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Random PT horn function loss

 
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Old 22 Feb 2018, 08:46 am
ptprice's Avatar
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Default Random PT horn function loss

BEEP BEEP
Every once in a great while I get no beep when I do the tap to activate SOOO BIG's horn. Miraculously the function has always returned. I've never had this occurrence before in any other car I've owned.

The other day it happened at dusk. It was all over in a split second. The evening was overcast and somewhat foggy. Vision was poor. I was driving at about 20mph on a city street in Ormond Beach.

Using the horn, I was trying to alert another driver ahead of me of an upcoming danger on the road that I'd seen but apparently the driver in front of me hadn't. A large object had fallen off of a leading truck. It was in the road way ahead. I was slowing SOOO BIG and swerving to the right a bit to miss it but apparently this bubble head in front of me hadn't seen it. When SOOO BIG's horn didn't work to alert him, I flashed the head lights. That got his attention. His concentration and awareness apparently immediately cranked up. He saw the object in front of him in time and swerved. He just missed it. We both pulled off the road as did the truck driver who retrieved the debris. When we drove off, the driver in front beeped his horn in thanks and I beeped him back. The dammed horn was working again. "@#$%^&*"

Is this horn dysfunction normal with age on a PT, or is my "beep the horn technique" in question? I've been beeping for over 60 years of driving. If a fix involves gutting the steering wheel I not sure I want to tear into it and I sure don't want an air bag popping out.

Happy PTin', ptprice.
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Cool Vanilla White, 3 Coats. 2.4 DOHC 16V SMPI Eng. Vanity Cover, 4 Spd. Auto Trans. 2.6 Overall Top Gear, Lock-up Torque Converter. PT Chrome Clad 16" X 6" Wheels, P205/55 R16 Cooper Starfire/Solarus tires, Touring Suspension. Chrome Package; Side Spears, Grills, Fuel Filler Door, Door Locks, Handles, PRND3-1 Bezel, Silver/Chrome Shift Ball/Knob, Bright Spoke Leather Tilt Steering Wheel. Chrome Tail Lights, 3/8" Belt Trim. Cruise Control, Power Mirrors, A/C, Deep Tinted Sun Screen Glass, Power Moon Roof, Fog and Back-Up Lights, Rear Spoiler, Variable Front Wipers W/Washers, Rear Wiper/Washer, Key less Entry, Replacement 2001 Dark Taupe Grey Suede/Leather Trim Seats, Dual Under Seat Storage Drawers, Drivers Side Power Seat Height Adjust. Full Length Console, Locking Glove Box, Overhead Temperature/Compass Console, Rear Shelf Panel, AM/FM CD GPS Navigation Radio, 6 Premium Speakers, Back up Camera/ 7" Monitor.
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Old 22 Feb 2018, 09:13 am
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Default Re: Random PT horn function loss

Hey Price,

Where the horn (or "horns" on the 2001 PT) are located, it's possible to get water and/or mud splashed up on them. This may lead to a poor connection where the wire plugs onto the horn. Folks rarely complain of this problem here on the forum, so I figure it's rare. But I'm sure it can and does happen.

If me, I'd first check the clock spring because that's easiest and only takes a minute. I'd turn the steering wheel while honking the horn and see if I could find a "dead" spot where the horn doesn't work right.

If I didn't find a problem while turning the steering wheel I'd next turn the steering wheel all the way to the left. Then I'd take down part of the fender liner above the front passengers side wheel. Then I'd reach in, unplug the horn, clean the blade off and plug it back in. Then I'd see if that fixes the issue.

If no joy, I'd likely replace the horn relay with one from a salvage PT to see if that makes a difference. And if no joy then, I might suspect the contact points in the airbag. But there's no good way to service that and it would need to be replaced with one from a salvage car. Before buying an airbag, I'd likely hook up a temporary horn button and use it for a while to help assure the problem doesn't come back which would indicate it's something else and not the airbag.
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Old 22 Feb 2018, 09:31 am
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Default Re: Random PT horn function loss

or is my "beep the horn technique" in question?


