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Thread: Clack & Click (the automobile repair advice thread)

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Clack & Click (the automobile repair advice thread)

    I suddenly get nothing when I hit the horn on my 2000 Buick Park Ave. What do you think the odds are I just need to replace a fuse?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    More likely is a broken horn button or a loose wire. First thing I'd do (after checking the fuses) is look at the horn and make sure the wires are attached. If that was all OK, I'd take the cover off the center of the steering wheel (a Chilton's Guide from the library can show you how to do it) and look at the horn button.

    Disclaimer: It's been many, many years since I fixed a horn button. Back in my day they were little spring-loaded switches that made contact when the horn was pressed. I suspect they are the same today. Easy to change out if they are.

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    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    The big question is: are you going to seize this opportunity to replace your horn with a customized horn that plays, say, the opening notes to the theme from Star Trek? I know I would....but only cuz I bet they don't make one that plays the opening notes to the theme from the Super Friends or Mork & Mindy.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I suddenly get nothing when I hit the horn on my 2000 Buick Park Ave. What do you think the odds are I just need to replace a fuse?
    Since you're driving a Buick, the first thing I'd recommend is a visit to an audiologist. I think it's covered by Medicare.

    Start with the cheapest solution first, and when that doesn't work, go on to the next expensive.

    Check the fuse. It's easy to see if a fuse is burnt out. It it's not the fuse, it's either the horn button or a minor electrical issue. See a mechanic for this. You don't want to be playing around near the airbags, and the explosives that set them off.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I suddenly get nothing when I hit the horn on my 2000 Buick Park Ave. What do you think the odds are I just need to replace a fuse?
    You don't need to replace anything. Open car window, extend arm, extend middle finger.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ursus
    The big question is: are you going to seize this opportunity to replace your horn with a customized horn that plays, say, the opening notes to the theme from Star Trek? I know I would....but only cuz I bet they don't make one that plays the opening notes to the theme from the Super Friends or Mork & Mindy
    and what's wrong with the opening notes from the original Battlestar Galactica theme?

    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Since you're driving a Buick, the first thing I'd recommend is a visit to an audiologist. I think it's covered by Medicare.
    After I get done eating my liver and onions, and finish up with cleaning the after-market vinyl roof, I'm going to drive over to upstate New York (never exceeding 45 mph during daylight hours) and kick yer ass!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I suddenly get nothing when I hit the horn on my 2000 Buick Park Ave. What do you think the odds are I just need to replace a fuse?
    The odds are its just a fuse. But the recommendation is to replace the car...(did I just say that out loud?)

    The horn on my Vanagon suddenly started going off intermittently one day. I got a LOT of angry looks from everyone - especially pedestrians and cyclists. I was in traffic, too, Kept holding up my arms to show I wasn't doing it, but it didn't help. Pulled into a parking lot and just disconnected the leads to the horn altogether. That was a year ago. Not sure what the problem was - spiders in the wiring? A short? but as btrage noted, my finger works just fine...

    Lastly, when I was in college I remember being in this conversation where a guy kept referring to this woman as “a Buick.” It came up a few times and I just assumed he was referring to her weight until I asked if she was really huge or what. Turned out she was a descendant of David Dunbar Buick who founded the company. Oooooohhhh!…..
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    What is a horn? I haven't used one in years.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    What is a horn? I haven't used one in years.
    There is a notorious intersection in my 'burg that I must use frequently. Drivers typically fail to signal that they are making a right turn and it has gotten to the point where oncoming drivers assume the opposing vehicle will turn. I, however, am not turning and I proceed into the intersection with my hand on the horn. I use it obnoxiously (like the good Jersey ex-pat I am) when someone darts out in front of me. With the other hand I'm flipping the bird...
    Je suis Charlie

  11. #11
    Cyburbian WhenIGrowUp's avatar
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    Is there a click when you push the horn? If not, it could be the horn relay that's gone bad. They wear out, too. I doubt it's a fuse issue, unless you're having other mystery failures, too, like your radio display is out or the lamps in your dashboard won't light up. Fuses are linked to several non-linked systems; when a fuse goes out, typically several minor seemingly unrelated systems will fail.

    First check the relay, then trace the power source from the battery through the switch, through the relay to the horn itself. The horn is a hot wire (meaning the key does not have to be on for the horn to have power), so the airbags will not detonate while you're checking.

    Barring that just bypass the whole thing and add in a second system to sister up with the first system. May I suggest a Nathan Airchime P3. You'll thank me later.
    "We are not going to have public meetings to review architecture. Public input ruins the idea of professional review." -Design Review Committee Chairman, 11/04/09

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    epilogue: it was a loose wire. Easy peasy
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I am stealing a quote from that program "There is much to dislike about America...." only changing 'America' with wherever the person happens to be from upon whose nerves I wish to grate. (e.g. there is much to dislike about Buffalo....).
    I wish that had been Diether comparing American with European cars. He certainly has smug down pat.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    The horn on my Vanagon suddenly started going off intermittently one day. I got a LOT of angry looks from everyone - especially pedestrians and cyclists. I was in traffic, too, Kept holding up my arms to show I wasn't doing it, but it didn't help. Pulled into a parking lot and just disconnected the leads to the horn altogether.
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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
    Such a great movie!

    My car is starting to whine when I turn hard to the left. I'm thinking I need some power steering fluid.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  16. #16
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Such a great movie!

    My car is starting to whine when I turn hard to the left. I'm thinking I need some power steering fluid.
    There is a lot of whining coming from the left. Or should that go in the political thread?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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