How to Replace a Horn Relay

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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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Recent Horn Relay Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Horn Relay Replacement Service

Average Rating

5/5

Number of Reviews

10

Rating Summary
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William

33 years of experience
205 reviews
William
33 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Horn Relay Replacement - Phoenix, Arizona
William was a informative and quick mechanic. His knowledge of the parts and install were great. He even took the time to explain what he did. I would recommend him to anyone
Mercury Grand Marquis - Water Pump - Phoenix, Arizona
William was on time, courteous, knowledgeable and efficient at replacing my water pump. I highly recommend him.

Tony

14 years of experience
280 reviews
Tony
14 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.

Jeff

32 years of experience
441 reviews
Jeff
32 years of experience
Chevrolet K1500 Suburban - Horn Relay - Sacramento, California
He was on time and very courteous I am waiting for him to come back to ensure that my truck will pass smog as he gives clear and concise instructions on what I am to do

Matthew

25 years of experience
27 reviews
Matthew
25 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Horn Relay - Seattle, Washington
I was a bit skeptical about using an online mechanic at first. Matthew put me at ease with his knowledge and actually found the problem was with the battery. I had the battery checked earlier but was told it was fine. Matthew proved them wrong! Most definitely will call on Matthew with any further car issues. Thanks Matthew!

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