PTprice, are you trying to honk a right hand horn button using your left hand?
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Old 22 Feb 2018, 10:06 am
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Default Re: Random PT horn function loss

Sounds like a good excuse to buy a nice aftermarket horn for yourself
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Old 22 Feb 2018, 11:37 am
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Default Re: Random PT horn function loss

You might have a bad ground it is a riveted connection between dash bracket and steering column support. This might explain why it works sometimes and not other times.

Horn - Bad Ground.jpg
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 22 Feb 2018 at 11:39 am.
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Old 22 Feb 2018, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Random PT horn function loss

Todd. Thanks for your advise. Horn, wire plugs, relay. If all this is working well over 99% of the time that probably isn't the problem. It must be as you say, "a dead spot."

My test while driving when this happens has been to try pressing different places with different pressures on the "horn button area" to get function. At the time of dysfunction I remember getting no results anywhere on the button.

Following your advise today I tested the horn, rotating the steering wheel completely with out dysfunction. I then tried all points on the horn button and found a dead spot on the edge at the seven oclock position. If that test got horn function every where but there and it is this random, what might be a fix?

I have things on me that don't work every time, I just try again till I get a "beep".

Coincidentally, I always beep right handed and thanks but no thanks to a second horn. I did an add on AAOOOGGGAA horn on a Corvair Monza I restored. I mounted it on an existing bolt under the up front "hood". To keep authenticity in the restoration I set up that second horn with a selector switch so that both horns could work independently with the existing horn button. Happy PTin', ptprice
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Cool Vanilla White, 3 Coats. 2.4 DOHC 16V SMPI Eng. Vanity Cover, 4 Spd. Auto Trans. 2.6 Overall Top Gear, Lock-up Torque Converter. PT Chrome Clad 16" X 6" Wheels, P205/55 R16 Cooper Starfire/Solarus tires, Touring Suspension. Chrome Package; Side Spears, Grills, Fuel Filler Door, Door Locks, Handles, PRND3-1 Bezel, Silver/Chrome Shift Ball/Knob, Bright Spoke Leather Tilt Steering Wheel. Chrome Tail Lights, 3/8" Belt Trim. Cruise Control, Power Mirrors, A/C, Deep Tinted Sun Screen Glass, Power Moon Roof, Fog and Back-Up Lights, Rear Spoiler, Variable Front Wipers W/Washers, Rear Wiper/Washer, Key less Entry, Replacement 2001 Dark Taupe Grey Suede/Leather Trim Seats, Dual Under Seat Storage Drawers, Drivers Side Power Seat Height Adjust. Full Length Console, Locking Glove Box, Overhead Temperature/Compass Console, Rear Shelf Panel, AM/FM CD GPS Navigation Radio, 6 Premium Speakers, Back up Camera/ 7" Monitor.
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Old 22 Feb 2018, 01:23 pm
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Default Re: Random PT horn function loss

If you find a dead spot on the airbag, then it's likely a contact in the airbag and replacement of the airbag is the only option.

But before changing it out, you might want check to the same thing on another PT Cruiser if you can. It's always possible that this spot with no horn function is just part of the design and is there on all 1st Gen PT Cruisers.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2001LimitedSteeringWheel.jpg (96.3 KB, 31 views)
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Old 22 Feb 2018, 04:29 pm
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Default Re: Random PT horn function loss

[QUOTE=ptcruisersteve;682941]You might have a bad ground it is a riveted connection between dash bracket and steering column support. This might explain why it works sometimes and not other times.

Try moving the steering wheel up and down with the tilt mechanism (lever on the left side of steering column) when the horn stops working and see if it starts to work again.
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Old 22 Feb 2018, 04:51 pm
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Default Re: Random PT horn function loss

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
You might have a bad ground. It is a riveted connection between dash bracket and steering column support. This might explain why it works sometimes and not other times.

Attachment 27859
Thanks. I find absolutely no original PT ground wire from body to steering column. Maybe I haven't spotted it. It took some serious gyrations to take these photos of what's under there. Area views from both sides of the steering column support. If it'd help do you think I should create a body to steering column support ground connection?

