'98 Caravan, horn not working

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  #1  
Old 12-22-10, 11:32 AM
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'98 Caravan, horn not working

Hey Folks,

Not much of a mechanic type. Grade 9 auto shop seems like a million years ago. Just looking for the relatively easy stuff I can check myself to figure this out if that's possible.

So, I never use my horn. I had a car for over 5 years once and didn't even know what the horn sounded like till a friend honked it for me! Just the other day I actually needed it and the stupid thing doesn't work!

Wondering where to start, and if this is something simple to diagnose.

Thanks in advance.

Regards, Bill.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-22-10, 12:00 PM
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First would be to check the fuse, under the dash or under the hood. Second would be to check the relay. There may be several relays that you could just swap to see if that's the problem.

Check your manual for locations.
 
  #3  
Old 12-22-10, 03:10 PM
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I would first eliminate the actual horn itself being the problem. Have someone push the horn button while doing a quick power check at the horn wire connection. You can use a meter or a 12 volt light. If the horn is never blown the problem could be the horn itself. If there is no power getting to the horn, and the wire connections are not corroded, then checking the fuse and the relay would be the next logical step.
 
  #4  
Old 12-22-10, 05:55 PM
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well, step one is to, actually, locate the horn. they are sometimes in quite strange places.
horns normally have only one wire connected, the 12V one. they are bolted to a chassis/ground somewhere, so no 2 wires required.
my 1st inclination, as they are sometimes mounted very low, is to check if that power wire is even connected. 2ndly, if it's not corroded, as they get good dose of water and slush and mud.
3dly, just like guys suggested - disconnect the power wire, if you have voltmeter, check if power is supplied to it whilst someone presses the horn button.
from that on, fuses will be the usual suspects.
don't cars normally have TWO horns?
also, if you want to, you can run a quick jump from positive terminal on battery to the power wire connector on horn. if it bellows, it's not the horn itself.
typing this and laughing. you should have heard my 94 Mitsu LRV horn. it was a sound of a drunk goat. terrible.
 
  #5  
Old 12-22-10, 07:34 PM
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my money says its the "clock spring". it is behind the steering wheel.
those like to go bad. check the other things first.
 
  #6  
Old 12-22-10, 07:37 PM
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  #7  
Old 12-23-10, 06:25 AM
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Thanks for the info guys. I really hope I don't have to pull the steering wheel to get at the clock spring thing. That would kind of freak me out. I'll fiddle with things on a car, but the brakes that stop it and the steering wheel that tells it where to go aren't among the things I like to fiddle with.

I'll take a peak around under the hood and try and find the horn and the fuse box and see where it goes from there.

Pretty funny that I'm going to this effort when I never use the damn thing, however now that I know it doesn't work every time I drive the van I see situations where I might need it!!
 
  #8  
Old 12-23-10, 01:30 PM
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leave clock spring mechanism alone. it's part of airbag system. :NO NO NO:

though it may appear to be one of the "ghost" projects, same time, well timed honk can save lives.
 
  #9  
Old 12-23-10, 09:16 PM
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put a button switch on the dash, and use a relay.
 
  #10  
Old 12-24-10, 11:25 AM
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leave clock spring mechanism alone. it's part of airbag system. :NO NO NO:
????...Hmmmmm??????

And exactly how do you propose getting the ground wire from the horn pad to the relay, when the steering wheel turns??????? Cmon now!!..........

Google Chrysler Recall D17.......It might not apply to your vehicle, but its worth a look. Otherwise, Remove the center pad from the steering wheel......Disconnect the single RED wire from the pad, and touch it to the center nut of the steering wheel.....If the horn sounds, replace the pad....
 
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