How to Replace a Horn Relay

Car horns are used for a variety of purposes, not least among these safety. For a car horn to work properly, the vehicle must be equipped with a functioning horn relay.

typical horn diagram

In most circuits, when the horn button (usually located in the steering wheel pad) is depressed, power is allowed to flow through the horn relay to the horn assembly. Typically, there is power supplied to the horn relay at all times. Pushing the horn button completes the ground side of the circuit, pulling the relay contacts closed and causing the horn to honk.

A bad or failing horn relay probably requires replacing. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to perform this repair.

Part 1 of 2: Removing the old horn relay

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

Materials Needed

diagram of a junction or fuse box

Step 1: Confirm the location of the horn relay. Typically, the horn relay is found in the engine compartment junction or fuse box. Consult your owner’s manual for the exact location.

hand disconnecting the negative battery cable

Step 2: Disconnect the negative battery cable. Open up your vehicle’s hood and disconnect the negative battery cable with a wrench or ratchet. Then set it aside.

hand removing the junction lid box

Step 3: Remove the junction box lid. Locate the junction or fuse box within the engine compartment and then remove the lid.

removing horn relay

Step 4: Remove the old horn relay. Remove the horn relay by pulling it straight out.

Part 2 of 2: Installing the new relay

hand installing the new relay

Step 1: Install the new relay. Install the new relay by lining up the terminals with the slots in the junction box and plugging in the relay.

junction box lid being replaced

Step 2: Reinstall the junction box lid. Replace the lid on the junction box.

Step 3: Reconnect the negative battery cable. Reconnect the negative battery cable and tighten it down.

After following these steps, you should now have a horn that blows nice and loud. If you’d prefer to have a professional tackle this task for you, the certified mechanics at YourMechanic offers expert horn relay replacement service.


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Chris

22 years of experience
2032 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Kia Forte - Horn Relay - Tustin, California
Superior!
Mercedes-Benz SL500 - Crankshaft Position Sensor - Laguna Woods, California
Chris was a pleasure to work with. He had the tools and ability to R&R my Crankshaft & Camshaft Position Sensors without dropping the screw so he was able to get the job done quickly. It looks like I've found myself a new mechanic to work on my car's engine when it's cool . Thanks Chris.

Ira

36 years of experience
259 reviews
Ira
36 years of experience
Chevrolet Truck - Car is not starting - Tampa, Florida
Very knowledgeable and professional! Great mechanic!
Chevrolet Equinox - Oil Change - Riverview, Florida
Very convenient

Aurelio

36 years of experience
40 reviews
Aurelio
36 years of experience
Infiniti G35 - Horn Relay - Converse, Texas
Great service was rendered and everything was explained to me in great detail.

Tony

15 years of experience
280 reviews
Tony
15 years of experience
Ford E-350 Econoline Club Wagon - Horn Relay - Lithonia, Georgia
Quick and straight to the point. Very helpful and informative as well.

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