Causes and How to Overcome Car Horn Sounds Weak?

Causes and How to Overcome Car Horn Sounds Weak? – There is nothing more important to give a signal that your vehicle is about to pass except the horn. Diesel-engined cars may be heard quite far away, but if the distance is longer and the vehicle is at high speed then obviously the horn plays an important role.

Especially if we talk about petrol cars. It was a very smooth car and the new car was barely audible. Then the horn is a good source of notifying signals. What about hybrid and electric cars? Obviously, this is even crazier. Hybrid and electric cars move almost silently. Even for electric cars, regulations require giving the car a “voice” so that it is not completely silent. And this is where the important role of a horn is in the car. Whatever your car is, it is the most important in terms of notification signals.

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Causes and How to Overcome Car Horn Sounds Weak?

Car Horn Sounds Weak

Whatever type of car you are in, the horn is one of the most important and must be in the car. The horn will help the driver to signal to the car or anyone around your car when it wants to pass. However, vehicle life obviously affects every part of the car. And that means the horn is one of them.

In a fairly long service life, the problem with the horn is not only completely dead. Both the network is damaged and the horn itself is damaged. Moreover, an old horn will be able to experience a weak sound. It’s not a big deal because even though it’s weak it still works. However, a weak horn sound can be a source of accidents and unsafe traffic. For that, it feels necessary to discuss this case because it can happen to any car and to anyone. To begin with, we need to first discuss how the horn works on a car.

How Do Car Horns Work?

Whatever type of vehicle, the horn is one of the important features of the car. One of the important things on the horn is the signal system. To notify other vehicles or pedestrians in the vicinity, the driver will honk as a signal. With this signal, the vehicle will be free to move and avoid accidents. Even in emergency situations, people will honk their horns as a sign of danger. In addition, vehicle drivers also often use their horns to greet other vehicles they may know.

The way the horn works is very simple. The horn will sound if you press the horn button or switch. The electricity will be blown and eventually the electric power will reach the horn component and it will sound. After you release the switch, the horn will stop sounding immediately. Then it will be like that and as long as the system is not damaged, the horn will continue to work continuously.

Car Horn Sounds Weak
Simple horn wiring – Car Horn Sounds Weak.

However, all car parts are components that have a certain age, as well as your car horn. It depends on many factors, but the average car horn will have a lifespan of more than 5 years. We can say that 6-10 years is the working life of the horn. After that, it is necessary to replace the horn with a new one. When should you replace the horn or repair this horn system?

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To know when the horn is replaced or repaired is actually very easy. If the car horn is damaged, it will have signs such as a malfunctioning horn, low tone, or the car horn sometimes not sounding. Of all these signs, a weak-sounding car horn is the most common. If you hear that your car horn isn’t as loud as usual, this is a good time to have it repaired or replaced. Each manufacturer will complete the number of horns on the output car differently. However, usually, at least two horns will be on a new car. It could be more for example 3 or even 4 pieces. So, the weak sound of the horn on your car could be from one or more of the horns that are problematic.

5 Causes Car Horn Sounds Weak?

There are several reasons why the horn sounds weak. Here are some of the most common causes for cars based on our experience.

Fuse Broken

Car Horn Sounds Weak
The location of the horn fuse on a car differs from one manufacturer to another. This is one of the horn locations on a car.

The cause of the car horn sounding weak is a faulty fuse. This is the first thing you should check if your car horn has a weak sound problem. Depending on the year and type of vehicle, for every car that has not undergone a modification of the electrical system or wiring harness, the horn fuse must be in the fuse box. But at most, the horn fuse is located in the fuse box inside the hood. Or if you have the owner’s manual, you can look at it for guidance on locating the fuse box.

The car horn works with electric power; Therefore, if there is a problem with the circuit. It could be a blown fuse in the connector due to a short circuit. But the fuse doesn’t blow – if the horn blows it’s impossible to turn on even if the sound is weak. If you see that the fuse holder is burnt or the fuse looks blistered, then please repair or replace it.

Bad Horn Relay

Car Horn Sounds Weak
The horn unit may be damaged or have certain problems. As a result, sometimes the horn can sound but not as loud as usual. And this often happens to cars over 5 years old.

If a fuse is a safety for an electrical line – for example, a horn, then it is different from a relay. A relay serves to open and close the electrical path in a circuit. Relays work based on electrical signals and also for the electrical circuit on the horn. When the horn switch on the steering wheel is pressed, the horn relay transfers a high current to the horn. After the driver releases the pressure of the horn switch, the current will be cut off and the horn will not stop sounding.

