Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Horn Relay

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Horn Relay

horn relay

The horn relay is the electronic component that is a part of the vehicle’s horn circuit. It serves as the relay that controls power to the vehicle’s horn. When current is applied to the relay, the horn’s power circuit is completed, allowing the horn to function and ring. Most relays are located in the fuse box underneath the hood. When the relay fails it can leave the vehicle without a functioning horn. Usually a faulty horn relay will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

1. Non-functioning horn

One of the first symptoms of an issue with the horn relay is a non-functioning horn. The horn relay is one of the components responsible for delivering power to the horn circuit. If the relay fails it will leave the horn without any power to function.

2. Clicking sound from the relay

Another symptom of a potential issue with the horn relay is a clicking sound from underneath the hood. A shorted or faulty relay may cause the component to produce a clicking sound when the hood button is pressed. The clicking sound may be a sign that the relay has failed internally, and may also render the horn unuseable.

3. Burning smell from underneath the hood

A burning smell from horn relay is another common symptom of an issue with the relay. If the relay burns out, which is not uncommon, it will produce a burning smell. In more severe cases may even result in the relay burning or melting. The relay will have to be replaced in order for the horn to be returned to full functionality.

As with any electrical component on a vehicle the horn relay can eventually fail and cause issues. If you suspect that your vehicle’s horn relay may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the relay should be replaced.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: Horn repair cost.

The horn is a pretty basic circuit on your truck. The most common causes of a horn failure on your truck are the horn itself, the horn button, or the body control module. If the horn does not work at...

Q: Key not turning in the ignition.

It is a common problem with this car to have the key wear down and not trigger the tumblers in the key cylinder. The only fix will be to replace the key assembly and switch. I would suggest having a...

Q: Car horn not functioning properly.

If the cars horn is not working the most likely cause is the horn itself. Although it could also be wiring, blown fuse, or a bad switch on the steering wheel. First check the fuses as they are easy to...