself. In no time, you will be back to using your horn to get people moving at the green light.

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