Where are the relays located? Automotive companies usually place the horn relay close to the horn fuse. It can be inside or outside the cabin. But the few that we encountered, the horn relay are in the fuse box located on the hood.

As I mentioned above, a relay is an electric circuit breaker that uses an electrical signal. There are problems that occur as the relay ages. Well, when the relay has a problem, one of the effects is that the horn sound becomes weaker than usual. So, if your horn sounds weaker than usual, other than the fuse, you need to check your car’s horn relay.

Clock Spring Damaged

Car Horn Sounds Weak
Clock spring location – Car Horn Sounds Weak.

The third cause of the sound of the horn sounding weak is the clock spring having a problem. You may not know that the clock spring consists of flat wires. A small circular box encloses the flat cable. And the whole thing – the flat wires and the mother box – is inside your car’s steering wheel. When you press the horn button on the steering wheel, the flat cable will send a signal to the control module. Thus, the horn will sound.

On the other hand, this clock spring will be involved with the airbags on the steering wheel and other controls on the steering wheel. With the involvement of other parts in the steering wheel, there will be a certain mechanism for all of these parts to work. So that when we control the steering wheel, the spring in the clock spring will roll up and loosen. This happens all the time while you are driving the vehicle. And this mechanism will help maintain electrical connections in all parts of the steering wheel including of course the airbags and Tiptronic for example.

If there is no hard impact, for example, an accident, the clock spring is actually a component that is quite strong and durable. But still can be damaged over time. When the clock spring is damaged, there will usually be a pause in the sound of the horn when you press the horn button. This symptom is accompanied by a weaker-sounding horn usually. With this symptom occurring in your car, then you must replace your car’s clock spring to return the horn sound to normal again.

Horn Button Has Minor Damage

It seems absurd, but it is what it is. The horn button can be damaged and cause the horn to sound weak. The horn button itself has an important role to activate the horn system. Cars now have different positions and types of buttons. However, the most common is in the center of the steering wheel of your car. With this kind of design, the driver will more easily access the button to reduce the risk of accidents on the highway.

One of the problems with the horn button is the occurrence of wear and also carbon crust on the horn switch. If this happens, then the most common consequence is that the horn will sound weaker. Or in some cases, the horn doesn’t turn on at all. So, if you experience the phenomenon of the horn sounding not as loud as usual, the step you should consider is to check this section.

Troubled Horn System Electrical Line

And the last cause that most of us encounter when the car horn sounds weak is a problem with the horn system’s electrical path. Usually, the immune system is white on the inside or there is a short circuit in the cable. This will result in poor power flow and cause the horn to sound weakly.

This is probably the most difficult part for you to check. Because the horn line – even though it’s simple – is included in the wiring harness and is integrated with the entire electrical line of the car. If this happens, then you have to measure one by one the wires involved in the horn system. If there is a broken or problematic then you must replace it with a new cable.

Steps to Fix a Car Horn that Sounds Weak

A weak-sounding horn is one of the problems in relatively light vehicles. Even if you are not an experienced expert, you can fix this problem yourself just fine. But there are cases, for example, having to open the steering wheel and horn electrical lines, which you may not be able to easily do. However, there are still light things you can do and they often work. Therefore, we try to help you to fix the car horn sound weak problem through the following steps.

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Before following these steps, you need to identify the damage to your car horn. You make sure that it is a problem with a weak-sounding horn. If you are sure about the problem, then please follow the steps below.

Car Horn Sounds Weak

Step 1; Check the fuse box

In this first step, you need to follow the following work order;

  1. Through the owner’s manual, you will know the position of the fuse box. It could be in the cabin or it could be outside. However, it is usually in the fuse box on the hood. Look at the instructions on the fuse box, and find the horn fuse.
  2. If you have found the position of the fuse in the fuse box, please take the beak pliers or the fuse removal tool in the fuse box. Gently remove the fuse from the holder.
  3. After removing the fuse, pay attention to the fuse holder first. If it looks burnt, there may be a short circuit in the line. But if not do a fuse test. If, in fact, the fuse is blown, try replacing it with a new fuse. Remember, replace with the same size fuse as before.
  4. After selecting the fuse with the appropriate size, please install the new fuse. how to install it is also simple, simply by pushing the fuse into the fuse holder slot correctly.

