Horns are very important in automobiles. The horn is valuable when both driving and parking.
It warns other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists about an oncoming danger.
It helps them and you to avoid hazardous situations. In certain areas, the horn warns the animals that we are approaching.
The horn is always located on the steering wheel. But at times, the horn on the wheel contact switch can malfunction.
Or you can maybe need a backup horn. Wiring a horn to a push-button will work perfectly well for you.
The great thing is that this installation is relatively straightforward and can be done on any car. So let’s look at the steps.
How to Wire a Car Horn to a Push Button
Here are the things that you’ll need to make the connection.
- A charged 12v battery
- A 12v push-button switch
- Two lengths of wire
Connect any part of the car horn (ground) to the negative of the 12 volts battery using one piece of the wire. Connect the other part of the wire to the electrical portion of the horn. You then connect the push button to both cables.
How To Install The Universal Horn Button
You need to buy the universal horn button kit. The horn kit comes in two. That’s the single wire button and the double wire horn button.
The single wire button, as the name suggests, needs one wire connection. That is the positive wire (hot).
You have to directly mount the button to the metal on the dashboard or any other metal in the single wire.
The double one will need you to ground the extra wire to the chassis or any other part of the metal frame.
Put the car in neutral or park, plus the emergency brake should be set. You then disconnect the negative battery cable using a wrench and socket.
Look for the original horn equipment. Only one wire attaches to the tang that protrudes from the car horn. That wire is usually the hot wire.
You should follow the wire as far as you can go up to the dashboard. At times you will have to cut the loom to locate the wire.
After locating the wire, find the perfect spot to cut. Cut using strippers and strip about half an inch of both ends of the cables.
Use the inline fuse to attach both ends of the wires. Place it between the cut wires. You should then connect one end of the horn wire to the inline fuse using your hands.
Make sure the wires connect tightly to both ends of the inline fuse by twisting the wire nuts at all joints.
After the connection, you will have one wire connected with two different wire nuts that have a fuse.
The hot wire should be coming out of the connection. Use the tape to secure the excess wires to the main wire loom.
Run the single kit wire up the loom, and then attach it to the loom using the electrical tape. Connect these as you move towards the engine.
Locate the grommet, which is usually in the firewall, and ensure the wire passes through. Go back to the driver’s seat and locate the best place to install the horn button.
Carefully drill the holes that you will install the horn button. Ensure that you do not drill into other components of the car in the dashboard. It will lead to more complications.
The wire should pass through the hole you have drilled and connect it to the horn button. Some horn buttons have the spade connector or the female jack.
Strip the ends of the wire horn and use the kit parts to join them. Attach them to the connecter.
After successful connections, you can now align the horn button with the drill holes. Use screws to attach it firmly.
In case the horn button contains two posts, you have to connect the extra wire to it. The wire will act as the ground wire, and you should run it inside through the dashboard.
You should then crimp the screw eyelet to the end of the wire and locate the perfect ground source under the dash. It can be something like a tiny bolt or nut that is attached to the frame.
Causes And Fixes Of A Dead Car Horn
Many people tend to ignore malfunctioning or dead car horns. It’s because they do not use it quite often, plus the police do not stop you and ask to test your horn.
However, driving a car with a dead horn can be so troubling. You will have to scream each now and then to the people on the road.
The bad thing is that some will not even hear you, which might lead to more damage. However, there are several reasons why the car horn malfunctions.
Here are some of the reasons and the quick, cheap fixes that can make them right.
For the horn to work, there must be electric power. Like all the other electronics, it has a fuse that helps in regulating the amount of electricity.
If the fuse blows, the power supply will be cut, and the horn will not function. The only solution here is replacing the fuse. The modern horn fuse is fork-like.
At times the wire in between them can break and lead to the issue of a dead horn. For a broken one, you can also replace the horn fuse. The great thing is that it’s not expensive.
I guess you know what the horn switch is. It’s the place that drivers press for the horn to sound. The horn switch is on the steering wheel of most cars.
In case of a broken horn switch, you will have to visit a mechanic. But if you know how to open the steering wheel and understand how to deal with the airbag and all the electronics inside it, you can open it.
However, you should note that the airbag can be extremely dangerous when set off accidentally. It can badly hurt you.
If the fuse does not have any issue, then check the relay. It might be the cause of the problem. The relays are pretty cheap but a bit expensive than the fuse.
Inspecting the relay will be quite some work because of where it’s located. The great thing is that the relays are almost similar. If you already have one, all you have to do is swap it with the spoilt one.
Symptoms Of A Failing Or Bad Horn Relay
I’m sure you are wondering what the horn relay is. In this section, you are going to get extra knowledge about the horn connections.
Horn relay is an electronic component. It is a part of the horn’s circuit. The primary function of the horn relay is to control the power that goes to the vehicle horn.
The horn circuit is only complete when the current is applied to the horn relay. This allows the horn to ring and function.
Most car enthusiasts do know where the horn relay is. But in case you do not know or aren’t sure about its location. The horn relay is in the fuse box that is found underneath the hood.
In the case where the relay fails, the horn will not function. Faulty horns do always have some notable symptoms that alert the driver about the potentiality of failure.
Mostly the smell comes from underneath the hood. The burning smell is a warning sign. It tells that something is wrong with the hon relay.
The horn relay burns out or melts in severe cases, but it’s not a common thing. If such happens, you will have no option but replace the horn relay for the horn to function normally.
However, the electrical components in a car can fail at one time. The horn relay is no exception; it can also forget and cause-specific issues.
If you think the horn relay has an issue, you can take the vehicle to a professional technician for inspection.
If you hear a clicking sound from underneath the hood, the relay might have an issue.
Any fault or shorts will make the relay give the clicking sound each time someone or something presses the hood button.
The clicking sound tells that the relay has internally failed and might be unusable.
It’s the most obvious sign of a failing horn relay. It’s because of the relay that delivers power to the horn circuit. In case the relay fails, the horn will not have electric power and will fail.
The car horn is an essential component in the car. It indeed ensures your safety and that of pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.
With the horn, you can warn someone of oncoming danger. However, like other parts of the car, the horn can also fail. There are several ways in which you can fix this.
Either wiring a car horn to the push button or just replacing the horn with a similar factory one. Either way fixing the horn is not tricky and expensive. You can surely do it by yourself or use the help of a mechanic.