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Old 06-16-2004, 01:16 AM   #1
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Default Horn plate question

My horn is having problems. By pressing hard on the horn I can always get it to sound. The problem is that half the time it will stutter or sound for just a split-second and then stop. A couple more presses and I can usually get a good sound out of it. However, the unreliability is becoming a safety problem.

I disarmed then removed the airbag module and looked at the horn plate on the back. It'* clean and doesn't look corroded or clogged. There doesn't appear to be any kind of switch or electrical contact underneath that horn plate... I'm guessing the plate just works by making contact with the steering wheel shaft when you push on it. The shaft does not look completely clean, in fact the end of it is kind of stained red, instead of being shiny metal. Should I be trying to sand the grime off it? Or am I completely wrong about how the circuit works?

Tomorrow'* entertainment: replacing the turn signal cancel cam!

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Old 06-16-2004, 02:16 AM   #2
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Yep, That'* how I'd guess it works. I had to clean the Horn ground to get mine to work at all. Intermittents are fun to diagnose
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Old 06-16-2004, 02:31 AM   #3
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Hmm you mean the connection under the hood between the horn speaker and the ground? I guess I should check that too.
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Old 06-16-2004, 02:33 AM   #4
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Nope, the little brass connector you had to undo to get the airbag out.
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Old 06-16-2004, 02:56 AM   #5
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Oh that thing... it was pretty clean and tight but I'll inspect it again tomorrow when I put it back together.

Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2004, 12:02 AM   #6
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I remember having to unscrew/unlock a round white thing that goes around the horn switch, then it pops right out.
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Old 06-18-2004, 11:22 PM   #7
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The horn is fixed! I took off the airbag coil and the lock plate. On the back of the lock plate there was a circular metal strip which makes contact with a stationary piece of metal - this is the contact for the horn signal. There was grease all over the metal strip, which I cleaned off.

I also sanded the corrosion off the end of the steering wheel shaft. I'm not sure whether the corrosion or the grease was causing the problem, but the horn works perfectly now.

While I was at it, I fixed the turn signal. Turns out it was the left cancel cam spring that was broken, not the cancel cam itself. I replaced both springs - $6 for the pair at Autozone.

The only problem now is that my steering wheel is off by a couple of degrees... I aligned it but it must have slipped as I was putting it back on.
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