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How to Replace a Car Horn

hand replacing a horn assembly

Not having a functional car horn is dangerous and can prevent your vehicle from passing state inspection. As such, it is important to understand how a horn assembly works and when it may need to be replaced.

When the horn button (located in the steering wheel pad) is depressed, the horn relay is energized, allowing power to flow to the horn(s). This horn assembly can be tested by supplying power and ground directly to the horn. If the horn barely sounds or does not sound at all, it is defective and should be replaced.

Part 1 of 2: Removing the old the horn assembly

In order to safely and efficiently replace your horn, you will need a couple of basic tools.

Materials Needed

  • New horn assembly
  • Protective gloves
  • Repair manuals (optional); you can buy these through Chilton, or Autozone provides them online for free for certain makes and models
  • Ratchet or wrench
  • Safety glasses

diagram showing where to find the horn assembly

Step 1: Confirm the location of the horn assembly. The horn is generally located on the radiator support or behind the grille of the vehicle.

hand disconnecting the negative battery cable

Step 2: Disconnect the battery. Disconnect the negative battery cable and set it aside.

diagram showing how to remove the electrical connector from the horn

Step 3: Remove the electrical connector. Remove the horn’s electrical connector by pushing down on the tab and sliding it off.

hand removing the fastener

Step 4: Remove the retaining fastener. Remove the horn’s retaining fasteners using a ratchet or wrench.

removing the horn

Step 5: Remove the horn. Once the electrical connector and fasteners have been removed, pull the horn out of the vehicle.

Part 2 of 2: Installing the new horn assembly

hands installing the new horn

Step 1: Mount the new horn. Place the new horn in position.

hands tightening down the fasteners

Step 2: Install the fasteners. Reinstall the fasteners and tighten them down until they are snug.

electrical connector being reinstated

Step 3: Reinstall the electrical connector. Plug the electrical connector into the new horn.

Step 4: Reconnect the battery. Reconnect the negative battery cable and tighten it down.

Your horn should now be ready to honk! If you’d prefer to leave this task to a professional, the certified mechanics at YourMechanic offer expert horn assembly replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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