1998 Ram 1500 QC 5.9L V-8 2wd 101,500 mi.
Went to turn left into the Home Depot parking lot today and the horn began
to blow continuously when I turned the steering wheel left and would not
Hit the horn-pad a couple times and it intermitantly stopped and then
started blowing again.
Based on the fact that the horn stopped blowing momentarily when I hit the
horn pad my first guess is the horn pad in the airbag assy is bad....Anyone
else had this problem?
Is it the horn pad or the horn relay? IF it is the horn pad can it be
replaced individually or am I in for a new airbag assy?
Your clockspring broke. You can replace just this assembly (it's a coil of
wire that looks like an actual clockspring - hence the name. It connects
the horn buttons and the cruise control switches to the steering column).
You should know what you're doing to do this job yourself - you'll be
working around the airbag, and setting that off accidentally will ruin your
I didn't think about the clock spring....but I have heard about them
I am aware of the airbags and what needs to be done to disarm them and work
around them......though I appreaciate the heads-up........
How long a job are we looking at? Is the clock spring usually stocked at
the dealer or something that has to be ordered? Any idea as to what the
cost of the clock spring is?
It'll most likely have to be ordered... rare that something like this is in
stock. Dealer MSRP looks around $60 - depending on your particular dealer,
you may get it for less.
As for the job itself, it's not too difficult... but I wouldn't attempt it
without a factory service manual. The manual talks about a lot of little
things to be done to remove/install it without breaking plastic tabs, as
well as some things to do to keep everything centered. Again, not
difficult - just a little tedious. You'll also need a steering wheel
puller, as the steering wheel has to come off.
There's three relevant pages, so if you need them, drop me an e-mail.
Also, I'd do a little troubleshooting to make sure it really was the
clockspring. For instance, does your cruise control work? If so, it may
indeed just be the horn switch, in which case you just need to replace the
trim cover/horn switch assembly.
You can remove this from the steering wheel and test the continuity of the
switch with a meter.
Lastly, if that all checks out, suspect a sticking horn relay, and replace
I do have a shop manual and have read up on centering the clockspring and
the other issues to consider...again...thanks for the heads up.....
Here's the rub....I did some troubleshooting this morning...... checked the
horn switch assy with a meter and it is working properly....normally open
circuit that closes when pressure is applied to the horn switch assy and I
removed and tested the horn relay per the shop manual and it checked out
fine.......so I am a little unsure as to what to do....
I don't think it's the horn relay because I said earlier....the horn just
started blowing by itself when I turned the wheel left, so in my mind it is
either the horn switch assy or clockspring assy.
I have been having intermittant trouble getting the cruise control
activated/deactivated (green "Cruise" light to come on and go off) so maybe
it is the clockspring....
That's what had me suspecting the clockspring... the fact that it happened
as you were turning the wheel. I just didn't want you to go ahead and
replace it without checking the other (simpler) causes first.
Unfortunately, it sounds like the other possible causes have been ruled out
by your troubleshooting.
Something struck me today after reading a TSB.....
The TSB stated that if the clockspring was broken things like the airbag and
cruise control would be inoperative leading me to believe that if the
clockspring breaks it opens the circuits that it makes up......
In the case of my uncommanded continuously blowing horn that would require a
closed circuit.....failure of the clockspring...from what I read....creates
an open circuit.....even though I did the troubleshooting and it showed
good.....should I look harder at the horn relay or the horn switch assy?
The ultra conservative route would be....replace the horn relay, clockspring
and horn switch assy.....my new question is: Is the horn switch assy and
airbag cover available as a separate part or am I in for a complete airbag
Not when it comes to the horn. The horn button is used to complete the
ground connection for the horn relay and a broken clock spring can do the
The horn relay is not going to magically activate itself although the switch
assembly could be failing. The intermittent cruise control along with the
horn problem does indicate a failing clock spring.
It's not going to be the relay and it is unlikely that a bad cover would
blow the horn just by turning the wheel.
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving
A blose by any other name.....
It's been awhile since I had a Chrysler steering column apart.
But that sounds like the right thing to check. Look for a couple
bolts behind the wheel which hold the horn pad on.
And, incidentally, a horn "blows", not blose.
Christopher A. Young
You can't shout down a troll.
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