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Brand New Horn Not Working


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20 replies to this topic

#1 Subarule

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:59 PM

I recently had some extensive work done on the front end, new front axle, to be specific. About 2 weeks later I went to use the horn and the high horn does not work. This was a new replacement horn, only about 1 & 1/2 years old. There is a low horn and a high horn (volume), one on each side of the car just behind the front bumper. Thre low vol horn works, sorta', although you can barely hear it.

I had the shop where the work was done take a look and they could not find anything disconnected. Shortly after the front end work I had the car detailed and when I went to buy a new replacement horn the guy at the parts store said that the horn that wasn't working was waterproof so it couldn't be that it had gotten water in it. I bought another replacement horn & took it to the dealer to be installed. That was exactly a week ago. First time I tried it - today - that one doesn't work either. Apparently the dealer's mechanic(s) did not test it.

So now I'm convinced it's not the horn but an electrical problem between the horn control in the steering wheel and the horn itself. What could it be, if visually the horn appears connected, looking up under the bumper?

Car is an '86 GL 4WD wagon, carbed, non-FB.

Thanks in advance for any help.

#2 NoahDL88

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 05:18 PM

Check the obvious stuff, fuses, relay and horn switch.

#3 Subarule

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 05:30 PM

Thanks.

Where is the horn switch located? I've been through 4 different Subaru repair manuals for my car and can find no info at all on the horn's electrical connections.

#4 benjamachine

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:34 PM

Better yet, where's the relay??

#5 MilesFox

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 12:09 PM

Thanks.

Where is the horn switch located? I've been through 4 different Subaru repair manuals for my car and can find no info at all on the horn's electrical connections.

the horn switch is the middle of the steering wheel! you should hear the relay when you press the wheel. check fuse #5

#6 bheinen74

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 12:20 PM

If you paid some dealer to replace the horn, and it still not working, the obvious solution is to go back to the place and let them do it right.

Maybe they just charged you to replace something, but maybe they never did. Not unheard of.

#7 NoahDL88

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 01:10 PM

On your way to the dealer pick up a Delorean, so you can go back to 2010 and still be in the warranty period.

Necronomicus Ex Postus

#8 benjamachine

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 02:29 PM

On your way to the dealer pick up a Delorean, so you can go back to 2010 and still be in the warranty period.

Necronomicus Ex Postus


hahahaha!

no seriously. no one knows where the horn relay is located? it DOESN'T click when i press the horn button. nothing happens. fuse is good.

#9 NoahDL88

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 04:50 PM

What car do you drive? That will make it easier to figure out where it is located.

#10 Dj7291993

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:19 AM

Edit: Ignore this first paragraph. That is for a normal car, that actually uses horn relays, which, apparently, Subaru does (or at least, did) not. See my next post for what to do on the Subaru. Also, if you can give me your car info, I can probably pull you a wiring diagram, just keep in mind that it will be for the whole car, and therefore, about 10 or 11 pages.

The car would definitely help. I think all of the relays are under the dash on the drivers side, but not positive. I know there are 4 there. Have you applied power directly to the horn? Getting a bad part is not unheard of. If the horn doesn't work directly powered, check the ground. If the horn works, then it is not getting power, check the fuse. If that's good, check the relay. Energize it (on the control side) directly. If that works, the problem is on the control side (switch, wiring to and from, connectors). If it doesn't work, check for power at the relay. No power there, and your problem is between the relay and the battery. If you have power, you need to check the relay, by replacing it with a known good one, powering and testing it's resistance, or simply bypassing it (i.e. paperclip (be careful!)). If the relay works, the switch works, and the horns themselves work, the check all of you connectors in between.

If you can give a specific car, I might be able to get you a wiring diagram. Also, if you don't already have one, I would recommend getting a multimeter. Even just a cheap one (I think I got one a Harbor freight for $5, probably not the most accurate, but works for what I need it for). They are extremely valuable in electrical diagnosis. Also, if a shop told you to get a new horn, make them fix it. If you told them to replace the horn, without a diagnosis, they might not do anything about it, even though they should've checked it.

Edited by Dj7291993, 03 December 2011 - 05:00 AM.
New Information


#11 Dj7291993

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:55 AM

Ok, ignore everything I said regarding relays... apparently, Subaru didn't use one for the horn, at least, not the vehicles I've looked at so far. According to Mitchell's wiring diagrams, the horns get power from the fuse, go through the switch to ground.

So, what you should do is, check the fuse, check the horns themselves, then, the switch (the multimeter will come in handy for this part). If it is not one of those, check the ground, any connectors, and double check that you are getting power to the fuse. If none of those work, you get to go wire chasing... I mean tracing.... If you get that far, and you come to tracing wires, I would just run new wires from the horn to the switch, but I doubt your problem is in the wires themselves.

#12 Subarule

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:15 PM

The solution: repair shop wired it wrong, the Subaru dealer service shop wired it wrong, finally took it to an auto elctric shop & they got it right.

