How to fix my car horn?
July 2, 2011 12:34 PM   Subscribe

So...many years ago, our car horn stopped working, and my grandma didn't bother to fix it. But now that I drive the car mostly, I need to fix it. The car is a 2000 Ford Focus. When I press the horn on the steering wheel, I hear a click, but no sound. In the past, we used to get a dull sound that only occupants in the car could hear, but that was years ago. Now it's just a click. I checked the horn fuse in the fuse box on the driver's side according to the manual, and the fuse is intact. Do you have any other suggestions for what I should do to fix it? If it can be fixed without having to visit the dealership, that'd be great. Also, keep in my mind, I have very little car knowledge/experience. Thanks in advance!
posted by dapperkoala to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The horn on my Focus went out as well. It was the horn itself. I went to the auto parts store and bought the cheapest horn they had and put it in. With a wrench and maybe a screw driver, you should be able to swap it out in under an hour. Otherwise, do you have a handy friend that owes you a favor?
posted by Old Geezer at 12:43 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

The horn itself is probably dead.
I think the horn for the Focus is located under the driver's side headlight assembly, or in that general area. Look around the lower radiator mount. They're relatively cheap and easy to replace yourself.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:45 PM on July 2, 2011

There will be a Horn Relay in one of the fuse panels under the hood. Open the box and have someone press the horn pad on the steering wheel. If the relay clicks, then you probably need a horn since the relay's working and the horn switch is working. If the relay doesn't click, swap it with another one that has the same pin configuration (like the High Beam relay or something) and then try again. If the horn then works, then you've got a bad relay.
posted by Jon-o at 2:49 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

The click you hear probably is the relay, so the problem is probably the horn itself as Geezer & Thorzdad suggest. (Or wiring, I guess; or (a more remote possibility) the relay failed in such a way that it still clicks but doesn't make electrical contact. If you or a friend have a voltmeter you could check this for sure: if voltage gets to the horn but no sound comes out, the horn is the problem.)

Your library may have a shop manual (Haynes or Chilton or whatever) for your car which will tell you exactly where the horn is and what it looks like— this could save you some frustration.

It's not important to use an exact replacement.
posted by hattifattener at 3:14 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yep, definitely the horn. I just purchased a Haynes manual for the car and will attempt to replace the horn myself! Wish me luck! Thanks so much for your help everyone!
posted by dapperkoala at 6:02 PM on July 2, 2011

This could be a good opportunity to get a louder horn, or one with a lower pitch, or one that plays 'La Cucaracha' or whatever.
posted by box at 7:18 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

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