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can be lots of things. 1: fuses. blown (always 1st)
keep in mind some cars, have 2 horn relays 1 for keyless entry sys. 1 for horn button
if the button fails i can be the button is bad, or the wires from it to the relay is bad, the wiring is simple (steering wheel with air bags are dangerous and complex) but alldata.com has the drawings. and even how to fix it. under AIRBAGS (defeat ) 1st then under HORN its all there all the time. i never assume what is wrong, i do the tests. i check the signal at the correct relay first , the follow the fail path to its logical conclusion. i dont guess. and for sure i never put my BODY near any active air bags, ever. nor should you. if you need to know the exact location of parts. i can look it up. its at alldata.com
Hello: Depending on the options in your vehicle , you could have one of 4 clocksprings.4649130AC, 4649193BC, 4649194AC, or 56044931AB. This is a dealer item only.
The clockspring is a ribbon wire that is coiled up insidethe steering column. This component is the subject of many discussions onthese threads. Many times the steeringwheel or column is disconnected and then rotated beyond the center position itis required to be in. This will causethe clockspring wire to break. Theclockspring delivers current to all of the systems above it... the airbag, cruisecontrol and horn. When it fails (and they do a lot) the wire breaksleaving one or all of the circuits open and inoperative. This will causethe airbag light to come on and shut down the airbag system. As long asthat light is on, the airbags will NOT deploy, even in an accident. Sometimes it's intermittent as the wirebegins to break. Once it breaks completely,the 'airbag' light will illuminate. This was a factory recall for many vehicles and many customers are unaware ofthat.
Check out the last site for information on researchingyour own vehicle for factory recalls.
...or contactyour local dealer and they will accommodate the replacement for you. Check out theseweb pages for a more complete description:
I think the horn contacts for your steering wheel are located at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. The contacts are behind the air bag and may have a poor connection. If the air bag has been either removed or replaced for any reason, that may explain your problem. I have also seen just a few issues with the wiring harness behind the airbag wearing and internally damaging the wiring for the horn signal.
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.
In most cases this problem is caused by the rotating ribbon circuit contact under the steering wheel having a broken filament, the part is known as a clock spring contact, u will need to properly disarm the airbag and remove the steering wheel to access the part. WARNING: Failure to disarm the airbag system can result in an unexpected Airbag deployment and possible serious personnel injury disconnect the battery 30 minutes prior to start of work.
this is not a horn relay issue.
In most cases this problem is caused by the rotating ribbon circuit contact under the steering wheel having a broken filament, the part is known as a clock spring contact, u will need to properly disarm the airbag and remove the steering wheel to access the part. WARNING: Failure to follow factory Airbag disarming protocol can result in an unexpected Airbag deployment and possible serious personnel injury