Why Does the Horn Goes Off When Turning Steering Wheel? 

While steering your car wheel the horn suddenly goes off. Making you seem like a bully right off the bat. Not to mention how embarrassing it is when people will start to give you looks.

Whether you have an audience or not you need a quick fix to this. 

So you might be wondering why does the horn goes off when turning steering wheel?

An electrical short connection in the horn circuit can be the reason for horn going off when turning steering wheel. Some of the other reasons could be damaged wire and poor battery connection. At times a problematic fuse can cause this issue. Moreover, a damaged clock spring can also be a cause of this. 

So what could have gone wrong? Wanna identify it? Then keep reading our post till the end.

Let’s start right away!

What Makes the Horn Go Off When Turning Steering Wheel?

There could be more than one reason why your horn honks while steering the wheel. We’re about to get to the bottom of it. So, keep up with us until the end.

Source: autoevolution.com

Electrical Short Connection In The Horn

Car horn goes off when turning steering wheel could be a result of short circuits. Sometimes the horn wire inside the steering column ends up grounding out.

And when that happens the car horn continuously honks until the ground is cleared. It can also go off specifically when you are steering the wheel. 

Additionally, you may see the steering wheel doesn’t return to center after a turn. To be sure about this you’d have to diagnose the horn circuit first. 

See if it’s short-circuited or not. To do that, you’d require a digital circuit tester and a digital multimeter. Here are some of our favorite multimeters on the market-

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It would be better if you have a horn circuit diagram in your hand. Professional car mechanics do not require one most of the time. But you may need it. 

If you have them in your hand, let’s begin the diagnosis-

Step-1: Checking The Battery & Fuse

First up, check the battery voltage of your car using the multimeter. If the diagnosis comes out good then move on to check the fuse voltage. 

Pull over the fuse cover and hook up the digital tester in the fuse. Check both sides of the fuse to be sure the fuse is okay. Utilize this chance to clean fuse box terminals as well.

Step-2: Test The Horn

Remove the grill from the front side of your car to access the horn. Now, grab your digital voltage tester to apply voltage to the horn.

Apply voltage to it and see if you hear the honk. It’s to make sure that the honk is not the one that has gone bad.

Step-3: Testing The Relay

If the previous two-step goes smoothly next up is checking on the relay coil. Remove the fuse cover and locate the relay on the car fuse box. Detach the relay from the fuse box.

The relay has two terminals. You’ve to jump these two terminals with power and ground to activate the magnet inside. It’s going to make both terminals have continuity.

Hook up the digital multimeter to both spades correctly. Connect the alligator clips together to the power and ground to test continuity on the multimeter.

Once you activate the relay you’d hear a clicking sound. Following it should show the continuity on the multimeter screen. If that doesn’t occur then the relay is faulty.

In cases like this, the relay turns out to be the issue. So, now you can guess what keeps the horn honking while turning the wheels.

Damaged Clock Spring

A damaged clock spring can be the culprit why you’re suffering this misfortune. The clock spring purpose is to turn the steering wheel around while making electrical connections. The connections are built between the electrical system, horn, airbag, and steering wheel. If it gets damaged or misplaced the whole thing may get messed up. To diagnose this issue you can check the clock spring by following these steps.

Step-1: Detaching Airbag Module

First, disconnect the battery’s negative cable and wait for a few (1-2) minutes. It’s to avoid the airbag pop out due to power store. Now, detach the airbag module on the driver’s side.

Step-2: Remove The Steering Wheel

To remove the steering wheel first detach the small cover on both sides of it. Take off the bolts from them and remove the connector from the airbag. 

You can use a screwdriver to pull the lock device from the connector. Once it’s done, disconnect the horn button connection. Now, you can remove the steering wheel.

Step-3: Remove The Clock Spring

Once the steering wheel gets removed the clock spring will be visible. Simply unscrew it from both sides and turn the black plate on the top counterclockwise.

If you feel resistance turn it back to 2-2.5 turns in the clockwise direction. It’s time to test the continuity.

Step-3: Check The Resistance 

Set up the multimeter properly. Now, put the black alligator clip on the plug that goes into the airbag. Connect it to one of the wires.

Turn over the clock spring and connect the red plug inside the white port. Similar to before, attach it to any single wire.

Once both sides are connected you’d see the usual resistance of the device. Now turn the clock spring around. If the resistance keeps changing that means the clock spring has gone bad.

Now you can decide to repair clock spring or replace it. Whichever you choose it would be best to get it done by professionals.

Replacing a clock spring is relatively easy. You can do that by following this video from ChrisFix-

This would give you an in-depth idea on how to replace clock springs. 


Need a few more tips to fix the issue? Then this segment might help.

Is repairing the clock spring worth it?

Repairing the clock spring is definitely an option, but it’s not worth it. The wire inside the spring can be changed. But it would be quite a hassle. Also, there’ll be the risk of failing it again. So it’s better to replace the whole thing. Plus they don’t go bad that often.

What is the cost of replacing the clock spring?

Replacing the clock spring can cost you between $100 to $800. The range depends on the car model and the labor fee. Clock springs can be brought from $50 to $500. As for the labor cost, it varies from $50 to $300 depending on the mechanic. In most cases, it doesn’t cross the $200-$300 range. 

What are the symptoms of a bad steering column?

A faulty steering column will feel restricted when turning. You may hear loud squeaking noises along with it. Certain angles may feel heavy and when maneuvering the wheel it will feel loose. Another symptom is when adjusting the wheel height the tilt mechanism fails.

Final Words

Now you know why the horn goes off when turning steering wheel. Have you figured out which one is the problem yet? 

Don’t forget to check for damaged wire while troubleshooting. If you face any difficulty don’t hesitate to take professional help. 

Well then, happy driving!

Robert Lozano

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