Supposedly, replacing the horn fuse will not affect the rest of the electrical system. But in certain cases, after we replace the fuse, and we ON the ignition, the airbag indicator light will turn on. If you are in doubt about this condition, please take your vehicle to an expert or to a trusted repair shop.

Step 2; Check the Horn Relay

Have you done the first step and it turns out that the car horn is still sounding weakly? Then please continue to step 2. In this second step, you have to check the horn relay. If you don’t know where the horn relay is, please open the owner’s manual. There you will find the location and position of the horn relay.

How to check your car horn relay? The easiest way to check if the relay is working properly is to swap the horn relay with another identical relay. If you have prepared a new horn relay that is even better. But what if you don’t have a new relay ready? Relax, the horn relay design is usually the same as some other relays in a car’s electrical system. Take the relay in the electrical circuit in the fuse box and attach it to the horn relay holder. If your horn sounds fine, then obviously it’s a horn relay problem and you can simply replace it with a new one.

Step 3; Check the Horn

If you have done steps 1 and 2, it turns out that the condition is fine, please continue to step 3. You need to find and open your car horn. You can directly connect one of the horn connectors to the positive battery terminal and the other to the battery negative. If there is a + & – sign on the horn, follow the prompts. Pay attention to whether the horn sounds properly or not. If not, then obviously it’s a problem from the horn.

Remember on a vehicle there is more than one unit of horn. Therefore, to check the condition of the horn you have to check it one by one and all you have to check. If you find one that is damaged, you simply replace it. However, if there is some or all of the damage, then you must replace all the damaged horn units.

Step 4; Check the Horn Switch

Up to the third step, meaning those parts which of course you can do yourself. It’s a bit different in step 4 because the fourth step checks the horn switch. The horn switch is the part that connects the power from the electric current source to the horn unit. If this part is damaged, obviously there will not be electrical power to the horn unit and the horn will turn off. However, the damage can be in the form of interference, for example, the horn switch is full of carbon scale. This results in the sound of the horn sounding weaker than normal.

Whether it’s a broken horn or just a dirty pile of carbon, we have to disassemble the steering wheel to repair the horn switch. The problem is that the horn in modern cars is on the steering wheel which is integrated with the airbag system. We know that airbags inflate very easily and if we’re not careful it’s obvious when we fix the horn switch it will happen. This is the reason why in step 4 I say if you are in doubt you should take it to a repair shop or to an expert.

Step 5; Check Horn System Wiring

If the wiring system is normal there is no reason after you do steps 1-4 the horn is still not normal. That means clearly the problem is in the electrical circuit. For this step, again, if you are neither an expert nor a hobbyist, it will be difficult to do it.

In this step, you at least know about the concept of electric current and voltage. One more thing, you also have to understand which part of the cable is ground and which is where the current enters from the voltage source. Therefore, if you are in doubt, please take it to a repair shop or to an expert so that a short circuit does not occur which is more severe than before.

How to a Loud Car Horn sound?

Your horn may sound weaker than usual. Of course, this could come from a breakdown as we discussed so far. Starting from the symptoms to how to check and fix them, we have discussed it in full. However, it may not be from the horn problem we described above. It could be, that the sound of the horn is only slightly weaker than in normal conditions and that means it is not a malfunction of your car’s horn system.

Some types of horns – Hella horns – have the power of the horn setting. Remember that the horn sounds loudly depending on the frequency and amplitude of the horn diaphragm. These two factors must be right to get the highest loudspeaker. Therefore, if there is an adjuster on the horn unit, please adjust it by turning the adjusting bolt. Adjust the adjusting bolt until you get the horn sound you want.

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However, some people also do other things. For example, adding a horn circuit with two relays. For each horn unit, they add one relay. Many believe that the electric current will be more stable so that the horn will sound loud. This you need to try. I myself, use this second method on cars that have the same complaint. With a note, if on the horn unit there is no adjuster or there is an adjuster but you have set the horn but it can’t sound properly.

Conclusion – Car Horn Sounds Weak

A car horn sounding weak is not an engine problem in which your vehicle cannot move. However, myself included, drivers, will not be comfortable driving on the highway with the horn having a problem. Because the horn problem is not so severe, then you can do steps 1-3 above to try to repair the damage to the car horn sounding weak. And even if you are a hobbyist, then steps 4-5 you can also do yourself. However, if you are not a professional, the last two steps you should take your car to a professional mechanic. Thus, you will get your car horn sounding normally again.

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