As Todd suggested I just might just have an inherent dead spot in my horn button.

Happy PTin', ptprice

SSPX0020 (640x480).jpg

SSPX0019 (640x480).jpg
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SOOO BIG 2005 PT CRUISER, LIMITED EDITION, SIGNATURE SERIES
Cool Vanilla White, 3 Coats. 2.4 DOHC 16V SMPI Eng. Vanity Cover, 4 Spd. Auto Trans. 2.6 Overall Top Gear, Lock-up Torque Converter. PT Chrome Clad 16" X 6" Wheels, P205/55 R16 Cooper Starfire/Solarus tires, Touring Suspension. Chrome Package; Side Spears, Grills, Fuel Filler Door, Door Locks, Handles, PRND3-1 Bezel, Silver/Chrome Shift Ball/Knob, Bright Spoke Leather Tilt Steering Wheel. Chrome Tail Lights, 3/8" Belt Trim. Cruise Control, Power Mirrors, A/C, Deep Tinted Sun Screen Glass, Power Moon Roof, Fog and Back-Up Lights, Rear Spoiler, Variable Front Wipers W/Washers, Rear Wiper/Washer, Key less Entry, Replacement 2001 Dark Taupe Grey Suede/Leather Trim Seats, Dual Under Seat Storage Drawers, Drivers Side Power Seat Height Adjust. Full Length Console, Locking Glove Box, Overhead Temperature/Compass Console, Rear Shelf Panel, AM/FM CD GPS Navigation Radio, 6 Premium Speakers, Back up Camera/ 7" Monitor.
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Old 22 Feb 2018, 05:06 pm
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Default Re: Random PT horn function loss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
If you find a dead spot on the airbag, then it's likely a contact in the airbag and replacement of the airbag is the only option.

But before changing it out, you might want check to the same thing on another PT Cruiser if you can. It's always possible that this spot with no horn function is just part of the design and is there on all 1st Gen PT Cruisers.

As I mentioned there does seem to be consistent dead spot in SOOO BIG's horn button at the edge at 7 oclock. First photo. The second and third photos are BEEPERS.
Fore warned is fair warned I guess. maybe a ground from body to steering column mount is in order. See previous from ptcruisersteve. It'd be interesting to find out if other PTers experience this same horn button anomaly.
Happy PTin', ptprice


SSPX0014 (640x480).jpg
NO BEEP

SSPX0015 (640x480).jpg
BEEP BEEP

SSPX0016 (640x480).jpg
ANOTHER BEEP BEEP
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SOOO BIG 2005 PT CRUISER, LIMITED EDITION, SIGNATURE SERIES
Cool Vanilla White, 3 Coats. 2.4 DOHC 16V SMPI Eng. Vanity Cover, 4 Spd. Auto Trans. 2.6 Overall Top Gear, Lock-up Torque Converter. PT Chrome Clad 16" X 6" Wheels, P205/55 R16 Cooper Starfire/Solarus tires, Touring Suspension. Chrome Package; Side Spears, Grills, Fuel Filler Door, Door Locks, Handles, PRND3-1 Bezel, Silver/Chrome Shift Ball/Knob, Bright Spoke Leather Tilt Steering Wheel. Chrome Tail Lights, 3/8" Belt Trim. Cruise Control, Power Mirrors, A/C, Deep Tinted Sun Screen Glass, Power Moon Roof, Fog and Back-Up Lights, Rear Spoiler, Variable Front Wipers W/Washers, Rear Wiper/Washer, Key less Entry, Replacement 2001 Dark Taupe Grey Suede/Leather Trim Seats, Dual Under Seat Storage Drawers, Drivers Side Power Seat Height Adjust. Full Length Console, Locking Glove Box, Overhead Temperature/Compass Console, Rear Shelf Panel, AM/FM CD GPS Navigation Radio, 6 Premium Speakers, Back up Camera/ 7" Monitor.
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