Question about kawasaki VN 1600 Mean Streak Motorcycles

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The horn is not working. The trouble is in the thumb switch. A squirt of water or lubricant brings the horn to life for a short time only.

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If the the thumb switch is the problem , you have two options . Either take the switch apart carefully enough to clean the contacts in the button and reassemble it , or if that does not work purchase a good used/or a new switch assembly and replace the entire assembly.

Posted on Sep 30, 2010

  • rorickorr Sep 30, 2010

    I already took the switch apart--carefully, and, yes, I did clean the contacts. I was more concerned about the cone-shaped copper spring inside. Does the base fit down inside the plastic thumb switch or does the base face up into the relay part? I bought the bike used, so I wonder if the guy ahead of me already tinkered inside. Right now, the whole horn switch unit consists of the plastic thumb switch, a plastic lever with contact that fits and levers inside the thumb portion, the cone-shaped copper spring, and the plastic sending unit that holds the other half of the contact plus two wires running away. Is there a part--possibly a ground--missing?

  • David Belcher
    David Belcher Sep 30, 2010

    No ground wire is missing , the ground wire is the other wire on the actual horn. When you are pushing the button all you are doing is connecting a single power to the horn. I have never worked on your switch. I have only rebuilt or cleaned the switches on my 75 and 76 Goldwing's (no longer available from Honda). If it is intermittent also consider a partially broken wire in the harness. An electricity- conductive grease/lubricant may help. But you may have to try assembling it several ways till you get it right. A voltage meter should help. Also, I have taken good parts out of used broken switches housing) , to fix my switches.

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Hi,

As in most electrical problems, it would be required to do a bit of tracing/diagnosis to determine which is at fault. Most automotive horn system works on the same basic design. A switch in the steering wheel that energizes the horn relay that in turn powers the horn(s). A self activating horn could be caused by:
1: intermittent short in the steering wheel horn button;
2. intermittent shorting out horn relay;
3. intermittent short in the wiring.

Basing on the above possibilities, diagnostic/corrective action would involve:
a. tapping on the steering wheel (not the horn button) to see if jarring it would activate the horn, if yes then the problem is with the horn switch and often cleaning the inside/contact points of the switch should be corrective;
b. tapping the horn relay with the handle of a screwdriver to determine if jarring it would activate the horn, if yes then the problem is with the horn relay which of course would need replacement;
c. the wiring would be a bit more complicated if not time consuming. It would be necessary to wiggle the wires coming from the steering wheel/column to the main harness, to the fuse/relay bank finally to the horn to check at which point the trouble would resurface. Taping any exposed/bare/scraped wire would be corrective. It should be noted that the steering horn switch often would be "to ground" meaning the horn switch is switching the horn relay by providing the negative path, the relay is constantly supplied with B+12.

There are some instances that the horn could also activated by an alarm system.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

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