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Horn not working

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Joined: 20 Jun 2012
Posts: 44
Location: Saskatoon

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:20 am    Post subject: Horn not working Reply with quote

So in order to pass my Manitoba safety inspection back in July/August, I needed to fix my horn. The horn did work, but it was too weak to be effective. So I pulled the dual (single-wire) horn setup out of my Jeep, and wired in a relay to allow the Niva's stock two-wire/switched ground setup to trigger the horns, thanks to Baxter's suggestion. It worked great.

Fast forward six months, and I've moved provinces and now need to pass the Saskatchewan safety inspection to register the Niva here. Everything seems alright still, and I've got an appointment for the inspection set for Friday morning (it's now Tuesday evening) and my horn isn't working.

Both horns work when power is applied individually directly from the battery (so no issues with the horns or their grounds) and the relay clicked when I pulled it out of its socket and "bench tested" it. At the relay socket, I have constant 12V for both the load and trigger terminals, and continuity to ground through the load (horn) terminal. The trigger circuit however does not have continuity to ground, even when the horn button is pressed. This tells me either there's a fault in the horn button circuit, or else my splice into the switched-ground side sucks serious donkey balls — but it used to work, and wiggling the splice doesn't change anything.

Wiring is not my forte. It doesn't help that the digital service manuals I got off only have wiring diagrams, not proper circuit diagrams (and by that I mean everything on the diagram disappears into the central loom, and beyond wire colour, it's guesswork as to what comes out where. This is the first time I've seen wiring diagrams that do this and aren't full-on circuit diagrams where every wire is traced out). In my interpretation of the diagrams, the black/grey ground wire from the horn should show up at the horn button, but all I've got up at the steering wheel centre button is a pink wire. If the horn button works the way it looks like it works, in my mind this pink wire should have constant power, or at least continuity from the trigger terminal at the relay, but it doesn't. I haven't knowingly changed anything between the horn working and not working. The steering wheel centre-button was loose, however, and two of the screws have gone missing, so I suppose it's possible something fell out or got out of place in the button, but there's nothing kicking around in the footwell or anythign wrong with the horn button, insofar as I can tell.
So before I go pull my splice apart (I'd rather not do that), or pull the splice apart, discover there's nothing wrong with it, and run a new wire to a janky push-button somewhere to get me through the safety; is there anything common I should be checking? All fuses under the dash are in good condition. Is there a factory horn relay somewhere I should be looking at? I don't think the fact that I have a non-stock horn setup is relevant here because the horn circuit should still have normal operation, but you never know. Is there a chance I cooked something because the load on the circuit from my added relay isn't enough to reduce voltage for some other component's safe operation?

Forgive me for my long wordy post. I'm sure I could have written it more efficiently, but I wanted to make sure I clearly explained my problem, and the steps I took to diagnose the problem area.
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Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Posts: 957
Location: Belfast, N. Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A separate Horn Wiring Diagram is shown in Fig 7-33 on Page 159 of the 1700 repair manual. It's the same as the 1600 so don't worry there.

There are two common horn faults.

1. The wiring is chafed/broken in the steering column shroud.

2. The slip ring in the steering wheel isn't connected anymore.
'96 Niva 1.7i
Belfast, N. Ireland
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