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 Honk honk!

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Doc Manhattan

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Age : 39
Location : Land of Steady Habits
Registration date : 2008-05-26

PostSubject: Honk honk!   Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:18 pm

This morning, some one on my street was leaning on his horn. This happens often (as several of my neighbors seem unfamiliar with the charms of the doorbell or cellphones,) but never this long. This jerk was honking nonstop for several minutes.

It turns out that jerk was my car. In the driveway. Locked up with nobody in it.

It was not an alarm (don't have one) nor were the horn buttons jammed (they added little extra beeps to the continuous wail of the horn.) And I know f-all about cars, especially wiring. I disconnected the battery and replaced the fuse for the horn, ran the car for a good 30-minute errand, and that seems to have fixed it. My red face was the only real damage done.

Any of you car-savvy brothers out there, do you know what happened? Is it likely to reoccur? Is there a better way to fix this permanently?

I don't think I messed anything up; I rarely use the horn. For all I know, slamming the hood is what really fixed it.
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Slow Puffs
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Age : 68
Location : Alberta. Canada
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Honk honk!   Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:57 pm



It's the simplest schematic that I could find Shocked
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glpease
Dark Lord
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Age : 59
Location : Here, now. Somewhere else, later...
Registration date : 2007-12-11

PostSubject: Re: Honk honk!   Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:19 pm

Doc Manhattan wrote:
This morning, some one on my street was leaning on his horn. This happens often (as several of my neighbors seem unfamiliar with the charms of the doorbell or cellphones,) but never this long. This jerk was honking nonstop for several minutes.

It turns out that jerk was my car. In the driveway. Locked up with nobody in it.

It was not an alarm (don't have one) nor were the horn buttons jammed (they added little extra beeps to the continuous wail of the horn.) And I know f-all about cars, especially wiring. I disconnected the battery and replaced the fuse for the horn, ran the car for a good 30-minute errand, and that seems to have fixed it. My red face was the only real damage done.

Any of you car-savvy brothers out there, do you know what happened? Is it likely to reoccur? Is there a better way to fix this permanently?

I don't think I messed anything up; I rarely use the horn. For all I know, slamming the hood is what really fixed it.

A bad fuse won't likely cause these symptoms. It's either the horn relay or the horn switches in the steering wheel, or an errant ground somewhere between the relay and the horn buttons.

The horn switches complete the circuit in the relay coil by grounding the side not connected to the battery. If that wire's insulation is bad, it could ground intermittently by touching anything metal along the way. Relays usually don't fail this way, but it can happen, especially if there's carbon built up at the relay contacts.

Basically, a relay works using an electromagnet to close the contacts of an internal switch. It's that switch that applies power to the horns. The buttons on the steering wheel activate the relay. This is done to isolate the relatively high-current draw of the horns themselves from the horn buttons, which would fail prematurely if expected to switch such a high load.

Replacing the relay is quite simple - a couple screws and some press-fit connectors. You can get them at any decent auto parts store, and it shouldn't be more than a few dollars. If it's a ground fault in the wiring, it's going to be harder to find and fix. If it's the horn buttons, taking the steering wheel apart and cleaning the contacts should fix it.

Better fix it, so this doesn't happen to you. Wink
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mark
Admin
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Registration date : 2008-07-02

PostSubject: Re: Honk honk!   Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:06 pm

Bumpers seem to be taking a beating ,,,first the pitbull aerodynamically streamlining the police cruiser, now a grandma slinging a purse full of geritol,,,

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Doc Manhattan

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Age : 39
Location : Land of Steady Habits
Registration date : 2008-05-26

PostSubject: Re: Honk honk!   Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:39 pm

Thanks, Lord Pease. I'll check those potential trouble spots, easiest ones first of course.
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Carlos
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Age : 60
Location : Chestnut, IL
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Honk honk!   Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:11 pm

Laughing Laughing

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Wide Awake

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Age : 39
Location : Waynesville Ohio and points in between
Registration date : 2009-08-31

PostSubject: Re: Honk honk!   Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:12 pm

when I was in college I was a delivery driver for a pizza chain. The car the company provided was soo bad that i went through an alternator a month which was fun, but humorously would honk the horn everytime i turned left. So my during the summer when women would be out tending their flowers and other outside chores, my car would honk at them...if i turned left!
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Hunter5117

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Age : 62
Location : Somewhere between Kansas and Missouri
Registration date : 2009-07-29

PostSubject: Re: Honk honk!   Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:45 pm

It's not a Toyota by any chance?? Sad
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Doc Manhattan

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Age : 39
Location : Land of Steady Habits
Registration date : 2008-05-26

PostSubject: Re: Honk honk!   Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:53 am

Hunter5117 wrote:
It's not a Toyota by any chance?? Sad
Our Toyota is running fine, knock on wood. (When we bought it used, it had so much aftermarket stuff on it that if something goes wrong with the wiring, I'm just yanking the battery and calling for a tow.)

This is the decade-old Saturn, which makes getting parts and service for it so much more of an adventure. Toyota owners have stress, but at least the brand still exists.
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