A car horn, while annoying to hear, is an integral part of any automobile, so if it starts failing soon after getting a battery change, this is indeed a problem. We consulted professionals about what could be wrong in this scenario to give you an idea of what's happening.
According to automobile experts, the causes listed below are the most common reasons your car horn is failing after a battery change. Take note that there may be other factors in play, so it might be a good idea to take your car to an auto shop.
- Blown Fuse
- Faulty Relay
- Damaged Wire Connector
- Defective Horn
- Bad Switch/Clock Spring
In this article, we will discuss each common cause in greater detail and how to resolve each one. Additionally, we will talk about whether it's really important to have a working horn in your car at all times, and if it's illegal to drive around without one. Continue reading to find out more.
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Why Is The Car Horn Not Working Properly?
As stated earlier, there are several reasons why your car horn might not be working properly after a battery change. In this section, we will discuss all that and more.
If everything was in good working order before you swapped out the old battery for a new one, then there may be a problem with the fuse itself. A lot of accessories these days run on electricity and the car horn is no exception. So if the fuse is faulty, there would be no electricity at all.
To locate where the car's fuse box is, check the manual provided by the manufacturer. From there, check whether or not the fuse needs replacing. If it does, make sure to use one with the same amp rating to avoid complications.
The easiest way to tell whether or not you have a blown fuse is by pulling it out carefully using a tool similar to that of a needle nose plier. From there, hold the fuse up against any source of light to check the inside for a metal strip.
Any broken or missing part of the metal strip is a sign of a blown fuse and it needs replacing. To do that, make sure to use the specified amperage in the user manual.
A useful tip to remember is that fuses come in different colors and that you must use the same color as the previous fuse. From there, just slot it in, and you're good to go.
Sometimes the fault is due to a loose connection between the relay and the new battery. Always make sure to reconnect everything properly or the electricity won't flow as it should.
If this doesn't solve the issue, then there's a fault with the relay. When changing batteries, there's a high chance of damaging the relay if you're not careful. Simply replacing the damaged part should resolve the issue.
Damaged Wire Connector
In some cases, the issue lies with the wire connector accumulating too much dirt and grim. If this is case, it can become corroded and unable to function properly.
When there's too much corrosion, the wire itself becomes less conductive. In that state, it's unable to power the horn. Simply wiping off the grime and cleaning it with a chemical solution should help resolve the issue without the need for replacement.
However, if you spot bite marks or parts of the wire chewed off, then it's highly likely that a rodent has wreaked havoc over the rest of the system. Make sure to inspect everything carefully and call in a professional for help.
Bad Switch/Clock Spring
If you press the switch hoping for the horn to work and it doesn't, there may be a problem with the wiring inside. Open up the steering wheel and check the wiring for any issues. In some cases, you may need to replace the switch altogether.
As for the clock spring, it's an important component for your car that allows the steering wheel to move while providing an electrical connection to the different buttons on it. This applies to the car horn as well.
The mechanism contains wires that are delicate and fragile, so any unnecessary pressure can damage it. Be careful when driving, and don't apply any unnecessary force.
In most cases, repairing a broken clock spring is waste of time and money. Many technicians would rather replace the clock spring altogether because of how cheap it is.
If everything checks out and you can't find any fault within your car's system, then the problem may lie with the horn itself. While the horn is durable and able to withstand decades of use and punishment, it can break down if used too often for long periods.
In that event, it can suffer from wear and tear like any other part of your car. So, if you notice that your horn starts getting weaker or stops working at all while the battery is relatively new, then it most likely has run its course. Use a test light in that situation to check for the voltage.
Why Does The Horn Sound Weak?
We touched on this topic earlier, but if your horn sounds weak, then you may be due to for a new one. If you just had a new battery installed, then the chances of the horn being at fault significantly rises.
Additionally, there may be other issues in play as to why the horn sounds so weak. But during those times, the sound of the horn will completely stop instead of producing a weak sound. Bring your car in for maintenance at your local automobile shop to have a technician inspect it for you.
Is It Important To Have A Working Horn?
While you might find it annoying when someone honks their car horn repeatedly at you on the road, the horn is a device that saves lives. It's how you as a driver can communicate with those around you.
Without a working horn, you won't be able to signal those crossing the road that you're driving through. On an open highway, of course, it lets other cars know that you're there when you want to pass them.
You may think that the sound horns make are a nuisance but they're important for keeping the roads safe. Without one, you may end up getting into an acciden.
Is It Illegal To Drive Without A Working Horn?
While you can drive around without a working horn, it is illegal to do so in some states. So it's best to check beforehand if you're planning to drive without a horn. Even if it was legal, you shouldn't drive without one, as you're risking multiple lives every time you drive without a working horn.
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Car Horn Fixed?
If you're planning to take your car to the nearest automobile shop to have your car horn fixed, it would cost around $60 to $80 on labor alone. If the horn needs replacing, then they would charge an additional $20 to $70, depending on the type and model of your car.
Additional taxes and other fees would add to that price tag as well. So the final bill could amount to somewhere around $150 all in all. However, that's a small price to pay if you want to feel safe and abide by the rules of the law.
Several factors come into play as to why a car horn isn't working properly after a battery change. There may be a blown fuse or a faulty relay that's causing a short circuit within the system. The same is true with the wire connector, as it needs to relay the signals.
The horn itself might be defective and would need testing. Additionally, there could be a problem with the switch or the clock spring that's causing the wires to not receive the correct signals.While you can resolve these issues at home, it's best to defer these sorts of jobs to professionals.
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