2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee horn switch malfunction in the airbag unit - can it be fixed?
In the last few months, I had 3 or 4 incidents when the horn would sound continuously and I had to tap the switch (in the airbag area) a couple times to get it to stop. Finally, it went off spontaneously and I couldn't get it to shut off at all without pulling the fuse. I'm driving it now without a horn and would like to get it fixed. My mechanic said that about all he could do was to get an entire junk assembly for $800-$1000 and replace the switch. I'd like to investigate it further before dropping that kind of money into it. Can I safely remove that center console on the steering wheel, and I assume that means removing the airbag assembly, to see if the switch can be repaired? Can I just buy a new switch, which I assume is some kind of diaphram? Any ideas on how to get my horn back for under $1000?
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try this- put fuse in- pick area of car- say right near the horns- spray with garden hose- wait for horns to come on- you are looking for a "short" or bare wire- hose will simulate rain- do small areas and when get horn to sound - stop and look at wires in that area for damaged wiring- crushed wires or plugs or a spot where wire has rubbed casing off- then tape area up with electrical tape and continue on till you can not get horn to sound anymore with the water
I am assuming you have checked the Fuse Box under the hood for the Horn Fuse and / or the Horn Relay and made sure both are good?
You can always try the steps outlined in this video to replace the horn pad. to see if this is your issue if you have exhausted all of your other resources.
Or You can try these steps to further diagnose your issues:
The horn relay on ZX2's is located underneath the dashboard on the
drivers side. There are several relays located there - identify the horn
relay by the "clicking" sound it makes when the horn is pressed. The
likelyhood that you have a bad relay is minimal. Start by checking the
horn fuse (the fuse box is located under the dash on the driver side).
Next, check the relay. If the relay is making a clicking noise, it is
probably OK. The next thing to check is the horn itself. it is located
on the passenger side of the vehicle, up underneath the front bumber.
Most instructions say to remove the bumber cover to get to the horn, but
this is not neccesary. In my experience with Escort horn problems, the
problem has been with the horn "switch", a wafer thin piece of plastic
that lies between the steering wheel cover and the airbag assembly.
Below are instructions for replacement of this switch - don't be
intimidted by the procedure - it is not difficult.
You cannot buy a horn switch at a dealer - they tell you that the horn
switch is part of the airbag assembly, which cost $450 plus.
Understandably, Ford doesn't want people "messing around" with airbags.
Go to a junk yard - you can eazily find and remove the horn switch from
an Escort who's airbags have already deployed. I bought two of them for
$5. Identify and remove the junkyard horn switch by reading step 7
below. This is an eazy fix if you follow these instructions. Should take
about 10 minutes. I replaced my "stuck" 97 Escort horn switch as
1) Disconnect negative battery cable, wait for at least 1/2 hour for
residual power discharge before proceeding to net step (IMPORTANT!).
This will disable the airbag. Neglecting this step could cause serious
injury or death!
2) Remove two 10mm bolts directly behind the steering wheel - one on left, one on right. These secure the airbag unit.
3) carefully lift the airbag unit out of the steering wheel.
4) remove two small star-screws at bottom of airbag unit using star end
screw driver - the horn wires enter the airbag unit next to these screws
5) pry the airbag cover (this is the front part of the steering wheel
cover with the horn picture on it) off of the plastic tabs of the airbag
unit, on the left & right sides - should come off very eazily.
6) now you can lift the airbag cover up (there are three rivets that continue to hold the top portion of the cover in place)
7) the horn switch, which is covered by a thin layer of dark foam, is a
very thin plastic pad with two wires coming out (same wires as step 4).
You can see wafer thin copper strips inside the plastic. The switch is
held in place by three small plastic tabs. Remove the switch and
disconnect the wires at the red connector inside the steering wheel.
8) replace horn switch with junkyard switch
9) re-assembly is the reverse of the removal.
This procedure should apply to 97 through 2002 Escorts, including the ZX2. Hope this helps someone save some money.
the older cars like that have little contacts that touch each other and if they touch the hor blows. the cover needs to be taken off and readjust the contacts. its alot more difficult when there are airbags. so DO NOT attempt if there are airbags in the car. very dangerous
A fuse always blows for a reason. The reason your fuse must have blown was because of a short to ground in the horn switch. That means the power side of the horn switch is currently touching ground or metal or that the switch is bad on the inside. The more remote possiblity is that you have a short somewhere in the wiring harness. It is always typical for a component to go bad before a harness.
Here are some notes directly from chrysler, let me know if you need any clarification:
Testing and InspectionNotesWARNING: ON VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH AIR-BAGS, REFER TO AIRBAGS AND SEAT BELTS/AIRBAGS BEFORE ATTEMPTING STEERING WHEEL, STEERING COLUMN, OR INSTRUMENT PANEL COMPONENT DIAGNOSIS OR SERVICE. FAILURE TO TAKE THE PROPER PRECAUTIONS COULD RESULT IN ACCIDENTAL AIRBAG DEPLOYMENT AND POSSIBLE PERSONAL INJURY.
Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable. Remove the lower steering column cover/knee blocker. Check for continuity between the metal steering column jacket and a good ground. There should be continuity If OK, go to Step 2. If not OK, refer to Steering and Suspension/Steering Column and check for proper installation of the steering column mounting nuts.
Remove the driver's airbag module. Unplug the horn switch wire connector. Remove the horn relay from the Power Distribution Center (PDC) . Check for continuity between the steering column half of the horn switch feed wire connector and a good ground. There should be no continuity If OK, go to Step 3. If not OK, repair the short circuit as required.
Check for continuity between the steering column half of the horn switch feed wire connector and the horn relay control circuit cavity for the horn relay in the PDC. There should be continuity If OK, go to Step 4. If not OK, repair the open circuit as required.
Check for continuity between the horn switch feed wire and the horn switch ground wire on the airbag module. There should be no continuity If OK, go to Step 5. If not OK, replace the faulty horn switch.
Depress the center of the airbag module cover and check for continuity between the horn switch feed wire and the horn switch ground wire on the airbag module. There should be continuity If not OK, replace the faulty horn switch.
I have the same problem. I pulled the fuse out, in the box under the hood, on the passenger side of the engine, by the coolant overflow. It killed my horn issue.
Funny enough, the only part of my horn that I miss is the beep when locking my car. I don't really use the horn and perhaps when some idiot cuts me off one day, I'll be sorry.
I just had my AC Rad fail, and fixed that today. I am picking up my Jeep tomorrow, and have asked the mechanic if he has any ideas.