#13 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:35 PM

The solution: repair shop wired it wrong, the Subaru dealer service shop wired it wrong, finally took it to an auto elctric shop & they got it right.


Seriously? What a pile of morons.

I should open an auto electric shop. Sooooo many tech's out there that don't know their way around a meter. Pretty sad since everything in our world is electric now.

GD

#14 Dj7291993

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 03:55 PM

The solution: repair shop wired it wrong, the Subaru dealer service shop wired it wrong, finally took it to an auto elctric shop & they got it right.


:banghead: Electricity is not that hard people. All you need is ohm's law, a meter (and knowledge of how to use it), a wiring diagram (again, knowing how to use it), and common, or maybe, not-so-common, sense.I'd rather deal with most electrical problems than mechanical ones. The only really complicated part is when you get into modules and body harnesses.

#15 Subarule

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:37 PM

Seriously? What a pile of morons.

I should open an auto electric shop. Sooooo many tech's out there that don't know their way around a meter. Pretty sad since everything in our world is electric now.

GD



Seriously. That's what I thought too - what a pile of morons.

#16 987687

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 07:27 AM

Dealers don't usually do too much in the way of wiring anyway. If something goes wrong they just replace the whole wiring harness. That may as well be mechanical, take out the old one, plug in a new one.

The people who work at dealers can get certified in engine, transmission, etc. They should have an electrical one too.

I used to prefer electrical issues to mechanical ones, but now I'd rather have a mechanical issue. I can hear it, feel it, see it, etc. Electrical can be a little confusing to people sometimes.

I do marine electronics though, all custom there, so electrical stuff doesn't bother me.

#17 okie bill

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 09:17 AM

The only problem with modules is that the manufacturers don't feel it necessary to provide a diagram or explanation of what's inside. I may not get to my Brat this weekend, because my DD Chevy Metro is having headlight issues (the dims just go off by themselves while driving) Pretty simple circuit except for the Daytime running light module. Lots of inputs, E brake, Alternator, lights on, dimmer, ... The Wiring diagram just shows it as a box with lots of wires.

Bill

#18 Subarule

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 01:18 PM

Dealers don't usually do too much in the way of wiring anyway. If something goes wrong they just replace the whole wiring harness. That may as well be mechanical, take out the old one, plug in a new one.

The people who work at dealers can get certified in engine, transmission, etc. They should have an electrical one too.

I used to prefer electrical issues to mechanical ones, but now I'd rather have a mechanical issue. I can hear it, feel it, see it, etc. Electrical can be a little confusing to people sometimes.

I do marine electronics though, all custom there, so electrical stuff doesn't bother me.



The electrical shop I took it to does marine wiring too. They're good.

#19 987687

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 05:57 PM

The electrical shop I took it to does marine wiring too. They're good.


It's a lot of work, but pays nicely. I'm currently in head deep in this huge project that needs to be done in a week.... yikes. doncha love 12+ hour days?...

#20 Dj7291993

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 12:50 AM

The only problem with modules is that the manufacturers don't feel it necessary to provide a diagram or explanation of what's inside. I may not get to my Brat this weekend, because my DD Chevy Metro is having headlight issues (the dims just go off by themselves while driving) Pretty simple circuit except for the Daytime running light module. Lots of inputs, E brake, Alternator, lights on, dimmer, ... The Wiring diagram just shows it as a box with lots of wires.

Bill


Yeah, that would be nice. If you didn't understand it, you could just ignore it, but it makes it hard to tell what all could be causing your problem.

#21 benjamachine

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 01:35 AM

Edit: Ignore this first paragraph. That is for a normal car, that actually uses horn relays, which, apparently, Subaru does (or at least, did) not. See my next post for what to do on the Subaru. Also, if you can give me your car info, I can probably pull you a wiring diagram, just keep in mind that it will be for the whole car, and therefore, about 10 or 11 pages.

The car would definitely help. I think all of the relays are under the dash on the drivers side, but not positive. I know there are 4 there. Have you applied power directly to the horn? Getting a bad part is not unheard of. If the horn doesn't work directly powered, check the ground. If the horn works, then it is not getting power, check the fuse. If that's good, check the relay. Energize it (on the control side) directly. If that works, the problem is on the control side (switch, wiring to and from, connectors). If it doesn't work, check for power at the relay. No power there, and your problem is between the relay and the battery. If you have power, you need to check the relay, by replacing it with a known good one, powering and testing it's resistance, or simply bypassing it (i.e. paperclip (be careful!)). If the relay works, the switch works, and the horns themselves work, the check all of you connectors in between.

If you can give a specific car, I might be able to get you a wiring diagram. Also, if you don't already have one, I would recommend getting a multimeter. Even just a cheap one (I think I got one a Harbor freight for $5, probably not the most accurate, but works for what I need it for). They are extremely valuable in electrical diagnosis. Also, if a shop told you to get a new horn, make them fix it. If you told them to replace the horn, without a diagnosis, they might not do anything about it, even though they should've checked it.


I have an '86 carbed GL wagon and would love to see a wiring diagram. i'll even print it out at work, to uh, save paper.




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