How might I go about replacing a horn myself?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jun 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:

You are both too young and handsome to know much about the car I drive. But I realize that after hearing you and reading you, that you are very resourceful. I also know you will not smirk at my lovely old car that doesn't realize that it was never an important model and just keeps moving gallantly along, year after year. I will pose the problem. My 1950 Plymouth business coupe developed a habit of honking inappropriately a few years ago, so I opened the hood and unscrewed the wires of the horn. Now, however, I feel the urge to have a horn that functions when I want it to honk. Can you tell me where I could find a horn kit of some kind that I could install? Naturally, I'd like a distinctive sound if possible; not necessarily "How Dry I Am." Thank you!

RAY: First of all, Roberta, when you say we're too young and handsome to know much about your car, it's clear that you've never seen a picture of my brother.

TOM: I DO remember your car, Roberta. Actually, I remember it as the "salesman's coupe," because it had two doors and a humongous trunk for all those vacuum cleaner accessories.

RAY: Installing a new horn is easy. And you can buy a kit (either a normal horn or one that plays "Inka Dinka Doo") at almost any auto parts store. But I don't think you need a new horn. I think the problem is in the wiring.

TOM: The reason it was blowing inappropriately is that the wire or the contacts in your steering column are probably all worn out. Who can blame them? I was pretty worn out by the time I was 45 years old, too! You've probably got a short that's causing the horn to blow when you're NOT pressing the horn button.

RAY: The horn itself is fine. All you need to do is re-wire it and you'll be honking-at-will again in no time.

TOM: I suspect, however, you don't have that much need for a horn, Roberta. If your experience is anything like mine, people see your old heap barreling down the road, and rush to get out of the way before you can even reach the horn button.

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