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How To Test A Car Horn? A Quick Guide 2024 [Updated]

You’re driving to work when a driver from the opposite direction suddenly appears in front of you. So, how to test a car horn? When you beep your horn, nothing happens. You hardly ever save the accident. The horn is a small part of the car that drivers often overlook, but it serves a purpose.

If it is not working well, it may endanger your or someone else’s life. You can also learn how to check battery amps with a multimeter?

how to test car relay

A car horn is a necessary part of any roadworthy vehicle. It plays a vital role in preventing road accidents by alerting other drivers and pedestrians to the vehicle’s presence. But like many other functioning parts of the vehicle, it can get damaged.

You do not need to be worried because it is simple to test and repair a car horn for damage and repair it. Only the individual components must be inspected for proper operation and replaced if necessary. Here is the step-by-step guide for you to test your car horn.

Why Did The Car Horn Stop Working?

There can be various reasons behind car horn failures. One reason can be If a component in the horn system needs to be connected properly. Although, there’s a gap between the horn button on the steering wheel and the horn at the front of the vehicle.

If the horn sounds strange or completely mute, it’s usually because one of the horns has worn out. All vehicles usually have two horns, a low-tone and a high-tone horn. Typically, the repair entails removing parts such as the bumper to gain access to the horn, loosening the horn bolt, and disconnecting the electrical connector.

How To Check The Car Horn?

So, how to test a car horn? To ensure your car horn functions reliably, start by locating the horn under the hood. Then, inspect its wiring for any signs of damage or corrosion. Finally, test the horn by pressing the steering wheel button while listening for a loud, clear sound.

1. Check The Horn Fuse

The location of the fuse box should be found in your owner’s manual. Most car manufacturers place theirs near the driver on the dashboard. Another fuse box can be found in the car’s engine bay. Begin with the most visible – the one in the dashboard.

how to test car horn fuses

Now check a test light for a connection, remove the fuse and inspect if the wire is broken. Even if the wire is not broken, you must confirm it with a multimeter. Turn on the multimeter. So, make a circuit by touching the multimeter probes to each fuse terminal. If the reading indicates “out of limits,” you have blown a fuse. Change the fuse to a new one.

How To Check The Car Horn

2. Check The Relay

After checking the fuse, look into the horn relay. You’ll need to get to the relay box under your car’s hood. The simplest way to determine whether it is still operational is to replace it with a new relay from the same box.

Manufacturers frequently design their relays to be interchangeable. So if the identical horn works, the horn relay is expired. And you need to replace it. 

3. Check The Relay Switch.

After you’ve checked the fuse and relay:

  1. Remember to test the relay switch.
  2. Remove the relay and probe the relay socket with a multimeter.
  3. Connect the other multimeter probe to the car’s negative battery terminal.
  4. Press the horn button and look at the numbers on the multimeter’s screen.

The relay switch needs to be replaced if it says out of limits. I have listed the best budget multimeters you can check out.

4. Examine The Horn Switch

If the relay switch works properly, the horn switch should be your next priority. The horn switch is located in the steering wheel pad. However, to access the horn switch, you must first remove the steering wheel pad to check the horn switch.

Checking the horn switch is risky because it can cause the accidental deployment of the airbag near the steering wheel. 

5. Check The Car Horn

Following the fuse and relay examination, If you have yet to find the cause of the failure, it’s time to inspect the horn. Disconnect the car horn connector. Join one end of a jumper wire to the horn’s positive terminal and the other to the car battery’s positive terminal.

how to examine horn switch

Connect another wire to the horn’s and battery’s negative terminals. The horn should start working when you connect the wire to the battery’s negative post. If there is still no sound, the horn is out of order.

6. Examine the Horn Circuit

Check the circuit first before replacing the horn. You may have a working horn, but the wiring needs to deliver power. Set the multimeter to Ohms measurement.

Connect one of its probes to the negative connector pin on the horn. Connect the other meter probe to the ground of the horn. If you see numbers in the display, the ground circuit is operational. 

However, if you read “out of limits,” consult an automotive technician to determine the cause.

While testing your horn, keep an eye out for rust and corrosion. Don’t worry if you need help finding the problem. You can always take your car to a garage. They can assist you in diagnosing the problem and making any necessary repairs.

Final Words

Although you use a car horn sparingly, it should be in a working position. As a driver, you should always pay attention to the importance of it. If the horn fails, you lose a vital warning system.

You cannot communicate with other vehicles on the road, which should be addressed first to prevent future harm. You can do it yourself, and it is pretty easy if you want to learn it. So, you only need to identify the source of the problem and replace the broken component. Hope so, now you know how to test a car horn.


How do I test my car’s horn myself?

It is simple to repair a broken or non-functioning car horn. You only need to inspect the components for proper operation and replace them if necessary.

How can I test my horn with a multimeter?

Your horn, like any other electrical component, requires power and ground. If you hear the relay clicking, use a multimeter or a simple test light to see if you have power at the horn.

Moreover, if you do have power, make sure you have a solid foundation. Your horn is worn out if the power and the ground are good. Replace it with a new one.