The horn is one of the most familiar and audibly recognizable components found on virtually all road going vehicles. Its purpose is to serve as an easily recognizable audible cue for the driver to signal others of their maneuvers or presence. The horn switch is the electrical component that is used to activate the horn. In the vast majority of road going vehicles the horn switch is built into the vehicle’s steering wheel, for easy and quick access to the driver. The horn switch is operated by simply pressing it to set the horn off.
When the horn button fails or has an issue, it can leave the vehicle without a properly functioning horn. A functional horn is important, as it allows the driver to make his presence known while on the road, but also a legal requirement, as federal regulations mandate that all vehicles have some sort of audible warning device. Usually a faulty horn switch will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.
Horn does not function
The most common symptom of a faulty horn switch is a horn that does not function when the button is pressed. Over time, depending on how frequently it has been used, the horn button may eventually wear out and cease to function. This will leave the vehicle without a functioning horn, which can quickly become both a safety and regulatory issue.
Horn fuse is good
A horn can be disabled by a few different issues. One of the first things to check when a horn malfunctions is the horn fuse, usually located somewhere in the engine bay fuse panel. If the horn fuse appears to be in good condition, then it is likely that the fault is either with the horn button, or with the actual horn. A proper diagnosis is recommended to determine what the exact issue may be.
The horn systems found on most vehicles are simple in nature and only consist of a few components. This means that an issue with any one of these components, such as the horn button, can be enough of a problem to disable the horn. If your horn is not functioning properly, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the horn switch should be replaced.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Horn Switch and was authored by Eduardo Ruelas.