How to Replace the Car Horn

When it comes to car horns, the common assumption is that the louder it is, the better the deal you're get. However, you need to watch out for state laws that limit what type of horns you buy and how loud they're supposed to get since they could end up disturbing the peace and whatnot.

Also, overeager honking can actually damage the horn button or switch, so watch out. When shopping for a new horn button because your car's factory button is damaged, you should remember the following.

Shopping for Horns and Buttons

  • A Horn Is a Legal Requirement: Your car should have a horn. You cannot do without it and if you were stopped because you lack a horn or get caught because you don't have a horn, you could get ticketed or worse by the arresting officer. What's more, if your audible warning device is busted you should definitely get that button or horn fixed ASAP.
  • Matching Buttons with Horns: What does it mean to match the button with the horn? If you have a loud horn of about 118 dB of sound for your light truck or SUV, you should have a button to match its loudness. It's hard to match aesthetic design with sound design, but an ergonomic button that gets the most out of your horn's decibels a la a piano key can be a good choice, particularly the ones that can maintain that loudness at every press.
  • Purchase a Horn Button Kit: Buy a kit to make sure you have everything to replace your button or your horn itself. A horn button kit includes the wire, nut, and disc you connect the button to the rest of your existing horn. As much as possible, get an OE-standard button or horn so they can fit into your car or at least a universal-fit one. Don't try fitting a square button into a round button hole.
  • Get the Right Measurement on The Horn Button: Your horn button should match your old button in looks or at least size and dimension, which in most cars can measure 1¼ inches. Horn button design, shape, and measurements will naturally vary from one vehicle to another. You should also get a new button made of rubber, vinyl, or plastic in order to ensure that it can take all sorts of pushing, pressing, depressing, mashing, hitting, or punching.
  • Just Buy a New Horn Assembly: A horn kit or assembly includes everything in the horn button kit plus the horn itself, its megaphone, a coil of wire that forms an electromagnet, and a flexible metal diaphragm made of spring steel. You're usually good to go with a standard-issue high-tone horn and button combo. If you're replacing your horn it can be your opportunity to get a new sound out of it. Just remember that strident horns with fluctuating noises are reserved for ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars.

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